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Wildalaska
June 11, 2009, 12:27 PM
Most progressive states have some form or another of Castle Doctrines, which eliminate the Legal Duty to Retreat in ones home, and frequently a place of business.

Many other jurisdictions have extended that Doctrine into Stand your ground laws applicable to areas outside the home.

There fore, the armed citizen, under these laws, has no legal duty to retreat, even if he can do so in complete safety.

But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does. Vote and discuss.

Please note: The poll question is: Retreat with COMPLETE SAFETY

WilditscloudytodayinAlaska ™

Sarge
June 11, 2009, 12:30 PM
Legal is between you and your state. Moral is between you and your God.

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 12:35 PM
Moral is between you and your God.


Those that don't believe in god still have morals.

But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does.

I think only that person can answer that, also its a borderline rhetorical question.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 12:36 PM
Complete safety is the clincher. I would suggest that it is most often not possible to be certain of complete safety during retreat.

For instance, if I have to run then how do I KNOW that I can outrun the aggressor?

Certain situations wherein I can get behind locked doors quickly might be an example of safe retreat but would be considerably more rare, I would surmise.

If a situation allows for retreat with unquestionable absolute safety then I think it would be morally repugnant to shoot someone. The shoot in that case would be entirely "because I could".


Those that don't believe in god still have morals.

True, but such morals can only be based on the law. "Personal morals" are an oxymoron. Charles Manson and Hitler had personal morals.

BlueTrain
June 11, 2009, 12:54 PM
I'm here to muddy the waters, as usual. You have oversimplified the situation. There are some of us who recognize that humans operate under more than one set of conditions, which sometimes overlap and which sometimes contradict.

You may be under a legal obligation to do or to not do something.
You may also be under a moral obligation to do or not to do something but you should do the right thing regardless of the consequences, if possible, which sometimes must be determined instantly.
And you may be honor bound to do something or not to do something, irregardless of the consequences.
And for all I know, you may be weighed down with even more obligations, written or unwritten. And I suppose a thinking and rational person could rationalize any response to any situation.

But only correctly responding to your legal obligations will keep you out of jail, assuming the facts are known by the right parties. And furthermore, police departments sometimes employ special squads or departments to enforce morals. So watch it!

5whiskey
June 11, 2009, 12:59 PM
Morals are subjective and vary from person to person. That's why this poll, to get a general feeling of the "average" moral.

Duty to retreat outside of your property at all times unless you are protecting the lives of others. I believe in castle doctrine. I would do everything I could to convince assailant to leave without resorting to deadly force. My version of a home invasion would include me holing up in the bedroom, firing warning shots in the deck before perp ever reached the bedroom, and yelling commands to leave. That's as safe for both parties as I know how to make it. If perp continues on to bedroom after all that, then he's probably after me personally and not any "stuff". If that's the case, I would rather make my stand in my house, with my tactics, my rules, and my hardware, on my turf.

Kyo
June 11, 2009, 01:01 PM
if as what you say it is complete safety meaning no other threat to me or anyone I am with for the rest of the night/day/until cops come/help comes, then yes, I would retreat.
Problem is, you can't guarantee nothin of the sort. How would I the person even know that if I retreat it is safe. Because its a public place he won't do anything? I won't take that bet.
But again to answer your very simplified question, yea I would rather get to safety instead of shooting someone. I don't really believe its possible though, especially if you already feel the need to reach for your weapon.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 01:03 PM
Morals are subjective and vary from person to person.

If morals are subjective then there are NO morals. The Holocaust was both right and wrong, the shooting at the museum yesterday was both right and wrong. Rape, murder, racism.... all would have a time and place and person for which they are morally acceptable.

Subjective morals = anarchy.

For the purposes of the OP, subjective morals make the question meaningless.

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 01:03 PM
"Personal morals" are an oxymoron.

I don't understand, when compared to what?

Charles Manson and Hitler had personal morals.

That they did, just not good ones (for obvious reasons) unless someone thinks that murder and mass genocide is good.

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 01:08 PM
If morals are subjective then there are NO morals.

Don't totally agree with that. Here is one definition I found: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong.

Morals are a personal choice and differ from person to person. Some think that vaccinating your kids is morally wrong, others think that NOT vaccinating is morally wrong. Which is why I think that they are subjective.

5whiskey
June 11, 2009, 01:14 PM
Okay, well let's really break it down...

There are Society morals and personal morals.

Society morals are what the law is based off of. IE, murder, infidelity in at fault divorce states, larceny, rape, etc. etc. What those laws amount to are basically society morals.

Personal morals go above and beyond. Most here agree that a justifiable SD shooting is okay. WA is asking "what if you know you could run away". As in guy tries to mug you with a knife while you're still in your car with the window rolled up. It's your "castle". You're not required to drive away and you could probably make the case that the guy came at you with a knife so you shot him. Does that mean you should, or should you simply drive away?

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 01:19 PM
again I just don't think that anyone can answer that question, but I'll try: in some cases he might and in other cases he might not have a moral duty to retreat.

curt.45
June 11, 2009, 01:26 PM
I love to read conflicting opinions.....


it makes my life sooooooooo simple


I'll go vote now.

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 01:28 PM
One thing I have learned in my years is that even a situation were you have the upper hand can go terribly wrong very quickly. In public I would always avoid an issue if I was armed. Especially one where I might be fored to use my gun.

Now if someone breaks into my home or business and becomes a threat that is a different matter.

Creature
June 11, 2009, 01:33 PM
I chose "Yep, at all times". But the measure of my retreat can be counted in steps...not in feet or yards.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 01:34 PM
Morals are a personal choice and differ from person to person.

Nope, BELIEFS vary from person to person.

Even the most sincerely held belief does not become correct because of the sincerity of the believer.

Let's take rape as an example. Rape is either wrong, all the time, or it is not. Johnny Rapist can BELIEVE that it is ok to rape a women but he is WRONG.

Hitler believed that exterminating the Jews was THE moral thing to do. He was wrong, always and forever, past and present.

You and I can believe two different things but we can not both be right. We can both be wrong or one of us can be wrong. We CANNOT both be right on diametrically opposed beliefs.

J.Smith
June 11, 2009, 01:36 PM
I say yes but only on the street. If you are forced to fire on the street at someone who is only threatening you but you had the chance to retreat safely then you are endangering other peoples lives when your life was safe if you had retreated. In the home or business your on your own turf and you know the consequences of action in those places. Especially in the home it is your right to stand your ground and defend what is yours. A antigun prosecutor would have a field day with an uneccesary shoot on a public street.

A_McDougal
June 11, 2009, 01:40 PM
That's a trick question. If you have complete safety, why would you even be thinking about retreating, much less bringing ethics and morals into play? If you aren't being attacked or threatened - that's pretty much my life 24/7. I don't call my daily activities retreating.

Maybe you see some an marked gunman with his armed masked man buddy outside your house with torches, but they are waiting for the end of the football game to start rioting?

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 01:47 PM
Nope, BELIEFS vary from person to person.


Morals are a person's CORE BELIEFS, and yes you're right, they do differ from person to person.

csmsss
June 11, 2009, 01:49 PM
This thread is just a strawman. There is no situation whatsoever in which one knows he/she is in complete safety. And I would argue that the moral imperative is NOT to yield to unwarranted, unprovoked aggression (though, of course, practical considerations of safety to onesself and other, innocent others might supersede this). The safety of the aggressor would never enter my thought process.

stargazer65
June 11, 2009, 01:53 PM
#4 because it's not possible for me to give one answer for every scenario.

csmsss
June 11, 2009, 01:55 PM
stargazer, I would take issue with your premise that the beginning and end of morality is found in the ten commandments.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 01:59 PM
Morals are a person's CORE BELIEFS,

We ASSIGN the word morals to our belief system.

TRUE morality is just that, true. Beliefs can be right or wrong or any weird mixture thereof. The accuracy of our beliefs is defined by core, fundamental truth. Truth is what morals are. Without truth, morals have no meaning.

Like I said, Hitler believed what he was doing. Stalin, Mao, Manson, Von Brunn, the guy that killed Dr Tiller and Dr Tiller himself. They ALL believed what they were doing was moral, based on their own beliefs. Each one of them was either right or wrong. Whether I believe it, you believe it, nobody or everybody believes it. They were either right or wrong. They were not, and could not be, BOTH right and wrong.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 11, 2009, 02:03 PM
Folks, we don't do religion here. The underlying bases of moral principles can be viewed from several perspectives. So let's drop this line for the poll.

The question is:

While it is legit to shoot the guy and you would if life was threatened, if you could vamoose and not shoot - would you take that option and does a moral principle of not harming others unnecessarily suggest you do that?

You could argue that the incident gives you free reign to clean the gene pool - as something probably will say. Or who made you judge, jury and hangman if you don't need to be?

So we don't need to know about religion (pro or con) to focus on this issue.

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 02:07 PM
Truth is what morals are.

then who assigns the truth? who judges when morals are good or bad? Answer those questions without bringing religion or god or jesus into it. There is no proof to a higher power and I don't want to hear that there is. Instead you have to answer that with we're the ones that judge good and bad morals or assigning the truth to them. Us, people, human beings that each have a DIFFERENT way.

Tucker 1371
June 11, 2009, 02:13 PM
This is one of those things that I'm still trying to sort out for myself. I really have to rack my brain to try and form an opinion that I can agree with. While I don't like the idea of watching someone get mugged or raped or watching a store get held up, I'm also not sure it's my place to intervene with deadly force. I honestly don't think I could just stand there.

I would have to at least say something.

5whiskey
June 11, 2009, 02:16 PM
This is awesome guys, because of semantics and religious differences you're going to end up getting what could be a very good thread locked. I think this is a great question that bears reasonable discussion. Not banter about what defines morals and where they come from.:rolleyes:

bababooey32
June 11, 2009, 02:17 PM
I voted "Yes, but only on the street"

I think one's first instinct should always be to escape, if possible. As you step through your alternatives (very quickly) in a scenario, that thought may quickly vanish, but I think it should always be at the top of the list. Frankly, even in your own home. If I'm standing at the back door, and someone comes in the front, why not vamoose and call LEO? Yes, legally (and even ethically) you could stay and fight in your own home, but that is dangerous and unnecessary. If the BG is there for your stuff - it's just stuff. If he IS after you, then he'll follow and you'll get your chance to "clean the gene pool".

Glenn E. Meyer
June 11, 2009, 02:19 PM
5W - speaks the truth - deal with the OP.

csmsss
June 11, 2009, 02:20 PM
I think one's first instinct should always be to escape, if possible. As you step through your alternatives (very quickly) in a scenario, that thought may quickly vanish, but I think it should always be at the top of the list. Frankly, even in your own home. If I'm standing at the back door, and someone comes in the front, why not vamoose and call LEO? Yes, legally (and even ethically) you could stay and fight in your own home, but that is dangerous and unnecessary. If the BG is there for your stuff - it's just stuff. If he IS after you, then he'll follow and you'll get your chance to "clean the gene pool".Well, it's never "just stuff" - if it was just stuff, you wouldn't keep it in your home - you'd throw it out with the trash, wouldn't you? The things you own are the product of your own labours, and have value - at least to me they do. And in your hypothetical above, how do you know there isn't a bad guy waiting just outside your back door?

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 02:25 PM
because of semantics and religious differences you're going to end up getting what could be a very good thread locked.

The op's question and the title of the thread invites all that.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 02:26 PM
Sorry, Glenn, I'll take it to PM. I do think that the source of morals is necessary to inform the discussion but I understand why the controversy detracts from the purpose of TFL.

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 02:28 PM
Morals are pretty irrelevant when you get right down to it. They vary so vastly from country to country and culture to culture. To try and pretend you or I somehow have the hard and fast moral set down pat is very naive and self centered to say the least. This question has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with pride and ego. Beyond that it is about person belief and not so called "morality."

Maromero
June 11, 2009, 02:33 PM
I would definetly divide the issue in two scenarios: home and street.

At home, once someone has forcefully entered the premises you either confront the individual or hold your ground.

On the street I avoid a confrontation at all cost and that means retreat unless the situation forces you otherwise.

stargazer65
June 11, 2009, 02:33 PM
Sorry for mentioning religion. I removed my posts. I'll go crawl back in my hole now if you're done spanking me.;)

.22lr
June 11, 2009, 02:40 PM
I will avoid conflict (particularly violent conflict) whenever feasible.

For the purpose of this discussion the ground rules are that I can escape safely (I'm assuming that family members are included in that safety). How highly do I value my life? What do I place above my life and the lives of those I love? So for all cases IN THIS DISCUSSION, I will always retreat in perfect safety, rather than escalate the situation.

Escape in safety poses no risk to my family. Confrontation and conflict poses many risks:

1) Gunfire goes somewhere, and while I am perfect and would never miss, the incompetent (Please God, let him/her be incompetent!) criminal attacking me will probably miss, and those bullets go somewhere.

2) I have no greater duty than the duty to my family. Nothing else supersedes this. Escalating a situation could bring harm to my loved ones. There is no way to accept this risk. My death or injury (very possible) will slightly impede my ability to care, provide for and protect my family.

The situation obviously changes when the ground rules of this situation give way to reality. When in my home, perfectly safe retreat becomes very problematic.

-Is there someone outside?
-Can my entire family exit the house and get to "safety"?
-How do we complete our escape?

Because of these uncertainties I would probably retreat to one room where I have the best chance of keeping my loved ones safe. Even if that means being forced to fight.

But in keeping with the ground rules of this discussion, I find myself answering that I would ALWAYS retreat. I'm somewhat surprised by this. But the ground rules constrain the situation.

VR

Matt

mikejonestkd
June 11, 2009, 02:50 PM
My #1 goal is to get home to my family, so running away screaming like a little Austrian girl from the ' Sound of Music' is definitely in my tactical training plans.

Protecting an innocent person would be the only thing that would cause me to stay in a dangerous situation.

BlueTrain
June 11, 2009, 02:53 PM
It may be a fact that morals as well as legalities vary from culture to culture and country to country but that is irrelevant because you only live in one country and one culture, at least at any given point in time. But the rub is in actually making the decision and quickly.

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 02:56 PM
you only live in one country and one culture,
This country contains multiple cultures and many different sets of "moral" beief systems. Not just divided among political or religious lines either.

spacemanspiff
June 11, 2009, 03:03 PM
Perhaps everyone discussing the OP should bear in mind that 'Retreat' in this context does not necessarily mean 'turn your tail and run screaming like a eunuch'.

Consider the scenario that sparked this thread. "Retreat" for the pharmacist could have been taking cover, while keeping the wounded suspect on the ground covered.

The question here is: Would your conscience allow you to escalate a situation that you could possibly walk away from without firing a shot?

Remember, escalating the situation, as I am posing the question, means 'using deadly force'. And 'possibly walk away from' means "the threat that you are reacting to is diminishing".

csmsss
June 11, 2009, 03:07 PM
Consider the scenario that sparked this thread. "Retreat" for the pharmacist could have been taking cover, while keeping the wounded suspect on the ground covered.I would not consider taking cover retreating. Retreating is when you leave the scene entirely and yield it to the aggressor.

PT111
June 11, 2009, 03:08 PM
There are those that deep down want someone to break into their house so they can shoot them and can hardly wiat for it. Some that have their gun so tricked out that they long for the day that they can actually use it.

However most on here do not and fear the day that they will actually be confronted with the decision of what to do. I think that morally everyone has to take into account all of the surrounding facts and make that decision of whether to retreat in about one second. Home or street doesn't matter and thankfully in most states it is recognized that few people can analyze all the factors in one second. In the end I don't think that it is any difference for most people whether it is legal or moral, just thayt they are defending themselves. If someone breaking into my home or sticking a gun into my face on the street, I am not going to be thinking is this legal or moral, I am going to be thinking "I don't want to die". Unless you are a very rare person the taking of another person's life no matter how thuggish is going to change yours forever.

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 03:10 PM
Another aspect to consider regarding retreat is "does your retreat leave others in immediate danger with no defense?"

If I see, from a safe distance down the hall, an armed man burst into a schoolroom and I can easily and safely retreat should I still do so?

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 03:14 PM
an armed man burst into a schoolroom and I can easily and safely retreat should I still do so?

I think I might since I wouldn't be armed at a school. I try and follow the rules of carrying here in Indiana.

5whiskey
June 11, 2009, 03:14 PM
Another aspect to consider regarding retreat is "does your retreat leave others in immediate danger with no defense?"

That's why I worded it this way

Duty to retreat outside of your property at all times unless you are protecting the lives of others.

In your armed man in the school scenario, I would engage the assailant.

OldMarksman
June 11, 2009, 03:17 PM
I think Matt covered it pretty well in post #38.

I might add that what one might assume to be legally justified just might not be seen quite the same way by others after the fact. Even with a stand-your ground law-there may be risk.

For me the gun is a last resort in all cases.

Let me rephrase that: firing a gun is a last resort in all cases. I have presented a weapon without firing in what might well have ended rater badly had I not been armed.

stargazer65
June 11, 2009, 03:29 PM
At this time I'd have to say if everyone can be safe by retreating (including my family, myself, all bystanders that the BG could reasonably harm) I would choose retreat. But that's an awful lot of ifs.

OuTcAsT
June 11, 2009, 03:29 PM
Vote and discuss.


Dance monkeys, DANCE !!!

I will not vote, nor offer an opinion as the poll questions are too broad.

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 03:30 PM
I will not vote, nor offer an opinion as the poll questions are too broad.
I hate to break it to you, but you just did. :)

Wildalaska
June 11, 2009, 03:32 PM
Morals are pretty irrelevant when you get right down to it. They vary so vastly from country to country and culture to culture.

Cant think of one culture or belief system that condones killing except under limited circumstances

WildtheuniversalruleAlaska ™

Playboypenguin
June 11, 2009, 03:35 PM
Cant think of one culture or belief system that condones killing except under limited circumstances
You need to get out more. Some cultures do not have quite as high a regard for human life. In fact some even place the lives of lesser animals above individual human life. Some cultures allowing killing for simple disobedience of a husband or parent. :)

stargazer65
June 11, 2009, 03:40 PM
Actually, I think there are quite a few cultures where killing for revenge, etc... are perfectly acceptable and condoned. I think PBP is right in this case. So they would answer the question differently than I would.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 11, 2009, 03:47 PM
Cultures had sanctioned human sacrifice and practiced warfare to capture folks for later human sacrifice.

The killing of infants, for example - daughters, is not unknown.

In a sense, those are limited but clearly some societies killing for reasons other than self-defense are accepted.

MLeake
June 11, 2009, 03:58 PM
If an armed BG wants to put me in a position where I feel the need to defend myself, I don't feel any moral obligation to shield him from his own actions. None at all.

That said, I would feel a moral obligation to protect innocent bystanders, assuming there were any. This could include people who were with me, and anybody else in the vicinity. Situationally, that protection could range from proper sight alignment and trigger control to de-escalation by any reasonable means. Any number of variables would impact this calculus, including but not limited to apparent intent of the BG, number and positions of BGs, number and positions of bystanders, etc.

Additionally, assuming force were required, I would feel a moral obligation to use no more force than necessary to resolve the situation. IE once threat is stopped, no more shots taken, punches or kicks thrown, etc. Engage to stop the threat, quickly and efficiently as possible, but no further than stopping the threat.

But morally, I'd feel no obligation to put the protection of the BG, per se, anywhere near the level of conscious thought.

Legal obligations may vary. After avoiding the graveyard or ER, and preventing harm to innocents, avoiding prison time runs a close third - or maybe second, as the first two are kind of tied for first place.

That's all well and good for Legal and Moral. However, a third and no less important consideration is Practical/Tactical.

If a safe avenue of escape is available, then it doesn't make sense to engage. I'd define "safe" as safe not only for me, but for anybody I might care about in the vicinity. IE, if I drive away, or if I go around the building, do I just leave a bunch of people in harm's way? So, if I can in good conscience resolve the problem by exiting, that's the way to go. I'm a good shot, and I'm not bad with my hands, or knives or clubs for that matter, but a wounded attacker can still inflict damage; an armed and wounded attacker can potentially still inflict fatal damage. Engaging just for the sake of not backing down opens up a very big can of risk. So, from a Practical/Tactical or self-preservation perspective, I'd avoid the problem if a morally acceptable retreat were available.

Note that while retreating, I'd keep whatever weapon I had in hand, as surreptitiously as possible; I'd also want to maximize use of cover and concealment. As soon as relative safety were reached, it would then be time for a 911 call.

#18indycolts
June 11, 2009, 04:10 PM
Cant think of one culture or belief system that condones killing except under limited circumstances


just look at the countries without humanaterian laws like China and its 1 child system, or dissent against the government and be killed or placed in prison for life.

Wildalaska
June 11, 2009, 04:13 PM
You need to get out more. Some cultures do not have quite as high a regard for human life. In fact some even place the lives of lesser animals above individual human life. Some cultures allowing killing for simple disobedience of a husband or parent.

Cultures had sanctioned human sacrifice and practiced warfare to capture folks for later human sacrifice.

I misspoke...it should have read "modern" culture:p

Dance monkeys, DANCE !!!

Seems to me its a valid discussion:cool:

WildandonethatweshouldhaveAlaska ™

Wildalaska
June 11, 2009, 04:16 PM
I guess the poll could also read...

Is it OK to shoot an aggressor when you don't need to do so for the protection of yourself and others?

Now are my choices clearer (PBP:p)


WildinotherwordsisstandyourgroundOKAlaska ™

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 04:16 PM
I would posit that if what the proponents of "morality by majority rule" suggest is true then there is no distinction between "legal" and "moral". They are, by definition, one and the same. "Legal" would be the "moral" dictate of the majority.

ninjatoth
June 11, 2009, 04:36 PM
for me knowing that I am about to die,or my family,is the only thing that allows me to pull the trigger.Some chump breaks in my house to steal my tv,i'd rather let him go if he isnt armed than shoot him.

rantingredneck
June 11, 2009, 04:38 PM
Given that morals are basically internalizations and formalizations of mores, the basic societal expectations or social contract, they cannot be truly individualized. They definitely share a broader context whether the foundations be cultural, religious/spiritual, or "other" in nature.

I think the true test here of whether something is "moral" or not (in this case the legally justified but morally questionable killing of an assailant) is whether you would freely and proudly admit to it in your town square, without reservation. If you have reservations about doing so, it probably isn't moral. If you feel you can proudly say, "No I didn't have to kill him to protect myself, but since I wasn't legally obligated to retreat out my back door, I was legally justified in doing so, I figure 'What the heck?'", then go right ahead......:D. Be prepared for outrage.........

Since the killing of others is frowned upon when it can be avoided, then I would say we definitely have a moral as well as legal duty to retreat if retreat can be accomplished safely. The duty ends when "safely" ends.

rantingredneck
June 11, 2009, 04:39 PM
"Legal" would be the "moral" dictate of the majority.

Not necessarily. It is possible that something could be immoral but still legal for now......

I will agree that what is immoral tends to find it's way to illegal eventually.

spacemanspiff
June 11, 2009, 04:43 PM
If someone breaking into my home or sticking a gun into my face on the street, I am not going to be thinking is this legal or moral, I am going to be thinking "I don't want to die". Unless you are a very rare person the taking of another person's life no matter how thuggish is going to change yours forever.
In that particular moment, the only thing you should expect is for your mind to react how you have set your mind.
This is what we are doing now, discussing our mindsets.

Erslands mindset may have been 'Shoot to Kill! Shoot to slidelock, reload, then shoot again!', and if thats how he set his mind, then that would be how we should expect his mind to respond.
(Note I am saying 'expect', not saying its 100% beyond a doubt how the mind will react).

Think of it this way: How do you want everyone to comment on your mindset, in the aftermath of a defensive shooting? Do you want your friends, peers, family, to say "He/She is a kindhearted person, never wanted to do harm to anyone, but if anyone put their life at risk or that of their children, they would do whatever it took to ensure their safety"?

Or are those friends and family going to say "Gee I dunno, every time I visited them at home they greeted me at the door with a pistol in hand, and if I ever walked in the front door without them I heard the clicking of hammers being cocked, the sign at the door said "We don't call 911". Every time I sat on the couch I'd find I was sitting on a loaded magazine or gun (funny they never called it a couch, they called it a 'Tactical reload/rearming location 1')."

Retreating is when you leave the scene entirely and yield it to the aggressor
Only if you are Denethor and you are irritated that Faramir gave up Osgilliath.

Brian Pfleuger
June 11, 2009, 04:45 PM
It is possible that something could be immoral but still legal for now......

Well yes, but that's in the real world. I was speaking of the world wherein morality is invented (present day America). If morality is defined as so many would have it be, by the will of the majority or better stated by those with power, then "legal" IS "moral".

Therefore, in answer to the OP. If it is legal then it is moral. If it is illegal, immoral.... but tomorrow that may change.

Wildalaska
June 11, 2009, 04:57 PM
Only if you are Denethor and you are irritated that Faramir gave up Osgilliath.

"May God bless you my dear John Ronald and may you say things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them if such be my lot.
Yours ever,
G. B. S. "

The last words of G.B. Smith in a letter to J.R. R. Tolkien. Geoffry Smith was killed at the Somme.

WildminorthreaddriftAlaska ™

raftman
June 11, 2009, 05:21 PM
If it were perfectly safe for myself and anyone I care about to retreat, then I think retreating is definitely the thing to do. If there were no safe way to retreat, then there's not really a choice but to fight.

Vanya
June 11, 2009, 05:29 PM
Wild, thanks for starting this poll and discussion. For some of us, the issue of when it's OK to take a human life is, or should be, the central question of ethics. 'Bout time we talked about it a bit, without all the posturing which seems to be brought out by particular cases.

rantingredneck nailed it:
Since the killing of others is frowned upon when it can be avoided, then I would say we definitely have a moral as well as legal duty to retreat if retreat can be accomplished safely. The duty ends when "safely" ends.

If I'm in danger from an attacker, I'll always retreat if I can do so safely. If others are in danger, I'll do the same... with the intention of calling 911, being a good witness, and all that good stuff, if, again, I can do so safely. As has been pointed out ad nauseum in other threads, it's too easy to make a mistake about what's happening in a situation involving other people, and the consequences of being wrong can be huge; so I'm very unlikely to intervene.

Two points haven't been much addressed here: what constitutes retreating, and the difference between protecting life and protecting stuff.

As to the first, "retreating" seems pretty situational to me. If I'm at home and someone breaks in, it means I'm either out the other door, or I'm headed upstairs to the bedroom, exactly as 5whiskey described:
My version of a home invasion would include me holing up in the bedroom, firing warning shots in the deck before perp ever reached the bedroom, and yelling commands to leave. That's as safe for both parties as I know how to make it. If perp continues on to bedroom after all that, then he's probably after me personally and not any "stuff".
Well, actually, I'd call 911 right quick, and I'd pass on the warning shots, but otherwise -- yup, that's me, too. So in this case, "retreat" means to me not to confront an intruder, but to retreat to and hole up in a defensible spot, on the principle that he can take whatever's downstairs, but if he comes upstairs, knowing I'm there, and armed, he is after me and I will defend myself.

Anywhere else, my first choice is always going to be to get out the back door, or drive away -- whatever gets me out of the situation. I'll be glad to throw a mugger my wallet, if that's what it takes to get away from him.

I don't ever want to take a life over money or possessions -- I'll defend my person if I have to, but for me, anyone's life, even a criminal's, has more value than material objects.

If I'm pursued, I'll do whatever I can to discourage a pursuer: go somewhere where there are other people if possible, etc. Back when I was in college, I was driving back from a camping trip on an empty highway when six guys in an old car tried force me to stop -- which seemed like a really bad idea. :mad: My "retreating" in that situation took the form of flooring it, passing them (my old Chevy was a lot quicker than it looked), getting chased by them -- and after a mile or two, snugging up to the bumper of the first car I caught up to, at which point the six guys drove off, with lots of obscene gestures, etc... If I'd had a gun in the car, I might've shown it to them, but I'm not sure that would have improved the outcome. Getting the hell away and finding some witnesses seemed like the best option then, and it still seems like the right thing to have done.

So here's a question : Does "retreating" mean that you do whatever you'd do if you were unarmed, only knowing that you have a backup if push comes to shove? Or does it mean something different if you're armed: backing off and giving an attacker a chance not to come after you but intending to shoot if he does? In the case of a home invasion, I guess I'd say it means the latter, but out in the world, I'm not so sure.

rantingredneck
June 11, 2009, 05:38 PM
Well yes, but that's in the real world. I was speaking of the world wherein morality is invented (present day America).

I posit that the two are one and the same. Morality is an invented construct.

The thing is, it is not static. It evolves as society evolves.

Example...........hopefully I don't stray too far afield here into verboten territory, if I do, my apologies and mods feel free to yank the leash.....

50 years ago would a gay man stand in his town square and admit to being gay? Today would a homophobe stand in his town square and admit to being a homophobe? (possibly in some locales, but not in most I would say)

Societal evolution and the evolution of morality.

As to "those in power". That is also not static. At least in functional societies.

Deaf Smith
June 11, 2009, 06:24 PM
How about leave it up to the one being attacked as to if they want to retreat or not.

That was not in the poll selection but I feel if you are attacked, it's your decision. As long as you didn't provoke the attack, you are in the right, retreat or no.

5whiskey
June 11, 2009, 06:32 PM
Well ultimately it is up to them. We're just doing a poll to discuss the matter. You never know. You can learn stuff, even from the internet, on occasion. If that weren't the case we probably wouldn't even have this board.

davlandrum
June 11, 2009, 07:01 PM
Obviously the answer to this is very personal.

We recently had "active shooter" training on the campus where I work. It was all focused on retreat and hide. And yes, we are a "non-carry" campus.

Maybe I was in the Army too long, but I would have to run to the gunfire and try to get it stopped. I am better prepared to do that than most of the people I work with, and unfortunately even our campus security are not armed.

So, no, I am not retreating.

hogdogs
June 11, 2009, 07:33 PM
WA, While not a true "modern culture", the radical muslims are some persistant buggers. And with sharia law a father or husband may get to kill a daughter or wife for many reasons not related to self defense.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia
Brent

guntotin_fool
June 11, 2009, 09:47 PM
There is no right and wrong. too many grey areas, too many areas where every little detail from time of day, likely hood of someone else stepping up, etc all play a part.



you see an obvious little girl being dragged behind some cars while guys are Obviously preparing to rape her. NO grey area here, you can hear them, you can see her terror in her eyes, they want nothing to do with you, do YOU walk away?


Two wannabe gansta's walking by. just slug an elderly woman in the head and start trying to rip her purse from her hands all the while screaming "don't make me kill you". Do YOU walk away.


walking past a house, you hear two obviously drunk adults screaming at each other over "her," lots of "i'm gonna kill ya" being tossed back and forth. Do you enter the fray?

so when do you walk, when do you drop the dime, when do you say enough is effing enough?

Tucker 1371
June 11, 2009, 10:05 PM
For me, I think you have no duty to retreat within the home. However, there are instances inside the home where you are in a position that under the law you are justified in shooting but you should not (i.e. you stumble across joe thug in your living room with hands full of TV in no position to hurt you or defend himself).

On the street it is a much tougher call. Some will say never intervene no matter what. Others will say it's your moral duty to help your fellow law abiding citizen. I tend to live in the grey area. Rape is a crime I abhor and one that is often followed by murder. If I stumbled across that occurring my stages of response would be this:
1) Yell at the guy (what's going on?, get the **** away from her, etc)
2) 1 fails and I draw CCW
3) 2 fails to get BG's attention and he either becomes violent toward me or moreso the victim, I fire ONLY if I have a PERFECTLY clear shot

Joe Thug knocking over the 7/11 is a different story. There is no way I am using a gun to intervene in that situation unless the BG is already shooting. Even then I may not unless he is blocking my exit from the store.

Dwight55
June 11, 2009, 10:18 PM
Given the OP's position as I understand it: situation is one where deadly force "could" be used, . . . but I have the option to leave safely.

If there were no other considerations, . . . when you get to my page in your coloring book, . . . color me gone. I'm outta here. No way am I going to get my total future involved with a shooting I could have safely ignored.

Anyway, . . . that's how I see it, . . . given the parameters of the OP.

May God bless,
Dwight

jjyergler
June 12, 2009, 12:18 AM
Some may think me bloodthirsty, but I don't believe response to an agressor is ever unjustified. If bad things occur because I respond to a BG's actions, the moral stain is on his cloth, not mine.

Vanya wrote:
I don't ever want to take a life over money or possessions -- I'll defend my person if I have to, but for me, anyone's life, even a criminal's, has more value than material objects.

I wouldn't kill over posessions either, but someone violating the sanctity of my home is placing himself in a situation where death is a possibility. If I shoot an invader, it isn't my fault. I did not put him in the perilous situation.

If a bank robber is being chased by police, and a bystander is killed, the bank robber is charged with murder, no matter who struck the bystander. The robber's actions set up the chain of events by which the innocent was killed. If I precipitate an action and someone dies, it's on me. My response to someone's agression, as long as it is appropriate and in context, not beating a downed man for example, leaves me in the moral clear.

jjyergler
June 12, 2009, 12:33 AM
I think some here are debating past each other. There are two types of morality: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism.

Absolutism means that morals do not evolve. In this case a society or individual is judged based upon adherence to this absolute right and wrong standard. What is right is right, and can not change. For this to exist, something outside and above human society must set the rules. This requires a deity, or other outside force.

Relativism means that morality can and does change based upon the societal and temporal context. The problem with relativism are the questions "who makes the rules" and "who judges." Relativism leads to the abandonment of all absolute morality based upon the situation. No absolute can properly ajudicate all situations from a relativists point of view.

Example...........hopefully I don't stray too far afield here into verboten territory, if I do, my apologies and mods feel free to yank the leash.....

50 years ago would a gay man stand in his town square and admit to being gay? Today would a homophobe stand in his town square and admit to being a homophobe? (possibly in some locales, but not in most I would say)

Societal evolution and the evolution of morality.

In a relativist world, both answers might be no, or they might be yes. The important thing is you really can't say, because the answer changes. In an absolutist world, things are more certain. Both questions have a correct answer that never changes, the important thing is against what scale are you judging?

kristop64089
June 12, 2009, 07:01 AM
I voted retreat, as long as it was safe to do so.
I have no desire to be in a fire fight. I also have no desire to let some thug cause harm to me or mine. I will decide what is safe to me, no one else.
Legaly, it would be my word against evidence in the courts. Morally, I'd have to decide everynight, for the rest of my life if Had made the right decision. I have a very strong moral code, and if I saw that there was no safe retreat, then I would not hesitate, to commit to the situation at hand.

Everyone has there idea of what they will do when the time comes, I can tell ya', that all the "what if's" never play out like ya think, when the fuel is put on the fire.

In my case I chose to stand my ground, which backfired, because so did the BG. He must have had more to lose than I though. I hesitated(I was young), and good thing, because the BG, lowered his gun and ran away. If I had to do it all over, I believe I wouldn't have tried to make it back to my vehicle(where gun was), I would have just turned around and went back to the mall. Legally, I don't think I would have had a leg to dtand on, being there were other options at hand. Morally, I THOUGHT, I had made the right decision.


Anytime you an individual takes an offensive stance, you must be prepared to act. I wasn't(as I think many aren't) Different BG, or time of day, and I'd be a statistic, I didn't act!

rampage841512
June 12, 2009, 07:35 AM
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanentely if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.

ECHOONE
June 12, 2009, 07:53 AM
This is a very Gray area and is going to depend on circumstances in home,car or business it's a definete NO RETREAT! On the street however we have to remember a CCW does not make us a cop, A CCW puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on our shoulders,to get involved in a shooting we have to weigh our decision of what is going to qualify as a justified shooting in what could be split seconds and that choice better be a good one or that bad guy could be laughing as our butt sits in jail and our loved ones loose everything due to the court cost's that ruin us! It would be the smartest thing in the world for all of us to try to remember to put some form of retreat format in our training so we automatically fall back on it's use if a sit rep every befalls us, it would only beneifit us in the long run to be able to show/document we tried to,retreat/break off/get away, but the bad guy kept the pursuit up, so we had no choice but to save our lives! a trail of your spent cartridges going backwards would certainly imply your intent to retreat even if it were just a few! That would go a long way in a court of law,little things count.Now don't take this out of context if a bg guy jumps out with a knife at your throat thrashing,this is a Immediate threat,like I said it all depends on the sit rep and as CCW holders we have tremendous responsibilities that we must make ourselves prepared for,most we don"t even think about,but should adapt for in our training

bababooey32
June 12, 2009, 09:35 AM
Well, it's never "just stuff" - if it was just stuff, you wouldn't keep it in your home - you'd throw it out with the trash, wouldn't you? The things you own are the product of your own labours, and have value - at least to me they do. And in your hypothetical above, how do you know there isn't a bad guy waiting just outside your back door?

Compared to me and my family's lives, yes it is just STUFF. Entering into a gun battle over said stuff, in my opinion, is not worth it if I have an easy escape with my life. As anyone who has been in a gunfight can tell you, the outcome is VERY uncertain. I'm not willing to risk my life over STUFF, if there is an escape route (even valuable and sentimental STUFF).

While you are correct that it is unknowable whether there is a BG waiting out the back door, it is equally unknowable if 3 or 4 bgs are coming in the front door, all with automatic weapons (see this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw-0nfVC2Rk))...In any uncertain situation one has to make a split-second decision that takes him down the path of least resistance. Ultimately that decision may have to be reconsidered. If you find a BG out your back door, then you get your opportunity to protect your STUFF!

.22lr
June 12, 2009, 10:03 AM
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanently if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.

Please elaborate, as this sounds similar to the idea that the "hero" is "Judge, Jury and Executioner".

The scenario is that you could escape without danger. The above quote seems to indicate that you would insert yourself into a situation so you COULD end the life of someone you deemed a criminal. This smacks of vigilantism.

Would you knowingly place yourself in danger so as to:
stop a criminal permanently if given an opportunity

VR

Matt

Brian Pfleuger
June 12, 2009, 10:12 AM
I think some here are debating past each other. There are two types of morality: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism.

That is indeed the case. As such, there are only 3 possible answers.

1) If moral relativism is true the there is no correct answer. Whatever the individual involved believes to be right, is right. In fact, it is not even wrong for the person committing the "crime" since, according to that persons morality, it is perfectly moral to be doing so. Society would in fact be wrong to even call it a crime, since that would be imposing completely arbitrary morality.

2) If moral absolutes are true then it either absolutely is mandated to retreat when possible or it is not mandated to retreat when possible. There would be no middle ground. There could be opinions, but one opinion would be right and the other wrong, regardless of who or how many believe the right thing or do not.

Playboypenguin
June 12, 2009, 10:19 AM
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanently if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.
Please elaborate, as this sounds similar to the idea that the "hero" is "Judge, Jury and Executioner".
Yes, it does sound that way...and by the reasoning of the first statement it would then be okay to "permanently stop" the person who appointed himself executioner since he is then by very definition a criminal himself.

jjyergler
June 12, 2009, 12:15 PM
Our job is to determine if we live to standards of absolutes or in a relativist world. I believe it is an absolutist world. In this absolutist world, killing is ALWAYS wrong. The moral question is who is responsible for killing. If it is unjstified, it is murder. If it is justified, the murder is the instigator.

As an example, if I am speeding or driving drunk and cause an accident, a death is my responsibility.

If I am sleeping in my home, someone breaks in, and I shoot to protect myself and my family, the burglar is responsible. I have no moral culpability because I did not precipitate the action.

Similarly, if I am somewhere where I am allowed to be, and a BG commits an act of violence, I am not responsible, MORALLY, for the results of HIS act. Legally is another matter.

To paraphrase, the Good Lord may forgive, but the State of Mississippi is another matter. I have a MORAL duty to understand the LEGAL ramifications of my actions. If I go to jail and leave my family in the lurch because I did not understand the legal ramifications of my actions, there is some moral consequenses between God and me.

jjyergler
June 12, 2009, 12:18 PM
As such, there are only 3 possible answers.

What's the third answer? :confused:
Are you leaving that up to us? Are you a relativist? ;)

rampage841512
June 12, 2009, 12:56 PM
Let's restate it for the simple: when in a situation where one can legally kill a criminal, one should.

Edit: to further elaborate, the OP ask should one retreat if it is an option when deadly force justified. One should not. Is this vigilantism? Hardly, when the law allows such action to be taken.

Playboypenguin
June 12, 2009, 01:00 PM
PS: Just because I voted for the third option does not mean that I do not want to see the lard wrestling photos. :D

Tucker 1371
June 12, 2009, 01:09 PM
PS: Just because I voted for the third option does not mean that I do not want to see the lard wrestling photos.


+1 :D

There's a line between funny and disturbing and you flirt with it quite a bit WA (still funnny in this case though :D)

Donn_N
June 12, 2009, 01:27 PM
Given the option, I would always retreat. Morals have nothing to do with it. It just makes sense. It is not my job to stop crime. It is only my job to protect myself. By protecting myself, I protect my family.

As long as retreating will not endanger my family (i.e., leave them facing the danger on their own), why wouldn't I retreat? If I engage with the BG, there is always the chance something is going to go wrong. Just because I'm the good guy doesn't mean I can't come out on the losing end.

As far as protecting bystanders or stopping a crime in progress? Not my job. My job is to be there for my family. While I might feel like risking my life to stop a crime, do I have the right to deprive my family of a father and husband to protect a stranger? I don't think so.

I carry a gun for one reason - to protect myself and my family. I'm not a cop. I'm not a vigilante.

Avoid fights and you avoid the risk of losing.

Don P
June 12, 2009, 01:33 PM
I'm up for seeing the pics of the rasslin in lard in the kiddie pool:eek:

Brian Pfleuger
June 12, 2009, 01:39 PM
What's the third answer?

Yeah, sorry, that was badly formulated, 2 and 3 are together.

1)No right or wrong.

2)Retreat is morally required.

3)Retreat is NOT morally required.

Those are the options, in the simplest terms. There are no other possibilities.

stargazer65
June 12, 2009, 01:55 PM
Donn_N poses a question which I find to be a difficult dilemna for myself:

As far as protecting bystanders or stopping a crime in progress? Not my job. My job is to be there for my family. While I might feel like risking my life to stop a crime, do I have the right to deprive my family of a father and husband to protect a stranger? I don't think so.

Morally I feel I have to protect a life even a bystander, but at what risk? I'm not sure...

When I was in the military I realized that it was my duty to put myself in possible risk. Now I find this situation in civilian life is maybe not so clear cut.

Vanya
June 12, 2009, 02:41 PM
Morally I feel I have to protect a life even a bystander, but at what risk? I'm not sure...

It might be worth comparing this type of situation with those encountered by EMT's and other first responders. As has been pointed out in some other threads, and has been stressed in first responder (wilderness medicine) classes I've taken, your first duty is to assess the scene and determine if it's safe for you to render aid. It doesn't matter if someone is bleeding out, not breathing, etc., etc. -- before rendering aid, your first responsibility in an emergency is not to become another victim.

As a matter of both ethics and common sense, I see no reason why this principle wouldn't apply to a situation involving the defense of bystanders, as well. A person might choose to intervene even if it were not safe to do so, especially in the case of a threat to family or friends, but that choice would be based on emotion, not on principle.

jjyergler
June 12, 2009, 02:45 PM
+1

The question of your duty to protect others is where personal choice and opinion affect morality. I believe that I do have a moral duty to help and protect others, even when at risk to my personal safety. This duty is stronger when relating to women or children in danger (warning: Old fashioned values statement) as I am more able to shoulder such risks.

However, I don't believe that an answer different from mine is less "manly" or correct. I don't have kids, I'm not married. My responsibilities are much less than a father. I don't have anyone dependent on me. Where I believe I should take a risk to help others, my situation dictates that. I wouldn't second guess someone who answers differently.

I'm up for seeing the pics of the rasslin in lard in the kiddie pool
Don, this is definitely something to keep between you and your higher power!:eek:

Tucker 1371
June 12, 2009, 02:52 PM
At this point in my life I have no dependents, no wife, no kids. For the time being I feel that if someone's life (not property) is in danger and I am in a position to protect them without further endangering them or others (myself not included) then I should take it.

That might change when my responsibilities expand a little but for now this is how I feel.

BillCA
June 12, 2009, 05:16 PM
Nope - no moral duty.

Assumptions:
I am the target of the attack, not someone else.
My attacker has means, motive, opportunity.
My attacker is using those means and the opportunity.
My life is in imminent danger because he is close enough to hurt me, not approaching from 50 yards.
I am not within leaping or jumping distance of a door, cover or instant safety.
I am armed and do not need to "go find" a weapon.


However, there are special circumstances where I would retreat or not immediately try to neutralize the threat. For instance, if the attacker is;
A young child (i.e. pre-adolsecent)
In an emotional crisis and shooting wildly with little effect.
In front of a day-care center.
In or near a milling crowd of uninvolved people.
Nearby to something dangerous or irreplaceable (fuel, storage, priceless artwork like the Mona Lisa).

With the above list, I think there is a moral duty to make your retreat and/or try something else first.

luvsasmith
June 12, 2009, 05:29 PM
If someone is attempting to harm you or your family or if you have a fear that you can articulate to another person that your life or another's is in danger, the person endangering your life or another's has taken away your right to choose to harm (or kill) them or not.

Nnobby45
June 12, 2009, 05:37 PM
But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does. Vote and discuss.


There's no question that we all have a duty to retreat in the eyes of those who would make moral judgements about every type of conduct. Their views are even reflected in laws when they control legislatures.

I'm not sure I'd abandon my home or property in the name of some one elses' moral/ethical judgement.

Is the life of a criminal worth more than than my personal possesions I'd worked hard to purchase? Maybe, but is that life worth more than my liberties that have been paid for with the blood of Americans?

That's not to diminish the sound wisdom of a tactical and de-escalating retreat.

I'll be requred to make my own judgements when and if the time comes. And that, of course, takes into strong consideration whether deadly force would be authorized under the law.:cool:



Hope this isn't going to be a "pass judgement on others" thread.

stargazer65
June 12, 2009, 06:38 PM
Well, the only judgment I'll pass on anybody is who looks better in spandex, WA or spiff.:p

EnoughGUN
June 12, 2009, 07:24 PM
Even if you are armed and have the immediate ability to stop dead someone threatening our life WHY if you have the ability to say slam a steel door infront of you shut wouldn't you?

m&p45acp10+1
June 12, 2009, 07:51 PM
I was raised with the moral of don't look for trouble, and don't wait around for it either.
I stick to that. If my weapon has come out and is firing it is because I had no other option.
If it were a situation of a traffic collision and someone was coming towards my car with a weapon if my vehicle will still drive I am gonna step on the gas and get out of there as quickly as I can. If not then I defend myself.
If onthe street and I see a group of gang bangers down the block I siply cross the street to the other side. (quote from my grampa " It takes a bigger man to walk away. It takes a wiser man to never have walked into it in the first place.")

PT111
June 12, 2009, 08:56 PM
Even if you are armed and have the immediate ability to stop dead someone threatening our life WHY if you have the ability to say slam a steel door infront of you shut wouldn't you?

It may be your only chance ever to use your tactical 870 magnum with powerbeam light, laser sight, extended chamber tube and stock mounted shell carrier legally in an actual defensive situation. :cool: Do you really want to pass up that once in a lifetime chance? :rolleyes:

Thermodyne
June 12, 2009, 09:06 PM
In MD we have a flight law. And no constitutional right to own or use a fire arm. They even go so far as to call a misdemeanor a felony when considering a firearms purchase. It is my under standing that based on the ruling against DC that a case is being prepared to sue the state for violating peoples federal constitutional rights. As far as amending the constitution, senate leaders just desk drawer veto the bills not even letting them be heard.

Nnobby45
June 12, 2009, 11:07 PM
Even if you are armed and have the immediate ability to stop dead someone threatening our life WHY if you have the ability to say slam a steel door infront of you shut wouldn't you?


Speaking for myself, who said I wouldn't? Who else said they wouldn't, for that matter?

Donn_N
June 13, 2009, 12:25 AM
Who else said they wouldn't, for that matter?

The nearly 38% who responded that they wouldn't ever retreat.

freakshow10mm
June 13, 2009, 12:38 AM
If someone is trying to kill me, I will kill them. Once they try to harm me they lose their right not to get shot. Only cowards retreat.

raimius
June 13, 2009, 03:28 AM
If one has "complete safety," I think they should retreat. (That also includes the "complete safety" of all other innocent parties.)

I can't really think of many situations where that would happen.

AZAK
June 13, 2009, 04:56 AM
The OPs/WAs original question is far too broad and ambiguous for a simple yes or no answer, in my opinion; however, the topic is germane.

And concerning "morality/legality":
"We are bound, you, I, and every one to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience." Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse 1803

DeltaB
June 13, 2009, 07:30 AM
Without creating a debate over REX LEX vs. LEX REX, it the King law, or is the Law king, we live in a country (those in the USA) that is defined by the rule of law. In the Castle Doctrine, your home is your "Castle" and you, "King" of it. It's the premise, from British common law, that we get out rights to defend ourselves in our own homes, and those states which have the "stand your ground" clause, it extends to your vehicle and your place of business. It is when you abuse your rights as King, as defined by law, that we find so many times this matter becoming an issue. The moral duty to obey a given law is the duty to do as the law states by reason that it is the law. If the state in which you reside dictates that you have to retreat, then it would be immoral, as far as the law is concerned, not to.

The law in the state which your "castle" resides dictates what is the legal duty of your "kingship" in regards to using force on another human being. Some states have opted to give private citizens the right to choose to decide whether to retreat legally. But here is the quagmire, when do you cross the line, whether legal or not, when do you start playing "God" in relationship to being the one who chooses who lives or dies under your power as "King." At that point, you have set up your own system of ethics and morality, ergo..REX LEX, you define what is law. If your ethics doesn't follow the laws of your state, then you can find yourself under the penalty of the law of the state. In the USA, it is the courts who decides legally who lives or dies.

Criminals often show us that they have no regard for the law, or human life. But as a civil society, we cannot choose that path. And vigilantism is no better, it is anarchy in a system that is defined by laws. When we loose our ethical compass when it comes to "life", then we can find ourselves in the same place.

In the end, it isn't so much about the moral duty to retreat, but how much do you value life. Both yours and others. If it does come down to a choice of whether I or the aggressor lives, I'm sorry, I win. If there is in my power, the ability to allow both of us to escape death, I would take that route. (rant over, stepping off soapbox)

Sigma 40 Blaster
June 13, 2009, 07:50 AM
The nearly 38% who responded that they wouldn't ever retreat.

There have been a lot of points made for both sides, so I'll attempt to add something new. The above quote makes an inference that is not true, I voted that I NEVER have the moral obligation to retreat. What it did not say is that I would never consider the option and make a decision that might lead to retreat.

In a SD situation my only moral obligation is to take care of myself, my family, and to avoid injury to any innocent third parties. I am not obligated to retreat from a situation where I could do so safely IF someone/some people are acting in a manner in which deadly force is justified.

In Texas basically a violent crime directed towards an "innocent party" (or limited property theft) is the only justification for deadly force. If someone has done something to fit under that umbrella of pretty specific crimes I hope to be able to assess the entire situation and make a decision that is the most likely to get me and mine home safely without my actions causing any innocents harm. One possible action would be to hole up, take cover, and protect me/mine only without any aggression towards the actor in question...but again, I have NO MORAL obligation to do that.

MLeake
June 13, 2009, 09:22 AM
I am also one of the people who chose "No, never." I really don't feel it should be my moral responsibility to protect an attacker. The BG chose to create the situation, and bears full responsibility for what happens to him from that point.

WA didn't create a category of "There should be no legal nor moral responsibility to retreat, but I would if I could do so safely and ethically."

More to the point, in the few occasions where I have had force used against me in my adult years, belligerents have walked away unharmed; in most cases talked down, in another case choked out but otherwise unharmed, in another case punched once and convinced to desist, and in yet another case double arm-barred and held for the police. In the funniest one, I just made the guy miss with a couple of haymakers by the simple expedients of sidestepping and ducking under - the guy decided at that point that he'd mistaken me for somebody else, and left without me having to lay a hand on him.

Point being, I've never voluntarily inflicted more than the absolute minimum of damage.

Now, before you think I go looking for trouble... one of those guys assaulted a woman in broad daylight in downtown Orlando. (Note: any number of business suited attorneys just walked by; this was just outside the Federal courthouse building on Hughey - I was headed there to meet the regional Navy officer recruiter; it amazed me how many people just kept going, not saying a word, and apparently not calling the cops because they never showed up)

Another attacked me when he showed up after the fact, when his girlfriend and I had a fender bender, before the police showed up (she was cited for pulling out of a parking lot onto a highway directly into traffic, go figure).

Another was a 250lb former football player who had a beef with a 130lb, asthmatic friend of mine and chose to attack him in front of me.

Yet another was just some drunk who started a brawl outside a Hooter's as I was leaving; I think he really did mistake me for the guy he was fighting - that's the one I intimidated just by avoiding his punches.

Recurring themes to those guys, though: immature, not too bright, drunk on one or two cases, but most of all not armed. The presence of a weapon would have drastically changed scenarios, and upped the odds of either or both of us receiving severe injuries. However, I could not have retreated from any of them. A couple were surprise attacks on me directly, and the others were on smaller, weaker victims, and I could not have retreated in good faith.

Do I think I had a moral duty in any of those real-world cases to retreat? No, in fact in some cases it was the opposite. Did I make a conscious effort to inflict minimal damage? Yes.

So, if WA wants to add a category, "No legal or moral duty to retreat, except when doing so is safer for bystanders, but moral duty to use minimal force to achieve necessary end-state," then I'll go with that.

skydiver3346
June 13, 2009, 09:34 AM
Yes, when out in the public (if you are armed).

At home? The only duty to retreat, will be for me to get behind some kind of cover (if at all possible) before I have to do something I really don't want to do.....

DeltaB
June 13, 2009, 12:09 PM
The only duty to retreat, will be for me to get behind some kind of cover (if at all possible) before I have to do something I really don't want to do.....

I agree with your position. And I notice at the end of your statement, that you are using a "social" reasoning. And that's not a bad thing either. Training yourself to key on when a person will become, or has already become "asocial" or "antisocial" is one of the keys to your safety. Many folks train and live in various levels of "social" engagement, like the fight at the bar. I don't want to kill you, but I will beat the crap out of you. There are various levels from verbal to mild violence to even fist-t-cuffs...it's when a person crosses that line to "asocial" behavior that has to be keyed on. That's the moment in time when you have to make the life or death decisions.

ghalleen
June 13, 2009, 12:10 PM
The question should not be whether you have a moral duty to retreat, because you don't, period. You have a moral duty to protect yourself and your loved ones in the best manner possible.

Now, you have to use wisdom and common sense to determine how you best protect yourself and them. It simply makes more sense, a lot of the time, to retreat. Each situation is unique, and it's impossible to predict whether or not it is the better choice to fight, retreat, or hide, or something else entirely.

Donn_N
June 13, 2009, 05:23 PM
For reasons previously given, I will retreat if at all possible, but in retrospect my previous response didn't really answer the poll question. That being do I have a moral responsibility to retreat?

I believe I do.

Regardless of what the law allows, I have enough respect for life to want to avoid taking it, particularly if I can do so without risk to myself, as the original question posited.

Anyone who assumes cowardice or a lack of resolve to protect on my part would be making an erroneous assumption. Under the right circumstances, I would not hesitate to use deadly force. It is simply that my set of circumstances is a bit more narrow than some others who have posted responses.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 13, 2009, 05:33 PM
Only cowards retreat.

So definitionally, the British at Dunkirk were cowards. They should have stayed in France, been killed or capture. That would have deprived the UK of manpower needed later in the war.

Donn_N
June 13, 2009, 05:41 PM
So definitionally, the British at Dunkirk were cowards. They should have stayed in France, been killed or capture. That would have deprived the UK of manpower needed later in the war.

It would also make George Washington a coward. He spent quite a bit of time retreating.

stargazer65
June 13, 2009, 09:23 PM
Retreat is simply a tactic which is neither courageous nor cowardly in and of itself. It depends upon the situation, and if used properly it may be both wise and courageous.

buck9
June 13, 2009, 11:53 PM
If life is in the balance mine or an innocent person I will pull the trigger! If not I will lock on target and wait to see what happens? To posses the ability to kill a human is a heavy load? This my brother and sisters is something I hope that none of us ever have to deal with. If it happens I hope we will do what is the right thing? If I have to kill did I have to kill ? Just my humble opinion?

Sparks2112
June 16, 2009, 12:12 PM
Well, i thought about this, and then had to consult our greatest source of modern wisdom...

...We all saw what happened to Peter Parker when he decided "Hey this isn't my problem." and stepped off to the side. Because of his decision Uncle Ben got a cap busted into him and now Aunt May sleeps alone at night... :(

Seriously though, we had a little girl (Esme Kinney) murdered here not too long ago. Anyway, the guy who did it had a rap sheet a mile long, and had served time before for manslaughter and arson. There were many opportunities where if citizens had been armed while he attacked them perhaps he wouldn't have had a chance to be acquited of so many other charges (propositioning a minor, rape, buglary) that would have put him back in prison where he belonged.

So, for those of you who retreat when you're able to do so. What happens if the person you could have stopped goes on to kill a 13 year old girl jogging around a park? Doesn't a moral obligation exist to remove dangerous elements from society if the situation is presented to us?

And please, let me be clear, I'm not going out and looking for trouble. And I pray each and every day that I NEVER fire a shot in anger. I just would hate to not do something that allows a criminal to go on to commit horrible crimes...

It's an interesting question either way.

spacemanspiff
June 16, 2009, 01:04 PM
What happens if the person you could have stopped goes on to kill a 13 year old girl jogging around a park? Doesn't a moral obligation exist to remove dangerous elements from society if the situation is presented to us?

Sorry, pull your head out of fantasy realm and stop watching Minority Report.

stargazer65
June 16, 2009, 01:17 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I personally haven't been given the wisdom or authority to remove dangerous elements from society at will, I would normally defer that to the justice system and ultimately a higher power.

Sparks2112
June 16, 2009, 01:19 PM
I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that if person is willing to commit violent crime A. they're likely to go on to commit violent crime B.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 16, 2009, 02:08 PM
Doesn't a moral obligation exist to remove dangerous elements from society if the situation is presented to us?


The interesting question is to where this view is operative. In our scenario, you are in a situation where a threat of grievous bodily harm does exist and you could use a potential level of lethal force to stop it - but you could also retreat.

If the goal is to protect yourself - and retreat is effacious - do you have the moral authority to use potentially lethal force? That's the question.

The self-defense discussions have never overtly taken the position that you should remove dangerous elements as a preventive measure. It is always to protect yourself.

By extension of prediction - if you had a car accident when you were hit by a drunk driver and you did survive - you know predictively that this driver will do this again - should you have the moral obligation to execute him or her on the spot? Drunks kill lots of folks.

No one is saying that if you need to protect yourself - you shouldn't. But if you can escape - it proactive killing moral?

Note - this is an interesting question and we expect reasonsed discussions - pure blood lust and clean the gene pool, HOOHA - isn't going to fly. Let's keep it on a quality plane. Thanks.

Tucker 1371
June 16, 2009, 02:24 PM
No one is saying that if you need to protect yourself - you shouldn't. But if you can escape - it proactive killing moral?

If you ask me, no, proactive killing is not moral. Your reason or justification for using deadly force should never be "he was a menace/threat/danger to society". However, "He was an immediate threat to me and/or my family" is just fine IMO.

But what about "he was an immediate threat to someone else"? Tough call. If it's just the loss of someone else's property (i.e. thug @ 7/11), then I'm calling the police and standing down. If he's a direct threat to another person's life, I will act only if I can do so with ZERO collateral damage.

Sparks2112
June 16, 2009, 02:40 PM
The interesting question is to where this view is operative. In our scenario, you are in a situation where a threat of grievous bodily harm does exist and you could use a potential level of lethal force to stop it - but you could also retreat.

If the goal is to protect yourself - and retreat is effacious - do you have the moral authority to use potentially lethal force? That's the question.

The self-defense discussions have never overtly taken the position that you should remove dangerous elements as a preventive measure. It is always to protect yourself.

I would submit that by protecting others we are always protecting ourselves. If someone has by their actions placed themselves in the position that they can be legally shot, I'd say they've demonstrated through their actions that they will continue to be a threat in the future. It's pretty well aknowledged that violent offenders don't have sudden changes of heart where they become productive members of society, go to church on sundays, and help little old ladies accross the street (you get the idea).

By retreating when the law is allowing us to defend ourselves and others we're essentially saying "Let somebody else handle it." Now, some of us have better reasons than others for letting somebody else handle it. But that's still what you're doing by retreating in that circumstance.

That having been said, I REALLY don't want to EVER have to shoot ANYONE. Not because of the legal mess it creates, but because I hope I never "take everything a man has or is ever gonna have" to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven.


By extension of prediction - if you had a car accident when you were hit by a drunk driver and you did survive - you know predictively that this driver will do this again - should you have the moral obligation to execute him or her on the spot? Drunks kill lots of folks.

No one is saying that if you need to protect yourself - you shouldn't. But if you can escape - it proactive killing moral?


Ah, but the shooting of the drunk isn't legal, so it becomes a moot point. I would also say drunks seem to rehabilitate a little easier than violent offenders, though I will conceede that it weakens my above argument. Also I'm a little biased since one of my best friends in High school was killed by a drunk driver and I have very ill intentioned thoughts towards the other individual who was driving the car.

As far as proactive killing being moral or not, I suppose that depends on what side of the concept of the death penalty you stand. Obviously in practice it (the death penalty) doesn't work because of the errors that can be made and the amount of money it takes to follow through with, but the theory is sound IMO.

Wildalaska
June 16, 2009, 02:58 PM
I would submit that by protecting others we are always protecting ourselves. If someone has by their actions placed themselves in the position that they can be legally shot, I'd say they've demonstrated through their actions that they will continue to be a threat in the future.

Really? Like the drunk who stumbles into the wrong house? Just blast him to protect the public from inchoate future harm?

Is every person who commits a felony equally culpable? How about an "armed" felony? Blanket "deserve to die" culpability? No matter what?

Your view brings back the Bloody Assizes, albiet now its private....

Here: Isn't a retreat, even in one's home, a personal means to determine the true culpability of the criminal actor? if one doesnt retreat, and merely just fires away, doesnt one have a measure of moral culpability in a death? Is it all a question of degree, or a simple act/react? if the latter, why should even the law have nuances?

WildgunsgunseverywheretodayAlaska ™

Creature
June 16, 2009, 03:06 PM
stargazer65 said I personally haven't been given the wisdom or authority to remove dangerous elements from society at will, I would normally defer that to the justice system and ultimately a higher power.

EXCELLENT post. Very well said.

Playboypenguin
June 16, 2009, 03:21 PM
This one of those issues where it is way too easy for emotion to overwhelm intellect. When you start talking about "moral obligations" you not only are getting into territories that are way too subjective but areas where you would be making decisions based on emotional responses and speculation. I am one that would very easily "want" to remove some people who engage in such activities from my society but I also understand that it is best to deal with the current situation at hand and go no further. If you start trying to prosecute people for crimes they may or may not commit you are in very dangerous territory. I know I would not want my gun rights removed from me because I fit someone's baseless "profile" of someone that might misuse them.

stargazer65
June 16, 2009, 03:26 PM
GSUeagle1089 wrote:

If you ask me, no, proactive killing is not moral. Your reason or justification for using deadly force should never be "he was a menace/threat/danger to society". However, "He was an immediate threat to me and/or my family" is just fine IMO.

That pretty much expresses my viewpoint. The first reasoning about being a menace judges the heart which I can't see, the latter responds to his actions. I believe we can only be justified responding to his actions. I don't dispute the fact that he may do it again, but I don't believe that responsibility is properly on one persons head.

pacerdude
June 16, 2009, 03:39 PM
I agree with GSUeagle and Stargazer. We can only respond to a persons actions, and we should do so only when they are a direct threat to a person's life.

Vanya
June 16, 2009, 05:16 PM
But if you can escape - it proactive killing moral?

I don't think so.

If you (and yours, however defined) are able to escape, then as far as I'm concerned, you ought to do so. If you can't safely do so, then of course, do what you need to do protect yourself from the immediate threat; but no individual has a right to decide that another person deserves to die because he might be a potential threat to someone else.
I personally haven't been given the wisdom or authority to remove dangerous elements from society at will, I would normally defer that to the justice system and ultimately a higher power.
Exactly. We as citizens, as individual humans, aren't entitled to decide who should live and who should die.

What's more, as gun owners, many of us profess a greater concern than usual about the Constitution and the rights it secures to us. Among other things, it secures the right to due process of law to anyone accused of a crime. So, in the first place, how do you "proactively" kill someone without violating their right to due process? And secondly, even within the legal system, there is ZERO provision for taking away someone's life or liberty, without their having been convicted of a crime, just because they might commit one in the future. (Granted, the treatment by the US government of so-called "unlawful enemy combatants" egregiously violates this principle, but that's another subject.) So if it can't be done within the framework of the criminal justice system, how can an individual possibly be justified in doing it? (This, by the way, is why the issue of what any of us thinks about the death penalty is pretty much a red herring. Even if you're in favor of it, that's not a justification for taking the law into your own hands.)

"Proactive killing" = vigilantism = murder, as far as I'm concerned. We of all people should have more respect for the Constitutional right to due process than this.

MLeake
June 16, 2009, 05:36 PM
because I agree with Vanya's moral argument. Preemptive killing should not be what we're about as a society.

However, the right to due process of law involves the individual's interaction with the government, not with other individuals. Constitutional arguments don't directly apply here.

Wildalaska
June 16, 2009, 05:46 PM
However, the right to due process of law involves the individual's interaction with the government, not with other individuals.

One can posit that due process of law under a framework of rights is a natural evolution from the civilization of interpersonal relationships and the evolutionary mental development of homo sapiens sapiens.

Would the crowd screeching in bloodlust as the executioner holds up the bloody flesh and yells "behold the heart of a traitor" be amenable to the concept of due process?

“Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?”

WildwithapologiestohgwellsAlaska ™

Vanya
June 16, 2009, 06:09 PM
However, the right to due process of law involves the individual's interaction with the government, not with other individuals. Constitutional arguments don't directly apply here.

A good point, but I think the argument can be made that they do apply indirectly: as citizens, we have a responsibility to support the rule of law, the basis of which, in this country, is the Constitution. And the application is direct in some cases, at least: it's possible to bring a civil rights lawsuit against an individual in cases of housing or employment discrimination, for example.

One can posit that due process of law under a framework of rights is a natural evolution from the civilization of interpersonal relationships and the evolutionary mental development of homo sapiens sapiens.

Government in general is exactly that. Humans chose to have governments, and laws, as a better alternative to the whole unregulated-bloodlust, "nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw" thing. It's a pity we need them, but apparently we do... :)

csmsss
June 16, 2009, 09:51 PM
I have a fundamental philosophical problem with the above posts - that yielding to evil is a superior moral choice than standing up to it. That the evildoer enjoys the right of first refusal to anything he chooses to take, and that my obligation is to shrink in deference to his aggression. Nope. I will not ever accept that assumption.

Double J
June 16, 2009, 10:06 PM
I have good neighbors and worthless neighbors. Depends who needs help. As far as someone attacking me or mine, I'm not obligated to back down.

Wildalaska
June 16, 2009, 10:32 PM
I have a fundamental philosophical problem with the above posts - that yielding to evil is a superior moral choice than standing up to it.

Thats only if you consider that anyone who is a criminal is evil, and retreating instead of killing is not taking a stand.

Dunkirk again.

By the way, are castle doctrines remnants of less civilized times?

WildcaughtmewithoutasigforasecondAlaska TM

DougO83
June 16, 2009, 10:41 PM
This is a tough, but good, question. I honestly would probably retreat. Unless it was in my home. If I was at work, elsewhere I currently carry a firearm for my job so this is purely hypothetical, I would retreat. In my own home, I would shoot. I feel that more than just my immediate physical safety is breached when someone forces their way into my domicile. It brings with it a dis-ease that cannot be relieved very easily.

Playboypenguin
June 16, 2009, 10:59 PM
I have a fundamental philosophical problem with the above posts - that yielding to evil is a superior moral choice than standing up to it. That the evildoer enjoys the right of first refusal to anything he chooses to take, and that my obligation is to shrink in deference to his aggression.
I have a real problem with the idea that things can be labeled with such base terms as "evil" in the first place. I especially have issues with the term "evildoers" since it is nothing but a manipulative word used to demonize and dehumanize. Is a man who steals to feed his starving child "evil?" I also have issue with the idea that anyone would feel that they are somehow endowed with a duty to "remove" said "evil" from the world.

csmsss
June 16, 2009, 11:31 PM
Thats only if you consider that anyone who is a criminal is evil, and retreating instead of killing is not taking a stand.I cannot think of any more descriptive a term than "evil" to describe the notion of stealing from another.

Dunkirk again.Non sequitur.

By the way, are castle doctrines remnants of less civilized times?Far from it. They are the sign of a more enlightened state wherein one is not obligated to shrink from aggressors but may freely defend himself and his property.

The notion that one must shrink from aggressors and submit to their tender mercies is what I would consider less civilized.

csmsss
June 16, 2009, 11:34 PM
I have a real problem with the idea that things can be labeled with such base terms as "evil" in the first place. I especially have issues with the term "evildoers" since it is nothing but a manipulative word used to demonize and dehumanize. Is a man who steals to feed his starving child "evil?" I also have issue with the idea that anyone would feel that they are somehow endowed with a duty to "remove" said "evil" from the world.Let me see if I have this correct. Property doesn't belong to me if someone else decides he needs it more? The right to own property is superseded by someone else's desire to illegally take it from me? Absurd, and repugnant to me. I hold the right to own property to be as sacred as my right to defend my life, and consider anyone who would decide to steal it as evil. Yes indeedy.

Wildalaska
June 16, 2009, 11:59 PM
I cannot think of any more descriptive a term than "evil" to describe the notion of stealing from another.

The 9 year old that steals a candy bar. The starving children who glean the stalks from the field. The homeless alcoholic who finds a wallet and keeps the money.

All evil?

They are the sign of a more enlightened state wherein one is not obligated to shrink from aggressors but may freely defend himself and his property.

Really? Studied up on the history of the castle doctrine have you? recent development in the more civilized law?

I hold the right to own property to be as sacred as my right to defend my life, and consider anyone who would decide to steal it as evil. Yes indeedy.

Ergo, death is a justifiable to protect your property. The evil toddler that wanders over to your house and steals an apple should be shot? As burgeoning evil?

WildlasttimewesawthatwasinstalinsrussiaAlaska TM

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 12:18 AM
Let me see if I have this correct. Property doesn't belong to me if someone else decides he needs it more? The right to own property is superseded by someone else's desire to illegally take it from me? Absurd, and repugnant to me. I hold the right to own property to be as sacred as my right to defend my life, and consider anyone who would decide to steal it as evil. Yes indeedy.


Huh? Of course your property belongs to you, even after someone else decides they need it more. I don't think anyone is saying differently. If it is recovered, the police return it to you.

And your right to own property certainly isn't superseded by someone else's desire to illegally take it from you. Who said that?

I wonder if you consider someone who commits a simple theft evil, what word do you reserve for folks like Adolph Hitler or Charles Manson?

People who steal can be evil, but stealing in and of itself does not make them so.

Some folks might also say that someone who would kill to protect property was evil.

omkhan
June 17, 2009, 01:09 AM
I think the assumption in the OP is "If you could shoot LEGALLY". Shooting a 9 y/o kid steeling a candy bar is far from legal. So why did u bring that up WA?

IMO if it is legally right to shoot a "BG" then it should morally be too. For me, the term BG denotes here some one who is in the act of a violent felony with third party. We have plenty of BGs here who "steals" (read rob on gun point) one off his/ her possessions specially cell phones, wallets etc & are pretty much trigger happy.
If I see them doing this with someone, will I shoot? NO but IMO since at that time it would be legal to shoot them, it would be morally right too. I may have my other reasons for not getting involved, but not because of "the moral duty to retreat".

Playboypenguin
June 17, 2009, 02:12 AM
MO if it is legally right to shoot a "BG" then it should morally be too.
Trying to equate legality with morality is a very weak position to be taking. Do you consider adultery moral...it is legal. Do you consider lying to be moral...it is legal. Do you consider greed a moral aspect of humanity...it sure is legal.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 07:00 AM
Some folks might also say that someone who would kill to protect property was evil.

And should that someone actually do so, criminal, except in Texas at night when "necessary" and under some limited circumstances, in Georgia.

Kinda dumb to do something to protect property when one would end up without any.

Anti-gunners have often mischaracterized castle laws as permitting the use of deadly force to protect property, but the intent is generally to establish a presumption for justification of self defense. The principle goes back about 4000 years.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 08:59 AM
csmss wrote:
The notion that one must shrink from aggressors and submit to their tender mercies is what I would consider less civilized.

I'm not suggesting submission to the BG. He's not a threat to me in my "retreat" as I understand the OP. I'm just suggesting that the moral thing to do IMO would be to let law enforcement and the justice system deal with him.

Sparks2112
June 17, 2009, 09:40 AM
I'm just suggesting that the moral thing to do IMO would be to let law enforcement and the justice system deal with him.

I have almost no faith in the justice system's ability to properly handle most violent offenders...

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 09:54 AM
The notion that one must shrink from aggressors and submit to their tender mercies is what I would consider less civilized.


Two different things. The duty to retreat "to the wall" was incorporated in the common law numerous centuries ago to provide a means of establishing whether one who had committed homicide had done so in consensual combat, had committed murder, or had been forced to kill for the legitimate purpose of self-preservation. How else would people know? Sounds very civilized to me.

Didn't apply in the home.

Submission is something else entirely.

Today some states have "stand your ground" laws. These obviate the need for proving, in a defense of justifiability, that safe retreat was not a viable option.

Just thinking aloud, they may--conceivably--have the unintended effect of making it more difficult to establish that the use of deadly force was immediately necessary as a last resort if retreat has not been attempted, however.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 10:19 AM
A moral duty to retreat?

NEVER.
Standing your ground when someone is threatening your life, your family, or your property is certainly not immoral.





An ethical duty to retreat?

NEVER.
Standing your ground when someone is threatening your life, your family, or your property is certainly not unethical.





A legal duty to retreat?

Unfortunately, the answer to this one is: MAYBE.
Make sure you know your state laws.

Deputy Dog
June 17, 2009, 10:47 AM
Hi everyone, new to to the Forum, 16 yr. Veteran (constant Student) to the world of self preservation and firearms. A lot of great arguments here, my .02 is, I beleive that too many people only worry about themselves, and not care about what goes on around them (other people). This mantallity, is why we are in the world of hurt, we as a society, could have avoided, if we just think about our fellow (law abiding) man/woman. There would be fewer needless victims, if we stopped criminals in their actions, instead of retreating and letting the criminal move on to the next victim. I believe we have a moral obligation to protect inocent life, wether it is our own, or the man next to us. I have seen way to many good people get hurt, because someone didnt want to get involved, reason being, didnt affect them. Criminals are scum of the earth along with pedafiles and rapists, if someone came after me, or some one I Love, or a descent human being, with a weapon, or was puting lives in immenant danger, drop him/her in their tracks, so no innocent people are affected by the Scum bag in the future. Regardless if you could safely retreat or not.

Vanya
June 17, 2009, 11:02 AM
Today some states have "stand your ground" laws. These obviate the need for proving, in a defense of justifiability, that safe retreat was not a viable option.

Just thinking aloud, they may--conceivably--have the unintended effect of making it more difficult to establish that the use of deadly force was immediately necessary as a last resort if retreat has not been attempted, however.

Good point. And it's worth keeping in mind apart from the legal implications, as well: one reason I would always at least attempt to retreat is that if I were pursued as I was trying to get away and I then shot the pursuer, there would be that much less doubt in my own mind, after the fact, that I really did need to shoot to defend myself. Might make it a bit easier to live with...

Kinda dumb to do something to protect property when one would end up without any.

So is this one: as a practical matter, shooting someone to protect your property may be a poor choice, since the ensuing legal costs will likely far exceed the value of the property you were "protecting"... So if the actual protection of property is sort of a moot point, because defending it will end up costing you more than not defending it, we're back to the prophylaxis argument, it seems to me: the only reason to shoot a thief is that people who steal deserve to die, because they'll just do it (or worse) again.

Which is an argument I'll go on rejecting, for all the reasons I, and others, have stated above.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 11:05 AM
Welcome DD.:) You sure don't mind jumping into the frying pan.

You stated that we should drop the criminal in his tracks so no innocent people are affected in the future.

WA stated earlier to someone who said something similar:
Really? Like the drunk who stumbles into the wrong house? Just blast him to protect the public from inchoate future harm?
(WA is using sarcasm to make a point)

Remember, you are suggesting dropping him for things he hasn't yet done based on what you think of him. Why not let the police pick him up and the courts decide what to do since you can do that in complete safety as the OP stated. It's not our place to dispense justice single-handedly.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 12:04 PM
WA stated earlier to someone who said something similar:
Quote:
Really? Like the drunk who stumbles into the wrong house? Just blast him to protect the public from inchoate future harm?
(WA is using sarcasm to make a point)

Remember, you are suggesting dropping him for things he hasn't yet done based on what you think of him. Why not let the police pick him up and the courts decide what to do since you can do that in complete safety as the OP stated. It's not our place to dispense justice single-handedly.
I disagree with this sentiment.
How is the homeowner expected to know that a night intruder is just "Ol' Joe the harmless town drunk"?

"Excuse me mister intruder, are you just lost or confused or do you have a gun and plan to shoot me and rape my wife?"

If someone forces their way in to my home, I'm not going to sit by and wait and see what they have on their mind.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 12:13 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
The thing is I agree with you EasyG. But what you suggest isn't what this thread is about. If there is real potential danger to me or family, sure I believe that I would be morally justified in shooting. But there isn't any danger, since we can retreat and hide in our room in complete safety with a gun until the police show up. At least that's the way I understand the OP intent.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 12:22 PM
How is the homeowner expected to know that a night intruder is just "Ol' Joe the harmless town drunk"?

"Excuse me mister intruder, are you just lost or confused or do you have a gun and plan to shoot me and rape my wife?"

If someone forces their way in to my home, I'm not going to sit by and wait and see what they have on their mind.

If its Spiff, a warm floor to curl up on......

WildbethehasthatonememorizedAlaska ™

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241344&highlight=drunk

I do too......

easyG
June 17, 2009, 12:37 PM
But there isn't any danger, since we can retreat and hide in our room in complete safety with a gun until the police show up. At least that's the way I understand the OP intent.
But how can you be sure that you actually are in no danger just because you have a gun and are hiding in your room?

Suppose the intruder is in the other room setting your house on fire?
Suppose he has a gun and starts shooting through the walls?

Unlikely?
Sure.

But IMO thinking that you're "SAFE" in one room of your house while an intruder (whom you have no idea whatsoever is planning) is in another room in your house is foolish at best.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 12:44 PM
Most progressive states have some form or another of Castle Doctrines, which eliminate the Legal Duty to Retreat in ones home, and frequently a place of business.

Many other jurisdictions have extended that Doctrine into Stand your ground laws applicable to areas outside the home.

There fore, the armed citizen, under these laws, has no legal duty to retreat, even if he can do so in complete safety.

But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does. Vote and discuss.

Please note: The poll question is: Retreat with COMPLETE SAFETY

WilditscloudytodayinAlaska ™

emphasis mine

I'm only dealing with the situation as it was put forth, I'm not dealing with other what ifs.

By the way that was a hilarious thread WA posted, everyone should read it if you haven't yet.:D

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 01:32 PM
But IMO thinking that you're "SAFE" in one room of your house while an intruder (whom you have no idea whatsoever is planning) is in another room in your house is foolish at best.


I agree. The only thing more foolish is to try to clear one's house alone when you have no idea what the threat is or how many BGs are out there.

If someone sets the house on fire or starts shooting through walls, I'll still be safer hole up in a room than wandering around the house looking for bad guys as I can always exit the room to outside the house without confronting the BG.


Unlikely?
Sure.


Now apply that same quote to the odds of being killed or injured while attempting to clear your house by yourself. It no longer applies.

So while it is foolish to think you're 100% safe anywhere in your home if there is an armed firebug breaking into your house, you're still much safer than you would be confronting the armed firebug.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 01:41 PM
The interesting question is to where this view is operative. In our scenario, you are in a situation where a threat of grievous bodily harm does exist and you could use a potential level of lethal force to stop it - but you could also retreat.

If the goal is to protect yourself - and retreat is effacious - do you have the moral authority to use potentially lethal force? That's the question.

The self-defense discussions have never overtly taken the position that you should remove dangerous elements as a preventive measure. It is always to protect yourself.
I hope y'all will forgive this long post, but there are a number of points I wish to clarify before addressing "Morality".

First of all, the tactical situation plays an important part in decision making. As a reminder, to justify lethal force one must have at least a reasonable belief that their life is in immediate danger from one or more others.

Thus, WildAlaska's ad absurdum examples of 9 year-olds, drunks and poverty-stricken children committing misdemeanor thefts are not applicable. Nor are we talking minor trespassing on your property or other petty crimes.

"Retreat" differs for each individual too. Someone like PlayboyPenguin probably has far more options in retreat than I do with bad knees and either of us has more options than my visually-impaired 87 y/o mother.

If the situation is one where I have a legal right to be where I am and I am confronted by someone intent on armed robbery (knife, gun, steel pipe, chain, etc.) or who, by words, gestures or actions makes it clear he intends to either kill me or do great bodily harm, then lethal force is but one answer (albeit an effective one) to the situation.

We are all endowed with a modicum of brainpower and that must be used to size up the situation based on the facts as known at the moment and any amount of that uncommon common-sense we possess.

In a situation where one is confronted in the parking lot of a grocery store by a knife wielding subject who demands not money, but the bags with bread, fruits and meat he may be attempting to feed himself or family. Jumping inside the car and locking the doors to avoid shooting him may be the better decision.

"Retreat in complete safety" is something of a question-begging term. What is "complete safety"? There is an online video I've seen (and can't find now) where a woman retreated into a busy market to avoid an assailant. It shows her enter and approach several employees a moment before the thug runs in and beats her to the floor with fists and feet. No one in the store does anything effective to stop him.

Let us also be clear on one thing - this discussion of so-called "proactive killing" goes beyond self-defense. When defending myself, I will use all the skills I can muster, recall the training and practice I've had in order to stop this person from seriously injuring me or killing me. If lethal force is legally justifiable then the employment of that force isn't a question. The question is whether lethal force was gratuitiously applied.

Defending one's self with the goal of killing your opponent goes beyond self-defense. The goal is to cause the threat to cease as quickly as possible. Since lethal force may legally be used, I'm not overly concerned about the perpetrator's survival, but my own. If he survives his wounds that's an acceptable outcome. If he does not survive, then he instigated his own demise by committing a violent act.

The Morality or Ethical Question
I'll be blunt when it comes to being in one's own home or similar place (e.g. hotel room) and someone unlawfully enters the place with a criminal intent. There is, I believe, a moral duty to enforce the concept that your domicile is an inviolable sanctuary from the public and especially from those with a criminal or violent nature. Even Biblical passages support the notion that a "thief in the night" may be killed by the resident of a home without it being a proscribed murder. You can work out why there is a moral duty to enforce this concept on your own, I am sure.

In a working environment or public venue, there are more variables and questions that must be addressed. And I believe that the tactical situation will also aid in dictating whether retreat is a moral decision or not.

Supposing someone with a knife or club attempts to carjack your vehicle at a 4-way stop sign. Given the choice between shooting and simply driving off, the latter choice may be the moral one. He does not have the capability of injuring you as you put distance between you.

Likewise, if you are in a business and near the east exit when a man near the north entrance begins to rob the business, slipping out the east door to call 911, be a witness or to protect yourself may be the most prudent thing to do.

The morality question becomes murky when we introduce an actor like James Huberty who committed the San Ysidro, Ca. McDonald's shootings. You're near the east exit and the first indication of danger is hearing gunshots. The source is a man who has entered the north entrance and is shooting anyone nearby. Even as you assess your options, bodies are hitting the floor.

In this case, WA's question of a "moral duty to retreat" must be weighed against the moral duty to stop multiple murders. Or, to put it another way, is it moral to allow innocent people to be slaughtered so you may escape, when you have the means to stop the slaughter?

Self-preservation is a natural instinct and is legally permitted. But morally, each person has to answer the question of whether they can live with their decision. This is not to suggest some foolhardy attempt to be a hero or that getting out of the killing zone is an act of cowardice. Tactical considerations aside, if one is well armed and elects to flee when ample opportunity to end the tragedy exists, then that person has to live with the moral repercussions of allowing innocents to die for their safety.

We can also argue whether a violent criminal, by their own actions, have declared contempt for the laws and morals of civilized society and deserve every single legal and moral consideration in how that society treats them.

As for me, I don't see a moral or ethical duty to retreat except in very limited circumstances.

AZAK
June 17, 2009, 01:45 PM
Does an Armed Citizen have a Moral/Ethical Duty to Retreat (complete safety)

Yes. No. Maybe. On every other Tuesday, but only when it is dark and there are no moose bedded down outside on your escape route. etc...

Define "complete safety".

There is an exception for every rule. Wait, what about the exception of there being an exception to every rule?

Regardless of the legal views on these matters, each individual person will have to determine his/her own beliefs concerning the possibility of "retreat".

If one is ever faced with a situation where one is even contemplating "retreat", I seriously doubt that one would even begin to understand all of the "facts"/variables that are coming into play at that moment in time; and which way the ball bounces from there.

Is there a "right" answer? Or a "wrong" answer to this question? Depends on who you ask; including yourself, especially yourself.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 01:53 PM
WildAlaska's ad absurdum examples of 9 year-olds, drunks and poverty-stricken children committing misdemeanor thefts are not applicable. Nor are we talking minor trespassing on your property or other petty crimes

Really? Such ad absurdum examples are in response to the "shoot all the evil ones" posts, are they too ad absurdum...or are you letting your personal bias show throw?

I'll be blunt when it comes to being in one's own home or similar place (e.g. hotel room) and someone unlawfully enters the place with a criminal intent. There is, I believe, a moral duty to enforce the concept that your domicile is an inviolable sanctuary from the public and especially from those with a criminal or violent nature. Even Biblical passages support the notion that a "thief in the night" may be killed by the resident of a home without it being a proscribed murder. You can work out why there is a moral duty to enforce this concept on your own, I am sure. My emphasis added

Cant have it both ways, can you. On one hand, you call certain factual scenarios ad absurdum, on the other hand you recognize the existence of such scenarios.

As for me, I don't see a moral or ethical duty to retreat except in very limited circumstances.

Yet you say in your poll response there is No Duty...

WildsowhichviewdowetakeasyoursAlaska ™

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 02:01 PM
Is there a "right" answer? Or a "wrong" answer to this question? Depends on who you ask; including yourself, especially yourself.

Yes..

The right answer: there is a duty....only the circumstances change to define how that duty applies...

WildevenbillcarecognizesthatAlaska ™

easyG
June 17, 2009, 02:25 PM
The only thing more foolish is to try to clear one's house alone when you have no idea what the threat is or how many BGs are out there.
I totally disagree.
This is a myth that law enforcement personnel constantly repeat.
Fact is that folks have been "clearing" their own homes for thousands of years, and typically with more success than failure.

So while it is foolish to think you're 100% safe anywhere in your home if there is an armed firebug breaking into your house, you're still much safer than you would be confronting the armed firebug.
Again, I totally disagree.

Sparks2112
June 17, 2009, 02:28 PM
Let me overly simplify my position.

If someone is demonstrating themselves to be violent, I believe a duty exists to remove the threat by shooting to stop (not kill). I'm not suggesting anything other than not letting the problem be passed on to someone else.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 02:35 PM
If someone is demonstrating themselves to be violent, I believe a duty exists to remove the threat by shooting to stop (not kill). I'm not suggesting anything other than not letting the problem be passed on to someone else.

Absent an immediate need to protect himself or someone else or to effect an arrest of someone who presents an immediate danger to the public, no sworn officer is empowered to employ deadly force against someone because he is "demonstrating" himself to "be violent."

From what would a citizen derive such a duty?

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 02:49 PM
This is a myth that law enforcement personnel constantly repeat.
Fact is that folks have been "clearing" their own homes for thousands of years, and typically with more success than failure.


It isn't a myth and it is not only LE that recommends not clearing your house on your own. It is demonstrable fact. Lots of folks have tried the exercise of getting a friend to be the armed intruder while the homeowner attempts to take him out. Both are armed with airsoft guns. The result is normally not pretty for the homeowner.

Now if you're talking about taking out an unarmed drunk who happens into the wrong apartment, sure, apartment dweller 1, drunk 0. But the odds of anyone taking out an armed opponent waiting for them somewhere in a darkened house is slim.

The reason homeowners are generally successful is that most burglars are not armed and will flee at the sight of an armed homeowner, not because it is so easy to clear one's abode against an armed opponent.

So if the bg is armed, I'm still safer avoiding him. If the bg is breaking in to set my house on fire, I'll call the fire department and leave through the window.

I would be very surprised if you could find one recognized security expert who recommends trying to clear one's house on their own. I've seen articles that give tips on how to do it, but I never recall seeing one that doesn't start with the recommendation that you not do it if you have the choice.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 02:57 PM
I totally disagree [with the statement that the only thing more foolish is to try to clear one's house alone when you have no idea what the threat is or how many BGs are out there].

OK. Informed people are in complete agreement, however.

This is a myth that law enforcement personnel constantly repeat.


I don't know whether law enforcement personnel constantly repeat it, but that it is not a myth is substantiated by (1) the fact that expert professional training instructors give that advice and (2) the fact that the results of force-on-force training and simulations prove it convincingly and overwhelmingly.

This is one of a number of informed posts on the subject. There have been others:


Posted by Fiddletown:

What I've been taught in the various classes I've taken, and what I teach as an NRA certified instructor, based on the NRA syllabus, is that if you hear a noise --

[1] You investigate as best you can from a place of safety inside the house with your family. You wait and quietly listen. Does the sound repeat? Can you begin to identify it? Can you positively identify it as something innocuous? If the sound is clearly from outside, you may look out nearby windows.

[2] If you can't identify the sound and believe there is a danger, you assure that your family and any known visitors are all together and with you in a place of safety. You arm yourself. You call the police. You maintain telephone contact with the police. And you wait.

[3] You do not go anywhere to investigate, because --
(a) If you go looking, and there is indeed a BG there, you will be at an extreme tactical disadvantage. You can easily be ambushed or flanked. You may also have given a BG access to family members to use as hostages. Or there maybe more than one.
(b) When (whether you called them or they were called by a neighbor who may have also seen or heard something) the police respond, they don't know who you are. You are just someone with a weapon.
And here we have an example of what can happen if you go out to investigate. The BG was outnumbered. The BG brought a knife to a gunfight. The BG was on unfamiliar territory. But the BG also had a significant tactical advantage and won the fight.

Massad Ayoob tells a story about the National Tactical Invitational, an annual competition in which some 130 of the top shooters and firearm trainers participate by invitation only. One of the events is a force-on-force exercise using simunitions in which the competitor must clear a house against a single "BG." According to Mas, during the first seven of these annual events, not a single competitor "survived" the exercise. The tactical advantage of the ensconced adversary is just too great. And remember, these competitors were highly skilled, highly trained fighters.

There is an update to the Ayoob report somewhere but it does not change the gist.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3105014&postcount=25

Fact is that folks have been "clearing" their own homes for thousands of years, and typically with more success than failure.

Basis? Seems to contradict the expert opinion....

easyG
June 17, 2009, 03:00 PM
Absent an immediate need to protect himself or someone else or to effect an arrest of someone who presents an immediate danger to the public, no sworn officer is empowered to employ deadly force against someone because he is "demonstrating" himself to "be violent."

From what would a citizen derive such a duty?
North Carolina law.

In NC, if someone is even attempting to break in to your home, and you have reason to believe that the person intends to commit a felony once inside your home, you have just cause to actually shoot them.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 03:03 PM
Fact is that folks have been "clearing" their own homes for thousands of years, and typically with more success than failure.

Got a stat on that?...... Never mind, thread drift.....:p

What amazes me is that anyone would WANT to confront a violent person except as a last possible resort when you have exhausted all means to get away.

Beyond morality...who wants the hassle...are some of y'all that eager to cap someone?

I sometimes look askance at folks who have appointed themselves "sheepdogs".

WildthatswhatcopsgetpaidforAlaska ™

easyG
June 17, 2009, 03:07 PM
It is demonstrable fact. Lots of folks have tried the exercise of getting a friend to be the armed intruder while the homeowner attempts to take him out. Both are armed with airsoft guns. The result is normally not pretty for the homeowner.
The problem with such training is that it not totally realistic.
The "intruder" knows how many folks are in the building, he knows their weapons, and he knows that they are going to come looking for him....so he just hides and waits and the results are really whoever gets off the first shot.
But a real intruder does not know the layout of your home, he does not know how many occupants there are, he does not know the armament of the occupants, he does not even know if the occupants are aware of him or not, he does not know that anyone will even come looking for him, ect...

easyG
June 17, 2009, 03:11 PM
I sometimes look askance at folks who have appointed themselves "sheepdogs".
Actually, I AM the sheepdog of my own home and of my family.
Cops generally do a great job of catching the bad guys....after the crime has been committed.
The notion of encountering an armed homeowner is much more effective of actually PREVENTING the crime.

I've got to ask....are you, or were you ever in law enforcement?

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 03:12 PM
In NC, if someone is even attempting to break in to your home, and you have reason to believe that the person intends to commit a felony once inside your home, you have just cause to actually shoot them.

This is what I'm trying to get at...

Why....why the hell would you EVER shoot someone...unless...

You (or another person but thats another story) are in imminent danger of having deadly force excersized up you and you can't get away...In other words, you aren't the cornered kat?

Save society? Who appointed you to make that call...the mere fact of gun ownership? Or...

Simply because you can...:rolleyes:

Give me one good reason otherwise

WildarewenotmenAlaska ™

KingEdward
June 17, 2009, 03:14 PM
there is no moral duty to retreat.

if someone claims that, then kudos to them for feeling
good about being "the bigger person" and standing down.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 03:19 PM
Save society? Who appointed you to make that call...the mere fact of gun ownership? Or...

Simply because you can...
The fact is that there are not enough police in the world to stop crime.
It takes a citizenry that is willing to stand up to criminals to make a real difference.
The more folks run and hide and let criminals have their way, the more crime will increase.

Sparks2112
June 17, 2009, 03:41 PM
Save society? Who appointed you to make that call...the mere fact of gun ownership? Or...

Simply because you can...

Give me one good reason otherwise

Here's a what if.

You're driving down the road. You see a burning vehicle that may or may not have occupants, you're not sure. You have a fire extinguisher in your car and it looks as if your intervention has a good chance of putting out the fire (I.E. it is not such a blaze that it is obvious intervention will do nothing).

Do you

A) try to put out the fire because you may perhaps be saving a life?

or

B) retreat a safe distance and wait for the fire department to handle it because it is their designated problem?

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 03:43 PM
The fact is that there are not enough police in the world to stop crime.
It takes a citizenry that is willing to stand up to criminals to make a real difference.
The more folks run and hide and let criminals have their way, the more crime will increase.


If you want to be a crime fighter, become a LEO. It isn't your job to stop crime. Carrying a gun doesn't make you some kind of cop.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 03:45 PM
^^^^^^^ In reply to Sparks2112:

Do I have to kill someone to put out the fire?

This is a totally different scenario.

Playboypenguin
June 17, 2009, 03:46 PM
If you want to be a crime fighter, become a LEO. It isn't your job to stop crime. Carrying a gun doesn't make you some kind of cop.
I kind of agree but I also kind of think there is a responsibility of a citizen to look out for his/her community. I just do not think they should take it as far as to appoint themselves judge, jury, and executioner. Some people's comments have come very close to conveying that sentiment. Even LEO's do not have that authority.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 04:04 PM
I'll be blunt when it comes to being in one's own home or similar place (e.g. hotel room) and someone unlawfully enters the place with a criminal intent. There is, I believe, a moral duty to enforce the concept that your domicile is an inviolable sanctuary from the public and especially from those with a criminal or violent nature. Even Biblical passages support the notion that a "thief in the night" may be killed by the resident of a home without it being a proscribed murder. You can work out why there is a moral duty to enforce this concept on your own, I am sure. My emphasis added.

Cant have it both ways, can you. On one hand, you call certain factual scenarios ad absurdum, on the other hand you recognize the existence of such scenarios.
Either this is a red-herring or you didn't understand the meaning of the paragraph. Or are you claiming that a person entering your home with a criminal intent is an absurd notion? If so, I know a good psychiatrist who'd like to visit Alaska. ;)

I pointed out that we aren't talking about petty misdemeanors such as a kid shoplifting a candy bar or walking on your lawn. All of that derived from someone's post about stealing being "evil" and your examples of petty crimes. It is stipulated that not all theft is "evil" but that theft is a legally defined crime.

You highlighted the "with a criminal intent" portion of the paragraph above. Obviously, instead of using the gray matter which you so obviously love to show off in some of your posts, you chose the insipid approach of putting on your best stupid look in an attempt to nit-pick the details of those 4 words. Perhaps I should have included the word "obvious" before "criminal" ... but then you would ask "obvious to whom?" or perhaps what level of criminal intent --e.g. to steal a lifesaver?

Don't be a deliberate Equus asinus (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Equus_asinus.html), WA. This mode of communications is often less-than-perfect in the meaning of terminology and continued nit-picking may result in you receiving a 2-lb bag of black pepper so you can pick the fly crap out of it.

To further clarify, in case you still insist on emulating a certain former president trying to define "is" -- if a person unlawfully enters your residence with an obvious criminal intent do do harm, such as;
- Enters in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, or
- Enters by means of stealth or surprise, or
- Commits, attempts to commit, or makes threat(s) to commit felonious act(s), or
- Displays any deadly weapon, or
- Menaces any person, or
- With the aid of one or more persons uses threats of violence, implied or explicit, and commits or attempts to commit any crime

And yes, in my poll response I did say "No Duty" only because your provided responses did not allow us to answer "Yes, under limited circumstances". You'll notice that my post explained that there ARE times when one might have a moral duty to retreat and I gave a few examples - which is not an all-inclusive, exhaustive list meant to the be the total incidental or situational universe by which a moral person would utilize the option of safe retreat to a location of sufficient security to provide complete safety.

And... rather than have pic of you and Spiff wearing spandex loincloths lard wrestling in a baby pool I would rather be forced to kiss Janet Reno on the lips in public. :eek: :p

Sparks2112
June 17, 2009, 04:05 PM
I kind of agree but I also kind of think there is a responsibility of a citizen to look out for his/her community. I just do not think they should take it as far as to appoint themselves judge, jury, and executioner. Some people's comments have come very close to conveying that sentiment. Even LEO's do not have that authority.

I think everyone is missing the context here however. We're talking about people that by their own actions have given us authorization to use deadly force on them. I'm saying that when someone has by their actions given us the LEGAL option to shoot them then an obligation exists to not pass the buck on to someone else.

I'm not proposing we go out shooting people in circumstances other than self defense. I'm saying that we exercise our right to self defense first, not last.

WA's original question was that if you were in a situation where you were legally allowed to shoot someone, but through some sort of divination KNEW that if you tried tried to retreat you could do so succesfully, would you still exercise your legal right to self defense?

My position is that if conditions exist where you can legally shoot someone then conditions also exist where there is an obligation to make sure no one else is hurt through your own inaction.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 04:05 PM
In NC, if someone is even attempting to break in to your home, and you have reason to believe that the person intends to commit a felony once inside your home, you have just cause to actually shoot them.

Yes, to prevent or terminate the unlawful entry.

How does that justify shooting someone who has "demonstrat[ed] themselves to be violent... [and] not letting the problem be passed on to someone else"?

easyG
June 17, 2009, 04:19 PM
If you want to be a crime fighter, become a LEO. It isn't your job to stop crime. Carrying a gun doesn't make you some kind of cop.
You're both right and wrong....

No, carrying a gun does not make one a cop.

Yes, it is my job, and your job, and the job of every good citizen in this nation, to stop crime.
If you see someone molesting a child do you turn and walk away claiming "I'm not a cop, it aint my job to stop crime".

Police officers do NOT stop crime.
Good people who are willing to stand up against criminals is what stops crime.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 04:25 PM
Yes, to prevent or terminate the unlawful entry.

How does that justify shooting someone who has "demonstrat[ed] themselves to be violent... [and] not letting the problem be passed on to someone else"?
If they are demonstrating themselves to be violent outside of my home, without attempting to force their way in to my home, then I don't think that shooting them is justified.
But if they attempt to break in to my home and demonstate violence, then yes, they deserve to be shot.

When one man makes the decision to break in to another man's home, he has also made the decision to place his life in jeopardy (especially in N.C.).

Under no circumstances should anyone be morally or ethically obligated to retreat from someone who has chosen to place his life in jeopardy in order to invade another person's home, or threaten the life of another person.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 04:30 PM
The problem with such training is that it not totally realistic.
The "intruder" knows how many folks are in the building, he knows their weapons, and he knows that they are going to come looking for him....so he just hides and waits and the results are really whoever gets off the first shot.
But a real intruder does not know the layout of your home, he does not know how many occupants there are, he does not know the armament of the occupants, he does not even know if the occupants are aware of him or not, he does not know that anyone will even come looking for him, ect...

Is that right? Wonder why they don't make the training more realistic....

Do you know of any qualified instructors who recommend clearing a house, or doing anything other than getting to a safe place except to attend first to the safety of family members?

Vanya
June 17, 2009, 04:38 PM
there is no moral duty to retreat.

is too.

I kind of agree but I also kind of think there is a responsibility of a citizen to look out for his/her community. I just do not think they should take it as far as to appoint themselves judge, jury, and executioner. Some people's comments have come very close to conveying that sentiment. Even LEO's do not have that authority.

Well said, PBP. And I'd add that there are any number of ways for citizens to look out for their communities: volunteer to... help at-risk kids, work at a homeless shelter or food pantry, be a guardian ad litem, teach hunter safety classes for the DNR, deliver Meals on Wheels, give blood... the list is endless.

If someone wants to help their community, they ought to be doing some form of community service along these lines. If they're not, and they just fantasize about "taking criminals off the streets," or whatever, I have serious questions about their real motivation. (This isn't directed at you, PBP -- I remember your thread about trying to enlist as a Big Brother, as I think it was?)

... I'm saying that we exercise our right to self defense first, not last

But your right to self-defense is no more than that: a right to protect yourself, not to harm others without needing to do so. If retreating is an effective way to protect yourself, you've just exercised that right.

My position is that if conditions exist where you can legally shoot someone then conditions also exist where there is an obligation to make sure no one else is hurt through your own inaction.

But there is also an obligation to make sure, if possible, that no one else is hurt through your own action; and that should include the person who is threatening you, if you can protect yourself by other means than the use of deadly force. We can't see into the future, to know who's going to go on to kill someone and who isn't. And as PBP said, we aren't entitled to appoint ourselves executioners.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 04:40 PM
Do you know of any qualified instructors who recommend clearing a house, or doing anything other than getting to a safe place except to attend first to the safety of family members?
What's your definition of "qualified instructor"?

Our firearms instructors in the Army didn't recommend hiding and calling 911. ;)

I have noticed that most police do recommend doing just that.
But in my experience, most police don't have a very high regard of armed non-police citizens at all.
Some even think that they, the police, are "the thin blue line separating law and order from anarchy". :D

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 04:44 PM
If so, I know a good psychiatrist who'd like to visit Alaska.

Don't be a deliberate Equus asinus, WA. This mode of communications is often less-than-perfect in the meaning of terminology and continued nit-picking may result in you receiving a 2-lb bag of black pepper so you can pick the fly crap out of it.


Aw now isnt that cute...you get called out on your need to pontificate for the sake of pontificating and you respond with ad hominems.

I wont stoop to your level. Perhaps you should add me to your ignore list so my poorly phrased poll questions don't put you in such a state of intellectual confusion.

WildandnowbacktothedebateAlaska™

easyG
June 17, 2009, 04:47 PM
Well said, PBP. And I'd add that there are any number of ways for citizens to look out for their communities: volunteer to... help at-risk kids, work at a homeless shelter or food pantry, be a guardian ad litem, teach hunter safety classes for the DNR, deliver Meals on Wheels, give blood... the list is endless.
With the possible exception of helping at risk kids, none of those other things help to reduce crime.

If someone's idea of how to help their community is to fantasize about "taking criminals off the streets," or whatever, and they're not already doing some form of community work along these lines, I have serious questions about their real motivation.
Nobody has said anything about "taking criminals off the streets"....
I'm talking about not running and hiding when criminals threaten you or invade your home.
There's a world of difference.

But your right to self-defense is no more than that: a right to protect yourself, not to harm others without needing to do so. If retreating is an effective way to protect yourself, you've just exercised that right.

You're confusing the "Right to self-defense" with the "right" to run away.
Castle doctrine is not about running away.
You cannot run away and honestly say that you defended yourself or your home.
You can only say that you were a victim of crime and a survivor because you ran away.
If that's your goal, then fine, but it has nothing to do with firearms or self-defense.

But there is also an obligation to make sure, if possible, that no one else is hurt through your own action; and that should include the person who is threatening you,
No, you are not obligated to make sure that the person threatening you is not hurt by your actions.
This is total nonsense.

#18indycolts
June 17, 2009, 04:49 PM
Yes, it is my job, and your job, and the job of every good citizen in this nation, to stop crime.


And so is Batman,Superman and Spiderman's job. Actually my JOB is taking care of my FAMILY, if its reasonable then I'd lend a helping hand but I'm not walking into a dangerous situation and put myself at risk (outside of my job, i.e. walking into a burning building because thats how I support my family) so my wife and daughter lose the house and end up in the streets just to call me a "hero". My job is to take care of my girl and wife, my career is a firefighter.


Police officers do NOT stop crime.
Good people who are willing to stand up against criminals is what stops crime.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::barf: really.....

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 04:49 PM
My position is that if conditions exist where you can legally shoot someone then conditions also exist where there is an obligation to make sure no one else is hurt through your own inaction.

I'm talking about not running and hiding when criminals threaten you or invade your home.
There's a world of difference.

You are in your bedroom. You hear the door being kicked in and you arm yourslef and see a guy unhooking your Xbox. You hit him with the surefire and he turns to run away with your Xbox......

You shoot him? You legally can, do you? Or do you slam the bedroom door and call 911?

WildthewholepointofthisexcersizeistointellectuallydemonstratethatshootingisthelastresortAlaska ™

AZAK
June 17, 2009, 04:51 PM
The right answer: there is a duty....only the circumstances change to define how that duty applies...(Emphasis by AZAK)

"For me there is only one true morality; but it might not fit you, as you do not manufacture aerial battleships. There is only one true morality for every man; but every man has not the same true morality."
Undershaft from George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara

easyG
June 17, 2009, 04:53 PM
Actually my JOB is taking care of my FAMILY, if its reasonable then I'd lend a helping hand but I'm not walking into a dangerous situation and put myself at risk
If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem.

Would you just turn away while a kid was being abducted by an armed man?

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 04:55 PM
WA's original question was that if you were in a situation where you were legally allowed to shoot someone, but through some sort of divination KNEW that if you tried tried to retreat you could do so succesfully, would you still exercise your legal right to self defense?

Yes it was. And that question begs the question, how would one know that he was legally "allowed" to shoot someone if he had any alternative at all?

Yeah, if he's coming at you with a gun, the legality may be obvious to you, but then escape wouldn't be a viable option anyway. Entering (or in some places attempting to enter) your occupied home unlawfully and with force? Legality may not be at issue, but it is likely that even if you were alone in the home, retreating outside wouldn't be assuredly safe. Chances are, I would reasonably believe that the use of deadly force was immediately necessary--and therefore legal--in either case. With luck, the legal system would concur, hopefully forthwith.

In many scenarios, however, the legality, though perhaps evident to the shooter, will probably be determined later by someone else. If I am accosted outside and can safely retreat and would, by so doing, avoid the potential for spending money I don't have in bushels, while waiting a year for a trial, perhaps without a gun, I'll do it.

Operative word there is safely, of course. I'd have to be alone, and in close proximity to a safe have, I don't run at the track anymore, and my wife cannot move swiftly.

That's a practical, and not a moral, perspective.

KingEdward
June 17, 2009, 04:57 PM
quote: You are in your bedroom. You hear the door being kicked in and you arm yourslef and see a guy unhooking your Xbox. You hit him with the surefire and he turns to run away with your Xbox......

You shoot him? You legally can, do you? Or do you slam the bedroom door and call 911?




good questions. Much better than the OP question.

you shoot him? me? not at that point

do you slam the bedroom door and call 911? me? not at that point

IF he is moving away from me with property, he will probably proceed
unharmed. The double barrel will be on him the whole time.

#18indycolts
June 17, 2009, 04:58 PM
Would you just turn away while a kid was being abducted by an armed man?

if I was unarmed then YES! Only if it was MY KID would I face an armed person while I was unarmed. Again, I'm not putting myself at risk, potentially dying and leaving my family just to be called a HERO. And to answer your question, I would only interact only if the situation warranted it.

If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem.


and it seems that you live in a fantasy world where Cops don't stop crime, only armed citizens do.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 05:03 PM
Aw now isnt that cute...you get called out on your need to pontificate for the sake of pontificating and you respond with ad hominems.
You highlight a 4-word phrase an make accusations of it being an argument ad absurdum with the apparent rationale that "criminal intent" is... in your mind... inclusive of a 9-year old breaking in to the house to steal candy... or some such idiocy. You know as well as most others here that people often post comments that are generalizations to cover the topic. If you want white paper responses on the principles of self-defense that's another matter.

I wont stoop to your level. Perhaps you should add me to your ignore list so my poorly phrased poll questions don't put you in such a state of intellectual confusion.
Your poll question wasn't poorly phrased, but the answers allowed were either essentially Yes, No, I'm afraid to answer or a specious response. In essence, it looks to me like you tried to rig the poll to create division or to muddy the waters.

You're smarter than that. Or at least I thought you were.

spacemanspiff
June 17, 2009, 05:16 PM
For the record, there are NO such pictures, and NEVER WILL BE.


There was an incident up here a few years back that actually test this particular topic.

Google Pastor Mielke, there should be a link that comes up, first one for me anyways, to a THR thread that could be relevant.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 05:18 PM
You're smarter than that. Or at least I thought you were.

You're better than that. Or at least I thought you were.

WA's original question was that if you were in a situation where you were legally allowed to shoot someone, but through some sort of divination KNEW that if you tried tried to retreat you could do so succesfully, would you still exercise your legal right to self defense?

Doesnt call for divination. The question is simple: If you can avoid legal shooting, do you do so?

Cornered cat

WildthescenariosareendlessAlaska ™

Glenn E. Meyer
June 17, 2009, 05:19 PM
Let's stay with the issue and not name call. :D

Also, it's a thread drift to argue about bystander intervention - that wasn't the main thrust.

I think KingEdward is trying to focus the issue.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 05:20 PM
Do you know of any qualified instructors who recommend clearing a house, or doing anything other than getting to a safe place except to attend first to the safety of family members?

I guess the answer is "no."

What's your definition of "qualified instructor"?


Come now! How about the people at Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Front Sight, SIG Sauer Academy, and LFI1 and 2, just for a start?

Our firearms instructors in the Army didn't recommend hiding and calling 911.

Most qualified instructors do recommend getting to a safe room and calling 911. You seem to think you have superior knowledge.

Do you really think that the Army recommends that a civilian acting alone try to clear a house?

I have noticed that most police do recommend doing just that.
But in my experience, most police don't have a very high regard of armed non-police citizens at all.
Some even think that they, the police, are "the thin blue line separating law and order from anarchy".

Irrelevant, I'm afraid, to the question of whether qualified instructors recommend that a civilian attempt clearing a house.

By the way, I'm told that the answer is universally "no.' I've come to that conclusion based on reading books, reading internet posts from people who have attended such training, and yes, from a police officer I know who has been to Gunsite and who trains SWAT teams and snipers along with other officers in his department. He has never indicated any disdain for me as an armed citizen, though he knows that I haven't had his level of training.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 05:22 PM
For the record, there are NO such pictures, and NEVER WILL BE.


And here I thought you only broke promises to women. Come over and hook up my printer.

Spiff, Pastor Mielke is an excellent example, good call

WildgoogleitAlaska ™

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 05:28 PM
You are in your bedroom. You hear the door being kicked in and you arm yourslef and see a guy unhooking your Xbox. You hit him with the surefire and he turns to run away with your Xbox......

You shoot him? You legally can, do you? Or do you slam the bedroom door and call 911?

Well, you have sort of answered your own question, haven't you? If he flees the house he is no longer a viable threat to me, therefore there is no longer an imminent danger to me. And, while one may have the legal right to shoot the intruder ... and perhaps a moral duty to enforce the safety of your home... his immediate flight does not demand that you shoot him.

Also, you'll note that I am not nit-picking your terminology of "hit him with the surefire" by claiming I would not get close enough to physically assault the creep with a flashlight. :rolleyes:

In the situation you describe, from a purely legal standpoint, if you shot the burglar the moment you identified him as an intruder, you'd be legally justified. It could be morally justified in the sense that the if the criminal has such disdain for his own personal safety by invading an occupied home that he will resort to any means he desires to carry out his goals, including homicide.

One set of "morals" can be countered by another set of moral values. If you really believe that it is morally superior to step out of the side exit of a McDonalds and walk away when a homicidal nutjob is killing people, rather than use an effective tool to stop him when the opportunity is immediately available, then I hope you have the fortitude to think about all those who died after you made your choice.

Vanya
June 17, 2009, 05:35 PM
But there is also an obligation to make sure, if possible, that no one else is hurt through your own action; and that should include the person who is threatening you,

No, you are not obligated to make sure that the person threatening you is not hurt by your actions.
This is total nonsense.

EasyG, if you're going to respond, have the courtesy to respond to someone's complete thought, rather than taking a snippet out of context.

What I said was that you have such an obligation, if you can protect yourself by other means than the use of deadly force. No one who is arguing for a moral duty to retreat has said that you have an obligation to be a victim, or that you shouldn't exercise your right to self-defense. But self-defense means protecting yourself by whatever means are available and necessary, up to and including, as a last resort, deadly force.

The use of deadly force is, and should be, a last resort -- what part of that isn't clear to you? If a lesser means of defending yourself is available, then you have a moral duty to use it in preference to deadly force. The reason for this has everything to do with the moral good of not harming someone else if it's avoidable... it's also true that it has a bit to do with common sense, i.e. protecting yourself from the legal ramifications of using deadly force, but that's a separate issue.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 05:40 PM
Posted by WA:

The question is simple: If you can avoid legal shooting, do you do so?

It would be most interesting to have a learned legal opinion on whether that question makes any sense at all.

If you can avoid shooting, is the shooting necessary? If it is not necessary, can it be legal? Maybe in some states, probably not in others, I would surmise.

Yeah, I know, a lot of lay people have, though applying dictionary definitions in the absence of legal education, interpreted their castle laws as permitting shooting simply because of a break in. However, many such laws simply state--explicitly, as a matter of fact--that the fact of the break in creates a presumption of reasonable belief of necessity. That pesumption may be rebuttable. It's gonna depend on the evidence.

And in how many other states does the context of the entire legal mosaic, or the case law, say the same thing?

Doesn't matter to me. If I can avoid shooting, I will not shoot.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 05:51 PM
If it is not necessary, can it be legal?

Yes. In the example I gave with the Xbox, with no need to shoot, it would be legal in all states to shoot.

IIRC

WildihaveotherexamplesAlaska ™

#18indycolts
June 17, 2009, 05:56 PM
it would be legal in all states to shoot.


until the prosecuters get a jury to agree that he turned to run away and your life wasn't in danger. Not disagreeing with you but it has happened.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 05:57 PM
What I said was that you have such an obligation, if you can protect yourself by other means than the use of deadly force. No one who is arguing for a moral duty to retreat has said that you have an obligation to be a victim, or that you shouldn't exercise your right to self-defense. But self-defense means protecting yourself by whatever means are available and necessary, up to and including, as a last resort, deadly force.

One can cause injury to others through inaction as well. It is all well and good to seek to avoid injuring other people and especially to avoid killing others unnecessarily. We cannot always predict that a given person will absolutely go on to commit another crime or an even more violent act. But we can, as rational adults, recognize when a person has violent intentions and/or is likely to commit other violent acts to further his illegal activities.

In the example I gave above, to WA, "retreating in safety" from a restaurant where an active killer is shooting people when you have the means and opportunity to stop him can be considered both "moral" (you retreated rather than to employ deadly force to protect yourself) and immoral (you let some number of others die instead of using the means at your disposal to prevent those fatalities).

How would you decide?

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 06:05 PM
In the Xbox example I would probably call 911 and wait with my family with a gun in a room. King Edward said he would cover the BG with his muzzle while the BG left with his property. His may be the better decision, not sure yet.
In both cases we came to the same conclusion that shooting the BG was not necessary, and maybe even immoral.
Yet, I said there is a moral duty to retreat, he said there is not. Are we splitting hairs?

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 06:06 PM
until the prosecuters get a jury to agree that he turned to run away and your life wasn't in danger. Not disagreeing with you but it has happened.

See the Mielke case referred to

As long as he is inside the house, doesn't matter...fire away with impunity:D

WildcheckyoulocalsatatutesofcourseAlaska ™

spacemanspiff
June 17, 2009, 06:16 PM
One can cause injury to others through inaction as well.
I call that an untrue statement. If I choose not to act on behalf of someone else, am I the one causing their injuries? No, it is the person actively hurting them that is to blame.
In the example I gave above, to WA, "retreating in safety" from a restaurant where an active killer is shooting people when you have the means and opportunity to stop him can be considered both "moral" (you retreated rather than to employ deadly force to protect yourself) and immoral (you let some number of others die instead of using the means at your disposal to prevent those fatalities).
Take that scenario and play it out a little further. You are eating at a restaurant your wife and child are with you. You are carrying your sidearm.
A man enters, and pulls a gun to rob the host at the register. He fires the gun in the ceiling, and is paying little attention to the crowd, he only wants the bag filled with the money from the register.
You have the choice, to move your family towards the kitchen were you can escape through the backdoor, or you can choose to engage and have a gunfight across tables of other restaurant patrons.


You can 'retreat in safety' and keep you and your loved ones as secure as possible. Are you responsible for the safety of everyone else in the restaurant?

Vanya
June 17, 2009, 06:23 PM
In the example I gave above, to WA, "retreating in safety" from a restaurant where an active killer is shooting people when you have the means and opportunity to stop him can be considered both "moral" (you retreated rather than to employ deadly force to protect yourself) and immoral (you let some number of others die instead of using the means at your disposal to prevent those fatalities).

How would you decide?

I'd say both options, retreating or intervening, would be morally acceptable choices. It's my first responsibility to protect myself, so getting the heck out of the restaurant would be fine. I have neither a legal nor a moral responsibility to defend strangers, especially if it involves putting myself at risk; and it would be both naive and unrealistic to postulate that I could intervene in your restaurant scenario without endangering myself at all.

If I thought I could intervene (by shooting) relatively safely, and without further endangering other patrons, which is a big issue in this situation, I might choose to do so. That would be a moral choice in this situation, but it would be a choice, not an imperative. More likely, my intervention would consist of doing the "call-911-and-be-a-good-witness" thing, which is, IMHO, a moral and responsible course of action in a situation like this. How I'd feel, emotionally, about having stayed out of the line of fire when intervening might have saved lives is another issue, but it's entirely separate from the ethical one.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 06:27 PM
I call that an untrue statement. If I choose not to act on behalf of someone else, am I the one causing their injuries? No, it is the person actively hurting them that is to blame.
Ever heard of the legal phrase an act of omission?

Take that scenario and play it out a little further. You are eating at a restaurant your wife and child are with you. You are carrying your sidearm.
A man enters, and pulls a gun to rob the host at the register.
Non-sequitur. There is a major difference between a robbery and mass-murder. The robber at the counter demanding money may or may not injure the cashier, staff or other patrons. The mass-murderer shows his intentions to kill from the beginning.

Using your addition of the wife and family, certainly I want them heading out the door to safety, with me performing the rear-guard action. If they have fled to safety and I still have the opportunity to stop the carnage, I'll probably take the shot(s) to do so.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 06:54 PM
If I thought I could intervene (by shooting) relatively safely -- if I were behind cover and the shooter couldn't see me, for example -- I might choose to do so. That would be a moral choice in this situation, but it would be a choice, not an imperative.
I concur that taking the shot is not 100% risk free, but if there is a good chance of stopping the killer, it would be difficult to live with the idea that I simply walked (or ran) away and other people died because of that choice. This differs from "survivor's guilt" because rather than being saved by random chance, I would know that taking the least risk option would likely cost others their lives.

More likely, my intervention would consist of doing the "call-911-and-be-a-good-witness" thing, which is, IMHO, a moral and responsible course of action in a situation like this. How I'd feel, emotionally, about having stayed out of the line of fire when intervening might have saved lives is another issue, but it's entirely separate from the ethical one.
This is where I disagree. If there is a moment where you, crouched behind some form of cover or concealment with gun in hand and have an opportunity to shoot a mass-killer with what appears to be a high degree of success... but instead you choose to exit the establishment, find cover and dial 911, you will have to question your moral values and whether you should ever expect any other person to provide you with the smallest of aid when your life is at risk.

Not for the choice you made, but if others have your same outlook, why should any citizen expose his/herself to any liabilty or risk to pull you from a smoking car wreck, even at a time when the risk is low? If your choice is to always take the "retreat" option, then do you have any right to expect other citizens or emergency workers to take any risks for you, your daughter or other family members?

Those who claim that their only duty is to look out for themselves and their own family are not, IMO, living up to their responsibilities as citizens.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 07:04 PM
In the example I gave with the Xbox, with no need to shoot, it would be legal in all states to shoot.

As long as he is inside the house, doesn't matter...fire away with impunity

Legal opinion? I don't think so.

Sound advice? I don't think so.

brinky
June 17, 2009, 07:13 PM
The question posed is would you flee or fight or should you do either. If you're threatened or FEEL if your life is threatened you should be able to stand your ground and defend yourself. What good does it do to run but to reenforce violent behavior of the assailant. Just like running from an aggressive animal. Chances are they'll just repeat this behavior and it will be more violent the next time. Any one who defends themselves instead of running away should not feel guilty in anyway. The assailant made the decision to die, you didn't make the decision to kill them.

spacemanspiff
June 17, 2009, 07:18 PM
Any one who defends themselves instead of running away should not feel guilty in anyway. The assailant made the decision to die, you didn't make the decision to kill them.
That is a personal decision one comes to. Not something that can be expected to apply to every Tom Dick Harry and Jane out there.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 07:23 PM
What good does it do to run but to reenforce violent behavior of the assailant. Just like running from an aggressive animal. Chances are they'll just repeat this behavior and it will be more violent the next time.

Except people are not Pavlov's dog.:p

Oh... Hi brinky, welcome to TFL.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 07:30 PM
Spiff wrote:
That is a personal decision one comes to. Not something that can be expected to apply to every Tom Dick Harry and Jane out there.

How true! I'm glad my morals aren't dictated by popular decision. Even I, as a moral absolutist can appreciate freedom of conscience. Well said Spiff!

Vanya
June 17, 2009, 07:32 PM
If there is a moment where you, crouched behind some form of cover or concealment with gun in hand and have an opportunity to shoot a mass-killer with what appears to be a high degree of success... but instead you choose to exit the establishment, find cover and dial 911, you will have to question your moral values and whether you should ever expect any other person to provide you with the smallest of aid when your life is at risk.

Bill, you have a knack for twisting what's been said ever so slightly in order to further your arguments.

If I were, as you describe, "crouched behind some form of cover or concealment with gun in hand [with] an opportunity to shoot a mass-killer with what appears to be a high degree of success," believe me, I'd already be committed to taking the shot. With the proviso I added after you pasted what I wrote, of being able to do so without further endangering bystanders -- of course, given all that, I'd be shooting.

To imply that I said I'd walk out at that point is to put words in my mouth that I never uttered, and I'd prefer that you not do that.

That wasn't the situation I originally posited. It seems far more likely to me that a person in that situation wouldn't be able to get a clear shot without endangering herself or other innocents, and that, I think, muddies the ethical waters to the point that removing herself to safety and intervening by calling 911, etc., would be a valid, and probably a better, choice.

As I said recently in another thread, EMT's and other first responders are taught that their first responsibility is to be sure the scene is safe, so they don't put themselves at risk of becoming another victim. I think this is a reasonable model for anyone who is contemplating intervening in a life and death situation.

It's pretty to imagine oneself, as it were, riding to the rescue, but in the real world, the horse throws you, you don't see that other bunch of bad guys behind the rock, and the damsel in distress turns out to be Bonnie Parker... ;)

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 07:36 PM
Legal opinion? I don't think so.

Sound advice? I don't think so.
Under NY Penal Law § 35.20(3), a person in possession or control of––or licensed or privileged to be in––a dwelling or occupied building, who "reasonably believes that another person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling or building, may use deadly physical force upon * * * [that] person when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of [the] burglary."

The legal advice is sound. The rest is irony

WildandyestherearenuancescheckyoulocallawAlaska ™

Senator Vitaman
June 17, 2009, 07:42 PM
Most progressive states have some form or another of Castle Doctrines, which eliminate the Legal Duty to Retreat in ones home, and frequently a place of business.
What do you mean by "progressive"? Actually making progress or just liberal? I'd say it's primarily the conservative states that have castle doctrine.

I would say that I'm not sure if you have a moral duty, if noone else is in danger and the alternative is a firefight you probably have one. However, if it's either a firefight or a safe retreat, the safe retreat is the smarter option

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 07:43 PM
I find it interesting in this discussion that most people seem to be assuming only two possible choices. Either you retreat in 100% safety or you defend with 100% success.

In a real world scenario, a total 100% safe retreat is probably rare. On the other hand, you could have a retreat that was 90% or 80% safe while engaging an armed BG may give you only a 50% chance of absolute success (i.e., no good guy injuries or deaths).

It has to be considered that when you choose to engage the BG, you are taking a risk of injury or death to yourself and possibly bystanders. This of course depends on the scenario, but any time bullets start flying, injury or death is a possibility. And it doesn't always just happen to the bad guys.

There was a recent story regarding a home invasion in College Park. Gunfire was exchanged and a complete innocent was hit. She survived, but in our perfect fantasy world, innocent bystanders getting hit never seems to be a possibility that is given much, if any, consideration.

Also, take the recent attack on two men in a hotel room in, I believe, Virginia. While this was obviously a case where retreat was not even an option, the good guy did receive two life threatening shots. Fortunately, he survived and the two bad guys he hit did not, but it clearly demonstrates that engaging the BG can have a less than optimum outcome.

stargazer65
June 17, 2009, 07:57 PM
I understand your point Donn_N, and it's very true, but I don't see how we can address all these possibilities in one thread. We're having enough trouble trying to understand each other when we simplify the issue.

Thermodyne
June 17, 2009, 08:21 PM
In MD. the excuse has been used that a person "could be invited" into a home and then murdered as a home invader. And with Baltimore City and county holding almost half the votes, only Federal intervention will change it.

BillCA
June 17, 2009, 08:43 PM
Bill, you have a knack for twisting what's been said ever so slightly in order to further your arguments.
We all do it in some form to attempt to make a point.

To imply that I said I'd walk out at that point is to put words in my mouth that I never uttered, and I'd prefer that you not do that.
And this is where time-lag sets in - I was composing that post while you were writing another, I believe. And it was in response to your comment that you would...
More likely, my intervention would consist of doing the "call-911-and-be-a-good-witness" thing, which...
And that, of course, was interpreted as departing outside to dial 911 and be the good witness.

I also suggest that the harsh reality of a situation where someone is on a shooting spree in a crowded place, nothing will be clear cut and simple to decide. Your options to retreat will be complicated by other people in the way for instance. Your attempts to ID the shooter and his location will be hampered by panic stricken people in your line of sight. That "clear shot" at 15 feet isn't quite so clear if there are more people beyond the perp at that distance (what if you miss?) or others suddenly standing or running through your line of fire. You needn't wait forever and put yourself at risk to get a "clean shot" -- if it isn't likely, retreat may be the only viable option. You're unlikely in the extreme to get a 99% clean shot. But a 70% clean shot may be the only one you get. Some will argue that if nothing is done or the shot not taken, those same innocents will be dead anyhow in a matter of seconds or minutes. Anyone in that situation has to determine what their own moral philosophy is -- is it better that you do nothing and let the killer slay the innocents rather than potentially have innocent blood on your hands? Or is it better to stop the killing at 9 victims, instead of letting it rise to 10, 15, 30 or more, even if it means one of your shots strikes a potential victim?

If we limit ourselves to simple 1:1 situations, I don't know that there is an absolute moral duty to retreat in every circumstance.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 09:28 PM
Under NY Penal Law § 35.20(3), a person....


You said "in all states"....

.."reasonably believes that another person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling or building, may use deadly physical force upon * * * [that] person when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of [the] burglary."


But you said "as long as he is in the house." Nothing at all about what one reasonably believes to be necessary. And remember, necessity was the key question. If not necessary, can it be legal?

The legal advice is sound.

Is that really legal advice, or a simple parroting of the wording of the statute?

Do you really know what you are talking about?

No offense intended, but I learned long ago to not rely on a lay person's interpretation of the wording of any statute taken out of context, made without knowledge of case law, and based on dictionary definitions.

And I think the state to state variation may be critical here.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by Vanya
But there is also an obligation to make sure, if possible, that no one else is hurt through your own action; and that should include the person who is threatening you,
No, you are not obligated to make sure that the person threatening you is not hurt by your actions.
This is total nonsense.

EasyG, if you're going to respond, have the courtesy to respond to someone's complete thought, rather than taking a snippet out of context.
What I said was that you have such an obligation, if you can protect yourself by other means than the use of deadly force.
This is simply not true.
There is no moral or ethical (and often no legal) obligation for an armed person to use less than lethal force when protecting themselves, others, and sometimes even property from a threat.

No one who is arguing for a moral duty to retreat has said that you have an obligation to be a victim, or that you shouldn't exercise your right to self-defense. But self-defense means protecting yourself by whatever means are available and necessary, up to and including, as a last resort, deadly force.
Again, no. This is wrong.
Where is it stated that a person must use deadly force only as a "last resort" when defending oneself from a deadly threat?
There's no such law in North Carolina.

The use of deadly force is, and should be, a last resort -- what part of that isn't clear to you?
This is simply your opinion.
And it is an opinion not shared by everyone (thankfully).

If a lesser means of defending yourself is available, then you have a moral duty to use it in preference to deadly force.
This is simply not true.
If I have a baton and a handgun, and someone attacks me, I am under no legal or moral obligation to first try to subdue the attacker with the baton before resorting to the handgun.
This is a notion of your own creation.

The reason for this has everything to do with the moral good of not harming someone else if it's avoidable... it's also true that it has a bit to do with common sense, i.e. protecting yourself from the legal ramifications of using deadly force, but that's a separate issue.
Apparently the law makers if NC disagree with you, as I am legally allowed to use deadly force to defend myself and my property.

Archie
June 17, 2009, 09:55 PM
Knowing one can be charged in certain jurisdictions based on the laws passed by pro-criminal legislators, one must follow the laws or stand the consequences; okay, that part notwithstanding:

I submit a citizen in his or her lawful pursuits has no moral or ethical obligation to surrender one's ability to conduct one's lawful pursuits, business, affairs or movement simply because a scoff law decides his unlawful pursuits conflict.

I will stipulate one might choose to ethically retreat to avoid serious danger or damage to others, or if faced with an adversary one knows to be mentally or emotionally incompetent. But that's the extreme exception.

Steviewonder1
June 17, 2009, 10:04 PM
Not in Georgia A Castle Doctine State. You break into my home and I will kill you dead unless I see who you are and recogonise you in a few milliseconds. I will not say anything like STOP Get Away From Here that the neighbors will not likely hear. You are shot dead and I will record my 911 call with all of the information to be played at your unlucky survivors court cases. Time for relaxation time.....

We are not promoting eugenics as reasons to shoot on TFL. GEM

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 10:08 PM
Where is it stated that a person must use deadly force only as a "last resort" when defending oneself from a deadly threat?
There's no such law in North Carolina.

Legal opinion? Really?

My lay reading indicates that in NC, deadly force may be used when necessary to prevent or terminate certain unlawful acts.

Would not "when necessary" always mean "as a last resort"? How can an act possibly be necessary it there are other alternatives?

14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.
(c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.) (14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.
(c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.))

easyG
June 17, 2009, 10:14 PM
Would not "when necessary" always mean "as a last resort"?
No.

Nowhere in NC law does it dictate that one must do everything possible to avoid using deadly force when defending oneself.
The very notion is foolish beyond comprehension.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 10:24 PM
[QUOTE]Not in Georgia A Castle Doctine State. You break into my home and I will kill you dead unless I see who you are and recogonise you in a few milliseconds. I will not say anything like STOP Get Away From Here that the neighbors will not likely hear. You are shot dead and I will record my 911 call with all of the information to be played at your unlucky survivors court cases. Time for relaxation time.....QUOTE]

One presumes that you would do so if and only if you reasonably believe that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence or you believe that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.

It would prove a little tense to have shot someone otherwise simply because you didn't recognize them, wouldn't it?

http://law.onecle.com/georgia/16/16-3-23.html

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 10:26 PM
Do you really know what you are talking about?

Well its been 15 years since I jury tried a self defense case, how 'bout you?

You said "in all states"....

Looks like its the same in NC....:p

I say again: Under the Xbox facts as I gave them, the legal opinion is sound. But the irony was more important and thats the forest you are missing as you gaze at the trees.....

[QUOTE]Not in Georgia A Castle Doctine State. You break into my home and I will kill you dead unless I see who you are and recogonise you in a few milliseconds. I will not say anything like STOP Get Away From Here that the neighbors will not likely hear. You are shot dead and I will record my 911 call with all of the information to be played at your unlucky survivors court cases. Time for relaxation time.....QUOTE]

Thats the bloodthirsty gun owning spirit I am talking about! Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset!

I pray you wont make a mistake....bad for the gene pool.

WildforyoursakeAlaska TM

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 10:33 PM
No [does "when necessary" always mean "as a last resort"?]. Nowhere in NC law does it dictate that one must do everything possible to avoid using deadly force when defending oneself.

The very notion is foolish beyond comprehension.

Legal opinion? Do you actually believe that you could successfully argue that something had been necessary when it was avoidable? That it had been necessary when an alternative would have sufficed? On what basis would you put forth your contention? What does your attorney say?

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 10:38 PM
I understand your point Donn_N, and it's very true, but I don't see how we can address all these possibilities in one thread. We're having enough trouble trying to understand each other when we simplify the issue.


You're right. I just find it interesting that the general mindset seems to be one of invincibility. As if having a gun and being in the right is going to protect them or bystanders from a BG's attack.

Donn_N
June 17, 2009, 10:43 PM
I also suggest that the harsh reality of a situation where someone is on a shooting spree in a crowded place, nothing will be clear cut and simple to decide. Your options to retreat will be complicated by other people in the way for instance. Your attempts to ID the shooter and his location will be hampered by panic stricken people in your line of sight. That "clear shot" at 15 feet isn't quite so clear if there are more people beyond the perp at that distance (what if you miss?) or others suddenly standing or running through your line of fire. You needn't wait forever and put yourself at risk to get a "clean shot" -- if it isn't likely, retreat may be the only viable option. You're unlikely in the extreme to get a 99% clean shot. But a 70% clean shot may be the only one you get. Some will argue that if nothing is done or the shot not taken, those same innocents will be dead anyhow in a matter of seconds or minutes. Anyone in that situation has to determine what their own moral philosophy is -- is it better that you do nothing and let the killer slay the innocents rather than potentially have innocent blood on your hands? Or is it better to stop the killing at 9 victims, instead of letting it rise to 10, 15, 30 or more, even if it means one of your shots strikes a potential victim?


In a situation like this where chaos is reigning supreme, there is one more danger you face if you take out your gun and start popping off rounds. Besides the possibility of hitting bystanders, or drawing the attention of the gunman who may then start shooting at you, you may attract the attention of someone else in the establishment who is armed and either doesn't realize you're not the shooter or thinks you may be an accomplice.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 10:44 PM
Thats the bloodthirsty gun owning spirit I am talking about
Since when is one considered "bloodthirsty" for merely defending ones self, family, and/or property from those who have made the decision to place their own life in jeopardy by invading another's home, or by threatening another's life?
The very notion certainly adds insult to injury.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 10:45 PM
As long as he is inside the house, doesn't matter...fire away with impunity

....Looks like its the same in NC....

Do you interpret a requirement that an actor reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence, as permitting the use of deadly force under any circumstance "as long as the intruder is in the house"?

Really?

On what basis?

easyG
June 17, 2009, 10:51 PM
Legal opinion? Do you actually believe that you could successfully argue that something had been necessary when it was avoidable? That it had been necessary when an alternative would have sufficed? On what basis would you put forth your contention? What does your attorney say?
No such argument is needed.
Why should a law abiding citizen, exercising his legal right to self defense and defense of his home, need to prove that his actions were "necessary" when the law does not dictate that he need make such an argument?

If a person chooses to break in to another's home, then he has, by his very actions, given the homeowner the right to use deadly force.
The invader's actions make the argument for the defender.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 10:53 PM
Since when is one considered "bloodthirsty" for merely defending ones self, family, and/or property from those who have made the decision to place their own life in jeopardy by invading another's home, or by threatening another's life?
The very notion certainly adds insult to injury.

I dont think the poster mentioned the word threat, did he?:p

He's cleaning the gene pool:rolleyes:

Do you interpret a requirement that an actor reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence, as permitting the use of deadly force under any circumstance "as long as the intruder is in the house"?

Really?

On what basis?

Huh? There is no legal requirement for a "threat" in connection with the use of deadly physical force to stop a burglary, where do you get that:confused:

WildunlessyouconsiderthetakingofthexboxnottobeafelonyundernclawthereisnofelonyrequirementundernylawAlaska TM

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 10:56 PM
Since when is one considered "bloodthirsty" for merely defending ones self, family, and/or property from those who have made the decision to place their own life in jeopardy by invading another's home, or by threatening another's life?
The very notion certainly adds insult to injury.

Just a minute, Easy. You were not discussing defending yourself. You said that you would shoot "dead" anyone you didn't recognize within a few milliseconds who broke into your home, and then relax. Whether it was a wrong address, a person with a member of your family whose key didn't work, whatever.

Not too difficult to see that as bloodthirsty, IMHO.

Hopefully you never get involved in any kind of shooting situation and have your posts used to try to establish a criminal state of mind.

Wildalaska
June 17, 2009, 10:57 PM
If a person chooses to break in to another's home, then he has, by his very actions, given the homeowner the right to use deadly force.

I don't think one person here questions the "right".

We have lots of rights that many choose not to excersize

WilditstheimplementationthatsthequestionAlaska TM

easyG
June 17, 2009, 10:58 PM
Huh? There is no legal requirement for a "threat" in connection with the use of deadly physical force to stop a burglary, where do you get that?
Again, NC law.

If you think that person is going to commit burglary (a felony) then you are legally allowed to use deadly force to stop that person.

The real question is this:
Why do some here think that criminals who prey upon the law abiding citizens of this nation should be protected?

easyG
June 17, 2009, 11:01 PM
Just a minute, Easy. You were not discussing defending yourself. You said that you would shoot "dead" anyone you didn't recognize within a few milliseconds who broke into your home, and then relax. Whether it was a wrong address, a person with a member of your family whose key didn't work, whatever.

Not too difficult to see that as bloodthirsty, IMHO.
Actually, it was not me who said that.
It was Steviewonder1 who made that statement.

Try again.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 11:01 PM
Why should a law abiding citizen, exercising his legal right to self defense and defense of his home, need to prove that his actions were "necessary" when the law does not dictate that he need make such an argument?

Oh yes it does!

14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.
(c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 11:03 PM
I don't think one person here questions the "right".
No, I think that some here are questioning the right to use deadly force to defend ones self and one's property.
Some have even claimed that it's our "obligation" to try and not hurt those that threaten us whenever possible.

OldMarksman
June 17, 2009, 11:05 PM
Actually, it was not me who said that.
It was Steviewonder1 who made that statement.

Whoops! My apologies.

easyG
June 17, 2009, 11:06 PM
Oh yes it does!
No, the defendant does not have to prove that he was justified....the prosecution must prove that he was not justified.

It's the "assumption of innocence" that our laws are founded upon that proves you wrong.