We have become a society in which many of its members exercise their rights without consideration of others. Recently, we have had incidents in which people are harmed when they inadvertently find themselves in the path of people engaged in “peaceful” protests.
One of the advantages of staying home as part of the pandemic is that we are safely distant from the harm of those peaceful protesters. So far, no one seems to have an answer for how we should behave, if we were in our own vehicle and suddenly surrounded by angry people beating on your car. An incident in Utah proves that protesters are capable of shooting into vehicles with unarmed occupants. So you are faced with either sitting still and waiting to be harmed or putting your foot on the gas and plow your way out of the crowd. Are you responsible for the people you injure in your escape?
The same hold true to people protecting their property. If a crowd of people are coming down your street burning businesses or homes, to what level may the property owner protect their property? Lethal force seems to be excessive when we compare the life on a person to that of property. So? What do you do?
As is consistent with my writing style, I tend to get sidetracked. So, this time I am going to try to get sidetracked back on the issue of animal welfare. You are walking down a street or a path and a dog comes rushing at you. You cannot read the dog’s mind, so you don’t know the dog’s intent. You have either (or both) a gun or a walking stick (it seems that life now requires that you carry one or the other).
You, of course, take a defensive stance. You might yell, “Get this dog under control.” It is a common practice that people frequently walk their dogs off leash without thought to other people out walking (this callous attitude is what has helped me fund my retirement). Yelling will proved to be a moot point, because callous dog owners are slow to respond to the problems that they create. So, do you take action against the dog, or wait until the dog has bitten you to prove the dog’s intent? If you allow the dog to get that close to you, the dog might be too close for the walking stick to be effective.
We are increasingly faced with situations that are caused by people exercising what they consider their rights over the rights of anyone else. Somehow, they have gotten it into their heads that looting and burning is a side affect of their right to protest. More that ever, we have to work out scenarios in our minds in preparation for the unexpected. Once you have figured out how you would handle a situation, you need to worry about to what extent are your permitted by law to protect yourself. How would your actions play out in court?