Thursday, January 29, 2009

Initiation of Force

Part of the reason for this blog is to educate myself; show me where I may be wrong. So, for your perusal I offer this from a discussion on The War on Guns:

TJP- "I'm a law-and-order kinda guy. I can think of examples--from disturbing
the peace to murder--where some stranger (including me) may be required to fill
the role of initiator, because the injured party is indisposed."

With "disturbing the peace" there is no "injured party". With actual aggression, if the injured party is indisposed, you would not be initiating force if you step in for the victim.

"Are there universally understood indicators of the initiation of force?"

Yes. "Force" is the exertion of physical power, or, I would say, the credible threat to use such. "Initiate" means to begin or originate. So, an "initiation of force" is beginning an exertion of physical power, or a credible threat to do so.

"Does your answer take into account that some people understand the display of a weapon to be an act of aggression, no matter the context?"

Those people are wrong. Seeing a weapon does not constitute a credible threat to exert physical power. You can't worry about the people who simply want to be in a knot about everything. There is no right to not be offended.

If you are seriously interested, I suggest you check out The On Line Freedom Academy.

I recommend you read the entire comment thread. A big point of contention was that "disturbing the peace" IS an initiation of force. So, maybe I am/was wrong about this. I think there is a big difference between being annoyed or offended and being injured. If I am wrong and you are being "injured" by someone disturbing your peace, then it would obviously be your right to step in and defend yourself. If not, it would be wrong.

There have been other cases where I suspect I may have a higher threshold for annoyance than most people. Or, maybe it is that so many things annoy me that I have learned how to control my responses. This may just be a case where you have to do what you think is right, and deal with any consequences later. I have never been in a situation where I felt the need to call the cops on anyone; certainly not for bothering me. I am not saying it could never happen, but I do know that I would feel dirty afterwards if I did it.

Let me know if you have other opinions on this, and I'll keep thinking it over in my own mind. I am confident that there is a right solution, and I intend to find it.