Self Defense… Justified?

Self defense with the use of violence is rarely justified. When being put in a situation, where one must make the choice to fight back in a violent manner, the person must make a choice. If an adult were to be put in a situation where they were acting out in an aggressive manner, the adult runs the risk of being charged with a felony crime such as assault. If a minor chooses to fight back physically in a school setting the minor could face criminal charges, suspension or even something as severe as expulsion from school. Compared to if the adult would have taken a step back and reacted in a more rational way. Same goes for the minor. Some may believe that acting out in a violent manner is acceptable as long as it is for the purpose of self defense. This is incorrect. There are consequences for all acts of violence whether justified or not justified.
Although the situation may be extremely severe and tempting in that it causes one to want to fight back with the use of violence, there are better ways respond. However a person can choose to use their words to engage someone in a debate about the situation. A person can walk away from a situation that presents itself as dangerous. One could also  seek assistance from someone such as a higher authority, the police, school officials, etc.   If one chooses to fight back with violence the outcome usually doesn’t turn out well. Furthermore, if a child is being bullied at school and attempts to bully back, the situation never ends. This situation just continues until someone gets seriously hurt. It is better to seek assistance from someone else.
In the article Nonviolence: An Introduction by Thomas Weber and Robert J Burrowes wrote ” At first glance violence may appear to be a superior technique for resolving conflicts and achieving desired ends… Nonviolence is more likely to produce a constructive outcome rather than a deconstructive one.”  Although, violence seems like the most effective solution at the time, it is not. For example, if someone were to look back into to history and compare Martin Luther King Jr to Malcolm X, each man wanted equality for black people. However, you can see how non violent tactics were more beneficial.  Martin Luther King, Jr believed in non violent protests across the country which helped eliminate segregation and allow black people to vote. Malcolm X had these same beliefs, but he believed in  “by any means necessary,” meaning he approved and promoted violence for his outcome. He was not successful in his efforts and more people died as a result of his strategies.
Violence will produce negative outcomes and this has been proven time and time again in history. Some believe that if their life is at stake, a person should fight back with violence. From a moral perspective it is a sin to commit murder against another person. From a judicial perspective it is against the law to kill another person. It may be difficult to prove to a person that you were justified in your retaliation of violence against another person.

Alexis Green

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