During a recent training session I heard a story that really shook me. I would like to present it to you from the viewpoint of one of the victims. I am going to do my best to not embellish this very much, but I will take some liberties in describing the scene to fit the description that was given to me. Think about what you would do…:
You are in college. While walking through a residence building (it was either a dorm or an apartment complex, I am not sure), you hear yelling, several loud noises (like something big being dropped, or a hammer hitting board), a fight and then a crash. Being the good Samaritan type (sheepdog), you investigate to see if you can help. As you turn a corner, you see that a door to an apartment is open, and there is a mostly naked man pinning another man on the floor and beating him savagely. It is obvious that the fight began in the apartment and has made its way into the hallway.
You pull the aggressor away from his victim. He struggles frantically to break free from you. He is yelling at you to let go of him, but you hold him so that his victim can stand up and you can see if he is ok.
So far so good.
The victim steps just inside the doorway, recovers his handgun and proceeds back into the hallway, next to you, where he shoots the frantic, naked man to death. He then goes into the apartment and shoots his ex girlfriend to death as well.
The “rescuer” escaped with his life, but only in a sense… His trauma from the event makes him victim #3. he could have easily been killed in the exchange as well.
The full story is not uncommon. It starts with a jealous ex boyfriend looking for revenge, and finding his ex in bed with her new guy, he decides that if he can’t have her, nobody can. He shot several rounds into the floor around the bed, and at some point the naked guy found an opportunity to attack the ex and disarm him. A fight ensued, and, well, you know the rest.
Why do I bring this up?
If you have the sheepdog instinct, you can be a danger to others if you don’t train yourself to protect the “bad guy” as well as the “good guy”. That training is available. Get it. I don’t care if you are not a martial artist, or don’t want to carry a weapon, or whatever your desire is to limit your potential. Figure out what you are willing to do, and get the training to do it properly.
Lets contrast the story from above with something that happened to a very good friend of mine (this has been published previously on my website. Please forgive the redundancy)
… [he] witnessed a man with a golf club chasing an unarmed man down. He was able to intervene and safely disarm the “attacker” and keep the “victim” safe, but under control also. It turned out that the attacker was a store keeper who had just been robbed, and was about to make a very big mistake by chasing down and beating the robber in back of head with a golf club in anger. He could have lost everything in a law suit (or worse) if he had succeeded; regardless of whether the robber had deserved it or not. If my friend had jumped in and beat down the “attacker” until he dropped the golf club, or worse yet, shot him to protect the “victim”, he would have done the wrong thing, even though it seemed right at the time.
Can you imagine having to live with yourself after a mistake like that?
That is why (to quote Jack Hoban) “The training was designed to help us develop as protectors of life. Whose life? Self and others. Which others? All others, if possible. Killing only to protect life. This seemingly paradoxical statement – killing only to protect life – is the behavior of the Ethical Warrior. It is predator-like, in that it can be cold and professional. But the objective is to protect, not kill.”
In the end, the real bad guy was restrained, the police showed up and arrested the robber, and the real good guys stayed safe.
Think about it…