How is Defensive Violence Justified?

By: Amod Mathur

Defensive violence against actions from groups or nations is a justified form of violence. Defensive violence can be defined as forceful or violent acts against a group who makes the initial violent acts.

Throughout the history of wars in the world, including World War I and II, when a country would attack another using violence, the victim country would generally respond by defensively using violence to protect themselves and forcing the attacker to flee. There are many other examples that surface today and in recent events, as well as other events that have occurred throughout history to show justified defensive violence.

Police forces throughout the world also use similar approaches. If unjustified violent acts or crimes are committed, then police forces use justified violence because they protect themselves and the citizens as part of their job. Even many years ago in the situations of the American Revolution as well as the  recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, justified defensive violence was used. In Ferguson, defensive violence was used by the citizens and family of Michael Brown to gain rights, protection, and freedom for the African American people of the city. Also, if the American colonists in the American Revolution hadn’t used any violence, we might have not had the rights and freedoms that we have today because of the Revolution. Similarly, because the protesters in the Ferguson riots defended themselves and made a violent statement against the Ferguson police, there has been a lot more focus on equality and anti-racism for African American people in the recent months across the country, as also pointed out by this article.

On a more personal perspective, for instance, if someone were to commit harsh violent acts against you, the reader, to destroy or ravage your belongings or property, such as your home, what would you do? Most probably, you would defend yourself by using violence, which would be justified in that scenario because your possessions would belong to you and nobody else would have the right to violate your property in an unjust manner.

Some people might argue by saying that defensive violence will only create more violence and never lead to solutions. If you look at the history of such situations like the wars, riots and others I mentioned above, the truth in actuality is shown; defensively using violence creates solutions by showing that you have power and providing self protection and the protection of others. The defensive violence in wars is justified because countries protect themselves from harmful forces, and the defensive violence in the Ferguson protests is justified because it allows for more focus on equality, and so on.  Shown by various events and situations in history, defensively using violence is a justified form of violence.