When All Else Fails

Why Self-Defense and Why Not Initiate Force?

by Jesse Mathewson, ZeroGov

“Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense.”

– Ron Paul

I am asked daily why I believe that it is acceptable to train with firearms, to train in tactical applications and using “military” assault rifles and pistols when training. Interestingly what is commonly ignored is that throughout history those who would be free individuals have relied on their abilities with the written word as much as with the use of weapons commonly associated with the military and police of the state.

When clubs, swords and spears were in vogue for the military of the day this was what was carried by the individuals who were not associated with the armies or the states of the day. The transition from those weapons of yore to what we see now has been in step with the defensive tools of the free individuals as well. Before and during the American Revolution the use of the musket was appropriate, in fact British commanders citing the superior marksmanship and musket craft of the then British rebels were quoted as having said, “Many such,” said one critic, “would have cost them their army,” this following the initial battle at Concord and Lexington.

My use of the chosen tools of self-defense are done with the sure knowledge that if my liberty and my life come under attack I will need to be armed in such a way so as to be successful in that potential confrontation. What should be noted is that unlike modern police and military I do not train to attack, hold, conquer and “liberate” but to simply defend myself and what is mine. I have come to a point ethically where I cannot fathom the idea of initiating force and where the thought of doing so causes me to feel sick inside knowing full well that if I am “forced” to initiate force it is because I have likely failed in my approach to defend self.

Within reason there is not many nations that disallow pure self-defense and those that do generally do so because they have grown to such a point as a state that the mere thought of the individual causes consternation. Great Britain is one of those modern states that truly desire that the mere idea of defending oneself is egregious in nature. There are many stories from Great Britain of the individual who desiring to rid themselves of the criminal element who was committing grievous acts against themselves or their families committed the crime of self-defense. In almost every instance the individual who was attacked and was for all intents and purposes the victim has been sentenced to large amounts of time in prisons while in some cases the criminal who originally acted against the individual is allowed to walk free.

Thankfully this has not yet come to the United States, though a simple search of “police brutality” and “self-defense” on any of the major search engines will show that it is not far away. More often we see “police” using brute force against the law abiding citizens for even desiring to defend themselves in a legal manner. The media makes a joke of the individuals who use self-defense and in many cases attempt to form public opinion against the very notion. This however, does not change my approach or ethical boundaries as they are now. I will gladly trade my life for that of my families if that is what is required for their safety.

What would be a salient point in this regard would be for more individuals to announce their intent and to seek training with regards to self-defense. After all it has been often noted that an armed society is a polite society, and this is a correct notion. While I do not hope to use my tools of defense in this manner, I know that if my entire community is thus armed and trained, we are less likely to suffer the indignation’s of a police state or of the state period.

So in response to the original question, it is because I choose to as an individual.

“Murder begins where self-defense ends.” – Bill Buppert


Militant Libertarian

Site owner, philosopher, certified genius, and general pain in the establishment's ass.



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