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Old December 11, 2005, 11:11 PM   #1
RevJim
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New Way of Thinking

I live near Texarkana, a town of about 60,000 people situated on the border of Texas and Arkansas (two police departments, two court systems, etc.). Last Tuesday a salesman at a used car dealership failed to return to work after going out on a test drive. Someone wanted to test drive a BMW 700 series with all the trimmings. The dealership took the driver's information and the salesman left. When he failed to return, the manager called the police, and a search began in both Texas and Arkansas. The next morning the salesman's body was found along a road with at least one bullet wound. That afternoon, two suspects, a male and a female, were arrested and a third was being sought.

Now, here is the horrible part. The male suspect was 17, the female suspect was 16, and the third suspect being sought was 12! Apparently, the 17 year old convinced the company to let him test drive the BMW, then somehow picked up the 12 year old, shot the salesman, and went for a joy ride in the BMW. They drove the car to a park to play some basketball, drove around after the game, and then ditched the car. The female suspect picked the other two up when they ditched the car. She apparently turned the other two in. This was not a gang execution or initiation; this was two youngsters who were willing to kill a man over a joy ride that lasted a couple of hours!

My question is this: had the salesman been carrying a weapon, would he have been been able to bring himself to shoot a 17 year old and a 12 year old? The man in the Tacoma Mall said that he did not shoot the 17 year old. Could you pull the trigger on a 12 year old? How many times would you even dream that a 12 year old would shoot you?

I am afraid that we must change our way of thinking. We cannot approach the criminal with rationality and logic because they do not think rationally or logically. (I.e., surely no one would kill a man over a joy ride!) It sounds so caloused and cruel to say that all people are potential threats to us. So if anyone pulls a gun, male, female, old, young, very young, they are all threats. But could you live with yourself for shooting a 12 year old?

I am not new to the wickedness of people. But this seems to be a new low. And it should cause all of us to stop and think: could you pull the trigger on a 12 year old?

Jim
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Old December 11, 2005, 11:52 PM   #2
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As hard as it is, remember that the choice is not yours whether or not they deserve to die. The choice is whether you want to live at the possibility of their expense. It is hard, but even kids do things that get themselves killed. I would feel horrible but you have to see it as them putting you in a position of life or death. Do you want to tell your wife or your kids that you didn't love them more than a stranger that tried to kill you? I don't care if they are 12yrs old or 80yrs old or somewhere in between. My job is to get up, go to work, come home and be a husband (father in the future if I am so lucky). It is not to psych out some kid that decided they didn't want to play "society" today. All I can do is hope they come out of it wiser if they live. I hope they do.
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Old December 12, 2005, 01:02 AM   #3
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First off Reverend, welcome to TFL! The situation you describe is a really, really tough one, and a good question. Sadly, I think it's a sign of the times. We've stopped teaching moral values in schools, and every form of media seems to teach that violence is OK. As the Good Book says, you reap what you sow, so what else can we expect? As tough as it would be though, I think it better to feel remorse than not be able to feel anything at all .
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Old December 12, 2005, 02:48 AM   #4
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It is the youth that scare me. They have 0 experience, NO fear (where have I heard that before?), no concept of loss/remorse and what is worse, they KNOW there isn't much that can be done with them. I recently became aware of a 13 y/o that has tried to use a knife to assault both sets of grandparents, his mother, his sister and his stepfather. He beat his 4 y/o stepbrother with a piece of pipe. He was Tasered this week by LEOs. His bilogical father is in prison for sex crimes. My heart is just cold. I would not trust this kid as far as I could throw an elephant. I am friends with his mother and stepfather. I will see this kid from time to time. The weird part is the absolutely cold/evil snake eye looks that this kid can give you. Pure and innocent is a foreign concept in dealing with youth today. There is a 8 y/o murderer currently in the regional juvenile detention center.
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Old December 12, 2005, 03:13 AM   #5
Glock 31
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Don't ask yourself, "Can I live with the act of killing a 12 year old in order to survive", ask yourself, "Will the 12 year old let me live if I don't?"

Should a child have the power of life or death over an adult? To most kids, anything and everything is fun or just a game.

I might be shunned, abused, threatened, and generally hated for it, but if I chose to pull the trigger, at least i'd be alive to be shunned, abused, threatened, and generally hated.
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Old December 12, 2005, 06:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 31
Don't ask yourself, "Can I live with the act of killing a 12 year old in order to survive"
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 31
"Will the 12 year old let me live if I don't?"
If he's pointing a gun at people at age 12, there are deeper issues, so, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 31
Should a child have the power of life or death over an adult?
If the adult is not doing anything to threaten their life? No

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 31
To most kids, anything and everything is fun or just a game.
True...But this kid was conditioned at an early age that harming people is OK

Kid has issues.



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Old December 12, 2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
... I recently became aware of a 13 y/o that has tried to use a knife to assault both sets of grandparents, his mother, his sister and his stepfather. He beat his 4 y/o stepbrother with a piece of pipe. He was Tasered this week by LEOs. .
We had some friends with a child who was considered "bi-polar." Whatever the reason, and I'd hate to speculate, he was a sweet kid 99% of the time, but the other 1% we was an evil, uncaring monster who would seriously hurt anyone around. They had to lock him in his room at night or they were literally afraid he'd have an episode and stab then while they were sleeping. And he was only 12 at the time!

The kid was from a broken home, the mother had used drugs when she was pregnant (she's been clean since we've known her, BTW) but a lot of kids come from a situation like that and are relatively normal.

Scary stuff ...
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Old December 12, 2005, 02:01 PM   #8
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You have to look at it as they decided to put you in that spot so as I tell my CCW classes it's them that made the decision to put you there so it's their decision as to weather they want to live or die. In 20 years as a Paramedic I have see things that people have done to each other and I refuse to let that happen to me or mine. So if the choice came down to him or me my answer is yes I'd fell bad but would be a live to fell bad. Be Safe Out There. Kurt
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Old December 12, 2005, 08:53 PM   #9
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Anyone who decides to put my life or the lives of my family at the sole of their shoe deserves no pity, no remorse, and no mercy. I fully intend to spare no ruthlessness in the pursuit of my life verses someone else's if they intend to do myself or my family harm. I'm an "equal opportunity defender", I don't care what color, race, religion, sex, orientation, age, or any other factor the other party may fall under, you leave myself and my family in peace and I will do likewise. Choose something other than peace and you deserve nothing but the aggresive, decisive, and ruthlessness of my response to the choice you have made.
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Old December 12, 2005, 09:02 PM   #10
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gddyup

Very well said. i agree 100% leave me and mine alone and i will do the same. If not no quarter will be given.
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:06 AM   #11
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if a kid pulls a weapon intent on using it on me and I have the chance, I will blow his 'little' brains out...although I 'like' kids...I often don't trust them....lots of the kids today are cold-hearted...quite a bit different than 20+ years ago when I was still a kid...
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:27 AM   #12
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Some common sense might have saved this guy, such as checking the DL on the kid that wanted to drive the car. A 17 year old kid has no business test driving a BMW 700.
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:33 AM   #13
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ummm.. my thoughts

What made them give a 17 year old a test drive without any parents present? I dont think 17 is old enough to enter into a contract to purchase the car. Unless he had a big stash of cash on him?
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:37 AM   #14
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Kids are getting worse and worse. And alot of parents dont seem to want to do something about their kids and blame teachers if there kid is a trouble maker and hurt other kids in school seriously for example! Where is the logic in that

Games like Halo, Rainbow Six, Counter Strike, Grand Theif Auto, Splinter Cell, and other games that make fighting wars and shooting people look cool and if you get killed you can always reset

War movies and movies invovling death dont look at both the "hero" and the "bad" stuff anymore like they used to. they only look at the "hero" and "cool" stuff. They make kids think its all glory and nothing else.

Quote:
Some common sense might have saved this guy, such as checking the DL on the kid that wanted to drive the car. A 17 year old kid has no business test driving a BMW 700.
Humm thats a vaild point A 17 year old kid has no bussince going to test drive a car. Even with a load of money I wouldnt have let the kid test drive it. The kid being a newer driver on that expensive car I'd have asked for the full car cost and then if he comes back with the car unscrachted I'd have given him is money back

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Old December 13, 2005, 01:43 AM   #15
Glock 31
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Oh you did not just go after halo!

If someone can't determine the difference between a game and real life, they have no buisness in society what so ever. It's not the game's fault, it's the parent's who don't watch what their child is involved in.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:57 AM   #16
Solomon Kane
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True...But this kid was conditioned at an early age that harming people is OK
More likely it's the opposite: he wasn't conditioned into thinking it was wrong. If you ever spend time in a church nursery, you'll be suprised at the number of kids who spontaneously pick a toy and begin smacking other kids with it. Children need to be taught to respect life because otherwise they will disregard it. It's human nature.

Quote:
Some common sense might have saved this guy, such as checking the DL on the kid that wanted to drive the car. A 17 year old kid has no business test driving a BMW 700.
We need more facts before we judge their errors on this one. What if the kid managed to get a hold of someone else's lisence? Many times this ploy is used to get into bars. Worse yet, what if the salesman knew the kid and was just doing him a kindness? Whatever the case, I somehow doubt a Beamer dealer would just let a random teenager just take a test drive. There are probably some things on this account that we don't know yet.
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Old December 13, 2005, 03:00 AM   #17
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What turns a kid into a cold hearted killer? Why has he not learned respect for life? Killing for joy or for God, the world is going insane.

In Iraq the Muslim extreemist send their children out in front of our trucks as we convoy. If you stop then the convoy gets shot up and you and your friends die. Or you run over the kid.

I repeat the world is going insane.

25
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Old December 13, 2005, 03:11 AM   #18
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The world has always been insane. You should look into some of the things that went on in this country during the civil war. I think Solomon Kane hit the nail on the head, we need to teach our kids compassion, if we don't this is what we will see alot more of. Also how can you blame video games!?! I did not think I would find a Leiberman support on TFL! Kids were pretending to shoot eatch other while paying cowboys and indians a Century ago. A when the game was over the "dead" ones always get back up. This is natural, and it does not make kids into killing machines.
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Old December 13, 2005, 04:02 AM   #19
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I did not think I would find a Leiberman support on TFL!

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Old December 13, 2005, 11:04 AM   #20
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Not an easy question

Unfortunately, it is our culture that causes us to defer or at the very least hesitate when confronted by a female (especially if attractive) or a child.

Didn't we see the same thing in Viet Nam? VC would use women and children to approach our soldiers knowing that we would hesitate to shoot and kill them. And it worked - for awhile.

I am not meaning to challenge anyone's determination to protect themselves or their family, but let's remember that the confrontation will probably not be one that will instantly identify the child as a threat, i.e. the sound of breaking glass followed by an intruder approaching our bedroom... thats too easy. I don't want to play the paranoia game, but imagine any one of the kids at the mall, or the kid knocking of your door for the school fund raising? Would your mind flash back to the television news last week when an fifth grade boy brought an unloaded revolver to school?

You are absolutely correct Capt Charlie stating that "The situation you describe is a really, really tough one", and it is something we need to be cognizent of and begin to condition our mindset to the possiblity. I think the real question is not whether one would "pull the trigger on a twelve year old", but would you DRAW on a twelve year old? Or an adolescent girl? And exactly what would it take to make you perceive this kid as a deadly threat?
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Old December 13, 2005, 11:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
If someone can't determine the difference between a game and real life, they have no buisness in society what so ever. It's not the game's fault, it's the parent's who don't watch what their child is involved in.
Well younger kids brains arnt fully developed and they cant seperate between a game or movie and real life.

And yes I do belive its the parents fault for feeding them these things and not talking to them to show them how it might be fun on a game but its not a good thing in real life.

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Old December 13, 2005, 12:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevJim
Could you pull the trigger on a 12 year old?
A man once told me a story, I'll keep my recount pithy: In Vietnam this man was faced with a situation where he had to shoot a child. He was standing on a cliff, about 25ft high or so. I don't remember the particulars of why he was standing there - irrelevant anyway.

He turned around to find a boy, by his estimate about 12-14 yrs old, pointing a rifle at him. He shot that boy. It's an ugly memory for him, and it disturbs him deeply. He knows he made the right decision, but he also knows the result of that decision is ugly, and he has to live with that until he passes on.

I know this story has to do with a war setting, but in its most basic form, it's still about that split second decision you must make, which will determine whether you live or die. Allowing certain details to slow his decision-making process may have resulted in his death.

In no way is this post an endorsement not to consider all variables before taking someone’s life. I will say that certain variables should be given more credence than others.

Life or death. No middle ground. Harsh decisions often have harsh results. Ain’t life grand.

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Old December 13, 2005, 12:33 PM   #23
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Who was the actual trigger man? I'm willing to bet that it was the 17 year old. Maybe the 12 year old was just along for the ride. I'm not saying it isn't possible, especially since he probably has a very limited concept of right and wrong and consequences.

To be perfectly honest, I would probably hesitate to shoot a 12 year old. I feel there is a big possibility that it is either a toy gun or a pellet gun. I would tell him to not point that thing at me but I would try to see if it was real before just blowing him away. If it is a real gun, I guess I risk getting shot. Its not every day you have a 12 year old walking around with a real gun. If he fired a shot, I would gladly return the favor.

As for the dealership allowing 17 year olds to test drive $75,000 cars, they must be out of their minds. The kid probably just got his license. If this was Palm Beach or Beverly Hills, I would probably say they kid could cough up the dough, but Arkansas?

As for the salesman carrying a weapon, it might not have done much good. On most test drives I have gone on, the salesperson often takes the front passenger seat. If someone in the back seat whipped out a gun and put it to the back of your head, what chance do you have of drawing and returning fire? Maybe if you are the ultimate armchair warrior or mall ninja, you could dodge the bullet and reach back to break the guy's neck with the quick flick of your wrist. Sadly, being armed does not always save us. Even if the salesman was doing a vehicle demo and driving the car, he couldn't do much if the passenger pulled out a gun on him. I think there was a recent thread on this... Can you draw and fire, without getting killed, if someone already has a gun leveld at you?

Society really is going to hell in a hand basket. In this case, it was a $70k+ BMW instead of a basket. Maybe I should stop playing so much Grand Theft Auto.
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:59 PM   #24
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While it is hard to shoot a minor in self defense, the problem is they are more likely to kill you than an adult. A least some adult may be smart enough to think, "I'm not killing this saleman for a joyride in a $70,000 car." Kids are naive, even the evil ones, They think everything is like TV and the Movies. I would be more worried that a kid with a gun will kill me, so to see my family again I would have to kill him.
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Old December 13, 2005, 04:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
How many times would you even dream that a 12 year old would shoot you?
That's a nightmare, not a dream...

I would if all the requirement were met for my deadly force requirement. No hesitation - afterall, as has been discussed - juveniles are just as and sometimes moreso dangerous than adults.
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