September 15, 2003

training ....

Natalie said an interesting thing, concerning the murder of Anna Lindh...

...In mitigation of the conduct of those bystanders I could offer the plea of sheer disbelief. On the happily rare occasions when I have witnessed violence, I, like them, have stood there desperately trying to re-process what I was seeing into a misunderstanding.

Liberty breeds safety. Safety breeds docility. Docility destroys liberty. Stone, paper, scissors.

Politically I've woken up. In my personal reflexes I'm still asleep.

I remember vividly the murder of Kitty Genovese, back in the 60's. (And it seems like a lot of other people do--Googling the name gets about 4,000 results.) All of America was shocked, and ashamed of the bystanders who did nothing. Probably millions of words were written, analyzing the America that allowed things like this to happen. But what is interesting to me is that nothing quite like it has happened since. And I suspect it is so because tens of millions of people said to themselves, "If something like this happens near me, I'm going to do something!"

It would be very interesting to know what the Swedes are thinking now. And what might happen if another attack like this occurs...Mark Steyn said that the Swedes lack "the will to be a citizen, not just a suckler of the nanny-state narcotic." Maybe, but I'm far from convinced of that. There's an Army and Martial Arts saying, "The way you train is the way you will fight." Most of us don't actually train to fight attackers, but we all do some mental training, and are ready for some things. If you are on an airplane, and you pull out a knife and shout something in Arabic, you will quickly discover that ordinary people are very ready for some life-or-death situations. I would guess that a planeload of Swedes would be almost as quick to act as Americans.

The nice Swedish ladies in the department store have doubtless been trained by the nanny state to passivity, but that training doesn't necessarily change what they really are. They've also been trained to accept the Euro... And if someone had been trying to kidnap a child in that department store, I bet the result would have been very different.

Posted by John Weidner at September 15, 2003 11:31 AM
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