I intend to write more on this later, but I do want to take a moment to state my unequivocal commitment to the principles of nonviolent resistance as exemplified by Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. In my view, violence is a tool of the last resort for self-defense, and is never a legitimate part of political resistance.
As Dr. King stated with his customary eloquence in Nonviolence, The Only Road to Freedom:
When my home was bombed in 1955 in Montgomery, many men wanted to retaliate, to place an armed guard on my home. But the issue there was not my life, but whether Negroes would achieve first-class treatment on the city’s buses. Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors.
I must continue by faith or it is too great a burden to bear and violence, even in self-defense, creates more problems than it solves. Only a refusal to hate or kill can put an end to the chain of violence in the world and lead us toward a community where men can live together without fear. Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
Nonviolence strikes at the root of hate, which is the cause of violence and oppression. All human life has value.