So lately there's been a lot of controversy about gun control and gun banning in social media, the internet, tv and other media. Everybody that reads my blog pretty much knows what my stance is on that. Gun-control means the criminals and the psychos get to have BETTER guns than the good guys and gun banning means that the criminals and the psychos get to have the ONLY guns, so NO I don't believe in gun control.
The kind of control that I'm going to address here is how much control can we have on our lives, some of the outcomes of situations in our lives, and some of the circumstances of our lives; specially those that are related to violence. Surely we cannot control every single aspect of our lives however, preparation on several aspects may help us cope with emergencies better. For example if you're stronger and fitter you have more of a chance to escape some bad guy that might be chasing you, or you might be better able to carry a loved one to safety that needs to be removed from a dangerous environment.
So what I'm really going to address here is an issue that is somewhat related to gun-control. It's the contrast between your right to defend yourself and what I believe is your duty to be able to protect yourself.
We live in a relatively safe society regardless of what you think about the of the amount of crime in your neighborhood or city, the psychos shooting schoolchildren, and all other violent crime news your hear all the time; the truth is we really live in a very safe society. There are people that can go their entire existence living in the United States without ever having to face any real life threatening bodily harm. Some people even go through a lifetime without even Getting into a scrap in school.
These extremely safe living conditions we have developed create an environment in which we do have a lot of rights and among them is basically the right to choose to not learn how to defend yourself.
There are places all over the over the world were self protection is a daily necessity. People in these places don't have the luxury of training in self defense they just defend themselves constantly from actual physical threats from enemy tribes, from other races that hate them, from criminals etc. They're literally fighting every day and have to learn to fight back sometimes through just plane exposure to that violence.
In contrast, in the US violence is not really at at our doorstep every day, every hour of the day, and because of this a lot of people choose to live in denial of such violence.
Get a couple of generations in a family that never really have to face any serious violence or evil and suddenly they believe that they really are in this utopian society were violence does not exist.
Take some of those people that have been living in that Utopia called denial and land them in positions where they can make decisions for other people (politicians) positions in which they can make their voice heard and influence our sheeplike masses ( celebrities) and all of a sudden, their denial is transferred to their followers.
Their survival, in their environment of denial, never required self protection skill of any sort let alone violence so therefore they believe that these tools are unnecessary for everybody to survive.
The same social mechanism affects the individual as well. People that are not exposed to violence and never have to use violence to protect themselves tend to start thinking that they will never need it and therefore nobody else ever will.
This is where the difference between your right to defend yourself and your duty to defend yourself becomes very important.
Police response is not perfect nor always timely. Those of us that are reasonably healthy should shoulder the burden of our own safety for several reasons. If we are able to minimize injury to ourselves our life will have better quality and also less injuries mean less hospital bills etc so there is an economic side to the equation.
Another reason to have a basic understanding and skill in self protection is this, there are those that are less able to protect themselves who are often victimized, infants or the very young, the elderly, the handicapped.
Most readers of my blog I know would take action if they witness a child being abducted at a public place, but how many people do you know would do the same? How many would stare motionless?
As martial artists and self protection experts we are hearing more and more about members of our community stepping up and stopping violent crimes.
This is not an accident, those who accept violence as a reality and become familiar with it are more likely to intervene during dangerous situations.
Scott Sonnon said it best when he was talking about strength. He often talks about how you don't have the right or privilege to be strong and have a duty to be strong.
In the same way, I truly believe that you don't have a right or privilege to understand, at least a basic level of self protection, you have a duty to be able to protect yourself!
Copyright Tony Torres