"People tend to behave very badly when they believe they are safe from consequences."
I tend to avoid linking to sites like Vox Popoli, even when I read them from time to time. In this case, though, Beale has managed to write a very powerful sentence in his post called "The cost of conflict avoidance". He begins by quoting from an interesting piece on the different kinds of violence by Sarah Hoyt.
It used to be that we would settle things "man to man". If you've ever seen "Lonesome Dove", one of the great scenes is Tommy Lee Jones as Call taking a quirt to the Army scout who struck Newt. At the end, Call remarks, "I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it." Though the onlookers are shocked, no one intervenes, understanding that the conflict is private.
Sadly, it is no longer considered acceptable to put a man in his place for prevarication, impropriety, insults, or other actions. I learned way back in high school that if you are willing to fight, you usually don't have to.
It seems that things today are likely to escalate into gunfire or lawsuits. To me a lawsuit much like a child tattling to the teacher. People pay exorbitant attorney's fee to get to tell their stories to a judge seeking vindication. It's juvenile and stupid. Resorting to a firearm when fisticuffs will do quite well is the action of a frightened primitive.