Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, agrees. He explains that if people were to "make a decision to save their lives in the split second they are being attacked, the law is on their side." LaPierre adds: "Good people make good decisions. That's why they're good people. If you're going to empower someone, empower the crime victim." But what about bad people making bad decisions?
Can the victims of these crimes claim self-defense and fight back? As Malcolm X reminded us, "It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks." But will the law protect earth's defenders as it protects a shotgun toting Floridian with an itchy trigger finger? Are some victims more worthy than others?
Also on August 7, the Christian Scientist Monitor ran an article by Anders Strindberg, a consultant on Middle East politics, on the current Israeli-Hizbullah conflict. Not surprisingly, Strindberg also talks of self-defense and empowering the victim. However, he turns conventional wisdom on its ear. He begins: "As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism."
Calling this "pure analytical nonsense," Strindberg explains: "Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports." Israel, he says, "has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians ... Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities ... while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?"
Mickey Z. is the author of several books, most recently 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.