Do we ever lose the right to defend ourselves? This is an interesting question. My father posted an article on his Facebook page about a solder named Michael Behenna, who is currently serving 15 years in military prison for killing a supposed al-Qaeda operative. Now the courts have ruled that Behenna didn’t premeditate the murder of Ali Mansur, but that once he pointed a gun at Mansur that he lost the right to defend himself. That is a more interesting question to me. Do we, and by we I mean humans, ever lose the right to defend our lives? If we believe in our hearts that it is either him or me, is there ever a time when we can’t choose our own lives over the lives of others, and how are we supposed to know the difference? Legally this has always been a tricky question. In some places, if a person dies by your hand you WILL go to jail, no questions about it. But in the United States the laws are different state to state. The US has everything from: you can’t use a weapon more powerful than your attacker, to stand your ground laws. But is that fair? Is that right? Americans are taught to believe that we have the right to “Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and that is true, but the other person does as well. The Behenna case deals with war, do solders ever have the right to not defend him/herself? This case is very challenging. The Geneva convention has a purpose, to show the world that war can be civilized and that everyone has rights. Honestly I don’t know enough details of the case to know who to root for but the question is the same. When we look at people who are calling for bans on guns, or weapons in general what do they really want?
People in general have the right to defend their lives. The question is do these modes of defense make us safer? Do we ever lose our right to defend ourselves? What if the only weapon you have is stronger than your attacker? These are tough calls to make in this day in age.