Friday, July 12, 2013

Watching Violence Unfold


By Scott Shaw

            I was sitting around at home watching T.V. last evening when I began to hear a verbal altercation taking place outside. I didn’t really pay much attention to it at first but it continued to escalate. Eventually, I looked outside and there were two Asian males and one lady. They were standing out in front of their place.
            One of the men was screaming while he pounded on the other man with a golf club. It was actually a large wood driver-club. The woman appeared to be attempting to break them up. The man who was being hit whispered in a soft but firm voice as he continued to be struck by the other man who was screaming.
            A few people were watching this event but nobody said anything. I began to believe that the one man was going to be killed by the club-wielding other man so I yelled, “Hey, stop hitting him with that golf club!” He replied with the basic, “Fuck you,” and called me a few names, which was of no consequence.
            My basic idea in yelling was to cause a distraction in order that the guy being hit would have the opportunity to get out of there. But, he didn’t leave.
      I exclaimed, “What you’re doing is assault with a deadly weapon! You want me to call the cops?” “I don’t care, he hits our mother and pulled a knife on her! Call the cops, fuck you!”
      So, now the story deepens… They are two brothers and one is apparently defending the honor of the mother.
      Initially, me being who I am, I thought that maybe I should go out there and get in the mix. Break up the fight. Take the club away from the guy. I mean, a golf club really isn’t much of a weapon. But, then I rethought my strategy.
      In my lifetime I have been shot, stabbed, cut, hit from behind with a club, and sucker punched more than a few times. But, I have long ago realized that all violence equals is more violence and that is never a sound solution, even though I pretty much workout and train people to defend themselves on a daily basis.
            But, isn't that the true essence of the martial arts? To be able to fight but choose NOT to.
            The fact of the matter is, this guy had his point and his mission. If what he was saying was true, he seemed to be defending his mother’s honor and maybe even protecting her. So, this was obviously a complicated family matter.
            Someone else had apparently called the police. Which was the right thing to do. Just at this point they arrived. They immediately cuffed-up the club-wielding brother and took him into custody. They sat the other brother down on the curb. I looked and he was a mess. He had big bulging lumps and blood running down his head, his arms, his legs, and his back. He took one hell of a beating and was still standing. Tough dude!
            The ambulance arrived but he refused treatment. He exclaimed, “That’s going to cost $2,000.00 that I don’t have and that bill is never going to be paid.” Which is true. If you don’t have insurance and you go to an emergency room, you are pretty much screwed. He even manned up to the degree that when the cops were talking to him he said his brother had just struck him with his fist and not the golf club the police officers knew to be in play.
            The cops eventually drove off with the one brother. They told the other brother to leave and to not come back that evening. The mother cried in fear that the one banged-up son would return as he apparently said he was going to kill her. As he walked off he exclaimed, “I just said she was going to die someday.” What! Who says that to their mother and what else did he really say?
            You see, this is the source of violence. People say bad things and people do bad things all the time. They do these things based upon what they believe to be right or as a means of getting whatever revenge they believe they have coming. But, violence only equals violence.
            Plus, violence has the potential to draw other people in. People want to help. People want to stop it. People believe in the cause. People care. But, violence never equals anything positive. Anything based in violence only ends in further violence.
            The one brother is in jail. For how long, who knows? But, it could have been worse; he could have killed his brother. The other guy is seriously messed up. What will happen to him is anybody’s guess? The mother is scared of the son she raised. Where is the father; who knows? What will happen next in this melodrama? Only time will tell.
            Like much of life, this situation is a mess. You can choose to get angry, be mad, be violent in life. Or, you can choose the opposite. Your life. Your choice. But, the repercussions of violence are obviously always the worse of the two choices.
            Watching violence unfold is never pretty. Violence is ugly. And who ever wins a confrontation, is never truly the winner.

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