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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft (Read 2686 times)
GEMorton
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #10 - Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:49am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:25am:
Is it moral to go into a situation like that, or is human life more important than property?


Whose human life? More important to whom?
  
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #11 - Sep 2nd, 2018 at 2:42pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:25am:
My question is whether it is moral for me to arm myself and go to my neighbor to get my motorcycle, hoping I won't have to use it, but fully intending to shoot him if there is no other way to get my motorcycle.


You answered your own question. What you suggest is retaliatory, not defensive.

Your property is no longer in danger of being stolen - it is stolen; you are not defending it from being stolen.

Ironically, public school is probably the best analogy for a libertarian world. I'm not sure how this happens but I think it has to do with the position of stable equilibrium being the shitty result of falling off either side of the mountain.

1. Imagine what the teacher will say if you go into Krissy's pencil box to steal back your pencil. 2. Imagine what the teacher will do if you tattle. 3. Imagine what the teacher will say if you hit Krissy to stop her from taking your pencil.

It's a super convenient mental level and you'll get the right answer almost every time.

A: 1. Do not go into Krissy's pencil box - that's her property, and her right to her property is absolute per the NAP. 2. Stop making trouble for others. Just sit down and do your work. 3. You do NOT hit. Ever. That's aggression.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #12 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 8:15am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Aug 31st, 2018 at 8:26am:
Always, or almost always wrong?

I'm not talking about some esoteric philosophical musing about what if you're walking home with medicine to save your dying child and a teenager snatches your purse and starts running and the only way to reliable way to stop him is with a center of mass shot.  That's an easy decision.

I'm talking about a case in which a person steal your wallet and runs and you have some cash in it.  If shooting is the only way to get your money back (which it probably is), is it always wrong to shoot?  Don't bother about shooting to wound, with a pistol against a running man, not even Annie Oakley would try for a leg.

Let me refine this further:

Suppose someone stole your property, like a motorcycle.  You know where it is and you also know that the thief is volatile and often well armed.  Is arming yourself before going to retrieve your property and being prepared to use deadly force if you meet armed resistance the moral or the immoral thing to do?  Or should you back off and say, "life is more important than property.  I'm not going to risk his and my life for a motorcycle."


The law holds it to be wrong for the very important reason that people have a right to not be killed for any crime without due process, and the reason for that is that without due process, it's common for the wrong person to be hung or shot, just as it's common for the wrong person to be accused of theft.

Additionally, a human life is more important than property (which is why theft in almost all circumstances is not a capital crime), and, there are sometimes  justifiable reasons for theft.

Please don't pretend that libertarians favor anarchy. If someone steals from you, report it to the police. They won't mind at all if you catch a thief in your house/on your property and hold the thief until they get there, but if you shoot someone on your property or elsewhere because they stole from you, expect to be charged with a crime, and expect rational people to agree that you should be charged with a crime.

If you want to argue as if there is no government (anarchy), then many people will be shooting each other. Communists (democratic socialists) will feel justified in shooting "capitalists" and taking their property because their warped philosophy sees ownership of property as theft. In the same situation, "capitalists" will no doubt shoot democratic socialists to prevent their property from being stolen.

It's not a good sort of society to wish for.

BTW, if you go armed onto the property of a thief who stole your motorcycle, you are a fool and shouldn't complain if you get shot and killed by the thief.


  
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #13 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 9:48am
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Jeff wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 8:15am:
Additionally, a human life is more important than property (which is why theft in almost all circumstances is not a capital crime), and, there are sometimes  justifiable reasons for theft.

You mean like taxation, right?  When government takes our stuff by force?
  
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #14 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 9:53am
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SkyChief wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 9:48am:
You mean like taxation, right?  When government takes our stuff by force?
That's not what I had in mind.

You know very well that I think taxation is both justified and legal for a limited number of purposes, as long as the taxation is done within the law.

You also know I believe taxation for the purpose of re-distributing wealth is theft, and can't be justified.
  
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #15 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 10:43am
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Jeff wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 8:15am:
The law holds it to be wrong for the very important reason that people have a right to not be killed for any crime without due process . . .


No, the law does not hold it to be wrong in all cases. All states have some version of a justifiable homicide statute. Here is my state's (Washington State) version:

RCW 9A.16.050
Homicide—By other person—When justifiable.
Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
(2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.

This state also has a use of force statute:

RCW 9A.16.020
Use of force—When lawful.
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:
(1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;
(2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;
(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;
(4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;
(5) Whenever used by a carrier of passengers or the carrier's authorized agent or servant, or other person assisting them at their request in expelling from a carriage, railway car, vessel, or other vehicle, a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful and reasonable regulation prescribed for the conduct of passengers, if such vehicle has first been stopped and the force used is not more than is necessary to expel the offender with reasonable regard to the offender's personal safety;
(6) Whenever used by any person to prevent a mentally ill, mentally incompetent, or mentally disabled person from committing an act dangerous to any person, or in enforcing necessary restraint for the protection or restoration to health of the person, during such period only as is necessary to obtain legal authority for the restraint or custody of the person.

I'd agree that before shooting a thief caught in the act, he should be given an opportunity to desist in his crime and submit to arrest. If he does not, if he attempts to resist or flee, then he has rejected the opportunity for due process and thereby forfeited his right it. I'd also agree that deadly force is not justified when unnecessary; i.e., when some lesser means of preventing the crime is possible.

Quote:
Additionally, a human life is more important than property (which is why theft in almost all circumstances is not a capital crime), and, there are sometimes  justifiable reasons for theft.


Value and importance are relative terms, relative to valuer. Unless a valuer is specified or at least implied, statements of the form "X is more important (or more valuable) than Y" are meaningless; non-cognitive (which means they have no determinable truth values). To be meaningful they need to be in the form, "X is more important than Y to P." Then we can observe P's behavior and determine whether X is more valuable to him than Y. The only value or importance anything has is the importance or value assigned to it by some valuer. There is no such thing as "intrinsic value." Different human lives, and different things, are valued differently by different valuers. For many, the value of a family heirloom, or a child's favorite teddy bear, far exceeds the value of the life of the thief who would steal it.
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #16 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 11:03am
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Jeff wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 8:15am:
BTW, if you go armed onto the property of a thief who stole your motorcycle, you are a fool and shouldn't complain if you get shot and killed by the thief.




Good.  I agree.

So let's look at another kind of stealing, refusing to pay taxes. 

You've clearly stated that if "pretty much everyone agrees" in a community that homeowners should be required to pay property taxes to support local schools, then the dollars required from each homeowner are legally converted from the property of the earners to the property of the local school board.  It is permissible to use force to collect that property to preserve the School Board's right not to be freeloaded on.  For a homeowner to keep the government's money is actually theft (under your theory).

So, when the homeowner refuses to pay his house is converted into property of the government.  The taxing authority condemns the house to be auctioned to pay those taxes.  It must send someone to evict that homeowner.  If the homeowner has made clear that he or she is armed and will resist, is it foolish to send an armed police officer to affect the eviction?  Is human life more important than dollars?

Or do taxing authorities and police officers have special rights not available to ordinary citizens?  Is human life more important than the dollars in my wallet but  not as important as the dollars owed to government?


« Last Edit: Sep 4th, 2018 at 5:10pm by Snarky Sack »  

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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #17 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 12:37pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 11:03am:
if "pretty much everyone agrees" in a community


The people who don't want to pay for nasty thugs to get educated will move, and we'll be right back to square one: Not having enough of other peoples' money. (Which is why Jeff suggests the taxes in the first place.)

If I should have to pay for other peoples' kids to get educated, the least they can do is chase me down and force me to pay, whichever community I live in. Otherwise I'll just move. The idea that it should be at the level of the community is asinine.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #18 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 3:31pm
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GEMorton wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 10:43am:
No, the law does not hold it to be wrong in all cases. All states have some version of a justifiable homicide statute. Here is my state's (Washington State) version:

RCW 9A.16.050
Homicide—By other person—When justifiable.
Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
(2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.

This state also has a use of force statute:

RCW 9A.16.020
Use of force—When lawful.
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:
(1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;
(2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;
(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;
(4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;
(5) Whenever used by a carrier of passengers or the carrier's authorized agent or servant, or other person assisting them at their request in expelling from a carriage, railway car, vessel, or other vehicle, a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful and reasonable regulation prescribed for the conduct of passengers, if such vehicle has first been stopped and the force used is not more than is necessary to expel the offender with reasonable regard to the offender's personal safety;
(6) Whenever used by any person to prevent a mentally ill, mentally incompetent, or mentally disabled person from committing an act dangerous to any person, or in enforcing necessary restraint for the protection or restoration to health of the person, during such period only as is necessary to obtain legal authority for the restraint or custody of the person.

I'd agree that before shooting a thief caught in the act, he should be given an opportunity to desist in his crime and submit to arrest. If he does not, if he attempts to resist or flee, then he has rejected the opportunity for due process and thereby forfeited his right it. I'd also agree that deadly force is not justified when unnecessary; i.e., when some lesser means of preventing the crime is possible.


Value and importance are relative terms, relative to valuer. Unless a valuer is specified or at least implied, statements of the form "X is more important (or more valuable) than Y" are meaningless; non-cognitive (which means they have no determinable truth values). To be meaningful they need to be in the form, "X is more important than Y to P." Then we can observe P's behavior and determine whether X is more valuable to him than Y. The only value or importance anything has is the importance or value assigned to it by some valuer. There is no such thing as "intrinsic value." Different human lives, and different things, are valued differently by different valuers. For many, the value of a family heirloom, or a child's favorite teddy bear, far exceeds the value of the life of the thief who would steal it.
Thanks. I had no intention of portraying the taking of human life as never being justified, I was speaking to the idea that Red raised that you should shoot anybody who appears to be stealing from you.

I don't agree with you that due process is satisfied if you say "stop or I'll shoot" and the assumed thief doesn't stop.

As Washington State's law indicates, there are nuances due to varying circumstances.

If you want to shoot someone you see stealing the family's heirloom Teddy Bear, no one can stop you, but you can expect to have to make your relative value argument to a jury.

Western civilization is based on some foundational ideas, one of which is that having everyone take the law into their own hands leads to the end of civilization.

Also evident from Washington State's law is that lethal force is reserved for last resort extreme situations. Even then, you will be required to make your argument to people who may be skeptical of your claims as to the actual existence of a reason to kill someone. Sometimes it may be clear, often it will not be.
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Using Deadly Force to Prevent Theft
Reply #19 - Sep 4th, 2018 at 7:07pm
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The Opposition wrote on Sep 4th, 2018 at 12:37pm:
The people who don't want to pay for nasty thugs to get educated will move, and we'll be right back to square one: Not having enough of other peoples' money. (Which is why Jeff suggests the taxes in the first place.)

If I should have to pay for other peoples' kids to get educated, the least they can do is chase me down and force me to pay, whichever community I live in.


Exactly.

That's my main issue with Jeff's tax-em-at-gunpoint philosophy is that he both does and does not admit that taxes are taken at gunpoint.  His exact words:  "Oh, Come on!  That hardly ever happens!"

I'd respect Jeff a lot more, if he was willing to join his community in a pitchfork and torch mob to force reluctant members to pay for the public schools.  At least he might get a load of double ought for his trouble. 

Instead, he prefers other people handle the guns so he can enjoy "free" police and "free" public schools.  I don't know if he is one of the fifty percent of people who pay no taxes or the fifty percent who pay enough to cover everyone's "share."

He claims that he's a taxpayer, but how often do you hear taxes advocated so strongly by a person who actually pays them?

I'm guessing he also advocates conscription, even though he would have never borne arms in defense of his nation.

Just sayin' . . .


  

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