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View Diary: The Moral Realities of Self Defense Shootings (238 comments)

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  •  If one decides to give up their inalienable right (6+ / 0-)

    to life, i.e. make it alienable, a matter of choice, then they must contend with a set of realities no less rigorous than those facing a successful self defender.

    For example, one must ensure that no one else's life or well being depends primarily on them.  I'd contend further they have a duty to inform any that might rely on them of their choice.  Any reliance others place in him can then be contingent on the knowledge that the person they rely on will not  defend himself, and by extension, will not defend them against the emotional, familial, social, and possibly financial consequences of his loss.

    It seems to me this presents a inhibition to effecting any number of normal human relationships and interactions that could cause at least as much mental anguish as acting in self defense.

    •  I dont buy (16+ / 0-)

      Your central thesis. By its definition, it would imply those who chose not to arm themselves have devalued their life by refusing to carry.  

      There are many ways crime can and does occur.  The vast majority of muggings occur where one or both parties are not carrying a firearm.   and the do not end in death.  

      At any moment in life I could die in numerous ways.  Car accident. Falling ladder. Electrocuted. Stroke.  Whatever.  The risk of being alive is that you might die.  

      I've chosen to not carry.  It doesn't mean I wouldn't defend.  I could run and hide.  Talk.  Avoid the situation, or as I said above, turn over my wallet.

      my choice to not carry cannot be equated with suicidal thoughts or a lack of desire to live

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:50:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't get that from the reply. (10+ / 0-)

        If you chose not to defend yourself, you may hurt those that need you.

        Your position isn't that binary.  You may defend yourself but you will not kill the attacker.

        I too have similar beliefs today.  That wasn't always the case however.

        When a gang of thugs tried to break into our home when I was 13 yrs old, I had been trained at that time in Karate and firearms (mandated by my father).  I cannot stop 20 or more people with my bare hands, not all at once.

        I knew that physical limitation and loaded my fathers 357 while my older sister loaded a 12 gauge.

        We went downstairs and waited for them to finish breaking through the front door and I approached the leader with a loaded weapon.  Gave them a choice, take another step and die or leave.  The leader acted like he was going to move closer to me and my sister cocked the 12 gauge, they all ran.

        In hindsight, I was putting pressure on the trigger and would have pulled it, without question and without remorse.  I realized I would have become a killer, at that moment.  That reality hit me like a ton of bricks.  

        Because of that event, I've never owned a firearm.  I chose not to be a killer.  I also know that I may someday die because of that choice.  The price of freedom is making a choice and living with the consequences.

        I've been beaten, mugged and attacked more than I like to admit, but I did survive, that doesn't mean I will the next time.  

        I also know, if confronted with that same scenario today with a gun in my hand, I would pull the trigger instinctively and defensively, without question.

        That still frightens me.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:42:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! What an amazing thing (9+ / 0-)

          you and your sister did to protect your home. Some may argue that it was just 'stuff' and you should have let them steal whatever they wanted, but if you're stuck in there with them while they're invading your home - a "gang of thugs" - you've no assurance whatsoever they won't kill you both just because that's what they do. Even if they didn't have guns (why your guns worked to get them out). You don't need a gun to kill someone.

          I'm not frightened of my [recognized and acknowledged] ability to kill if I had to. Which I'd do with whatever's at hand even if I didn't have a gun - I'd go down fighting. May not 'intend' to kill, but I'd surely intend to stop the threat by striking as hard as possible. No pulled punches (or bat swings, or throwing force, or stick-hitting or knife using). Wouldn't kill or further harm if they're no longer a threat, though. Just stand guard and wait for the cops to get around to showing up.

          Now, if I'm in the city and somebody wants my purse, I'll give it to 'em. Money isn't a big deal. If he's out for blood as well, I'd give the purse to him (along with the brick I keep in the bottom of it) using the long strap instead of the loop handle, though. Then I'd run. §;o)

          •  They weren't there for material possessions (13+ / 0-)

            the gang was called, "The Ely Park Rats" and they were looking for my father whom previously beat the hell out of a few of them for making vulgar remarks towards my mother as she was getting into her car.  He being a Marine and all, he tried to beat manners into them.  They came back a few days later with bigger numbers.

            The leader tried to tell me that they would just "wait until he came home".  That's the actual moment I pulled up the 357 and told them not to take another step.

            If we didn't have those weapons and trained to use them, they could have beaten and killed us both while waiting to ambush my father and mother when they returned home from grocery shopping.  Who's to say they wouldn't have beaten my father and then did the vulgar things they threatened against my mother, in front of him?

            A very evil ending averted.

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:37:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That reminds me of a similar thing (4+ / 0-)

          that happened to me.

          When I was 11, I was living in Portugal with my sister, my paraplegic mother and my mother's friend, Mary.

          One night I woke up and saw a young man in my doorway.  He was surprised to see me wake up, but then he asked me where the bedroom of my mother's friend was.  Being half asleep, I pointed to the room next door.

          As soon as he disappeared, I realized something was not right, and got up to see what was going on.  The next thing  I know I heard Mary scream, and suddenly this guy way dragging her down the hallway.

          I grabbed something, like a stick, or a golf club, and my little 11-year-old idiot self started beating him on his wrist until he let go.  And then he ran off.

          The police caught him and he was charged with attempted rape.  The little town mayor gave me a medal for my bravery.

          But once the adrenaline had worn off, I realized how deadly the situation was, and how easily I could have been very hurt, or killed.

          And my family lived in the UK, we knew nothing about guns.

          But my mother bought a gun (of sorts) the very next week.  

          Which leads to a very funny story that I'll put in a reply to this, because this was not funny at all.

          •  OK, we had this attempted (5+ / 0-)

            rape at the villa in Portugal where I was living at age 11 with my paraplegic mother, my 8 year old sister and my mother's friend Mary.

            After the rape, the local police literally moved in.  They were on the roof with rifles, in the grounds.  And in the house every night, including the police captain.

            They looked like you imagine Portuguese policemen to look.  Dark, dark hair, 5-o'clock shadows, intimidating uniforms.  And they didn't speak a word of English, and although I was the best Portuguese speaker, it was still very rudimentary.  They were very nice.

            But they ate us out of house and home and we had no privacy.  Luckily my mother liked to entertain, but it was still wearing on her.

            There were several English families in the area, and one of them got my mother a gun for protection.  Never trust an English person to get a gun - they have no idea what they are doing.

            Well, my mother was so proud of this new gun that she wanted to show the policemen, and she wheeled out into the living room, relying on me to translate what happened, which I apparently didn't do effectively.

            So she pulls out this handgun from the depths of her wheelchair and shows the policemen.  They all instantly draw their weapons and point them at her.  They had no idea what I had just told them, they had been playing along.  

            So of course she freaks out and drops the gun, and hundreds of little bb's pour out of the gun all over the floor.

            And the garda just cracked up laughing.

            OK, it WAS funny - afterwards!

            But holy shit.  That was not a good week in my life.

      •  I didn't present my response as a firearms issue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, meagert, gerrilea

        or even a defense modality issue. As you said,

        These are very complex issues that go far beyond gun control.   It's an issue of our humanity.
        If you want to parse your philosophy into forms or instruments of self defense or within specific crime scenarios, that's fine. The considerations I suggest are nonetheless valid if you eschew the concept of self-defense.
        •  ok i took this wrong (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, meagert, gerrilea, valion

          Your thesis to me seemed to be a counterpoint to the argument that my argument I wouldn't carry in part because of conscience issues would suggest I had denied the right to defence of self.  If I misunderstood your point my apologies. Text is like that. :)

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:39:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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