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In the foundational times of the formation of law, the government (in the person of Hammurabi), subsumed the obligation of retribution from the family of the victim in order to end blood feuds. When — as is increasingly common in the West — governments refuse to exercise this obligation, they create a void in the body of societal justice that gets filled by criminal enterprise and vigilantism, and particularly so when self-defense is treated with greater harshness than is crime.

To forgive those who trespass against us may (or perhaps may not — Kant would have disagreed) be a personal virtue, but it is certainly no virtue for a government, whose very moral right to coming into existence is predicated on the fulfillment of its obligation to protect and defend those whom it may presume to rule.

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