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Thread: NC - Forced to kill: 4 stories of survival

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    I doubt very many people are.



    Sun, Jul. 29, 2007

    Forced to kill: 4 stories of survival

    WHAT IF YOUR LIFE WERE IN DANGER? HOW WOULD YOU REACT? THESE PEOPLE SAVED THEMSELVES AND COPED WITH THE RESULT

    What if your life were in danger? How would you react? These people saved themselves and coped with the result


    GREG LACOUR



    Every year in the United States, about 200 people kill someone in self-defense. It's legal. It's often necessary. But it can emotionally scar the people who do the killing.
    From 2001 through 2006, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigated 25 homicides later ruled justified.
    Generally, police warn the public not to fight robbers because, they say, criminals are more likely to hurt or kill anyone who challenges them. But sometimes people feel they have no choice.
    At least four times this month, would-be crime victims in Charlotte fought back against people trying to rob them. Two suspects were killed, two injured.
    The latest occurred Monday, police said, when a clerk killed a man trying to rob her northeast Charlotte store. Prosecutors haven't decided whether to charge her. But "she is emotionally devastated by the decision that she was forced to make," her lawyer said in a statement.
    Four Charlotteans say they understand how she feels. All fatally shot someone while trying to protect themselves. None was charged. But all four say the killings altered their lives.


    ROY PARKER
    May 19, 2000: Roy Parker, asleep upstairs at home, heard the doorbell ring, then loud banging. Clutching a revolver, he ran to the sunroom. "Stop!" Parker yelled. Outside, a man threw an iron patio chair against the window, shattering it. Parker fired two shots, safety bullets that are designed to disintegrate on impact. The man swung the chair again. The remaining bullets were real. Parker aimed a third time and fired.
    Parker said he never second-guessed his actions.
    He said officers who responded to the shooting of Mitchell Regis, 24, told him they would have done the same thing. Parker said he never wrestled with guilt.
    Before the shooting, he believed deeply in the principle of self-defense, and he and his wife had taken a course on carrying a concealed weapon. He'd owned his .357 Magnum for 20 years, though he'd never shot at anyone. What happened didn't change his views.
    "You don't retreat at 1:30 at night when somebody is breaking into your house," he said last week in his south Charlotte home. "He left me no choice. It was his choice, not mine."
    But after the initial shock wore off, he found his mind replaying the event, the loop endless. "I cried for several days," he said. The former marketing executive, now 58, was in training for a new job. But he couldn't concentrate and didn't start work for more than a month.
    Police referred him to a therapist who works with officers who have killed in the line of duty. Parker showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
    He took anti-anxiety medication and saw the therapist until, after three years, he could function normally again.
    "I killed a person, and I don't like to shoot animals," Parker said. "When somebody attacks you and you defend yourself, you still think, `This is a person who doesn't even know me, and he wants inside my house, and he's not going to stop.'
    "I was trying to make sense of the whole thing."


    JULIE WILLIAMS
    Jan. 1, 2000: Someone had broken into Julie Williams' bail bonding business but the stillness inside made her think she was alone. She flicked on the lights and stepped through the mangled front door. Suddenly, a man lunged at her with a crowbar. She raised her gun and fired.
    Today, two deadbolts secure every outside door of Julie Williams' home. A security system monitors the inside. Video cameras and a Rottweiler guard the yard.
    The retired Charlotte cop installed the security after the shooting because she was afraid.
    Now Williams says she keeps her house locked down because she doesn't want to have to kill again.
    "I just never, ever want to be back in that position," she said.
    Williams, 55, fatally shot Judus Lewis Caudle, 38, on New Year's morning 2000. She'd stopped at Absolute Bail Bonding and interrupted the burglary.
    "There is no doubt in my mind, had I not defended myself, he would have killed me," she said. "But even though you take a life in defense of your own, it's something you have to live with. I live with it daily."
    Williams never returned to the Kings Drive building where the shooting occurred. She now runs an embroidery and screen printing business.
    After the shooting, she became depressed. Then angry. At first, she said, she couldn't talk about the shooting. But now, she thinks it helps.
    "I don't think there are very many days that go by that I don't think about him," she said. "When I wake up, I think about it. When I'm on my (motorcycle), I think about it."
    Williams had been a police officer for 20 years before she retired in 1996 as a sergeant. She never fired her weapon on the job.
    She has a permit and totes a loaded handgun in her purse or pocket.
    After dark, she lays it on the seat of her car. She carries it in her hand as she walks into her house.
    She still remembers Caudle coming at her. "He looked like he was 10 feet tall."
    She remembers him struggling to breathe after he fell to the ground.
    And she remembers stepping over his body to call for help.
    But Williams has forgotten his face.
    "God blocked that image out to help me deal with it," she said.
    "I think that was God's grace."


    RUTH ROBINSON
    June 10, 2000: Inside the Busy Mini-Mart, Ruth Robinson watched as her husband struggled with an armed teenager. She ran to the counter and grabbed a gun. Crouched behind the counter, she fired blindly.
    Ruth Robinson was 66 when she killed Marquis Sanchez Vinson, 17. It was only the second time she'd ever fired a gun, she said.
    "I don't know how to shoot a gun," she said. "He was trying to kill my husband. When I shot, I didn't mean to shoot him. I was just trying to scare him."
    She returned to work at the northwest Charlotte store the next day.
    She and her husband, James, started closing at midnight instead of 2:30 a.m. And they hired a man, kind of like a security guard, to hang out in the store.
    Before the shooting, she and her husband had talked about defending themselves in a robbery.
    "I wasn't mad. I wasn't sad," she said. "I was disappointed that somebody would come and try to rob you when you work so hard."
    Robinson, now 73 and a widow, still runs the register at a relative's store one day a week. She said she thinks about the shooting, most often when she hears about robberies on TV.
    "These young kids, they need to go to school and get an education so they can get a decent job. They don't have to rob people," she said.
    She didn't know the teenager and can't remember his name now. His brother came to see her a few weeks after the shooting, she said, and let her know his family didn't blame her.
    Still, she said, she won't ever forget it.
    In yet another encounter with a convenience store robber, Robinson herself was nearly killed last year.
    Two teenagers walked into her sister's store on Beatties Ford Road and ordered her to give up the money. As one came around the counter, she said, he saw her going for a gun and shot her in the mouth.
    She shot back but missed. She believes she would have hit him if not for her arthritis.
    Robinson spent three months in a hospital. Now she has to eat pureed food. Still, she'll probably reach for a gun next time.
    "If you work that hard for your money," she said, "you shouldn't let someone come in and rob what you got."


    ELIJAH HACKETT III
    Feb. 12, 2006: As he sat upstairs, he heard a thud and two bangs. Elijah Hackett III said he grabbed his shotgun. A second later, he heard someone charging up the stairs. Just as he fired, he recognized the man.
    Elijah Hackett III killed his mother's ex-husband.
    Hackett said he still doesn't know how Joe Scott Odell, 42, got in that night or why he came rushing up the stairs.
    Because of break-ins, Hackett, 30, was staying at the west Charlotte plumbing business he runs with his mother.
    Odell used to work at the plumbing business, but he'd been on the outs with Hackett's mother. Hackett and Odell didn't get along.
    "Why did he run up the stairs? My truck was parked outside. He should have recognized it," Hackett said. Hackett said he still doesn't know whether his former stepfather had a weapon. Prosecutors cleared him in the case.
    Sometimes he and his mother, Jackie, try to figure out why Odell showed up there or what he planned to do. They both referred to his death as "a relief" in some ways. They said there had been tension and threats -- and his mother feared violence loomed.
    "I wish I had done it, not him," Jackie Hackett, 54, said. "I wish it were my burden instead of his."
    Elijah Hackett said he had no choice, but feels for Odell's family.
    "This is nothing I'm proud of. It's not something anybody should have to do. I hate that had to be a part of my life."

    http://www.charlotte.com/112/story/215469.html





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    It makes you wonder why the criminal's family always sue the defender for civil stuff but the self defender never sues the criminal's family for emotional damage.

    It says a lot about the character of the people in these situations, and how they were raised (their families).

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    Thank you for sharing those.

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    ralphb72 wrote:
    Thank you for sharing those.
    You're welcome. Even with the brevity of the reporter's story on each of the four cases, one can tell that they all got more than they bargained for.

    They were all righteous shoots but there is still a price topay.

    I'd hate to ever be in their shoes. And I'd hate for anyone here to do the same.

    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed whenthe perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. Better described, that's when the complexity begins.

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    HankT wrote:
    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed when*the perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. *Better described, that's when the complexity begins.
    You've used this word in quotes to try and antagonize me over the past week or so. Not gonna give you the satisfaction. Here's the full post if anybody else wants to read it in context. I just won't let you put words in my mouth. I said if put into a similar situation, I would neutralize the threat. All 4 of these people wish it didn't have to happen like that, but they don't regret the choice they made, realizing it was the choice they were forced into.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...o=51547#p51547

    How's the weather in Lincroft, NJ anyways?
    -Unrequited

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    unrequited wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed whenthe perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. Better described, that's when the complexity begins.
    You've used this word in quotes to try and antagonize me over the past week or so. Not gonna give you the satisfaction. Here's the full post if anybody else wants to read it in context. I just won't let you put words in my mouth. I said if put into a similar situation, I would neutralize the threat. All 4 of these people wish it didn't have to happen like that, but they don't regret the choice they made, realizing it was the choice they were forced into.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...o=51547#p51547

    How's the weather in Lincroft, NJ anyways?
    Low 80s. Sunny. How's the weather by you?

    Cloudy, I bet.

    BTW, thanks for the link. Did you ever answer how you would "neutralize" the guy who was pointing a gun at a 14 year old's head?

    I hadn't thought you did...



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    unrequited wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed whenthe perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. Better described, that's when the complexity begins.
    You've used this word in quotes to try and antagonize me over the past week or so. Not gonna give you the satisfaction. Here's the full post if anybody else wants to read it in context. I just won't let you put words in my mouth. I said if put into a similar situation, I would neutralize the threat. All 4 of these people wish it didn't have to happen like that, but they don't regret the choice they made, realizing it was the choice they were forced into.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...o=51547#p51547

    How's the weather in Lincroft, NJ anyways?
    How does it qualify as a choice, if they were forced?


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    HankT wrote:
    unrequited wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed whenthe perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. Better described, that's when the complexity begins.
    You've used this word in quotes to try and antagonize me over the past week or so. Not gonna give you the satisfaction. Here's the full post if anybody else wants to read it in context. I just won't let you put words in my mouth. I said if put into a similar situation, I would neutralize the threat. All 4 of these people wish it didn't have to happen like that, but they don't regret the choice they made, realizing it was the choice they were forced into.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...o=51547#p51547

    How's the weather in Lincroft, NJ anyways?
    Low 80s. Sunny. How's the weather by you?

    Cloudy, I bet.

    BTW, thanks for the link. Did you ever answer how you would "neutralize" the guy who was pointing a gun at a 14 year old's head?

    I hadn't thought you did...

    Wow, Hank, you even managed to ruin your own thread. It started out so good, too. Now that's talent!

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    openryan wrote:
    unrequited wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Some people think that the life situation is simplifed whenthe perp gets "neutralized," as unrequited euphemistically termed it the other day. Better described, that's when the complexity begins.
    You've used this word in quotes to try and antagonize me over the past week or so. Not gonna give you the satisfaction. Here's the full post if anybody else wants to read it in context. I just won't let you put words in my mouth. I said if put into a similar situation, I would neutralize the threat. All 4 of these people wish it didn't have to happen like that, but they don't regret the choice they made, realizing it was the choice they were forced into.
    How does it qualify as a choice, if they were forced?
    You and I are forced into choices everyday. We still have to chose. If someone decides to do my family harm I can't do anything about their choice. Now that someone is trying to break down my door I have to decide what to do. I can shoot, run, call 911 or chose to do nothing. They would have still forced me to make a decision to react to their actions.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Just aswiththe stories of the2 menand2 women above, I think Joe Horn, the guy who killed two burglars in Pasadena TX a couple of weeks ago, got more than he bargained for.

    Reportedly,he"literally went to pieces" after the shooting andrecorded a statement (I think it was on video--man I'd like to see that)a few days later saying the events would weigh heavily on him for the rest of his life.

    Horn even left his home, apparently no longer motivated to protectthe neighborhoodfrom the bad burglars out there.

    Yep, Horn got more than he bargained for. He almost certainly didn't think about that possibility.

    How could he? It was beyond his simpistic thinking.

    How could he possibly think about what happens when he would kill two men? What happens to him, I mean.

    I would bet a lot of money that Joe Horn wishes today he wouldn't have shot those two burglars two weeks ago. I bet Joe Horn would pay a lot of money if he could put the bullets back into the gun.

    No can do, Joe.



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    Before I say anything else, lest the black hole suck me in, I ask the OP this directly - Which ready do you refer to - an all encompassing ready, or just ready to defend yourself? Your not very clear about just how ready your asking people they are, which leaves your question open to interpretation by the reader which may be very different than what your really wanting to know.

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    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/simplistic "3. not complex; simple; usually an insult"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

    An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum or group with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.[1]
    [/sup]
    HankT is merely working on her three thousandth post.

    Heel, Henretta, heel!

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    bohdi wrote:
    Before I say anything else, lest the black hole suck me in, I ask the OP this directly - Which ready do you refer to - an all encompassing ready, or just ready to defend yourself? Your not very clear about just how ready your asking people they are, which leaves your question open to interpretation by the reader which may be very different than what your really wanting to know.
    Whatever seems reasonable. It's a simple thought. I think if you read the cited article, you can see that all 4 people were "ready to defend" themselves. That wasn't the thrust of the article. Their "readiness" in that sense was not at issue.

    Edit out black hole reference.

    I would say that I've laid the subject out for discussion and you're most welcome to state your views/opinions/thoughts about either the OP or the instant connection I made to Joe Horn's case.

    I even welcome Doug Huffman's views/opinions/thoughts about the same. This is a discussion forum, after all....

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    I asked for a reason, you gave clarification. I'll PM you IRT yours to me, and about the rest of what I don't think is pertinent for the thread. Then I'll post what I think as you've left it open for interpretation now that I understand that was your intent to begin with.

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    HankT wrote:
    From 2001 through 2006, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigated 25 homicides later ruled justified.
    Wow! You would think the criminals in Charlotte would have gotten a clue by now that their "business" is too dangerous and would find some other line of work.

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    This is actually a really interesting thread on many different levels. Since Hank has left the field open, I'll contribute what I think is appropriate as it relates to me regarding the topic.

    Am I ready to pull the trigger if I have to? I pray that I am.

    Am I ready to deal with the consequences of taking another human life after I've taken it? Well that depends on the circumstances I suppose.Pardon the background info, I believe it's necissary.

    I'm pretty much a easy going guy. Oh I get worked up about this or that on occasion, and I don't tend to go looking for fights (physical altercations and haven't had one since I turned down a bar maid in the P.I. - but that's another story) and try to avoid conflict best I can. I suppose it's also why my glasses fogged up at the range one day in Japan when I handled a .45 for the first time. The range master called me on it, I was nervous. I had never fired a .45 and that was really the first time it hit me that I was being trained to take another life, directly, by my hands, actions and decisions. That in all likelihood if I fired someone would most likely not make it (if I actually hit them that is). It's a pretty heavy thought.

    Looking back I wasn't afraid of guns - I owned several bb/CO2 guns and I had killed multiple birds/turtles/etc. Infact the one time that I actually felt bad was when I hit a squirrel with a wrist rocket when I was about 17, knocked it off a branch, and it ran away. Probably died from internal bleeding later. I think I felt guilty because it actually lived (most likely for a short while) but I knew, KNEW it must be in pain after that. How did I know? I had been shot at close range with my own CO2 gun (under 20 feet with at least half a CO2 canister) in the butt. That didn't feel good. I was lucky enough to be wearing leather at the time and a thick wallet which stopped the penetration. So if that didn't feel good I'm pretty positive the vermin round (1/4" ball bearing) I hit the squirrel with at under 10 yards most likely didn't tickle.

    That was then. This is now. Today I believe I have a different outlook on things. I know that there are people that are bad, really bad, that are true monsters. One's that behave like sharks, uncaring, unrelenting, and undeterred for the most part of achieving their own selfish goals. I hope and pray that should that kind of evil ever come across my path and force me to make a decision to pull my weapon to protect me and my loved ones from a horrible and painful end I have the strength to do so instead of suffering a fate of that type of monsters' choosing.

    I also know that there are fools, stupid kids, and pranksters that are easily influenced by their peers because they want to fit in. Those people will go with the flow and be led sometimes down the wrong path, and find them in stituations they wish they could get out of. I hope and pray this type of person is never at the receiving end of a decision they force me to make either, because I think this is a more senseless waste of life than taking out the monster. This type of person could have been led another way with the right influences, the right friends, the right parents, the right environment. I think it involves a different type of suffering for all involved.

    Over the short years that I've owned a handgun I've only recently begun to open carry. Up until 9/11 I questioned why I need a weapon since I'ved never had a use for one. 9/11was a polarizing day for me, as I am sure it was for many of you for your own reasons. I had two reasons mainly. The first I realized how much I don't want to go without a fight. The second, I'd like to have an alternative ending of my choosing - given a specific set of circumstances because there are somethings I don't know that I could do. When it gets down to it, I wanted a relatively sure fire way that was quick, painless, and mistake free - I had seen too many photos of shotgun suicides gone wrong. Not that what I carry isn't mistake prone, but the former owner of a townhouse I bought did a pretty good job one night with a .38, so I figured a .40 is alright.

    NOTE TO ANYONE THINKING I'MTHE LEAST BIT UNSTABLE - were talking a 28 days later doomsday scenario here....if you haven't seen that movie or if you need clarification PM me, lol. I've got too much to live for at the present - the majority (or all) of you who have met me I believe realize that.

    Back on track. I've rambled down this road thanks to 1) tequila, 2) get to the point of the matter. I haven't thought much of the emotional aftermath of taking someone's life. I doubt many have, I didn't when I bought my weapon. I try not to when I wear it because I think that clouds a person's judgement and you need to be aware of other things and not distracted as there are enough things to overload your senses already. I think and believe that my personal emotional reaction to taking out a monster verses taking out a stupid kid would be extremely different. I think I would grieve the kid as well asbe very angry at him.I would also beangry at the monster persona, though I don't believe I would grieve that loss anywhere near as much because in the end I'm taking bad DNA out of circulation - at least that is how I justify it now. I also believe that you can become numb to having done so depending on the circumstances and over time.The article and the interviewee's do indicate that. It depends on the person. You can also (if your lucky) tuck the experience in the back corner of your mind, go ask a combat soldier.

    Ithink I can handle the aftermath of dealing with a monster better than I can handle dealing with the aftermath of facing a stupid person/kid. Or an aggressive dog - cause I like dogs actually - IRT DnGreer's posts. I'd feel bad about killing a dog even if it threatended me, but I'd probably still be able to pull the trigger if I felt I was going to be bit/mauled and I couldn't kick it (or I missed and pissed it off more). I think I'd also be pissed about being put in that stituation to begin with and that would help justify terminating the threat. Either way, I don't think in the end there is anything anyone can ever do to prepare themselves for taking another's life. I think there will always be some trauma, all you can ever do is try to justify it and lessen the pain. If there is no pain, no remorse, guilt or anguish, I don't know that you can be human.


    - edited due to tequila induced dyslexia in 2nd to last paragraph, lol.

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    bohdi wrote:
    Either way, I don't think in the end there is anything anyone can ever do to prepare themselves for taking another's life. I think there will always be some trauma, all you can ever do is try to justify it and lessen the pain. If there is no pain, no remorse, guilt or anguish, I don't know that you can be human.
    Wonderful thoughts. Mine exactly. Hooray Tequila! I just wish I had something better than Jose Cuervo...
    -Unrequited

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    HankT wrote:
    Just aswiththe stories of the2 menand2 women above, I think Joe Horn, the guy who killed two burglars in Pasadena TX a couple of weeks ago, got more than he bargained for.

    Reportedly,he"literally went to pieces" after the shooting andrecorded a statement (I think it was on video--man I'd like to see that)a few days later saying the events would weigh heavily on him for the rest of his life.

    Horn even left his home, apparently no longer motivated to protectthe neighborhoodfrom the bad burglars out there.

    Yep, Horn got more than he bargained for. He almost certainly didn't think about that possibility.

    How could he? It was beyond his simpistic thinking.

    How could he possibly think about what happens when he would kill two men? What happens to him, I mean.

    I would bet a lot of money that Joe Horn wishes today he wouldn't have shot those two burglars two weeks ago. I bet Joe Horn would pay a lot of money if he could put the bullets back into the gun.

    No can do, Joe.
    I read the four stories in the original post, and I got to thinking that, if the emotional pain is so bad after these clearly justified shootings, I wonder how much worse it must be for people who are involved in... shall we say "questionable" shootings. For those people who want to shoot and kill someone for stealing a lawn gnome... just because it's legal in Texas. Can telling oneself that "they're a criminal, so they're evil" really work? It seems to be difficult enough to reconcile "they were trying to kill me, so I needed to kill them first."

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    I have said and still maintain, that if I am ever in the situation that I need to take a life, I know that I am able to do so. I also know that I will then need to call a therapist for an appointment to cope with that decision. I think that is a rather natural response for most people.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I was trained to kill in the Army, and have NO doubt that I would killin the appropriate circumstances. I hate to admit it, but I really don't think it would bother me all that much (if at all)as I have ZERO empathy for criminals, andif they get killed by a law abiding citizen or a LEO (or me)then **** 'em, they got exactly what they deserved, no more no less.

    Having said that, I don't ever want to be in that situation, but if I am I will do what has to be done. I seriously doubt I would lose any sleep over it.

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    crotalus01 wrote:
    I was trained to kill in the Army, and have NO doubt that I would killin the appropriate circumstances. I hate to admit it, but I really don't think it would bother me all that much (if at all)as I have ZERO empathy for criminals, andif they get killed by a law abiding citizen or a LEO (or me)then **** 'em, they got exactly what they deserved, no more no less.

    Having said that, I don't ever want to be in that situation, but if I am I will do what has to be done. I seriously doubt I would lose any sleep over it.
    I would. I, like many other citizenseven in the Army, was not trained to kill. From an ethical standpoint, a life is a life, and the loss of a life is the greatest possible cost of an action. If you hold that view, taking alife is only justifiable if the consequence of not taking the life would result in the loss of life anyway (the very definition of a lose-lose scenario,where all you can do islose the least). You therefore have to deal with the result of a decision made in a split second while flushed with adrenaline and staring down a guy who you believewill dovery bad things.

    I don't think it's possible not to second-guess making that kind of decision. You think about why a person would want to kill you. You wonder what REALLY would have happened had you not pulled the trigger; all the various scenarios and whether you would have died or not. You think of how likelyeachresult would be, and whether anything else you could have done would increase or decrease the chances of a bad outcome for you.That kind of ethical calculus can take years to resolve fully, and it's never done with the cold calculation and finality of a calculus problem; there's always another "what-if". And resolving thatcognitive dissonance does not erase the sight of death by GSW. It's never pretty; it virtually always involves big holes, disfigured faces, andfar more blood than the average American has ever seen. It's easily the stuff of nightmares for any one, even soldiers.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Liko81 wrote:
    crotalus01 wrote:
    I was trained to kill in the Army, and have NO doubt that I would killin the appropriate circumstances. I hate to admit it, but I really don't think it would bother me all that much (if at all)as I have ZERO empathy for criminals, andif they get killed by a law abiding citizen or a LEO (or me)then **** 'em, they got exactly what they deserved, no more no less.

    Having said that, I don't ever want to be in that situation, but if I am I will do what has to be done. I seriously doubt I would lose any sleep over it.
    I would. I, like many other citizenseven in the Army, was not trained to kill. From an ethical standpoint, a life is a life, and the loss of a life is the greatest possible cost of an action. If you hold that view, taking alife is only justifiable if the consequence of not taking the life would result in the loss of life anyway (the very definition of a lose-lose scenario,where all you can do islose the least). You therefore have to deal with the result of a decision made in a split second while flushed with adrenaline and staring down a guy who you believewill dovery bad things.

    I don't think it's possible not to second-guess making that kind of decision. You think about why a person would want to kill you. You wonder what REALLY would have happened had you not pulled the trigger; all the various scenarios and whether you would have died or not. You think of how likelyeachresult would be, and whether anything else you could have done would increase or decrease the chances of a bad outcome for you.That kind of ethical calculus can take years to resolve fully, and it's never done with the cold calculation and finality of a calculus problem; there's always another "what-if". And resolving thatcognitive dissonance does not erase the sight of death by GSW. It's never pretty; it virtually always involves big holes, disfigured faces, andfar more blood than the average American has ever seen. It's easily the stuff of nightmares for any one, even soldiers.
    I've never been in the Army nor have I been trained to kill and I also was terrified the first time I picked up a gun whose sole purpose was to kill someon, but I disagree with some of what you say Liko. I think most all war related psychological problems stem from a bad conscience. Is killing these people justified? Whether in self-defense or war if it is justified then there is no guilt and in fact there would have been guilt if you had *not* killed the BG. I believe, most of these moral conflicts and/or inability to recognize true and right justification for the use of deadly force is due to the wrong belief that there is nothing in this life more valuable or important than human life. To me there are principles that are more important than life itself, in fact it's these principles that establish civility and make life worth living. In other words there are things in this life worth dying for, and killing for.

    Fretting over what you could of done different helps nothing, not you, not him, no one. Was the shooting justified? If yes, then why worry yourself? I like to use the analogy of God and all those condemned to hell. Does it not say God loves everyone, that every life is of value? But some people will still choose to go to hell. (Contrary to some peoples opinions Hell is not a punishment any more than Heaven is a reward, although there are punishments in hell and rewards in Heaven.) I digress, do you suppose that God is going to be fretting over what *might* have been for the rest of eternity? Of course not, the condemned made their choice and therefore it was only *right* that they should be sent to Hell. The same is true in self-defense. The responsibility of their choice and your *rightful* response to that choice lies with them. And you should sleep well knowing you did the right thing (assuming it was justified of course :^))

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    I've never been in the Army nor have I been trained to kill and I also was terrified the first time I picked up a gun whose sole purpose was to kill someon, but I disagree with some of what you say Liko. I think most all war related psychological problems stem from a bad conscience. Is killing these people justified? Whether in self-defense or war if it is justified then there is no guilt and in fact there would have been guilt if you had *not* killed the BG. I believe, most of these moral conflicts and/or inability to recognize true and right justification for the use of deadly force is due to the wrong belief that there is nothing in this life more valuable or important than human life. To me there are principles that are more important than life itself, in fact it's these principles that establish civility and make life worth living. In other words there are things in this life worth dying for, and killing for.

    Fretting over what you could of done different helps nothing, not you, not him, no one. Was the shooting justified? If yes, then why worry yourself? I like to use the analogy of God and all those condemned to hell. Does it not say God loves everyone, that every life is of value? But some people will still choose to go to hell. (Contrary to some peoples opinions Hell is not a punishment any more than Heaven is a reward, although there are punishments in hell and rewards in Heaven.) I digress, do you suppose that God is going to be fretting over what *might* have been for the rest of eternity? Of course not, the condemned made their choice and therefore it was only *right* that they should be sent to Hell. The same is true in self-defense. The responsibility of their choice and your *rightful* response to that choice lies with them. And you should sleep well knowing you did the right thing (assuming it was justified of course :^))
    That is, of course, what I would say to anyone who was struggling to resolve their psyche after a shooting. However, the shooter must come to that conclusion on his own; similar to many cognitive dissonance situations (the mental version of the immovable objectmeets the irresistable force; they're at odds and something's gotta give though it seems at first thatneither could do so), the decision toend a life when contrasted with placing ahigh value on life must be resolved by the person; you as an outside entity may force the person to confront the issue and introduce information that may assist in resolving it,but you cannot make him resolve it, much less resolve it in the way you wish him to. The need to resolve it is unrelated to the circumstances, nor is the difficulty in doing so.

    Soldiers in war are not exempt from these veryreal questions; in fact nobody is more entitled to ask those questions than a soldier who has survived a battle. WWII is probably the greatest example of a war in which we knew what we were fighting against, and it wasone of the greatest evils the world has ever seen; thus the consciences of those who fought should be absolutely clear even if they did not know the full horror of the evil they fought at the time. Even then, 50 million people died as a consequence of that war, and thosewho survivedhad to deal with the decisions they made. Some of those decisions resulted in the deaths of subordinates, of friends, of civilians, of POWs,and sometimes of entire units. Those decisions have to be rationalized, and simple repetition of "there was nothing I could do" or "I did it to save more lives thanwere lost" is not enough because hindsight is always 20/20 and you have decades to think of things you could have done and what the people you saved went on to do versus what the guys who died could have done, or if your decision really saved more lives than it cost. I agree, it isn't productive, but it is a natural process and it must resolve itself. It isn't conscience either; it may be guilt, but you may call the guilt irrational; that doesn't make it any less real or mitigate the need for the person to overcome it, nor does it make you any more able to force the person to overcome it.

    In other wars, and even in WWII, the mantra of "they are the enemy" sounds more and more hollow the more people you watch die, by anyone's hand. I often refer to Tolkien, because he experienced firsthand WWI and WWII and fictionalized many of those experienced in his works. Tolkien probably gave his character Faramir the most ofhimself, and one of his quotesfrom the Two Towers movie (which I believe is right out of the book)is, when looking at a dead enemy soldier, "I wonder what his name is, where he came from, and if he was really evil at heart; what lies or threats led him on this long march from home, and if he'd not rather have stayed there". There are questions that arise simply by being in that environment, where people you know, love and respect are dying every day, and where people you don't know, who in observing them seem very sane and rational, are trying to kill you. Whether you played any part in their deaths by action or inaction, you can't help but ask "What the **** am I doing here? What's the point? Why am I killing people? Is there a God?". You must resolve these questions or you will not be able to function; you will go insane. THAT is PTSD; a buildup of cognitive dissonance that affects a person's ability to live normally, and soldiers killing people are not the only ones who can suffer from it. All moral, legal, etc. issues aside, if you shootsomeoneand they die, you personallyhave to come to terms with it.

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    I have ZERO empathy for criminals, and if they get killed by a law abiding citizen or a LEO (or me) then **** 'em, they got exactly what they deserved, no more no less.
    So any "criminal" deserves to die whether or not it comes from LEO's or Citizens? Are you talking about violent crimials?

    Are you saying that someone who is charged with or suspected of say; 3rd degree tresspassing for waiting in a car on Home Depot's property (Their parking lot), in a city they aren't familiar with, to meet their cousin simply to follow them to their home, is getting exactly what they deserve if they were killed by an LEO or "Law Abiding Citizen?"

    That is a bit insane.

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    I have ZERO empathy for criminals, and if they get killed by a law abiding citizen or a LEO (or me) then **** 'em, they got exactly what they deserved, no more no less.
    So any "criminal" deserves to die whether or not it comes from LEO's or Citizens? Are you talking about violent crimials?

    Are you saying that someone who is charged with or suspected of say; 3rd degree tresspassing for waiting in a car on Home Depot's property (Their parking lot), in a city they aren't familiar with, to meet their cousin simply to follow them to their home, is getting exactly what they deserve if they were killed by an LEO or "Law Abiding Citizen?"

    That is a bit insane.
    Nah, that's silly. That is confusing infractions with criminal acts. From answers.com:

    "United States law An Infraction in legal sense (minor offense, minor violation, petty offense, or frequently citation, sometimes used as synonymous with violation, regulatory offense, welfare offense, or contravention) is a "petty" violation of the law less serious than a misdemeanor.
    Typically, an infraction is a violation of a rule or local ordinance or regulation.
    Some refer to an infraction as quasi-criminal, because conviction for an infraction is generally not associated with the loss of liberty, or even social stigma. Infractions are often considered civil cases, in which case an infraction is not even considered a crime. Nonetheless, most infractions are indeed violations of statutory law, but in differing with criminal law where the burden of proof is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, the standard for the civil infraction is a Preponderance of Evidence."

    From Barron's law dictionary:

    Criminal: (adj) an act done with malicious intent, from an evil nature, or with a wrongful disposition to harm or injure other persons or property.
    [line]I would agree as regarding an utter lack of sympathy for criminals in general, but even there we have to be careful about blanket statements due to the abundance of stupid laws criminalizing things that should not be criminalized. An infraction is a totally different matter both at law and morally.

    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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