Op-ed: Pacifism – a Refuge of the Simple Minded
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By Gerard Valentino
America’s school systems began enacting zero-tolerance policies in the early 1990’s to address the growing violence they were experiencing at the time. After the tragedy at Columbine, school administrators made the policies so strict that honor roll students were being punished for accidentally leaving bread knives in their car while parked on school property.
Most employers also have a zero-tolerance policy barring weapons, particularly guns, from the workplace. Employees that leave target pistols in their trunk, on company property, in anticipation of a trip to the range after work risk being fired for their choice of sport.
Pacifism is another example of a failed ideology that is philosophically equal to the zero tolerance policies used by schools and businesses. Both take away individual judgment in place of an arbitrary unbending rule. They also have unintended consequences that punish or hurt innocent people, and more times than not fail in their intended purpose of curbing violence.
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The inability of pacifists to determine when the use of deadly force is justified leads to a condemnation of all violent acts, or the misguided belief that violence is never a viable solution.
Try telling a rape victim who successfully fought off her attacker that violence didn’t solve her problem. The same holds true for a mother defending her children strapped in the back seat of a mini-van when a car-jacker tries to steal the car.
In both cases violence is not only a good option, but it was most likely the only way to effectively solve the problem at hand. Plus, the decision to fight back has a residual benefit for all of society because criminals are forced to wonder if their next target will fight back with such ferocity. Possibly making them choose safer non-violent property crimes in the future.
Regardless of the reason for believing in the false hope of pacifism, it ultimately proves to be detrimental to society as a whole. Whenever a criminal’s successful attack is not resisted, it further empowers their action. Only meeting their violent action with an increased violent response has the desired effect of changing their aggressive behavior.
That isn’t to suggest that fighting back is always the best option. The problem arises when a pacifist puts forth submission as the only acceptable reaction. One size fits all solutions never work, especially when dealing with a fluid event like a criminal attack. Like other failed zero tolerance polices, pacifism is short-sighted, and based on a lazy one-size-fits-all answer to a specific problem.
Pacifists claim that if we are just “nicer” to our enemies they will stop attacking us. What they refuse to understand is that thugs prey on the weak, and there isn’t anyone weaker than someone who lacks the will to fight back.
The anti-gun movement uses the same flawed logic when they argue that banning guns will lead to a decrease in gun deaths. Such a silly notion punishes everyone for the sins of a few miscreants and is based on a decidedly misguided premise that criminals will turn in their guns. Then when gun control inevitably fails to get the desired result, the leaders of the anti-gun gang claim the answer is even stricter gun laws.
Such an illogical one-size-fits-all approach to problem solving is indicative of how pacifists, and anti-gun crusaders, think. Aided by the establishment media both movements continue to push their flawed agenda seemingly oblivious to how their policies have failed.
Regardless, pacifists are often held up by the establishment media as moral guide rods, yet nothing could be further from the truth. A refusal to defend innocent life is morally abhorrent and has no place in a civilized society. Standing idle while a family member or innocent person is violently attacked goes against the very reason civilization evolved in the first place.
Pacifism, in all its sad incarnations, has done more to damage the rights of free people than nearly any other ideology. It has also spawned the anti-gun movement, anti-war movement and a thought process that submitting to criminals under all circumstances is beneficial to the individual being attacked - and the criminal.
Over the past 30 years, as the crime rate skyrocketed, the pacifists and appeasers had their way in the public policy debates. Now, with the proliferation of concealed-carry laws and the strengthening of castle doctrine laws nationwide, the right to self-defense and the presumption of innocence has been given back to the law-abiding.
Such laws have also set up civil and criminal protections for honest citizens who use deadly force.
The establishment media refuses to link the subsequent drop in violent crime with the return of the right of self-defense to honest citizens. Proponents of the right-to-life castle doctrine and concealed carry laws know the establishment media will never admit that using force to deter force is often the only successful option during a violent attack.
Yet, if the change in the law saves only one honest citizen’s life, it’s worth it.
Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair, BuckeyeFirearms.org.