The thing about “senseless violence” is that it implies there’s some other kind. The sensible kind. Everybody talks about senseless violence … but what about the other kind of violence? How come no one talks about sensible violence?
Reasonable, well thought-out violence.
- “He needed killing” is still accepted in some American courtrooms as a defense against a charge of murder. If he needed killing and you kill him, you have committed an act of sensible violence.
- “No one was supposed to get hurt.” You found yourself short of money, so you held up the bank. Using automatic weapons. You had a perfect plan which went unaccountably wrong. “But your Honor, no one was supposed to get hurt!”
- “I had no choice.” You could have gotten a divorce, but you were put off by all the paperwork, lawyers, and courts. Not to mention having to share your stuff. So, you killed your husband and shoved his body in the clothes dryer. Sensible and tidy. “Your Honor, he really pissed me off. And it wasn’t easy getting him into the machine. And, I was selling dope, so I couldn’t call the cops. He was being really mean to me, so what choice did I have?
- “Anyone would have done the same thing.” Really, no kidding. Anyone. It was the only reasonable response. “Your Honor, she burned the roast. I had to kill her. Anyone would have done the same thing.”
- “I lost my temper.” You said I wouldn’t like you when you’re angry. You were right.
So you see? Not all violence is senseless. If you didn’t mean it, you had no choice, your plan went awry … it’s all good. Sensible.