Chad, I'm not going to address your 2 follow-up posts here, because you are backpedaling and I don't wish to play that game of words.
As for your initial post, I was not as much riled up as mildly annoyed, as I usually get when I see yet another Aikido idealist spout out the same things over and over.
In THEORY, I agree with everything
that you say in your original post.
You know, only profoundly shocking experiences can change something in a person.
There are people with whom one just finds himself talking on a different language with. Sure, it's the same language but it's not.
I say one thing, you say another, we hear each other, and yet not unlike the left and right rails on a railroad, we never meet.
When we speak, we reference vocabularies of personal experiences and opinions.
When the other person does not have similar experiences in their vocabulary, they fail to understand what is REALLY behind the words.
For example, a man who loses a son can "understand" another man who lost a son. Other people cannot REALLY understand them and what goes on between them.
A certain behavioral change happens. Their priorities change, and people around them fail to understand them, yet they understand each other.
Americans before 9-11 would have a lot of trouble understanding Americans post 9-11.
They would laugh and point fingers and say that they're overly paranoid and that this sort of "awareness" is absolutely unnecessary because a terrorist will never be allowed to fly a plane into one of the largest country buildings.
I am trying to put something into words here, and I'm not sure that I'm getting my point across.
I don't mean to be rude, but I can't come up with a more subtle way to put it - I think that we will continue to talk in different languages until you get a black eye or two from some violent schmuck, which will bring your perceptions of self-defense dramatically closer to reality.
Believe me I do not wish this upon you, or anyone. But, in my not very humble opinion, it is an experience which is required to have a "vocabulary" which will make you appreciate what people like Jason Delucia and Richard Dimitri (of www.senshido.com