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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 23, 2009, 12:02 PM   #376
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Some seem to assume that if one does not retreat, the ONLY option is
they want to kill or shoot a BG.
Are you going to simply stand there and watch? The implication is that if you don't retreat when you have the obvious chance then you WON'T retreat. Therefore, you are simply waiting for the BG to give you a chance and/or reason to shoot him.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:16 PM   #377
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so if one retreats, then BG can finish in that room and move to the bedrooms where daughters are sleeping?

let's go with that logic and sleep easy.

no thanks.

he's broken in, he's stealing, he sees homeowner with firearm. He stops
stealing and tries to harm homeowner versus seeing homeowner and fleeing.

under the logic here of some, if the BG gets shot WHILE HE IS ATTACKING A HOMEOWNER (who did not stay under the covers asleep or go back to bed)
then the HOMEOWNER is a murdering hate monger.

Correct me if I'm at fault here. Oh, already at fault for not retreating.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:18 PM   #378
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so if one retreats, then BG can finish in that room and move to the bedrooms where daughters are sleeping?

let's go with that logic and sleep easy.
No one has suggested that scenario. Retreat to safety includes your family.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:26 PM   #379
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no no, homeowner is in question / at fault for seeing BG and not
retreating.

regardless of the scenario / situation.

there can be dozens of reasons why a homeowner would stand and watch.

gun cabinets in the adjoining room, etc.

the homeowner is at NO fault of any kind for being a witness in his own home
to a crime.

how do people come up with the logic then that any pain for the BG to follow if the BG goes from thief to attacker is immoral for the homeowner because he didn't walk away?

I'll step up and say there are situations when I see BG(s) in the kitchen at 2am that I might retreat back to the bedroom. Or I might decide that since girls rooms are between kitchen and my BR that there is not time nor quiet to secure / retreat.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:28 PM   #380
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I'll step up and say there are situations when I see BG(s) in the kitchen at 2am that I might retreat back to the bedroom. Or I might decide that since girls rooms are between kitchen and my BR that there is not time nor quiet to secure / retreat.
We are talking ONLY about scenarios wherein there is complete safety for all involved. Situations wherein you may place your family or other innocents in danger by retreating do not count in this discussion.


Quote:
there can be dozens of reasons why a homeowner would stand and watch.
Few, if any, of them are sane reasons.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:33 PM   #381
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ONLY in those safe situations.

Okay and thanks.

Then my answer is the same.

I will observe (and from cover if possible) while spouse calls
911)

I may or may not retreat.

There is no moral duty to do so.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:37 PM   #382
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Is this a complex situation/question?

The way I understand this, you are going to shoot some one dead as a brick, because he is in your house, broke in?

Or you are going to leave them in your house, and retreater, because you can safely do that?

I can not see any circumstance in which you can know for sure you would be safe, "for sure" leaving the safety of your home.

But saying yes in this hypothetical situation, and putting you in a vehicle, with a Cel phone? Go for it! "911, there is a thief in my house, I have left him in my house, this is the address, my 10-20 is here, my vehicle Tag is.

Oh, and my buddy has parked his School bus behind the unknown vehicle, on my drive.

I have a visual on the house, and vehicle. I will stay on the line.

Not perfect, but easy.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:38 PM   #383
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Quote:
I will observe (and from cover if possible) while spouse calls
911)

I may or may not retreat.

There is no moral duty to do so.
OKay KingEdward, that is a fair answer to the question. Could you tell me though why in your words there is no moral duty to retreat in the situation? I'm not suggesting a right or wrong answer, I just want to know your line of reasoning. Thanks.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:41 PM   #384
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I can not see any circumstance in which you can know for sure you would be safe, "for sure" leaving the safety of your home.
No one is suggesting that you leave your home.

For example, I would retreat to my bedroom with the wife on the cell to 911 and the kids in the closet. The bedroom is "stand your ground" territory. I have no way out and there would be a locked door between me and Mr. Burglar. He would be in for a very bad day if he failed to heed my warnings about coming through THAT door.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:46 PM   #385
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You both are missing how the word "retreat" is applied. It is not a retreat in the military sense of the word, such as a battlefield retreat or breaking of contact with the enemy. It is a retreat from the use of lethal force.

Retreating from the use of lethal force includes just standing there and staring the guy down until he runs out as KingEdward is suggesting.
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Old June 23, 2009, 12:57 PM   #386
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Stargazer,

some moral duty to retreat seems more logical to me on the street with regard to possibly bystanders, the back stop, maybe there is lots of room
and lots of cover (large parking garage) maybe retreating to a public place presents lots of witnesses, etc and a deterrent for the BG

In my home, moral duty to retreat seems less logical because for the BG, there are no witnesses, there may be very little or no resistance and yes he may grab the nintendo and flee. Or, he may stay a bit and invite in his partner who decides to "go have fun" with the occupants.

I'm for the shotgun behind the saferoom door and if situation/time permit, that
is the first option.

Implying there is a moral duty to retreat is to me stating that I'm culpable
if I'm standing there minding my own and observing and a BG charges towards me with the crow bar and I protect myself with a firearm.

I would not need to protect myself with a firearm or anything else should he choose to steal the next few items and leave.

Why do people want to question the homeowner for observing in his own home and then point the finger when he is forced to defend himself.

by the way, retreat to where, 2 rooms away. Why is that safer? if the BG comes in that room then am I to retreat up through the closet ceiling or out the window?
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Old June 23, 2009, 01:05 PM   #387
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Quote:
Retreating from the use of lethal force includes just standing there and staring the guy down until he runs out as KingEdward is suggesting.
That's sophistry. It is trying to have ones cake and eat it to.
Leaving oneself in proximity to the intruder increases the possibility of violent confrontation. It also implies that you have approached the intruder close enough to observe. Approaching an intruder also increases the chance of a violent confrontation.

Retreat means retreat, physically removing oneself and others from a threatening situation.

By not retreating when possible we are leaving our family at risk.

Put that sentiment into the mall shooter scenario. "Kids, hide behind the Sears manikin, while daddy observes the guy with the AK-47". That simply is not a sane option when retreat is possible.
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Old June 23, 2009, 01:33 PM   #388
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Practical considerations

Have you seen the mess that a person makes bleeding out, the noise on old ear drums a +P+ 9mm makes, indoors, forget your Cel phone after, you can not hear squat! And who said you would not be on your own?

On your own, step out through the garage, safe holds all the good stuff.
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Old June 23, 2009, 01:47 PM   #389
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That's sophistry. It is trying to have ones cake and eat it to.
Leaving oneself in proximity to the intruder increases the possibility of violent confrontation. It also implies that you have approached the intruder close enough to observe. Approaching an intruder also increases the chance of a violent confrontation.
Hell it could be flying pigs eating fruitcake for all I care, it ain't my idea and it's still retreating from the use of lethal force. I said that because I think we are getting too hung up on the word "retreat".

When we say "retreat" in this situation it means not shooting.

For example, (I've used this scenario a thousand times now), I stumble across Joe Thug in my living room with his hands full of TV... in GA I am legally allowed to blow him away, but I personally would retreat from the use of lethal force and order him at gunpoint to put my TV down and lie facedown until the police arrive. THAT (in addition to actually physically retreating) is retreating from the use of force.
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Old June 23, 2009, 01:50 PM   #390
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Quote:
When we say "retreat" in this situation it means not shooting.
No, when YOU say retreat you mean not shooting. I think everyone else thus far understands it to mean LEAVING.


Retreat:

(military) withdrawal of troops to a more favorable position to escape the enemy's superior forces or after a defeat; "the disorderly retreat of ...
a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet
(military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position
withdraw: pull back or move away or backward; "The enemy withdrew"; "The limo pulled away from the curb"
(military) a bugle call signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset
move away, as for privacy; "The Pope retreats to Castelgondolfo every summer"
hideaway: an area where you can be alone
retrograde: move back; "The glacier retrogrades"
retirement: withdrawal for prayer and study and meditation; "the religious retreat is a form of vacation activity"
make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity; "We'll have to crawfish out from meeting with him"; "He backed out of his earlier promise"; "The aggressive investment company pulled in its horns"
the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant)

You can individually decide that a word has some new meaning, but don't think everyone else understands or accepts your new meaning.
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:01 PM   #391
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make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity
This is the sense of the word I think applies more here, thanks pete. The above is not an actual physical retreat it is a retreat from a particular course of action. When you catch an BG in your house, decide not to shoot him for whatever reason, and order him to wait while you call the police you have just retreated from the use of lethal force.


Enough with the word games already.

Quote:
You can individually decide that a word has some new meaning, but don't think everyone else understands or accepts your new meaning.
It's not a new meaning, it's just the nuances of the English Language.
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:01 PM   #392
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"Leaving oneself in proximity to the intruder increases the possibility of violent confrontation."

or,

The intruder increases the possibility of violent confrontation by not fleeing.
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:02 PM   #393
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OKay KingEdward, that is a fair answer to the question. Could you tell me though why in your words there is no moral duty to retreat in the situation? I'm not suggesting a right or wrong answer, I just want to know your line of reasoning. Thanks.
I can't speak for KingEdward, but I'll give you my answer. First, the question is far too broad. The answer will vary depending on the situation. Since the discussion has seemed to focus on the home, I'll go with that. I believe that there is a form of moral duty to retreat. However, what does the "retreat" entail?

I have peacefully "retreated" to my home for the evening. This is a place of safety and security. In breaking into my home, the BG has ADVANCED into my place of safety and security. I have passively retreated, he has actively violated. In Florida, and most states, this is the basis of the CASTLE doctrine. Previously, I had to determine the threat level of the BG as well as his intent. In the dark from a sound sleep, this is, at best, a tricky proposition. That is why the CASTLE doctrine is so beneficial. The legal requirement for me to cognitively work through multiple levels of threat assessment is obviated. Now, the ACTIVE, CRIMINAL action taken by the BG automatically includes an inherent threat to my physical safety.

Therefore, the BG has put himself in the place of the primary moral actor. In other words, his ACTIVE action has become the main focus of moral judgement. He lives in a state with a CASTLE doctrine, knows homeowners may be armed (and chose to ignore the got sig? bumper sticker on my truck ) and still CHOOSES TO ADVANCE into my "retreat," then whatever follows is HIS RESPONSIBILITY. HE IS THE ACTOR! THE MORAL STAIN FOR WHATEVER RESULTS FROM HIS CHOICE IS ON HIS SOUL!

Now, in a public place, depending on the situation, everything changes.

Quote:
Hate. Rage. Inadequacy
Alaska, you are far to intelligent to stoop to ad hominem attack. I have a different, but equally well thought out position as yours. To state that those who have a different view are filled with Hate or Inadequacy is ignorant and, dare I say, hateful itself. I think you are referring to those who appear to be bloodthirsty, but you don't differentiate.

Quote:
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.
Peetza, that is rediculous. To your first point, no, the answer could be as I posted above. I have retreated to my home. He has violated the sanctity of my home and placed himself in danger. That leads to your second point. Of course there is a difference. When he is caught six months later, he is in custody, he is not a danger. When he is in my living room at 3am, he is a significant danger to my well being. That is the answer to both your points. Someone in my home illegally, in contravention of law, is INHERENTLY A DANGER TO MY PERSONAL SAFETY! It's not that the BG gets shot for violating "personal space," it's that in violating this particular "personal space" he has placed me in danger. Will he kill me to avoid being caught? Since I don't have ESP, I can only assume that the previous escallating criminal actions (tresspassing, breaking and entering, home invasion) lead me to believe that battery or murder are reasonable next steps.

My idea of moral duty is to identify and warn. If I have the drop on the BG, or BG appears to be unarmed, I will give him a chance to surrender. That is my moral duty.
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:06 PM   #394
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Forgot to include this.

Quote:
For example, (I've used this scenario a thousand times now), I stumble across Joe Thug in my living room with his hands full of TV... in GA I am legally allowed to blow him away, but I personally would retreat from the use of lethal force and order him at gunpoint to put my TV down and lie facedown until the police arrive. THAT (in addition to actually physically retreating) is retreating from the use of force.
GSU has my idea perfectly. If his hands are full of TV, shooting him would be killing an unarmed man. If his hands are full of pistol or knife, well, not so much. (If he has a pistol in one hand and my laptop or little LCD tv in the other, I'll try not to hit the electronics. )
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:25 PM   #395
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This is the sense of the word I think applies more here, thanks pete.
So then you are committed to killing someone who is in your house? If you are already saying that you "might not" then you are far from committed. Not to mention, the CONTEXT of a question very often clarifies the meaning of the word. In the context of this question, the meaning is clearly physical retreat. Enough of the word games is right. It was really a Yes or No question.

Quote:
Peetza, that is rediculous.
It's not ridiculous. It is the essence of the question. The mere presence of an uninvited person in your living room does not make them a danger to your well being. Them having a gun or a knife or diving toward you would make them a danger to your well being.

The question is "If you can retreat with safety..." If person has a gun or is attacking you then it is simple logic that you can NOT retreat safely and it would seem pertinent to engage the THREAT. A thief is not a threat to your personal safety. If you make the ASSUMPTION that he is then your answer to the question is a simple "No, I will not retreat."


Let's not over complicate this folks. It really is as simple as Yes/No.
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Old June 23, 2009, 02:27 PM   #396
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Ken, thanks for another book-length thread. I'm just sorry it got this far along before i got back to the keyboard- it's a pretty hefty read for one sitting.

I don't know if you've seen it, but I've gotten a lot of benefit out of the work of Skip Gochenour and the folks at ATSA. One essay with a lot of application here IMHO is the one posted at http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...2_StudyDay.htm .

The first part of it reads as follows:

You Maybe Whatever You Resolve to Be
ATSA STUDY GROUP
February 17, 2007
By: Skip Gochenour

YOU MAY BE WHATEVER YOU RESOLVE TO BE

YOU HAVE RESOLVED TO BE THE ULTIMATE MORAL ARBITER!

YOU HAVE TAKEN IT UPON YOURSELF TO BE ABLE TO LOOK AT A SET OF RAPIDLY EVOLVING FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND DECIDE THAT THEY MEAN SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE LETHAL FORCE USED ON THEM AND YOU NEED TO DO IT.

As a person who carries weapons about in society you have decided that you are a moral arbiter.

You are obliged to prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally for the role as a moral arbiter.

You are obliged to train your body, mind and spirit for your role as moral arbiter.

Failure to accept and exercise these obligations is an exercise in immorality. It is a failure of discipline and self-control.
=========================

And here we are, right here and now- busy training mind and spirit in order to better exercise these obligations. Some good work has taken place here. Some serious self examination as well as examination of others' positions and thoughts.

Skip covered the legal issues of self defense in another lecture, the notes to which are posted at http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...2_StudyDay.htm . I was lucky enough to hear this one delivered live, at one of Andy Stanford's training events at Titusville, FL. It was the best presentation I've ever heard on the subject, and I wish everyone here could have been there or at Tom Givens' Polite Society event that year, where I understand Skip delivered the same lecture.

So here we have the moral aspects of the question, and over there we have the legal aspects. Where does that leave us?

Mostly somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis, as the length of this thread indicates. I usually bring up another lecture from yet another trainer in reference to all this- John Farnam. He said,

...The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don't be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don't go to stupid places. Don't associate with stupid people. Don't do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the "penalty" for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable. ... -- http://www.defense-training.com/quips/2003/19Mar03.html

From all of this, from all the training I have had, and from a reasonably long and (to me) certainly interesting life so far, I've learned this much. I don't want to have to shoot anyone. That isn't to say I wouldn't if I absolutely had to, but I don't want to.

I spent a couple of license terms (six years total) as an EMT in years gone by. I saw enough stuff in those years that- well, I wish I could erase some of those memories. And I sure don't want to add any more like them. A few months ago, I was driving along behind another car which struck a teenager on a dirtbike when he pulled out on the hiway without stopping. So yet another memory got added to the film loops in my mind- this kid describing three full cartwheels in midair out of a cloud of tire smoke, over some mailboxes and down into the road ditch.

Fortunately all he got out of it was a broken leg, but you couldn't have told it from what I saw originally. I figured I was going to find a dead kid in that ditch when I got down there. He was lucky. He used up a half dozen of his nine lives that day, and shortened the only one I have left a little bit too 8^).

So the last film loop I want playing in my mind, IF I can possibly keep it from happening, is the image of my front sight on some thug's COM and the results of the shots. Is that enough to make me hesitate if I really need to press the trigger? No, I doubt it. But it doesn't keep me from not wanting it to happen.

Skip winds up his legal lecture with the concept of ADEE- Avoid, Disengage, Escape, Evade. In my mind that is the ideal approach to these issues, if in fact it is possible under whatever circumstances prevail. It's a concept I'd like to see taught- and embraced- more widely.

Thanks again, Ken-

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Old June 23, 2009, 02:49 PM   #397
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Thanks Lee, there's a lot you wrote that I've pondered about and always suspected, but haven't had the experience to understand or express in writing.
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Old June 23, 2009, 03:27 PM   #398
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ADEE- Avoid, Disengage, Escape, Evade.

Thanks Lee. I love a good acronym.

This concept is what the CCW instructor taught.

It can apply also to inside one's home which is the OP here

but that is where it can get more difficult and complex.

ADEE within a home and particularly a smaller home or condo
may not be easily achieved.
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Old June 23, 2009, 03:52 PM   #399
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Quote:
If you stand your ground with gun in hand, you are saying that you are willing to kill rather than retreat any further
Willing to, if it becomes necessary, but not eager to kill. There is a great big division between the two. If you are eager to kill someone for trespassing it is a different story than be willing to confront someone then kill if the need arises. We need to keep that in mind. I would not kill someone for simply entering my home illegally. I would kill them if they became an immediate threat to my physical well being as a result of their trespass.
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Old June 23, 2009, 03:52 PM   #400
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Interesting twist on the poll question...

Does an armed homeowner have a moral/ethical obligation to confront?
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