fascinating book, may have RKBA applications


February 14, 2006, 10:31 PM
I'm reading "On Killing" about the psychological costs of taking life in war and in peaceful society. It is supposed to be a study of (among other things) efforts by armies to overcome the natural human disinclination to killing one another and the mental costs incurred by individual soldiers when they then go out and take life.

Some comments in the introduction seemed wholly relevant to our cause. Namely that people in our modern society are completely isolated from death, dying and killing in all of its traditional forms. Farm animals are slaughtered in distant assembly lines, relatives that get sick go to hospitals to die and funerary specialists prepare the dead. As a result, it was posited that our society has on one hand, a profound fascination with violence but on the other, a profound taboo and ignorance about the logical outcomes of that violence. As a result, we lack the ability to think about or discuss the subject rationally. Much like the Victorian attitudes towards sex.

I think the taboo against discussion of death and killing, even lawful killing of animals or criminal attackers is a significant barrier to the adoption of rational stances on the issues of self defense and by extension RKBA.

What do you think?

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February 14, 2006, 11:05 PM
I think the taboo against discussion of death and killing, even lawful killing of animals or criminal attackers is a significant barrier to the adoption of rational stances on the issues of self defense and by extension RKBA.
I think you're on to something. In our culture, we are programmed from the cradle onward that "violence is never the answer."

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In some situations, violence is the only answer - if you want to live, that is. Children are brainwashed in school to believe that "fighting is always wrong." Again, another pacifist lie.

These lies produce not a peaceful society in which everyone respects everyone else, but a society in which people are rude, abusive and insulting to others - because it is normal for others to "take it" rather than to knock out the rude person's teeth. The "Wild West" was an armed society and therefore a polite society. Back then, shooting off your mouth would guarantee a beating - or a bullet in the gut. Back then, honor meant something. Today, it is an incomprehensible concept for the majority of The Sheeple.

"The Government" wants passive, submissive people to administrate over, not people with a line that you do not cross. Passive, submissive people are the product of schools operated by "The Government." They believe that if confronted by a violent criminal, you do not resist - you do as the thug says, and wait for agents of "The Government" to save you. In this era of violent, sadistic thugs, this approach is more likely to end in a trip to the morgue for the victim, not the attacker.

"The Government" has stacked the legal deck against the citizen who defends him/herself against a violent attack with a firearm. It has done so to encourage passive "Let the police handle it" thinking and to punish those who take responsibility for their own safety.

This is the cause for the majority of the "post shooting trauma" the citizen who shoots a violent attacker in self-defense. They are totally freaked out over the questions, 1.) "Will I go to prison?" and 2.) "Will I be sued for millions of dollars?"

If a citizen has justifiably shot a criminal attacker, they should not face hee legal gauntlet that is so common today. Fifty years ago, this was not the case. The responding police officer would report a justifiable homicide and that was the end of it.

Today, every effort is made to crucify the citizen who has done nothing more than shoot a criminal attacker who left them no other choice - if they want to live.

February 14, 2006, 11:12 PM
If this is Grossman's book, I recall breezing through it several years ago.

Heavy on the "pseudo" light on the "intellectual."

February 14, 2006, 11:21 PM
Much like the Victorian attitudes towards sex.

I think you are definitely on to something there. Violence and death are a natural part of life. The concept of "good violence" is entirely foreign to those who never had to live through any sort of threat to their way of life.

This story about Pappy Boyington (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=183090&highlight=pappy) is an excellent example. They completely reject the concept that shooting 26 Japanese down was a GOOD thing. Apparently they only study the Gulf War and not the Rape of Nanking or the Battan Death March when studying Imperialism.

These students are the same ilk who have never known anything approaching hunger, but want to preach the vegan lifestyle to guys like my Dad - who eats the whole apple and considers pigs knuckles a treat - because none of it should go to waste.

We live in a golden age. Probably the most golden age in the history of mankind. It's amazing how far certain humans will reach to embrace despair.

February 14, 2006, 11:30 PM
I think this aversion to killing goes back much further.

It seems that civil war battles usually produced very slow rates of casualty infliction when infantry was shooting at infantry. 100s of times lower than the accuracy percentages and rate of fire would have suggested. When artillery became involved, the killng rate skyrocketed. The more distant the artillery, the more effective it become.

Part of me thinks that the US uses standoff warfare so much because it is inherently easier to press buttons on a screen than to actually kill someone face to face. Then again, our ground pounders dont really seem to have much difficulty killing people face to face either.

I dont know what Justin was getting at yet. I'll finish the book and see if I agree that the book is intellectually flawed. At worst case it gave me food for thought.

February 14, 2006, 11:47 PM
I haven't read this book. But here's my .02 on this. I think people are too obsessed with death. I see my aunt morning her neighbors grandmother. That women lived to be eighty something years old and was no longer able to move about on her own. She got 80+ years of life and died able to stand and walk on her own. My aunt is devastated, I don't understand why people get old then they die it happens. My grandfather that passed away in 2001 everyone went crazy. When he passed away he couldn't walk he couldn't see he couldn't eat or drink what he wanted. He lived his life my only regret about my grandfather is that he didn't outlive Fidel. Maybe it's hereditary I know my Grandfather was coldblooded when it came to communists when he was in Cuba. But I don't see why all the agonizing. Maybe if it's a kid who died through no fault of his own then I may feel some sadness but all this anguish over someone who was trying to hurt you or death in general I just do not understand.

Maybe I'm just heartless. Like I said it might be hereditary.

February 14, 2006, 11:53 PM
Grossmans book was very interesting, and say what you will, I think his observations were correct.

Death is certain, life is not.

February 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
I don't think what's changed is the aversion to death so much as the need to BLAME someone or something (anything except the criminal) for violence and death....

If only you didn't eat meat, those poor animals wouldn't have to die...
If only you wouldn't use chemicals on your lawn, somebody somewhere somehow wouldn't get cancer...
If only you didn't own guns, gang-bangers would just be having "West Side Story"-type knife fights...

AND the preaching that "violence never solved anything". Which seems to be a common mantra, but a load of bull.

February 15, 2006, 12:14 AM
Yeah violence never solved anything is the most loaded BS statement ever. I work in schools you have to see this crap on the walls. "Solve problems using care language" I swear this is posted all over public schools in Palm Beach County.

Violence is like a hammer a big heavy hammer. You can use an adjustable wrench to hit some things but it can do other things as well. But a large hammer is only good for one thing and that is hitting things hard.

When some piece of trash invades your home "care language" is not going to get him to leave.

When some guy is trying to mug you "care language" is not going to get him to go away.

I can only imagine why they are teaching kids this crap. Some things can only be resolved with violence because nothing else will work.

Any child unfortunate enough to adopt this crap philosophy will be a victim for life.

February 15, 2006, 12:22 AM
Yeah, I am begining to think again that hunting is actually somewhat important for character development. At first I thought it was some quirky thing that wasnt really necessary, but I am begining to realize that it wakes you up to the fact that killing doesnt feel good, but it is the only way to accomplish certain things.

At some point, a light bulb goes on over someones head and they say "holy crap, I cant make this deer give up its meat using "care language"- I have to shoot it!" And they have finally grasped that certain modes of behavior, although repugnant, are sometimes neccessary. Negotiation is always preferable to the finality of homicidal violence, but sometimes negotiation isnt possible. I think being able to differentiate and act accordingly is an important survival trait.

I think that certain groups have this socialization bug worse than others. The asians are almost off the chart in this respect, with modern europeans coming in a close second. I think that afghanis are probably at the other end of the spectrum due to being farmers and hunter-gatherers 12 months a year. Americans are in the middle somewhere, with half of us charging eagerly towards the UK model while the rest of us sort of roll our eyes and hope things get better without getting worse first.

I think that a lot of the blissninnies believe that one cant be aware of these things without becoming an aggressive psychopath- in their mind, there is no middle ground between being a smurf and becoming an orc. I buy into the alternate model that one can be a good, compassionate human being but still have the strength to do bad things when necessary. (omg more wisdom from marlon brando/col kurtz)

February 15, 2006, 12:42 AM
Hunting and competetive sports. Hunting teaches you about the outdoors about life and death.

Sports teaches you the most important lesson in life.(In my opinion)

You can do your best try your hardest and still fail.

Lots of kids don't learn this then they think they can coast through life and everything will be handed to them.

My aunt is going through this with one of my cousins he's been a spoiled little princess his whole life (12 yr. old now)and now they having some hard times and he wants this that and everything else, totally ridiculous.

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