Too Many Reasons to Kill

Along with discussing racism and common sense gun regulation, perhaps we should consider
Cain Killing Abel, Daniele Crespi, Wikimedia
something more basic - why, in the United States, do we have so many legal reasons to kill another person?

My dad and I were talking about this whole Zimmerman thing, and some other cases that have come up. He recalled a conversation with a colleague from Germany.

His colleague was an engineering contractor, here in Houston for a few weeks. They were at Guido's, enjoying seafood and beer, and his colleague was astounded at the long list of killings in the newspaper. He said that Houston alone had more killings than all of Germany. Yes, they have regulations about weapons in his country, he said, but more than that, "we do not have all those legal reasons for a person to kill another."

Around the U.S., it's hard to make the case that we value human life, we have so many reasons to kill. If you feel threatened, if you're protecting your house (or anything you own, really), to retrieve stolen property, "to stop rape, arson, burglary, robbery, theft at night and criminal mischief at night."

We have interesting euphemisms for it:

Stand Your Ground
Castle Doctrine
Make My Day

All summed up as "justifiable homicide."

“We all have contempt for whatever there’s too many of. Out here it’s sheep, but in the city it’s people.” -- The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough  


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