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?

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.


      1. I think it’s called “premeditated” and we get away with it, legally, all the time…, UNLESS…, you’re a registered bad guy, then you get punished, or made victim of the “good” premeditation. “it is the decision of this court to sentence you to death by hanging, electrocution or lethal injection.” Can’t be bad, the court made a decision, right? Therefore it’s the sensible kind.., which, when you think about it, makes no sense at all.


    1. He probably felt they needed killing. Or — anyone would have done the same thing. Garry used to cover these horrendous, hideous cases, sometimes being early on the scene to see the ghastly corpse and no, it wasn’t fun. When he got a lot of these stories in one week, he was a wreck by the end of the week. He never learned to ignore the horror of it.


      1. I don’t think I would find that funny either. Jack the Ripper killed 5 prostitutes in the East End of London, not far away from where I grew up in the late 19th century, to my grandad’s time and the name did not come from somone’s imagination he really was a ripper. They never caught him, but suddenly the murders stopped. There were many theories of who it could have been and to this day there are still debates and discussions about it.


        1. And a lot of books written about it, too. All of these hideous serial murders are awful. They make them into TV shows which I won’t watch. I can’t. I don’t know how Garry lived with it all those years and I think it’s one of the many reasons he is SO happy to no longer be working.


    1. I’ve watched about 10,000 episodes of “Law and Order.” ALMOST a legal degree 😀 Also, to be fair, Garry spent a LOT of years covering courtroom stuff. He picked up a lot about not only the legal process, but judges, lawyers, cops … and criminals. That’s probably why he favors the death penalty. He’s actually MET these guys.


  1. The word senseless or sensible used with violence is a poor choice of words but there are instances such as self-defense where violence becomes necessary. Recalling an incident from my job where a co-worker a white male who stands over 6 feet tall weighing over 250 lbs pinned me up against the wall in the galleries (I work for a museum). At that point my Army training came in handy. No I didn’t kill him but if it had come down to that choice better him being dead than me. BTW this was witnessed by several co-workers who watched to see if he would choke me to death. He was known to stalk and sexually harass both Black and Asian women at the workplace. Management and Human Resources ignored our complaints. We were laughed at. Until said guy threatened to kill another white male co-worker. Then Mr. Sociopath was allowed to retire.

    I hate to say this but violence against women is sanctioned in this country. But if you stand up for yourself. If you fight back as a Woman you are wrong. Sadly there are situations where violence is justified where your life or the life of your Loved ones is at stake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This really isn’t about self-defense or anything like that. This is about the way people TALK about violence. The statement “senseless violence” has become so standard, they are virtually linked as one comment. It’s about language, not the necessity of dealing with violent people in reality. More about “TV news palaver.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s been plenty times I could easily have pulled the trigger. I admit it. Anger. Very destructive. Something pushed my buttons and I was out of control. I got sucked into the Power Game. That’s the test. And no matter how long you’re around, it’s going to come up and test you again and again.


    1. Boy do I understand and agree with you. I too have had an instance, in the near past, that urged me towards a “trigger pulling”.., not a normal response for me. The hardest thing to do was to rethink it all and decide that my actions would mean nothing, and certainly not solve anything. I came to the conclusion that time would be my best weapon.., and not mine alone. The expression “shooting ones self in the foot,” has been a much better outcome, and he’s done that more than once.


      1. That works. And sometimes, the really hard thing happens and you just have to let it go. Without knowing if you’ll ever get your own back — or anything. Because the anger is toxic and it is only hurting YOU.


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