Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Lethal Force When Not Used in Strict Self-Defense

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    Continued from the thread http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum60/6370.html is a discussion regarding the use of lethal force when it is not a standard case of self-defense or defense of others. While it is legal in some states to shoot and kill a person for committing a variety of crimes that do not directly threaten a person's life or health, we must ask whether it is moral to do so, and further whether or not it should be legal.

    A more specific example of this conflict is the use of lethal force to defend one's property when the thief is posing no immediate threat to the property's owner. Another idea put forth is that it is the responsibility of citizens to kill criminals while they are committing crimes in order to get them off the street, to act as a general deterrant, or other reasons. Another suggestion is to allow citizens to use deadly force against the perpetrator of any crime.

    So, then, disregarding current laws on the books, where should the limit be for the justified use of lethal force? Where does being a good citizen end and vigilanteism begin? Is vigilanteism a bad thing? Is our society prepared to deal with the inevitible mistakes of citizens who accidentally kill someone mistaken as a criminal?


    As most people know, I notoriously take a strictly self-defense stance on the issue, and I've discussed the hell out of my position, so I'm just going to stay out of this discussion at first.



    ETA: I assume that it's a consensus on this forum that a person is morally justified in using lethal force when he or another person is directly threatened with lethal force by another person, and that's why I left it out of this discussion.


  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McKenzie Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    705

    Post imported post

    This is over simplifying it.....but

    I think if the thief lives in a state where deadly force is allowed to protect property, it is a risk he assumes when he commits the crime and he has made the choice.

    As for as the morality of those that may use it.....that is for them and their conscious to deal with.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southeast, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,974

    Post imported post

    I think there are 3 parts to this.

    1) Inside your permanent/temporary residence and inside your vehicle.

    2) Outside your permanent/temprorary residence but on your (current) property.

    3) Everywhere else.

    I'm going to base my comments on Missouri statutes as I am most familiar with those laws. While legality may vary, I will try to ensure my points are generalizable. Also, I'm just throwing out some thoughts and comments to help get this discussion started as I don't claim to have all the answers by any means.

    1) There is a presumption of defense inside your residence, temporary or permanent and your vehicle (essentially any vehicle in which you are a passenger excepting public transportation) as the vehicle is considered an extension of your personal living space. A temporary residence includes a tent. The reason the presumption (as I understand from legal and LEO sources) as to self-defense inside these spaces is that it is highly unlikely that anyone is trying to get into, or is in, one of these spaces with no intent or willingness to harm you. Therefore, if someone comes into or is attempting to force entry into your home or vehicle while you are inside or already in that space, you may presume that they are either attempting or willing to harm you and may use lethal force.

    This concept seems totally reasonable to me. I think it reasonable that every citizen has the right to defend his home/personal space using lethal force without retreating. Would I just start shooting? Absolutely not. That is why I have locks on my door, 2 large dogs and a defense plan.

    2) This gets more dicey. If the BG is outside your residence, even if stealing your property, I think there are many factors to evaluate. For example, I have a different opinion of someone being in an open front yard stealing a landscaping light vs someone inside a fenced and gated backyard stealing anything. The BGs very presence in the front yard is trespass. Their very presence in the fenced and gated backyard is breaking and entering. The difference between the two is recognized statutoraly because there is an obvious difference in intent. Someone wandering by, seeing something in your yard, running up, grabbing it and running off is unlikely to be a threat. Someone taking the time and making the effort to break into an area obviously designed to keep them out, is much more likely to be a threat in my mind. My response to those scenarios would be different as well. Front yard I would be much more likely to call the police and yell at them. Fenced/gated backyard, call the police and perhaps confront them with a firearm to induce them to leave. If they aggressed - BANG. It would depend on the specifics. But I would certainly argue that the enclosed space was an extension of your enclosed home, whereas the open front yard was not to the same degree if at all.

    3) The first 2 I think are pretty easy in comparison. Everywhere else is a very big place including lots of other people.

    I'll start this with a situation we discussed in a lethal force class. The scenario (again based in MO) is that you see someone preparing to throw a lighted molotov cocktail at your neighbors house. Question is whether or not you have the right to use lethal force to stop the BG. The answer is (as with much of life): it depends.

    If you have actual knowledge or a reasonable expectation that your neighbors are inside the house, you will probably be ok legally using lethal force to stop the BG. If you have actual knowledge or belief that they are not inside the house you probably cannot use lethal force. In either case, LEOs can use lethal force if required.

    What about the morality though if they are not home which is what we are talking about. All but one of my neighbors have pets. I also know that all but one of my neighbors have irreplacable personal possessions in their homes. Furthermore, a fully involved fire at their home endangers other homes in the neighborhood. Still, this is a property crime. Dogs and cats in this state are personal property. Their "stuff" is obviously personal property. In this case I think the crime so heinous and potential threatening to other parties, that I would (after calling 911) resort to the threat of lethal force and if insufficient I would stop the crime. I wouldn't attempt LTL force as anyone who is going to firebomb a residence is off their rocker and I'm not about to try to OC spray them or rely on hand to hand martial arts.

    Ok, that is extreme so what about a property crime that doesn't necessarily threaten other people. I see someone breaking into my neighbors home. Well, we have a local response time of < 2 minutes so it isn't a big issue here. By the time anything substantial is stolen the police are here. But what if I just see tBGs leaving my neighbors house with their stuff. I think I would call 911 and likely confront them with my weapon concealed. I would tell them the police are on the way and to drop the stuff. I would NOT try to apprehend them. My interest would be recovery. However, if they came at me in any way threatening, my pistol would be used to defend my person.

    I guess most situations are like that. We, the community, use to not tolerate criminals in most of the country. If someone committed a robbery, the community would form a posse and hunt down the BGs and bring them into the jail (of course there were vigilante actions but more rare than in the movies). If the BGs fought the posse lethal force would be used as necessary. Thefts that effected the livelihood of the citizen were capital offenses some places - horse/cattle stealing for example. As organized law enforcement spread, the involvement of the community lessened. Still, the BGs always knew which places were a bad idea to rob because of armed owners who were willing to defend their property.

    While many people claim that no one should die over property I'm not sure that I agree with that. The only thing that anyone really, truly owns is their body and their labor. We turn our bodies and it's labor into money and use it to purchase goods and services. Therefore, all property represents a very personal expenditure of labor. If someone steals from you, you will have to expend more labor to earn more money to purchase more property. Therefore, a property crime not only steals from you the property, but also labor and time. It is very expensive to the individual victims and to society as a whole. On top of that is the expenditures just to protect your property from crime. We pay for alarm systems, locks, insurance. We lock ourselves away from our neighbors and communities to protect ourselves. I reject that property crimes are JUST crimes against property. They are crimes against society at large. We have reached the point that we are more afraid of the criminals than they are of we, the people. That is backwards. They should be living in the shadows. They should constantly be afraid of being caught and punishced or injured. Theft at any level is and should be a dangerous occupation. But where the line is drawn? I don't know. There are lots of variables. But if every thief knew there was a 50% chance of dying for stealing something, I bet there would be a drastic reduction in property crimes nationwide.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  4. #4
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McKenzie Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    705

    Post imported post

    deepdiver your last paragraph says it very well!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lynnwood, WA, ,
    Posts
    1,487

    Post imported post

    Why are you worried about the working conditionsof criminals? My property may not be worth a thief's life, but that was his choice, not mine. If he chose to enter my house, he chose to risk his life. I didn't chose to put him in jeopardy over my things. He did.

    I don't ever want to shoot anyone. I hope I am never left no other choice. Obviously asking a thief to leave or attempting to detain him would come before gunfire, but that is my personal decision, because the fact of the matter is that I really never want to have to hurt anyone, if there is another option. However, the slightest move toward me, or lack of compliance will result in unwanted but very warranted force, and not in the form of a taser, but in the form of a few hydrashoks (or Wolf MC 7.62x39 hollowpoints, depending).

    I hope more than anything that I never have a non-sporting use for my guns. But I keep non-sporting guns in case I do.

  6. #6
    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    683

    Post imported post

    Morality is subjective and depending on the person(s) may differ greatly. So long as a person is within the letter of the law, morality should not play any part in the decision of their innocence or guilt, only the facts relevant to the case and whatever evidence exists. Morality used as a scale to weigh the actions of yourselves and others is largely a function of religion, and/or a personal system of beliefs of what IS and IS NOT correct, but again. . .is personal and IMHO has no place in law or court. When you begin to try and push or force your own morality upon me, is when you begin to evangelize and push some doctrine that I may not subscribe to, nor wish any part of.



    The more I read of your reactions to Joe Horn, the more I see you pushing your own sense of Morality upon others in some attempt to convert them to your system of beliefs.



    Joe Horn lives in Texas. In Texas the people have stated you may kill to protect life, land, and property. It was ratified into law. Horn killed two men stealing property. All facts. He is innocent until proven guilty in a COURT OF LAW. Not a “HOUSE OF GOD” or other such place where morality has authority.



    If the people in Texas don’t like this law, they will contact their legislature and have the law amended, or removed. We call people who rule on cases like this using a personal set of moral guidelines vs. the book of law “Activist Judges.”


    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    ChinChin wrote:
    Morality is subjective and depending on the person(s) may differ greatly. So long as a person is within the letter of the law, morality should not play any part in the decision of their innocence or guilt, only the facts relevant to the case and whatever evidence exists. Morality used as a scale to weigh the actions of yourselves and others is largely a function of religion, and/or a personal system of beliefs of what IS and IS NOT correct, but again. . .is personal and IMHO has no place in law or court. When you begin to try and push or force your own morality upon me, is when you begin to evangelize and push some doctrine that I may not subscribe to, nor wish any part of.



    The more I read of your reactions to Joe Horn, the more I see you pushing your own sense of Morality upon others in some attempt to convert them to your system of beliefs.



    Joe Horn lives in Texas. In Texas the people have stated you may kill to protect life, land, and property. It was ratified into law. Horn killed two men stealing property. All facts. He is innocent until proven guilty in a COURT OF LAW. Not a “HOUSE OF GOD” or other such place where morality has authority.



    If the people in Texas don’t like this law, they will contact their legislature and have the law amended, or removed. We call people who rule on cases like this using a personal set of moral guidelines vs. the book of law “Activist Judges.”
    There's a reason that, in my original post, I said "disregarding current laws". It's fairly easy to decide whether a self-defense shooting was legal or not. What I'm asking is that, were you to be allowed to rewrite the self-defense laws for the entire United States, what standard would you use?

    Regarding morality, even our current laws reflect this. Even Texas (and Washington ). It's just that the moral belief there is that citizens are justified in killing someone to protect property.

    Is there, then, no objective way to legislate the use of lethal force?

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southeast, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,974

    Post imported post

    ChinChin wrote:
    *SNIP*
    Morality used as a scale to weigh the actions of yourselves and others is largely a function of religion, and/or a personal system of beliefs of what IS and IS NOT correct, but again. . .is personal and IMHO has no place in law or court.
    The law is based on morality. Why do you think the liberals are always screaming, "Do it for the children" every time they want to pass a crappy socialist law. Jessica's Law and Amber Alerts are two well known examples of laws birthed from the fires of moral outrage. We have a long history in this country of legislating morality. Blue laws, red light laws, gambling laws, drug laws, etc. Even murder, rape, assault, etc. are actually morally based. In some places in the world murder, rape and assault are allowable in many circumstances or at least just shrugged off. We don't think they are good things. We distinguish between killing and murdering. That is a moral distinction. We distinguish between assault, battery and attempted murder. Those are all moral decisions on some level.

    There is a well established concept of mitigating circumstances in jurisprudence. Judging the weight of those mitigating circumstances is a moral decision. We have judges rather than computers presiding over the court because morality is so important in ensuring that the trial is fair. The judge must "judge" the circumstances, evaluate the fairness and appropriateness of various matters, and depending on the kind of trial, weigh the evidence for a verdict. If legal matters were simply a matter of the letter of the law, a computer could be programmed to adjudicate everything.

    You get a speeding ticket driving your wife, who is in labor, to the hospital. You go to court. You throw yourself on the mercy of the court explain to the judge that you were speeding, however it was because blah blah. The judge makes a moral decision as to what to do from that point. Stuff like that happens every day. And that isn't judicial activism. I'm not referring to cases where the judge is trying to change the law from the bench or change how the law is generally used or applied. I'm talking about judges who actually follow the existing law using good sense and "judge" the circumstances and then use morality and the spirit of the law, along with the letter of the law to make good decisions.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  9. #9
    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    683

    Post imported post

    deepdiver wrote:
    The law is based on morality. Why do you think the liberals are always screaming, "Do it for the children" every time they want to pass a crappy socialist law. Jessica's Law and Amber Alerts are two well known examples of laws birthed from the fires of moral outrage. We have a long history in this country of legislating morality. Blue laws, red light laws, gambling laws, drug laws, etc. Even murder, rape, assault, etc. are actually morally based. In some places in the world murder, rape and assault are allowable in many circumstances or at least just shrugged off. We don't think they are good things. We distinguish between killing and murdering. That is a moral distinction. We distinguish between assault, battery and attempted murder. Those are all moral decisions on some level.

    There is a well established concept of mitigating circumstances in jurisprudence. Judging the weight of those mitigating circumstances is a moral decision. We have judges rather than computers presiding over the court because morality is so important in ensuring that the trial is fair. The judge must "judge" the circumstances, evaluate the fairness and appropriateness of various matters, and depending on the kind of trial, weigh the evidence for a verdict. If legal matters were simply a matter of the letter of the law, a computer could be programmed to adjudicate everything.

    You get a speeding ticket driving your wife, who is in labor, to the hospital. You go to court. You throw yourself on the mercy of the court explain to the judge that you were speeding, however it was because blah blah. The judge makes a moral decision as to what to do from that point. Stuff like that happens every day. And that isn't judicial activism. I'm not referring to cases where the judge is trying to change the law from the bench or change how the law is generally used or applied. I'm talking about judges who actually follow the existing law using good sense and "judge" the circumstances and then use morality and the spirit of the law, along with the letter of the law to make good decisions.
    I've never contested oursystems of law wasn't based upon its creation on religious based morality. Back to the formation of the county the foundation of our system took heavily from Christian doctrine and practices to establish what was and was not permissible by the citizens who would occupy the new world.

    With the establishment of these laws, the adjudication of what is and is not permissible is then intended to be based upon these laws, not on any morality germane to the situation (although it present day such is not always the case.) In the situations you provide, such as the man speeding to get his pregnant wife to the hospital, while he may be guilty of multiple driving infractions, there is always more to be taken under consideration, and none of them are morality. Issues such as malicious intent (he didn't WANT to speed, but for the safety of his wife and baby he undertook his actions) extenuating circumstances (a wife in labor) and even the wording of the law itself. The Judge or magistrate is also permitted to sentence with these factors in mind.

    While a man might be guilty of the above, the judge is permitted to suspend the entire sentence if he feels such is prudent. Again, such should be based on what the actions of a reasonable person would be, but would not surprise me if morality played a part therein. Multiple laws take these issues into accountsuch as self defense into account.

    A man who shoots somebody who is stabbing a 3rd person, is permitted to do so not because it is morally wrong to murder, but because the law states he may take that action if he REASONABLEY feels the act he witnesses could end his life were he in the situation, or that of the woman being stabbed. In the commonwealth of Virginia, the law states you may not carry a firearm into a place of worship without REASONABLE cause, thus removing any morality over what may or may not be right, but what reason may or may not be justifiable per the law. Again, I don’t contest such laws were made on the foundation of the Christian doctrine of “Thou shall not kill,” but the foundation and the exercise thereafter are separate circumstances.

    I’ll counter your examples with one of my own. The case of Harold Fish, a retired Arizona high school teacher, was convicted on Second Degree Murder in a convoluted case of self-defense. Fish was just completing a hike in the remote Mogollon Rim country of Eastern Arizona when several large dogs approached him in an aggressive manner. Fish’s response was to deploy his 10mm Kimber and fire a shot into the dirt between himself and the animals - a seemingly reasonable response to the threat posed.

    Unfortunately, the dogs’ owner, who was making his way toward the commotion, apparently thought Fish had actually shot one of the dogs and in a rage charged down the trail toward Fish screaming threats and obscenities.

    As an Arizona CCW holder, Fish had received specific training about the safe, legal carry and use of a firearm. It is evident from other information available that Mr. Fish was a conscientious gun owner who had received more than the minimum training required by law and had attained a superior level of skill.

    Harold Fish did exactly what he had been trained to do; and was permitted by law to do. In that brief moment, gun in hand, vicious dogs in the area, with limited mobility on the steep trail, a heavy pack on his back, and a large enraged man screaming death threats charging down upon him, Harold Fish had few options; he faced his attacker, gave verbal warnings, and at the last possible moment, since the crazed man made no indication of second thought or hesitation as he charged directly toward the still smoking muzzle of Fish’s Kimber, Fish obeyed his training and pulled the trigger.
    After firing the shots, Fish immediately rendered aid to his attacker then ran to the highway where he flagged down assistance.

    The initial reports from the Sheriff’s Office indicated that the shooting was clearly a matter of self-defense and that no charges would be filed, but news reports of an “unarmed man” being “gunned down,” and a loud outcry from friends of Kuenzli started the wheels of injustice slowly turning. A charge of Second Degree Murder was presented to a Grand Jury and an indictment was handed down. A variety of possible scenarios, options, and alternatives were presented in court and the press with the bottom line being that Harold Fish didn’t have to kill Grant Kuenzli. In the end, the jury agreed and Harold Fish was found guilty of Second Degree Murder and might well spend the rest of his life in prison because he obeyed his training.

    Morality was used in substitution of the facts in evidence and the word of law. Thus morality became law and a man was found guilty of the violation of morality, but not the law.


    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , Oregon, USA
    Posts
    269

    Post imported post

    Morality was used in substitution of the facts in evidence and the word of law. Thus morality became law and a man was found guilty of the violation of morality, but not the law.


    Um, no. Sh!tbag scumf***ers pushing an agenda of subjugating the citizenry decided to ruin a man's life because they're, well, scumf***ing sh!tbags. The only 'morality' I know of that calls for the innocent to sacrifice their lives for the the pleasure of the wicked is the perverted form of pacism that as been all the rage since the 'progressives' took over.

    Where does being a good citizen end and vigilanteism begin? Is vigilanteism a bad thing? Is our society prepared to deal with the inevitible mistakes of citizens who accidentally kill someone mistaken as a criminal?

    Firstly, "vigilantism" covers a lot of stuff. The original vigilance committees were formed because the law enforcement of the area was either non-existant, or so corrup/inneffectual as to be no better than non-existant. If the situation calls for it, then no, vigilantism is by no means a bad thing.

    Secondly, ever looked at the rate of mistaking shootings by LEO's? We're already at the point of mistakes of citizens killing non-criminals.



    As for the main topic, I think I already covered it but I'll reiterate just in case I missed something. I have no problems with someone confronting criminals in the act, nor with them arming themselves beforehand. However, I would expect that they first attempt to detain them (or scare them off) before using lethal force (unless the situation prevented it, such as one of the criminals being obvisouly armed with a gun, in which case waiting to see if they surrender could have diasterous consequences). After that its up to the criminals to decide how its going to play out.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    Heartless_Conservative wrote:
    Morality was used in substitution of the facts in evidence and the word of law. Thus morality became law and a man was found guilty of the violation of morality, but not the law.


    Um, no. Sh!tbag scumf***ers pushing an agenda of subjugating the citizenry decided to ruin a man's life because they're, well, scumf***ing sh!tbags. The only 'morality' I know of that calls for the innocent to sacrifice their lives for the the pleasure of the wicked is the perverted form of pacism that as been all the rage since the 'progressives' took over.

    Where does being a good citizen end and vigilanteism begin? Is vigilanteism a bad thing? Is our society prepared to deal with the inevitible mistakes of citizens who accidentally kill someone mistaken as a criminal?

    Firstly, "vigilantism" covers a lot of stuff. The original vigilance committees were formed because the law enforcement of the area was either non-existant, or so corrup/inneffectual as to be no better than non-existant. If the situation calls for it, then no, vigilantism is by no means a bad thing.

    Secondly, ever looked at the rate of mistaking shootings by LEO's? We're already at the point of mistakes of citizens killing non-criminals.



    As for the main topic, I think I already covered it but I'll reiterate just in case I missed something. I have no problems with someone confronting criminals in the act, nor with them arming themselves beforehand. However, I would expect that they first attempt to detain them (or scare them off) before using lethal force (unless the situation prevented it, such as one of the criminals being obvisouly armed with a gun, in which case waiting to see if they surrender could have diasterous consequences). After that its up to the criminals to decide how its going to play out.
    As to the bolded part, I actually was going to mention that in to the original post, but forgot. As much as I don't believe that LEOs are a superior class of people, an LEO on average is going to have more training in dealing with threats than the average non-LEO. And as such, if non-LEOs begin to take on the current role of LEOs, wouldn't we expect a higher rate of mistaken shootings? :shock:

    Just putting that out there...

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona, U.S.
    Posts
    625

    Post imported post

    And as such, if non-LEOs begin to take on the current role of LEOs, wouldn't we expect a higher rate of mistaken shootings?
    My hypothesis would be no. The reason is that currently there is much more at stake when a non-LEO shoots someone than when an LEO does. When an LEO shoots someone, he is usually given a paid suspension while the shooting is investigated. If the shooting is determined to be justified then the LEO is returned to work and if the shooting is considered unjustified, then the LEO is fired. Rarely do you hear of the police turning against one another. Whether it was justified or not, chances are they will say it is justified. In the rare case it is not justified, I cannot ever remember a case where the officer was actually arrested and charged with murder or manslaughter. They are usually just fired.

    Compare that with the non-LEO. When the non-LEO shoots someone, the police surround him at gunpoint, arrest him, and book him. If the shooter is extremely lucky, he will be released within a few days due to prosecution deciding not to file charges. For the rest of the cases, he will sit in jail until either a jury trial to determine his innocence (note: guilty until proven innocent) or until the prosecution changes its mind and drops the charges. This may well take months if not years and the shooter will likely have lost his job, his home, his family, his money, and his reputation.

    So assuming that most people (LEOs and non-LEOs) who carry guns around daily use some common sense, there is much more of an incentive for a non-LEO to be extra conservative about when to shoot and plenty of reasons why LEOs often seem so trigger-happy.



  13. #13
    Regular Member Springfield45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    299

    Post imported post

    deepdiver wrote:
    I think there are 3 parts to this.

    1) Inside your permanent/temporary residence and inside your vehicle.

    2) Outside your permanent/temprorary residence but on your (current) property.

    3) Everywhere else.

    I'm going to base my comments on Missouri statutes as I am most familiar with those laws. While legality may vary, I will try to ensure my points are generalizable. Also, I'm just throwing out some thoughts and comments to help get this discussion started as I don't claim to have all the answers by any means.

    1) There is a presumption of defense inside your residence, temporary or permanent and your vehicle (essentially any vehicle in which you are a passenger excepting public transportation) as the vehicle is considered an extension of your personal living space. A temporary residence includes a tent. The reason the presumption (as I understand from legal and LEO sources) as to self-defense inside these spaces is that it is highly unlikely that anyone is trying to get into, or is in, one of these spaces with no intent or willingness to harm you. Therefore, if someone comes into or is attempting to force entry into your home or vehicle while you are inside or already in that space, you may presume that they are either attempting or willing to harm you and may use lethal force.

    This concept seems totally reasonable to me. I think it reasonable that every citizen has the right to defend his home/personal space using lethal force without retreating. Would I just start shooting? Absolutely not. That is why I have locks on my door, 2 large dogs and a defense plan.

    2) This gets more dicey. If the BG is outside your residence, even if stealing your property, I think there are many factors to evaluate. For example, I have a different opinion of someone being in an open front yard stealing a landscaping light vs someone inside a fenced and gated backyard stealing anything. The BGs very presence in the front yard is trespass. Their very presence in the fenced and gated backyard is breaking and entering. The difference between the two is recognized statutoraly because there is an obvious difference in intent. Someone wandering by, seeing something in your yard, running up, grabbing it and running off is unlikely to be a threat. Someone taking the time and making the effort to break into an area obviously designed to keep them out, is much more likely to be a threat in my mind. My response to those scenarios would be different as well. Front yard I would be much more likely to call the police and yell at them. Fenced/gated backyard, call the police and perhaps confront them with a firearm to induce them to leave. If they aggressed - BANG. It would depend on the specifics. But I would certainly argue that the enclosed space was an extension of your enclosed home, whereas the open front yard was not to the same degree if at all.

    3) The first 2 I think are pretty easy in comparison. Everywhere else is a very big place including lots of other people.

    I'll start this with a situation we discussed in a lethal force class. The scenario (again based in MO) is that you see someone preparing to throw a lighted molotov cocktail at your neighbors house. Question is whether or not you have the right to use lethal force to stop the BG. The answer is (as with much of life): it depends.

    If you have actual knowledge or a reasonable expectation that your neighbors are inside the house, you will probably be ok legally using lethal force to stop the BG. If you have actual knowledge or belief that they are not inside the house you probably cannot use lethal force. In either case, LEOs can use lethal force if required.

    What about the morality though if they are not home which is what we are talking about. All but one of my neighbors have pets. I also know that all but one of my neighbors have irreplacable personal possessions in their homes. Furthermore, a fully involved fire at their home endangers other homes in the neighborhood. Still, this is a property crime. Dogs and cats in this state are personal property. Their "stuff" is obviously personal property. In this case I think the crime so heinous and potential threatening to other parties, that I would (after calling 911) resort to the threat of lethal force and if insufficient I would stop the crime. I wouldn't attempt LTL force as anyone who is going to firebomb a residence is off their rocker and I'm not about to try to OC spray them or rely on hand to hand martial arts.

    Ok, that is extreme so what about a property crime that doesn't necessarily threaten other people. I see someone breaking into my neighbors home. Well, we have a local response time of < 2 minutes so it isn't a big issue here. By the time anything substantial is stolen the police are here. But what if I just see tBGs leaving my neighbors house with their stuff. I think I would call 911 and likely confront them with my weapon concealed. I would tell them the police are on the way and to drop the stuff. I would NOT try to apprehend them. My interest would be recovery. However, if they came at me in any way threatening, my pistol would be used to defend my person.

    I guess most situations are like that. We, the community, use to not tolerate criminals in most of the country. If someone committed a robbery, the community would form a posse and hunt down the BGs and bring them into the jail (of course there were vigilante actions but more rare than in the movies). If the BGs fought the posse lethal force would be used as necessary. Thefts that effected the livelihood of the citizen were capital offenses some places - horse/cattle stealing for example. As organized law enforcement spread, the involvement of the community lessened. Still, the BGs always knew which places were a bad idea to rob because of armed owners who were willing to defend their property.

    While many people claim that no one should die over property I'm not sure that I agree with that. The only thing that anyone really, truly owns is their body and their labor. We turn our bodies and it's labor into money and use it to purchase goods and services. Therefore, all property represents a very personal expenditure of labor. If someone steals from you, you will have to expend more labor to earn more money to purchase more property. Therefore, a property crime not only steals from you the property, but also labor and time. It is very expensive to the individual victims and to society as a whole. On top of that is the expenditures just to protect your property from crime. We pay for alarm systems, locks, insurance. We lock ourselves away from our neighbors and communities to protect ourselves. I reject that property crimes are JUST crimes against property. They are crimes against society at large. We have reached the point that we are more afraid of the criminals than they are of we, the people. That is backwards. They should be living in the shadows. They should constantly be afraid of being caught and punishced or injured. Theft at any level is and should be a dangerous occupation. But where the line is drawn? I don't know. There are lots of variables. But if every thief knew there was a 50% chance of dying for stealing something, I bet there would be a drastic reduction in property crimes nationwide.
    +1

  14. #14
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    3,737

    Post imported post

    Chin Chin mentioned the Harold Fish case. The way Chin Chin explained how the case went down clearly points out the problem with our system.

    Our system is, in fact, based on morality. Most criminal laws allow for an affirmitive defense. Those defenses are usually based on belief, such as willful.

    Most cases as to affirmitive defenses goes to "Mens Rea." A guilty mind, a guilty or wrongful purpose; criminal intent.

    Did Harold Fish have a criminal intent? I don't think so. Yet Fish was charged with second degree murder.

    Murder in the Second degree is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life. Second-degree murder may best be viewed as the middle ground between first-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
    For example, Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. At a stoplight the next day, Dan sees Victor riding in the passenger seat of a nearby car. Dan pulls out a gun and fires three shots into the car, missing Victor but killing the driver of the car.

    Again, I don't think Fish committed a crime.

    But, I also think that the jury did not think Fish committed a crime either. Why, their (jury) moral compus/religious belief told them that Fish did not commit a crime.

    And yes, I mean their religious belief. Where do you think cruel and unusual punishment comes from.

    If the jury was told that they had a right to judge the facts and the law, Fish would have walked.

    But, the jury was not told that. They were told they were only to judge the facts and base their decission on the law as the judge gives it to them. The jury was deprived from judging the law as it applied to Fish's case.

    The Supreme Court has said that juries have the right to judge the facts as well as the law. But, the Supreme Court has also said that a judge has no obligation to inform the jury of that fact. In other words, the jury is on their own to figure that out for themselves.

    The jury system is the last line of defense between the citizen and the government. And when the citizen sitting on a jury does not know his duties the government wins.

    Don't tell me Judaeo-Christian belief does not play into this legal system, it does. It's that the jury just wasn't told it does. It's called jury nullification.







  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Maryville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    407

    Post imported post

    deepdiver wrote:
    I think there are 3 parts to this.

    1) Inside your permanent/temporary residence and inside your vehicle.

    2) Outside your permanent/temprorary residence but on your (current) property.

    3) Everywhere else.

    I'm going to base my comments on Missouri statutes as I am most familiar with those laws. While legality may vary, I will try to ensure my points are generalizable. Also, I'm just throwing out some thoughts and comments to help get this discussion started as I don't claim to have all the answers by any means.

    1) There is a presumption of defense inside your residence, temporary or permanent and your vehicle (essentially any vehicle in which you are a passenger excepting public transportation) as the vehicle is considered an extension of your personal living space. A temporary residence includes a tent. The reason the presumption (as I understand from legal and LEO sources) as to self-defense inside these spaces is that it is highly unlikely that anyone is trying to get into, or is in, one of these spaces with no intent or willingness to harm you. Therefore, if someone comes into or is attempting to force entry into your home or vehicle while you are inside or already in that space, you may presume that they are either attempting or willing to harm you and may use lethal force.

    This concept seems totally reasonable to me. I think it reasonable that every citizen has the right to defend his home/personal space using lethal force without retreating. Would I just start shooting? Absolutely not. That is why I have locks on my door, 2 large dogs and a defense plan.

    2) This gets more dicey. If the BG is outside your residence, even if stealing your property, I think there are many factors to evaluate. For example, I have a different opinion of someone being in an open front yard stealing a landscaping light vs someone inside a fenced and gated backyard stealing anything. The BGs very presence in the front yard is trespass. Their very presence in the fenced and gated backyard is breaking and entering. The difference between the two is recognized statutoraly because there is an obvious difference in intent. Someone wandering by, seeing something in your yard, running up, grabbing it and running off is unlikely to be a threat. Someone taking the time and making the effort to break into an area obviously designed to keep them out, is much more likely to be a threat in my mind. My response to those scenarios would be different as well. Front yard I would be much more likely to call the police and yell at them. Fenced/gated backyard, call the police and perhaps confront them with a firearm to induce them to leave. If they aggressed - BANG. It would depend on the specifics. But I would certainly argue that the enclosed space was an extension of your enclosed home, whereas the open front yard was not to the same degree if at all.

    3) The first 2 I think are pretty easy in comparison. Everywhere else is a very big place including lots of other people.

    I'll start this with a situation we discussed in a lethal force class. The scenario (again based in MO) is that you see someone preparing to throw a lighted molotov cocktail at your neighbors house. Question is whether or not you have the right to use lethal force to stop the BG. The answer is (as with much of life): it depends.

    If you have actual knowledge or a reasonable expectation that your neighbors are inside the house, you will probably be ok legally using lethal force to stop the BG. If you have actual knowledge or belief that they are not inside the house you probably cannot use lethal force. In either case, LEOs can use lethal force if required.

    What about the morality though if they are not home which is what we are talking about. All but one of my neighbors have pets. I also know that all but one of my neighbors have irreplacable personal possessions in their homes. Furthermore, a fully involved fire at their home endangers other homes in the neighborhood. Still, this is a property crime. Dogs and cats in this state are personal property. Their "stuff" is obviously personal property. In this case I think the crime so heinous and potential threatening to other parties, that I would (after calling 911) resort to the threat of lethal force and if insufficient I would stop the crime. I wouldn't attempt LTL force as anyone who is going to firebomb a residence is off their rocker and I'm not about to try to OC spray them or rely on hand to hand martial arts.

    Ok, that is extreme so what about a property crime that doesn't necessarily threaten other people. I see someone breaking into my neighbors home. Well, we have a local response time of < 2 minutes so it isn't a big issue here. By the time anything substantial is stolen the police are here. But what if I just see tBGs leaving my neighbors house with their stuff. I think I would call 911 and likely confront them with my weapon concealed. I would tell them the police are on the way and to drop the stuff. I would NOT try to apprehend them. My interest would be recovery. However, if they came at me in any way threatening, my pistol would be used to defend my person.

    I guess most situations are like that. We, the community, use to not tolerate criminals in most of the country. If someone committed a robbery, the community would form a posse and hunt down the BGs and bring them into the jail (of course there were vigilante actions but more rare than in the movies). If the BGs fought the posse lethal force would be used as necessary. Thefts that effected the livelihood of the citizen were capital offenses some places - horse/cattle stealing for example. As organized law enforcement spread, the involvement of the community lessened. Still, the BGs always knew which places were a bad idea to rob because of armed owners who were willing to defend their property.

    While many people claim that no one should die over property I'm not sure that I agree with that. The only thing that anyone really, truly owns is their body and their labor. We turn our bodies and it's labor into money and use it to purchase goods and services. Therefore, all property represents a very personal expenditure of labor. If someone steals from you, you will have to expend more labor to earn more money to purchase more property. Therefore, a property crime not only steals from you the property, but also labor and time. It is very expensive to the individual victims and to society as a whole. On top of that is the expenditures just to protect your property from crime. We pay for alarm systems, locks, insurance. We lock ourselves away from our neighbors and communities to protect ourselves. I reject that property crimes are JUST crimes against property. They are crimes against society at large. We have reached the point that we are more afraid of the criminals than they are of we, the people. That is backwards. They should be living in the shadows. They should constantly be afraid of being caught and punishced or injured. Theft at any level is and should be a dangerous occupation. But where the line is drawn? I don't know. There are lots of variables. But if every thief knew there was a 50% chance of dying for stealing something, I bet there would be a drastic reduction in property crimes nationwide.
    1. In Massachusetts the only place one can use deadly force without retreating is inside the home. Inside my vehicle I would definatly use deadly force if I couldn't drive away. Especially if my children were in the car, I wouldn't allow anyone to steal my vehicle and escape with it.


    2. Ouside of the home the law expects me to retreat, so there isn't much choice here.

    3. Same as above.



  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post imported post

    If I own my body/life/'self' then I am morally justified to see to it that no other tries to take it from me. Therefore murder is wrong and stopping one from murdering you is just.

    Assuming that I own myself, then I am able to utilizethat selfas I see fit asownership explicitly denotes control over the property in question. Therefore I, owning myself, am the only one who is rightfully entitled to control or otherwise utilize my body or 'self'. No other may do so. And I am morally justified in stopping or preventing other men from attempting to do so. This leads us to declaring that I have 'liberty' and therefore slavery in all its forms (mild or obvious) is wrong and stopping one from enslaveing you is just.

    By extension of this right to life and this right to liberty, the products of those two portions create property. By mixing my bodys labor with natural tangible objects, I am investing my life liberty or both into those objects and have a right to them. Noone else does being that they invested no such portions of thier existance into these things. This leads us to assume that we have property rights. And like the aforementioned rights to selfownership and liberty, it impliesa right to ensure exclusivity... a right to defend the property which is tied to ones very body and freedom to use that body. Therefore to steal is wrong and stopping one from stealingyour property is just.

    To violate the basic right of self ownership, is morally wrong. Life Liberty and Property are ones rights as a human being, intertwined and inseperable

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    If I own my body/life/'self' then I am morally justified to see to it that no other tries to take it from me. Therefore murder is wrong and stopping one from murdering you is just.

    Assuming that I own myself, then I am able to utilizethat selfas I see fit asownership explicitly denotes control over the property in question. Therefore I, owning myself, am the only one who is rightfully entitled to control or otherwise utilize my body or 'self'. No other may do so. And I am morally justified in stopping or preventing other men from attempting to do so. This leads us to declaring that I have 'liberty' and therefore slavery in all its forms (mild or obvious) is wrong and stopping one from enslaveing you is just.

    By extension of this right to life and this right to liberty, the products of those two portions create property. By mixing my bodys labor with natural tangible objects, I am investing my life liberty or both into those objects and have a right to them. Noone else does being that they invested no such portions of thier existance into these things. This leads us to assume that we have property rights. And like the aforementioned rights to selfownership and liberty, it impliesa right to ensure exclusivity... a right to defend the property which is tied to ones very body and freedom to use that body. Therefore to steal is wrong and stopping one from stealingyour property is just.

    To violate the basic right of self ownership, is morally wrong. Life Liberty and Property are ones rights as a human being, intertwined and inseperable
    Best argument I've heard so far.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southeast, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,974

    Post imported post

    imperialism2024 wrote:
    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    If I own my body/life/'self' then I am morally justified to see to it that no other tries to take it from me. Therefore murder is wrong and stopping one from murdering you is just.

    Assuming that I own myself, then I am able to utilizethat selfas I see fit asownership explicitly denotes control over the property in question. Therefore I, owning myself, am the only one who is rightfully entitled to control or otherwise utilize my body or 'self'. No other may do so. And I am morally justified in stopping or preventing other men from attempting to do so. This leads us to declaring that I have 'liberty' and therefore slavery in all its forms (mild or obvious) is wrong and stopping one from enslaveing you is just.

    By extension of this right to life and this right to liberty, the products of those two portions create property. By mixing my bodys labor with natural tangible objects, I am investing my life liberty or both into those objects and have a right to them. Noone else does being that they invested no such portions of thier existance into these things. This leads us to assume that we have property rights. And like the aforementioned rights to selfownership and liberty, it impliesa right to ensure exclusivity... a right to defend the property which is tied to ones very body and freedom to use that body. Therefore to steal is wrong and stopping one from stealingyour property is just.

    To violate the basic right of self ownership, is morally wrong. Life Liberty and Property are ones rights as a human being, intertwined and inseperable
    Best argument I've heard so far.
    Well, you know, really, that is essentially the same argument I made -- Thorsmitersaw just made the argument a hell of a lot better and more eloquently. Well done, sir!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  19. #19
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Maryville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    407

    Post imported post

    I agree, very well put.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    30

    Post imported post

    When this country was formed you could protect your property with lethal force and nobody questioned it. The general populace was but an extension of the law when the law was not available. That is the way I think it should benow.

    Do I want to shoot or kill anyone? NO!

    If the lives of my family orothers including mine are threatened will I hesitate to use deadly force? NO!



  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SeaTac, Washington, USA
    Posts
    434

    Post imported post

    It is the thief who decides the value of his own live by the property he steels.

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    3,806

    Post imported post

    Fallguy wrote:
    I think if the thief lives in a state where deadly force is allowed to protect property, it is a risk he assumes when he commits the crime and he has made the choice.
    +1

    I have no such moral qualms about ending a thief's career.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    , Oregon, USA
    Posts
    269

    Post imported post

    irfner wrote:
    It is the thief who decides the value of his ownlife by the property he steals.
    Other than minor spelling issues, thats a pretty good summation ofthe whole thing.

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Dallas, TX, ,
    Posts
    496

    Post imported post

    In short, I do not think that deadly force is justifiable for anything short of a personal defense scenario. The importance of property is always second to the importance of life.

    Let me clarify; if someone, without harming you in any way, takes your stuff and gets away, deadly force would not have been morally permissible to prevent it. Same with a purse-snatcher; they grab, run, and never were a danger to you personally. Using deadly force against such people is immoral and illegal even if not to do so results in your losing property.

    The line is crossed when, for whatever end, your life and safetyare personally threatened. This MAKES it about personal defense, even if the situation did not initially threaten anyone's life or safety. A burglar, confronted by you, has the option to fight it out. The moment that decision is made you are no longer defending your house; you are defending yourself. Between the confrontation and making the decision, you can use the THREAT of deadly force, but if the burglar tries to escape or surrenders there is nolonger a reason to shoot.

    The argument can be expanded to include situations in which neither you nor anyone around you is threatened by a hostile action, but if the assailant succeeds the net result would undoubtedly harm someone, even if you don't know who. For instance, an escaping violent criminal, if allowed to get away, will undoubtedly cause harm to someone else either in furtherance of their efforts to get away or simply when they resume the criminal activitiesthey werelocked up for. It can therefore be justifiable to shoot to kill when the prisoner is encountered even if the prisoner poses no personal threat to you or anyone in the immediate area; they will inevitably pose a threat to someone else.

    This can, in those broader terms, come back to property. You own dangerous property: firearms first and foremost. Someone breaks in and cracks your gun safe, but you hear and confront him. The burglar cannot use the weapons he's trying to steal because they're unloaded and breech locked, so he tries to flee with what he has. You now are faced with a moral dilemma. If the burglar escapes, he willdefeat the breech lock and will eitheruse the weapons himself in the commission of furthercrimes, or will fence them to people who will use them. This is practically inevitable. If, however, you shoot him and he dies, you were never in any danger and theshootingwould not bejustified as necessary to protect your own safety. The question, on which there is book and case law going both ways, is whether the shooting is justifiable based on the inevitable harm to others had you not stopped the burglar. Many jurisdictions say no, because nothing is inevitable. The burglar could be caughtthat nightand all weapons seized and eventually returned. The burglar mayditchthe guns as being more trouble than they're worth to offload. Other jurisdictions say that shooting in such a case, though it can neverbe legally required, is justifiable as the consequences of inaction are easily foreseen and the burglar, by stealing and inevitably fencing the weapons, poses a danger to otherpersons unknown.

    Morally,shooting a gun thief isequivalent to a train coming down a track and five people are tied to it. You stand at a switch; if you flip it, the train will change tracks and kill just one. The net difference is four lives. By many consequentialist theories, the morally required action is to flip the switch and kill the one person. But, that assumes you know, without a doubt, that five people will die if you do not act. It's highly probable that you AT LEAST break even, just like it is highly probable that if the gun in his hands were loaded he'd use it on you and someone wouldn't get out of that room alive. However, the weapon in his handsposes no IMMEDIATE threat to anyone except as a club, so your justification for shooting him is largely based on you claiming to know the future.

  25. #25
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bellingham, ,
    Posts
    608

    Post imported post

    lethal force can be used anytime you think any consequence of using force is more desirable than the perceived imminent consequences of not.

    or atleast that's how i think of it.

    (that whole "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6" thing)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •