Defending property vs. life


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MASTEROFMALICE
October 13, 2007, 10:28 AM
This is strictly a "devil's advocate" argument.

The argument has been raised time and again for and against using lethal force in the defence of property. The argument against it is generally something to the effect that property lacks the value of life and so shouldn't be defended as vigorously.

To counter this argument I'll say this. My property IS my life. It didn't come for free. I had to pay money for it, and my money is earned with my life. If someone kills me they haven't taken ALL of my life. I've lived 31 years which noone can take from me, they an only take the rest of it, however long that may be. But by stealing property from me they are, in effect, taking previous parts of my life. They are stealing from me chunks of my life that I was away from my family, away from my friends, away from my hobbies, sleep, enjoyment.

These are pieces of my life that were spent at work in various jobs earning the money to own that property.

So the crux of the argument is this:

If a cancer patient has his one last miserable and painful month on Earth taken from him by murder, is that really actually worse than stealing a man's car, which may have taken him twelve completely healthy and otherwise enjoyable months work to earn?

Bear in mind, technically, stealing the car is a greater overall loss to the man.

I'm looking at this from a moral point of view. I'm already aware of the law and I know the two don't always coincide.

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JamisJockey
October 13, 2007, 10:42 AM
BS.
Possessions are just that, possessions.
Certain things do bear the use of lethal force. We need food, water, shelter. We need protection (firearms/weapons). We need to work to provide such things. If someone is trying to take your craftsman tools from your uninhabited shed in the back of your property, go ahead and confront them and possibly shoot them. I'm glad to know that some of you Rambo's value things that you don't need to survive.
Obviously this pertains to stuff that a criminal is taking that has no direct bearing your well being. If the criminal is breaking into your abode just to steal your TV, he's invading your space and should be dealt with.

I'm looking at this from a Moral point of view. If we as a people want to run around shooting petty thieves and criminals for minor infractions....for crimes that don't immediately put us in danger...what's next? Shooting someone for cutting you off? For speeding? Drunk driving?
Heck both of those put you in direct danger!
It's a slippery slope. Creeping incrementalisim, in the other direction.

While an armed society is a polite society, it comes with moral responsibility. The gun is the great equalizer, and protects both the big and strong and meek and small alike. It is not a tool of swift immediate justice. You are not judge/jury/executioner.

The same rights that provide us freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms also give us the rights to fair trial, due process...blah blah blah. Unless some of you are interested in just picking and choosing what you believe in the Constitution and Bill of rights....oh...wait that is the common tactic of the left...I forgot.....



I feel like this
:banghead:
Around here sometimes.

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2007, 10:42 AM
Oh boy! Been 2 or 3 weeks since we did this one ;)

If a cancer patient has his one last miserable and painful month on Earth taken from him by murder, is that really actually worse than stealing a man's car, which may have taken him twelve completely healthy and otherwise enjoyable months work to earn?

Sure, innocent human life always has to come before property, even if that human life is almost over (unless the very sick human wants to end it on his own but we'll leave the Kavorkian discussion out of this one)

Notice I said innocent human life.

Some scumbag stealing your car is not innocent.

I see the point you are driving at but I can't see putting the value of property above a human life (again innocent humans).

I wouldn't say that property shouldn't be defended as vigorously as a human life though.

If I see one guy stealing my car from my garage, and another guy about to kill my sick neighbor with one month left to live, I'm ignoring the car for the moment.

akodo
October 13, 2007, 10:49 AM
A posession can be reaquired. Yes, it may be unlikely but it is possible. Bill Gates could gift you a new car. Bill Gates cannot gift the robber a new life.

On the other hand, steps short of lethal force are very reasonable when attempting to protect your property. And of course, a gun present ready to be used in case the situation changes, that is quite reasonable too.

Man in your house, holding your 1 million dollar ancient golden scupture, you confront him armed, and demand he stop drop the loot, and wait for police. The guy decides to turn and run, with the loot. My stance is that while the presence of the gun was reasonable, shooting at that point is not.

Flip the situation around, using an example slighly changed from a different threat.

You hear banging out in the alley where your car is parked. You grab your flashlight and a handgun. You go out to find a guy taking off your licence plate, you confront him, he whirls and attempts to stab you with the screwdriver. Even though the licence plate is nearly valueless in comparison to the golden statue, now your life and well-being are on the line. I'd say use of lethal force is now necessary

shadowalker
October 13, 2007, 10:50 AM
I agree, innocent life is far more important, we have insurance for a reason. My state does allow the use of reasonable force to defend property.

I'd probably feel more morally compelled to defend someone in such a situation just like with the young and with the old, they deserve respect and protection, it takes a special kind of person to prey on them.

JWarren
October 13, 2007, 10:52 AM
These threads seem to be breeding.


As I said on the other thread...

This is dependent on what is legal within your laws, and a function of your own conscience and ethics. I don't see any benefit to rehashing this again.

I suspect that there has never been a single person actually change thier moral and ethical position from the one that they originally held based on one of these threads.

They basically just deteriorate into people calling others names such as "Rambo" out of anger, frustration, and/or impotence if they have a postion they wish to advocate or a view they wish to impose and it meets opposition.


I don't know if I have the energy or time to participate in this thread.




You have made danger your vocation, and now you die of that vocation. For that, I will bury you with my own hands.

-Friedrich Nietzche
Thus Spoke Zarathustra




-- John

JWarren
October 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
innocent life


???

-- John

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2007, 10:54 AM
Man in your house, holding your 1 million dollar ancient golden scupture, you confront him armed, and demand he stop drop the loot, and wait for police. The guy decides to turn and run, with the loot. My stance is that while the presence of the gun was reasonable, shooting at that point is not.

Dude, he's INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. If just that doesn't justify lethal force I am not sure what does. Al these arguments assume you can know the intention of a person who has just broken into your house.

I don't believe I am psychic enough to glean their intentions, so I will assume their intention is to harm me or my family, since they broke into my house.

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2007, 10:56 AM
innocent life

Innocent life = victim of the crime

Scumbag life = the criminal

Big distinction I think.

JWarren
October 13, 2007, 10:58 AM
Yep TRM. I agree with your position there.

By the quote I point out, I had read it in conjuction with the insurance part after it. I think I got the context wrong. Thanks for the clarification.

-- John

TexasRifleman
October 13, 2007, 10:59 AM
Yep TRM, I think I may have misread.

Figured you did, we seem to be on the same page on this one.

Blackbeard
October 13, 2007, 11:07 AM
I agree with the OP, in theory, BUT posessions can be insured so that in the event they are lost, you can be made whole again. You can also buy life insurance but it won't bring you back to life.

So yes, there is a moral distinction between taking your life and taking your posessions.

redneckrepairs
October 13, 2007, 11:19 AM
You simply cannot , nor should you shoot folks over property , be it a car or a pet . No matter how emotionally attached we get to items/pets they do not rise to the level of the lowest of human life .

JamisJockey
October 13, 2007, 11:24 AM
The wires also seems to be getting crossed at the difference between armed confrontation of a thief/criminal and shooting them.
There is no difference.
If you confront the guy stealing your garden knome armed, you are in a position to use lethal force. If you are standing there demanding he wait for the police, whether holding him at gunpoint or with your weapon by your side, you are using lethal force. If you are armed and not prepared to use lethal force, something is wrong with you. Thusly, confronting mere property thieves puts you in the hypothetical realm.
What if he runs?
What if he charges you?
What if he continues stealing your garden knome and tells you to bugger yourself?
You will have to make a decision. Not everyone is as lucky as the homeowner in Texas.
I guess your concious will be your guide on this matter. Good luck with that.

rich0372
October 13, 2007, 11:24 AM
Possessions are just that, possessions

Why should you surrender your possessions that you worked hard for just because you think it's not morally correct. Stealing isn't correct either

I'm glad to know that some of you Rambo's value things that you don't need to survive.

It's not about being a Rambo it's about people respecting others property if thiefs think they will get shot they won't do it...they prey on the weak

I'm looking at this from a Moral point of view.

Stealing is not morally correct last time I checked.

I'm not saying you should shoot anybody on your property but,if you are able to call the cops and hold them there til they get there at gun point why not.
What's the difference if you didn't have a gun and went out there and beat the s### out of them.

rich0372
October 13, 2007, 11:30 AM
be it a car or a pet

What how can you compare a car ( a piece of medal/plastic) to a pet. My dogs are part of my family if someone breaks in my house and hurts/kills my dog I would take action.:fire: (if tell hurt/killed my dog they aren't there to have coffee)

SuperNaut
October 13, 2007, 11:32 AM
The criminal's motivations and intent are unclear and he has forfeited any benefit of the doubt. I'm not saying that I would summarily shoot him, I'm just saying that trying to intuit the state of mind of a criminal while he is in the act would be a staggeringly stupid thing to do.

Also keep in mind that the legal requirements of a criminal court proceeding and the legal requirements of a self defense situation have long been recognized as different. Also reducing the argument to such a dubious level i.e.: "If someone is trying to take your craftsman tools from your uninhabited shed in the back of your property, go ahead and confront them and possibly shoot them," is IMO disingenouous, not to mention a fallacy. If a criminal has broken into your house it is long past equating the value a man's life with a Craftsman tool. At that point you are equating the value of your life against the life of the criminal.

Christianninja
October 13, 2007, 11:38 AM
Only someone imperiling your or someone around you's right to exist empowers you to violate someone else's right to exist.

Stealing your property is not ending your earthly existence, nor is it erasing a period of existence from a point earlier in your life. The latter is impossible. It is simply stealing your property.

Trying to state otherwise is merely rationalizing a conclusion already reached.

redneckrepairs
October 13, 2007, 11:46 AM
What how can you compare a car ( a piece of medal/plastic) to a pet. My dogs are part of my family if someone breaks in my house and hurts/kills my dog I would take action. (if tell hurt/killed my dog they aren't there to have coffee)

Tho i was more thinking of shooting a motorist for hitting a family pet on the street... i rest my case on the emotional attachment i spoke of .

OAKVILLE SHOOTER
October 13, 2007, 11:47 AM
Let us know how this defence works out in the courtroom.

Werewolf
October 13, 2007, 11:49 AM
I have to wonder how many here that are so morally opposed to shooting a property thief would retain that opposition after their home had been broken into and ransacked 3 times?

Or are just being PC and lack the moral courage to say what they really think from fear of being called Rambo?

Or just don't want to go on public record as being one who would kill if their property were being stolen because that could be used against them if they ever find their self in such a situation?

SuperNaut
October 13, 2007, 11:50 AM
Only someone imperiling your or someone around you's right to exist empowers you to violate someone else's right to exist.

In addition to being a spelling and grammatical catastrophe, it is also incorrect.

You only have to be in fear of your life to be able to use lethal force (in my state). You cannot know the intent of a criminal, you can only know your own mind.

We need to separate what is legal, what is moral, and what is prudent. Otherwise this tree will bear no fruit.

springmom
October 13, 2007, 11:55 AM
You simply cannot , nor should you shoot folks over property , be it a car or a pet . No matter how emotionally attached we get to items/pets they do not rise to the level of the lowest of human life .

I call high horse :neener:

In the state of Texas, I certainly CAN shoot if someone is stealing my property. That is the law. You may not like that it is the law, but it IS. Whether I *should* shoot someone stealing my property is between myself and God.

Furthermore, in the state of Texas, I CAN shoot if someone is committing a felony in my presence (armed robbery, rape, attempted murder, etc.) Whether I would or should shoot is between myself and God.

While I admire your committment to protecting human life and I probably agree with you in general on the topic of property, it's still getting on the high horse to say a person CANNOT do what the law in their state says they CAN do.

There are two other threads going on this topic: one, a homeowner in Texas who held thieves at the business end of a 12-gauge until police arrived, and one where someone told a story of using a gun to scare off a burglar in a jurisdiction where such MAY have been illegal.

This is the third thread on this same topic to pop up in two days. Mods, could we merge the threads so that people can see what others are saying without having three more or less identical conversations going at the same time?

Springmom

theavocado
October 13, 2007, 11:55 AM
Wouldnt it be easier to store all of your belongings inside your house?

tbtrout
October 13, 2007, 11:58 AM
Now, I understand the law an have a definate Fear of Bubba,as I believe most of us do. We understand consequences of our actions and I believe as gun owners we pay more attention to the laws, especially the little technicalities that can trap us.

That being said, I think the mere thought process of someone who thinks it is ok to take something just because he wants it and the prevailing opinion that mere posessions can be replaced is wacked. I believe the whole, is an object worth a life argument is part of the reason we have so much crime and criminals have no fear. Criminls do not obey the law, while the rest of us do for we fear the reprecussions of breaking it.

Someone breaks into your house, violates your sovereignty, to take something that is not his regardless of the value, he is saying I am entitled to do what ever I want and you do not matter. I am better than you and you mean nothing to me. In some states you are required to vacate your home if this happens and wait for the police to show up and make a report about what was stolen. Personaly, I believe if we were allowed to shoot someone for these acts the word would spread quickly and while theft would never stop, it would drop. The inability and lack of drive in the court system to punish criminals has led to very brazen criminals who know they will not pay a harsh punitive price for their actions. They get a slap in the wrist, told it was their environment and sent back out.

I believe most people who have the let them have it attitude have not been a victim of a theft or other personal crimes. While I have had things stolen, I am thankfull that it was not in my presence becuase I do not need to be armed to stop someone. Rest assured I will confront someone who is tryin to take something of mine.

That is my primitive, non enlighened, uncivilized, too much testosterone having thought. And for the record I do not believe in arbitrarily shooting people for rediculous things as drunk driving or traffic offenses as previously posted to trivialize the OP's question.

redneckrepairs
October 13, 2007, 12:00 PM
In the state of Texas, I certainly CAN shoot if someone is stealing my property. That is the law. You may not like that it is the law, but it IS. Whether I *should* shoot someone stealing my property is between myself and God.

Furthermore, in the state of Texas, I CAN shoot if someone is committing a felony in my presence (armed robbery, rape, attempted murder, etc.) Whether I would or should shoot is between myself and God.

Yea i pretty much exempted tx for two reasons , 1. i am not familiar with tx law and 2. Yall still aint figured out that your no longer a republic and need to conform somewhat to the rest of the usa ( posted tounge in cheek there lol since any chance to gig a texan is a good one imho )

springmom
October 13, 2007, 12:05 PM
2. Yall still aint figured out that your no longer a republic and need to conform somewhat to the rest of the usa ( posted tounge in cheek there lol since any chance to gig a texan is a good one imho )

PPPPBBBBBLLLLLTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :neener::neener::neener:

But we ARE still a republic, and it's the rest of the USA that needs to get Tex-ified! :D (Except for those states that have BETTER gun laws than we do, of which there are a number :banghead:)

Springmom

M2 Carbine
October 13, 2007, 12:08 PM
I worked hard all my life for what I have and no one is going to take it by force without a fight.


You can make up a thousand, "well would you shoot in this case" scenarios but personally, if I catch a criminal stealing from me or destroying my property he can consider himself very lucky if he's not shot.


I'm looking at this from a moral point of view.

Don't want to get shot, don't be a criminal, because I couldn't care less about a criminal's life.

JamisJockey
October 13, 2007, 12:25 PM
Don't want to get shot, don't be a criminal, because I couldn't care less about a criminal's life.

Ah but I am a criminal. Everyonce in awhile I cut someone off or speed. Please don't shoot me.



The trigger happy Rambo's seem to have this place nailed down pretty good these days, I'll go back to debating nothing of substance, such as Glock Vs. 1911.

Justin
October 13, 2007, 12:30 PM
If you make your living by using your possessions, and losing them would result in a seriously detrimental blow to your ability to survive, you should really consider getting an insurance policy to cover such eventualities.

If it's data, make backup copies.

And ultimately, whether or not you feel that you're justified to shoot in defense of property, you had better be exceptionally well-versed in your state's self defense laws.

Let us know how this defence works out in the courtroom.

Bingo. What people tell you on an internet gun board probably bears no resemblance to the reality of how a jury would rule, and you're much better off keeping that in mind.

/steps down from soap box. Folds it up. Walks away.

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