I just recently started sleeping with a loaded handgun within arm's reach, and Emperor Misha and Kim du Toit address an issue I'd been tossing around in my head: will I have the nerve to use it if I have to? As Mr. du Toit writes,

Civilized people, quite correctly, shrink from causing harm or death to another human being. This is perfectly normal, and is indeed laudable. (Sociopaths, of course, have no such compunction, which is why they themselves should be killed.)

And quite apart from any legal issues, the moral issue of taking a life is a weighty and terrible one.

That it is. The best of his advice comes down to his naming violent criminals "goblins", and pointing out that they've already sacrificed their humanity by becoming predators.
Richard Pryor once remarked that after making the movie Stir Crazy on location at Arizona State Prison, he was really, really glad that prisons exist. He illustrated that by quoting an actual interview with a convicted murderer:
-- "Why did you kill all the people in that family?"
-- "Cuz they was at home."
Think about the uncaring sociopathy in that statement. Now think of that same scumbag playing his ghastly little games of death with your kids.
I don't have any kids, but my gut understands his point perfectly. It's not a pleasant possibility to consider, but I want to be ready if I ever face it.

Good reason to hit the range this evening.

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Michael Williams has a somewhat disturbing post on the subject of dehumanizing in order to kill. I think that he's adopting an easy way out that has wide negative implications for social policy. I think that it should not be... Read More



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