Yes, Violence Can Be the Answer

WorthReadingBy Selwyn Duke

It was the body slam heard around the world. When some Australian schoolboys decided to videotape themselves bullying 15-year old Casey Heynes, one of them got more than he bargained for. Casey, who had been pushed around and humiliated for years, responded to a punch in his face and other attempted blows by hoisting his tormentor WWE style and introducing him to the pavement. The result was a video that went viral in a way the bullies had never imagined and for a reason they certainly had never hoped: Casey has become a hero worldwide.

That is, a hero to everyone except the "experts." Ah, the experts, uncommon people you can rely on for all-too-common senselessness. As The Sydney Morning Herald writes:

[P]olice and bullying experts are concerned by…the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the older boy's retaliation against his attacker.

"We don't believe that violence is ever the answer," Mr Dalgleish [John Dalgleish, head of research at Kids Helpline and Boys Town] says. "We believe there are other ways that children can manage this."

Yes, Casey could have done a '50s-style duck-and-cover. Hey, kid, don't you know you should just cower and curl up into a ball? And, for sure, violence is never the answer…except with the Nazis, Mussolini, and Napoleon; during the American Revolution, the Barbary Wars, and the Battle of Tours; and when stopping the criminals during the North Hollywood Shootout, University of Texas Tower Shooting, and incidents every single day in which someone, somewhere uses physical force to thwart a crime. It's never the answer—except, sometimes, when you actually have to deal with reality.

It's hard to say what is more irritating about the "Violence is never the answer" nonsense, the stupidity or the insincerity of it. It's much like the mantra "Our strength lies in our diversity." It's something people say because it's a repeated big lie that has become "truth" and is politically correct; it's a reflexive platitude uttered politician-like because that's what "experts" are expected to say. But if Mr. Dalgleish's wife or child is attacked on the street, will he not find violence a very good answer?

Perhaps he'll take the advice of another expert, child psychologist Susan Bartell, and find some other way to "manage" it. When analyzing Casey's response, she said, "A better course of action…would have been for him to walk away. Would have been for him to immediately take the power away from the bully, who was punching him in the face, and just run away, walk away…." "Take the power away from the bully…." Good psychobabble that. Lady, Casey did take the power away from the bully by making sure the bully couldn't walk away.

The problem today is that we elevate experts above wise men. And one of the signs of a decaying civilization is when those in authority prescribe unrealistic rules for the population, rules that they themselves would never, and could never, follow. As to this, here is the rest of Dr. Bartell's advice: "…walk away, and go and find the principal, the guidance counselor, teacher and tell them what had just happened to him. Because those adults are really in a position to stop a child who is a bully…."

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