The thing about “senseless violence” is that it implies there’s another kind of violence. The sensible kind. Everybody talks about senseless violence, but I can’t get a decent conversation going about sensible?
Here are a list of sensible reasons to kill people:
– “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 entirely 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.
Of course these days, sensible reasons include killing people just because they don’t look like you or live in the wrong neighborhood. I’m sure those murderers think they had no choice either. That’s the problem with two kinds of violence. Some people take it seriously.
Thank you Roberta for finding the perfect song for this post!