Garland Business owner's son kills suspected copper thief


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jaytex1969
July 11, 2008, 12:25 AM
For your consideration.

http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=214064&SecID=2

Garland Business owner's son kills suspected copper thief
7/10/2008 9:26 PM
By: Associated Press

GARLAND -- A man who reportedly carried tools that could be used to steal copper is dead after a Garland business owner's son -- shot him.

Garland police say 43-year-old Edward Preston Hickey died early Thursday.

The 25-year-old son told police he shot Hickey after seeing him climb on top of his father's Bargain Town Variety & Furniture Store.

The business owner's son told police the store was having problems with copper thieves and a decision was made to guard the shop from its roof.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the dead man had assorted tools that could be used for stealing copper.

Police don't intend to file charges, but the case will be referred to a grand jury.

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Standing Wolf
July 11, 2008, 12:39 AM
Garland police say 43-year-old Edward Preston Hickey died early Thursday.

If I were a wagering man, I'd bet he won't try that again very soon.

never_retreat
July 11, 2008, 12:48 AM
I guess he was going after the AC unit.
I read about someone getting electrocuted trying to steel one around here. Good.

Hardtarget
July 11, 2008, 01:06 AM
Here in Nashville there was a run of copper thieving. They do thousands of dollars in damage to an AC unit for fifty dollars worth of copper. I'm surprised there wern't several shootings over this.

Here lately, the thugs have been stealing catalytic converters off cars/trucks. Our delivery truck was tried. They cut both ends free, but there was a bolted bracket holding in the middle and they couldn't get it.

Mark.

230RN
July 11, 2008, 01:07 AM
Texas? Was it at night? It only says "early in the morning."

To us "midnight mayors," "early in the morning" could mean 11AM.

My understanding is you can only use deadly force to protect property at nighttime in Texas.

I further understand that this concept of using deadly force only at night is more-or-less Old Testament Biblically based.

I googled "a thief in the night" but only came up with some stuff from Revelations.

Help?

(Without turning this into a religion thread.)

macadore
July 11, 2008, 01:10 AM
I donít know whatís happened to the Dallas area. This seems to happen all the time. It looks like thieves would figure this out and go somewhere else. Good luck northern brothers and sisters. Hang in there.

Big Daddy K
July 11, 2008, 01:41 AM
Why would time of day matter?

Halo
July 11, 2008, 01:46 AM
There's a Powerpoint making the email rounds that shows what happened to a thief who tried to steal some wiring at an electrical substation. He cut into a 13,000 volt line with a pair of ordinary wire cutters. The results were not pretty.

TexasSkyhawk
July 11, 2008, 02:26 AM
Some scumbag trying to steal copper ends up dying of lead poisoning.

Meanwhile, up in Chicago . . .

Jeff

gtmerkley
July 11, 2008, 02:29 AM
You said it!

JohnKSa
July 11, 2008, 02:32 AM
My understanding is you can only use deadly force to protect property at nighttime in Texas.This is incorrect. The TX laws that govern the legal use of force and deadly force in protection of property are not simple enough to summarize in a single sentence, or even a single paragraph.

Some property crimes do not warrant the use of deadly force at all, others do whenever they're committed, some only if they're committed at night--in addition there are ALWAYS other conditions that must be met before one can legally shoot in defense of property.

Here's another link.

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=6951748&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1

This was not the first time they'd been hit. After you've had your multi-thousand dollar commercial air conditioner ripped apart a few times by someone looking for a few bucks worth of copper, it starts to get old. In another, unrelated news story, I heard one business owner indicate that it cost him over $6,000 to get his unit working again after copper thieves hit him.

B yond
July 11, 2008, 03:08 AM
Police don't intend to file charges, but the case will be referred to a grand jury.

Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?

This was not the first time they'd been hit. After you've had your multi-thousand dollar commercial air conditioner ripped apart a few times by someone looking for a few bucks worth of copper, it starts to get old. In another, unrelated news story, I heard one business owner indicate that it cost him over $6,000 to get his unit working again after copper thieves hit him.

I think I would have a hard time sleeping at night if I'd been the shooter. Then again, I've never had to shoot some one in copper-defense so I can't be sure how I'd feel afterward.

I just don't know about this one.

Copper and robbers.

Jim March
July 11, 2008, 04:12 AM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?

Yes.

OK. If your head isn't clear as to why, try this:

If somebody attempted to enslave you, you'd have every right to kill them. They're thieves: they're stealing your future labor.

Explain please how stealing your past labor is any different than stealing your future labor.

Society benefits when a copper thief dies. Period.

NvTwist
July 11, 2008, 04:56 AM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?
If It's your copper or you are a business owner that works with copper be it Plumbing or electrical or anything else, Then my answer would be definitly "YES!" Shoot the bastard.
A Close friend's Electrical construction business almost went under due to theft of material from his contracted job sites. They would rip out eveything that was just installed, So now your replacing the material and paying your employee to do the same job twice if not three times. At one point he even hired a security company to put a man on site all night, the guard they sent decided to fill his trunk with copper from the site he was sent to protect. Here in Las Vegas their even stealing the wiring from the working street lights and along the freeways.:mad:

Oana
July 11, 2008, 05:28 AM
My understanding is you can only use deadly force to protect property at nighttime in Texas.

I further understand that this concept of using deadly force only at night is more-or-less Old Testament Biblically based.

I googled "a thief in the night" but only came up with some stuff from Revelations.

Help?

230RN: See Exodus 22:2-3, KJV:

"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him.

"If the sun be risen upon him, [there shall be] blood [shed] for him; [for] he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft."

Speculating here, perhaps the logic was that if the sun was up, he could be identified and made to return (or if necessary, repay) the theft. The surrounding verses deal with restitution. In the dark, he could get away. Another view is that at night it would be more difficult to determine if someone was merely thieving, or intent on causing harm.

maestro pistolero
July 11, 2008, 06:20 AM
So we have now a death penalty for stealing? No need for any fear for your safety, or any credible threat to your life? How about you draw down on the guy and at least try to hold him for the police? If he makes any move toward you, THEN shoot him and go sleep like a baby.
Sure he's a scumbag, but unless there is more to it than what is reported, I wouldn't want this one on my conscience, no matter WHAT the law allows me to do.

sacp81170a
July 11, 2008, 06:38 AM
So we have now a death penalty for stealing?

Nope. It's been around for a long time.

Oana:

Exodus 22:2-3, KJV:

"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him.

"If the sun be risen upon him, [there shall be] blood [shed] for him; [for] he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft."

Jim March:

If somebody attempted to enslave you, you'd have every right to kill them. They're thieves: they're stealing your future labor.

Explain please how stealing your past labor is any different than stealing your future labor.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

MaterDei
July 11, 2008, 06:53 AM
Texas? Was it at night? It only says "early in the morning."

The incident with Joe Horn occurred in the middle of the afternoon. 2 p.m. if I recall.

1911Tuner
July 11, 2008, 07:13 AM
Yes, thieves are despicable, and with few exceptions, I hold them in very low esteem.

However, I won't shoot a thief unless he enters my home, or puts me in fear of physical harm while engaging in his chosen profession. If I catch him in the act and he surrenders...or he turns to run...he may go, regardless of what the law allows me to do. I can't bring myself to kill someone over inanimate objects.

YMMV

redneck2
July 11, 2008, 07:13 AM
Sure he's a scumbag, but unless there is more to it than what is reported, I wouldn't want this one on my conscience, no matter WHAT the law allows me to do.

The this is one of the "unintended consequences" of our liberal judicial system. It's not worth putting someone in jail for stealing, so we end up killing them instead. Since the judicial system refuses to do their job, individuals have to do it however they can. If you're identified as a "soft" target, they'll steal everything you've got. At what point to you fight back to save everything you've worked for?

There's some kind of different "mentality" with scrappers and copper thieves. Their thought process seems to be like the miners in Kali in the mid 1800's. I was just walking along and found this nugget and now it's mine.

Go to a scrap yard for a while and see the stuff that's brought in. There was a BIG rash of thefts of bronze cemetery urns here a while back. Something like 300 of 400 urns were stolen from one cemetery. They got something like $10 each for scrap, but cost over $300 to replace.

My son-in-law took some aluminum cans in last week. Some guys brought in complete new rolls of chain link fence. Yeah, people always throw out new rolls of fence. Somebody lost hundreds of dollars so the scrapper could get $5.

There was just a thing on the local news this AM about a guy that got arrested for a series of break-ins in Granger, IN. This was something like this 30th arrest in 12 years.

greg531mi
July 11, 2008, 08:06 AM
A copper thief in my city, ripped off a copper gas line...The house blew up!
Luckily, no one lived there...Too bad the thief wasn't there!

La Pistoletta
July 11, 2008, 08:10 AM
I can't bring myself to kill someone over inanimate objects.

Those "inanimate objects" took your effort and time to acquire - things that can never be replaced. Time is the physical measure of life itself.

Jim March is correct. Theft is equal to slavery, it is an initiation of force. If I am in the right and the criminal is in the wrong, I will defend my property with any means necessary. The criminal is not of zero value; he is of negative value and as such, my property is worth infinitely much more than him since it stems from the time, effort and thinking of a moral person.

There is no "inherent" value in human life that is independant from morality. A morally bankrupt criminal does not get to claim a superior value over the life, liberty and property of a just person, no matter the degree.


There was just a thing on the local news this AM about a guy that got arrested for a series of break-ins in Granger, IN. This was something like this 30th arrest in 12 years.

I don't care what the charges are, as long as they're legitimate, if you get arrested 30 times for anything you should be put down like a rabid dog.

avpro
July 11, 2008, 08:59 AM
A man who reportedly carried tools that could be used to steal copper is dead after a Garland business owner's son

So this guy was not stealing anything at the time of the shooting? It seems that he was only trespassing and got killed for it. The son was on the roof "lying in wait" for a thief to come by so he could shoot him. Why couldn't the son just call 911? Sorry but I think the son used very poor judgment and should see the inside of a jail cell. His life was not in danger and nothing was being stolen. He killed some poor slob for climbing on the roof.

230RN
July 11, 2008, 09:05 AM
Well, at least I know what I would do: not shoot.

The scene was in Boulder CO, at 6th and Cascade, right under the Flatirons, about 1 AM.

It was back in 1965, well before there were too many legal complications. I confronted a young gentleman bent over the ignition switch in my car. I did all this here now "confronting" with my M1917 Colt loaded with very heavy .45AR* loads, pointed directly at him through the open passenger window.

I hollered "freeze" and he didn't, but raised up to look at me with a walkie-talkie in his hand, which I thought was a gun.

He almost bought it right then and there, but jumped out of my car and ran down 6th Avenue, clicking and clacking in his cowboy boots.

At the time I had been using the M1917 on running jack rabbits up on the Grasslands, and was pretty good with it on running shots.

I remember cooly calculating when he would be crossing in front of a big rock down the street as a backstop, right under a streetlight, asssessing how much lead on the target I should use, and dragging the sights along in front of him.

I suddenly thought, "Hey, wait a minute. He's only trying to steal my car," and dropped the gun to my side and fired into the lawn.

BOOM! The shot echoed off the Flatirons and his stride suddenly changed from click-clack-click-clack to clicketyclackclickclackclickclack.

I had to laugh like heck after the incident was over and I had calmed down. I may have saved him from a future career as a car thief. I decided maybe it wasn't a good idea to leave my car windows open anymore, and locked the car up after that.

So now I know I would not shoot at a mere thief unless my life were directly threatened.

And somewhere in the lawn at 6th and Cascade in Boulder, there's a 255 grain .45 slug buried about 10-12 inches under the grass.

-----------
( * The load was about 12 grains of 2400 behind a 255 grain .45 Colt slug in a .45AR balloon head case, which load I picked up from one of the contemporary gun writers. Boy, was that some heckofa load! I always regetted trading that M1917 for something else,)

Phil DeGraves
July 11, 2008, 09:16 AM
The fact is, whether he was trespassing or stealing, he was BREAKING THE LAW! HE WAS A CRIMINAL! Since when is it up to the law abiding to protect the bad guy and determine at what point he can defend himself and his property? These guys were stealing his life. Good enough for me. If you guys don't feel justified in shooting, fine, no one is telling you you have to, but don't sit on your high horse and judge the person who was in the situation. Remember that it is 10% of the criminals committing 90% of the crime. And they don't jst stick to stealing copper. If these 10% are eliminated, we'd have a 90% reduction in crime...ALL KINDS OF CRIME!!! If you don't want to risk getting killed by an armed civilian, DON'T COMMIT CRIMES!

There was the felon in Florida who killed a child and three police officers. He had been convicted of over 50, that's right, fifty crimes, ranging from petty theft to assault to felon in possession. His TOTAL jail time for ALL those convictions was 27 months! That is just over two weeks per conviction. If the justice system had done it's part, that child and those three police officers would not have to have paid the price. The judges that let him go should have been charged with accessory after the fact.
Some people just need killing.

La Pistoletta
July 11, 2008, 09:30 AM
Some people just need killing.

Simple as that. Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent. The only choice is who has to die, which is - incredibly enough - in dispute...

JWarren
July 11, 2008, 09:46 AM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?


Yes.


But you see.... you asked about what is "moral."

Morality IS subjective and dependant upon individual ethical framework. There IS NO universal morality-- and this is demonstrated by the differences in ethical framework even among cultures, regions, religions, and philosophies.

Now... granted, a society attempts to develop some consistency of ethical framework and morality among itself in order to fullfull its Social Contract-- the "agreement" by which a society agrees to interact with one another. Ideally, this is reflective of the majority ethical framework of its constructive groups.

However, even indicated by THIS thread, it is apparent that defense of property is not some abnormality with our society.

For you, defense of property may well not be condusive to your ethical structure. For others, it is.



-- John

Elza
July 11, 2008, 09:46 AM
It rather depends upon the situation. I wouldnít shoot someone over a $30 VCR. I would be POíed, rant for a while, and buy a new one.

However, if someone were stealing my A/C equipment the situation changes. We are talking a lot of money to repair/replace. It would have to go down as a claim on my homeowners insurance. After about three claims on your homeowners insurance you will find yourself canceled. Once one company has refused to insure you finding replacement coverage is difficult and very expensive. This would cost me money for years to come.

In the case sited by the OP it is a business. He canít operate without insurance nor can he afford to continue replacing lost equipment out of his pocket. Losing the business eliminates his entire income. It all depends upon the situation.

avpro
July 11, 2008, 09:48 AM
The fact is, whether he was trespassing or stealing, he was BREAKING THE LAW! HE WAS A CRIMINAL!

He is not a criminal until a judge or jury says he is a criminal. Trespassing is a misdemeanor and one wouldn't expect to be executed for it. Next time you don't cross the street at a crosswalk or you change lanes without signaling, watch out, there might be someone near you with your attitude and you might just be executed for it. I mean why not you were breaking the law right?


but don't sit on your high horse and judge the person who was in the situation.

Excuse me!? I don't see you have any problem judging the trespasser, do you?

From the story it appears that the shooter was lying in wait for someone to kill. He shot and killed a trespasser. He didn't bother to call 911 to let the police handle it. His life was not in danger. Seems to me this guy did a real bad thing.

TexasSkyhawk
July 11, 2008, 09:49 AM
So this guy was not stealing anything at the time of the shooting? It seems that he was only trespassing and got killed for it. The son was on the roof "lying in wait" for a thief to come by so he could shoot him. Why couldn't the son just call 911? Sorry but I think the son used very poor judgment and should see the inside of a jail cell. His life was not in danger and nothing was being stolen. He killed some poor slob for climbing on the roof.

Best you stay up North then.

Down here, we protect our property which represents what we bust our ass day-in and day-out for to make a living or to enjoy the rewards of decent, honest work.

You, nor anyone else has a right to simply take it because you're too sorry to get into an honest line of work.

Not worth killing over? Fine. Don't point a gun at someone stealing your stuff.

But likewise, don't tell us down here which CRIMINAL behavior we should excuse and which we shouldn't. If you don't want to get shot and die in the course of your professional criminal exploits, then you best stay out of Texas.

And, quite honestly, we don't give a damn what anyone else thinks. Don't like it? Then don't move here. Here and don't like it? Then move back to California or New Jersey or wherever you came from.

Jeff

JWarren
July 11, 2008, 09:54 AM
He is not a criminal until a judge or jury says he is a criminal.


Wrong.

The term is dependent upon the action, not the pronouncement.

A person can rape a woman and not be caught. Is he somehow NOT a rapist because a judge hasn't gotten to him yet?

What you are referring to is how a legal system must treat an accused person but it is NOT the event that creates the condition.

If a guy broke into my home and I came in to him raping my wife, would I say... "Well, I don't know... I don't have a judge around to tell me if-- in fact-- my wife is being raped."

Seriously.



-- John

kevindsingleton
July 11, 2008, 10:01 AM
By 230RN:

"I had to laugh like hell after the incident was over and I had calned down. I may have saved him from a future career as a car thief. I decided maybe it wasn't a good idea to leave my car windows open anymore, and locked the car up after that."

Of course, you may have just saved him for a future career as a much more cautious, sophisticated car thief, or worse. One thing you did, for sure, was to let a criminal who had no concern for the rights and property of others, escape, unharmed, and provided him with the opportunity to prey upon others. Thanks, for that.

La Pistoletta
July 11, 2008, 10:01 AM
One who claim "petty" crimes do not justify defense as a response is ignoring the fact that the criminal chose to disregard rights as a concept. He invited himself into the arena of violence.

He chose to be shot.

PCFlorida
July 11, 2008, 10:12 AM
In the last year we have had 2 central air units and a well pump, as well as all the associated wiring stolen from our rental property when it was vacant. The Sheriff dept. says there is a rash of this going on and it likely won't stop until a homeowner catches the perps in the act and puts a --final-- end to it.

They ruined to $3500+ A/C units for $10 worth of copper.

Even with insurance we are out well over $1500.

I hope more of these copper thieves are stopped permanently.

mhinagoya
July 11, 2008, 10:15 AM
First and foremost, a man must live with his actions and his conscience.

In my opinion, if a person decides to commit a crime in full knowledge that they might be shot in the process, then that person has accepted responsibility for the consequences of their own actions and the shooter should be held blameless.

It's not a matter of me deciding if my VCR is as valuable as a human life. The thief has already made the decision that my VCR is so valuable that it is worth risking his life to get it. I was not involved in that decision making process or value assessment, as the thief did not consult with me prior to taking action.

Would I shoot a thief? I don't know and I don't want to find out.

To paraphrase Mr. Cooper

There is only one legitimate reason for shooting a human being. That person's actions must be of such a nature that you are morally and ethically compelled to force them to immediately stop what they are doing. This compulsion must be so great that it does not matter if they live or die and it does not matter what society thinks about your actions.

My comment on Mr. Cooper's postulate;

I have thought about this for many years and I think Cooper might have had it right. You do not shoot to kill someone, you shoot to make them stop what they are doing. There is a very important distinction between the two.

This is an interesting debate. Just pray that none of us ever has to find out for certain what we would do.

Bill.

TexasRifleman
July 11, 2008, 10:17 AM
Some of you people, I swear....

This press article gives absolutely NO information about the reason for the shooting.

How do we know that the thief didn't attack the store owner's son with a pipe wrench?

How do we know the thief didn't break into the store to get to the roof (which removes the "nighttime" thing some of you are so hung up on).

How do we know the thief didn't have a weapon?

There is simply no real information in this other than one man was shot and another will go to the grand jury. That's all the facts so far.

kevindsingleton
July 11, 2008, 10:19 AM
By Elza:

"It rather depends upon the situation. I wouldnít shoot someone over a $30 VCR. I would be POíed, rant for a while, and buy a new one.

However, if someone were stealing my A/C equipment the situation changes. We are talking a lot of money to repair/replace. It would have to go down as a claim on my homeowners insurance. After about three claims on your homeowners insurance you will find yourself canceled. Once one company has refused to insure you finding replacement coverage is difficult and very expensive. This would cost me money for years to come."

So, for you, it's less a matter of principle, and more a matter of a dollar value? How much, in today's US dollars, is a criminal's life worth, then? Does it equal your homeowner's insurance deductible? Some calculation you make in the heat of the moment? How can I correlate that to my income/debt ratio?

Please, help me understand how you determine the value of a criminal's life.

bakert
July 11, 2008, 10:21 AM
If I catch him in the act and he surrenders...or he turns to run...he may go, regardless of what the law allows me to do. I can't bring myself to kill someone over inanimate objects.

I agree with Tuner on that. On top of that in Ky, since you cannot shoot in defense of property alone you, would probably be arrested for murder. On the other hand, when someone forcibly enters your home or puts you or your family at risk, the rules change.

kevindsingleton
July 11, 2008, 10:27 AM
By bakert:

"...or puts you or your family at risk, the rules change"

How do you assess the risk, in the absence of any bodily injury? Or, do you wait to see if the intruder will physically attack, before you mount a defense? Do you know what the intruder's intentions are, by some divine intelligence? Do you simply ask, and trust(!) that he'll tell the truth?

Aren't you already at risk, if a thief is stealing some portion of your life, via the fruits of your labor? Turning the other cheek may be noble, but it's little solace to the next victim.

blkbrd666
July 11, 2008, 10:32 AM
For those who don't care enough about personal possessions and inanimate objects that belong to you to protect them...maybe you could send them to the rest of us and work a little harder to get some more. If we have enough "stuff", maybe we can feel the same way when theives come to take what they want...

"Oh, honey look. It's one of those cute little thieves and it looks like he's going to take the Vette. I'm so glad we just got that serviced for him! You know, maybe we should suggest he steal the truck instead...that way he could haul the TV, stereo, your jewelry box, and a few guns.".

hankdatank1362
July 11, 2008, 10:36 AM
Bah. One less drain of our air and society. Good shoot.

Dravur
July 11, 2008, 10:36 AM
How much, in today's US dollars, is a criminal's life worth, then?

absolutely $0. If you steal from me, you better hope I don't catch you.

Elza
July 11, 2008, 10:46 AM
kevindsingleton: Please, help me understand how you determine the value of a criminal's life.That’s easy! They’re not worth one damn cent in my opinion. They decided that for themselves when they started taking the ‘easy way’ of making a living.

DWFan
July 11, 2008, 10:49 AM
Ok, here's the scoop. This wasn't the first night this BG showed up to climb on the roof and remove copper from the AC units; it was the third night in a row. The man wasn't shot on the ground. He had climbed up on the roof and was confronted on the roof by the store owner's son and was shot while going after the owner's son with the tools in his hands. He managed to climb down from the roof after being shot and wandered a short distance before dying.
He was there to steal copper, yes; but he was shot because he went after the shooter after being confronted.
Straight from the mouth of the police spokesperson on Dallas Channel 11 news.

22-rimfire
July 11, 2008, 10:51 AM
I've had the entire outside AC/HVAC unit stolen from two of my job sites. I had one house broken into and the copper pipes cut in the basement... while the water was on no less. The SOB's didn't even turn off the water. The water alone cost a couple hundred dollars not to mention the damage and replacement of the piping. Real cost... thousands of dollars for a couple hundred dollars of piping. Ever pay for restoration of water damage, mold etc.??

Shoot em! Maybe there won't be as much thieving going on if people feared for their lives when they commit such acts. This is serious.

It's up to the those responsible for the property to make the decision. They have to live with their decision however.

As far as this particular case is concerned, I don't know enough facts to make a judgement. I tend to side with the property owner however and certainly give them the benefit of the doubt. The above post seems to indicate the the property owner was in fear for his life. End of story.....

Worm food.

doc540
July 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
Sometimes the bite of the dog is in proportion to how hungry he is.

Moral: You just never know, so don't try to steal any dog's food.

SHavis
July 11, 2008, 11:23 AM
There's a lot of copper thievery going on around here. If you have a cell phone you are paying for it. The cell sites in this area are getting hit often. To the tune of severl times a week. Some are small time taking the grounding plates and grounding wire; the easy stuff. Other times they tie a truck and chain to the incoming utility service and yank out all the wire and wrecking all the conduit, poles, disconnects, transfer switches, fences and other stuff. Insurance doesn't cover it either, the big carriers have about a half million dollar deductable. A couple of arrests or private owners protecting thier property slows things down A LOT. One was cought on video a couple months ago and the theft stopped for about 3 weeks. Now they are back, unfortunately.

Back to the original story, the article was very limited on info. If the cops thought the shooter was wrong, he would have been arrested.

blkbrd666
July 11, 2008, 11:25 AM
Quotes:

"How much, in today's US dollars, is a criminal's life worth, then?"

"Please, help me understand how you determine the value of a criminal's life."


Here's my math: Since I don't reload, a box of .41Magnum cost me $23.00 plus tax is $24.61. That's $.49 per shot. One hour of my time at $33.00(to cover cleaning the gun). Criminal's life is therefore worth $33.49- because that's what he would owe me for the deed...that is assuming he doesn't have the cash on him at the time.

22-rimfire
July 11, 2008, 11:29 AM
I can see it now... a note on the dead thief's shirt along with his wallet.... Dear Police, I took $4.00 to cover the cost of ammunition.

KnightHawk67
July 11, 2008, 11:44 AM
Sorry, after losing thousands of dollars in tools that I use to make a living, I have come to the conclusion that the thief would be shot if I had the chance. It took weeks to wade through the insurance morass, time I could have been making money to pay bills & put food on the table. Screw them, if it were dangerous, maybe fewer people would steal.

wideym
July 11, 2008, 11:46 AM
As a young man, before entering the army, I ran with a pretty bad crowd and did things I'm not proud of. Nothing too serious, but illegal and immoral either way. Until one of my buddies was beaten pretty badly by a couple of guys when he broke into their garage trying to steal tools. He spent a couple of days in the hospital and was then sent to juveinille hall. That made me think about where I was heading and more importantly was breaking into a building to steal somebodys stuff worth getting hurt or killed over.

I quickly figured out working for my money was rewarding and even though I couldn't afford the best things I wanted, what I could afford I appeciated and would hate to see stolen.

So don't ask whether a life is worth material things, ask whether it's worth your life to steal material things, because you may lose it you keep on breaking the law.

G.A. Heath
July 11, 2008, 12:20 PM
I live out here in West Texas where we have significant thefts from agriculture and oil field related supplies. For years the Sheriff's office would have a car waiting at a specific location with its head lights on illuminating a tank full of Anhydrous ammonia, when thieves would show up the deputy in the car would wait until they started to steal then bust them. Eventually, after a few years, the meth heads moved on to other targets. Now we have a massive amount of metal theft in regards to oil field equipment. Often that equipment is taken to the recyclers who then call the Sheriff's Office and give them the thief's information and when they told them to return to get payment. Unfortunately most of that equipment is never recovered which in turns contributes to an increase in oil prices which means some localities may have to reduce emergency services to stay in budget and could cause layoffs from the EMS, PD, and FD (if its not a VFD).

Lets imaging that a city once had four Ambulance crews, but due to budget constraints caused by high fuel prices they have layed off two of them. Both units are working the scene of a bad wreck and neither can leave that scene (maybe they are both going to be transporting victims) when another call comes in where a 4 month old infant being watched by their twelve year old sibling has a serious injury and needs medical attention or they will die. The 911 dispatcher calls the next city over and gets them to dispatch an ambulance to the scene, the child dies. The total price increase caused by non-felony crimes have contributed to that infants death. Maybe if our thieves had not stole the oil field equipment the fuel prices would not be quite as high and the city could have layed off only one ambulance crew instead of two.

I know one single theft is a minor thing, but you have thousands of thefts costing four or more figures each time and it adds up real quick.

shotgunkevin
July 11, 2008, 12:47 PM
I don't think he was shot for stealing copper, the same way I don't think the two intruders in Joe Horn's incident were shot for stealing property. He was caught in the act of burglary by an armed man. He didn't comply with the armed man, and likely threatened him or advanced towards him. So the armed man fired in self defense.

Flyboy
July 11, 2008, 12:48 PM
From the Oklahoma Constitution:
The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.
I agree with the comparison to slavery. When you steal from me, you take the product of my time and my labor for your own benefit, and you do it without my consent.

What if I had plans for that money? Maybe I needed that to support my family. Tell me that taking a man's sustenance isn't a serious offense, one worth defending against. This is even more true in cases like the one presented, in which the damages exceed the direct loss, but also include repairs. Further, there's an opportunity cost associated with making the repairs. The financial cost is obvious, but there's also a temporal cost in the time it takes to make repairs. If I have to spend my time fixing things, I can't spend that same time making new things. When I can't run my business, not only am I faced with loss, I'm also faced with a diminished ability to make it up.

Theft is more than just about property. When a thief steals your property, he takes your past, and he takes your future. Somehow, I just can't get worked up over a would-be thief taking the eternal celestial dirt nap.

B yond
July 11, 2008, 02:50 PM
I think it all comes down to the value of the copper that the suspected would-be thief may have been about to steal versus the value of his life.

That's a tough call to make. Anyone who says otherwise has most likely never had to take a human life and live with the consequences.

I smell a civil suit for the shooter.

I also predict a thread-lock in the near future.

DF357
July 11, 2008, 02:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKyEA6Ebvlk

maestro pistolero
July 11, 2008, 05:56 PM
Best you stay up North then.

Down here, we protect our property which represents what we bust our ass day-in and day-out for to make a living or to enjoy the rewards of decent, honest work.

You, nor anyone else has a right to simply take it because you're too sorry to get into an honest line of work.

Not worth killing over? Fine. Don't point a gun at someone stealing your stuff.

But likewise, don't tell us down here which CRIMINAL behavior we should excuse and which we shouldn't. If you don't want to get shot and die in the course of your professional criminal exploits, then you best stay out of Texas.

And, quite honestly, we don't give a damn what anyone else thinks. Don't like it? Then don't move here. Here and don't like it? Then move back to California or New Jersey or wherever you came from.

I'll live wherever and say whatever I please, thank you very much.

You yahoos keep this up and you're going to get a supreme court ruling of your own, eventually. If they won't let us execute someone for raping a child, how do you think this is going to fly?

. . .he man wasn't shot on the ground. He had climbed up on the roof and was confronted on the roof by the store owner's son and was shot while going after the owner's son with the tools in his hands. He managed to climb down from the roof after being shot and wandered a short distance before dying.
He was there to steal copper, yes; but he was shot because he went after the shooter after being confronted.
Straight from the mouth of the police spokesperson on Dallas Channel 11 news.

Now that's a different story. If the dumbass gives any indication he was going to be combative and try to wrestle you for your weapon, then fire away. He wouldn't get away from me, I'll tell you that. The means by which he gets detained by me would be entirely in his hands, and ranges from voluntary compliance, to pepper spray/ass kicking, on up to lead poisoning if the threat so indicates.

22-rimfire
July 11, 2008, 06:07 PM
I think it all comes down to the value of the copper that the suspected would-be thief may have been about to steal versus the value of his life.

I smell a civil suit for the shooter.


Maybe so. But after you get slapped with $1000's of damage these drug heads cause, you might feel differently. I deal with my own problems and I don't believe in using insurance companies for small claims.

elrod
July 11, 2008, 06:30 PM
Guy seemed to get his just deserves (out for a stroll on guys' roof?).

I also detect a strong odor of troll.

TCB in TN
July 11, 2008, 06:50 PM
There is a very simple solution. If you don't want to get shot then stay don't be a thief, robber, rapist, etc. While I personally don't want to shoot someone over "property" I do think our society is about to reach a tipping point. Our Legal system is not protecting society and sooner or later society is gonna have one of the "shifts" to remedy the situation.

macadore
July 11, 2008, 08:53 PM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?

Thatís not the question. Is it moral to shoot someone to prevent him from driving your family into poverty? It was not the first time they and been robbed and would probably not have been the last? Does anyone have a better solution? Beyond that, how could the shooter know the thief was not armed? Many of you are feeling sorry for the wrong person.

blkbrd666
July 11, 2008, 09:32 PM
A lot of people seem to place a value on a thief's life that's on the + side of zero...exactly why this discussion is going on. Good grief trolls, you feel bad for the cute little squirrel you ran over...not the criminal breathing your air and taking your livelihood.

NvTwist
July 11, 2008, 10:01 PM
Lets not forget that every single person that carries any form of insurance is paying higher rates due to thief's. The money being paid out on claims has to come from somewhere and that is every person that pays for insurance. Less Claims being made = Lower cost of coverage to everyone.

MechAg94
July 11, 2008, 10:46 PM
Thatís not the question. Is it moral to shoot someone to prevent him from driving your family into poverty?

That bears repeating.

I would also repeat the other proper question: Is it worth your life to steal someone else's property? That is a question that thief answered for himself and decided to rob those people anyway. It is a question that many thieves answer every night. I can only wish that more would see more serious consequences. If more did, others might take notice.

Harvster
July 11, 2008, 10:56 PM
Did all you bloodthirsty responders ever think that perhaps all the gentleman engaging in some simple nonpermissive alloy recycling needed was a hot cup of coffee, a rousing chorus of Kumbaya, and a little hug to turn his life around? Neanderthal gun nuts!

redneck2
July 11, 2008, 10:58 PM
Back "in the day" (1960's and earlier), if you ran from a cop they had the right to shoot you. Now any kid with a good set of legs has a license to steal.

While I don't think someone's life is worth 10' of copper pipe, the perp also must feel his life has little value if he's willing to risk it for so little.

coyotehitman
July 11, 2008, 11:10 PM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?

Yes.

OK. If your head isn't clear as to why, try this:

If somebody attempted to enslave you, you'd have every right to kill them. They're thieves: they're stealing your future labor.

Explain please how stealing your past labor is any different than stealing your future labor.

Society benefits when a copper thief dies. Period.

Slavery as it relates to copper theft--interesting perspective.

I never considered myself soft on criminals, but I totally disagree with killing someone who is stealing an inanimate object--I think there is something inherently wrong with that. Quite frankly, if I had a family member killed over such a thing, the shooter would meet the same fate at the hands of my family. If a criminal intends to harm someone, that is a different story. In the case of thefts, though, where do we draw the line? Would it be OK to kill a teenager siphoning gas from your car late at night? If you say yes, would it be OK if I killed your kid for siphoning my gas? I thought society had evolved a little more than that.

MaterDei
July 11, 2008, 11:15 PM
http://cbs11tv.com/local/copper.thief.shooting.2.767609.html

Click on the video thumbnail on the far left for the most up to date video.

TexasSkyhawk
July 11, 2008, 11:33 PM
Quite frankly, if I had a family member killed over such a thing, the shooter would meet the same fate at the hands of my family.

And this is what it all boils down to. I saw it COUNTLESS times during my years of law enforcement all over this country, and even overseas. And put quite simply, it's the prevailing attitude, so aptly stated above, of:

My family is worth more than yours, and you have no right judging them for any transgressions they take against you that WE don't approve of.

Let me give you a hint: Don't want a family member killed over a THEFT? Then make sure the SOB doesn't become a THIEF.

How simple is that . . .

If a criminal intends to harm someone, that is a different story. In the case of thefts, though, where do we draw the line?

Where do "we" draw the line? Hey, your line obviously doesn't exist since you believe no property is worth defending, so your question is basically rhetorical to some.

I grew up in a ranching family. My grandaddy shot and killed more than one sorry piece of dung who tried stealing his cattle or horses. And the law down here says if you steal a man's horse and he catches and kills you, tough luck.

Bottom line is if you are on or in my property without my permission, you're future is looking awful bleak at that particular moment. If you're stealing from me after illegally entering my property or criminally trespassing on it, your future is in serious trouble.

You've already committed one crime against me by breaking and entering or trespassing, and now you're committing another by stealing--and you want ME to draw the line?

And you say if I shoot and kill one of your family member for perpetrating at least TWO deliberate crimes against me, you and your family will hunt me down and kill me for that?

Bring a lunch. A damned big one.

Would it be OK to kill a teenager siphoning gas from your car late at night? If you say yes, would it be OK if I killed your kid for siphoning my gas? I thought society had evolved a little more than that.

At today's gas prices. . . .

I guess I'm just of a different generation and geography. I grew up during a time in which you were accountable for your deeds as well as your crimes. I grew up in a region of the country (west Texas) where it was widely accepted as gospel that if you screwed up and vandalized your neighbor's property or stole from him or otherwise did him wrong, you PRAYED that the law would catch you before your neighbor did.

Know what else? We didn't have any crime where and while I was growing up. Wasn't until I moved to a city and met my first bleeding heart liberals that I saw why there was a crime problem.

If a criminal places no value on me, my work and accomplishments and figures he can just steal what he wants, why should I place any value on his life?

Jeff

TCB in TN
July 11, 2008, 11:36 PM
Slavery as it relates to copper theft--interesting perspective.

I never considered myself soft on criminals, but I totally disagree with killing someone who is stealing an inanimate object--I think there is something inherently wrong with that. Quite frankly, if I had a family member killed over such a thing, the shooter would meet the same fate at the hands of my family. If a criminal intends to harm someone, that is a different story. In the case of thefts, though, where do we draw the line? Would it be OK to kill a teenager siphoning gas from your car late at night? If you say yes, would it be OK if I killed your kid for siphoning my gas? I thought society had evolved a little more than that.

With the price of gas going up at such a fast rate you might wanna teach your kid to keep his hose outta everyone else's tank! (and that is a lesson that has multiple applications);)

JWarren
July 11, 2008, 11:50 PM
If you say yes, would it be OK if I killed your kid for siphoning my gas?


You wouldn't have to.


-- John

macadore
July 12, 2008, 12:37 AM
Quite frankly, if I had a family member killed over such a thing, the shooter would meet the same fate at the hands of my family.

Thatís the main problem in the Middle East. Many people there donít respect the law either. I obey a lot of laws that I donít like because I am a law abiding citizen. If I knew one of my family members was a thief, I would inform him/her that one of us was going to contact the victim and try to make it right and it would be better for him/her to do it. The family member might end up in jail and blame me for it, but that is better than ending up dead. It is much better than endless blood feuds, which is what youíre talking about.

ridata
July 12, 2008, 01:04 AM
Criminal's life is therefore worth $33.49

That is, if you can do it in one shot. Extra's are 49c/ea. :D

JohnKSa
July 12, 2008, 01:22 AM
I think I would have a hard time sleeping at night if I'd been the shooter. Then again, I've never had to shoot some one in copper-defense so I can't be sure how I'd feel afterward.Copper stealing is reaching epidemic proportions in this area. I heard one business owner state that repairing his unit cost him $6,000, and he was only hit once.

This business was hit 3 times. That level of expense can drive a small business into bankruptcy, robbing the owner and any employees of their income.

I'm not big on shooting to protect property, but even if that's what this one comes down to I believe it was the responsible thing to do in this case.

To paraphrase an old saying (and with apologies to the Marquis of Halifax), Men are not shot for stealing copper, but that copper may not be stolen.

B yond
July 12, 2008, 03:02 AM
A lot of people seem to place a value on a thief's life that's on the + side of zero...exactly why this discussion is going on. Good grief trolls, you feel bad for the cute little squirrel you ran over...not the criminal breathing your air and taking your livelihood.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

unless you're after my copper?





I'm going to go find a bridge to hide under and cook up my flat squirrel.

JohnKSa
July 12, 2008, 05:30 AM
...unless you're after my copper?Havin' fun with the "copper" aspect of this, huh? As much as some folks would like this to be about a few bucks worth of copper, it's not.

I see that few of the people criticizing the defender's actions are interested in addressing the fact that the thief's actions were going to cost the business thousands of dollars. You can't just glue an airconditioning unit back together after someone steals the copper out of it.

Furthermore, it's been in the high 90s for the last few days, supposed to break 100 the next two days. Which means that if your air conditioner is down you get someone out to fix it double-quick first thing in the morning or you're closed for the day. There's no way you can stay open for business around here when it's this hot without an airconditioner. We have people die every summer from the heat, mostly folks trying to get by without air conditioning. No business owner is going to risk someone having a heat stroke in his store.

So not only do you pay a premium for emergency service from an air conditioner repair company, your business is also closed until it's fixed. How many times do you think a small business can afford to shell out a few thousand bucks in a single day while at the same time not being able to keep their store open for normal hours?

I'm just wondering, I wasn't on the boards back then, did we get a lot of people here criticizing the LA shopkeepers who got on their roofs with firearms to defend their businesses from the rioters? This is the same thing in my opinion.

coyotehitman
July 12, 2008, 06:00 AM
I wasn't on the boards back then, did we get a lot of people here criticizing the LA shopkeepers who got on their roofs with firearms to defend their businesses from the rioters? This is the same thing in my opinion.

A riot where looting/burning/beatings and carnage are occurring is the equal to someone stealing copper? Are you serious? I am not defending the criminal here, but lets be realistic.

My family is worth more than yours, and you have no right judging them for any transgressions they take against you that WE don't approve of.

I don't think anyone said anything about that. I think the point is that killing someone over a theft is inappropriate and that the punishment must fit the crime.

Bottom line is if you are on or in my property without my permission, you're future is looking awful bleak at that particular moment. If you're stealing from me after illegally entering my property or criminally trespassing on it, your future is in serious trouble.
And you say if I shoot and kill one of your family member for perpetrating at least TWO deliberate crimes against me, you and your family will hunt me down and kill me for that?

Bring a lunch. A damned big one.

Are you trying to impress someone here?

La Pistoletta
July 12, 2008, 06:53 AM
coyotehitman: The shooting is not a punishment. It is a defensive action, not a retaliative one.

In a courtroom, a thief wouldn't be sentenced to death. But since private citizens can't magically arrest and imprison someone upon being the victim of crime, they are forced to resort to force.

The criminal brought it upon himself. You cannot commit a crime and then claim any rights as the crime is taking place. You aren't supposed to commit crime. It's not something you can do "in exchange" for punishment, as some sort of trade. If you attack people or their property, you forfeit your rights to the same.

Double Naught Spy
July 12, 2008, 08:14 AM
I see that few of the people criticizing the defender's actions are interested in addressing the fact that the thief's actions were going to cost the business thousands of dollars. You can't just glue an airconditioning unit back together after someone steals the copper out of it.

Furthermore, it's been in the high 90s for the last few days, supposed to break 100 the next two days. Which means that if your air conditioner is down you get someone out to fix it double-quick first thing in the morning or you're closed for the day. There's no way you can stay open for business around here when it's this hot without an airconditioner. We have people die every summer from the heat, mostly folks trying to get by without air conditioning. No business owner is going to risk someone having a heat stroke in his store.

So not only do you pay a premium for emergency service from an air conditioner repair company, your business is also closed until it's fixed. How many times do you think a small business can afford to shell out a few thousand bucks in a single day while at the same time not being able to keep their store open for normal hours?

I'm just wondering, I wasn't on the boards back then, did we get a lot of people here criticizing the LA shopkeepers who got on their roofs with firearms to defend their businesses from the rioters? This is the same thing in my opinion.

Right, this isn't just over a bit of copper. It is over protecting one's livelihood and ability to provide for one's family...which is doubly important in a time when the economy is getting tougher.

Crime is a HIGH RISK business. If y'all want to worry about the morals of the good guy in this case, maybe you should first worry about the morals of the bad guys first.

It is the bad guy that risks his life with this sort of crime, knowing full well that what they are doing is dangerous and is wrong.

As with other states, we get a lot of these incidents in Texas, yet the criminals just don't seem to understand that they are supposed to stop doing crime because so many people here have and use guns. The fact of the matter is that really it is so few people that have and are willing to use guns. The chance of a criminal hitting a home, business, or person who is armed and willing to use a firearm is still slight. While the frequency might be low, the consequences are still VERY HIGH.

JohnKSa
July 12, 2008, 08:43 AM
A riot where looting/burning/beatings and carnage are occurring is the equal to someone stealing copper? Are you serious? I am not defending the criminal here, but lets be realistic.I'm being PERFECTLY realistic. In both cases you have people defending their source of income. As DNS points out, this is about protecting the ability to provide for one's family.

It doesn't make any difference if someone burns you out or if someone drives you out of business by keeping your business closed and costing you thousands of dollars in repair bills. One copper theft at a local school forced them to close the school until repairs could be made resulted in a repair bill that was expected to exceed 25,000 dollars! (http://cbs11tv.com/business/education/Dorsy.Elementary.copper.2.737069.html) Either way your business is gone. In fact, getting burned out is probably preferable--your insurance coverage for that is very likely better!

There's a bigger picture here, we've got too many people pretending that someone stealing a few bucks worth of copper is the whole story. To get at those few bucks of copper requires tearing an airconditioner unit apart. The repair will cost thousands and require that the business be closed during the process--resulting in an additional losses. Repeated incidents (as had happened at this store) can definitely put a small business in serious financial jeopardy.

La Pistoletta
July 12, 2008, 09:15 AM
All true. Yet, it isn't about degree. Rights are absolute, they are to be inviolate.

What you should be asking is not "is it reasonable to shoot someone for petty theft?" but "is it reasonable to force innocents to defend their life and property at the cost of your own life or limb?"

Shift the blame to where it belongs: with the criminal. It is the criminal that chooses to be shot, not the other way around.

What are victims supposed to do, if not shoot? Engage in a physical fight so as to endanger themselves? They have no such obligation. Magically teleport the criminal into police custody? I don't think so.

Simply give up and allow their rights to be violated? No. We have them for a reason. We have them because we are peacable individuals who wish for nothing but our own wellbeing, and to trade with others for mutual benefit toward that end. Any outside force introduced into this equation will be ejected again with superior force. Superior, because we do not engage in duels with backstabbers.

highlander 5
July 12, 2008, 09:38 AM
In my area a few months ago some thieves tried to steal some copper from a electric supplier,broke in bolt/wire cutters with them. Didn't get much they cut into a 14,00 volt line all fried.
Should the supplier be liable for their deaths? I don't think so.
the thieves decided to break in and steal copper they committed 2 felonies in the process they died in the process of committing those felonies. As the saying goes"you pay your money,you take your chances

TexasRifleman
July 12, 2008, 09:51 AM
A riot where looting/burning/beatings and carnage are occurring is the equal to someone stealing copper? Are you serious? I am not defending the criminal here, but lets be realistic.

Well of course they are the same. What's the difference between someone committing a crime when he's the only one in the area doing it, or him committing the same crime when all his friends are doing it too?

It doesn't make the crime "worse" because it's happening more often, that's just silly.

22-rimfire
July 12, 2008, 10:05 AM
Stealing copper....

I have no doubt that more than a couple criminals have read this thread. Maybe they don't understand the impact of stealing, breaking into someones property, ruining their HVAC system for $150 worth of copper or scaring them.

They view it from their own perspective. I need money for drugs or whatever and I'll take what I have to make the money. These people can afford it. Let their insurance company pay for the repairs. Look what they have as compared to me. Pity me.

You see the same attitude in the SHTF threads.... "if it comes to that, I'll take what I need to survive." It's okay if the SHTF, but not okay in the normal day to day struggle to survive. Maybe.....

In either case, you are taking something that is not yours. You could be impacting the victims ability to live the same as if you shot them.

You are just begininng to see the rage that has built up over time in lawabiding people. Honest people.... Criminals and would-be criminals, you need to pay attention and think about what you're doing or what you may do. You're next deed may result in your death and few people are going to care. Get a job. Deal with your addictions. There is help available if you are willing to make the effort.

JWarren
July 12, 2008, 10:59 AM
Guys,

Threads regarding Defense of Property spring up here on a routine basis.

One thing that I've learned is that you aren't going to change the mind of the most ardent defenders of on particular position or the other.

As I've said on those threads, one must operate within the limitations of the laws within their jurisidiction and within the ethical framework of their own soul.

As a base line, you do not want to break the laws and seek solutions or accept consequences of acting within those laws.

Now, if the law in your area has provisions for defense of property, it now becomes a function of your own inner moral compass. Only the individual can answer that question. And it is not a question that one needs to attempt to answer at the spur-of-the-moment.

Taking time to examine your own ethical and moral foundation when you are NOT faced with a crisis is a valuable exercise, and it is one that will benefit you in all aspects of your life.



That said....


coyotehitman wrote:


A riot where looting/burning/beatings and carnage are occurring is the equal to someone stealing copper? Are you serious? I am not defending the criminal here, but lets be realistic.


Actually it is more similar than different. I watched the footage. What I saw was hordes of people STEALING collectively. Beatings were not common, and I don't think I saw "carnage." I saw chaos.

What made the LA riots different is that it was widespread. It was a situation where outcomes WERE uncertain and people WERE scared.

But in the end, the actual action was defending property when the shop owners are concerned.

Our perceptions are significant, but they do not alter the actual action. A person can percieve themselves to be in danger and not be in actuality. A person can percieve themselves to be safe when they are not.



coyotehitman wrote:


I don't think anyone said anything about that. I think the point is that killing someone over a theft is inappropriate and that the punishment must fit the crime.

As I said earlier, this is a function of the laws of your area and your own conscience.

What you consider inappropriate only has weight with you. I could argue just as easily that NOT defending property has had a detrimental effect on our society in that it has emboldened criminals who see very little risk in taking what they want.

It is my opinion that we are examining the moral compass of the wrong group. A predator is a predator. The only question is the extreme by which they are operating at this moment.
When a person has reached a point within his ethical structure where he has no inner voice telling him the wrongness of taking what he wants from whoever he wants, he sees the world as a different place. He sees people as a different entity. At this point, stealing may be fine.

And soon, it likely comes to a point where he decides that he wants something else. Having no respect for others by definition, it isn't a hard leap to take other things that he wants. After all, the consequences are minimal. An escalation is entirely possible and is very likely more probable.

I've met too many people who are like this over my life. When a predator is born, he doesn't stop until the consequences dictate.


But no....


I am not suggesting some sort of "pre-emptive" culling of the criminal element. I am not suggesting approaching a situation based upon what a person might BECOME. What I AM saying that an environment where little potential risk exists for the person that has already chosen the path of a predator only emboldens them-- and continues as well as fosters this predatory instinct.


-- John

The Lone Haranguer
July 12, 2008, 11:17 AM
A man who reportedly carried tools that could be used to steal copper ...
Edged and/or impact weapons. That would constitute fear of one's life.

B yond
July 12, 2008, 02:09 PM
Right, this isn't just over a bit of copper. It is over protecting one's livelihood and ability to provide for one's family...which is doubly important in a time when the economy is getting tougher.

Let's replace the copper with the guy's car then. He uses his car to get to work and provide for his family. It is worth thousands of dollars. Does that make it worth killing over?

Maybe I just place too much value on human life. I don't want to sound like I'm defending theives here, because I'm not. I just don't think lethal force should ever be used unless the shooter fears for his/her life due to some immediate threat to his/her safety.

We have insurance to help protect us from the financial damage of things like copper theft or car theft. We have defensive weapons to protect our lives.

Just Jim
July 12, 2008, 02:27 PM
Government has worked hard to set standards and values where American citizens don't feel the need for shooting thieves. It has saved the life of many a politicion:D:D

However insurance for your personal property would save you from killing a thief even if they do deserve it.:banghead:

jim

k_dawg
July 12, 2008, 02:46 PM
He was not shot/killed over property.

He was shot/killed over violently entering an occupied property with intent to commit a crime.

k_dawg
July 12, 2008, 02:48 PM
If a criminal intends to harm someone, that is a different story. In the case of thefts, though, where do we draw the line?

You may be blessed with ESP, but I do not.

If someone breaks into my property, I assume they intend harm. Actually, now in Florida, I do nto assume, the law assumes for me! ;-)

TAB
July 12, 2008, 02:50 PM
K dawg, in this case the guy did not break into the property.

22-rimfire
July 12, 2008, 02:52 PM
The decision to defend your life or your property is a personal choice and a decision I don't know what way I would lean when the time came.

I will say one thing.... for the guy that broke into my house at 3:00AM in Garland TX, I would feel no remorse if he no longer had the opportunity to do to others what he did to me.

Byond, if you want to depend on insurance companies and some other big brother program to protect you, that is fine with me. I'll just point the theives in your direction as you will let them have their way with your property. The moment you confront someone stealing from you, your life is in danger whether you know it or not.

lloydkristmas
July 12, 2008, 02:52 PM
There is no "inherent" value in human life that is independant from morality. A morally bankrupt criminal does not get to claim a superior value over the life, liberty and property of a just person, no matter the degree.


BIG +1 I've been trying to think of a way to put my thoughts into words, and you just helped.

Just Jim
July 12, 2008, 02:53 PM
He was not shot/killed over property.

He was shot/killed over violently entering an occupied property with intent to commit a crime.

So are you saying the bad guy went there with the intention of murder or to steal something??

jj

TexasSkyhawk
July 12, 2008, 02:57 PM
Are you trying to impress someone here?

Nope.

You, as represntative of the bleeding-hearts "no life is worth taking over mere property" are the one that that tossed out the "eye for eye" challenge.

I, representing like-minded citizens who refuse to let thieves take my hard-earned property without a fight," simply advised you to bring a lunch.

But if you, representing your side's point of view, don't want to pack a lunch, then advise your family members to not become thieves and criminals.

Again, it really IS that simple, unless you think your family's lives are worth more than mine.

In which case, you'll find out how wrong you are.

Jeff

OMGWTFBBQ
July 12, 2008, 03:12 PM
This sort of shooting pushes the limit of "acceptable" IMO, of course the article leaves much to the imagination, for all we know the criminal decided to charge when the owner's son told him to freeze.

As always the devil is in the details, though I gotta say I don't feel any less safe knowing there is one less thief out there. :D

bunkysdad
July 12, 2008, 03:32 PM
Dang 230RN, I kinda enjoy your writing! kinda like a good Louis L'Amour novel. I live in Garland and just bought furniture from that location couple of weeks ago. It's an old rundown building in a old early 50's neighborhood and there are a lot of good people living in the area. However there is also a large crime problem and thievery is more common than ever. If you have a bicycle in the back yard it better be locked up, so I found out the hard way. After losing several of the kids bikes I was getting pretty darned mad and wanted to watch my back yard with a gun, but decided to lock up my crap instead because I likely was the victim of kids and did not want to shoot a kid. The copper problem is escalating so fast that it is the newspaper all the time. The local salvage yards are being regulated and watched but I heard the other day that Balch Springs will take metal with no questions asked. They are within minutes of the Dallas area just outside Mesquite. Maybe that's true and maybe not. if I owned a business and had been hit several times I would feel strongly about protecting my property. If I was hiding on top of my building waiting for someone to show up I would want the Garland Police to know I was there and how I was armed. I would hate to be shot by the Police without so much as a warning and I don't know that the son in this case called out to the thief. The shooting was reported to happed about 1:30 am and the thief was shot in the abdomen and ran off before collapsing and dying. I sure don't feel sorry for the 43 year thief in this case. I know someone right now is saying "yea but we have not proved he was a thief". I don't imagine that he climbed on the roof of a business with a backpack full of tools at 1:30 in the morning in the dark looking for place to sleep or hoping to view a fireworks show! If I am ever in this situation I think a good spotlight would be as important as a firearm and would not want one without the other. I was taught by my dear old daddy not to shoot till my target is identified and if that target is not threatening my life then my weapon of choice would hopefully be clear thinking and my cell phone calling the Garland Police to identify the thug.

Cosmoline
July 12, 2008, 03:36 PM
The point is he was an invader who knowingly broke into an occupied place of business with intent to commit a felony. We can split hairs over whether he was "just" a copper thief, but if someone is brazen enough to climb fences, break locks and rip machines apart to get their copper, it's a fair bet they're brazen enough to kill you. If the man didn't want to die he should not have invaded the business.

If someone were to shoot a FLEEING robber who has taken a bunch of copper and is off the property, that's a different case and would warrant manslaughter charges. But in this case the man was advancing INTO the OCCUPIED property with felonious intent. How far he would have gone, we do not know. But the property owner should not be required to roll those dice. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE COPPER. Comprende?

The wisdom of waiting around and risking your life to protect mere property is perhaps questionable, but that's a decision the owner must make. In this case he decided it was worth risking life to stay instead of run.

TexasSkyhawk
July 12, 2008, 03:40 PM
I would want the Garland Police to know I was there and how I was armed.

Doubt I'd want the Garland Police Department to know ANYTHING I was doing.

Remember, this is the same Garland PD that went to court to defend their profiling cars with NRA stickers as "probable cause" to stop and search for weapons.

Jeff

bunkysdad
July 12, 2008, 03:49 PM
You may be right about that. There is a lot to think about. that's what I like about a forum like this. We are fortunate to have the time to think in advance. I have been told by officers that Garland is over run with teen gangs and there are hundreds of them. I don't now about that and I sure don't know how many are armed. I don't think I would like being pulled over and searched because I had a NRA bumper sticker or a TAPCO TACTICAL sticker in my back window. Although I don't have anything to hide, You can never be to trusting.

Storydude
July 12, 2008, 04:15 PM
Copper is going for 3.45/Lb now locally. I can buy M Copper pipe at Homey Depot, take it to the yard, and make 1.75 per foot PROFIT.

Sheet iron is going for $245/ton. yep, $12.25/100 Lbs.

Converters are hovering around $100-150 EACH.


Expect more of these stories in the coming months.

SCKimberFan
July 12, 2008, 04:19 PM
TAB - Climbing onto the roof to steal something is trespassing/breaking in.

Just Jim - Yes.

TAB
July 12, 2008, 04:43 PM
climbing onto a roof is not a violant act.

TAB
July 12, 2008, 04:44 PM
Copper is going for 3.45/Lb now locally. I can buy M Copper pipe at Homey Depot, take it to the yard, and make 1.75 per foot PROFIT.

Sheet iron is going for $245/ton. yep, $12.25/100 Lbs.

Converters are hovering around $100-150 EACH.


Expect more of these stories in the coming months.

which home depot is this? I go there almost daily... compared to the local "mom and pop" plumbing stores thier prices are high.

SCKimberFan
July 12, 2008, 05:04 PM
Confrontation sounds like a violent act to me. One of the reports stated there was a confrontation between the perp and the owner's son.

Climbing onto a roof with the intent to commit a crime (he had various tools with him - I'm sure he wasn't there to repair the A/C unit) is a crime. Criminal trespass, IIRC.

Andras
July 12, 2008, 07:42 PM
ß 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

JohnKSa
July 12, 2008, 08:04 PM
We have insurance to help protect us from the financial damage of things like copper theft or car theft. We have defensive weapons to protect our lives.Insurance will not cover the cost of closing your store while the AC is repaired. Insurance will cover only a small part of the repair after the deductible is paid. Insurance will cancel your coverage if they decide you are a bad risk as evidenced by repeated claims in a short period.

If someone steals your car, you can almost certainly get a rental car in short order at nominal cost and in most places you can probably procure reliable replacement transportation for under 1K without too much trouble--it would NOT force you to close your store or lose any significant amount of time at work. STILL, if your car were stolen three or four times in the space of a few days, it would change from a nuisance to a serious financial burden. At some point you'd have to take some action beyond passively replacing your vehicle or it would have a serious negative impact on your finances and your life in general.

Again, this is NOT about an isolated incident costing a little annoyance and a few bucks. This is about repeated thefts and resulting damage costing thousands in repairs as well as additional loss of income due to forced store closures. At some point a person realizes that if he takes no action he's going to lose his source of income.

These thieves KNOW that the business HAVE to get their units repaired--that means that for them the copper is a renewable resource they can tap every few days. The police are either unconcerned or ineffective, the bottom line is that if something's going to be done the property owners are going to have to do it.

Just Jim
July 12, 2008, 09:09 PM
At some point a person realizes that if he takes no action he's going to lose his source of income.

Is that anything like the way the government is running the country?? Like my first post said, government doesn't want you to shoot thieves as they in government would all get shot. They want a civil society so they can steal from you without fear of recourse.

Heck, you start shooting the little thieves and next thing you know the big guys will get hurt. We can't have that, it just isn't civilized:uhoh::scrutiny:
Why else would government be against physical force to protect ones life and property??

jj

DWFan
July 12, 2008, 09:39 PM
Again, this is NOT about an isolated incident costing a little annoyance and a few bucks. This is about repeated thefts and resulting damage costing thousands in repairs as well as additional loss of income due to forced store closures. At some point a person realizes that if he takes no action he's going to lose his source of income.-JohnKSa
This isn't even about a one-time theft by the bad guy. The fact is that he'd been there both of the two nights before to do the same thing and that is why the store owner's son posted himself as a guard. The thief also had an existing criminal record with both the Garland and Dallas police departments. He didn't withdraw when the shooter identified himself, but only after he'd confronted the shooter and was then shot.
As far as letting the police know what I was doing in regards to protecting my own property including placing an armed guard, as long as I am not violating the law, it is none of their business.

Aguila Blanca
July 12, 2008, 09:49 PM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?
Unquestionably.

It rather depends upon the situation. I wouldn’t shoot someone over a $30 VCR. I would be PO’ed, rant for a while, and buy a new one.

However, if someone were stealing my A/C equipment the situation changes. We are talking a lot of money to repair/replace. It would have to go down as a claim on my homeowners insurance. After about three claims on your homeowners insurance you will find yourself canceled. Once one company has refused to insure you finding replacement coverage is difficult and very expensive. This would cost me money for years to come.

In the case sited by the OP it is a business. He can’t operate without insurance nor can he afford to continue replacing lost equipment out of his pocket. Losing the business eliminates his entire income. It all depends upon the situation.
Moral relativism. Invalid. What you are doing is putting a price on a human life. You're saying a scumbag's life is worth $50 but isn't worth $5,000. Slippery slope argument, and all that.

IMHO, it's either moral to shoot a thief or it's not. Dollars should not (IMHO) enter into the discussion.

Rmart30
July 12, 2008, 11:00 PM
Laws aside, is it moral to shoot someone over copper?

In my book it dang sure is..... The co. I work for is located in the "bad" side of town. We cant keep anything without going to extreme measures, they will steal anything they can get their hands on. They are like cockroaches and are nothing but worthless scum. If it was legal here like in texas to shoot tresspassers id make sure a few of them werent here anymore.
Sure its just a battery out of a truck, or your extensions cords missing, or your fence cut thru or your CCTV smashed, windows busted out of vehichles for a few pieces of change....... theives probably cost us $30,000+ every year in replacement costs and labor.... and thats just us, not counting whomever else they are pilfering from. :cuss:

Just Jim
July 12, 2008, 11:13 PM
The only real question about cost is the price of ammo these days:cuss:

jj

yesit'sloaded
July 12, 2008, 11:21 PM
I first saw this thread as "Garand Business owner's son kills suspected copper thief" and I thought what idiot would break into a Garand store. I don't feel much pity for the guy after some local copper thieves DESTROYED a local private schools HVAC to the point where they had to cancel classes.

KiltedClaymore
July 12, 2008, 11:23 PM
copper "piracy" is very common here in az. ive seen bolt cutters fused to powerlines, had the power go out cause of some stupid tweaker getting into the converter stations, ect.

B yond
July 13, 2008, 04:30 AM
Byond, if you want to depend on insurance companies and some other big brother program to protect you, that is fine with me. I'll just point the theives in your direction as you will let them have their way with your property. The moment you confront someone stealing from you, your life is in danger whether you know it or not.

Confronting and executing are very different things.

I really think everything to be said about this topic has been said. We're just going around in circles now.

La Pistoletta
July 13, 2008, 06:44 AM
IMHO, it's either moral to shoot a thief or it's not. Dollars should not (IMHO) enter into the discussion.

True. It has nothing to do with degree.

Double Naught Spy
July 13, 2008, 07:08 AM
Morals and ethics are not legal considerations. For those of you who don't think it was moral or ethical to shoot the burglar, then you don't have to shoot burglars when they steal from you. However, your morals are just that, yours. I will just stick with the law.

Elza
July 13, 2008, 08:48 AM
Aguila Blanca: Moral relativism. Invalid. What you are doing is putting a price on a human life. You're saying a scumbag's life is worth $50 but isn't worth $5,000. Slippery slope argument, and all that.

IMHO, it's either moral to shoot a thief or it's not. Dollars should not (IMHO) enter into the discussion.My error for lack of clarity. I meant it not from the moral aspect but from one of practicality.

Something cheap isnít worth the legal hassles one is likely to incur. Morally I couldnít care less what happens to the thief up to and including a hole in the ground. His life is totally worthless as far as Iím concerned.

From a practical standpoint it could turn out to be the most expensive VCR in history due to my lawyerís fees.

Old School
July 13, 2008, 09:04 AM
I have always said: "Being a criminal should be dangerous."

sacp81170a
July 13, 2008, 09:15 AM
I have always said: "Being a criminal should be dangerous."

Which is why we're in the mess we've gotten ourselves into in this country. I don't look at it so much as "people taking the law into their own hands", I look at it as "government taking the law away from the people." If the people can't protect themselves and their property and we as LEO's are under no obligation to protect any individual or their property, you've just given the country over to the criminals. We're always talking about due process for the criminals, where is due process for the victims? Oh, right, the criminals took that away from them when they decided their rights trumped those of the victim, whatever the crime.

A criminal caught in the act has a right to the same due process he afforded his victim. If the victim chooses to hand him over to the state, that's up to the victim. In this case, we have a criminal who was handed over to the state many times over and the state failed in its obligation to the victims. Who's really at fault here? Certainly not the next victim...

TexasSkyhawk
July 13, 2008, 09:26 AM
Why else would government be against physical force to protect ones life and property??

Here in Texas, government ISN'T against physical force to protect one's life and property.

Jeff

dogmush
July 13, 2008, 09:46 AM
climbing onto a roof is not a violant act.

Entering private property uninvited is a violent act. It's an invasion.

brerrabbit
July 13, 2008, 09:52 AM
Another thread about the worth of a thief versus property.

You cannot put a value on human life. A thief will do it for himself.

I am willing to shoot a person trying to steal my property. Is it an absolute? No. It is my choice what I will defend with lethal force.

I likely will not shoot a kid stealing a push lawnmower. Stealing my tractor or livestock is another matter entirely. The point is that choice is mine when it comes to dealing with thieves.

I will call the law beforehand if I have a chance to. I will shoot to wound if possible. But any property I choose to defend will not leave my land if I am still breathing.

As flyboy already posted, under my state constitution I do have the right to defend property using force.

That settles the legal issue right there. I likely will not lose in criminal or civil court for any death or injuries incurred while defending my property.

So now we have to take a look at the moral issues involved in defending property with lethal force. The concept that defending property is not worth taking the life of a thief is fairly new in relative terms to established law and values through history.

The question is now why it is morally wrong to defend property with lethal force?

B yond
July 13, 2008, 01:48 PM
Entering private property uninvited is a violent act. It's an invasion.

Where does the violence come in?

If I'm out in the woods and I walk past one of those "private property no trespassing signs" and I a violent criminal? Should I be shot for it.

This is a very slippery slope. At which point does entering private property call for lethal force? When does it not?

From the OP it wasn't clear, at least to me, that the deceased was actually in the process of stealing. He was trespassing on a rooftop with some tools (probably was in the process of stealing, but innocent until proven guilty, right?).

I'd like to know if the shooter gave him the opportunity to flee, or if he just shot him on sight.

SCKimberFan
July 13, 2008, 01:58 PM
There are other reports on this story. Some of them state that there was a confrontation, with the perp acting agressively.

Why should he have given him the opportunity to flee? To steal again???

B yond
July 13, 2008, 02:21 PM
Obviously, if the shooter feared for his life he was justified in using deadly force.

coyotehitman
July 13, 2008, 08:22 PM
You, as represntative of the bleeding-hearts "no life is worth taking over mere property" are the one that that tossed out the "eye for eye" challenge.

Really, I wasn't aware that I was a bleeding heart. You are a little too quick to pass judgement on folks. That ignorant comment was a prime example. I think if you knew me, you would be eating crow on that one. What I do not understand is the propensity of a collective group on this forum to look for reasons to justify killing and chest thumping.

coyotehitman: The shooting is not a punishment. It is a defensive action, not a retaliative one.

I think the courts will decide that one. Is it different in Sweden?

La Pistoletta
July 13, 2008, 08:33 PM
As long as the homeowner is stopping a currently ongoing crime, it's not punishment. If he managed to tie the criminal down and started doing bad stuff to him, sure. That would be wrong. But the amount of force used in a defensive scenario will be greater than in a punitive one. You wouldn't execute a criminal convicted for stealing a car but you might very well shoot him in the very moment of theft, since using less force would endanger the victim.

As for Sweden, it's illegal to defend property here with anything but the mildest degree of force (think wrestling someone down and holding him). Guns? We're not allowed to protect our lives with guns, let alone property.

The law expressly states that the life of a criminal is to be regarded as being of "higher value" than stolen property, and that self-defense is not an acceptable reason for obtaining a firearm license.

RoadkingLarry
July 13, 2008, 10:04 PM
Let's replace the copper with the guy's car then. He uses his car to get to work and provide for his family. It is worth thousands of dollars. Does that make it worth killing over?
Depends, are you, your wife and kids in the car at the time?
It is not the item it is the act.

B yond
July 14, 2008, 12:23 AM
"Quote:
Let's replace the copper with the guy's car then. He uses his car to get to work and provide for his family. It is worth thousands of dollars. Does that make it worth killing over?"

Depends, are you, your wife and kids in the car at the time?
It is not the item it is the act.

I think you may have missed the point. The shooter's family was not in immediate danger from what I've read. I agree that it's not the item, but the act. That act is burglary, maybe grand theft. Burglary, as far as I know, does not get the death penalty.

Firethorn
July 14, 2008, 12:29 AM
Let's put it another way. A car is, often enough, six months to a year of the owner's labor.

Caught in the act, is it worth the criminal's life to let him take it? Not everybody has insurance against theft. Not everybody can collect*.

In any case, it raises insurance premiums, etc...

*There have been incidents where the insurance company said 'that couldn't happen' for some cars with advanced security systems and refused to pay out - until it comes out that there's a bypass, can be hacked with a laptop, etc...

TexasSkyhawk
July 14, 2008, 01:07 AM
Burglary, as far as I know, does not get the death penalty.

It does on my property if you're caught in the act.

And I have the law backing me.

Jeff

arflattop
July 14, 2008, 01:08 AM
KY statutes allows me to use lethal force if you are in my barn. Obviously, the connotation is that I make my living with the equipment contained therein, and I am allowed to protect it. What's the difference between that and someone protecting his business from continued repairs and potential financial ruin. The thief is clearly breaking the law, willingly and knowingly. I have no hesitation to remove one more thief from the ranks of the nonproductive segment of society. It's time we quit coddling criminals.

macadore
July 14, 2008, 01:12 AM
It seems the options were let the thief drive the family into poverty or shoot him. Do those of you who feel the thief was the victim have a better solution?

B yond
July 14, 2008, 01:29 AM
Do those of you who feel the thief was the victim have a better solution?

I never said the thief was a victim. I just question the morality of shooting someone over property. Everyone has their own morals, and we certainly don't have the whole story here.

In a perfect world the better solution would be to hold the thief at gunpoint until the police could arrive to take him into custody, where he'd actually do jail time and come out rehabilitated (I said a perfect world :rolleyes: ). In the real world, getting that one thief arrested won't stop the next one, and neither will shooting him.

The best solution I have is a proactive approach to security. Make your belongings harder to steal than your neighbor's. Thieves will usually go for the easier score.

JWarren
July 14, 2008, 08:40 AM
B yond wrote:

I never said the thief was a victim. I just question the morality of shooting someone over property.

I really don't believe that anyone on any of the multitude of "Defense of Property" threads that we see here is talking about shooting a thief who is trying to surrender or otherwise be compliant.

I really don't beleive that anyone is talking about shooting someone without giving the option of surrender.

In the reality of a situation, it is far more likely that a person will give the chance.

I am not certain that anyone is talking about firing on a fleeing person who is fleeing empty handed.

In my own view point, I'd -- of course-- give warning. A thief would have the opportunity to surrender. They may even choose to flee.

I am not sure I'd shoot someone fleeing-- unless they decided to flee with my possessions. I frankly think it is more likely that a fleeing person is going to drop what they have. I don't know. Even if they drop any property, they have likely caused my home considerable damage-- worth probably more than they were stealing. If they came through my front door and busted it, they've just destroyed a hand-made door made by my great-great grandfather that I've put many dollars and hours into saving.

So I don't know.


But I do know this. The responsibility of ANY consequences lies on the head of the thief.

At the point that he chose to break into homes, he made a choice.
At the point that he chose to break into my home, he made a choice.
At the point he is given the opportunity to surrender, he has to make a choice.
The choice to challenge has a consequence.
The choice to attempt to retain the things he is stealing out of his greed has a consequence.
The choice to destroy property has a conseqence.

Ideally, the consequence is jail time. It is his choice whether he will see the inside of a jail. If he runs, he is trying to avoid jail. He is making a choice to avoid justice. Depending on who he meets, he well may.

I do know this. I haven't recovered a SINGLE piece of property stolen from me in December 2006. Of the property, much of it was heirlooms that can never be replaced. The thief(ves) have never been caught.

And they left me with considerable property damage that I did not claim on my insurance due to worries that I'd have premium increases-- especially after the claims that I had to make after Katrina.

People talk about insurance taking care of the loss. Sure. Live in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina and let me know how your homeowner insurance situation is working out. Of the companies that ARE still working in the area (MANY pulled out of our states), the premiums have gone up considerably, and they are anxious to drop "problem" customers.



In a perfect world the better solution would be to hold the thief at gunpoint until the police could arrive to take him into custody, where he'd actually do jail time and come out rehabilitated (I said a perfect world ). In the real world, getting that one thief arrested won't stop the next one, and neither will shooting him.

We all know that we do not live in a perfect world. And we all know that prison is less likely to rehabilitate than it is to train a thief.


The best solution I have is a proactive approach to security. Make your belongings harder to steal than your neighbor's. Thieves will usually go for the easier score.

True.




-- John

A-190
July 14, 2008, 09:04 AM
Really wish every one would go back and re read all the post from the original up. How long since WWII. This would not have even made tha paper then. Home owner shot thief....period.

We all bemoan the loss of security of our homes and demand the right to pack......We all talk of the "good ole days"

This is what 40 years of liberal laws and policies have brought us to.

We let it happen and then debate endless and ad-nausum of our right to self defense of ourselves and our property.......untill some poor shumck does defen his property. tsk tsk tsk:cuss:

XDKingslayer
July 14, 2008, 11:47 AM
Where do "we" draw the line? Hey, your line obviously doesn't exist since you believe no property is worth defending, so your question is basically rhetorical to some.

I grew up in a ranching family. My grandaddy shot and killed more than one sorry piece of dung who tried stealing his cattle or horses. And the law down here says if you steal a man's horse and he catches and kills you, tough luck.

Bottom line is if you are on or in my property without my permission, you're future is looking awful bleak at that particular moment. If you're stealing from me after illegally entering my property or criminally trespassing on it, your future is in serious trouble.

You've already committed one crime against me by breaking and entering or trespassing, and now you're committing another by stealing--and you want ME to draw the line?

And you say if I shoot and kill one of your family member for perpetrating at least TWO deliberate crimes against me, you and your family will hunt me down and kill me for that?

Bring a lunch. A damned big one.

Wow.

I'm glad there is at least one other person who realizes "The High Road" and "Reality" are two entirely different things...

TexasSkyhawk
July 14, 2008, 12:19 PM
In the real world, getting that one thief arrested won't stop the next one, and neither will shooting him.

Ah, but here is where you're not entirely correct.

When word gets out that robbing or burglarizing Business X is a risky proposition due to burglars incurring serious injury or death, smart thieves (oxymoron?) avoid that place.

To a lesser extent, knowing that the police show up, especially with K9 teams, will also get out and smart thieves will not necessarily avoid the place, but instead plan more carefully.

I know this from actual law enforcement experience. I've talked to more than one burglar/thief who openly confessed his biggest fear was developing sudden and painful leaky holes in his body courtesy of a pissed off owner of the property he only wanted to borrow and hock.

Did arrest scare him? Nah--free food, free defense attorney and another post-graduate course on how not to get caught, and if/when you do, how to beat the system.

Jail today simply isn't a deterrent for the career criminal.

Pauper's cemetaries, however, are.

The best solution I have is a proactive approach to security. Make your belongings harder to steal than your neighbor's. Thieves will usually go for the easier score.

I'll never argue over having better security, but at what point to do you draw the line?

Do you put a walkway up to your roof so that your Rotterman PitPinscher Bullweilers can race up to the roof and devour the criminal (not a bad idea, actually)?

Do you hire full-time security guards to guard your air-conditioning unit--and if so, where do you come up with the money?

Burglar alarms? The fees/fines around Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin and Houston are gawdawful for hiccups or false alarms (which are simply going to happen from time to time), so that is yet even more added expense.

Security can get expensive in a hurry, and not all small business are flush with extra cash--certainly not in these times.

It's a real and valid problem.

My solution would be to take reasonable and prudent security measures, but in the case of the Garland business owner who'd already been hit twice, then *I* become the additional security measure.

Bottom line is that if our prisons still had the chain gangs instead of cable tv, and criminals served at least 90% of their sentence, there'd be a whole lot less discussions like the one we're having now.

Jeff

DWFan
July 14, 2008, 03:09 PM
In a home defense scenario, I'm not there to play games of intimidation or match wits or find out who has the bigger cojones. I am there to defend lives and property. If you enter my house, I must assume that you will do whatever is necessary to avoid being caught, including taking lives. It is very possible that your purpose in my home is to take life. I do not have the means or desire to determine your mental state and no legal obligation to do so. Do not expect sympathy or understanding. I am sure you would not have any if the situation were reversed.
I will not fire a warning shot. I will not hold you at bay until the police arrive. I will not attempt to subdue you with the threat of using my weapon. I will not give you the opportunity to make a desperate attempt to flee or disarm me and possibly end up in a physical conflict where an accidental shot can wound or kill myself or my wife. I will not give you an opportunity to escape and find someone else to prey on; someone who is possibly defenseless; someone you may torture and kill simply because you wish to escalate your criminal actions and have the opportunity to do so.
It is against my moral values to possibly sacrifice the life of another because I was unwilling to pull the trigger. I can do nothing about anyone you have previously victimized, but I can and will prevent you from victimizing me or anyone in the future. Rest assured, invade my house and I will shoot you, period. No debate, no question, no hesitation. I am not a vigilante; you caused this situation, I didn't go looking for you. To believe that I do not have the will to pull the trigger because I have any respect for your life is the worst, and probably last, mistake you will ever make.

The shooter was protecting both himself and his family's property. Anyone who says he shouldn't have shot the guy is on the side of the criminal.

foghornl
July 14, 2008, 03:21 PM
Copper theft has been a BIG problem for years...

Charleston, SC, circa 1990 (About a year after Hurricane Hugo). Copper theives break into the (not used after station switched transmitter sites) transmitter building to steal copper. One miscreant is cutting into the 500MCM sized power cables with a hack saw. Only problem...ther was still live 480VAC on those lines. Hacksaw blade was into the copper, saw frame touched back panel of transfer switch...most of blade and a large chunk of saw frame disappeared.

Guy showed up at some ER for treatment of temporary blindness caused by the arc/flash.

Later, other miscreants climbed the tower and cut the supports for the 6-1/8" solid wall coax...as they fell free from the tower, guys had 20' sections of copper coax. IIRC, one guy got seriously injured by a piece of falling copper.

Cosmoline
July 14, 2008, 04:30 PM
KY statutes allows me to use lethal force if you are in my barn. Obviously, the connotation is that I make my living with the equipment contained therein, and I am allowed to protect it.

No, the connotation is that if YOU are in the barn and a FELON is breaking into the barn with you in it, you may be presumptively entitled to assume your life is in peril. Of course if you know it's just your neighbor Earl returning tools you can't shoot him. Likewise, it's very doubtful you would be legally allowed to shoot someone coming to reclaim property even if you deemed it theft. If you knew they posed no danger to you, and were simply coming to get some disputed tool or tractor, I very much doubt you could lawfully kill them.

As to the question of stopping a pure property crime, assuming the thief is absolutely not presenting a threat to you the answer is of course to call the authorities and use NON-DEADLY force. For some reason this never dawns on people, who assume the choice is either killing or running away. If he's taking your TV and is unarmed and not hostile, you stomp on the back side of his knee and knock him to the ground. Use your rifle butt to break his foot or hand to get your goods back. Just don't hit his head or chest as that may kill him.

Cosmoline
July 14, 2008, 04:40 PM
It does on my property if you're caught in the act.

So if you see a thief running away with some item of your property in his hand, you would shoot him in the back and kill him?

blkbrd666
July 14, 2008, 04:44 PM
"Jeepers Beav, this thing's still going?!"

DWFan
July 14, 2008, 06:29 PM
As to the question of stopping a pure property crime, assuming the thief is absolutely not presenting a threat to you the answer is of course to call the authorities and use NON-DEADLY force. For some reason this never dawns on people, who assume the choice is either killing or running away. If he's taking your TV and is unarmed and not hostile, you stomp on the back side of his knee and knock him to the ground. Use your rifle butt to break his foot or hand to get your goods back. Just don't hit his head or chest as that may kill him.
-Cosmoline
In other words, get within arm's reach so the criminal can have the opportunity to either use what he has in his hands as a weapon or drop it and pull a knife or gun and use that. Possibly even grab me and remove my eyes with his fingers or kill me outright.
To assume anyone is not potentially dangerous is suicide. To get close enough for physical contact is lunacy. To place yourself in a position to be disarmed and have your weapon used on you? That's being an idiot.

Cosmoline
July 14, 2008, 06:38 PM
To assume anyone is not potentially dangerous is suicide.

Obviously we presume this all the time, or we'd have to shoot everyone presumptively. How you respond depends on the facts, and there are certainly circumstances in the real world where you might run across some fool taking your stuff. A drunk taking your bike for example. Do you blow his head off because he *might* pull a firearm? Of course you don't, but you might have to hurt him to get your stuff back. That's called using NON-DEADLY force and it's a very useful tool to have in the old arsenal. You ignore it at your peril. If you've never heard of it, look it up in your state's code.

When the line is crossed from justifying non-deadly to deadly force depends on the facts and circumstances. You have to use some measure of common sense, which is often lacking among the internet commando brigade.

TexasSkyhawk
July 14, 2008, 06:59 PM
You have to use some measure of common sense, which is often lacking among the internet commando brigade.

No more so than self-annointed righteousness from the internet morality police. :rolleyes:

So if you see a thief running away with some item of your property in his hand, you would shoot him in the back and kill him?

At our place way out in the sticks and he was still on our property? Absolutely.

Either that or I'd be happy to send you a bill for the cost of replacing the horse he stole or the saddle and tack or the tractor implements, etc. Since some place such a premium on the life of a thieving scumbag versus the value of hard-earned property ("it's only property--you can replace it"), maybe if those who feel that started having to bear the cost of their "feelings," views might just change. . .

Somehow I think the sympathy and holier-than-thou morally superior attitudes might start changing.

And if it doesn't, at least you'd have to be putting your money where your morals and mouth are. Fair enough to me.

Jeff

Cosmoline
July 14, 2008, 08:02 PM
Folks, if you listen to this person you're liable to end up in prison and rightly so. You have been warned.

And actually, yes I am morally superior to you. I don't shoot people in the back because I suspect them of taking my things.

SCKimberFan
July 14, 2008, 08:03 PM
Does the name Joe Horn ring a bell?

TexasRifleman
July 14, 2008, 08:05 PM
Well from a legal standpoint you have to keep in mind this happened in Texas.

That's good and that's bad.

Good most likely for the shooter in this news case since it's generally legal here to do what he did.

Bad from the viewpoint that folks in other states think they can act the same way. Be VERY careful.

The Texas statute as it relates to deadly force in the protection of property is VERY rare in this country. Most places it will get you sent to prison without much question.

Whether you believe it moral or not the fact is the option to use deadly force to protect your "stuff" does not come up very often.

SCKimberFan
July 14, 2008, 08:07 PM
Yes, but he was commenting on TexasShyhawk. I am certain he is in Texas. :D

TexasRifleman
July 14, 2008, 08:08 PM
Yes, but he was commenting on TexasShyhawk

Understood, just wanted to be real clear for other readers that the Texas statutes are quite unique in the US. I am not aware of any other state that specifically allows for the use of deadly force to protect only property.

Tyris
July 14, 2008, 08:28 PM
And actually, yes I am morally superior to you. I don't shoot people in the back because I suspect them of taking my things.

Right, and the morally superior woman takes it spread eagle without complaint when being raped instead of fighting back.

Moral superiority wont bring back the work truck you need to put food on the table or the computer you use to run your business, or the gun safe full of goodies that you worked hard to pay for.

A shot to the back of burglar will certainly stop his career dead in its tracks and teach him a valuable lesson. The morally superior man whines a little and is content to let the burglar walk away with his loot and continue to rob people.

Someone give Joe Horn and this kid medals.

-T

CAPTAIN MIKE
July 14, 2008, 08:30 PM
Where I come from, if the shooter or some other person is not in danger of imminent death or grave bodily injury, the use of deadly force is NOT justified.

Tyris
July 14, 2008, 08:31 PM
Where I come from, if the shooter or some other person is not in danger of imminent death or grave bodily injury, the use of deadly force is NOT justified.

Apparently you dont come from Texas.

-T

Cosmoline
July 14, 2008, 08:33 PM
Right, and the morally superior woman takes it spread eagle without complaint when being raped instead of fighting back.

There's a wee spot of difference between having your stuff stolen and rape. The first, standing alone, is the loss of chattle property. The second is the most brutal form of assault short of actual murder.

The morally superior man whines a little and is content to let the burglar walk away with his loot and continue to rob people.

If I can't stop him safely, yes. I let him go because mere junk is not equal to human life (including MY life).

Otherwise you've crossed the line from self defense to being your own judge, jury and executioner. The idea of stopping crime is noble, but what you suggest is a very, very, very dangerous road to go down. Morally, spiritually and legally. It's too much power for any one man to have. You've moved from defending your life in a righteous manner to deciding whether a thief should live or die for his crimes.

JWarren
July 14, 2008, 08:36 PM
And actually, yes I am morally superior to you. I don't shoot people in the back because I suspect them of taking my things.

Debatable, and Subjective.


Evil Prevails when good men do nothing rings a bell.

I contend that the lack of people willing to stand to criminals emboldens and escalates them. Sometimes by doing nothing, you have done harm.



The entire study of Ethics delves into the question of morality. Many conflicting and compatible works exist and are debated by the greatest minds of our societies. Still, no consensus has been reached.

One man's self-proclaimed moral superiority means very little to me-- especially when it is juxtaposed to what I consider to be moral.


Moral Comfort is not the same thing as Moral Superiority.



-- John

3KillerBs
July 14, 2008, 09:30 PM
As to the question of stopping a pure property crime, assuming the thief is absolutely not presenting a threat to you the answer is of course to call the authorities and use NON-DEADLY force. For some reason this never dawns on people, who assume the choice is either killing or running away. If he's taking your TV and is unarmed and not hostile, you stomp on the back side of his knee and knock him to the ground. Use your rifle butt to break his foot or hand to get your goods back. Just don't hit his head or chest as that may kill him.

As I said on a previous thread on the morality of using lethal force to defend property, ...

This scenario, which is law in the state where I live, comes very close to both declaring that the small, weak people are second-class citizens with less right to protect what they own than large, strong people have AND to declaring that those who are capable of physically overpowering someone have the right to take what they want.

When declaring noble ideals about the inherent worth of human life -- even guilty human life -- consider that you are also declaring that anyone who wants to take my stuff has a right to do so since I'm small and weak and unable to defend it, ...

unless I'm allowed to use a gun.

230RN
July 15, 2008, 10:13 AM
kevindsingleton, Post #32:

By 230RN:

"I had to laugh like heck after the incident was over and I had calmed down. I may have saved him from a future career as a car thief. I decided maybe it wasn't a good idea to leave my car windows open anymore, and locked the car up after that."

Of course, you may have just saved him for a future career as a much more cautious, sophisticated car thief, or worse. One thing you did, for sure, was to let a criminal who had no concern for the rights and property of others, escape, unharmed, and provided him with the opportunity to prey upon others.

Thanks, for that.

I prefer my own take on the matter. You're welcome. To yours.

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 11:52 AM
This thread could do without the high levels of both sanctimony and d***-waving if there is to be any actual discussion.

M&PVolk
July 15, 2008, 12:10 PM
I think everyone is casting the net a bit too widely on this issue. In a matter of property theft or self defense, the scenario is very individual, and as such, should be judged solely on the very specific and individual details of each case.

In my state, it is illegal to kill in defense of property only. You must have a PERCEIVED level of bodily harm. That rule stops when someone illegally enters your home. At that point, you may use lethal force regardless of intent.

Where it gets interesting is that my state's law clearly leaves the level of threat assessment up to the individual. That is liberating in that it helps reduce fear of presenting a firearm when needed, but it is also a negative in that a jury may find your judgement lacking.

The real issue is that unless a scenario is happening to you directly, how can you possibly understand the true motives of the shooter? Everyone's fear factor is different. The level of threat is very fluid and has to be assessed and acted upon in a very abbreviated time window...sometimes even a fraction of a second.

Had this happened before? Did the robber become aggressive? Did the robber have anything that could be used to threaten the shooter? Did past crimes lead the shooter to believe this might be a dangerous assailant? Had there been any violent robbery's similar to this one in the area? You MUST consider EVERY detail of this scenario before passing judgement! Failing to do so doesn't put anyone on morally superior ground, it just makes them ignorantly judgemental.

MinnMooney
July 15, 2008, 12:11 PM
It happened at 1:30 A.M. so if what others are saying about property can be protected by the use of deadly force at night then I guess this fits.

TexasSkyhawk
July 15, 2008, 12:11 PM
This thread could do without the high levels of both sanctimony and d***-waving if there is to be any actual discussion.

Joe, I seem to remember asking you where you were in '69 when you were wailing away against Nugent and Charlie Daniels, et al. (speaking of sanctimony and johnson-waving).

Thanks for reminding me to put you on my Ignore list.

Jeff

rbernie
July 15, 2008, 01:09 PM
There's a wee spot of difference between having your stuff stolen and rape. The first, standing alone, is the loss of chattle property. The second is the most brutal form of assault short of actual murder.Two dimensional argument. I can think of many instances where having stuff stolen could be a far worse fate than rape, and represents a far more brutal assault. That may be a stetch for the case under discussion, but you are making sweeping generalizations where nuances are important.

It's too much power for any one man to have. You've moved from defending your life in a righteous manner to deciding whether a thief should live or die for his crimes.The alternative view is that the THIEF chose that fate, when he/she elected to go a'thievin'.

3pairs12
July 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
Well I think that if somebody wanted to protect the material that helped him operate a buisness that provided him a life, ie. food and gas, then so be it. There are alot of people quick to scream foul when they have no idea how 6k in repairs fixing some dumb crooks action could change the course of some smalll buisness owners lives. It was his call he made it and it was legal.

telomerase
July 15, 2008, 01:22 PM
"Mere" property is what keeps us all from starving, going without medical care, etc. Not to mention, if you tamely allow someone to develop a "career" out of using you as a domestic animal, who's to say they'll stop at your copper? They may eventually move on to take your children, your wife, even your beloved computer.

And that's just the Representatives, the unelected ones are even worse! :D

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 01:24 PM
The idea that a thief steals some portion of your life when he steals your goods comes up in nearly all these threads.

If you say that a crackhead effectively stole a year of your life when he took your property, then in order to be made whole you are entitled to that year back in one form or another. If you kill him, you are not only taking "your year," you are also taking all of his years on which you had no claim. This, of course, assumes that you shot him when he was fleeing or otherwise not a physical threat to you. That now makes you the thief.

I'm not going to get into the rights and wrongs of when you can shoot a thief, but the theft = taking lifespan argument doesn't hold up.

If we look back on Western history, there was the concept of weregelt, by some name, in most places. IOW, they did have a price on a life. Maybe it is a concept we need to re-examine.

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 01:28 PM
6k in repairs fixing some dumb crooks action could change the course of some smalll buisness owners lives

That's what insurance is for. And are you suggesting that all small business owners should have a right to kill anyone who does damage to their business? So if a partner in that business screws up some investments and drives the outfit into debt, should the other partners have a right to kill him? What about the neighbor's kid who screws up and drops something heavy on a customer, creating a million dollar tort claim. Is he to die as well for costing money? Where do you draw the line? And what gives you or any one man the right to draw that line?

I confess I really don't understand Texas. You can't carry a firearm openly but you can slaughter people for taking your copper. Can you shoot a kid for stealing an apple pie from the window? Can you cut his spine in half with your bullet for that? Or is this only applicable to the darkies? Our firearms are enormously powerful tools. To take them up out of bitter hate in order to "get rid" of some people you don't like is a violation of your responsibility as a gun owner and as a citizen of the Republic.

These are very, very dangerous waters. If you don't understand why turn to any holy text you care to. All of them make a distinction between righteous defense of self and taking judgment into one's own hands. Shooting the midnight intruder is the former, but killing a fleeing thief to "teach a lesson" has most certainly crossed that ancient line. You are no longer acting in defense of yourself or your household, but as an agent of punishment in retribution. You have taken vengeance into your individual, mortal hands out of rage. And while that may be legal in Texas, it is neither good nor moral. Did Christ advocate murdering a fleeing thief? Did Buddha? Did any of the great philosophers advocate taking these matters into your own hands and being both victim and judge? I don't recall any making that suggestion, from Plato to Rousseau. If you want some more recent wisdom:

“Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment.” JRR Tolkien

3pairs12
July 15, 2008, 01:35 PM
He was being robbed. If a partner makes some bad investments too bad. Last time I checked my insurance I have a deductable about half that 6k. I am suggesting that here in Texas if somebody is robbing you then you have the right to take their life to protect that property. This man chose to do so and that can be for hi,m to deal with or bear the rest of his life. I can say that I probably wouldn't have done it differently.

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 01:42 PM
What if your accountant is embezzling money from your company to feed his drug/gambling/beanie baby habit? Is it okay to kill him? If not, why not? In the end, you're still protecting your property same as if you shot a tweaker for stealing copper, right?

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 01:44 PM
What if your business partner is embezzling money from the company to feed his drug/gambling/beanie baby habit? Is it okay to kill him? If not, why not?

That's a civil matter since he's a part owner of the company.

We are talking about criminal, not civil.

Has nothing at all to do with this.

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 01:46 PM
See above where I changed the scenario slightly.

3pairs12
July 15, 2008, 01:47 PM
Embezzling is stealing. I am sure there alot of people that would have. If he has a drug problem and he is stealing from your buisness guess where he comes when that has been ran into the dirt. Thats right your house. Then what sit in the corner and hope he doesn't see you, or stand up and protect your things that you put the time effort and money into aqquiring.

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 01:49 PM
See above where I changed the scenario slightly.

No you didn't change anything. Non physical monetary transaction crimes are not considered "property crimes".

If you're going to make up arguments you need to make sure they fit into the law the way it is today.

If the cash is in a box at your business and your accountant breaks in to steal it, that is a Criminal Property act.

If your accountant uses your banking information to conduct illegal transactions that is not a Property Crime, it's dealt with in a different manner so you could not shoot him for that crime.

The Texas Penal Code allowing for deadly force is clear on this:

ß 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property....etc

dm1333
July 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=370999

3pairs12
July 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
So then in Joe's hypothetical question I guess I would be going to jail. Just because its being stolen through paper transactions rather than from the cashbox doesn't make it anything less than stealing in my book. I do thank you for the info though TR

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
You're dancing around the issue by being legalistic. The heart of this debate lies in killing another person over the theft , or attempted theft, of property. You've already told us several times that it is legal in Texas to do so; that is not under dispute.
We've been told, as one reason that it's morally/ethically okay to shoot metal thieves, that they can bankrupt a business and leave you destitute. A crooked accountant can do exactly the same thing. Why is it morally/ethically okay to shoot the former but not the latter?

3pairs12
July 15, 2008, 01:57 PM
I am not saying that is morally or ethically different ata all a theif is a theif. Accountant or crackhead.

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 01:58 PM
We've been told, as one reason that it's morally/ethically okay to shoot metal thieves, that they can bankrupt a business and leave you destitute. A crooked accountant can do exactly the same thing. Why is it morally/ethically okay to shoot the former but not the latter?

Physical property crime is a violation of ones "personal boundaries" since they take place for the most part in one's home, office, car, etc.

Accountants doing illegal fund transfers are criminal but not in such a manner that they place your "personal space" or "castle" in jeopardy.

Any property crime can convert to violence during the course of the act but this example of the accountant moving funds from his office in the middle of the night can not since all the parties are not physically present at the same place at the same time.

It's this potential for violence, in one's own personal space that differentiates the 2.

There is no "immediacy" in electronic theft for example, and immediacy is nearly always present in any legal or moral argument for protecting property with force.

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:01 PM
That's a civil matter since he's a part owner of the company.

Fraud and embezzlement is most certainly a criminal matter. It frequently carries a much more serious range of prison time than mere petty theft due to the amounts of money involved. So if you can shoot a thief why can't you shoot the embezzler?

Accountants doing illegal fund transfers are criminal but not in such a manner that they place your "personal space" or "castle" in jeopardy.

Ha. Tell that to folks who have lost home, business and everything else due to such theft. A rotten accountant can do vastly more damage than a copper thief. So can you go kill him after the fact? Like I said, this is a very, very dangerous road.

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 02:04 PM
Cosmoline

Nice try with the race card. Doesnt fly. I would believe that the business owner would have shot whether or not the thief was lily white or brown like me.


I have already posted a request for those that believe property is not worth defending with lethal force to show their arguments. Instead of logical arguments about the core issue of this thread, All I have seen are diatribes based on a feeling of moral superiority.

I will defend property with lethal force. no qualms, no excusing my actions based on the possibility that the crime will turn violent. Simply my property will not be stolen if I can possibly stop it.

I am willing to give kids a second chance based on age and ignorance based on their age. I will try to wound vice kill over property. LEO will be called. Orders to stop will be issued. But in the end I will put a bullet in a person before I let anyone unlawfully take what is mine.

This is a morally honest stance on the core issue of this thread.

As far as the law goes, I am covered. Threats of what may happen tend to be overshadowed by what has happened in the past. My state constitution gives me a right to protect property by force of arms. I have never seen the family of a deceased thief win in court over this in my state, so that is not an issue.

That leaves the core issue. Why is it not morally proper to defend property with lethal force?

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:07 PM
t's this potential for violence, in one's own personal space that differentiates the 2..

That's fine, but how then can you justify shooting the fleeing thief or killing an intruder who has come to steal but poses no threat to the safety of the defender? For example an unarmed neighbor coming to take back what he feels is his property, even if he's mistaken. A brother come to take some item of Dad's he feels should have gone to him after the funeral? These things happen all the time, and they put PROPERTY at risk. So are we to slaughter for property?

I would believe that the business owner would have shot whether or not the thief was lily white or brown like me.

Would the supporters have been so eager to yell their approval if the thieves had been a neighbor's white pre-teens? I very much doubt it.

But in the end I will put a bullet in a person before I let anyone unlawfully take what is mine.

The question is, what about AFTER he has taken it and is no longer presenting even a theoretical danger to you? The question then is simply about getting your property back and punishing the thief. Would you take up the rifle and shoot him in the back? Or would you leave it to the community to judge and punish. That is the great line. The line between protecting your homestead and punishing people you believe have taken your things.

Because if you can shoot him in the back, why not track down the thief and shoot him at his home or work? Would he be righteous in defending against you, who have now become the armed intruder?

KiltedClaymore
July 15, 2008, 02:07 PM
this thread is destined for closing anytime now.......3....2...1.......

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 02:08 PM
You're telling me about the legal system again; that is exactly the differentiation the law makes. Go back and re-read this thread, though, and see how many posts go on at length about the value of the goods stolen and how much harm the loss of that value would cause.
We don't seem to have a consensus, even in this thread, whether ethically/morally it is about the potential for violence or the loss of property.
Let me put it this way, if the law permitted you to shoot an accountant you caught cooking the books, would you?

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 02:11 PM
For example an unarmed neighbor coming to take back what he feels is his property, even if he's mistaken. A brother come to take some item of Dad's he feels should have gone to him after the funeral? These things happen all the time, and they put PROPERTY at risk.

Both of those things have the potential to NOT be crimes.

Again, we are talking about clear criminal acts against property in one's immediate surroundings.

Someone on the roof of your building stealing copper from the air conditioner, to keep the example here, are clearly not going to turn out to be an "accident" or a "misunderstanding".

Of course judgement should play a role in this, no one is saying otherwise, but your examples do not address a real, immediate, clear criminal act in the presence of the property owner.

THAT is what we are talking about here, not killing some guy that stole your bicycle 20 years ago.

Let me put it this way, if the law permitted you to shoot an accountant you caught cooking the books, would you?

No, because that is not an immediate, personal space type of crime. It's simply not the same thing this thread is talking about.

If it were the case where somehow if I caught this accountant and it would result in an IMMEDIATE return of my property, and I believed that there was NO OTHER WAY to get said property back then yes, perhaps force would be appropriate. It's that immediacy, and the lack of alternatives that brings this into play. A stranger that I don't know, stealing my tools, is hampering my ability to make a living potentially and I might have no alternatives to getting my tools back. To me that's where the line comes in. If faced with no other means of keeping what is mine, I believe there is a moral allowance for the use of force in am immediate circumstance, and that's what the law says as well.

And I'm not sure why you keep wanting to separate the legal from the moral side of this. Most laws come into existence because of some morality behind them so they are forever connected in some way.

JWarren
July 15, 2008, 02:14 PM
Wow... it lasted 7.5 pages before the race card and incinuations of racism was tossed out.

Go sell that crap to those that are buying it.

100% of My personal experiences with theft or attempts at theft have been with caucasians-- just like me. And THOSE are the images that I have drawn upon when formulating my perspectives.



-- John

Joe Demko
July 15, 2008, 02:14 PM
What is legal isn't always right and what is right isn't always legal.

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:15 PM
Both of those things have the potential to NOT be crimes.

So do many things. That's one of the problems with being your own judge and jury.

THAT is what we are talking about here, not killing some guy that stole your bicycle 20 years ago.

What about a guy who's riding off on my bicycle? Can I shoot him in the back and get my bike? In fact last week I SAW my bicycle being ridden by a nogoodnik. I yelled at him but he fled. Turns out my bicycle was safely at home, and he was riding another Hoss that had similar but slightly different stickers on it and the same color aftermarket rear rim. Humans cannot see all ends. A victim in the heat of the moment is the LEAST able to judge the situation. Is it a copper thief, or is it a repair man? You start launching bullets to find out and you may kill the wrong person. And if you do hit the true copper thief, does he deserve death? Is this the proper punishment? Do YOU have a right to decide punishment from the safety of your rooftop?

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 02:19 PM
Nice try Cosmoline.

Again you have failed to provide a moral stance that property is worth more than the life of a thief.

Instead you have provided what if scenarios that do not involve a thief, but lack of recognition of a family member or a situation that should involve smacking a kids rear end.

What is the core issue of this thread? If you do not understand it or cannot argue it, this is your issue,not mine.

3KillerBs
July 15, 2008, 02:20 PM
@Cosmoline,

Since you're the most vocal and intense against the defense of property could you please respond to my concern that not being big enough and strong enough to defend my property with non-lethal force makes me a second-class citizen with my property rights being on a lower level than the property rights of a large, strong person?

Additionally, please address what I said about how close your views come to saying that those who can take things from someone who is incapable of resisting the theft have the right to do so if they want to.

Finally, a new thought that came to me this morning, ...

How does requiring people to rely solely on insurance to replace their losses because they are not permitted to defend against loss differ from a situation where the local mob is demanding protection money?

And, again, does that not make second-class citizens of those who are too poor to pay the monthly premium to insure their stuff for replacement value since they can neither defend their property against theft nor afford the insurance and thus have to meekly endure having larger, stronger people walk away with the fruits of their labor?

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 02:20 PM
So do many things. That's one of the problems with being your own judge and jury.

But on one's own property the benefit of the doubt is given to the person that has the legal right to be there. You couldn't possibly want it any other way.

2 brothers going into dad's house to fight over stuff is simply not the same thing, since it's likely neither has a legal right to be there MORE than the other.

rbernie
July 15, 2008, 02:21 PM
That's fine, but how then can you justify shooting the fleeing thief or killing an intruder who has come to steal but poses no threat to the safety of the defender? How do I know this to be true? How does one intuit that the intruder poses ZERO risk if only they get to leave with the property that they've stolen?

The fact that they have intruded upon private property and done so with the intent to rob that property of anothers' possessions does not lend itself well to the argument that the intruder poses no risk to the safety of the property owner. It also completely bypasses the arguments presented that the loss of property CAN pose a threat to the safety or well-being of the property owner.

A rotten accountant can do vastly more damage than a copper thief. So can you go kill him after the fact? Does the law allow it?

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:24 PM
How do I know this to be true? How does one intuit that the intruder poses ZERO risk if only they get to leave with the property that they've stolen?

So you'd go ahead and kill your brother or the neighbor because you cannot tell with 100% certainty that they've only come to take an item of property.

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 02:26 PM
Does the law allow it?

Well the problem with those arguing against the use of force to protect property is that they want to make it such that the choice to use force is FIRST on the list of alternatives rather than LAST.

Of course it's not the FIRST choice of action, and getting your money back from an accountant caught embezzling has MANY legal routes of pursuit before you would get to force, but that is being ignored for the sake of making the argument sound more "barbaric".

So you'd go ahead and kill your brother or the neighbor because you cannot tell with 100% certainty that they've only come to take an item of property.

And you're doing it again. Do I KNOW it's my brother or neighbor? Do I believe that there is NO alternative method that would allow me to recover what is rightfully mine? Has this person ALREADY committed a crime to get to that point? Breaking and entering, trespassing, etc? You keep leaving those things out but those are the critical points in this.

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:28 PM
Here's another question--can I be shot by a rentacop for walking out of Carrs Quality Center with unpaid merchandise? I am a physically huge and powerful person, and I'm always well armed. And in that case it really appears I'm stealing stuff even if in fact my mind has just wandered off as it tends to. Can he shoot me in the back because to confront me would put his life in some theoretical peril?

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 02:30 PM
Here's another question--can I be shot by a rentacop for walking out of Carrs Quality Center with unpaid merchandise?

No because the property in question here could clearly be recovered by another method.

But there are certainly cases where armed security guards may avail themselves of force to protect property, again where there is NO ALTERNATIVE.

Again, I believe the Texas statute explains the moral piece of this as much as the legal:

he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Those 2 things are required to be present for the legal protections, and I believe the moral ones as well. The case you present does not meet these.

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 02:34 PM
Again nice try at avoidance of the core issue.

A rent a cops job is to confront. Did he provide warnings before shooting? Did he provide alternatives to being shot beforehand?

The issue is not threat, nor danger, but whether property is worth defending with lethal force.

Try to get onboard with the core issue of the thread instead of 'what if' scenarios.

JWarren
July 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
Cosmoline,

So far you are just tossing out scenerios until you get the one you want or the response you want.


As I-- and others on this thread have stated-- circumstances dictate much. But this "What if" game is pointless.

Forget about Accountants, Brothers, and Security Guards. All that serves is to detract from the core question.


-- John

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:37 PM
where there is NO ALTERNATIVE.

But Texas law doesn't have this "no alternative" requirement. There's an "OR" instead of an "AND":

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

So taking my hypo, if the security guard had in fact observed me dressed in shabby clothes, walking oddly, talking to myself and had confirmed that the item in my cart was likely a cased rifle. Then doesn't B come into play? From his reasonable point of view I cannot be confronted safely, so then he can just shoot me.

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 02:38 PM
But Texas law doesn't have this "no alternative" requirement.

If you think putting your life in danger is a reasonable alternative to shooting a bad guy then you clearly win this argument.

Most of us however think that's just silly.

In the case of your security guard he cannot KNOW that force would expose him to SUBSTANTIAL risk of death or serious bodily injury so there is little protection offered there.

As for your "AND", it's in there I just didn't quote it. In addition to the above, the following must exist BEFORE the use of deadly force can take place, and clearly your security guard cannot meet these criteria:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
property; and

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:40 PM
But this "What if" game is pointless.

I'm asking you to consider hypos. Life itself is a what if game, a series of choices. None of my scenarios is unusual. Many have happened to me personally. I have seen a man come into the garage to take an item he felt was his. I know of a relative who actually hired some bums off Burnside to ransack my dead great grandmother's house and take everything before the property could be divided. Not a nice thing to do, but should we start killing over it?

If you think putting your life in danger is a reasonable alternative to shooting a bad guy then you clearly win this argument.

I believe on a moral and legal basis that the only reason any of us should be taking any human life as individuals is precisely to defend our person and our lives. There is no other valid reason for an individual citizen to go that far. I also believe it is righteous to stand your ground and defend your property with your life. I do not believe a duty to retreat should be imposed. But even then the killing must be in defense of your life, not mere property. Otherwise we have placed property over human life in value and empowered the individual victim to be judge and jury on the spot. That's profoundly immoral even if the legislature approves it.

This is why I'm throwing out hypos about fleeing criminals and non-violent thieves. If you remove the danger to self, then killing a person over property becomes indefensible. The use of deadly force must always turn on the imminent peril to yourself or others, not just peril to stuff.

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 02:40 PM
Cosmoline

Still avoiding the core of the thread and posting scenarios to get the response you want.

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 02:43 PM
Hmm, ransacking a kins home after they are dead. Is it worth protecting with lethal force?

Yes.

Again you are still avoiding the core issue.

Is property worth defending with force?

La Pistoletta
July 15, 2008, 02:44 PM
Don't separate the act of theft from the thief. The thief is the act. It's not a case of two people, a criminal and, some property and "how do we solve this equation?".

JWarren
July 15, 2008, 02:47 PM
Cosomoline wrote:

I'm asking you to consider hypos.


No, you are throwing out scenerios until you get one that you get a desired response from.

I can do that too-- and I'll help you--

-- Sometimes I go to my Dad's and borrow a few of his tools.

-- Mom has come to get a thing or two that she was out of in the kitchen before.

-- A neighbor came and took our jeep to pull his truck out of mud last deer season while we were gone.


Suprisingly, none got shot.

This is silly.


-- John

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 02:53 PM
Is property worth defending with force?

Of course. Absolutely. But you cannot kill a person simply over property. You can kick him in the groin, set the guard dogs on him or even shoot his tires out in the right circumstances, but if there is no threat to you personally or to others physically, you should not be killing him simply because he is a thief and you want to send a message or teach a lesson.

As to the precise case here or in other cases, I do not know all the facts. These encounters are often very confusing and things happen very quickly. It's entirely possible for a home owner to still be reasonably fearful of his life and safety even if the criminal's back is turned to him. It's up to the DA, the grand jury and in some cases to a criminal jury to decide whether the line was crossed. What I'm saying is there's a DAMNED GOOD REASON for that line to be there. And we erase it at our peril.

La Pistoletta
July 15, 2008, 02:57 PM
An ongoing crime isn't a detached, calm situation where a victim can "weigh the scales" on what should happen. A thief would not be sentenced to death in a court of law, but death may result from defensive action by the victim. It has nothing to do with "reasonable punishment" or "that much power held by one man".

It is a case of a victim being wronged, and defending himself against the wrongdoing in a way that is safe for him, ie. using lethal force. Why? Because he is innocent and cannot be expected to put his own life or property into jeopardy.


You, Cosmoline and Joe Dempko, simply refuse to properly acknowledge the existence of right and wrong. Laws aren't automatically right. They can be, but most aren't. And laws that give criminals the right to demand anything from victims other than to not be tied down and tortured, when no longer a threat, are dead wrong.

I will not risk even a bruise just to give the perp a "fair fight". Why should I? Am I guilty of the crime of existing and leading a peaceful life? That proposition is yours and it is obscene.

Crime is a choice. Criminals are worth less than a stone in the woods. At least those stones can be counted on to leave us alone.

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 03:05 PM
I will not risk even a bruise. Why should I? Am I guilty of the crime of existing and leading a peaceful life? That proposition is yours and it is obscene.

If you're not willing to risk a bruise, and the thief is no longer a threat to you personally, then you should call 911 and leave it to the authorities. Sorry if that seems unfair to you. I live in a state where EVERYONE is well armed. Better armed than most any Texican. Better armed than the Swedish army. Many of us have taken many higher animal lives and will not flinch from taking human life it necessary. Most of us know exactly what a bullet will do. In such a society it is even more important than usual to avoid crossing the ancient lines between self defense and murder. Because if we go down that road we have the power to do profound evil to each other, and to destroy many many lives. That's why I take this more seriously than some. It's not just hypothetical. I really do have the power to kill, as does nearly everyone else here. I have killed, and I've seen animals great and small take their last breaths because of me. It's a humbling experience, and I pray daily I never ever have to see a human in a grand mal or drowning in blood, even if I had no other choice. That power brings great responsibility with it. It is not to be used to even the scales or take vengeance on a thief. Deciding on punishments must be left to the justice system, however imperfect it is. I cannot take that choice into my own hands, nor can I allow my neighbors to do so. A thief who chooses to run away has made the right choice and should not be killed for it, even if he has taken property. He is a human man and deserves the chance to make amends. I'm sorry if that notion upsets people, but it is the only correct choice.

brerrabbit
July 15, 2008, 03:06 PM
The argument is not about killing a thief. It is about protecting property with force. Revenge does not come into this argument.

You are getting a little closer Cosmoline, congrats.

I agree that on a property crime that all available alternatives should be used first. But in the end, my moral stance is that my property will not be stolen if I can stop it.

If it costs the life of a thief to prevent it, so be it. Warnings will be given, LEO will be called, but in the end I will protect what is mine with any force I can bring to bear.

You have consistantly brought your arguments against killing over property.

I can respect that. Some people have these beliefs.

Show your belief in a logical manner.

TexasRifleman
July 15, 2008, 03:06 PM
The use of deadly force must always turn on the imminent peril to yourself or others, not just peril to stuff.

Then we're back to the fundamental belief that some property is not just "stuff", that it represents an ability to maintain life.

Food, tools, car to get to work, guns to hunt, protect yourself, etc.

There's a line where some "stuff" becomes a necessity to preserve and protect life.

To say "well, that's what insurance is for" doesn't work. Maybe a person cannot afford full coverage on their old car that they use to get to work every day to feed their kid, get to their dialysis treatment, chemo....etc.

If you steal someone's means of getting to medical care for example is that still a property crime? Sounds like a life threatening situation to me.

If that "Stuff" keeps someone alive, it's not "stuff" anymore.

JWarren
July 15, 2008, 03:10 PM
Cosomline,

You have your "ancient lines" and others exist as well.

We're back to the "Moral Superiority" arguement now.

I've addressed that.

Frankly, the last vestiges of moral superiority went out the window with playing of the dreaded Race Card. It belays a desperate attempt to try every angle you can until it resonates with someone.


-- John

Elza
July 15, 2008, 03:18 PM
Cosmoline: I believe on a moral and legal basis that the only reason any of us should be taking any human life as individuals is precisely to defend our person and our lives.Herein lays the crux of the argument: your belief. As to the moral aspect you are certainly entitled to believe what you wish. It does not, however, make you right in spite of your claim to moral superiority. Your belief is no more or less valid than my belief. Opinions donít make anything a fact.

As to the legal aspect you are out of luck. Texas law, both statue and case, says otherwise.

TexasSkyhawk
July 15, 2008, 03:19 PM
Deciding on punishments and weighing those scales must be left to the justice system, however imperfect it is. I cannot take that choice into my own hands, nor can I allow my neighbors to do so.

Between that "I know what's better for you than you do" mindset plus throwing out the race card, say hi to Joe and Rachen on the "Ig" list. Hopefully one of them is serving coffee.

Jeff

Cosmoline
July 15, 2008, 03:28 PM
I'm really beat up over that. Rachen and I will be watching Five Fingers of Death and thinking about you.

blkbrd666
July 15, 2008, 03:47 PM
That poor horse...

Jeff White
July 15, 2008, 03:54 PM
215 posts and I don't think you guys will settle this in another 215 or even another 2015 posts. Let's agree to disagree and let this one rest.

Jeff

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