A fable by Kevin Connors
Imagine a world not too much different from what we live in today…
Let’s say you have this neighbour who’s never grown up from his teen-age bully days. You know he beats his wife; you can hear the screaming at night and you see the bruises during the day. But she’s too terrorized by the guy to do anything about it.
But it gets worse: This guy has a bad habit of trying to move his fence over on to his neighbour’s property. You don’t live right next door, so he’s never bothered you. But once he tried to move the fence over your friend’s tomato garden. That fellow has quite a green thumb and you buy all the tomatoes you can from him at every harvest.
But further, this guys a gun-lovin’ irresponsible bastard, in fact, before you really got to know the guy, you went with him to a couple of gun shows and taught him how to reload. But he has this penchant for going out in yard every now and then and randomly blowing off a few rounds. Not a direct threat to you; you’re a few houses down the block, unless you go out on the street.
So, what do you do? Wait for his next door neighbours to act? Well, they’re kind of timid folks, deathly afraid of what he might do to retaliate. Build a high wall around your house, avoid the street, and give up on those nice fresh tomatoes? Why should you let this punk inconvenience you at all? Besides, there’s still a chance of one of those bullets going over the fence and you have it on good authority he’s shopping for hand grenades.
“Call the cops” is the obvious answer. But I forgot to mention this isn’t quite like the social system we live in; this is anarchy. Each household is truly sovereign onto themselves. Of course, being very wise in this sort of environment, you’re the baddest son-of-a-bitch on the street, an Nth degree black belt, armed to the teeth, with two ninjas for sons and a wife that can cook up bombs able to vaporize any other neighbour’s house in an instant.
Back when he pulled the tomato garden stunt, you went over and slapped him around a few times, made him move the fence back (which didn’t stop him from ripping up all the tomato plants in the process), took most of his guns away and told him to be nice to his wife. Well, he hasn’t tried to move the fence any more, but he still beats his wife, gets drunk and blows off a few rounds out in the yard.
What would you do?