Ms Stranger--- we discussed the use of fatal force last month. I came across the following that might apply to the issue. It sums up pretty well my beliefs concerning self-defense. The author made much the same distinction I did concerning ''the promise of

Ms Stranger--- we discussed the use of fatal force last month. I 
came across the following that might apply to the issue. It sums up 
pretty well my beliefs concerning self-defense. The author made much 
the same distinction I did concerning "the promise of violence," 
though he didn't put it in those terms.

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Nothing is to be accounted hostile force but where it leaves not the 
remedy of such an appeal [to the law], and it is such force alone 
that puts him that uses it into a state of war, and makes it lawful 
to resist him.

A man with a sword in his hand demands my purse on the highway, when 
perhaps I have not 12 pennies in my pocket.

This man I may lawfully kill.

To another I deliver 100 pounds to hold only whilst I alight, which 
he refuses to restore to me when I am got up again, but draws his 
sword to defend the possession of it by force. I endeavour to retake 
it.

The mischief this man does me is a hundred, or possibly a thousand 
times more than the other perhaps intended me (whom I killed before 
he really did me any); and yet I might lawfully kill the one and 
cannot so much as hurt the other lawfully.

The reason whereof is plain to see; because the one using force 
which threatened my life, I could not have time to appeal to the law 
to secure it, and when it was gone it was too late to appeal.

The law could not restore life to my dead carcass.

The loss was irreparable; which to prevent, the law of Nature gave 
me a right to destroy him who had put himself into a state of war 
with me and threatened my destruction.

But in the other case, my life not being in danger, I might have the 
benefit of appealing to the law, and have reparation for my 100 
pounds in that way.

--
John Locke, "An Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End 
of Civil Government", Chapter 18 "Of Tyranny", #207, originally 
published in England, 1690.

:jTEMPT   BUD :
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