The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

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

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old June 12, 2009, 12:33 AM   #76
jjyergler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2008
Posts: 295
I think some here are debating past each other. There are two types of morality: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism.

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

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

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

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

Societal evolution and the evolution of morality.
In a relativist world, both answers might be no, or they might be yes. The important thing is you really can't say, because the answer changes. In an absolutist world, things are more certain. Both questions have a correct answer that never changes, the important thing is against what scale are you judging?
__________________
Remington Nylon 66 .22LR - Squirrels Beware
Browning BAR Safari II .270 Win - Whitetails Beware
Sig Sauer P229 .40 S+W - Burglars Beware
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation .22LR - Tincans Beware
jjyergler is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 07:01 AM   #77
kristop64089
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 2006
Location: 30 miles from Sixer
Posts: 3,762
I voted retreat, as long as it was safe to do so.
I have no desire to be in a fire fight. I also have no desire to let some thug cause harm to me or mine. I will decide what is safe to me, no one else.
Legaly, it would be my word against evidence in the courts. Morally, I'd have to decide everynight, for the rest of my life if Had made the right decision. I have a very strong moral code, and if I saw that there was no safe retreat, then I would not hesitate, to commit to the situation at hand.

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

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


Anytime you an individual takes an offensive stance, you must be prepared to act. I wasn't(as I think many aren't) Different BG, or time of day, and I'd be a statistic, I didn't act!
__________________
Quote:
If a chicken and a half laid an egg and a half in a minute and a half...how long would it take a monkey with a wooden leg to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?

Last edited by kristop64089; June 12, 2009 at 07:10 AM.
kristop64089 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 07:35 AM   #78
rampage841512
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 16, 2007
Location: Gardendale, Alabama
Posts: 665
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanentely if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.
__________________
"What is play to the fool and the idiot is deadly serious to the man with the gun."
Walt Rauch,Combat Handguns, May '08
rampage841512 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 07:53 AM   #79
ECHOONE
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2008
Location: FL
Posts: 204
This is a very Gray area and is going to depend on circumstances in home,car or business it's a definete NO RETREAT! On the street however we have to remember a CCW does not make us a cop, A CCW puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on our shoulders,to get involved in a shooting we have to weigh our decision of what is going to qualify as a justified shooting in what could be split seconds and that choice better be a good one or that bad guy could be laughing as our butt sits in jail and our loved ones loose everything due to the court cost's that ruin us! It would be the smartest thing in the world for all of us to try to remember to put some form of retreat format in our training so we automatically fall back on it's use if a sit rep every befalls us, it would only beneifit us in the long run to be able to show/document we tried to,retreat/break off/get away, but the bad guy kept the pursuit up, so we had no choice but to save our lives! a trail of your spent cartridges going backwards would certainly imply your intent to retreat even if it were just a few! That would go a long way in a court of law,little things count.Now don't take this out of context if a bg guy jumps out with a knife at your throat thrashing,this is a Immediate threat,like I said it all depends on the sit rep and as CCW holders we have tremendous responsibilities that we must make ourselves prepared for,most we don"t even think about,but should adapt for in our training
ECHOONE is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 09:35 AM   #80
bababooey32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 161
csmss

Quote:
Well, it's never "just stuff" - if it was just stuff, you wouldn't keep it in your home - you'd throw it out with the trash, wouldn't you? The things you own are the product of your own labours, and have value - at least to me they do. And in your hypothetical above, how do you know there isn't a bad guy waiting just outside your back door?
Compared to me and my family's lives, yes it is just STUFF. Entering into a gun battle over said stuff, in my opinion, is not worth it if I have an easy escape with my life. As anyone who has been in a gunfight can tell you, the outcome is VERY uncertain. I'm not willing to risk my life over STUFF, if there is an escape route (even valuable and sentimental STUFF).

While you are correct that it is unknowable whether there is a BG waiting out the back door, it is equally unknowable if 3 or 4 bgs are coming in the front door, all with automatic weapons (see this video)...In any uncertain situation one has to make a split-second decision that takes him down the path of least resistance. Ultimately that decision may have to be reconsidered. If you find a BG out your back door, then you get your opportunity to protect your STUFF!
bababooey32 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 10:03 AM   #81
.22lr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2007
Posts: 239
Quote:
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanently if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.
Please elaborate, as this sounds similar to the idea that the "hero" is "Judge, Jury and Executioner".

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

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

Matt
.22lr is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 10:12 AM   #82
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,772
Quote:
I think some here are debating past each other. There are two types of morality: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism.
That is indeed the case. As such, there are only 3 possible answers.

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

2) If moral absolutes are true then it either absolutely is mandated to retreat when possible or it is not mandated to retreat when possible. There would be no middle ground. There could be opinions, but one opinion would be right and the other wrong, regardless of who or how many believe the right thing or do not.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 10:19 AM   #83
Playboypenguin
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,515
Quote:
Quote:
Responding to the OP only: it has always been my personal belief that a person should stop a criminal permanently if given an opportunity. I came to this conclusion based on the twin facts that it conforms to my moral principles and is the most practical solution to crime.
Please elaborate, as this sounds similar to the idea that the "hero" is "Judge, Jury and Executioner".
Yes, it does sound that way...and by the reasoning of the first statement it would then be okay to "permanently stop" the person who appointed himself executioner since he is then by very definition a criminal himself.
Playboypenguin is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 12:15 PM   #84
jjyergler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2008
Posts: 295
Peetza, you said what I meant even better than I.

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

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

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

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

To paraphrase, the Good Lord may forgive, but the State of Mississippi is another matter. I have a MORAL duty to understand the LEGAL ramifications of my actions. If I go to jail and leave my family in the lurch because I did not understand the legal ramifications of my actions, there is some moral consequenses between God and me.
__________________
Remington Nylon 66 .22LR - Squirrels Beware
Browning BAR Safari II .270 Win - Whitetails Beware
Sig Sauer P229 .40 S+W - Burglars Beware
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation .22LR - Tincans Beware
jjyergler is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 12:18 PM   #85
jjyergler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2008
Posts: 295
BTW Peetza,

Quote:
As such, there are only 3 possible answers.
What's the third answer?
Are you leaving that up to us? Are you a relativist?
__________________
Remington Nylon 66 .22LR - Squirrels Beware
Browning BAR Safari II .270 Win - Whitetails Beware
Sig Sauer P229 .40 S+W - Burglars Beware
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation .22LR - Tincans Beware
jjyergler is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 12:56 PM   #86
rampage841512
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 16, 2007
Location: Gardendale, Alabama
Posts: 665
Let's restate it for the simple: when in a situation where one can legally kill a criminal, one should.

Edit: to further elaborate, the OP ask should one retreat if it is an option when deadly force justified. One should not. Is this vigilantism? Hardly, when the law allows such action to be taken.
__________________
"What is play to the fool and the idiot is deadly serious to the man with the gun."
Walt Rauch,Combat Handguns, May '08

Last edited by rampage841512; June 12, 2009 at 01:05 PM.
rampage841512 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:00 PM   #87
Playboypenguin
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Great Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,515
PS: Just because I voted for the third option does not mean that I do not want to see the lard wrestling photos.
Playboypenguin is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:09 PM   #88
Tucker 1371
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 1,998
Quote:
PS: Just because I voted for the third option does not mean that I do not want to see the lard wrestling photos.
+1

There's a line between funny and disturbing and you flirt with it quite a bit WA (still funnny in this case though )
__________________
NCO of Marines, 3rd Award Expert Rifle, 236 KD Range
D Co, 4th CEB, Engineers UP!! OEF 21JUN-20SEP2011
REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Tucker 1371 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:27 PM   #89
Donn_N
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2009
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 138
Given the option, I would always retreat. Morals have nothing to do with it. It just makes sense. It is not my job to stop crime. It is only my job to protect myself. By protecting myself, I protect my family.

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

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

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

Avoid fights and you avoid the risk of losing.
Donn_N is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:33 PM   #90
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,792
I'm up for seeing the pics of the rasslin in lard in the kiddie pool
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:39 PM   #91
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,772
Quote:
What's the third answer?
Yeah, sorry, that was badly formulated, 2 and 3 are together.

1)No right or wrong.

2)Retreat is morally required.

3)Retreat is NOT morally required.

Those are the options, in the simplest terms. There are no other possibilities.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; June 12, 2009 at 09:45 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 01:55 PM   #92
stargazer65
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 761
Donn_N poses a question which I find to be a difficult dilemna for myself:

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

When I was in the military I realized that it was my duty to put myself in possible risk. Now I find this situation in civilian life is maybe not so clear cut.
__________________
"I assert that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause." Jonathan Edwards
stargazer65 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 02:41 PM   #93
Vanya
Staff
 
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 3,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer65
Morally I feel I have to protect a life even a bystander, but at what risk? I'm not sure...
It might be worth comparing this type of situation with those encountered by EMT's and other first responders. As has been pointed out in some other threads, and has been stressed in first responder (wilderness medicine) classes I've taken, your first duty is to assess the scene and determine if it's safe for you to render aid. It doesn't matter if someone is bleeding out, not breathing, etc., etc. -- before rendering aid, your first responsibility in an emergency is not to become another victim.

As a matter of both ethics and common sense, I see no reason why this principle wouldn't apply to a situation involving the defense of bystanders, as well. A person might choose to intervene even if it were not safe to do so, especially in the case of a threat to family or friends, but that choice would be based on emotion, not on principle.
__________________
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)
Vanya is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 02:45 PM   #94
jjyergler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2008
Posts: 295
Stargazer

+1

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

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

Quote:
I'm up for seeing the pics of the rasslin in lard in the kiddie pool
Don, this is definitely something to keep between you and your higher power!
__________________
Remington Nylon 66 .22LR - Squirrels Beware
Browning BAR Safari II .270 Win - Whitetails Beware
Sig Sauer P229 .40 S+W - Burglars Beware
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation .22LR - Tincans Beware
jjyergler is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 02:52 PM   #95
Tucker 1371
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 1,998
At this point in my life I have no dependents, no wife, no kids. For the time being I feel that if someone's life (not property) is in danger and I am in a position to protect them without further endangering them or others (myself not included) then I should take it.

That might change when my responsibilities expand a little but for now this is how I feel.
__________________
NCO of Marines, 3rd Award Expert Rifle, 236 KD Range
D Co, 4th CEB, Engineers UP!! OEF 21JUN-20SEP2011
REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Tucker 1371 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 05:16 PM   #96
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Nope - no moral duty.

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

However, there are special circumstances where I would retreat or not immediately try to neutralize the threat. For instance, if the attacker is;
  • A young child (i.e. pre-adolsecent)
  • In an emotional crisis and shooting wildly with little effect.
  • In front of a day-care center.
  • In or near a milling crowd of uninvolved people.
  • Nearby to something dangerous or irreplaceable (fuel, storage, priceless artwork like the Mona Lisa).
With the above list, I think there is a moral duty to make your retreat and/or try something else first.
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 05:29 PM   #97
luvsasmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 20, 2008
Posts: 358
Don't take away my right to choose

If someone is attempting to harm you or your family or if you have a fear that you can articulate to another person that your life or another's is in danger, the person endangering your life or another's has taken away your right to choose to harm (or kill) them or not.
__________________
"You can't miss fast enough to win a gun fight."
luvsasmith is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 05:37 PM   #98
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
But does he have a moral/ehtical duty to do so? I postulate that the responsible armed citizen does. Vote and discuss.
There's no question that we all have a duty to retreat in the eyes of those who would make moral judgements about every type of conduct. Their views are even reflected in laws when they control legislatures.

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

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

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

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



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

Last edited by Nnobby45; June 12, 2009 at 05:55 PM.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 06:38 PM   #99
stargazer65
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 761
Well, the only judgment I'll pass on anybody is who looks better in spandex, WA or spiff.
__________________
"I assert that nothing ever comes to pass without a cause." Jonathan Edwards
stargazer65 is offline  
Old June 12, 2009, 07:24 PM   #100
EnoughGUN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2009
Posts: 439
moral

Even if you are armed and have the immediate ability to stop dead someone threatening our life WHY if you have the ability to say slam a steel door infront of you shut wouldn't you?
__________________
GLOCK Austrian for Lemming
EnoughGUN is offline  
Closed Thread

Tags
moral duty , morality

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.19742 seconds with 8 queries