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Old July 17, 2010, 01:36 AM   #1
usaign
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The Moral Duty to Retreat

Lets put all legalities aside. No matter what the law states, do you have a moral duty to retreat?
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Old July 17, 2010, 02:21 AM   #2
Nnobby45
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Oh give us a break and give us at least one of several dozen possible scenarios so the question can be addressed.

Might as well ask if it's moral to fight back without any details.
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Old July 17, 2010, 02:27 AM   #3
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When, where? Pretty broad question. But I guess that's according to legal matters which you specifically asked us to set aside. I would prefer to never retreat because I would never be shooting at somebody that didn't entirely deserve being shot at. Just my opinion. But treat everybody around you as to how you wish to be treated and you will be allowed to live a long and happy life. I just don't believe in the whole "pitty the criminals" concept that a lot of people have.

While in High School, there was a man that had already been arrested twice, once for aggrivated assault, maybe both times but I'm not entirely sure. A judge decides to let him go after the second offense despite the death threats he had made to a lady and the ladies family. The guy comes onto my school's property during the hours that classes were dismissing for the day, forces the ladies' daughter into his truck right in front of half the school, proceeds to drive out off to a country road where he executed her by a gunshot to the head.

Just last week, somebody in my hometown that was released only 8 months ago on parole from a 18 year prison sentence for first-degree murder once again murdered a total stranger at a gas station. This fine gentleman should have been put away for good a long, long time ago.

I'm sure you could find a million other stories that are more or less similiar to these stories. I don't believe that these people ever deserved a second or third chance. If a person will kill once, they will kill again and again. It was only 100 years ago that cold blooded killers were hung in the middle of a street at 12 o' clock noon. Boy what I would give to have been born in the 1800's......
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Old July 17, 2010, 02:30 AM   #4
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Haha Nnobby45, you beat me to the punch on the endless number of scenarios involved in such a question as this. Please don't think I'm crazy people, I just get really distressed when speaking about bad guys.
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Old July 17, 2010, 02:31 AM   #5
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Morally? No. If someone poses a threat to your safety, or life, there is no moral standpoint for giving the criminal an inch. They are breaking the law, they are a criminal putting you in jeopardy. The only moral obligations I feel are to get home safe to my family.
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Old July 17, 2010, 02:54 AM   #6
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Heres a read for you:


http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=moral


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Old July 17, 2010, 02:56 AM   #7
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Alright, sorry to be posting so much but I can't stop thinking about this post. I want to ask you a question usaign. Would you feel a moral duty to take out a bad guy, assuming that you know for a 100% fact that the guy that you defended yourself against in a non-violent manner was only going to go down the street and murder somebody more defenseless than yourself? If you had absolutely no choice but to choose between a violent criminal's life and a comepletely innocent person's life, which would you choose?

I feel that maybe I'm getting a little too off topic or just headed in a really bad direction, and for that I would like to sincerely appoligize. However, I'm just curious if anybody else sees eye to eye with me in my "preserve a bad guy, kill a good guy" perspective. And I'm not volunteering for any kind of firing line duty or saying that I am of the slightest bit interested in a violent encounter with a bad guy so please don't ask me any scenarios of "would you pull the trigger on a drunk, trash talking outside of a bar" or something of the sort. Again I ask please.
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Old July 17, 2010, 05:25 AM   #8
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usaign, why would you think there was a moral duty to retreat? How would morals mandate what direction you should travel in during a conflict?
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Old July 17, 2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
How would morals mandate what direction you should travel in during a conflict?

Thou shall not commit murder


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Old July 17, 2010, 06:40 AM   #10
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Moral Duty?

One day I heard Mike Huckabee say (about radical islam) its nearly impossible to reason with evil, sometimes you have to kill it!

I suppose this could also apply to a BG anytime anyplace, if the BG doesn't withdraw while looking down the barrel I'd say he's unreasonable & if not evil he woulnt be threatening you/yours in the first place.
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Old July 17, 2010, 06:44 AM   #11
BillCA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildAlaska
Thou shall not commit murder
Nice attempt at baiting...

Murder (transient verb) from Merriam-Webster
1 : to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice
2 : to slaughter wantonly

Legal technicalities aside, if a conflict arises wherein another person presents a grave threat to my life or safety, or that of my family (or pehaps others), then no, I don't feel a moral obligation to retreat. The moral obligation is to prevent him from causing me great bodily injury and/or death.

There is, as Col. Cooper explained, a moral imperative to stand up to evil and defeat it. The more this happens, the safer a society will be. Defeat can be as simple as calling the police quickly and aiding in the prosecution or using lethal force when called for.

With that said, where I might feel a moral obligation to retreat is dependent upon known circumstances. That guy standing in the street screaming like a lunatic while waving a sword can be handled by simply staying away until the police arrive.¹ Until he starts to chase after people. At that point, exigent circumstances dictate stopping him from causing injuries.

¹ Or via the "Indiana Jones" school of threat management.
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Old July 17, 2010, 06:46 AM   #12
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It depends on who's morals you are talking about...
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Old July 17, 2010, 06:50 AM   #13
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Moral duty to retreat? I don't want to hurt anyone. At the same time I don't want anyone hurting me. The only moral duty I have is to protect myself and my family.
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Old July 17, 2010, 07:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Lets put all legalities aside. No matter what the law states, do you have a moral duty to retreat?
NO!

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Old July 17, 2010, 07:46 AM   #15
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I run like a tree, this problem has always worked out for me, no matter the situation I have never had a plan, when I am approached and someone says "SAY MAN!" I say "MAN!!!!!!.

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Old July 17, 2010, 07:48 AM   #16
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Since the question is so general, the response can only be general. I have no desire to take another person's life. I carry a gun, but I am resolved to use it only as a last resort to avoid the death or serious injury of innocents, including most importantly my family. If backing up a step or several steps defuses a situation and causes no shots to be fired, I am willing to put aside my ego and be the one who retreats. If I can get in my car and drive away from a threat I will do so. I will cover any such retreat with a firearm, already drawn if the threat is imminent enough to justify it, but I will retreat from a threat as long as it is tactically safe to do so in order to avoid the grave consequences of taking a human life. I want to be able to say, not just in court but to my Maker, that I had no choice left to me when I pulled the trigger.

Some will call me a coward, I suppose. That is another price I am willing to pay in order to preserve my personal integrity and conscience.
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Old July 17, 2010, 07:55 AM   #17
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Ohio's self defense laws used to contain a "duty to retreat" which meant your first attempts at self protection should involve attempting to flee the situation to safety. That was changed last year with some new laws that were put in place and there is no longer a "duty to retreat" here in Ohio.

If you want to talk "morals" my moral obligation is the protection of myself and my loved ones. If there is a threat to either of us, I'm not going to hesitate. I'm going to kill it and leave the debate over the morality of it to people who have too much time on their hands and too little understanding of real life.
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:04 AM   #18
usaign
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Let me clarify a little.

You have the legal duty to retreat in certain states where it basically says that you have to retreat when possible. For example, you are in your house when someone breaks through the front door. You are near the back door of the house and can easily escape through it. Another example, you are at work alone in the backroom afterhours where there is an exit. You suddenly hear someone force open the front door.

I could go on and on, but in each example you could either stand your ground in defense of your home or work or simply exit through the door. So when its possible do you have a moral duty to retreat?
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:04 AM   #19
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Usually, there is no moral duty to retreat, but moral imperatives to protect can sometimes create circumstances where retreat is the correct moral action.
The most obvious example comes into play when engagement in the battle would result in you losing. If you have good people and/or good works that are dependent on your continued existence, your primary moral obligation can be to them. Another that comes to mind is when your right to remain in place is removed. If, while facing an aggressor on private property, the owner asks you to leave, you become obligated to attempt retreat out of protecting his right to property.

Life, like money or any resource is not meant to be hoarded, but to be used and spent to promote good. Life is simply our time that we have to be "in action" in the world around us.
There is no moral duty to protect the life of an aggressor. His life is his property, and he is spending it in the way he sees fit.
There is also no moral duty to protect you own life (and the lives of innocents) aside from the good that can be done with it : in the present and future. It is the good that we are obligated to protect. All else is property that we each control as our own for a limited time, and that includes life.

We do have an additional choice that is outside of moral duties, but I believe laudable. The principle of forgiveness can allow us to walk away from a fight if the aggressor allows it or if we have achieved the strength necessary to make his strength irrelevant. Forgiveness must never be codified into law or forced upon someone else because the ability to forgive is dependent upon the relative strengths of opponents. Imposing it as a duty, leads to tyranny over the weak.
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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I believe that if you can retreat with complete safety to yourself and others (when and how this happens you can decide in your own mind) then you are morally obligated to do so.

Shooting someone is a last resort.

LAST resort.

Last means that it is final, there are no other options after it. That means that if retreat is an option then it comes BEFORE shooting.


Besides the moral implications, there are legal, financial, social and mental reasons to do everything possible to avoid shooting someone.
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:36 AM   #21
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Quote:
You have the legal duty to retreat in certain states where it basically says that you have to retreat when possible. For example, you are in your house when someone breaks through the front door. You are near the back door of the house and can easily escape through it. Another example, you are at work alone in the backroom afterhours where there is an exit. You suddenly hear someone force open the front door.

I could go on and on, but in each example you could either stand your ground in defense of your home or work or simply exit through the door. So when its possible do you have a moral duty to retreat?
In either case, . . . my first moral duty is to my wife, son, daughter, employee, customer, maintenance person, maid, . . . or any of a number of other folks whom have come to trust me and look up to me as a part of their safety network. Maybe others do, . . . I do not live in a social group where it is every person for their own self.

I do not know what is going on in the other room and I do not know for sure who all is in there, . . . I need to investigate, . . . and will do so 1911, AR, AK, M1A, 870 or whatever in hand as I investigate.

The BG has already shown a total and irreverant disregard for morals, ethics, legalities, etc. and is in all liklihood, . . . hell bent on rape, robbery, thuggery, and other mayhem.

Should I give him a free pass to do so while I run down the alley hoping 911 will be faster acting than 1911 would have been? Give me a break!

Should I take flowers to my daughter who was savagely raped by 4 while I was cowering in the shed out back?

How about a box of candy to my secretary who suffered a broken arm trying to defend herself from three gang bangers?


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Last edited by Mike Irwin; July 17, 2010 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Unwarranted confrontational accusations removed.
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Old July 17, 2010, 09:56 AM   #22
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I am just trying to get ideas on how other people look at this situation.

Its a discussion on how people look at the idea.

Last edited by Mike Irwin; July 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Response to unwarranted confrontational accusations removed.
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:09 AM   #23
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Dwight,

I do believe that it is safe to make the assumption that retreating would be prefaced by complete safety to all innocent parties.

I'm not quite sure why every time the idea of retreat comes up every thread is filled with replies about people getting hurt.

It should be understood without saying that retreat is only an option when it can be done safely.




We also don't need to have the discussion about "how can you KNOW it can be done safely" because, on the internet, we can't know. Every situation is different. There are an infinite number of scenarios.

Make the assumption that retreat is possible with complete safety for all innocent parties but is not required by law.

Are you morally obligated to avoid shooting someone if you have another option?

Frankly, I'm a little disturbed that it even requires discussion.
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:18 AM   #24
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peetza, you sure get disturbed easily. In my opinion, it's a personal decision.
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Old July 17, 2010, 10:22 AM   #25
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Some of you guys really scare me…

The glibness with which you talk about taking another human being’s life is quite repugnant to me. There is only one correct answer to this question: if you can retreat safely, you have a moral obligation to do so. And if your moral compass doesn’t lead you to that conclusion, consider this: your actions WILL be referred to a grand jury, and you will have to explain why you did what you did. You may be indicted, in which case you will be defending yourself in court, with the attendant press coverage and legal expenses. You may be convicted, in which case you might serve time in prison and/or on supervised release, and will lose many of the rights you take for granted, not the least of which is your right to keep and bear arms. Even if you are exonerated, you will probably lie awake nights wondering if you did the right thing. You will be subject to ostracism from the family and supporters of the person you killed, and you may face a civil suit for wrongful death, which, if you lose, could deprive you of everything you’ve worked hard for during your life. Even if you prevail in the lawsuit, you could lose your livelihood if your employer decides he doesn’t want a gun-totin’, trigger happy employee on his payroll.

I fully support the right to carry, but if you think it’s OK to shoot someone even if you can safely withdraw, you should seriously consider whether you’re carrying a firearm for the right reasons. As Peetzakiller says, it’s disturbing that that this topic even requires discussion.
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