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View Poll Results: Does an Armed Citizen have a Moral/Ethical Duty to Retreat (complete safety)
Yep, at all times 30 13.89%
Nope, Never 92 42.59%
Yep, but only on the street, not in the Home/Business 63 29.17%
I'm not ansering because I dont want to seem either wimpy or bloodthirsty 15 6.94%
I'd rather have pic of you and Spiff iwearing spandex loincloths lard wrestling in a baby pool. 16 7.41%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 17, 2009, 11:24 PM   #251
OldMarksman
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I think that some here are questioning the right to use deadly force to defend ones self and one's property.
Let's distinguish between the two.

The right to defend one's self exists everywhere in the country. In some places, there exists a requirement to retreat.

I haven't heard anyone question that right.

There are laws providing for the use of deadly force to prevent certain serious felonies in some states. I haven't heard any challenges to that, either.

In some states, breaking into a dwelling or car provides a presumption of reasonable belief that there exists imminent danger to one's self or other persons. Some have interpreted that as justifying the use of deadly force against a person "as long as he is in the home." That's questionable at best in a number of states, but nothing I've seen has questioned the right to self defense per se.

There are limited rights to use deadly force to defend property in Georgia and Texas. That's not true where I live.

Quote:
Some have even claimed that it's our "obligation" to try and not hurt those that threaten us whenever possible.
Not I.

I have said I would use deadly force only as a last resort.

I haven't addressed the original question--morality. It's just that as a practical matter, there will always be some legal risk, and unless the use of deadly force is demonstrably unavoidable, it may be very difficult to justify.

And win or lose it could take years and many, many thousands of dollars to litigate. I'd like to avoid it.

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Old June 17, 2009, 11:24 PM   #252
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Why do some here think that criminals who prey upon the law abiding citizens of this nation should be protected?
Innocent until Proven Guilty... (that's part of the 5th ammendment right?)

Of course we are talking about someone being caught in the act here. Still, criminals in the act of being criminals have the right to life up until they have intentionally threatened the life of another. However, you have to consider a few things in a home defense scenario. First and foremost is that you have no idea what an intruder's intentions are. Usually they're just after you stuff. If otherwise you may not have much time to react.

Another big thing to consider that was mentioned earlier is that it may just be a family friend or someone with the wrong address. In that case you have to look at the way they entered the house. Assuming you lock all your doors and windows (which you should) anyone inside your house in the wee hours of the night is going to have to have broken something (window, door etc. which you probably would have heard breaking) to get in, not something one of the two aforementioned parties is likely to do. Still, have a tac light ready, be sure of your target.

Personally, if I can safely spare the life of Joe Thug trying to steal my TV, I will. I would much rather see him leaving in the back of a squad car than a body bag, if for no other reasons than I won't have wasted any ammo and it's a LOT less explaining for me (I do of course have more important reasons than that). But if he's armed, appears to be armed, or is moving towards me or my family he is going to get shot.
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Old June 17, 2009, 11:33 PM   #253
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No, the defendant does not have to prove that he was justified....the prosecution must prove that he was not justified.
True. Imprecision on my part. The defendant must present evidence that he reasonably believed that the act was necessary. While the defendant need not prove that his actions were necessary, the law does in fact require that he make such an argument in his defense of justifiability.
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Old June 18, 2009, 04:02 AM   #254
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Of course we are talking about someone being caught in the act here. Still, criminals in the act of being criminals have the right to life up until they have intentionally threatened the life of another.
The criminal's right to life ended once they made the conscious decision to invade MY privacy, MY solitude, MY piece of mind, MY domicile.

Quote:
However, you have to consider a few things in a home defense scenario. First and foremost is that you have no idea what an intruder's intentions are. Usually they're just after you stuff. If otherwise you may not have much time to react.
This is how I stand on the subject: I do not care if somebody wants my things. However, if they come into my home, the place I should be safe and the place I feel comfortable, they have shattered my piece of mind, etc. I feel that lethal force is an acceptable option.

Quote:
Another big thing to consider that was mentioned earlier is that it may just be a family friend or someone with the wrong address.
Family friend? Then they would have my phone number. Otherwise, any idiot should know that you don't force your way into a home. If your key don't fit, you don't belong.

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In that case you have to look at the way they entered the house. Assuming you lock all your doors and windows (which you should) anyone inside your house in the wee hours of the night is going to have to have broken something (window, door etc. which you probably would have heard breaking) to get in, not something one of the two aforementioned parties is likely to do. Still, have a tac light ready, be sure of your target.
Back to your statement earlier; if they are intent on doing you harm, you won't have time to illuminate the target and make an assessment of intent.

Quote:
Personally, if I can safely spare the life of Joe Thug trying to steal my TV, I will. I would much rather see him leaving in the back of a squad car than a body bag, if for no other reasons than I won't have wasted any ammo and it's a LOT less explaining for me (I do of course have more important reasons than that). But if he's armed, appears to be armed, or is moving towards me or my family he is going to get shot.
You have much more confidence in our legal system than I do apparently. Joe Thug will get a slap on the wrist and be right back at it again.
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Old June 18, 2009, 06:12 AM   #255
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Why on earth would you shoot someone if you didn't absolutely, positively and unequivocally have to?

All this tough talk aside, taking a life-even a guilty and criminal life-when it wasn't necessary to save another is just wrong.


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Old June 18, 2009, 07:33 AM   #256
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That's the purpose of this as I understand it. To show that just because it is legal to shoot someone, doesn't make it moral. The legal principle keeps us from being hamstrung when we are in a self defense situation. It gives us the latitude to make a moral decision of whether to shoot or not.

But that's where freedom of conscience comes to play. That's why we're beating each other up so badly. We all come from different backgrounds with different moral values, and it's hard to comprehend the other.

Even so, it's a valuable discussion. I'm not trying to win anyone to my view, I'm just sharpening the principles that I believe, and along the way I've learned some lessons from people who hold different views.

Plus we need something to kill time with while we wait for WA and Spiffs pictures to come out. From what I understand they haven't had the wrestling match yet.

...time for a second cup of coffee.
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Old June 18, 2009, 08:22 AM   #257
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Personally, if I can safely spare the life of Joe Thug trying to steal my TV, I will. I would much rather see him leaving in the back of a squad car than a body bag, if for no other reasons than I won't have wasted any ammo and it's a LOT less explaining for me (I do of course have more important reasons than that).
Quote:
Why on earth would you shoot someone if you didn't absolutely, positively and unequivocally have to?

All this tough talk aside, taking a life-even a guilty and criminal life-when it wasn't necessary to save another is just wrong.
This is the part I just don't agree with....
I think that when a person chooses to break in to another person's home, then has also chosen to forfeit his life.

I believe that those who invade another's home, even just to steal, deserve to be killed (yes, I said it....killed.), and judging from the laws of my state, I am not alone in this belief.
Many states recognize that burglary alone is reason enough to use deadly force.
And these states, for the most part, have created these laws because that's what the people of those states desired.

Do I want to see a thief captured by the police, put on trail, and then possible be placed in jail (so that he can continue to be a parasite on society and be kept at taxpayers expense)?
No.

First the criminal steals your hard earned possessions, and then your tax money goes toward providing him legal council, and then (if he is convicted) more of your tax money goes toward the feeding and and sheltering of that same criminal.
And some dare call this the "moral" thing to do.

I would much prefer that he get killed while committing the crime.
Society is better off without those who break in the homes of others, and those who steal from others, and those who threaten the lives of others.
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Old June 18, 2009, 08:42 AM   #258
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I think that when a person chooses to break in to another person's home, then has also chosen to forfeit his life.
Maybe so, that doesn't mean I have to help him with that choice if we aren't personally threatened and can retreat to safety.

Quote:
First the criminal steals your hard earned possessions, and then your tax money goes toward providing him legal council, and then (if he is convicted) more of your tax money goes toward the feeding and and sheltering of that same criminal.
And some dare call this the "moral" thing to do.
I don't think it's moral either, but it is legal.
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Old June 18, 2009, 08:45 AM   #259
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I don't have much to add right now that wouldn't just be a rehash of what I've already said. I do have to say however that I've REALLY enjoyed this conversation, and I'm glad that for the most part everyone has remained adult in their debating.
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Old June 18, 2009, 09:45 AM   #260
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I believe that those who invade another's home, even just to steal, deserve to be killed (yes, I said it....killed.), and judging from the laws of my state, I am not alone in this belief.
Many states recognize that burglary alone is reason enough to use deadly force.
Sound logical at first blush, but dig a little deeper....

Many states, including mine, legally permit the use of deadly force against one who is unlawfully breaks into an occupied home, place of business, and/ or automobile. That's essentially an extension of the concept that a man's home is his castle, as embodied in the old English Common Law that serves as the foundation of the laws in all states but one. In fact, the concept goes back about 4000 years.

But is the purpose to permit the slaying of someone for stealing? I think not. Read any scholastic discussion of the concept behind those laws and you will find that the justification has to do with the right of the occupants to self preservation.

Try shooting someone for breaking into an unoccupied house and see what it gets you.

Have any of the states actually decided that one who breaks into a house "just to steal" deserves to be killed? Well, if so, would the laws not prescribe the death penalty for such a crime? They do not, anywhere in the country.

Under Sharia law, a person convicted of stealing may have a hand amputated, but that's not in effect here....yet.

There are two states--and only two states--in which deadly force is permitted for the sole purpose of protecting property, and in those the circumstances are limited.

In all others that have castle laws, the laws are intended primarily to address self defense. In some, but not all, they make the defense of justifiability less onerous by eliminating the (ridiculous, in my view) requirement to retreat from or within the home.
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:20 AM   #261
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OldMarksman said:
Have any of the states actually decided that one who breaks into a house "just to steal" deserves to be killed? Well, if so, would the laws not prescribe the death penalty for such a crime? They do not, anywhere in the country.
Very good point.

Quote:
OldMarksman said:
In all others that have castle laws, the laws are intended primarily to address self defense. In some, but not all, they make the defense of justifiability (shooting someone?) less onerous by eliminating the (ridiculous, in my view) requirement to retreat from or within the home.
(Bold is mine for clarification, correct me if that is not what you were saying)


Another good point, and I agree the choice to shoot or not to must be left to the individual in these cases and not prescribed by a ridiculous and burdensome requirement.

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Sparks2112 said:
I do have to say however that I've REALLY enjoyed this conversation, and I'm glad that for the most part everyone has remained adult in their debating.
I have too Sparks, but now that you've said that, we're jinxed.
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:21 PM   #262
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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?
So by your argument, you call the cops to tell them you just shot an intruder, you tell them "I'm a law abiding citizen, I pay my taxes, I count my calories, I killed a thug trying to take my stuff, could you clean up the mess, give me my gun back and let me go wash the carnage off me? I have to get up early!"

You want to tell us that you can shoot to kill with impunity and that you don't need to prove to anyone else that those who you do kill posed an actual threat that necessitated your useo f deadly force?
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:34 PM   #263
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why would someone turn "exercising my right to self defense in my home"

into "you kill with impunity"

very accusatory language.
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:43 PM   #264
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Society is better off without those who break in the homes of others, and those who steal from others, and those who threaten the lives of others.
I'm not going to disagree with you that we would be better without them, but it is not my place to proclaim myself judge, jury, and executioner. I have the right to self defense (not stuff defense), I will use lethal force only if mine or another's life is in danger. If we all followed your reasoning then police officers could execute speeders for "threaten[ing] the lives of others".
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:44 PM   #265
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Morality and legality aside, there is no personal upside to shooting someone who absolutely didn't have to to be shot. Not legally, not psychologically, not financially.

I also find it disturbing that anyone here would think that someone who commits a crime where the death penalty is not a legal punishment actually deserves to die. This shows a clear intent to shoot to kill rather than shoot to stop.

Threads of this type are enlightening and disturbing at the same time. The preference, and in some cases even desire, for killing someone feeds right into the anti-gunners stereotype of gun owners.
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:47 PM   #266
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why would someone turn "exercising my right to self defense in my home"

into "you kill with impunity"
A rose by any other name...
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:08 PM   #267
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I also find it disturbing that anyone here would think that someone who commits a crime where the death penalty is not a legal punishment actually deserves to die. This shows a clear intent to shoot to kill rather than shoot to stop.
Agree, but it may involve "just talking" by blowhards who do not know the law and/or who have never read any accounts about the serious effects of even a perfectly justified shooting on the shooter and his family.

Quote:
Morality and legality aside, there is no personal upside to shooting someone who absolutely didn't have to to be shot. Not legally, not psychologically, not financially.
From what I've read, that's quite an understatement.

Quote:
Threads of this type are enlightening and disturbing at the same time. The preference, and in some cases even desire, for killing someone feeds right into the anti-gunners stereotype of gun owners.
...and into the grist mill for new laws....

Also, such posts can prove very troublesome indeed when they are introduced by a prosecutor to establish mens rea in a case in which the evidence is unclear or contradictory. Could mean the difference between conviction and acquittal.

Frankly, I am amazed that anyone would post such potentially dangerous, readily discoverable, indelible electronic ink.

Of course, many people have not been exposed through experience, training, or professional education to how what someone writes may do them in, perhaps years later.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:12 PM   #268
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But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does.
I typically avoid these moral dilemma questions, if for no other reason than there are too many variables to pin down. However, do I have a moral duty to surrender and flee when faced by a person or animal bent on causing damage to me if I do not surrender my possessions (often, even if I do so)? I say, if I have the means to defend myself and/or others, I have a moral duty to stand and fight, if for no other reason than to stop the person/animal from repeating the act. If I choose not to defend myself or others, I believe I have the moral onus of what happens to the victims (direct and indirect) of the act of aggression.

It's funny: people will say "don't hurt him/her/it" when they see a person take action to stop someone/something attacking a person , but they often fail to consider that the person being attacked has the right to expect to be defended by others, and that the perpetrator of the act has put themselves in that position of their own volition. Most states allow a person to use of deadly force to avert death or serious injury to themselves or others. I believe I not only have the legal right to do so, but also the moral obligation to do so.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:17 PM   #269
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[QUOTE][why would someone turn "exercising my right to self defense in my home"

into "you kill with impunity"
/QUOTE]

See post #257.

For the sake of argument, I believe that society would be better off if certain criminals were removed from our midst, and not just by putting them in prison. However my conscience limits that to murderers and rapist/molestors.

But not thieves.

If I came home and discovered a thief inside, and they had no weapon visible, my first impulse would not be "Shoot to kill! They deserves it! They are trying to steal My Precious!"
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:21 PM   #270
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For the sake of argument, I believe that society would be better off if certain criminals were removed from our midst, and not just by putting them in prison. However my conscience limits that to murderers and rapist/molestors.

But not thieves.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:33 PM   #271
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they have shattered my piece of mind, etc. I feel that lethal force is an acceptable option.
So if I stand in fronm of your house with a garish poster of Michael More in a spandex thong, are you gonna use lethal force against me.

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Old June 18, 2009, 01:36 PM   #272
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there is a fine line between a thief (when he is in the home alone)

and a thief when he is confronted with the home owner.

if he remains the kind and jovial benevolent thief and flees, he can tell the story to his pals I guess and hopefully I can give Police enough info and maybe he is caught.

if he does not flee then he is staying for other reasons.

Woe is me and mine if I act too slowly or think about getting him
home safely. If he has broken in, then he has already done some harm
and most bets are off.

I didn't say ALL bets are off. If he sees the barrels and runs, ok

if not, he can stand there and wait for cops. Not running or not standing still

equals possibly doing us in. that equals one would be wise to stop the threat.
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:50 PM   #273
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Just for background...from Blackstone:

BURGLARY, or nocturnal houfebreaking, burgi latrocinium, which by our antient law was called hamefecken, as it is in Scotland to this day, has always been looked upon as a very heinous offence: not only becuafe of the abundant terror that it naturally carries with it, but alfo as it is a forcible invafion and difturbance of that right of habitation, which every individual might acquire even in a ftate of nature; an invafion, which in fuch a ftate, would be fure to be punifhed with death, unlefs the affailant were the ftronger. But in civil fociety, the laws alfo come in to the affiftance of the weaker party: and, befides that they leave him this natural right of killing the aggreffor, if he can, (as was fhewn in a former chapter ) they alfo protect and avenge him, in cafe the might of the affailant is too powerful. And the law of England has fo particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man's houfe, that it ftiles it his caftle, and will never fuffer it to be violated with impunity: agreeing herein with the fentments of antient Rome, as expreffed in the words of Tullyq ; “quid enim fanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus uniufcujufque civium?” For this reafon no doors can in general be broken open to execute any civil procefs; though, in criminal caufes, the public fafety feperfedes the private. Hence alfo in part arifes the animadverfion of the law upon eaves-droppers, nufancers, and incendiaries: and to this principle it muft be affigned, that a man may affemble people together lawfully (at leaft if they do not exceed eleven) without danger of raifing a riot, rout, or unlawful affembly, in order to protect and defend his houfe; which he is not permitted to do in any other cafer..........

And as to self defense in the home:

IN the next place, fuch homicide, as is committed for the prevention of any forcible and atrocious crime, is juftifiable by the law of nature r; and alfo by the law of England, as it ftood fo early as the time of Bracton s, and as it is fince declared by ftatute 24 Hen. VIII. c. 5. If any perfon attempt to burn it t,) and fhall be killed in fuch attempt, the flayer fhall be acquitted and difcharged. This reaches not to any crime unaccompanied with force, as picking of pockets, or to the breaking open of any houfe in the day time, unlefs it carries with it an attempt of robbery alfo. So the Jewifh law, which punifhed no theft with death, makes homicide only juftifiable, in cafe of nocturnal houfe-breaking: “if a thief be found breaking up, and he be fmitten “that he die, no blood fhall be fhed for him: but if the fun “be rifen upon him, there fhall blood be fhed for him; for he “fhould have made full reftitution” At Athens, if any theft was committed by night, it was lawful to kill the criminal, if taken in the fact w: and, by the Roman law of the twelve tables, a thief might be flain by night with impunity; or even by day, if he armed himfelf with any dangerous weapon x: which amounts very nearly to the fame as is permitted by our own constitutions.

Query: havent we developed a bit since the the time of Moses and Solon?


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Old June 18, 2009, 01:54 PM   #274
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Not running or not standing still

equals possibly doing us in. that equals one would be wise to stop the threat.
By what means are you assuming he is going to do you in?
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:06 PM   #275
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Have any of the states actually decided that one who breaks into a house "just to steal" deserves to be killed?
Again, yes.
In NC you can use deadly force to prevent someone from breaking in to your home if you believe that they are doing so with the intent to commit a felony....even if that felony is merely burglary or armed robbery.

Quote:
Well, if so, would the laws not prescribe the death penalty for such a crime? They do not, anywhere in the country.
I could be wrong, but I believe some states still allow horse thieves to be put to death.
And if you can put a man to death for stealing a horse, I don't see why you wouldn't put a man to death for stealing goods from another man's home.

And during times of crisis, like hurricanes and such, deadly force can be used against looters....and they're just stealing stuff too, right?

Quote:
I'm not going to disagree with you that we would be better without them, but it is not my place to proclaim myself judge, jury, and executioner.
It is your place if they break in to your home.

After all, how do you determine if they are a deadly threat or not?
YOU BECOME THE JUDGE.

How do you determine if you need to use deadly force?
YOU ARE THE JURY.

Would you take their life if you JUDGED them to be a threat to your life?
If so, then you also adopt the role as EXECUTIONER.

If you're uncomfortable adopting these roles if need be, then perhaps you really don't need a firearm?


Quote:
I also find it disturbing that anyone here would think that someone who commits a crime where the death penalty is not a legal punishment actually deserves to die. This shows a clear intent to shoot to kill rather than shoot to stop.

Threads of this type are enlightening and disturbing at the same time. The preference, and in some cases even desire, for killing someone feeds right into the anti-gunners stereotype of gun owners.
Do you want honest thoughts and honest open conversation, or do you want politically correct let's-not-anger-the-anti-gunners kind of conversation?
Are you willing to sacrifice your right to free speech for your right to bear arms.
Owning a gun doesn't mean much if you live in a nation where you are afraid to speak your mind openly....even if your views might be unpopular.

Last edited by easyG; June 18, 2009 at 02:15 PM.
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