Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quote for the Week

The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength – and strength alone.


Dwight D. Eisenhower

3 comments:

Weer'd Beard said...

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."

-Jeff Cooper

Bob S. said...

Great quote Lawyer.

Maybe you can help me out and point me to information about a person's responsibility to stop a crime in progress.

Over at OneUtah we are having a discussion about that subject. The author over there doesn't think that individuals have the right or the responsibility to stop a crime in progress.

I'm looking for information to counter that perception. If too busy, I understand.

Always enjoy reading your work

Lawyer said...

Weer'd,

That's a great quote! Col. Cooper always had an interesting viewpoint.

Bob,

That's an interesting discussion. If it is clear to me that a crime is being committed, and I can intervene without aggravating the situation, I would intervene.

My concern would be twofold, I guess. First, how sure am I that I have interpreted the situation correctly? If it is clear to me who is the aggressor and who is the victim, I will intervene--but again only if I won't aggravate the situation.

Secondly, in some states (like the one in which I live), my actions would be reviewed to see if I acted reasonably based on what I saw and felt. That, in my opinion, should be the proper standard. In other states, my actions would be reviewed using a third-person standard. In other words, would a reasonable person have acted as I did? This is classic second guessing and is dependent on whether the jury believes you should have intervened. There's too much wiggle room for my taste. If I knew that my actions would be reviewed from my viewpoint, I would feel more comfortable reacting.

More to your question, though, in a civilized society, we have to have the right to come to the defense of others. I don't know that I would call it a responsibility, since I wouldn't want to mandate action. However, there are those who will be unable to raise an arm in their own defense. Those who would attack the defenseless should not be allowed to run unchecked.

We depend on police to protect, military to defend, parents to provide, and society in general to "love thy neighbor." All of those are duties imposed to protect someone else. Sure, the system always breaks down somewhere. In my opinion, though, that does not mean we ought to sit silently by if it doesn't direcly affect us. An unsafe situation is unsafe, even if it is only happening to someone else. Remember, we are all "someone else."