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Old October 3, 2005, 02:27 AM   #51
tanksoldier
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Well, many people made fair arguments either way. I am a Soldier, and have been a volunteer firefighter... and may soon be again.

I've gone into burning buildings to look for victims, I've rappelled down cliffs to car wrecks, I've thrown away pants that were too soaked with blood to clean... I've also been to Iraq twice. There I did some shooting, some ducking, a little bleeding and lots of sweating.

I feel it is my personal responsibility to protect those weaker than I, and those who cannot protect themselves whether due to personal circumstance or poor judgement.

The aid I give will be based on the specific situation... it may range from an 911 cell call to CPR to physical intervention to a bullet in someone's brain without warning. The only CONSTANT will be the idea that as a citizen and as a man I have a duty to act, as opposed to those who believe they have no duty to act but might do so if it wasn't too much trouble.

If it happens that I die trying to stop a crime or an assault, is that really so bad? My family is well provided for and there are A LOT worse ways and reasons to die. I've seen them... tried to prevent some, helped administer some... the only certainty is that we _will_ die sometime. I figure I might as well go out trying to make a difference than live with the memory that I could have done something and didn't.
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Old October 3, 2005, 02:44 AM   #52
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I figure I might as well go out trying to make a difference than live with the memory that I could have done something and didn't.
+1.
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Old October 3, 2005, 03:18 AM   #53
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I dont know. I dont carry and I have not seen any action.
But I do see 4 outcomes to this situation.
A store is being robbed at gunpoint.
I am in the store and I have a gun.
I could...
(A) Shoot the BG. (GREY)
(B) Shoot the BG if he shoots anyone. (BLUE)
(C) Wait and call 911. (GREEN)
or
(D) Wait, shoot the BG, grab the money, and run. (RED)


Pick your color.
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Old October 3, 2005, 04:58 AM   #54
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This is an interesting question for a civilian. For a cop it is easy - do your duty ( it's what you get paid for.)
My advice for a civilian (for instance my wife) would be this:-Consider the personal risk first. If you judge you can deal with it then go ahead. Otherwise call the police and get as much information as you can - a man cannot swallow the World. Bad stuff happens, if you witness it live don't be too bothered - it happens all the time, just do what you safely can do.

What I am saying, briefly, is Don't interfere! If it's a car wreck, leave it to the professionals - if it's a couple of dirtbags going at it, leave them to it.

These situations are best dealt with by those who know what to do.
I've seen too many injured 'good samaritans.'
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Old October 3, 2005, 05:56 AM   #55
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Bloodybucket: Another example of not getting involved is you folks probably heard the story of a guy stabbing a lady in Walmart and a man with a CCW shooting him to save her. He never should have shot the guy. If I was in that situation I would scream for him to stop or even ran to get help.
He shouldn't have shot the guy?!?!?! You went on to say that maybe she had done something to enrage him to seek this revenge. No matter what she did to him previously, he was committing an assault with a deadly weapon, with the apparent intent to kill. No one has the right to track down and assault anyone. Retribution and punishment is reserved for the court system.

It's time to shoot first and ask questions later!
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Old October 3, 2005, 06:28 AM   #56
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SAXD9 Read What I Said Again!

SAXD9, Did you read my post in it's entirety??????? I did say I do not condone violence, but I would understand the reason why a lady was getting stabbed if she maybe killed the mans wife and innocent child. I am not a LEO, I do not have the right to gun down a man in a busy Walmart store or even an alley way for that matter. Like I said before nobody here as an obligation to anyone except for your family and other things you promised to uphold. People who are supposedly weak have an obligation to help themselves unless they asked for my assistance and I accepted then I have an obligation to help that person. Like many of the comments stated many of you talk tough but have you ever been in a combat situation or even raised your weapon at another human being???? I have and I don't find shooting at someone or even raising my weapon on someone a glorious thing. I don't at all consider myself a hero just a guy doing his job and I don't except praise from anyone.
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Old October 3, 2005, 09:07 AM   #57
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Leviticus makes my obligations as a Jew very clear - "do not stand idly by while your neighbor's blood is shed."
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Old October 3, 2005, 09:45 AM   #58
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Wow!
A lot of good replies to this question of getting involved. Again, I think it boils down to one's own abilities and the situation!

A man stabbing a woman in a Wal-Mart, the woman might have been responsible for the man's family dying, but at the same time, I would be forced to grab a base ball bat from sporting goods and go for a knee cap...let the legal system determine who is right or wrong...a buring car and a child is strapped in a car seat, well I carry a knife (or 2) so I would cut the straps...two gremlins shooting it out, not able to do much as I rarely carry a gun...so duck and cover in this situation...a car wreck in which a person is mangled but still breathing, not much I can do for them, not trained to handle massive trauma, also don't have the equipment...the neighbor lady screaming for help because gremlins have broken into her house, call 911, sit back with the rifle and wait for said gremlins to come out of the house....in every case we will be forced to go/no go depending on the situation, so training, equipment, will determine our actions!
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Old October 3, 2005, 10:11 AM   #59
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My values and ethics mandate defense of innocents.
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Old October 3, 2005, 10:18 AM   #60
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The problem with the discussion is that folks couch in simplistic terms:

1. Their moral philosophy - usually implying their worthiness and toughness
2. The need to avoid risk.

However, the decision to act altruistically is really driven by many factors that sum up to make a go/no go intervention discussion. To ignore that they influence you and to only talk about risk or philosophy really is very shallow.

In an intense discussion coming out the NTI 2 years ago - I summarized some of these factors - in some FOF simulations that had possible altruistic acts - you can get some of the scenarios from the context.
------------
Here's a first shot at one of the NTI issues. In ATSA village and some scenarios, there were places where you might have helped a victim of a crime or a bystander. Many of us didn't. Personally, I leaped over the abused woman, headed for the sunset while yelling for the Lawperson Vicki. I gave no thought to the attorney. In the bank robbery, I gave no thought to the bank staff (of course, our group had the preplanning of clam chowder - a good lesson). In the Pizza delivery scenario or saving my family, I did not check on the health of the victims (in this case it was not lack of altruism, I told them to keep down and don't move - I will be back after I deal with the BGs).

However the issue is altruism or helping behavior. In the after action discussion, folks tended to deal with lack of helping as a moral failure to the current political climate in the USA and presence of liberals, collectivism and sheer self- interest. Being the psychologist that I am, I have delved into the books and summarized the factors that have been found to influence helping behavior. These studies were motivated by the famous Kitty Genovese case (woman stabbed).

Now readers, remember that I'm posting these to shed insight (ah) into the behavior. I'm trying to present what knowledge we have of factors that might operate even though people like to form the discussion in terms of moral philosopy. Like the Iraqi prison scandal - you can tear Bush a new one because you don't like him or his policy and that's what led to it or you can realize from the Zimbardo prison experiment, that the situation produces this behavior - independent of Bush. Anyway, here's the factors with some commentary about motivations. I'm adding some personal hypotheses.

Bystander Intervention:

1. Factors that increase likelihood:

a. The feel good, do good effect - people who feel good, successful, etc. are more likely to help

b. Feeling guilty - we tend to help more if we feel guilty about something

c. Seeing others willing to help - if we see others help, we are more likely to help

d. Perceiving the other person as deserving of help - we're more likely to help people who are in need of help through no fault of their own
- The lawyers and bankers are not close to me or overly sympathetic in my world scheme. I feel little sympathy. The domestic dispute seemed like an argument among trailer trash. I might care not who is deserving in this one.

If we had a scenario, where a child is being kidnapped in ATSA village (might be an idea - have a stranger tugging at a screaming, protesting, child) - intervention might increase. ( Added-this year we did a save the baby while fighting armed terrorists - you had a side arm and an AK. I saved the baby, some didn't

e. Knowing how to help - contributes greatly to helping if you know what to do. Most of use had some knowledge how to fight - however, we also knew the risks and that might be more important.

f. A personalized relationship - if you have some relationship, you are more likely to help. Even minimal social interaction, like eye contact before an incident, will greatly increase helping

We had no real relationship with the bankers, lawyers, etc. One thing is that not many went to help Vicki. We did have contact with her but my group really didn't hear the rack so by the time we went to Code Confused it was too late. If I had heard her specifically, I might.

In the FOF team tatics, I chose not to help the lawman search for my buddy. Pragmatically, my face mask had fogged up and I was blind as a bat. I also felt it was a strange request from an officer, so I declined. If I could have been able to see - perhaps, my ability factor will have encouraged me to go.

2. Factors that Decrease likelihood

a. The presence of other people - called the bystander effect - in the domestic, I don't recall the attorney chiming in much. As it was his town, did I feel that he should take more of an active role. If he did, would I have joined? Maybe, conformity suggests I would.
b. Factors are:
Diffusion of responsibility - more folks don't feel fully responsible to help, assume someone else might.
Desire to behave in socially acceptable fashion - normative social influence
Appear correct - informational social influence
Both led us to rely on reactions of others in the situation
that's an interesting specific situational variable in ATSA village for a newbie. We are taught to save ourselves, not to intervene in an unknown situation as we can't always identify the real villain. I've previously seen folks shoot the cop wrestling with the crazed junky woman at Karl's. If I intervene, will folks think I'm reckless?
c. Being in a big city or a very small town - ATSA is a small town but I don't think that is a real factor in our excercise d. Vague or ambiguous situations - is it a lover's quarrel - the domestic dispute - who's right in all the screaming. I fled and yelled for the sherrif. She can sort out the players. I note in the checking cashing scenario, I didn't act on the weird feel as I was clueless, felt embarrassed about simply bolting out of every place in the village. As soon as someone said Hello: - Glenn in heading for the tall timber? e. When the personal costs for helping outweigh the benefits - In the real world, I have a family to support. I die and they are screwed. Even with insurance, their life goes down the drain - are others really that important to me. I can sacrifice myself but do I have the moral responsibility to lay hardship on my family for strangers? Tough call. If the victim was a true innocent, like the kidnapped child - perhaps knowing the horror of what would happen to her would override the hardship of my family. However, a trailer trash fight - sorry, I vaulted the woman and ran by Jeff.

---------

Thus, the action decision is complex. It's easy to say you will do XYZ. I do find it confusing to read some tough guys who:

1. I will intervene to save the person in the store
2. I think we should let those in New Olrleans drown and do nothing to help the refugees as they should have listened to the .... blah, blah.

Kind of an altruism disconnect. Do they say they will save the person as it fits their macho fantasy but wouldn't help Katrina victims because :

a. The first action is really for macho posturing
b. The second heartless statement is because of lack of identifying with those poor folks or even racism?

So, these discussions are way to easy on the internet.
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Old October 3, 2005, 10:53 AM   #61
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For me this is a lot simplier question when you are on your own. However, when you are married, have dependent children (and perhaps wife/parents) and are the primary provider, your obligation to them is huge.

I have to temper my personal beliefs, instincts and impulses to consider them. My personal safety aside, the impact of me becoming seriously injuried, disabled, or killed is substantial to a family. Do I have the right to put their well-being at risk? Does my commitment to them outweigh my obligation to take action? For me the question gets much tougher with these considerations.
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Old October 3, 2005, 02:52 PM   #62
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If it happens that I die trying to stop a crime or an assault, is that really so bad? My family is well provided for and there are A LOT worse ways and reasons to die.
That thought process I have trouble with. You would gladly lay down your life for a stranger and abandon your family to the vagaries of fate, even though they are "well provided for" as you put it. Money isn't everything when it comes to family.
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Old October 3, 2005, 03:08 PM   #63
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If one of my family members' life were in danger, I would hope someone would step up and act in their defense. I can't reasonably expect that if I'm not willing to do the same for them.

I mean, if someone was killed, and I could have stopped it, I could not justify inaction on my part either to their family or to myself. "Yeah, I stood there and watched your mom get knifed to death. She should have taken care of herself better, kid."
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Old October 3, 2005, 03:36 PM   #64
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My values and ethics mandate defense of innocents.
Me too, supposing that my actions do not endanger my family and that I KNOW who the innocent party is.
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Old October 3, 2005, 03:42 PM   #65
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Or if there is an innocent party involved.
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Old October 3, 2005, 08:15 PM   #66
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I never want anything to happen to my family, along with most people here who would agree with that statement. No one wants anything to happen to their loved ones. But it's a simple fact that none of us can or will be there to protect them as much as we want or should. It's just not possible. There are going to be times when your family is going to be at risk unfortunately and there won't be a damn thing you can do about it. That's a point that no one here can argue with me.

What bothers me about this whole discussion is the growing number of people who would have to *think* about helping my family if they were in trouble. Many won't just come out and say it, but I feel from some of the attitudes I hear in this discussion that there are far too many people who would rather watch than act. I guess it's something you just have to have within you. Something that compells you to WANT to be that person who can, will, and must step in to try and make the difference in someone else's life. I, like tanksoldier, are one of those people and I agree with his statements above.

Whether I'm doing my duty as a firefighter on the job helping people or I'm simply the guy driving along who sees someone in desperate need I feel it's my moral and ethical obligation to try and do what I can to make the difference. If it were any different, I'd be disgracing myself and disgracing my family for looking the other way. I said it before, If you can't do it for someone else, you can't expect someone else to do it for you. That goes for your family too. If you have the opportunity to act and you look the other way for whatever reason sounds good to you at the time and you can justify it any way you want, you better be DAMN hopeful that there is someone like me there when your family needs someone besides a bystander.

I might be the only thing that makes the difference between you hugging your family and you hugging a casket. And for those who would rather turn the other way, I just want to say "thanks for nothing".
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Old October 3, 2005, 08:48 PM   #67
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Avoid refereeing/rescueing a Domestic Violence Situation

Anecdotal: neighbor's very pretty wife crying her eyes out 'call the police - he hit me - please call the police!' The next day she says: 'I'm sure glad you didn't call the police - it was just a spat.' It wasn't just a ''spat' - but (my gun was left safe at home not involved at all!!!!! Not a place or situation to bring one!) I did ask if she was hurt from the violence... She said 'no' and I walked away(my hand was itching to dial 9/11 - not to be near a gun...and the bottom line...is my dog was not in that disgusting fight...and I let it go...)
You don't need a gun to be a hero; you might however need a cell phone!
Even then...the cell phone...was left in condition 1. Yawning... :barf:
There are very few situations in which you will ever need a gun, and there are many many many situations where the very last thing you need - is a 'gun.'
In the words of Johnny Cash 'Don't Take Your Guns to Town Bill - Don't Take Your Guns to Town.'
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Old October 3, 2005, 09:11 PM   #68
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I would but that is just my choice to do so.

I guess that life is so disposable now days that it's just as well that people just turn away and "don't want to get involved".

Just remember, what goes around, comes around As in, what if you're in that situation one day, and are looking around pleading for help, as people do as you have done, just walk away, "just don't want to get involved". They also have families, so why should they risk themselves for you, just a stranger to care less about.

Not "hero" talk (now I know what Wild was referring to), just plan civilized morality at work.

Nothing less, nothing more.

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Old October 4, 2005, 02:24 AM   #69
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I don't even know where to begin. Cops don't get paid enough to risk their lives (neither do Soldiers, come to that). Volunteer firefighters aren't getting paid anything at all. They aren't doing it for the money, why should lack of money stop you?

Quote:
For a cop it is easy - do your duty ( it's what you get paid for.)
I'm married. I have an obligation to my wife. I went to Iraq twice, and would go again if I could. Firefighters have obligations to their families. Again, nobody who risks their life gets paid enough... how much is their life worth? Would it be OK with you if the firedepartment refused to rescue your family because they didn't think it was worth risking their lives? Is it OK for a cop to refuse to help your kids because of his obligation to his own kids?

THe difference betwen emergency personnel and the rest of the population is that they've chosen a line of work where they will encounter these situations often. The duty to act if the situation is upon us is the same, however. You must do what you can.

Quote:
For me this is a lot simplier question when you are on your own. However, when you are married, have dependent children (and perhaps wife/parents) and are the primary provider, your obligation to them is huge.
Living isn't everything when it comes to honor. Not that I want it to happen of course, but if someday my wife tells my child "Your father died trying to help somebody" that would be unfortunate but acceptable to me.

Quote:
That thought process I have trouble with. You would gladly lay down your life for a stranger and abandon your family to the vagaries of fate, even though they are "well provided for" as you put it. Money isn't everything when it comes to family.
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Old October 4, 2005, 03:26 AM   #70
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Leviticus makes my obligations as a Jew very clear - "do not stand idly by while your neighbor's blood is shed."
According to the Talmud, those who perish while defending a fellow man's life go straight to the Next Life, regardless of their sins or past occupation.
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Old October 4, 2005, 03:28 AM   #71
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P.S. I believe the Russian Orthodox church recognises that principle as well - any other religions?
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Old October 4, 2005, 07:10 AM   #72
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Many thoughts on this and none are really wrong

The only thing is. How well do you sleep at night for the decisions you have made during your life?

Guilt is a terrible thing. Public servents are just that. People who think that way are going to go into that mode, or not, depending on the situation.

If you can help and not risk your life carelessly, then that is the way you should do it. Level headed comes to mind.

If you place religion before others or vice versa. But who know's what lurks in the mind's of others? To take a paragraph out of the bible or Talmud is not how one lives there life. Not the way I look at history, anyway. Brainwashed comes to mind.

Some are natural coward's, and others are natural heros.
But not all the time. Very complex situation. Age or ability have quite a bit to do with it.
I have seen people screaming help me, but doing nothing to help themselves.

How about the person who drives like a crazy person endangering many live's as they drive, you witness this for a while and then you round the corner and there they are needing help. What do you do?

I have enjoyed reading the thread. Makes you think you know, but in reality it is very much different. Look at politics LOL...

Harley
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Old October 4, 2005, 07:35 AM   #73
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Here's a real life example.
There was a dispute between two ethnic groups. The reason for the dispute doesn't matter,but for interest only, it arose over a fight between these groups because someone was taking too long on the pay 'phone. The guy on the 'phone was pushed off - he went out to his pickup, got a shotgun, and shot the guy who pushed him out.

The two groups then went outside,they were in a Pub (Bar - drinking establishment) and started fighting in the street.

There was a Salvation Army fellow there at the time. He was selling his 'War Cry' or whatever it was. Damned if I know why they go into rat-holes like this, but they do.
Anyhow, he saw a dirtbag get knocked down in the street and went to help him. Someone took exception to him, or his uniform, and hit him in the head with a paving stone.
After that he was a vegetable. Six months later they turned off his lfe support.
All the dirtbags survived.
Who lost?
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Old October 4, 2005, 08:01 AM   #74
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Living isn't everything when it comes to honor. Not that I want it to happen of course, but if someday my wife tells my child "Your father died trying to help somebody" that would be unfortunate but acceptable to me.
While that is a most noble sentiment; I wonder how your children would feel about you leaving them Fatherless by trying to save a stranger. Proud? I am sure they would be proud. But I suspect their lives would become something far different than if you had remained there to raise and guide and counsel and protect them, which is a Father's very first responsibility in the world. Any man who believes that his first responsibility is to something other than his wife and the children that they brought into this workd, is missing something about responsibility.

Again, it is a very generalized question, and without specifics no one can answer very specifically. So much would depend upon the actual circumstances that each "opportunity" that presented itself would be a completely new decision making process.

Let me try to narrow the scope then, suppose that you had an opporunity to save a stranger, and the odds that you would get killed in the process were 50%?
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Old October 4, 2005, 10:34 AM   #75
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Butch, based on your post, I am assuming the situation you stated makes the assumption that you have dependent children and spouse.
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