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Old December 2, 2000, 04:24 AM   #1
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I really hate to "spill my guts", but I've been into the Maker's Mark tonight and I've been wondering about this for a long time...
When I was a teenager, I stopped a man from beating his girlfriend (in my driveway) by a kick to the solar plexus.
She ran across the street. He coughed and sputtered a bit, got up, and advanced ! I pulled my pistol, warned him that if he were to come closer I would consider him to be threatening my life and that I would fire. (I don't know how I did this but somehow I said it.) He stopped, cursed me, and went to his car. I followed and covered him until he opened the car door (I was afraid that he might have a weapon in the car.) whereupon he noticed my actions and turned to face me. As he again advanced, the police arrived. To make a long story short, they arrested him.
At the time (as now), I KNEW that I could kill him. I had the skill to place the shot. Legally, I was in the clear. I would have been protecting my life while in the process of stopping a felony in progress.
The problem I have is that I WANTED to kill him ...with every fibre of my being. I felt like begging him to give me a legal reason to fire. I truly wanted to rid the world of this vermin.
I had prepared myself for confrontation. I had no doubt that I could use deadly force to protect myself and family. I had the skills necessary for defense but I had never before thought of the emotional consequences of such action. Now I sit in front of a computer 20 years later looking for validation from people I don't even know.
I am normally a peaceful man. I do not willingly hurt anyone. I try to help people, not hurt them.
I had always thought that a deadly force situation would be a kill or be killed affair... a grim duty with no emotion involved. At most, I had thought there would be a sense of regret afterwards at the taking of a life. I had not bargained for the "guilt of desire".
In the end, I did not fire. He served 7 yrs. in Parchman Prison (for 56 counts of "assault with intent" - they counted her bruises)and was released. A few years ago, he returned to the State Pen. on other convictions.

My dilemma is this : As I see it, whether he lived or died is immaterial. My feelings of guilt stem from my earnest desire to harm another human being. Had this been a quick "kill or be killed" scnario, I could have handled it better (I know this from later experience).
Are there others that see things this way? Killing another to protect yourself and yours is justified but does having the DESIRE to kill qualify as evil?

Do others feel guilt for WANTING to harm the bad guys?
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Old December 2, 2000, 04:41 AM   #2
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Some people probably do. I don't. I feel more frustration/guilt over the goblins I have dealt with that I didn't kill maim only because of the legal problems it would entail.

I stopped a guy from assaulting an ex of his [he didn't seem to think she had a right to end the relationship]. The minute I intervened he let go of her. But then he grabbed her purse and took off running with it. I let him go with the purse because from what I know of local laws I wouldn't get away with using lethal force to stop him and figured since the victum new the goblin the cops could pick him up no problem.

Another time I was awakened by a goblin yelling and screaming at a women, that he was hitting [she was already on the ground]. I called 911 and then debated with myself [he had stopped hitting her before I even got 911 dialed] about going out there because I was too physically exhausted to use hand to hand techniques on him and figured unless he did what I told him I would simply have to shoot him [not that I would have minded]. The cops got there and hauled him away...but I still feel a bit of guilt that I didn't go out there myself.
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Old December 2, 2000, 04:45 AM   #3
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Don't be to hard on yourself. You saved the victum and stopped the attack, which is better than you can expect in the real world even if you do everything perfectly. When TSHTF it is VERY hard to think, and you will always 2nd guess yourself later. But remember the 2nd guessing is done with plenty of time to think and no risk of failing.
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Old December 2, 2000, 05:43 AM   #4
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I appreciate your words but what bothered me was this: After the situation was under control - so to speak, I still wanted to nail the bugger. He was no longer a real threat. Even though I would have been technically justified in shooting, doing so would have amounted to an execution.
Using force in the heat of the moment has never bothered me.
I have not allowed this event to alter the way I deal with "Goblins".
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Old December 2, 2000, 10:57 AM   #5
Art Eatman
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I've always figured that those who offer gratuitous harm/violence to others aren't really human. I don't insult animals; I think of these creatures as being on the order of cockroaches or bot-flies. Screw-worms of society.

Just as one does not like to see a dirty sink or toilet bowl, it seems normal to me to want to rid society of various excrescences. The problem arises when one considers the body of law created by our socio-political system, with the ensuing hassles for would-be janitors. Ergo, I restrain my nobler impulses.

To me, your inherent desire is quite normal. Would that more people felt that way. At the same time, your self-restraint is laudable, in that you coped with the reality of society as it is. Self-control in such a situation is a sign of sanity and maturity.


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Old December 2, 2000, 07:25 PM   #6
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Old December 2, 2000, 07:40 PM   #7
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Look at it this way, animal. You may have wanted to kill him for what he did, but you didn't. You stopped him fom beating his girl friend and you did not use lethal force. I would say that you handled the situation very well.
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Old December 2, 2000, 09:26 PM   #8
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Moral dilemma

My .02cents only,
The conflict comes from our upbringing and our experiences. In the Christian faith and others, we are told to respect other living things, that we would go to hell if we killed someone. Socially, we were brought up to protect others, especially someone in need (Good Samaritan).
In the Bible, we also have this duality of a vengeful God (who smote the heathens through his chosen emissaries), then some of us were thrust into combat in wars where killing is not only acceptable, but it was also to survive.
I have a large monkey on my back that I am dealing with, but that's for some other time when the moon is full and we have had a few Shiners.

In your case, you feel guilt because you wanted to zap the BG. The point is you did not. We are not guilty for our thoughts...unless you were brought up Catholic like I was, in which case I should be blind and I should have really hairy palms....I kid...I kid...Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I get to say my rosary again.
In man, we will always have desires that we would like to act on but we don't. That is taking the moral high ground of which is exercised by many of the TFL'ers such as yourself....and that my friend, is the difference.
A lesser man would have acted on his impulse and shot the BG as he appeared to have deserved. A man of moral strength and higher principles would were tempted to, Animal, and you told Satan," To get thee behind me." The temptation and the desire was still presented to you which means you were still being tested...and you stood against the test.

Please take it from someone who has been there several times. You are a man of moral fiber...that's why you were tested. IMO you passed with flying colors.
Now quit beating yourself over this guilt trip and pop open a shiner for each of us. These long posts makes a man dry.
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Old December 3, 2000, 01:18 PM   #9
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Hi Animal,

Don't depair. I think almost all good men have longed to hurt a bad guy because they felt it was the right thing to do. I think of it as a sort of primal extension of the total war mentality that so many Anglophile males gravitate toward. In my experience, I feel this way more than most of the people I know and I stopped feeling bad about it a very long time ago.

Perhpas it would help if you viewed the world as more of a gray area than the pure black and white version many struggle with. To my way of thinking, you are one of the brave and armed members of this gray world we live in. You had a responsibility to help those weaker and perhaps defenseless stay safe from harm.

Being Italian, my family drilled the concept of taking care of women into me early on. My father had me hauling those huge stubborn doors at the mall open for my mother when I was only in Kindergarden with no help whatsoever.

Although I have never seen a woman being beaten by a man, I would certainly intervene if I did. You have nothing to feel bad about. In fact, you should be proud.

- Anthony
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Old December 4, 2000, 09:25 AM   #10
David Scott
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You wanted to shoot. You didn't. That's called civilization.
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Old December 4, 2000, 02:05 PM   #11
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Don't clear leather unless you're ready. If you're not, you may as well just hand the piece over. The "readiness" state is generally perceived by your opponent. It's the line between "ready" and pulling the trigger that we have to worry about.

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Old December 4, 2000, 04:34 PM   #12
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Hey, don't feel too bad. After all, Jesus Himself had to gently remind His desciples that He came to save souls, not destroy them after they were ticked at some folks for behaving badly, wanting to bring down fire from heaven and burn 'em up! So, if THEY had the same attitude, stands to reason we would/could too. I was attacked once for intervening and preventing a man from killing his girlfriend. It ended up just like a chase scene in the movies. He followed and repeatedly rammed my car. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that had I been armed that day, I would have killed him. Justified? Probably. But we both lived to tell about it, and I learned one of the most valuable lessons in my life: That a person CAN reach a point of no return. I was absolutely enraged! To this day, I refuse to CCW because of that incident. I'll give 'em one. Wrong place at the wrong time. But if I'm ever attacked AGAIN, I'll carry.(Yeah, I know what y'all are thinking. IF I survive, right?) Besides, my wife has CCW. I'll let HER do the shootin'.
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Old December 4, 2000, 05:26 PM   #13
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You're Ok . .

As Art pointed out, it's natural to want to be rid of the scumbags, but you did several things that make you a good man. You controlled youself. Though we all hate violent, brutal acts, you didn't sink to his level (hate the sin, not the sinner). Part of being a big kid is controlling your temper, you did that. Further, as gratifying as it would have been to waste the mo'fo', you understand that you're not in the judgment business, vengence is God's, not yours. You came in in the middle of an incident, you don't know all the background or what went on before your arrival, you stopped a violent attack, with held judgment, kept your cool, and everyhting worked out. When one has perfect knowledge, the right decision is easy, anything less is 'best guess'. Carry on, sir. M2
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Old December 4, 2000, 05:50 PM   #14
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I love life.
I step on roaches.
I don't see a dichotomy.
As has been said, when one voluntarily hurts his fellow man without cause, he has moved from being that person that I will risk my life to protect to being a cancer to be excised.
God did not choose to use you as his scalpel that day, but your feelings were natural. Do not judge them, but consider them and their roots carefully.
Best Regards,
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Old December 5, 2000, 03:54 AM   #15
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I appreciate all your responses and kind words.
I didn't mean to imply that I have a 20 year old monkey on my back over this nor did I mean to troll for sympathy. It bothered me for a few years but I have dealt with it. Mainly, I was wondering if others out there had genuinely wanted to kill a particular BG, not done it, and then felt guilty for wanting to. I think I have an answer to that and I guess I'm fairly normal.
At any rate, I didn't allow the "feelings" to get in the way of actions in later scrapes. If anything, I may have overcompensated at times by stepping into any situation that came up (even starting a few with the BGs when I could have left 'em alone). Measured against the average, my 36 years of life have been rather violent.

Anyway, thanks and best wishes to all.

Note/Disclaimer : The original post was written when I was about a third of the way into a bottle of sour mash and for some reason the subject came to my alcohol-soaked mind.
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Old December 5, 2000, 09:16 AM   #16
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Nobody who appreciates Maker's Mark can be all bad.

, Art
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Old December 7, 2000, 08:33 PM   #17
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Shoot let me send you a 6-pack after I get out of training, animal. A man with a conscience is a rarity. You're a good guy. Honored be your name.
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