Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Criminals Gonna Crime

There's a misconception out there, I think, that leads some otherwise well-meaning people to advocate a very bad idea.

Generally speaking, the concept is that we should teach rapists not to rape, not teach women self defense.  If we teach women self defense, and that woman gets raped, then we're saying it's her fault if she's trained in self defense.

It's the victim's fault for being victimized if she (or he for that matter) has trained to defend one's self.

Or rather, that's the claim these people are making that we, as self defense instructors, are teaching and advocating.

Of course, this is nonsense.

Many of people making this argument have never actually studied self defense, and I can see how that might be the perception if you haven't actually studied the subject.  I'll grant that there are probably some instructors out there who use language and terms that could be misinterpreted that way.  It's not their intent, but sure, it could come across that way.

So let me be perfectly clear.

The victim of a crime of any kind is not at fault when they are victimized.  

That means that it doesn't matter where they are, how they are dressed, what they are carrying... the person at fault is the bad guy who does the attacking.  In a civilized society, people should be able to go about their peaceful business and not have to worry about such things.

Unfortunately, we are not exactly 100% civilized (and we might never be).  For the foreseeable future, there are going to be people who are not interested in being good citizens and cannot be shamed or guilted or finger-wagged into being good citizens.

They're bad guys. If they cared about your feelings, they wouldn't be victimizing people in the first place.

What self defense training does, hopefully, is help us try to mitigate the circumstances in which violence might occur, and should it actually happen, survive it. You can be perfect in self defense and still get targeted and defeated by a bad guy.  There are no 100% guarantees here.

Just as we are advised to take simple precautions to prevent home burglary - such as locking our doors and windows - self defense training is the precaution we take to prevent assault and other serious personal crimes.

Just as locking your doors and windows doesn't perfectly protect you against home burglary, self defense training can't and does not perfectly protect you, either.

If your training fails, it's still the criminal's fault, always.  No matter what.

Criminals gonna crime.

That means that you can make it a little harder for them by locking your doors and windows, by keeping valuables out of sight in your car, and by training in self defense.

Does it mean you'll never be the target of a criminal?  No.  But it's better than doing nothing at all.