Some of the most heated debates we have in classes is in regard our doctrine about not getting involved on the behalf of unknown third parties. I figured I would expand upon this a little bit, and better explain our position on this.

First of all InSights, teaches people to defend themselves and the people they care about not just from physical confrontations, but also from the legal penalties involved with the of force. Not getting involved in someone else’s dispute protects the individual from all of the risk of physical injury, criminal charges, and civil damages. Beyond calling the police, this is our default position. Staying out of other people’s problems will not protect the individual from feelings of guilt because they felt that they could have done something to help, or improve the general safety and welfare of larger society.

Frequently there are a lot of unknowns in any third party situation. Can we be sure of who is the aggressor and who is the victim? Can we be sure that the “innocents” are in fact innocent? We are contemplating putting an awful lot at risk (our lives, our freedom, our financial resources and those of our families) for a situation that if we had more information we might not feel compelled to get involved in. If I am sitting in prison for a mistake that I made (with the best of intentions) on be half of a stranger then who is going to protect and take care of the people I care about?

While the default is to call the police and otherwise stay out of it, it is up to the individual to make their choices and decide how much risk they are willing to assume on the behalf of a person unknown to them. Having a wider range of capabilities (in terms of tactics, skill, and equipment) allows one to mitigate some of this risk. I would say that it would I need a pretty clear picture of events before I would consider using deadly force on behalf of someone unknown to me.