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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 22, 2009, 02:07 PM   #351
Tucker 1371
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If the death penalty were any kind of a deterrant, why are there thousands
on death row? They don't seem to deterred.

Now if tomorrow, every death row person were executed (electric bleachers) then maybe a deterrent would exist.

The penalty of death is for justice to be carried out based on the crime
The punishment (life in prison or death penalty) serves as a deterrent, if there were no punishment or were it not severe enough how many more murders would there be? Also, if we made the death penalty mandatory for all convicted of 1st degree murder I would wager that murder rates would see a noticeable decline, this is a different topic for a different forum though.

Agreed.

Agreed. But add it to the other two I mentioned.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:09 PM   #352
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I think you misunderstand me Playboypenguin. I merely meant to say I don't put animal life on the same plateau as human life. Especially considering I have a wife and five kids to protect. I didn't say killing animals for no good reason would be good. I was just making a statement that I would rather deal with the stress of having to put down my pet than being forced to shoot a person. The serial killer comparison was more than harsh, it was uncalled for. My wife loves animals (more so than me), and she was upset that you would make such a statement.

How about if we just agree to disagree on the relative value of human and animal life and leave it at that?

If you want to discuss it any more we can do it via PM.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:15 PM   #353
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there is little deterrent in the justice system.

there are not enough prisons and nearly all of them are over crowded.

criminals and those in crimes of passion do not stop for a few days

and mull over, "hmmm... I wonder what my punishment will be" if I go ahead
and commit ___________.

I like three strikes (felonies) and life in jail sentence.

But there simply would never be enough facilities to house everyone.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:21 PM   #354
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Legal Duty to Retreat v Moral Duty to Retreat. That is the topic!!!
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:26 PM   #355
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Only if the opposing party is willing to retreat as well.

If he leaves the house without causing me trouble, and never come back again, I don't see why anyone has to be hurt.

I am not quite comfortable with someone pillaging through my house while I retreat. If he's not going to go away, I don't think I am either.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:31 PM   #356
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There is no legal duty to retreat unless your state legislates otherwise.

There is no moral duty to retreat.

If one chooses and can get family/self to "safer room" and hunker down there
then okay.

To me, that is not really retreat.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:35 PM   #357
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To anyone on here that shoots someone in order to protect your dog, cat, hamster, etc. When it comes time to draw the jury please strike me when my name gets pulled.
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Old June 22, 2009, 02:47 PM   #358
Glenn E. Meyer
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We are wandering - while it is nice to say there is no moral duty to retreat - this thread as gone on for so long because some do think there is.

To refocus and refresh on nuances:

1. You are in a situation where you can use lethal force but can also avoid doing it safely. The OP seems a property crime in progress.

2. Since you can avoid using lethal force with no detriment to your safety, should you?

3. Does the type of incident make a difference? Meaning:

a. You can avoid using lethal force with no risk to yourself but you leave others at risk

b. You can avoid using lethal force but your property is at risk. In this, the justification for lethal force is that local law says you can stand your ground and not have to flee. Fleeing means your property goes bye bye but you avoid shooting someone over the property. The rationale for shooting is not that your property is worth shooting someone for, per se but that you are at risk when you attempt to save your property - a subtle distinction.

Is saving property worth a life?

Is it moral to leave someone to their fate? That really, really depends on a whole slew of victim characteristics and situational characteristics. If you see 100 terrorists with AK-47s charge into the mall when you are driving away, does Captain J-Frame return to that fight vs. engaging a single nut in the food court about to shoot a child, when you could skeedaddle.

The moral duty to retreat seems to mean is there a moral duty to avoid taking a life in an offense that would not merit it but you could do it legally.

Stealing your VCR (in the old days) - may seem a great offense but not punishable by death in the courts. Are you saying it is because of a sense of emotional violation of your nest as compared to there being an active threat to you (which the OP says is not the case)?
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Old June 22, 2009, 04:15 PM   #359
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Quote:
There is no legal duty to retreat unless your state legislates otherwise.
I wouldn't rely on that.

Where I live, the law reads "A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless he or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself or herself or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony [(there's no mention of retreat here)] or such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person." The law goes on to say that a person does not have a duty to retreat from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining.

While there is no explicit wording specifying that there is a duty to retreat when outside, we are adised that said duty exists. Probably implicit in the word "necessary" and embodied in case law.

Given that fact and the fact the duty to retreat stems from the common law, absent competent legal advice to the contrary I would assume that there is a legal requirement to retreat unless the state has legislated otherwise, or unless there has been a binding court decision to the contrary.

Lay opinion. Any attorneys care to comment?
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Old June 22, 2009, 04:30 PM   #360
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Quote:
There is no moral duty to retreat.
Actually, that varies widely from person to person. Some people would take the position that they would allow themselves to be killed before ever taking another life. Whether or not they changed those opinions when actually in fear for their life is another matter.
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Old June 22, 2009, 04:37 PM   #361
Tucker 1371
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In my particular home defense situation retreat is not an option as there are members of my family downstairs who are unarmed. Once I come downstairs and have eyes on the intruder he's going to have to be in a pretty defenseless position for me not to shoot. SO in short, yes I think even inside the home you have a duty to retreat from the use of lethal force if and only if you can do so without jeopardizing you or your family member's lives.

As far as others lives being in danger I almost feel a moral obligation TO act if I can do it without further endangering them. However I would have to limit this to situations in which the BG(s) had already fired shots or someone was being raped.
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Old June 22, 2009, 05:03 PM   #362
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the original question is poorly worded. Retreat or not is more of a factor of the totality of the situation, not just the pre selected choices here.
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Old June 22, 2009, 07:58 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
a. You can avoid using lethal force with no risk to yourself but you leave others at risk

b. You can avoid using lethal force but your property is at risk.
A. I would say there is no duty to retreat if others are at risk. To me, defense of a third party is the correct thing to do. of course, this is subject to the intricacies of the situation...a 100 terrorists vs. Captain J-frame wouldn't be a wise battle to fight! In other words, if there was a reasonable chance of success, I would consider it a personal obligation to assist the innocent party. That's just me.

B. Since there is no threat to a person, I would say they should retreat. Although, I may make an exception for property that is a significant source of a persons livelihood (i.e. robber tries to clean out your jewelry store, which most of your life savings is invested in the inventory). It gets a little more grey, IMO.
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Old June 23, 2009, 07:08 AM   #364
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The moral duty to retreat seems to mean is there a moral duty to avoid taking a life in an offense that would not merit it but you could do it legally.
I believe that the above statement is the purpose of this thread. If that is so I have to ask those who would not retreat:

How could it be moral to take a life, if the offense would not merit it?

Are you going to take a life when the situation does not call for it, just because it is legal?
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Old June 23, 2009, 08:23 AM   #365
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If so, don't complain when government snipers shoot an unarmed woman with a baby because she is deemed to be a threat. After all, that may be perfectly legal.
It wasn't, which is why the state government tried bringing Lon up on Manslaughter charges. The federal government bailed him out big time because they didn't want the shame and subsequent media coverage a trial would have brought.

Anyway, let's not go there.
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Old June 23, 2009, 08:39 AM   #366
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How could it be moral to take a life when the situation does not call for it?
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:23 AM   #367
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Are you going to take a life when the situation does not call for it, just because it is legal? If so, don't complain when government snipers shoot an unarmed woman with a baby because she is deemed to be a threat. After all, that may be perfectly legal.
Surely you are not trying to draw a reasonable correlation between an outlandish scenario like you just presented and the common occurrence of a home invasion. That is a prime example of a strawman argument wrapped up in a big heaping layer of hyperbole.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:28 AM   #368
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Moderator Note

Guys,

Drop the Lon Horiuchi thing, please. Not the thread to debate that whole debacle over again.

The question is, Under what circumstances is it moral to take a life rather than retreat?

Thanks,

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Old June 23, 2009, 11:31 AM   #369
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Actually,

WA never brought up taking a life in the poll.

Just moral duty to retreat.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:40 AM   #370
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Not bad discussion...

for a bunch of gun crazed rednecks. On a side note here, I'm impressed by the level of thought and discussion. I'm sure some of the philosophy grad students I know would be left stuttering. I'm proud to be clinging to my guns and religion with people like I have found on this forum.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:43 AM   #371
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KingEdward,

If you stand your ground with gun in hand, you are saying that you are willing to kill rather than retreat any further. Let's not sugarcoat it.

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Old June 23, 2009, 11:49 AM   #372
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The real question here is WHY?.

If you are in a situation wherein you can safely retreat without killing another human being but you choose not to.... why?

The ONLY answer is because you believe it to be morally justifiable to kill someone over property, or to kill someone over violating what is, in essence, your "personal space".

Both ideas equate to imposing the death sentence for trespassing and/or theft. There is no logical difference between shooting them on the spot and putting them in an electric chair when they get caught 6 months later.


So, why? Why do you believe that theft or trespassing should be a capital offense.
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Old June 23, 2009, 11:59 AM   #373
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The real question here is WHY?.
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Not necessarily in that order.

But it all comes down to Fear.

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Old June 23, 2009, 12:00 PM   #374
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One can choose to not retreat AND not shoot.

Some seem to assume that if one does not retreat, the ONLY option is
they want to kill or shoot a BG.

A BG trespasser in the house who is stealing property will not get
shot but I will not necessarily retreat if we are in the same area and
I am between him and family.

He might leave but he might not. Either way, I might sit tight.

If he decides he doesn't want me to watch his actions and aggressively takes action accordingly then he may get shot.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:02 PM   #375
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Surely you are not trying to draw a reasonable correlation between an outlandish scenario like you just presented and the common occurrence of a home invasion. That is a prime example of a strawman argument wrapped up in a big heaping layer of hyperbole.
OK, I'll take that to mean you are throwing the BS flag.
I agree, bad analogy.

What Peetzakilla is asking in post 372 is what I was trying to ask.
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