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Old June 16, 2009, 05:16 PM   #132
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,098
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
But if you can escape - it proactive killing moral?
I don't think so.

If you (and yours, however defined) are able to escape, then as far as I'm concerned, you ought to do so. If you can't safely do so, then of course, do what you need to do protect yourself from the immediate threat; but no individual has a right to decide that another person deserves to die because he might be a potential threat to someone else.
Originally Posted by stargazer65
I personally haven't been given the wisdom or authority to remove dangerous elements from society at will, I would normally defer that to the justice system and ultimately a higher power.
Exactly. We as citizens, as individual humans, aren't entitled to decide who should live and who should die.

What's more, as gun owners, many of us profess a greater concern than usual about the Constitution and the rights it secures to us. Among other things, it secures the right to due process of law to anyone accused of a crime. So, in the first place, how do you "proactively" kill someone without violating their right to due process? And secondly, even within the legal system, there is ZERO provision for taking away someone's life or liberty, without their having been convicted of a crime, just because they might commit one in the future. (Granted, the treatment by the US government of so-called "unlawful enemy combatants" egregiously violates this principle, but that's another subject.) So if it can't be done within the framework of the criminal justice system, how can an individual possibly be justified in doing it? (This, by the way, is why the issue of what any of us thinks about the death penalty is pretty much a red herring. Even if you're in favor of it, that's not a justification for taking the law into your own hands.)

"Proactive killing" = vigilantism = murder, as far as I'm concerned. We of all people should have more respect for the Constitutional right to due process than this.
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