Seeking Revenge

I sometimes find myself thinking about revenge; about acting out after an incident instead of reacting within the confines of the law in the moment. It seems to me that it doesn’t often work out in anyone’s favor.

Over There

Pakistan is 143rd out of 144 countries in the 2017 “Global Gender Gap Report” by the World Economic Foundation.

Pakistanis sometimes practice revenge assaults known as wani. Although banned by law, “revenge rape” is accepted by the medieval mindset. Revenge rape is part of an ancient tradition of quick justice handed down by local elders and understood as preferable to the cumbersome and corrupt formal legal system.

In March, rapist Wasim Saeed apologized to the “victim’s family” — not, accounts suggest, to the victim — and then presented his sister for a “revenge rape.”

A dozen people were subsequently arrested.

Over Here

Last week CBS News reported that a 37-year-old woman in South Carolina who was the victim of a rape has been charged for a revenge attack. She apparently stalked her 56-year-old rapist, tied him to his own bed and then assaulted him with a potato peeler, stripping the skin off his genitals.

Although the woman had been raped at her home, the man was never charged because the victim refused to testify against him. She “didn’t want him to get locked up in prison where he would have a comfortable life,” she said. Prosecutors were unable to charge the man without the victim’s testimony and ultimately released him.

After her revenge attack, the woman called paramedics to treat the man. “I still ended up treating him better than he treated me,” she told officers. “He got exactly what he deserved; instead of spending a few months in jail, he ended up getting hurt just like I did, and now he’ll never be able to rape anyone again.”

Of course, the woman has been arrested and will undoubtedly go to trial.

Tools of revenge including a BIC lighter, pocket knife, vegetable peeler and a nutcracker assembled around a Smith & Wesson pistol in a black Sticky pocket holster

Revenge. Remember that your actions have consequences far beyond the immediate effects. Photo by Rick Sapp.

Dads Being Dads

Van Terry is the father of Shirellda Terry. Shirellda was one of several women who were strangled to death by Ohio serial killer Michael Madison. In court, Terry leaped over a table to attack the defendant just minutes after the judge accepted the jury’s recommendation and pronounced a death sentence.

“Right now, I guess we’re supposed to, in our hearts, forgive this clown, who has touched our families, taken my child,” Terry said in his victim impact statement. He turned to look at Madison, who sat behind the defense table, then lunged over the table at him. Courtroom deputies restrained Terry and dragged him from the courtroom. Madison seemed calm, even smug.

Terry was tossed out of court, Madison’s lawyers appealed the sentence, and Madison will spend as much as a dozen years — perhaps the rest of his life — in prison, watching television, lifting weights, playing basketball and telling sob stories to “anti-death-penalty” activists about his mean daddy and his misguided upbringing.

These stories have a common outcome — and none changes the terrible things that happened.

As much as we might wish things were different, it is not our job, as concealed carriers, to exact revenge. It is not our job to mete out justice. It is our job to keep our families safe. It is our job to stop an imminent deadly threat using only the force needed to stop that threat (no anchor shot or extra bullets for good measure).

If you seek revenge, be prepared to face the consequences.