Question of the Day: Do Unarmed Victims of Violence Bear Any Responsibility for Their Attack?

(courtesy floridachronicleonline.com)

Over at The New York Times, ‘The Return of the Sex Wars’ focuses on the issue of campus rape. “Student activists object to rape-prevention programs incorporating warnings about the risk heavy drinking poses. They say that questioning how much a female student drinks is like questioning her choice to wear a short skirt — just another form of victim blaming.” By the same token, anti-gun activists assert that claiming “it should have been a defensive gun use” after an assault puts the “blame” for a victim’s victimization on the victim rather than the perp. Obviously, a perp bears full and ultimate responsibility for a violent attack. But . . .

don’t adults carry some responsibility for their own defense? If they fail to carry a firearm in their own defense (or the defense of their loved ones or other innocent life), you can’t blame them for being the victims of violent crime, can you? By the same token, can we blame violent crime on governments that restrict of prohibit Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? Let the blame game begin!

comments

  1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    The difference between wearing a short skirt and drinking until you black out is that the skirt doesn’t leave you vulnerable and passed out on the floor. So yes, alcohol and your decision to overindulge is a factor. That’s not victim blaming.

    1. avatar Removed_californian says:

      Definitely this. People have a large degree of freedom when it comes to putting themselves in less than favorable situations. Namely being someplace where they shouldn’t be, being around people they should be with.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      I hate to break it to you, but most of those outfits most certainly DO leave you quite vulnerable. The shoes make it difficult to walk, much less run and the clothes are often constrictive to the point being fetish bondage gear or so loose or non-existent as to provide no protection from even the basic scrape or sharp corner. When you go out in a swimsuit and 4″ heels at 4:30 AM in the hood, you might not deserve what happens to you, but you most certainly did everything you could to stack the deck against you.

    3. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      No. The perpetrator is 100% to blame.

      However, the victim has to deal with the consequences /impacts /ramifications of being victimized, these are at the very least inconvenient and more likely to be catastrophic. Doing things to avoid being a victim, or to mitigate the consequences are a risk decision. Not doing them doesn’t make the victim at fault for being targeted, but it does mean they’ll suffer more than another person who took precautions either to avoid becoming a victim or deal with being targeted.

      Leaving your doors and windows unlocked doesn’t mean you’re to blame for being burglarized; but you could have taken some precautions to reduce the chance and have less hassle in your life.

  2. avatar Gman says:

    Before even reading past the byline my unequivocal answer is absolutely yes. It is no different than driving without insurance. It’s a conscientious decision to abdicate your personal safety. The more people there are that are self made victims the more emboldened criminals will be.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Obviously, a perp bears full and ultimate responsibility for a violent attack. But . . .
      I do not agree. Perpetrators of crime LOOK for easy targets. Horny college boys look for drunk girls. Lesson for girls, don’t get drunk around boys. Horny college boys like scantily dressed sexy girls. Lessons for girls, don’t go to frat parties dressed like you want to get laid. Every person is individually responsible for their own safety. Some choose to ignore that fact and some choose to rationalize it isn’t true. Risky behavior is the best term I can think of. I’m pretty sure we would all agree that white folk probably shouldn’t wander about in downtown Harlem at 2AM. That’s how I define risky behavior. And what would we expect to happen if we did? And what rational person would be surprised if we got a cap in our arse? The attitude that women have no responsibility for their own safety is ridiculous. As a father of 2 daughters, they were both taught exactly how to use that knife I bought them and exactly where to put it if they were being raped.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Isn’t that an “agree” and not a “disagree”?

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      “…… driving without insurance” and then there are some folks also drive without their seat belts fastened, with their head out the window and a beer between their legs while talking on their cell phone. Do they deserve to die? No, not really, but they sure didn’t do much to help themselves.

      A woman wearing 18 square inches of fabric, walking home at night so drunk that she has to lean on anything close by to not fall down, isn’t sending the message “rape me”. But she most definitely IS sending the message “I am impaired and easy prey”, just like the limping gazelle that can’t keep up with the herd attracts the lion’s interest. He doesn’t want to be killed and eaten, but he is the easiest meal available.

  3. avatar Removed_californian says:

    While yes, self defense is one’s own responsibility, I cannot bring myself to blame someone for being the victim of a violent crime. A lot of times it should be a DGU, but that doesn’t make the victim any more at fault for the crime perpetrated against them.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I may not be able to prevent a violent crime from being committed, but I will do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen to me or mine. Therefore, it is not my fault if it happens, but it is my fault if it happens to me. Either way, any surviving bad guys should go to jail.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    In a way? Yes. I always hated the “blame the victim” retort because it lacks common sense.

    Were you walking around in the hood at 4:30AM in what basically amounts to a swimsuit and 4″ heels? Then yes, you are partially responsible for anything that happens to you. Did you “deserve” it? No, but that’s an absurd extrapolation anyway.

    Same thing for people who choose to be defenseless. Do you “deserve” to get your door kicked in and your home robbed because you chose not to be able to defend yourself? No. Are you partially responsible for any negative outcomes? About as much as someone who chose not to wear a seatbelt and then died getting T-boned by a drunk driver.

  5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    The attacker bears full responsibility for the attack.

    The victim may bear some responsibility for putting himself in a position that makes such an attack more likely, or more likely to succeed.

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes – even if you’re morally and legally blameless for the actions of a criminal.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      +1

      When I lived in NYC, I knew that if I rode my bike anywhere and didn’t lock it up when I arrived at my destination, it had the chance of being stolen (in some neighborhoods, an excellent chance). Knowing that there are opportunistic criminals out there, I would lock up my bike (it wasn’t a 100% guarantee either, but it was a deterrent). If you ignore your surroundings and don’t take simple precautions, you are just fooling yourself into believing that you will be left alone.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Not to disagree, but it seems the blame here adds up to more than 100%. Is that right?

      1. avatar JohnF says:

        To paraphrase Yogi Berra, 90% of this is mental. The other half is physical.

    3. avatar jandrews says:

      As always Chip, excellently and succinctly phrased.

  6. avatar KingSarc48625 says:

    Blame only rests on the shoulders of the wicked. If monsters and evil did not exist, then there would be no need for weapons or self defense in any form. But the human animal is not wired for a violence free utopia.

  7. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Morally partially responsible? Yes. I mean, what’s the point of being “correct” if you’ve been robbbed, murdered, raped, etc.? I have a perfect legal right to park my BMW on the worst street in the Bronx with my iPad sitting on the front seat. But I’d be an idiot to do that.

    Legally? That all still resides with the perp.

  8. avatar MarkPA says:

    There is yet another facet by which to approach the question.

    Suppose you have no responsibility to others. You have no dependents; no one who would objectively be injured by your incapacitation or death. Under such circumstances you may argue that you are free to do as you please despite the risk of assault. You assume that risk on behalf of the only person with a stake in the outcome.

    Conversely, if you are a parent with minor children, or have any other dependents, then your decision to engage in risky activities jeopardizes others’ interests. You violate your duty to those who depend upon you.

    If you have no compelling need to be in a stupid: place, at a time, where people, play games, then you violate your duty to your dependents by going there. Tragically, many people have no viable alternative but to live or work in dangerous precincts. The choice reduces to: putting bread on the table; vs. being safe an faithful to obligations to dependents.

    If you can out-source your safety to others then maybe you don’t need to assume it yourself. To the extent that you can’t out-source, you shirk your duty by not preparing to defend yourself.

  9. avatar Tanner says:

    I find it a little silly that someone could possibly think someone is responsible for their being attacked. They can only be held responsible for their defense.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      “I find it a little silly that someone could possibly think someone is responsible for their being attacked”
      So you don’t think that anything you do affects the possibility or probability of you becoming a victim? If you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition don’t you think that might tend to increase the likelihood of your car being stolen? Me thinks you silly.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      I do believe we have a winner for the internets today!

    3. avatar LiberalAR15 says:

      Tanner you have hit it on the head. Being prepared allows you to respond to an assault, not prevent it.

      I see many commentators here using the drunk, scantily clad woman as the ‘typical’ sexual assault victim, but this is a far cry from the reality. A majority sexual assault is perpetrated by acquaintances or family. Do you keep your firearm trained in Uncle Bob? Because he is more likely do rape your daughter than the hooded boogeyman on a fictional dark street.

  10. avatar Orvis says:

    It’s hard to say if a victim of violent crime should bear any responsibility for the attack. In my view, unless personal defensive measures (alertness vice Condition White, for example) are universally taught and expected to be carried out by society, then a victim cannot really be blamed for not carrying a defensive firearm (or some other form of weapon), or walking around reading a book with the iPod headphones on, or leaving a bedroom window open, or whatever circumstances are involved in the attack. But while society might say that these people are simply exercising their freedom in doing these things that led to an attack, I also believe that society should not blame or try to deny others from choosing to take measures for their own defense, to include carrying/using defensive firearms. Leftists/statists are trying to convince us all to rely on government for all protection from harm, rather than taking responsibility for it ourselves. While there will always be violent criminals set to prey upon the defenseless, my view is that we can all improve everybody’s chances against violent crime by requiring that personal protective measures be taught in schools from a young age, and reviewed every year, and not include idiotic BS about not being responsible for one’s own defense or anti-gun propaganda. Once the teaching of personal protective measures (be alert, leave the area, etc) are universal, if one becomes a victim of violent crime, it doesn’t absolve the criminal for his/her crime, but a review of how well the victim was observing personal protective measures (at whatever level he/she chose to take them) should also be factored in.

  11. avatar Shwiggie says:

    There is a difference between being responsible for and being deserving of bad things. While someone’s irresponsibility may lead to said bad things, it is not the same as saying they deserve it. I think that’s what people take away from it if a victim is deemed responsible to any degree for their misfortune, and it just isn’t so.

  12. avatar Roy says:

    No they don’t bear responsibility for their attack, but they do bear responsibility for their defense…. and if they can’t defend themselves then… well I guess they’re responsible for their own demise?

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    The victim is not to blame. The gun (if one was used) bears none of the blame. Society bears none of the blame. The perpetrator bears all of the blame. All of it. Except in the rare case like Carol Bowne, who was murdered with the active acceptance of the State of New Jersey.

    Let’s not be blaming everybody except the criminals, okay? Good little slimy brain-dead Democrats do that, not sane people.

  14. avatar Mk10108 says:

    The attacker bears the responsibility for the attack.
    Target bears responsibility for lawful self defense.
    Government’s responsibility is not to restrict the method by which a citizen protects themselves

  15. avatar Herp says:

    This doesn’t need to be so complicated. An offender is responsible for offending to the extent that he offends. A victim is responsible for not defending himself to the extent he chooses not to defend himself. Nobody shares in the moral or practical failings of others. We all just bear an unfair share of the resultant misery that failures leave behind.

  16. avatar SuperG says:

    Let’s take NYC and the guy being attacked by the 2 pitbulls. I think NYC is responsible for this attack, in that the guy couldn’t carry a gun to protect himself. When the government removes or curtails your Constitutional rights, they are responsible.
    You are responsible for your own protection, but you are not responsible if you are attacked, as you have the presumed expectation to not get robbed or raped. We all know that it happens though, so a wise person takes precautions. The woman passed out does not induce someone to rape her by her lack of consciousness.

    1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Uhh the NYC Pit bull attack as it turns out, was a black woman telling her pit bulls to attack a white guy. He should never of had a reason to have to defend himself in that circumstance.

      http://nypost.com/2015/09/13/woman-charged-with-assault-after-using-pit-bulls-as-weapons/

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      You’re the first one to address this:

      ” the same token, can we blame violent crime on governments that restrict of prohibit Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms?”

      Most here are agreed that the victim is not culpable for the attack, even if, through their own negligence, they made themselves more of a target.

      The government, however, IS culplable if it took steps to force you to leave yourself a target, by preventing you from being able to defend yourself.

  17. avatar JasonM says:

    Human predators exist. They have existed since the beginning of our species. And will likely exist until humanity goes extinct.

    Refusing to teach college girls to protect themselves from these sexual predators is stupid and irresponsible. It’s like telling them they don’t need to look for cars before crossing the street at crosswalk with the walk sign lit up, because it blames the pedestrian for homicide, rather than the driver who’s updating his facebook status. Or not teaching them the dangers of smoking, because it blames the smoker, not the cancer. Recognizing the source of a danger and teaching people to avoid it does not blame the victim.

    A responsible parent, RA, sorority mom, etc. would teach these girls how to avoid any significant threat: avoid stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places at stupid times.

  18. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Do Unarmed Victims of Violence Bear Any Responsibility for Their Attack?

    For the attack? No. For the outcome of the attack, partially.

    I suppose you could even argue that a person with superior situational awareness and the discipline to choose activities wisely actively prevents themselves from being a victim. So, to the extent that a person is oblivious to the world and chooses to do the “four stupids” (stupid places, people, things, time), I suppose you could say that take some responsibility for their attack.

    Look at it this way. If a parent sent their 12 year old child alone into a swamp filled with venomous snakes and alligators and one of those snakes/gators attacked their child, would the parent be blameless? If not, then how is a person blameless if they go into the “concrete jungle” unaware and defenseless and a human predator attacks them?

  19. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Doing stupid things (drinking excessively) with stupid people (drunken frat boys) at stupid times (2:00am) at stupid places (frat party) could lead to something stupid happening (rape). Who knew?

  20. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    Anti-gun Liberals like to argue for collective responsibility, so how about this?

    If you fail to shoot (or cause to be apprehended) an individual who kills/maims/rapes you, then you have also failed in your responsibility to that individual’s future victims.

  21. avatar William Burke says:

    They will nearly always need to shoulder some of the blame – after all, we are responsible for our own safety in the non-in loco parentis world.

    So sure, it’s true.

  22. avatar Gman says:

    Can one be an intentional victim? Yes, by choice and by ignorance. And what if we had a society where we rewarded those who were not intentional victims and shamed those who were. In such a society, where the norm is peer supported anti-victimhood training and awareness, would not criminals find their lives more difficult? Our current society places virtually no emphasis on crime prevention awareness and training. All of our futile efforts are targeted at post crime punishment. And as this blog points out, there are some in our society who actually believe they have no responsibility to prevent crime even against themselves. And that anyone who espouses such horrific thoughts is a racist, homophobe, sexist or whatever the shameful term of the day is. Are there circumstance under which even the most diligent and well trained can become victims of crime? Absolutely. But I venture to say that most crimes can be been prevented if people pull their collective heads out of their posteriors and simply up their game.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      “Our current society places virtually no emphasis on crime prevention . . . . All of our futile efforts are targeted at post crime punishment.”

      This thought has occurred to me in another context; primarily, property crime.

      So, I have homeowners and auto-comprehensive insurance for which I pay a premium. Those premiums are fairly modest, commensurate with the low probability that my property might be stolen. Now, my risk is limited. I lock my doors and don’t leave my keys in the ignition. Modest precautions, but not much more that would actually make my property really hard to steal.

      Almost all of us follow the same practices. Thus, we are all satisfied. I’m satisfied with my risk. The insurance company has a risk to insure and makes a profit. Burglars and car thieves have opportunities sufficient to conclude that crime-DOES-pay. And so, young people without better opportunities rationally choose to begin a career in crime.

      What would our society and economy be like if I – and most people – behaved differently?

      What if I behaved AS-IF I were self-insured as to property loss? I would armor-up my home and car such that it would be prohibitively-difficulty to break-into or steal. Admittedly, I couldn’t afford to protect it 100.0%; but I could make it so difficult that a criminal would almost always be deterred.

      If I – and most other property owners – so behaved, then most mis-spent youths would soon discover that property crime is not worth the effort. While some might choose to jump directly to mugging, others might be deterred from a life-of-crime. We might be able to deter mugging by taking greater care where and when we travel; and, by going armed.

      If we all – or most of us – made it much too difficult to pursue a life of crime then we would have fewer property and human losses to suffer. Perhaps fewer criminals to house and feed behind bars. The total cost to society might be lower.

      This is to say that our “insurance” model (of spreading the cost of losses due to crime) creates a “moral hazard” that leaves us free to behave less responsibly in protecting our property and lives.

      We are accustomed to look to some outside agent to incentivize our better behavior. If only the insurance company gave me a break on my premiums for improving my home/car security. If only the government gave me a tax credit for buying home security upgrades. But this is an evasion of our individual responsibility.

      Perhaps each of us should think about taking initiative ourselves. E.g., I’ll spend a few hundred bucks to beef-up the resistance of the doors to my house. I’ll spend a few thousand dollars to cover my windows. I’ll buy a safe for my guns.

      When one of our fellow PotG remarks that he objects to “safe storage” it concerns me. I don’t really care whether he suffers a loss because someone steals his guns. Nor that a few more guns get into the hands of criminals. They will get them anyway; even if they have to pay retail. Rather, I’m concerned with:
      – the PR implications of gun owners taking a cavalier attitude toward securing their guns; and,
      – the incentivizing of burglary by making a valuable commodity (guns, stereos, TVs, jewelry are all readily sold) less protected then they could be made to be.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Mark – A lot of words to describe Cost-Benefit Analysis. But I agree in principle. We all tend to normalize what we do and how we behave modeled on what seems acceptable to others. A little out of the box (a term I h8) thinking goes a long way to good preparation.
        BTW I laughed at your apparent typo:
        What if I behaved AS-IF I were self-insured as to property loss? I would armor-up my home and car such that it would be prohibitively-difficulty to break-into or steal. (As in the metal or to make strong?)

  23. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    No, but if they’re willingly disarmed where not required by law, then they bear irresponsibility.

    As to government responsibility… while not responsible for violent crime, a government which curtails citizens’ ability of self defence without providing an effective alternative bears responsibility for creation of a wantonly unsafe state.

  24. avatar Gunr says:

    All the dumb ass things you do, do not make you responsible for the actions of an attacker. it makes you more stupid and ignorant though.

  25. avatar george from fort worth says:

    do we really need to have this conversation again?

    the world has changed since 1945; NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME OF THEIR ACTIONS, PERIOD. assigning responsibility is unfair, rude, and shows complete lack of compassion for the unfortunate. everyone in this country deserves to live in a society free of fear.

    ’nuff said

  26. avatar Felix says:

    EVERYTHING in life is a trade-off between what-if and why-not. Worried about coconuts falling from palm trees? Wear a helmet. Worried about one-in-a-million bizarre accidents? Drive a tank.

    So it is with crime. Yes, if you take a shortcut down an alley with $100 bills hanging out of every pocket and get robbed, the criminal is at fault, but you could have avoided it. Similarly, if you have more fun in high heels, microskirt, and halter top, great, but beware that isn’t the best dress for leaving drunk at 3am. Your friendly neighborhood rapist may still be the criminal, but it’s a lot easier to avoid the crime than recover from it later.

    Everything is a tradeoff.

  27. avatar WareWolf_PDX says:

    Folks that are not responsible enough to participate in social engagements without getting intoxicated to the point of physical and mental impairment, as many above like to visualize, have no business carrying anything that might be usable against another person. They will not have the mental capacity to utilize the tool safely for themselves, or those around them, nor will they have the physical dexterity to enable their safety without endangering those around them. These folks don’t need guns, knives, tazers, or sharks with friggin lasers, they need to sober up and learn to conduct themselves maturely. Parent’s owe it to their kids to instill a level of maturity that minimizing the risk of becoming a victim. The college and government programs are far too often trying to treat a symptom and shape a plausible outcome, rather than the source of the problem to begin with.

  28. avatar Billy-bob says:

    The perp is responsible for his actions, but a double tap to the ‘nads will definitely change the conversation from “she wants it” to “OMG I’m bleeding!” and likely stop any further rapey type behavior. Just sayin’.

  29. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Yes, they do bear some responsibility, but it’s not the same kind of responsibility. Counter claims of victim blaming therefore are misplaced and inapplicable, because they’re made from a different premise.

    The dividing line runs between rights and reality. Sure, as an attractive young woman, you have the right to walk along the Galveston Seawall, alone, in the middle of the night. The reality is that doing so brings an elevated risk of violence directed toward you.

    Your exercise of your rights does not give consent to someone else to violate your rights. That doesn’t even make sense. However, there are more and less prudent times, manners, and places to exercise your various rights, if you want to avoid certain outcomes.

    Making those decisions and enduring the foreseeable consequences is both your right and your responsibility. That said, as with many sensitive issues in life, a certain tact is necessary before broaching the subject with someone, if you broach at all.

  30. avatar Forrest says:

    Yes and No.

    I do not blame a victim for being assaulted or attacked. That blame rests soley on the criminal who committed the attack.

    I do, however, blame victims for not being ready and willing to defend themselves in an ever more violent world. It isn’t the cops job to stop an attack. It’s their job to catch the person after the attack has been discovered. Personal Safety is a Personal Responsibility and if you are unwilling to take responsibility for yourself, what happens to you is on your head.

  31. avatar jandrews says:

    The choice to attack is made by the assailant, and normal well-adjusted human beings don’t go around attacking innocents going about daily life for no reason. So no.

    If you instigate, you’re not a victim. You’re a participant.

  32. avatar DH2 says:

    A victim should never be blamed for the acts committed upon them. Period. Just as its not a deer’s fault that it fell prey to a wolf. Could the deer have run faster? Could it have faked a left and evaded? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter; a wolf is gonna wolf.

    Additionally, rape “prevention” sounds as if it was referring to preventing some kind of accidental occurrence like tripping over a shoe lace, or some kind of cause and effect chain like preventing cavities by brushing your teeth. Those things are passive. They occur by accident or by negligence, not by the willful acts of another person. Calling it rape prevention is disingenuous and by the very nature of it’s word choice paints the victim as at fault. They aren’t. There is a reason rapists are called sexual predators. They choose their prey, they stalk their prey, and they take their prey; they are no different than the predators of the animal kingdom, and there is no way to prevent a predator. Well, short of exterminating them anyways.

    Instead, the discussion should be about rape avoidance. You want to avoid being eaten by a wolf? Avoid wolves, avoid their territory, avoid looking like their prey, at the very least avoid looking like easy prey. You want to avoid sexual predators? Avoid them, their territory, and looking like their prey. If you are for some reason unable or unwilling to avoid their territory or avoid looking like prey, then by God be ready to fight. Your only other option is to be prey.

  33. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Yeah I’m with the stupid people-bad results thing. Honestly I’m surprised dumb girls don’t get raped more. Maybe if they made rape illegaler(oh wait-they did)…glad I’m an old guy who doesn’t care much anymore(are the girls who don’t wear panties asking for it?).

  34. Find a different direction, Farago. Suggesting that a victim is partially to blame for the violence suffered is absurd and leaves us all looking stupid. Of course, some tough souls may be able to interdict the violence with the timely withdrawal of a 9mm from her purse.

  35. avatar Martin says:

    Are the victims responsible for the attack? I’d say, no way. The blame for that lies 100% with the attacker. Even getting stinking drunk while wearing slutty clothing and expensive jewelry constitutes no agreement with getting raped, robbed or beaten.

    That said, the fact is that some decisions make one responsible for becoming needlessly vulnerable. That doesn’t mean the victim shares the guilt for the attack; it means the victim has been… unwise. The victim is likely guilty of underestimating the dangers inherent in his/her choices; the attacker is the one responsible for attacking someone, no matter how vulnerable the victim is.

    I’d also say that we don’t want to live in a society where making oneself more vulnerable, whatever the cause might be, can be considered some kind of consent with getting attacked. If nothing else, where would we draw the line? How about someone becoming more vulnerable thanks to a health condition he/she is at least partially responsible for? Someone living in condition white thanks to a lifetime of growing up in an anti-gun family? Someone drunk after succumbing to peer pressure? Someone forced to live somewhere where self-defense option are severely limited? How much responsibility should we assign to what cause?

    The victim already has to deal with any and all impacts of an attack. The lesson such an attack constitutes has likely been a harsh yet effective one. Blaming the victim, even if only partially, is unlikely to make that lesson more effective.

  36. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

    I don’t care how she’s dressed. Victims bear exactly 0% responsibility for causing their own attack. They do, however, bear 100% responsibility for their own defense, or lack thereof.

  37. avatar tdiinva (now in Wisconsin) says:

    Most of you seem to buying in to the radical feminist concept of rape. Rape is a violent attack on an unwilling person which does not include drunk college girls who wake up in the morning with regrets.

    Pro tip: If the girl claiming to be raped goes to the Dean of Students and not the police it is probably not rape.

  38. avatar Jordan says:

    Like most of answers to life’s questions, the answer is “it depends.”
    It depends on what the “victim” was doing before being victimized. I often say, “don’t walk into the lion’s den wearing bacon pants if you don’t want to be eaten.” Sometimes people set up the circumstances of their own victimization, but not always or maybe event often. I don’t know and can’t say what the balance is. Every circumstance is different and unique.

  39. avatar Christopher says:

    No, victims do not bear responsibility for unprovoked attacks. We have the right to defend ourselves as each individual sees fit. If you deem your fists to be enough defense, that’s your right.

  40. avatar JohnF says:

    This finger pointing about blaming victims is hypocritical and a rhetorical game I don’t think people of the gun should play, because the deck is stacked.

    Hypothetical: If someone were so stupid as to walk through Ferguson yelling “Black Lives DON’T Matter,” that person would probably get the crap beat out of him, or worse, and these same libtards who do this finger pointing about us blaming victims would be blaming the person who did the yelling and not the people who attacked him. And frankly, I would agree with them.

    As someone who has been in the aviation safety business, I know that every bad incident has root causes. ALL the root causes contribute to the incident regardless of whether or not they are fair, or PC, and regardless of what race or gender the victim is. If we want to prevent violence, we can’t avoid talking about all the root causes. If we start tippy-toeing around that, we are just caving to those who want to make this about guns and not about public safety.

    So yes, a victim can be partially to blame. Let’s stop letting the enemy control the conversation and get common sense back into the mix.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      “. . . a rhetorical game I don’t think people of the gun should play. . . ” Excellent point. If ‘winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’ then we PotG have to think first and foremost about whether a given rhetorical point ultimately tends to serve our purpose or work against it.

      We may have perfectly rational arguments. However, those rational arguments might waste our time on the soap-box when we would be better off using that time making a more effective emotional argument. It’s really easy for a debater to fall-in-love with the purity of his argument while missing the fact that the argument isn’t winning any points.

      JohnF’s point is NOT confined to this one topic of rape; it applies everywhere we debate.

      “. . . every bad incident has root causes. ALL the root causes contribute to the incident regardless of whether or not they are fair, or PC, and regardless of what race or gender the victim is.” Another excellent point.

      It strikes me as artificial to begin with a proposition that there must be 100% of culpability to be apportioned across causes. Such a presupposition MIGHT be mistaken; and, if it is, it interferes in our search to understand the problem. E.g., two guys get into a fight in a bar. We try to determine whether the culpability is 60/40 or 40/60 or 45/51. How does this apportionment effort illuminate how to reduce the probability of such incidents in the future? Our objective ought to be to figure out what measures might be available to society to reduce the probability of bar fights in the future.

  41. avatar Paelorian says:

    Well, I certainly blame governments that enforce gun control when a citizen who would otherwise be armed is the victim of violence. If I was murdered in New York City, I’d probably blame gun control as much as my murderer for my death.

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