VIOLENCE OF THE SENSIBLE KIND – Marilyn Armstrong

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

Sensible Violence: Good reasons to kill


“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 wood chipper and use his remains as fertilizer. Sensible. tidy, and green.  “Your Honor, he really pissed me off. And it wasn’t easy getting him into the machine. 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 sensible 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 were angry. You were right.

So you see? Not all violence is senseless. If you didn’t mean it, you had no choice, anyone would have done the same thing, or your plan went awry … it’s sensible violence. The good kind.

24 thoughts on “VIOLENCE OF THE SENSIBLE KIND – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. There is also when powerful people send other people out to kill or be killed because they can. Like a country’s leader sending kids to war or a crime boss sending minions out on a hit or an industrialist sending vigilantes out to kill a few people striking to get the rest to go back to work or a terrorist group leader sending a devotee out into a crowded market with a bomb. That’s all sensible violence, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s not forget the professional sports, where violence is always sensible because there’s lots of money to be made for everyone. Boxing was built on this principle. And even in baseball… you can throw a hard object 100 miles per hour at a man’s head and maybe get a wrist slap. But Your Honor, he pimped his homerun trot against me! Any pitcher would have done the same thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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