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Self-defense is the act of defending oneself, one's property, or a close relative.[1]


Self-defense is both a right and a duty, according to some libertarians. Cato's Letter No. 42 states, "The law of nature does not only allow us, but oblige us, to defend ourselves."[2] The Market for Liberty states, "To initiate force against anyone is always wrong, because it compels the victim to act contrary to his own judgment. But to defend oneself against force by retaliating with counter-force is not only permissible, it is a moral imperative whenever it is feasible, or reasonably safe, to do so. If a man really values his values, he has a moral obligation to himself to defend them — not to do so would be sacrificial and, therefore, self-destructive."[3]


  1. "self-defense", Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Referenced 2013-01-01.
  2. "Cato's Letter No. 42". 
  3. Tannehill, Morris and Linda. "Man and Society". The Market for Liberty.