Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swim Like A Stingray

Stingrays, while being called a dangerous creature because of their stingers, are part of the shark family. They are looked at as being even more vicious because of their family they belong to. However, stingrays are very gentle creatures. They sit in the sand most of the time or swim around gathering leftover fish parts that have fallen on the ocean floors from other hunter predators. When they are put into a dangerous situation, they will quickly glide away, using their vast pectoral wing-like fins to swim out of danger. The only time a stingray will ever use it's stinger is if it is in imminent danger and has no other way out. The stinger is a last resort defense mechanism in a situation in which there is no other way to save their lives.

I learned some very frightening things today. Women are more likely to be victims of violent crimes than men. 1 in 6 women will be raped at least once in her lifetime. (Thinking back to birth class when they said 1 in 4 women would need a c-section and I was one of them really makes this statistic even more disturbing to realize.) If someone breaks into your home, there is a 1 in 3 chance crime of opportunity that a woman will be raped and a 1 in 3 chance regardless of sex that you will be violently attacked.

You can choose to be a victim or not. If you choose to not be a victim, you need to shoot to kill. Not to injure, not to scare off. You also can't just shoot someone for being in your house or for walking too close to you. There's this whole criteria that you need to make a judgment in a matter of seconds as to whether or not shooting someone in the answer. In some cases, it's simple. You're at Walmart, someone is following you to your car or a little too close for comfort. You can just walk back into the store. You're walking to your car and someone comes up from behind you with weapon and you are in immediate danger and can't help it, you shoot.

If you choose to protect someone who is in danger of serious bodily harm or murder, there is a chance you can injur or kill them. But whatever you do to them isn't as horrible as the fate that would come to them if they wind up in the criminal's hands; you don't want someone to take your child or spouse because they will kill them and more than likely, they will rape and/or torture them before killing them. At the same time, you need to judge when it's ok to be a hero and when it's not. You're in a bank, someone passes the teller a note to give them money and they have a gun. Your life isn't in danger but you don't know if the teller is in danger. Or they come in and shoot a round at something or in the air and say to drop and rob the place. Well they have a weapon but unless you know for a fact you have a good shot, it's probably best to just play dead. Of course if they start shooting at people and you fear you might be next or you fear someone will be killed, you have the choice to shoot. It needs to be highly justifyable and your life needs to be in danger or someone you're choosing to protect. Of course when it's not you that you're protecting, there are so many grey areas. It turns into an issue of good samaritan and were you a good samaritan by shooting someone who threatened someone with a gun but didn't shoot? It's all a game of judgment and situation.

After all, killing someone in the name of defense is a murder none the less. Is it looked at differently from another murder? Again, it comes down to the situation and circumstances. If it's a case of serious bodily injury or death and you had no other choice, it can be justifiable homicide. More than likely, you shoot in defense, you will get handcuffed, arrested, and need to go to court. If it's judge justifyable charges are dropped. But you still have to live with having shot someone and the trauma that comes with it. But you will have your life.

Sure having a gun evens the odds. You don't take a knife to a gun fight. At the same time, people should be like stingrays. Don't go looking for trouble. Don't go shooting if you can avoid it. Have many plans. Try to be safe. Try to not put yourself in situations that are dangerous. Sometimes you have no choice and it's just being a victim of dumb luck. But if you're aware enough that you can avoid it, try to be as safe as you can. No one should ever have to be put in a life or death situation at the hands of another person. But you can try to avoid it if you can. Swim like a stingray. Don't sting unless circumstances leave it as your only option.

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