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Age, Crime, Punishment and True Justice

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Old Dog, Jul 19, 2005.

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  1. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I’m curious as to what the prevailing attitude of THR members really is, as far as crime and punishment. Of late, I'm becoming increasingly dismayed by a certain recurring attitude reflected by numerous posts ... And frankly, I'm not seeing a lot of opposition to some of these types of remarks.

    Some recent threads recount news stories wherein a young person, typically engaged in some type of minor criminal activity (e.g., shooting bottle rockets near or at passing cars or breaking into a car and stealing the stereo) ends up crippled or dead. Notwithstanding the fact that everyone IS responsible for one’s own actions and should be held justly accountable, it seems that many members of THR consistently respond with comments such as: “Good, more gene pool cleansing” …”Righteous shoot” …“Darwinism in action” … “The miscreant got what he deserved” … “I would have drawn down on him” … “A life of crime nipped in the bud” … You get the gist.

    Some of these stories seem to involve persons with no criminal records, appear to be either adolescent flirtation with petty crime (which can be overcome, as I’m certain many THR members know from personal experience), just plain childish stupidity or the result of long-term lack of parental guidance and involvement.

    What disturbs me is that so many posters indicate that in some of these situations that (if they were involved) they would respond with a firearm -- and deadly force ... Or, they seem tremendously encouraged that the story's subject ended up either crippled for life or deceased. Some posters have responded with seemingly bloodthirsty enthusiasm as far as the use of deadly force to deal with property crimes, where no weapon was displayed by the suspect, the suspect was in the act of fleeing, or the crime involved property not vital to our national security interests …

    What’s the real attitude of everyone here?

    - Are some here so anxious to use their guns that they would shoot a fleeing 15-year-old in the back over a car stereo?

    - Are some here so judgmental that they truly believe an appropriate punishment for a juvenile criminal who commits petty theft is death?

    - Are some of you here really so lacking in compassion that you can’t feel a spark of sadness, at least for the family, when a teenager is left a quadriplegic after being accidentally shot while committing a car burglary?

    - Is it truly justice when a 12–year-old boy is killed by a passing car after being chased into traffic by an enraged motorist whose car was the target of a bottle rocket launched by the boy? Do you really believe that?
     
  2. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    As I've stated in some of the threads you reference Old Dog, and others you have not, stealing my possessions is stealing the portion of my life that was spent to earn the funds to obtain those possessions. If a person has no qualms about stealing a portion of my life, why should they have any issue with stealing ALL of it?

    If in the act of some petty crime, the youthful miscreant has something particularly traumatic (though not necessarily harmful or lethal) it may give them pause to reconsider such actions next time the urge strikes them....

    "Gee, last time I swipped some of old man McGrump's apples, I got a butt full of rock salt. If I borrowed his truck for the day, he might just kill me. I'd better find something less dangerous to do. I think I just go fishing."

    Knowing how the legal system, and a good number of my fellow citizens view such an opinion, I'd 'prolly be disinclined to actually take a shot at a fleeing criminal. Just not worth the hassle from those who express/put into practice the stance you appear to support. But I understand completely those who would.

    Of course, should said young punk mess with my family, friends or animals directly, well the fires of The Hot Place will be a vacation on the beach after I'm done with 'em.
     
  3. ralphie98

    ralphie98 Member

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    I think it's just a lot of macho talk, people trying to sound like the tough guy. I doubt much thought is given to the circumstances. The people saying it's good that the kid got shot in the back for jacking the car stereo would hopefully have better sense than to do such a thing themselves intentionally.

    I don't buy this

    It would be like taking a bit by Henry Rollins (I think) seriously. He talks about time murderers. If killing somebody is considered depriving them of a part of their life, then wasting somebody's time is just as bad since you are depriving them of a minute or two of their life. All of these people wasting your time would be murdering you one minute at a time and should be punished accordingly.(I'm paraphrasing of course)

    Sounds kinda silly when you put it like that, but the way I read these types of posts, it's the same idea.
     
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'm sure there's a certain amount of posturing involved in some of these threads; I'm equally sure, however, the posturing isn't even a seventeenth of 1% as inimical to the nation as the revolving door criminal so-called "justice" system that prevails from coast to coast.

    It's one thing to huff and puff on the internet; it's altogether another to turn the lowest of the low loose to commit more crimes of the most abominable sort.
     
  5. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    There is inevitably I think a large measure of ''keyboard bravado'' - more so maybe (said with due respect) from younger guys, some anyways.

    The ''cap his a$$'' syndrome is an easy one to promulgate but - on balance I think and hope that even those folks from states with castle doctrine might in real life be not quite so (apparently) trigger happy.

    I doubt anyone wants all the legal sequele and hassles from a shooting - and all too often what seems like a good idea (''capping'') is not - there are alternatives. For me the bottom line is - me and mine - are they under threat of lethal force. If so then I will respond in kind and hopefully win the day. Beyond that I would prefer to find alternatives.

    It is tho something I think many feel, that when we hear of a blatent attack - viz lethal force from a BG - that we do make references to the 'gene pool' - in my case it is only because I have little feeling of remorse over some low life getting his just reward - as long as - it is a totally justified shooting. There are tho a great many cases where doubts exist.

    We need to be careful how we judge and respond.
     
  6. peacefuljeffrey

    peacefuljeffrey member

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    What you're witnessing, Old Dog, is probably hyperbole being used to express the utter disgust and consternation that we are suffering because it really seems that the prevailing attitude about youth is of permissiveness, and forgiveness for serious crimes when punishment is truly what is called for.

    We are a group of people pushed to the edge of what we can tolerate seeing go on in society. Our society is truly SICK. So forgive us, if we sometimes spout off about how fed up we are, and engage in a bit of fantasy.


    -Jeffrey
     
  7. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Old Dog,

    I have noticed this too, and have been accussed of the exact opposite - being too soft on crime. My basic attitude is that we as a society are over-reacting to many things, crime being one of them. We should assess with a cool head what really should even be considered a crime, as we have so many laws on the books. Also, many crimes that are presently felonies should really be treated as misdemeanors.

    As for shooting; my view is that it is only just to shoot if your life or limb, or that of an innocent, is reasonably in danger. The only justifiable reason for shooting an unarmed man in the back that I can think of (barring warfare) is if someone snatched an infant and was outrunning you. Even in that case, I'd probably go for the legs so as to minimize injury to the infant.
     
  8. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Sometimes they get what they deserve. Sometimes they dont.

    Would i shoot a fleeing criminal? No, unless he posed an immediate threat to someone or a firearm.

    Its just to much trouble- let the guy go if hes not going to pose a threat.

    Would i shoot someone who, despite having a gun drawn on them, continued to approach with a deadly intent? You betcha.
     
  9. JDThorns

    JDThorns Member

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    Posturing

    OldDog letme tell you my story.
    I was unloading groceries one day ( the wife was in the hospital having our second child) 2 BGs pushed my door open and came in my home. One of them demanded money and my watch, I complied and gave up my wallet and watch thinking they would leave and not harm me or my infint son. When I did not have enough cash for their needs ( I had not seen a weapon so far) one of them pulled out a 25 cal and fired at me striking me in the neck. and went through my kitchen window, at this point I lost it I ran into the next room and retrieved my 38 when the scumbags saw it they took off. One of them stopped on the sidewalk pointed the gun atme saying he was going to come back andbust a cap in my arse. At this point iI drew down on him and fired 3 shots 2 of the struck my neighbors car but thr 3 rd one took off his knee cap. Do in answer to your queston Yes I would take then out. How am I supposed to know wheathr or not they have a weapon? I was out of work for 3 weeks because of this. You see I tried to be nice about this but they was out for blood, Mine. as a result of this I could have ended up DEAD what would you have me do/ kiss their *@****. Both of them had career criminal record s. They are out of prison just after 5 years and live just up the street from me. Now they don't mess with me bacause they know I am armed and will fight back. :fire:
     
  10. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Sounds like they need to suffer an "Unfortunate accident" in the very near future. "Gosh, what a shame. And just out of prison you say? tsk tsk. I hope they did not suffer..Too shread you say? Oh My, such a shame..." Glad you survived the encounter JDThorns.

    Dogs. Time for a pair of dogs in my life perhaps. Named Fenrir & Cerebus I think. :evil:
     
  11. peacefuljeffrey

    peacefuljeffrey member

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    Yes, but Fletchette, you are really brazenly setting up a strawman here.
    No one is ambiguous about crimes of violence, and those are really the crimes we are bemoaning happening. Robbery. Rape. Murder. Even plain old beatings. You wonder if we should reassess whether these should be crimes?

    I mean, yes, growing marijuana for personal use should not be a crime (and I don't even use the stuff). Yes, no consentual sexual activities should be crimes. Lots of stuff should not be crimes. But let's not pretend that we here at THR are crying that the sky is falling over petty malum prohibitum crimes. We're clearly about the malum in se crimes.

    I don't agree that people who are concerned and angry over GANG CRIMES OF VIOLENCE are making a mountain out of a molehill. This stuff is truly a problem.

    -Jeffrey
     
  12. zahc

    zahc Member

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    I think it is a fully good idea for people to make burglary and theft a very dangerous activity. I see no convincing reason why it shouldn't be.

    Don't want to be shot, don't break into cars. Works for me.

    Note I personally don't feel death is a suitable punishment for anything less than lethal force. But I'm also not a fan of putting the burden of determining whether lethal force is present on the innocent party. Criminals often carry weapons and escalate property crime to physical ones.....

    Consequently I have a hard time feeling remorse over people that recieve lethal responses to nonlethal crimes they initiated.
     
  13. petrel800

    petrel800 Member

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    Crime is subject to economics, just like any other revenue generating activity. If crime pays (risk vs. reward) there will be more criminals. If the death of some kid stealing stereos convinces 10 not to take that path, then good riddens.

    I too am tired of the they're just kids, or not my sweet little angel in the paper and news. There is no more accountability left in this society. Everyone's a victim, even the criminal.

    We've spent so many years denying Darwin with welfare programs and handouts, that it seems we have encouraged this kind of behavior. You can't buy anything these days without a safety label on it. We've been taught that if we are approached by a criminal to just give him what he wants and he'll go away. We've been taxed to house these criminals in jails that have more channels on TV and a better gym that most people have access to. Then we let them out before they serve 10% of their sentence.

    People can only take so much of this crap before they become indifferent to criminals being shot for they're actions.

    To answer your questions,

    What’s the real attitude of everyone here?

    - Are some here so anxious to use their guns that they would shoot a fleeing 15-year-old in the back over a car stereo?

    I'm not, and I don't think anyone here would, but it's kind of hard to feel sorry for someone who would go to great lengths to put himself into that position.

    - Are some here so judgmental that they truly believe an appropriate punishment for a juvenile criminal who commits petty theft is death?

    Stealing car stereos isn't petty theft. Breaking into a car causes quite a bit of damage to the vehicle and some car stereos cost $100s if not $1,000s of dollars. Plus if someone is that far up the food chain of theft, Grand Theft Auto is probably the next step. Once again is it an appropriate punishment, probably not, but he sure as heck isn't a victim of the situation.

    - Are some of you here really so lacking in compassion that you can’t feel a spark of sadness, at least for the family, when a teenager is left a quadriplegic after being accidentally shot while committing a car burglary?

    No, because most of the time the kid is out a 12 or 1 am and the parents have allowed this behavior to occur. If anything, the parents in these cases should be charged with their childs death allowing them to be out that late unsupervised.

    - Is it truly justice when a 12–year-old boy is killed by a passing car after being chased into traffic by an enraged motorist whose car was the target of a bottle rocket launched by the boy? Do you really believe that?

    The only victim in that case is the girl who hit the 12 year old boy. Its not truly justice, its just a situation IMO where a group of stupid people came together, but if you do stupid things its a matter of time before you do something stupid to the wrong person.
     
  14. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    I would not go so far as to say I'd 'shoot the little bastards' or anything along that line. However, when I see a criminal, regardless of age, reaping what they sow, I am not really compelled to feel sorry for them.
     
  15. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Is getting shot over a car stereo excessive, no. If robbing cars was so petty and minor, why did the thief run?

    Ever had to dish out $500 in November to pay your deductible because someone trashed your car, instead of buying a plane ticket to go see your kids at Christmas? Even "minor" property crimes can take a huge toll on the victim(s).
     
  16. lysander

    lysander Member

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    Old Dog,

    I share your lament on this one. As I peruse the threads here on THR I am often saddened by the apparent callousness of some posters. The story of the 12 year old dying because of bottle rocket hijinks is a good example and was especially tragic. I can recall my days as a pre and early teen. I can recall throwing snowballs at moving cars and running away. I can recall bottle rocket fights in the local park. These things are just something that boys do...and I am beyond happy that I and all my friends escaped unscathed. In the case of that poor 12 year old...we have so many families and lives shattered...and the apparent indifference of many who post here is equally chilling.

    It is OK to acknowledge a tragic turn of events. It doesn't make you weak. It doesn't mean you are a bleeding heart liberal. It is also OK to acknowledge that people can be stupid...but does stupidity warrant death?

    Sometimes I think that the bloodthirsty responses found in some threads must come from people who just feel browbeat. From people who have had it up to here... :cuss: and are looking for a place to vent. But, who knows?
     
  17. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Never pass up the opportunity to LEGALLY kill a criminal.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  18. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    And statements such as this reflect exactly the attitudes I was speaking of in my post. I truly hope this attitude is not representative of most of the THR membership (if it is, perhaps a name change for the forum would be in order).

    This sort of thinking is not going to win over any antis or fencesitters on the RKBA issues.

    For the people who believe that a death sentence for every petty thievery is justified, I just have to wonder -- where's the humanity here?

    Not every crime is a capital offense. Not every criminal is beyond redemption.

    For those who believe that killing children who perform criminal misdeeds is justice, well, I can only pray that no child in your family or circle of friends would ever be involved in one of these cases. And for those who righteously maintain that "It will never happen in my family because we raise our children properly," here's hoping that you never have to find out the hard way that even kids from loving, attentive and morally upstanding families do stray off the right path sometimes ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2005
  19. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    No, I am not complaining about prosecuting these violent crimes. But the prosecution of ridiculous "crimes" wastes resources and fills our prisons with people that should not be there. Read JDThorns story. Here we have two career violent criminals that commit their srime and are out in 5 years. Why? Because we have to release them to free up a cell for a pot-smoker.

    Violent criminals should be put away for a long time. Youthful stupidity is most often its own punishment.
     
  20. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Attitudes . . .

    . . . are different from actions.

    I believe few people here will actually kill a bad guy over what many perceive as a petty crime. But just because they wouldn't do it themselves, doesn't mean they won't sympathize with someone who actually does.

    As a group, it's been my observation that we at THR don't tend to value bad guys - even minor bad guys - very highly.
     
  21. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    And perception does not always mirror reality.

    Thus, another point I wanted to make was that, should we continually broadcast our views as being those of bloodthirsty, anxious-to-shoot-any-bad-guys, ultra-hardcore bada$$ and no-compassion-for-anyone group, this is exactly how we will be perceived by those outside our group. Now, if this is how the majority here want to be viewed, I submit that no one should be surprised, offended or otherwise worry about how the rest of the world views gunowners. As a consequence, the RKBA movement continues to suffer image problems ...
     
  22. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    You are correct sir... about some.

    But the recidivism rates show that most are beyond redemption.

    So... With tongue in cheek and paraphrasing a medieval general in Southern France:Screw it! Just shoot 'em all and let GOD sort 'em out!

    That said I'm not sure I could shoot a 15 year old kid for breaking into and stealing my car - hell I know I couldn't do it. However, without any doubt I know that I could shoot the same kid if he threatened my life or the life of a family member.

    On the other hand adults aren't kids. The difference between the two is that adults are supposed to be able to see further into the future than the end of their noses and weigh the consequences of their actions. Thus, can't do the time don't do the crime becomes a very cogent concept when any criminal action is undertaken.
     
  23. peacefuljeffrey

    peacefuljeffrey member

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    +1 for Zach for this:
    A perfect post!


    And Leon, I agree with you about passing up an opportunity to legally kill a criminal. Society doesn't need 'em, they harm society, they could be the next person responsible for the criminal killing of your loved one or someone else's.

    Old Dog, when you decry a statement like Leon's, when he advocated NOTHING that is outside the law (as long as the law is clear in providing the right to kill the criminal in the given circumstances) then you are decrying his right to do something legal, and that itself is out of bounds.

    After all, why are you in a position to judge anyone? If the law says that I can shoot if threatened, YOU have the choice to not shoot if you don't want to. But you don't have the prerogative of judging ME if I DO decide to shoot because the law allows me to.

    This judgmentalism (which, I would add, seems to give an awful lot of kindness to criminals for no good reason I can see) is really no different from antis begrudging us CCW even though it may be completely legal for us. How can someone bitch about someone else doing something that is within the bounds of the law?

    And why would you do what they do? We get enough of that from the antis. Stop with the sympathy for the scumbag criminals, please! :barf:

    -Jeffrey
     
  24. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Mr. Old Dog,

    In most of the cases where a criminal is killed by a law-abiding citizen in justifiable self-defense, the criminal killed has a long history of violent crime. What this means is that before that person became a victim, there was one or more previous victims. The criminals I referred to in my previous post are the ones intending to do harm to myself or other people. My intent was not that you should kill criminals who do things to your property, but Chapter 9, Section 42 of the Texas Penal Code gives me that justification if necessary.

    Every time I hear about a law-abiding victim being assaulted, raped, or killed by a criminal, I ask myself, "What if that person would have been armed, and knew how to use it?".

    It is not my intention to portray myself or others as "baby killers", but children commit violent crimes everyday, and the penetentiary is full of them.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  25. peacefuljeffrey

    peacefuljeffrey member

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    If enough scumbag criminals thought there were enough "bloodthirsty, anxious-to-shoot-any-bad-guys, ultra-hardcore bada$$ and no-compassion-for-anyone people out here among the public, with guns to defend our lives, loved ones, and property,
    maybe the criminals would think twice about trying to ply their criminality against us.

    And who cares what anyone else thinks? We have the legal right to defend ourselves, whether they scorn it or not.

    -Jeffrey
     
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