The news out of London today, regarding the attack on Parliament, is tiresome. Not so only from the repetitive nature of predictable aggression from adherents of an ideology of conquest and subjugation, but amplified by acculturated false premises enabling tragedy among the civilized.
Long gone are the days of the Victorian era, when Dr. Watson or a man of his bent walked the streets of London with a prudent revolver in his pocket. Restrictions on the rights of free folk to go armed began at the turn of the twentieth century, with the permitting processes progressing through ever-increasing requirements to show necessity. The necessity of free people possessing arms at all was deemed nonexistent by 1920, after which point the Brits were effectively disarmed before the advent of hostilities in the 1940s.
The inherent right to defend one’s person and property remains, of course, and by extension so does possessing the means. Those are qualities inherent in the human condition, not granted by consensus or through the beneficence of government. Yet in Britain those rights are denied in the name of civility. In our time, even police officers, save for a few widely dispersed armed response teams, are denied tools to address in an effective manner realities encountered wherever free will exists. They are, after all, policing a civil country.
The world, sad to say, does not function on the basis of civility, but on enforcing order. Civility is a luxury guarded by the capable, in whose absence the overly civil become cowards and then slaves. Released from the bonds of service, government out of bounds becomes a master when no one remains capable of returning it to its line.
The U.K. should learn from today. But then again, they should have learned already from readily available studies of days behind and ages past. Regardless of valued civility, subsequent lessons might be louder and closer to home until consequences deliver their common message: gentility does nothing to stop armed aggression. Strength does that.
Civility, though a worthy goal, does nothing to curtail the compulsions of the predatory and tyrannical to direct the lives of others. To those, civility marks nothing more than a target for domination, because such seems a reasonable outcome of aggression. Evil discounts the admonitions of humanity with mocking laughter, neither appreciating the beauty and fragility of life nor wishing and hoping for its abundance. Where gentle people see reflections of themselves, evil sees a food chain, and that is a condition imagined universal amenity will never change. Just as love is a choice, so are works of death instead.
Writing of such things as I do, out of convenience I termed the resulting philosophy The Amidei Doctrine, which states that whoever sets aside humanity loses the consideration of civilized folk. There’s nothing new in this, as it merely recognizes the way things have always been. Truth is like that, as whatever solid premise exists has always been and ever will be so.
Unwanted fire must be extinguished, unless one is willing to watch its depredation eventually run out of fuel. Likewise, violence needs to be met with countervailing force to bring about an early end to it, ideally before any of the goals of evil are met. One need not be brutish, or relish the process, or strut in the aftermath. One need not lay down civility in being capable. One does, however, require the means to work whatever noble purpose is set in place by destiny. Lacking such, one’s end may be ignoble rather than inspiring, and victimhood anywhere does nothing to improve the general state of affairs.
It was, unfortunately, the case in London today, and in 2015 Paris, where another unarmed police officer was executed in submission on a sidewalk outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Similar tragedies have occurred in many other places where people “didn’t feel right” about keeping weapons close at hand. Obliviousness, cowardice, and abrogation of responsibility have an effect wherever they are allowed, and always to the detriment of those subject to abrupt disillusion. Reality can be a harsh schoolmaster, and some of its worst lessons are appreciated only at a distance by observers after the dust settles. We can and should do better. Nothing is so uncivil as unhindered homicide.
Choose to love. Choose strength as well. -DA
In production news, my ninth novel and Boone’s fourth, Meat for the Lion, has passed the halfway point in primary editing. As predicted, tax season is hampering progress. Yet, the good Doctor and company—Terry Bradley, Sean Ritter, General Peter McAllen, and the returning Deborah Vosse—should be back in time for summer beach reading, in June or shortly after.