While everyone generally agrees that we as human beings have a right to self defense, what most people either ignore or don’t understand is that we also have a responsibility to defend ourselves. People have died to protect your rights, but with that equation comes the truth that those some people died so that you could uphold your responsibility to self defense.
That is an enormous burden to bear and adults should be aware of this responsibility to protect themselves. That burden also extends to our children, who cannot reasonably be expected to protect themselves until they reach an age of maturity to take on that responsibility for themselves. We as parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, teachers, and caretakers take on this responsibility when we accept the care of children.
On Father’s day in Wilson’s Mills, North Carolina, a father was put in the position where he had to do exactly that. A 23-year-old man approached an 11 year old girl who was playing with other children in the yard of their home. When the children ran to the house to alert the parents, the man followed the kids and tried to enter the home. The father of the 11-year-old retrieved a firearm and shot the attacker, killing him.
Those are the facts as reported by local news outlets. But if we take a moment to picture the scene, the story can be quite unnerving. It was late evening on Father’s Day and there were probably celebrations that might have been winding down. Children, maybe siblings, cousins or friends are enjoying a warm summer night and playing in the relative safety of the yard. The parents are inside, probably cleaning up and thinking about getting the kids inside.
Out of nowhere an unknown young man appears and approaches these kids who are vulnerable. The kids somehow have the sense to know that this man is bad news and that they need to go inside the house to get help from mom and dad. Not only do they run inside in fear, but this attacker follows them and starts aggressively trying to get through the door. The kids must have been absolutely terrified at this unfolding nightmare.
Dad hears the commotion, and the kids inform him that something terrible is happening. He must make a series of life and death split-second decisions. Are these kids telling the truth or are they misinterpreting the situation? Where is the problem? Maybe he had to ask himself if he should arm himself, or maybe he already had his firearm on him. Is this really happening right now? Whatever thoughts ran through his head, the situtation turned out to be a nightmare scenario as Dad finally made the decision to shoot this attacker who tried to accost his daughter. The stakes could not be higher.
This dad is a hero, and his daughter will never forget that her dad was there to protect her. Dad will know that he did what he had to do to keep these children safe from evil. But he’s going to carry this event with him for the rest of his life.
When we take on the responsibility to protect ourselves and our children, we must take that seriously. The consequences are extreme in any direction, and ultimately, we hope this never happens to us. But it’s our job to be as ready as we can be.
Get trained, educate yourself, build your skills, think and act defensively. Make yourself harder to attack. You have a moral responsibility to be as prepared as is reasonable to defend yourself.