Wednesday, December 14, 2011

QotD: Oh, Grow Up! Edition

Answering the (rhetorical) question "How old should someone be to have the right to defend themselves?" in the comments section at Marko's, Rauðbjorn responds:
You’re old enough when you decide to take on that responsibility for yourself. It’s one of the hallmarks of adulthood. An adult who relies on others to defend him is just a grown-up child.


Tango Juliet said...


Unknown.Rodent said...

A person is born with the "right" to defend themselves.

I'm thinking the question being asked is at what age do you give someone the tools to effective self defense. As a parent that question is far more than just the hypothetical. The answer we've come up with is simply this "When you think your child responsible enough to be left alone. It is the parents responsibility to give them some effective method of self defense." YMMV

mikee said...

For my son, he became old enough at age 6 on the school bus, defending himself against another 6 year old. So I don't think age has a lot to do with self defense.

Bryan Reavis said...

I think it's a little more fundamental than that. Just giving someone a weapon, even a non-lethal one (like a can of OC spray) is not enough. Even giving them training is not enough. Certainly putting them in a situation that forces the question is not enough.

A person has to decide for themselves "I am important enough to fight for." A lot of people don't seem to feel that way.

Unknown.Rodent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown.Rodent said...

@Rauðbjorn isn't that a bit of a different question? The question morphed from "How old should someone be to have the right to defend themselves?" to "I am important enough to fight for."

I agree with you that the second question lies at the core of a persons belief set. Without an answer to that question the ability to fight is moot.

As a parent the question of "I am important enough to fight for" is easy to answer for your child, maybe a bit harder for them to internalize. Part two of that is "what am I willing to do to survive?" that question takes very careful discussion. Explaining to a young person to overcome societal teachings on violence and harm to others even in defense of self is a tricky thing. We think it is only good parenting to make sure they have that figured out before we decide our child is responsible enough to be left alone.

John A said...

re Rauðbjorn 10:39 reply to @Unknown.Rodent - over ninety-nine per cent of humans learn to finger-poke and kick others before age one, without being "given" weapons or training. Learning when it is appropriate and additional methods/tools are different.

And while a one-year-old may not be very effective at self-defense, so what?

jimbob86 said...

"An adult who relies on others to defend him is just an overgrown child."

fixed it ....

And the real shame is that their votes count the same as yours and mine .... and there are more of them than there are of us.

Bryan Reavis said...

Perhaps you're right, it might be a separate issue. In my estimation though, a person is ready when they decide they are, and the root of that decision is when they decide that they, or another is actually worth fighting for.

@John A
There's a bit of a difference between lashing out at that which vexes us, and violence perpetrated with malice aforethought. A child hurts those who thwart their will, an adult (or at least a maturing youth) assaults a target with the intended goal of driving off, or defeating an opponent who threatens they and their's.

Read and understand why I use the words I do.
Oh, and Pournelle & Niven had a solution to that problem BTW, so did Heinlein.

JC said...

Yeah, that's a quote from Admiral Bobby (Robert A. Heirnlein to you).

The problem is, as always, waking up with yourself.

There are times I just don't like that guy whose
face I shave in the morning.

I may not like him, but I think I respect him.