In the United States, there are laws stating that it is unlawful to harm another individual. The idea is that intentional infliction of pain and injury is punishable by law. However, there are situations that may justify the act of harming another person and that is called self-defense. Infliction of pain and injury is a criminal offense and the perpetrator may be prosecuted for it, however, if he can show the court that such actuation is justified, then he will not be held criminally liable. The main issue centers on the legal and justifiable use of weapon or force (Use of Force. US, 2005).
Records show that crimes in America are responsible for many death, injury, and losses as compared to the damage brought about by all the natural disasters combined. The occurrence of crime in some states are becoming higher. Authorities are doing everything they can to address this issue and it is depressing to know that even background checks are not a guarantee that crime can be prevented. As a safety measure, individuals should carry something for protection because the streets today are not as safe as it was years ago. (The Disaster Center, 2007). Experiencing a crime makes a person react in ways which he did not even expect.
Being in this type of emergency situation enables a person to act using his instincts and do everything he can for survival and self preservation. The adrenalin is pumping and events happen quickly. A person also has the tendency to feel helpless and desperate and this is the situation that must be avoided if possible. In these situations, it becomes necessary for a person to use everything in his disposal for self defense. A person under attack should be aware of the surrounding area and must immediately find and grab something that can be used as a weapon.
There are plenty of weapons surrounding a person everywhere he goes and all he needs is to familiarize himself with them. People should make it a habit to scan the room or street to check if something there may be used as a weapon. The general rule is if it can be easily grabbed, it can be used. In an office environment for example, a briefcase can be used to whack the attacker in the head. A person under attack can also use chairs to distance himself from the attacker. Books and back packs can be thrown at him and this can cause distraction for a while making room for a quick escape (Bettencourt, 2009).
While using items for everyday use may come in handy for self-defense, it is a wiser to invest in personal defense products. People, especially women and children, should equip themselves with weapons for personal protection. Preparedness will benefit an individual during the time that he needs it the most. It is the role of the government and the community to educate their citizens for public safety purposes. Even though there are policemen patrolling the streets and roaming around to see if someone needs help, they will not be there all the time and it is imperative that people learn how to defend and protect himself and his family.
The most popular defense weapons would be the stun gun and pepper spray. It is light, easy to carry and it does not grab attention. The attacker might not even know that the potential victim possesses these things. Stun guns have high voltage which causes the attacker to be disabled for a couple of minutes. The energy in the stun gun will be transmitted to the muscles of the attacker causing them to function improperly. Pepper sprays, on the other hand, causes the swelling of the mucous membrane for about 30 minutes.
The attacker will experience heavy breathing and swelling of the eyes (Brave Protection, 2006). The use of force for personal protection and security is supported by criminal laws of self defense. The Penal Code provides that a person will not be criminally liable for the use of force in situations where it is necessary to defend the person’s own life, the life of his family and even the lives of strangers (Hobart, n. d. ) . First, there must be an unlawful aggression. Next, there must be sufficient provocation on the part of the attacker that may lead the person to use force on him.
Lastly, the person claiming self-defense must prove that there is no other reasonable alternative but to use force and that he firmly believed that it was necessary to defend himself (Met News Staff Writer, 2006). Because of the growing need and issue of self-defense in relation to public safety, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed and declared the citizens’ right to own a gun for purposes of self-defense, security and protection. This is their answer for the meaning of the second amendment which states that people may bear arms.
The high court reversed the ruling of the District of Columbia in banning handguns in a 5-4 decision. As, expected this ruling caused commotion and different responses. Those who do not agree with this ruling based their opposition on the ground that violence and crime are more likely to happen if the ownership of guns will not be prohibited. They argue that instead of enhancing public safety, this ruling might tend to increase the risk of crimes. Barack Obama commented that this decision should be backed up by closer monitoring and guidance of local government units all throughout the country.
Democratic Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago said that the situation brought about by the ruling is very frightening because of the potential violence and crime that may happen. The Supreme Court said that the right of the citizens to bear arms is necessary to ensure and uphold the security of the state thus, it may not be infringed. The main issue for the justices who penned the decision was whether or not the second amendment was intertwined to the state militia service which was a once vital but now archaic group of people.
Justice Antolin Scalia, one of the justices who concurred said that a hand gun is the best weapon against a robber because the victim can aim with one hand and use the other to dial the police. The justice further commented that they are aware of the current violence in the country brought about by the use of guns however, they firmly believe that the Constitution left all the states many alternatives to confront and prevent this problem including some regulatory measures for the use of firearms (Sherman, 2008).
Although there are many contradictions to the use of weapon and force for ones own protection, the Constitution and other statutory laws uphold the right to life and as such, it can therefore be construed that people should be able to defend themselves and their families using whatever weapon or force at their disposal if the situation calls for it. A weapon or a firearm is not bad in itself, it only becomes dangerous if used for illegal and violent motives and this is where the role of the local government, the police and the community comes in.
Constant monitoring and tighter police security should be enforced. People equipped with weapons for security and self defense reasons have everything to gain when the time comes for its use and people walking defenseless without anything to shield and protect themselves have everything to lose.
Bettencourt, N. 2009. Making Everyday Items Into Weapons for Personal Protection. EzineArticles. com. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://ezinearticles. com/? Making-Everyday-Items-Into-Weapons-For-Personal-Protection&id=2387036
Brave Protection. 2006. Stun guns and Pepper Sprays. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. braveprotection. com/site/650239/page/173485 Hobart, P. N. d. Self Defense Law and the Martial Artist. Ittendojo. org. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. ittendojo. org/articles/general-4. htm Met News Staff Writer. 2006. Ninth Circuit Clarifies Elements of Self-Defense Claim. Metropolitan News- Enterprise. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. metnews. com/articles/2006/bigg040306. htm
Sherman, M. ( 2008, June 26). Supreme Court Upholds Right to Own Guns For Self-Defense. The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/2008/06/26/supreme-court-upholds-rig_n_109365. html The Disaster Center. 2007. United States: Uniform Crime Report – State Statistics from 1960-2007. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. disastercenter. com/crime/ UseofForce. us. 2005. Introduction: The Basic Issue. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://www. useofforce. us/