Our rights, Our Responsibilities, and the Liabilities


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Written by Jonathan K. "Kaymen" Adkins, Sr.
March 7, 2008

Our country was founded on the belief that every man, woman, and child are endowed by their creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers with great thought and eloquence put those rights into writing in such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Where the problems start is even though God gives theses rights to us, it is left to us to protect and defend those rights. The Lord helps those that help themselves. If you are not willing to stand up and defend the rights you have been given I am sure there is someone out there willing to take advantage of the opportunity you are providing. If you follow this line of thought to its conclusion, you can see we have the right, the need, and the duty to defend ourselves, this is how we defend the innate rights we have been given. The question we each have to answer for ourselves, "Are we willing to accept the responsibilities and accept the liabilities that come with the commitment to defend ourselves and our rights?"

For most of us, the question can be answered with not only a yes but also a hell yes. But, have you actually put any real thought into the subject. My way of thinking says it is not only my right to defend myself; it is also my duty to provide for the defense of my family and myself. In the days of old they called it chivalry, the strong was supposed to protect the weak and stand for those that could not stand-alone. Now days we have no knights in shinning armor rushing to the rescue, so who is left to protect us? I know there is law enforcement agencies; local, state, and federal charged with the duty to enforce laws and investigate crimes. But courts across the country have continually ruled that the police's duty is to the society or community and not to the individual. I do not intent to demean anyone in the law enforcement community. I just want to point out that while they do everything humanly possible to keep us safe it is impossible for them to be everywhere at once. So as an individual we need to be personally accountable for our own safety and actions. Anytime you accept the responsibility for anything you also accept the liability as well.

As children we learned that every action we take had its own risk, its own repercussions and its own rewards. As we grew we learned that we are held accountable for what we do. This is so true for incidence of self-defense; we are not only accountable to the law and to our families but also our conscious. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an incident, depending on the circumstance and the degree of the action you are forced to take, it is likely the law will be involved. In any defensive situation survival is your goal, but it would be really nice to be able to survive and not have to go to jail for your actions. I know in the heat of the moment you are reacting to the situation and the threat. At this point one of two things will happen, either the time you spent training will payoff or your lack of training will become woefully apparent. With planning and foresight you will fall into the former category and not the latter category. By training you are preparing yourself to act with the appropriate force necessary as well as protecting yourself and others from harm. Hopefully your training will consist of what if scenarios. These exercises will allow you to think your way through many situations, giving your mind the framework on how it will handle the situation both during and after the fight. Running through the scenarios also gives you the chance to explore the mental ramifications of your actions.

None of us can know how we will react afterwards, but as with dealing with grief and loss there are stages; first elation on survival, then disbelief on just what happened, followed by anger towards your attacker, which turns into regret for the loss of life, and finally acceptance. It changes you in ways you cannot fathom and makes you a different person. Someone that has been there and lived to walk away will always carry a part of it with them until their time is done.

I guess the only option we have is to prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and pray we are ready if the time comes.

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