Skip to comments.The Deadly Lie of Pacifism: How physical and psychological disarmament encourages violence
Posted on 10/18/2006 11:55:28 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
The recent spate of horrifying and highly publicized attacks in schools has once again brought attention to a longstanding problem. Unfortunately none of the solutions being suggested touch on one of the real core issues of the matter. The inalienable human right to self-defense and the just and righteous use of violence in exercising that right - even for children.
For decades the teacher unions, national PTA, and a variety of other educational/behavioral experts have actively worked to instill the notion into our children, and the public at large that, violence never solves anything. They have instituted Zero Tolerance policies for violence in schools, which mandate suspension or expulsion for anyone participating in any violent behavior such as fighting.
On the surface the policies seem reasonable but they fall apart under even the most casual, honest scrutiny.
If your child is attacked by the school bully, the likely result, along with cuts and bruises is suspension or expulsion from school for the bully and your child. If your child physically resists the bullys attack in any way, that is fighting, and the penalty for fighting is automatic suspension or expulsion for both participants. If another student sees the attack and physically intervenes on your childs behalf, then that child will face the same consequences.
To make matters worse, most of the time, the bully doesnt like or care about school and perceives suspension or expulsion as more reward than punishment. Their victims on the other hand might take their education seriously. The missed days and blemishes on their records are matters of real concern.
Worse yet, if the bully has enough history of behavioral problems, the little darling is likely to have been diagnosed, or labeled, as having a developmental disability which means their behavior will result in treatment rather than punishment,. While your child and the Good Samaritan are summarily thrown out of school, the administration, fearing lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, is likely to send the bully off to special class to receive credit for eating cookies and goofing off.
Meanwhile, a school system in Texas has received a $98,000.00 federal grant to train teachers and students to resist would-be mass murderers and hostage takers by throwing books and other school supplies at the assailant to cause disruption and distraction which might allow the students to escape. Hmm, the school has a Zero Tolerance policy toward violence and weapons and theyre teaching students how to improvise weapons to violently resist an attacker under approved circumstances. Am I the only one who sees a contradiction here?
The only reason teachers and children would need to be taught to defend themselves is that they had been previously taught not to defend themselves. The message that violence never solves anything which has been firmly engrained into the collective psyche and is drummed into our children on a daily basis, is a lie.
Disarmament, whether physical or psychological, whether in the macrocosm of nations or the microcosm of a playground, does not deter predators it encourages them and creates a safe working environment for them.
Bullies dont stop bullying because there is a rule against it, or because their victims refuse to fight back. Bullies stop bullying when it hurts - them. When unprovoked violence is met immediately with an equal or superior level of violent response, the violence stops. When the authorities meet out just punishment to the instigator (that the bully recognizes as punishment) and concern and praise for the victim and any Good Samaritan involved, the right lessons are learned by all.
Certainly there is, and should be, concern about a violent confrontation escalating and there must be intervention strategies. But when a person child or adult is attacked, they have an inalienable right, and obligation, to defend themselves not only to reduce injury to themselves, but to deliver an immediate message to the attacker that the behavior they have chosen is painful and should be avoided.
Punishing children for being victims of attack while rewarding the attacker sends exactly the wrong message.
Violence in and of itself is not bad. Brutality willful violence against innocents - is the purest evil. Stopping brutality is a justifiable use of defensive violence. Granted, defensive violence is not always the preferred or only response, but it must be recognized as a righteous and often necessary response.
Any policy which does not allow for, and encourage, both an institutional and an individual defensive response to physical attack is, at a minimum, allowing and emboldening malevolent violent behavior and often actually invites and encourages it.
The instruction my father gave me as a child still holds true: Never start a fight, but when someone else starts it, youd better finish it.
It's a truism.
Heinlein's Starship Troopers should be required reading in elementary schools.
To paraphrase Orwell:
Pacifism is a philosophy espoused by those who never want, nor ever expect, to be in political power, because power ultimately means repsonsibility. It is an affectation of the intellectually lazy and the morally soft, who do not realize that the exercise of political power entails coercion by force, in which case, pacifism, by it's very nature, is a non-starter.
Those who beat their swords into plowshares will do the plowing for those that didn't.
Liberals just don't understand such basic things.
While it's not really related to the subject of this article, who's got a reference to that picture comparing "Pacifism in Theory" (Antiwar protest) to "Pacifism in Reality" (black-and-white photo of the guy being shot in the head on the edge of the ravine)?
does anyone here see the similarities between this article and the "war on terror"? pacifism will never "pacify" bullies and other evils. a good swift kick in the ass might, though. but leftist weenies will never come to that conclusion, sadly. maybe only if it's too late.
bttt for later
Pacicism worked real well for tibet.
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Good article. See my tagline. Dennis Prager had a great column on the idea that pacificm encourages brutality.
One owuld think. however, human natur ebeing what it is, this is an extremely thin hope to hold onto. Anyone who is selfish enough to not want to take responsibility for fighting (and this does NOT mean strictly military action) for the freedoms they enjoy or who avoids moral absolutes because they might cause offense (and thus conflict)can be reliably depended upon to look to themselevs first and others' second (thus all the NIMBY-style "social crusading" that goes on in Western countries -- somehow, we're (the West) "responible" for all the ills of the world, but somehow that responsibility ends when it falls upon the advocate's own doorstep. In that case, some nameless, faceless, ultimately-unanswerable entity is evoked to take their place, i.e. "society", "the government", etc).
I wouldn't expect the plowshare-beater to plow for me because his overriding concern is to get others to do his work for him, while maintaining a morally-superior attitude about it.
I always told my boys to take the fight off the school grounds, don't back down from a fight, and always have your brothers back. If they got in trouble for fighting near school and were suspended (happened twice) there was no punishment at home.
For a complete rundown on what Orwell had to say about pacifism, leftists and conservatives, I would recommend a thorough, critical reading of his essay entitled "The Lion and the Unicorn", alternately entitled "England, Your England".
i agree with your assessment about kids in single parent homes, but you have to agree also that there are just as many brain-dead 2-parent homes that are clueless about discipline and structure. sunday mornings are perfect examples of that. i put up with little, save for a whimper or teardrop from my kids. i've observed parents who literally sit or stand in church and allow their kids to hoot & holler and physically tussle. meanwhile, they don't even blink an eye and then become 'offended' when they're stared at by other parishioners for the disruptions.
i was always taught as a kid, even though i was scrawny as hell, to put up a fight if i thought i could hold my own. i teach my daughters the same thing. i figure fighting a bully back would likely catch him off guard and he could be taught a damned good lesson with one good pop in the mouth or foot up his whatsits.
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