Texas is 2nd highest in US for this crime, somebody is gonna pay with their life for this crime.
Its like - there is someone committing a nonviolent felony of stealing a minor part from your car, and now you are deputized to be judge jury and executioner and can perform a quick public execution, for your convenience…
I mean I get it sucks very hard to have something being stolen from you _in front of your eyes_ but does this justify an execution? Isn’t that why we have monopoly on violence and for that matter insurance?
I’ve had stuff like that stolen from me, by a member of my country’s repressed minority, and it was in front of my eyes, I was sleeping when the act was committed, right next to me, so I guess my life was also in danger. I woke up just as they were making their escape. I did have the urge to chase them down true, but never in my dreams have I thought these lives were beyond redemption and I have the right to execute them then and there, and I would live happy afterwards…
How does the moral calculous work for Americans? Genuinely curious. Is it “something bad is being done to me, I am therefore justified to use any means necessary” kind of thing, or there is something else/more?
But I live in an area with high property crime and the police do nothing about it, as desired by the local government representatives. That's a recipe for vigilantism.
I was attacked in a road rage incident, they didn't come. There was video, a witness, a traffic camera all available, they didn't investigate or prosecute.
Shots were fired outside of my apartment on the street the other day, the police didn't come.
I would rather not take the law into my own hands, but what choice does a person have?
Wow, seriously? No proportionality at all, no consideration of any mitigating factors that may be present, just simply "they broke my property rights so their life is forfeit".
I'm glad that in general society has moved on from such crude ideas of justice.
I've been mugged, and I've had my house broken into. Yes, it's shit. In neither case did I think anyone should die for it.
Killing someone is something you can't undo.
Even if you truly believe that someone's life is forfeit for stealing something of yours, there's no time given for evaluating the facts.
A split second decision, a bad judgement call, and you find out that the person you shot and killed, is actually some innocent bystander running to get away from the robber.
Maybe they are the person robbing you, but your shots hit someone else who's in their own house.
I've read a saying that a government is an entity with a "monopoly on violence." I think that however imperfect it is, giving the government this monopoly means that there's an objective process for deciding who deserves to live, and who doesn't. Personal satisfaction as a criterion is always going to produce outcomes that are massively disproportionate, and will simply shift the dissatisfaction to someone else.
not how the social contract works. Read Rousseau's "Du Contract Social", or just ask à french person if they think stealing deserves death
I mean come on guys this is pathetic, like HN is known for meticulously breaking down people's arguments point by point line by line, explaining each logical fallacy and you believed it would be okay to dive into justifying death of people... it sounds like you are sad about something personal
The US is a truly federal system in which each state has its own constitution and its own legal code. This is not a purely theoretical point, it's quite true that there are wide variations in laws between states as well as wide variations in state constitutions, which is one reason why, for example, a lawyer has to pass the bar in each state.
And like any nation, the legal code of a state is the result of historic and ethnic forces applicable to that state. For example, my colleague, who is from Italy, was worried about his mother being mugged repeatedly by some local youths, and he was telling me how worried he was about her. The last time she went to the police, she had the following conversation:
"Why do you keep releasing them? They will just steal again."
"Yes, but they are underage, so there is nothing we can do."
"But if I refused to give them my purse, they could kill me with the knife."
"But if I were to get a gun to protect myself, and then shoot them the next time they threatened me with a knife, I would be arrested."
"So what can I do to protect myself?"
"Just give them your purse."
"But this is the third purse they have taken, and I can't afford another. Will you pay for the purse?"
"Of course not"
"And you wont put them in jail? You will just release them again?"
"Unfortunately, we have no choice"
"If I wait for them to try to hurt me with the knife and then shoot, would I still be arrested?"
So there are some things that are very difficult for Americans to understand that may make sense to someone from Italy and there is bafflement going in the other direction. In the U.S. if someone threatens you with violence, you generally have the right to defend yourself and to shoot them. You never need to allow someone to physically intimidate you into handing over your belongings, and you always have a right to defend yourself. But apparently this is considered unspeakably wrong in other countries. Fair enough, to each his own. But I will point out that strict laws against defending yourself are only possible in very peaceful societies. In more violent societies, the public will not tolerate being repeatedly robbed with no possibility of self-defense -- that is the origin of mafias in Italy, basically groups for protection when the central government was too weak.
This is one example of how there is no such thing as a "universal" social contract, as all of these rules are contingent on questions like what is the likelihood of being victimized by crime. Social contract theory is itself just a philosophy - and a poor explanation of legal codes - as laws and norms are the results of evolutionary processes involving trial and error, not social contract theory.
Further reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_colonization_of_Texas
even if you mean texans collectively decide what their social contract is, they don't, it is determined before them. it's what they were collectively born into.
Jesus Christ. You're actually arguing that killing someone for theft is a reasonable and proportionate response? That is a dangerous and unhinged statement and I roundly condemn you for saying it.
The commenter I replied to seemed to unaware how far they had strayed beyond reasonable ethical statements. I don't think I could persuade them to change their position but I couldn't let that go unchallenged. Norms change one person at a time and speaking out is important.
Let's put it this way - the argument above would also apply to saying that a private citizen who catches a thief stealing their catalytic convertor can torture them slowly and painfully for weeks without actually killing them. You owe them no moral consideration, it's a deterrent, etc. Do you need someone to make a persuasive argument against the merits of that to realize that it's abhorrent?
It’s the divvying up of ingroup and out group that tend to create disagreements in morality. I.e. we understand forgiveness, but we disagree who is worthy. We understand justice but we disagree who deserves punishment or why.
That tends to make a pretty big difference in results and conclusions.
If a thief breaks into someone else's home in the middle of the night, they should have a healthy fear of being shot to death. If the homeowner believes their life is in immediate danger, it seems to me like they are well within their moral and legal right to incapacitate the intruder with a firearm. There's no judgement involved, only reaction under fear of imminent violence. If the thief dies, it was due to their own poor decisions.
Likewise, if the homeowner catches a thief jumping out of a window with their beanie baby collection, it would be unreasonable for the homeowner to take some shots at the thief just to try to injure them, and would probably be a chargeable felony. If the thief died, it would probably be deemed a homicide.
I think the earlier poster's question about the legality of defending property with force in Texas is interesting. I also think the subsequent poster's belief that society would benefit from more readily shooting criminals is a rational claim rather than an unhinged one, whether or not it's a good idea. It's certainly true that there would be less theft, whether it's because of deterrence or by the simple fact that thieves would tend to get shot. There's most certainly some complexity and nuance to appreciate there. Singapore canes people for overstaying their travel visas to discourage illegal immigration, and unsurprisingly it seems to be an effective deterrent.
I don't find it surprising that thieves face more gruesome punishments like hanging, cutting off hands, etc in places especially when there may be little recourse for the victims of theft and the theft represents a significant impact on their life.
I think reasonable argument against such things is that it is too easy for people to mistakenly hurt a non-thief on accident. That's more convincing to me than simply saying property < life at all times. If I was poor and needed my vehicle to get to work everyday and you're stealing it then yes I would be willing to shoot you to stop you.
property < life at all times.
This really is a bizarre line of reasoning.
That's not relevant to the argument at hand, nor is it a claim I have made.
Yes, which is one of the things that makes killing different from property theft.
> The thing is I don't want to take it back.
That's not relevant to the discussion here, which was one in which posters were claiming that their property represents part of their life, time they cannot get back, and thus taking it is somehow equivalent to taking a life. My point was that this is a false equivalence.
You do not appear to be making such an equivalence argument, so it's hardly a surprise that my counterpoint doesn't apply to whatever your reasoning is.
It's like jumping into an argument about which shade of green is better and saying "My favourite colour is red". Uh, good for you I guess.
If you kill someone who has 30 years of their life remaining to avenge your lost two weeks, you are extracting a 780-fold punishment on them. Unless a geriatric steals your Ferrari, the numbers will be similarly lopsided in other examples.
If you say, people can’t be replaced because they’re just inherently irreplaceable, that’s a tautology.
This line of argument is entirely disingenuous. My life, once taken, cannot be given back to me. Neither can any substitute life.
FWIW I don't believe that even making the comparison is valid. By the time you're weighing up stuff against literal human life, you've already gone wrong.
Treating life as some sort of priceless treasure really is divorced from reality too. I think most people would choose to shoot an arsonist before they could burn the Mona Lisa, and that's totally rational.
> I think most people would choose to shoot an arsonist before they could burn the Mona Lisa, and that's totally rational.
I think you might be surprised at how many didn't think that was all that reasonable.
We'll be polite and refer to it as pacifism, but the truth is it's cowardice.
This extreme pacifism, if actually practiced by anyone not so absurdly privileged to be able to take that stance, would lead to the downfall of civilization.
> I think you might be surprised at how many didn't think that was all that reasonable.
The magnitude of my disgust would seem to be growing, yes.
well lucky for you and unlucky for the theif, spent life isn't a real thing and it can do nothing for anyone.
> If I was poor and needed my vehicle to get to work everyday and you're stealing it then yes I would be willing to shoot you to stop you.
do me a favor and stick to speaking from your own actual experience. why would anyone care what you think you'd do if you were poor?
I'm not saying this to attack your character - I'm just saying that normal and well-adjusted people do not think that way.
There's a requirement for "no trespassing" signs to be posted around property but the "will be shot" verbiage could be construed as premeditation since non government land owners aren't allowed to kill trespassers merely for the act of trespassing itself. It literally suggests that the property owner is waiting to shoot anyone who trespasses, which isn't kosher.
Trespassing on government land such as a military base could result in the trespasser being shot accidentally or otherwise and there are typically warning signs posted that will say things like "Use of deadly force authorized".
Over my life I have had thousands of dollars stolen from me in the form of stolen wages or services paid for but not rendered, but I feel like no one in this thread arguing for shooting of thieves would be fine with me shooting up the local Fedex because they lost my package and refused to reimburse me
Where is the line? Why is property theft deserving of the end of a human life?
In many parts of the world, a car used to get to work. If you can’t get to work, then you can’t make money, and if you can’t make money then you can’t eat.
Does everyone who gets their catalytic converter stolen have enough money to get it fixed? If not, then this crime might be tantamount to depriving someone of their whole car
It’s not just a random part of a car their stealing. It’s entirely possible that loosing the catalytic converter cascades into being jobless and homeless.
So what if the argument that having your car disabled could spiral you into homelessness is more of a critique on our lack of a safety net? What can the average citizen do about that? At this point, not very much. The system is cruel, yes, but it’s the one they live in.
In my city, catalytic converters thrives are known to be highly organized, armed, and prone to violently confronting people who try to chase them off. A few people have even been shot for trying to do so. The police are too busy with shooting after shooting to do anything effective to try to stop them. When you have a group of people going out night after night, stealing with impunity and threatening anyone who gets in their way, it becomes very difficult to muster any compassion for them.
So if the police are useless and you are beholden to this powerful and highly organized pack of thieves, you think going out there and shooting them is going to make your life any better? What happens if you don't 'get' them all and now you're in a shootout with multiple armed opponents? What about the rest of their organization, reckon they will let you get away with it? Personally, I'd rather have my car temporarily damaged.
What can an average citizen do about their safety net in the US? Probably a whole shitload, anywhere from political participation, union involvement, volunteering, voting for politicians that support a better safety net.
Physically ripping out a catalytic converter from a persons car is.
And don’t forget, it’s not like the police will do anything to help you…they’ve abdicated their role in many places for many crimes.
So, yeah, you can drive a car without a cat, but not without a muffler (generally). Fix it tickets still incur a monetary cost.
This is incorrect for modern diesels that have a DPF system and inject DEF fluid. The cats are required hardware. You may be allowed 50-250 miles without them then the vehicle will not operate. It is well within possibility that someone stealing your cat between two places in Texas could be a big problem for you.
The point being that humans defining natural rights goes against the concept of "natural". The entire exercise is a catch-22.
Funny how in each case where this comes up, natural rights always means something different. Almost as if the term is consistently used retroactively to justify extreme measures rather than to inform people of their rights per se.
You have not proposed a solution to this issue.
Your reply also stinks of moral realism which is a huge can of worms unto itself.
Property theft to many, even implicitly, is very much the equivalent of the theft of some quantity of their life. People work and struggle, expending some quantity of their life to acquire property. To forcibly deprive them of their property is the removal of some portion of their life.
The other way to view this is that in an ideal world, this is done by the state. The state alone possesses the means for other punishment. The individual cannot detain, nor can they fine or garnish wages. The sole means of action available to the individual is force. Thus, if the state is derelict in it's duty, the citizen has only the application of force at his disposal. When you're applying force, you'd better be willing to go to lethal, since being unwilling to do so drastically increases the risk to yourself if the counterparty doesn't play by the same rules.
This portion can be made whole again by replacing the property, either through insurance, through restorative judgements against the perpetrator, or various other means.
Taking a life is final.
Not if the original property is retrieved or the thief is made to pay.
I'm not sure in the context of this discussion, the worth of a human life, that your plea to consider where stuff comes from is that important.
Steal a candy bar, no biggie. Steal a car and I won't sweat that death.
Ideally though, the police would intervene. That they aren't is the root cause of this problem.
In an entirely reversible manner.
Perhaps only one place (Texas) uses this to justify regaining possession of property, which is what the GP was talking about.
> At most the Castle Doctrine is an affirmative defense for individuals inevitably charged with criminal homicide, not a permission or pretext to commit homicide.
The perpetrator delegated it to me when he chose to break into my house.
If you want to argue that human life has inherent value that can't be voluntarily given up, such that it's never right for me to take someone's life in defense of my property, the arguments in favor of that seem to be religious in nature. They don't always begin that way, but ultimately you have to back up your opinion with something objective if you want to convince me that I'm in the wrong. Basically you'd need to cite a higher authority in order to change my mind, and then proceed to convince me that the authority (a) exists; and (b) backs up your position.
Unless there's an argument I've overlooked, which is always possible. Are there other points of view on this, that don't boil down to either appeals to emotion or appeals to a mysteriously-absent higher moral authority? (Yes, there's the philosophical argument that the state should have a monopoly on violence, but that has the same flaws as the original argument, and can't always be applied in the heat of the moment.)
Lethal force to defend a life makes sense. Most cultures do not approve of using lethal force to defend property.
There's also the problem of the shooter misjudging the situation, shooting some teenager's playing chase, for example, or someone with alzheimers, etc. I actually know of a drunk that tried to break down the door into his apartment, but it turns out he was in the wrong building. Didn't deserve to die.
But I understand why people feel this way. Nobody wants to be robbed. In our consumerist culture possessions are the most important thing to many people.
I'm not saying that they didn't give gifts. Lots of people like to give gifts. I'm saying that ownership probably was a bigger deal than we give them credit for - but we will never know.
Europeans and Native Americans interacted. They observed each other. They talked to each other. For quite some time.
Kondiaronk  was a highly respected chief, statesman, and political philosophizer. Louis Armand de Lom d’Arce spent time in North America and wrote a book based on his dialogs with Kondiaronk . This book was famous for a while. It contrasted the freedom and justice Indians had for themselves with the injustice of Christianity, subjugation to lords, and the problems associated with money and other facets of the European way of life. The book precipitated a lot of philosophical soul searching, an off-shoot of which was the idea of the "noble savage", which was used to eventually discount any ideas these primitives had as irrelevant to civilized modern people.
I'm not sure if I understand your comment. Are you saying that Kondiaronk would not have known how Indians lived?
I wouldn't think that the spread of smallpox invalidates what he said, just because things may have been different in the past, maybe for his tribe, maybe not so much. I'm sure that he would have known if a disease drastically changed his culture a hundred years prior.
Even before smallpox there was quite a variety of native cultures, Kondiaronk being Huron, who were quite different than the Inca and Aztec, for example. He probably would have criticized them, also.
Someone taking your car is fine if you can go take a different communal car.
If everyone else still has private property, and now you can't get to work or the store, that's a very different and very bad situation.
which, in the OP's world view, does exist, and it overrides the burglar's right to life.
Your argument against the OP's moralism is that the burglar's right to life should not be overridden by the OP's property rights. This is why moralistic arguments are flawed - different people (perhaps different cultures) have differing morals. The law, as codified by society (and hopefully, agreed to democratically) is what should be used to judge actions, not moralism.
edit: changed "claim" to "argue as if".
The word "burglar" assumes that property rights exist.
Note that I mostly think the inconsistency is silly and should be pointed at, I don't have a problem admitting that property rights exist in most societies.
edit: "intruder" has the same problem as burglar. Along with "home" and "robbery".
What I'm hearing is that you've never been the victim of any sort of assault.
Without a layer of social construction, it's just the use of dominating force, an exercise of power. If you want to argue that is how the world works, that's fine, but you are demanding that other people justify their social constructions and then assuming that your social constructions are not social constructions.
It's natural for me to defend my property with lethal force. (Consider how many animals will do the same thing, if another animal tries to take their food or mate away.) Consequently, assuming it's your position that I should not be allowed to do that, you have to pass a law and use force to stop me.
That means that yes, you're the one who gets to justify your unnatural (but still potentially optimal) point of view. Exactly why are we better off if we strive to remove the personal safety risk from criminal acts? It seems that we're starting to see the results play out in real time -- ask anyone who was shopping at the Nordstrom's in Walnut Creek the other day, for instance.
Does that mean I'd be inclined to shoot someone for stealing the catalytic converter from my car, parked at curbside on a public street? Honestly, I can't see myself doing that, because according to my personal values that would be a pretty sociopathic thing to do. But I'm also not inclined to interfere if someone else wants to do that. The recent trend towards de-policing and non-prosecution of property crimes will certainly lead to more instances of this kind of dilemma playing out on the street. If law enforcement won't act, you can't be too surprised when individual citizens do.
I'm making an abstract point about the form of the argument the other commenter constructed upthread, not advocating that property rights aren't real.
I wouldn't kill a person over stealing a candy from me, or trespassing on my lawn.
what they'll think twice about is making sure you're not around when they steal your stuff, either by not being at home or not being alive. and i have bad news for you, the aggressor has the advantage.
It doesn't matter what happens to you after this. The child is dead. And the killing of that child was encouraged by your hypothetical "legal to shoot thieves" law. Barring that law would have saved that child's life.
> your hypothetical "legal to shoot thieves" law.
Not hypothetical in Texas. So if you've got any real examples of teenagers looking for cats under cars getting shot, by all means trot them out.
In this case the killer was indicted and pleaded guilty to manslaughter: https://www.cullmantribune.com/2019/10/24/cullman-county-fat...
Because it's obviously not legal to murder your own son even if you think they're a thief.
In the unjustified cases, the shooter is found guilty. That's how the system functions: by shooting, you are certain enough that the individual is committing a crime that you are willing to go to jail if incorrect.
It's certainly better than the alternative found in other states, where people are tried and found guilty for defending themselves, their loved ones, and their property.
And meanwhile, the innocent dead person remains dead. Your system may be "functioning" but that's hardly a good outcome.
For how well that works, see:
- drug related crime in countries where it’s a death sentence
- militarized police forces and the overall outcome for society
- effects on crime levels in US states where such a crime is a capital offense vs states where it isn’t
All this does is raise the stakes and people committing the crimes resort to more violent means of committing the crime/avoid capture.
While it might feel good to know you’d be allowed to kill a thief, it won’t stop it from happening. It’ll just make it that much more dangerous to be around when that crime happens and more likely to get shot as a result.
Sure, everything is multimodal. But likelihood of getting caught (consistency of enforcement) and penalty size can both mediate the incentive. I'm not sure why everyone likes to boil it down to "PENALTIES DON'T WORK ONLY SOCIAL PROGRAMS".
Well then you've just broken the social contract. Since Hammurabi created the first written rule of law(at least this was taught growing up, but I believe they've found earlier tablets since) society generally agrees that an eye for an eye is the rule. The most you can do to an offender while being morally justified is the equivalent. Except in the case there's a proximate threat to your life, of course, owing to the fact that dead people can't get justice.
If you kill someone for stealing, off to prison you go. To put it into terms similar to yours-- why should I value the life of someone who broke the social contract as well as the law? The death of a man shakes me more than the theft of a catalytic converter, and the second you kill a man in my country you are affecting me far more than some common thief. Now you're making my family feel unsafe
What about the neighbor who likes your wife and decides to shoot you and then plant his wallet in your pocket?
Vigilante justice is not the answer.
What if the person had a gun pointed at the head of your child, finger on the trigger, ready to go.
What if they had already shot one of your children in the head?
Do you use the gun in your hand then? Or is it not the answer?
Not sure if any my examples match any of yours.
The consequences of being wrong outweigh the benefits of being right.
And have you ever taken someone's life before? It is not to be taken lightly and will no doubt haunt the shooter for many years. And for what, because someone stole $1000, $100, $10 or $1? If you are comfortable putting a value on someone's life and ending it with a bullet without remorse, that would make you a sociopath or a psychopath.
Can we trust you to accurately determine which situations are "clear cut" (and therefore justify summary execution)? Can we trust any random with a gun to make that determination? And can we trust them when they're the only surviving witness?
Is it a crime worthy of death when someone wanders onto your property due to some kind of mental illness? Is it a crime to accidentally open the wrong door? What about when you accidentally open the wrong door (see Amber Guyger)? Is it a crime to be in a store 1 minute after closing time? Or to walk on someone's property to deliver a package?
Is it a crime to upset someone at the bar and then turn up dead on their property, "in the process of committing a robbery"?
You are advocating for giving everyone the power of judge, jury, and executioner, regardless of whether they are qualified or honest. And you are encouraging those people to engage in gun battles where the "victim" is also at risk of death.
Spend more time thinking about your opinions.
One does not have the luxury to perform moral analyses of this nature when somebody hostile is running toward them with ill intent. In the heat of the moment, you have to make split second decisions to survive.
Also keep in mind that while it’s happening, you have no idea how far this individual intends to go. Were they just intending minor theft? Or maybe they broke into your car because they were trying to get to you? If they announce their intentions, do you even believe them?
Of course it’s easy to make the decision in the middle of the day with perfect information. Now picture waking up at 2am to sounds in your drive way and there’s 2 or 3 guys out there fucking with your car.
I don't know if you are putting on the airs of being a brave knight, or you truly are detached, but there's such a thing as visceral fear that people are coming to take your stuff or hurt you. Be glad that you've lived a privileged life where you've never known such a fear
That is crazy to me. Truly insane. If they tried to enter my home or harm my loved ones, that’s a different story. But if I saw people destroying my property, not attempting to get to me, I would call the police and lock the doors, not go fucking hunting.
Here people are saying, "Well I can't just let them have this valuable part of my car (that I might not be able to afford to replace). And I'm pretty sure the police aren't going to help me. And I don't think they will stop if I ask them. So I guess I have to shoot"
If you've already judged those people in your head as "hunters", then you're the one who's lost, not them. You have this completely distorted perception of your fellow human perhaps based on the media reporting on 0.0001% of crazy people in the world, and now you believe everyone who lives in texas thinks that way or something.
I'm not misinterpreting a thing you said. No, I'm looking at exactly the situation you are describing:
I'm in my house. It's 2am. I see a couple of people in my driveway fucking around under my car.
And you're saying that a valid moral decision is to leave my house with the intention to kill someone?
That is seeing a situation that you know you could leave alone, and choosing to introduce lethal force. That is fucking hunting for conflict to a degree that is absolutely frightening.
You are not saying "I would confront the thieves and bring a weapon in case I am attacked".
You are not even saying "I would use a weapon to threaten them into compliance".
You are saying you would shoot on sight. Instead of de-escalating, you would take the opportunity to ambush and kill. Can you see why some people might call that "hunting"?
I'm sorry you live in a world where the theft of a car part is a life-threatening event. I can see how vigilante justice would make a crazy sort of sense in that situation. However, in a stable society, those actions would be considered a serious crime.
Do you think that 'visceral fear'? only exists in the USA? Normal people in England, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, etc have had their home invaded or the car broken into and have dealt with the situation without guns.
You can judge us if you want. It really doesn't matter what some far away people who have no understanding of the way of life here think. It's good a thing we have a system where we are judged by a jury of our own peers here.
You say 'not as good as the countries you listed.' Yet you dismiss the thoughts of someone from who is trying to explain why people like YOU think we are 'good' countries.
Your last sentence is the summation of the modern American attitude that is so problematic, it is parochial, arrogant and unable learn from the rest of the world unless it is for profit.
And re jury, who do you think the jury is in each of those countries I listed? In Australia my jury is made of my 'peers' too buddy. It just my peers in my system don't believe crime against property justifies summary execution.
Don't tell me, tell the perp. He's the one who determined what his life was worth.
What sort of moral framework do you subscribe to that makes that okay?
For a single parent who needs that car to provide for their kids and risks losing their job if they don’t have it? Perhaps.
I would argue that the fact that one would be so scared of losing money would be that they fear losing their shelter, food, water etc., no?
Would it therefore not be more condemnable that a society is pitting people against each other in such a way that money is survival? Isn't this Squidgame's whole point?
So here we go.
The way I think about it its perfectly fine to use a bit of force to protect yourself, a little bit of thrashing of the thief will make him reconsider their actions. What I find weird is the execution bit. We condemn public beheadings and hangings in places like Singapore, but think its totally ok if our neighbors does it? Is our neighbor wiser than a whole state + the legal system?
If you shoot him dead, first of all there is little lesson learned, as there is noone to lean from. Yeah somebody else might hear about it, but how much will it affect them? The stats from the US are quite clear that deterrence does not actually happen, and other more lenient policies can be more effective. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel just copy some of the more successful societies.
I’d imagine a thief who gets a beating, some punishment and a path of redemption will be a hugely more influential to future thiefs as it will act both as a deterrent and a guide. Being dead doesn’t seem to be teaching anyone, or at least thats what the stats show us.
You are totally right about the emotions of being mugged, or live in a house that’s been broken into. Both have happened to me (though maybe on a much lower scale than what I see is the norm in the us). But to be honest I don’t _really_ want to punish the person for that. What I want is for that to never happen to me again. Punishment is just a tool for that to happen, and I believe a very blunt and ineffective at that. I want to leave in a society where stuff like that just doesn’t happen. And we have plenty of examples of more effective solutions. I’m not aware of any state that’s “solved” it, but I think more than half of the world are “better” based on objective stats and talking to people who live in those societies (highly subjective based on my experiences).
Funny thing - where I live you are not aloud to take someone’s life even in self defense, if your home is being robbed. E.g. if you wake up to someone in your house going through your things and shoot him with your shotgun you will be charged with murder. With mitigating circumstances, but still murder. Its only when your own life is threatened are you allowed to defend yourself.
Lots of people dislike this, but its actually surprisingly safe to live here, so I guess its effective.
For example, nobody has pulled _any_ weapon on me in my entire life (35 years) and I’ve never seen a drawn gun outside of a range.
And I’m pretty happy that the chances of someone ending my life on purpose (or even accidentally) are astronomically low, I kinda like living.
I pull mine off and throw them in the bin lol
I'm privileged enough that if someone puts my car out of service, I can swear gratuitously, call my boss to tell him that I'll be late to work, and get a rental while my insurance handles my car. As frustrated as I might be, it's not a life-and-death situation for me.
By contrast, Jimbo the night-shift line cook at Waffle House has significantly less margin for error. If he doesn't show up to work, he at best doesn't get paid and at worst gets fired. If he gets fired, he's now behind on his rent, plus he has to fix his car with money he doesn't have. He might need to take out a payday loan, or sell something important, or borrow money from family who is just as poor as he is.
With this in mind, I'm not going to say that Jimbo is morally justified in whacking a criddler who's messing with his car, but I'm not going to say he's not, either.
You see the same thing in action with immigrant-owned bodegas. It's just entries on a spreadsheet to Walgreens and CVS, but that's rent and food to Mr. and Mrs. Kim's family, and it's not surprising that they're significantly more inclined toward the shotgun-and-bat approach to loss prevention.
This is in large parts because of the cruel society the US chose to build even though the economy is developed enough to support a less exploitative model. I’m not saying poverty and hard lives don’t exist outside the US, but being fired from your minimum wage job because you called in sick once which kickstarts a series of events which has a very real chance of making you become homeless and without health insurance is a uniquely US-specific thing.
There is much less recourse for having one's surplus labor "stolen," as it's normalized. Legally-sanctioned shootings could be the U.S. society's relief valve.
No, legally sanctioned shootings aren't a relief valve, they ratchet up social tension rather than relieving it.
But on an individual scale, the tension is released for the individual.
In exchange for releasing the emotional pressure of one person, another dies, and many more are imbued with negative emotions.
Very fitting parallel for the greater whole: zero sum.
The grand scale ratcheting-up effect is a result of processes that, while not narrowly focussed, most acutely apply to those associated with shootings.
> Very fitting parallel for the greater whole: zero sum
Its not zero-sum (if it were, the grand-scale effect would be neutral.)
As if the lower one's income, the closer one is to the heaping mass of natural inevitability: decay and death -- its gravity crushing.
> Its not zero-sum (if it were, the grand-scale effect would be neutral.)
I think I was referring to emotionally. There are so few great sources of positive emotion to tap into, that the zeitgeist is simply "take as much as you can for yourself, before it runs dry."
That in order to escape from "loss," you must create negative externalities and emotions -- no matter how small.
It feels cultural. There is no great basin of tradition and culture here; the positive emotions built off the backs of forefathers that sacrificed and endured negative emotion for the hope of a better tomorrow: missing.
Protecting your property is an innate human tendency. I'm pretty sure even in a marxist utopia, I wouldn't shed a tear for home invaders getting shot.
But it's also not their actual life.
First of all, they are ready to damage your property to the point where it puts your life in imminent danger. A car without the converter might still drive, maybe with a light on the dashboard and a loud noise, while ejecting hot exhaust gases under the passenger section and straight towards the fuel tank. Some diesel cars periodically inject unburned fuel to clean the filter at temperature over 900K. A fire in the passenger section is a distinct possibility, but imagine even just the panic response of someone who thinks they are on fire while running on the freeway.
So whoever is interfering with the safety of your car already has little regard for your life.
Secondly, they are risking a long prison sentence for something that's worth a few days of unskilled labor. So they have decided they won't even spare a few days of their life for the value they can steal in 10 minutes - let alone years in prison. If caught in the act, they will most certainly not put their tools down and say "Oh, you got me, darn, I guess we need to call the police now". They are by definition ready for violence, and they WILL use force against whomever attempts to retain them.
So a law abiding individual has a choice between confronting a violent criminal, by all accounts ready to kill them, and not protecting their property. It's a violent blackmail, and one solution, unless we want everybody's catalitic converter to be stolen, is to balance the violence disequilibrium and make it much more riskier for the thieves.
Insurance companies can lobby for political or policing changes if it becomes a significant problem for them -- just like they already do for a plethora of other reasons.
Sure, it's a hassle being inconvenienced by a disabled vehicle, but having to deal with the image of some kids brains splattered all over your driveway is inconvenient too, and maybe for much longer.
Investigative resources can be devoted to following the illegal supply chain and prosecuting those who either run or purchase from illegal smelters.
We could also recognise that many of the actual thieves may be junkies funding a fix, and treat their condition as a medical problem rather than criminal one.
And then we wouldn't have to execute anyone.
In the USA there is what in known as the castle doctrine. If someone tries to break into your home you may defend your home no different than a lord defending a castle. Pouring boiling oil on their soldiers scaling your walls ... Or more appropriately the modern equivalent action with your AR-15.
Texas goes one step further, they allow you to use force to protect your property from nightime theft or criminal mischief. It's not about retaliation, it's a matter of protecting what is your property.
However, saying that, I recall when I was a kid it was legal to shoot someone just for stepping on your real estate property (or was widely believed if not current law). I recall “exploring” in rural areas and being encountered with people with rifles telling us to “get off their land”. Usually with a “next time I won’t ask, shoot first” type comment. If I was an adult/POC, it could have gone any direction.
I personally don’t like to agree with these laws, but I don’t see any reduction of crime and I’d like the ability to protect my home and property without having to think about whether I’d become a criminal if I did have to use my weapon.
"Property and freedom are the past and future of a human life"
People invest nontrivial amounts of their life into the acquisition of property. The theft of property is a theft of that proportion of their life. All you need is a sufficient punitive multiplier to said theft, or a sufficiently valuable item stolen, before lethal force becomes an option in said moral calculus.
Where I am, theft is punished severely, thus I see no need to take things into my own hands. The social contract is that the state handles such crime, and in response citizens forgo vigilantism. If repeated thefts of my property were met with no response, or a consistently ineffective response, you'd probably see a very different reaction from me.
Generally speaking, it works just like it works everywhere else--we don't execute people on the street. We sometimes have the legal grounds to use lethal force in defense of our safety or that of our property (rarely, but apparently in Texas), and we very rarely choose to actually use it.
Intrinsic morals don't have a whole lot to do with laws.
That's not how it works in most first world places. You can't murder a person to protect property.
A man stealing your cat converter infringes not just on your property, he's possibly making you unable to go to work tomorrow, unable to pay your rent next week and putting you to the streets. If I was in a situation where the livelihood of my family depended on a piece of property I would definitely kill to defend it.
And by definition anyone in drone weapon blast radius is enemy combatant.
Based on the definitions I can find of murder in various dictionaries, it seems almost universally defined as an unlawful act. If you choose to go by the commonly-accepted usage of the term, it would not be a murder if the killing is found to be lawful. There are other words, such as homicide, that could be used here [1, 2]. The CPS themselves (in the UK) have a whole page about this distinction.
And calling indiscriminately killing people "a foreign policy" and legal is another can of USA made worms.
Check out how narratives created and pushed by evil people affected your moral sense.
People who do wrong should be punished. Otherwise, they will continue to do wrong. The wrongdoers, most likely, aren't going get prosecuted by the relevant government officials and the police aren't going to investigate. The best way I have to punish them and prevent further crimes upon the area in which I and my friends and family live and work is to use a gun, as this is quick, highly punishing, can be explained by self-defense, and used with minimal danger to myself.
Don't go to Texas and steal stuff, and you won't get shot. I don't really have sympathy for crime rings being executed by vigilantes for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property.
People have looked beyond fearmongering at these policies, and unbiased research (which is why it is banned from being federally funded) always shows castle doctrine / other stand-your-ground laws are not a net benefit to reducing crime and lead to avoidable deaths of innocent people (https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis/stand-your...)
It’s not one extreme or the other. I have no idea why it’s “inevitable”. I own a gun and I haven’t mentally devolved into the Punisher yet.
Imagine you live in a rural area where things are far apart. Someone breaks your car, and now you can’t get to work. And if you don’t show up for work, now you’re fired. And now you don’t have income, so now you might lose your house or miss meals. Asking that person to have sympathy for the thief is asking for a lot.
No one here is arguing that it's OK for people to steal essential parts from cars, just that it's morally reprehensible to kill that person for doing it, if they aren't threatening your life.
Livelihood and life are separate things. In the situation someone gets fired for missing a day of work, you should be arguing against the ability for an employer to fire someone for something outside of their control, not for the ability to kill someone for a non-violent act.
Also, your example of harm is nuts. Someone steals your catalytic converter you can still drive to work, the car still runs it’s just loud. So, see, you own a gun and you’ve already talked yourself into a situation where having a catalytic converters is some life threatening event, worthy of taking someone’s life for, or at least not having sympathy for. That’s callous. If I were you I’d rethink that position.
More to the point, if some other driver isn't paying attention and damages your car to the point it's inoperable, are you justified in shooting them? In most cases, they won't face any criminal liability even (perhaps a minor ticket).
No one accidentally steals a catalytic converter. You have to plan it ahead of time and you need to acquire special tools to do so. This is not a crime of opportunity where maybe you find 100 bucks cash in a wallet on the street and you just grab it.
As for the first point... we I don't know how to convince you but those people exist. For us, the privileged software developers, you can dial in to work and submit code remotely. You probably get paid enough and get PTO to take a couple days off work if you can't make it. But there's ppl who are not so fortunate.
I don't have examples of ppl who became destitute, but look at this news story where the school faculty by this janitor a car: https://youtu.be/XqyvWqYVHcU
Look at 0:17 where he describes a 4 hour commute with 3 separate bus lines
Now if someone was trying to steal this man's catalytic converter, and he shot them. Well of course it would definitely depend on the exact circumstances, letter of the law, and charges pressed, but at a glance I'd say man, I understand it...
For the record, I'm immune to catalytic converter theft because I don't own a car. I've had bike wheels stolen multiple times though, and that's no fun, but certainly no justification for murder.
I think we have largely done this to ourselves, and catalytic converter theft is the result of the unforgiving social and economic climate. That said, stand your ground laws and castle doctrines do not result in lots of murdered criminals. Despite people's theoretical support in this thread of shooting people who are robbing them, it does not happen much and most of these people value human life far more than their support indicates.
IANAL, but it seems you can shoot someone in Texas for stealing your catalytic convertor if you "reasonably believe the deadly force is immediately necessary" and the catalytic convertor "cannot be protected or recovered by any other means."
So not only must deadly force be the only option to keep the property, but you've got to believe that if you tried something other than deadly force you'd be seriously injured or killed.
It is not about execution or killing someone. In fact, the very first thing I was taught in the CHL class - never think about shooting someone as killing someone, but rather as "stopping them". In the court, such a small detail of intent will matter.
The idea of letting shooting someone who is stealing at night is again - stopping them, because otherwise in nighttime it will be nearly impossible to find them (hence limitation of night time).
I don't hear many cases like that. It is certainly not widespread. People are given a right, but not a requirement to stop criminals stealing property.
These thefts mostly effect poorer people who are least able to absorb the loss, for someone of my income, it's an inconvenience, for a poor person, it may knock them back down the economic ladder.
Something to note, the US existed in a space for much of its existence particularly out here in the West, where the nearest law enforcement might be hours away, where I am in my county, the county seat is a half a days ride by horse - and our county is a PLSS county, so its not particularly large, they get larger - because of that, we have a permissive culture in allowing people to defend themselves and their property from others, because once its gone, you will likely never get it back again. This only changed with the invention of the automobile and the two way radio, but the culture was formed before that, and culture adapts to technology slowly.
I'm not american but I agree with his views. Being the victim of a break-in, I want nothing more than to cave in the fucker's skull with a metal rod to this day. These people will continue to get away with it ad infinitum unless someone teaches them a lesson. It makes me so irrationally angry that it's among the top 3 issues when I'm voting.
If the police won't do anything about this issue who will?
Many Texans conceptualize government and state uses of force (ie prosecution that can lead to imprisonment) as restrictions on their rights. This "negative rights" conceptualization is pretty common in the US, but especially common in Texas.
In the specific case of using deadly force to prevent somebody from stealing your property at night, the idea is something like the following. Absent any government intervention, you have a "property right" which allows you to prevent the thief from taking the property. In some cases, the balance of public policy concerns should lean in favor of government restrictions on this property right, to protect potentially innocent people or to prevent nonviolent criminals from dying, or to sustain an orderly justice system without vigilantes.
However, many Texans believe that the government should not intervene in this case because the restriction on an individual's right to protect his/her property is more important than the other policy goals.
Like I said, this is just my attempt to articulate the way I'd guess many Texans feel about this. I don't necessarily agree with all of the above.
In $MAJOR_CITY suburbia, you can call 911 and expect police or fire response within 5-15min.
In $RURAL Texas, response times may be significantly longer which helps to explain a self-reliance culture.
Property theft deterrence, prevention, and enforcement being neatly bundled in the revolver at your hip (think 1850s “old west” town) is what was codified into law in Texas. Particularly theft of horses (eg: mobility or necessary farm labor) was severely punished.
Different challenges often call for different responses to be most effective, and it’s helpful to try and understand the situation and expectations before passing judgement.
So, the government/state has guaranteed a negative right to life, i.e. citizens are prohibited from actions that deprive someone's right to life, and in order to enforce this prohibition, citizens are deprived of their right to arbitrarily commit violence to each other, while the government/state has a monopoly.
Where does our right to arbitrarily commit violence come from? Is it just a "natural right"?
In fact, a Texan may also believe that since you have no right to violence, it would be perfectly fine for a police officer to stop you from using deadly force, as long as that police officer doesn't use deadly force on you!
for example, people have a "negative" right to be free of physical violence.
If someone uses physical violence an another, that person forfeits their rights, and the state can use violence against them. It can also take away their freedom of movement and incarcerate them.
Agreed - rights that are guaranteed by prohibiting certain actions, i.e. you have a right to $FOO, meaning that $BAR is prohibited.
> They conceptualize rights "negatively", as things the state shouldn't take away from you.
The formulation seems a little different: you have a right to $FOO, meaning that $BAR is allowed ("the state shouldn't take [$BAR] away from you").
You have a negative right to freedom from the state: the state can't lock you up without a good reason.
Also relevant, you have a negative right to your property: someone can't take your property from you.
Contrast with a postive-right versions of these two things, right to due process and right to property protection by the police.
In the positive rights case, the state extends property protection via the law and police, thereby implicitly granting you property rights. This is a grant, and you are not allowed to defend your own property?
That's my rough reading of ops text.
If you down the rabbit hole far enough, rights do not come from anywhere other than the extent to which an opposing party is able to punish you. Aka, might makes right.
An actual direct democracy, like Switzerland, isn't as great as protecting minority rights. There's plenty of examples of democracies trampling minority rights, and there is a legitimate fear of tyrannical majority in most democracies.
America is quite unique in its system and how well it protects rights.
SF is spending 100k per homeless person. It’s not going well.
What’s the correct amount of caring?
It's like a spectrum: on the one hand we have countries like Singapore, where all the laws and the people they apply to are the same pretty much anywhere you go, and on the other hand we have loose multi-national confederations like the E.U. where laws change significantly, but there are some generalities.
A U.S. state is much more like a country in the E.U. than the U.S. is like a country in the E.U. Further, there are huge differences in the makeup of populations in different parts of the United States, in terms of economic stratification, ethnicity, race, education, and most importantly local culture.
As for intruding into my house, you are going to be killed if I see you. I have a 13 year old daughter to protect and there is no debating why you are in my house uninvited.
How do you feel that your lack of action with an intruder may have emboldened the criminal to do it again? Maybe next time the home owner gets hurt, raped, killed, or has to watch a loved one get hurt, raped, or killed.
I respect that you see things differently than I do, but you come across as someone who does not respect other's views and would restrict those if possible.
People like to talk about desperation, and "they're just poor", but this is very much not the reality. SF again, the crime isn't from some down on their luck guy trying to get his next meal, it's organized crime.
There will always exist people who will happily and without remorse take from others for their own benefit. The motivation here is always the same. Getting shit without having to work for it. The disincentive is similarly the same. Risk-reward balance. The motivation? The risk is negligible and the reward is large. Either reduce the reward or increase the risk, or both.
Take the Japanese Yakuza as an example. Japan's still enforcement of laws against the Yakuza definitely helped reduce their membership, but if you look at why they're failing to recruit, it's not due to law enforcement, it's because people are looking at the risk/reward: the Yakuza doesn't have a retirement plan, health insurance, etc. Combined with the risk of jail, it keeps the recruitment lower. They're so desperate at this point that they're targeting the homeless for recruitment.
Without the financial side of the equation, law enforcement simply doesn't matter. If you can make a living wage through crime, but can't without crime, you'll have more people joining criminal organizations, regardless of the risk. Do we need laws to be enforced? Of course; I don't know why you think I want the world to be punishment-free. But we also need to fix our social issues for that to be at all effective.
Besides. This is a non-sequitur anyway. You need both; Security nets reduce the desperation motive, and enforcement penalizes the "get shit for free" incentive. As you've said so yourself
>it's because people are looking at the risk/reward
Most countries with good social safety nets also come with good rule of law and enforcement. Removing enforcement in place of a good social security net isn't compensating, it's lunacy.
The US has good rule of law and enforcement. Even SF, as much as people complain about it, has historically low crime rates. Police stats show crime hasn't drastically increased, but videos of crimes are being shared virally, increasing the perception of crime. The police haven't been defunded, the prosecution rates for most crimes are similar to before Chesa (some are higher, and others are lower, but none are drastically lower). The most visible issue is the crime rings that are wiping out stores, and those crime rings are profitable enough to pay much higher than a living wage, which is attractive for desperate people.
This isn't a non-sequitur. You're looking at countries that have good social nets and saying they also have good law enforcement, but if you look at countries with poor social safety nets and high crime rates, they also have tend to have tough crime enforcement. The common thing across countries with low crime rates, is good social safety nets.
Crime in the USA:
>The US has good rule of law and enforcement. Even SF, as much as people complain about it, has historically low crime rates. Police stats show crime hasn't drastically increased, but videos of crimes are being shared virally, increasing the perception of crime.
I'm rather doubtful of this, especially with the spat between the police and boudin regarding the stats. However, comparing what I've seen and been told SF to multiple other cities I've seen, the US seems to be in a particularly bad situation, crime-wise. Car break-ins are rare in what I'd consider low-crime cities. Where I live right now? They're completely unheard of.
Furthermore, you get a lot from the type of crime. This isn't some desperate poor person trying to sneak essentials. It's blatant, bold shoplifting that clearly demonstrates that they have no expectation of retribution or arrest.
Security nets as the end-all:
My take on this is that it boils down fundamentally to incentives. Social security nets help on one end, reducing pressure on said desperation, reducing the desire to steal for some. Proper, consistent enforcement helps on the other, providing a countermeasure to the fundamental incentive of "free stuff". A common refrain here is about how incentive structures can result in dysfunctional results. The standard example is the company that breaks the law, earns a billion from that and gets fined a couple hundred million. Why is it that this no longer applies once you talk about property crime.
"Tough on crime" is a red herring here. It's not just about the penalty. It's also about the consistency of enforcement and likelihood of arrest/capture.
From another perspective, why should you value the life of a person more than said person values his own, e.g. why would I value your life, as clearly you value it less than you do the parts on my car, or items in my house?
When society permits people to hold you hostage via your "superior morals", so they can take advantage of you, your work, your family etc, isn't this a major breakdown?
Consider the (stupid IMHO) duty to retreat laws in some places. You are locked inside your safe place, your home, or your car, likely with your family. A person decides they want your property, or possibly your life. And these laws require you to retreat, to possibly vacate your home or car, pulling your family out of harms way if you can. Because these bad people are what? Misguided?
12 states impose a duty to retreat when one can do so with absolute safety: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. New York, however, does not require retreat when one is threatened with robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or sexual assault.
No mention of domicile in this text.
> If an actor intentionally used force that was intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the court may not consider whether the actor had an opportunity to flee or retreat before he or she used force and shall presume that the actor reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself if the actor makes such a claim under sub. (1) and either of the following applies:
> 1. The person against whom the force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering the actor's dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, the actor was present in the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and the actor knew or reasonably believed that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring.
> 2. The person against whom the force was used was in the actor's dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business after unlawfully and forcibly entering it, the actor was present in the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and the actor knew or reasonably believed that the person had unlawfully and forcibly entered the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business.
Also New York:
> (a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or
about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the
actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with
complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the
necessity of so doing by retreating; except that the actor is under no
duty to retreat if he or she is:
> (i) in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor; or
In some sense, it’s implicit in the concept of self-defense. As others have pointed out, property crime is not automatically a victimless crime. You aren’t really obligated to execute criminals in the commission of a such crime. The purpose of the law is mainly to preclude an uninformed assessment (or malicious assumption by a prosecutor) of e.g. “she was just stealing a catalytic converter, she didn’t mean any harm” which implicitly excludes the exposure of harm to the property owner, whether immediate or consequent. The perpetrator is actually a predator, an outlaw who views others as prey and imagines an entitlement to theft.
We put up with outlaws to a certain degree for "minor crimes", but the specific law is founded on the the premise that the outlaw predator is significantly ill-intentioned and potentially violent. The assumption is the thief is committing a crime with potentially serious consequences to the victim or proximate others. It’s not always obvious in the moment that such a criminal attempting a disengagement is incapable of or has no intent of further harming the victim.
There are capital crimes where it is obviously clear that great harm is prevented by killing the perpetrator caught in the act, but predators are willing to push the boundaries to obscure the issue for other crimes. Thus the people of the State of Texas (from whom government authority flows) decided to clarify it.
With respect to the benefit to society, diminishing the class of people who prey upon others specifically when they’re caught in harmful acts is often viewed in Texas (and by many Americans) as a social good and moral responsibility. You are not obligated to participate if you think it repugnant, but obviously predators caught in the act can’t be relied upon to be bound by your concerns, or sense of morality, or by laws.
We used to hang horse thieves and for the same reason. Theft of someone's transportation is a serious matter. It's not about the theft itself, or the 'auto parts' it's about depriving someone of their ability to be employed. To feed their families and themselves. To maintain their residence.
These are not small things. Try to take these from another and there is a common law right to stop that theft by force if necessary. Choices have consequences.
This is a peculiarity of Texas property law. It would not be legal in the other 49 states. It's a relic of cattle rustling in the 19th century, when the population density of Texas was too low to properly police and its primary industry required more protection than could be afforded by local law enforcement.
That's more than a third. Texas and Florida have the strongest, such as shielding from civil liability and such.
As opposed to, someone who does a bad thing is a person in a bad situation and society should help them.
I don't understand how people can just handwave away this stuff. I would genuinely rather have my arm broken than my bike/phone stolen. My arm will heal in a few weeks, but my bike won't.
Yes - there's organized crime, where theft is basically just part of their business, but on the other hand you've got junkies, desperate poor people, people that are marginalized and completely locked out of the workforce, etc.
I think the Opioid epidemic is a shining example of how companies can legally turn normal citizens into addicts, and down the road into full-blown junkies. Then you get all the problems with petty crime, that's related to this lifestyle.
One of many examples where profits trumps human life, and where the criminal justice system has to deal with the aftermath.
Yeah, I wonder where that used bike came from. Some other poor sod had his bike stolen.
>and typically your homeowners/renters insurance will cover it (and a stolen phone) anyway
If it does and if the insurance pays out. You're still out the deductible and anything you had on the phone. Even now I don't think I would hand over my phone to a thief.
After the civil rights era, southern democrats were politically isolated and ended up in a coalition with western resource people (oil, big agriculture, etc). This coalition ended up as this thing that focuses on a few key, hardened issues like “low taxes”, abortion and guns.
Nobody likes taxes, but the farmers and the resource people hate taxes as it is just an overhead. So you end up with these weird scenarios where small farmers passionately support a platform that puts them out of business.
Guns are another similar issue. Gun companies made a FUD business model in the 90s about the “government is taking your guns” that was very impactful on rural folk and eventually became a mainstream thing.
When you architect a political movement around fear and grievance, you create a culture of aggrieved people who thing “they” are coming to get them.
That being said: It isn't a capital crime and shouldn't be. If people can legally justify deadly force without self-defense (e.g. finding someone under their vehicle and shooting them) then the law itself is a problem.
If the state wants to make things a capital crime they should just do so directly, because at least then you get your day in court, a jury who could nullify, and lawmakers have to suffer the political ramifications of killing a bunch of petty thieves.
If you gamble with your life, you're bound to lose eventually, and I just struggle to feel sympathy for those who knowingly ruin their own lives with full conscience of the consequences.
I have the right to defend my property.
It is up to the criminal justice system to investigate and determine if you are lying.
This situation is no different.
Yeah, I realize I'm with water over my head as I don't understand US laws at all, and how it can legal to kill other people like that.
A rock to the head can be quite deadly; every situation will have its own important nuances still.
No, there are many places where you want to think twice about responding to violence with violence, because if your violent response is deemed exaggerated, you end up being the one worse off on day of judgement.
Technically I suppose you could get away with killing if it can be shown that your life was in immediate danger, and not in the "old hobo waves a knife so cop shoots him in the back from thirty feet away" way like in the US. In practice that never happens, because it is very difficult to show that the only thing you could've done was to kill. Even if someone had you at gunpoint. Someone waving a rock or a knife? Lol no, unless you emerged out of a struggle with stab wounds or broken bones.
I think most would agree that waiting to shot until you are suyre you will emerged out of a struggle with stab wounds or broken bones is too late.
In many other parts of the world, someone having a weapon out is not sufficient evidence to show that they were going to murder you in 2 seconds unless you did it first. Even if they seemed angry and threatening. A threat of violence is not violence, a weapon is not violence, and an unstable person is not violence, and even violence doesn't justify killing unless that violence was life threatening.
That's the difference. The question here isn't about what they could in theory do. If you're going to kill someone in self defense, you'd better have very convincing evidence or other means to show that they were in fact about to kill you. Without signs of struggle, that evidence can be quite hard to procure.
So what do you do in this situation? If you can run, you run. If someone chases you with a knife and you can't outrun them, that's already much better for your self defense claim than if you just decided to shoot them the moment you got scared.. If you can fight or shoot back, you don't have to kill them, just respond enough to fend off the immediate threat. If you're not good enough with guns to make a non-lethal disarming shot, then I don't recommend bringing a gun (not that it'd be legal here anyway, guns are for sport and hunting). Your self defense can be regarded as exaggerated even if you didn't intend it that way. So if you accidentally make a lethal shot or accidentally punch someone to death, you're on the hook for it.
This suggests to me that you don't know much about guns, gun safety, or gun laws. I'm not trying to be insulting, but saying something like that indicates that you really have no idea what you're talking about. No use-of-force experts recommend attempting a "non-lethal" shot with a gun. In fact, you'd almost certainly get in more trouble for doing that than for killing the person, at least in the US.
A gun is a lethal weapon, and there is no way to reliably perform a "non-lethal" shot. If you shoot someone in the leg, they can very easily bleed out. Aiming for the arm or hand makes it extremely likely that you will miss and hit someone/something downrange.
I agree that there is no way to reliably perform a "non-lethal" shot which gets us back to my previous message: you'd better not bring a gun to a knife fight if you don't want to end up sitting in jail for killing. Use-of-force experts here would not recommend shooting at all if there's any chance a missed shot is going to hit someone downrange, unless again it can be shown that killing is absolutely the only choice left.
However, if you read the news here, you find that the police regularly manage to hit a leg and thus disable the assailant without killing them. Every time this happens, there's going to be an investigation into whether gun use was justified. And if the assailant ended up dying, it'd be much worse for the cop.
I don't know if they're specifically instructed to aim for legs, but maybe it's easier to stop bleeding than to revive someone with a bullet in the heart.
Then it seems like we're on the same page? You shouldn't be shooting at all unless you're trying to kill the person. You shouldn't be trying to kill the person unless it's absolutely the only choice left. Given that it's the only choice left, potentially hitting someone downrange is a regrettable but possible outcome. Given that you're trying to kill someone, aiming somewhere other than center mass has an unacceptable risk of missing or not disabling the person.
> If you're going to kill someone in self defense, you'd better have very convincing evidence or other means to show that they were in fact about to kill you.
I don't understand this at all. A mentally unstable person shouting threats and approaching me with a deadly weapon is 150% enough evidence that my life is in danger. I can't see any other possible rationalization.
It is a complete failure of the state to make someone scared of defending themselves against legitimate threats.
Do you have any sources for that story?
I would be interested in reading them because what you are describing sounds so idiotic that it seems like a parody of anti-communist talking points.
If someone wants to abuse a castle doctrine law there are already easier ways to do that.
I’m also not aware of any stories where the existing laws have been abused to kill people legally (eg, shooting someone, planting them in your house or as a carjacker). Although maybe they are just so successful they aren’t caught.
So if you're going to use an affirmative defense ("Yes I did it, but it was justified") then that seems like a pretty big risk, especially if there's no real evidence the victim was a cat thief.
See the problem? You weren't stealing anything. They just thought you did. In most other places on earth, if you were really unlucky, you'd get arrested and put on trial, until it became clear that you really didn't do anything wrong. In Texas, apparently, instant game over is an acceptable outcome. Sure, the shooter would also get in trouble, but that's not going to help your spouse and children, is it?
I would guess that many Texans who support the use of deadly force in this situation accept this difference. Personally I feel there should be no death penalty, but also believe individuals should generally be allowed to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property. I'm worried about cases or mistaken identity or collateral damage, but that should be an empirical question rather than one of justice.
whoa, easy there fella! Don't go giving this guy any more zanny ideas. He'll call another special session just for it (no governor has called this many). The wackier the idea, the better he'll like it.
I live in a neighboring state and we get a lot of Texan tourists. You can't get them to honor a stop sign or even drive on the right side of the road with anything less than the threat of deadly force. It's utterly exhausting.
edit: in the interest of a having worthwhile discussion, let me acknowledge that there's an over-generalization here. Sorry about that. But, in the interest of valuing expertise, let's also keep in mind that Texas has to be experienced to be understood.
In 2013, a man hired an escort off of craigslist. She took $150 payment, then refused to have sex with him and left. She made it to her car, but he grabbed a gun, ran to her car, and shot her in the neck. A jury acquitted him.
"turned livable, attractive cities into dangerous slums."
Weird as I have not seen housing prices slump in value, they just keeping getting more costly.
These criminals are also not helpless victims - they are most typically lazy bandits who are breaking down society when they could very easily go get one of the millions of jobs available today and make an honest living through hard work - like the rest of us. If these people want to operate outside what a just society requires, then we need real, harsh consequences so that we have an effective deterrent that will put an end to this. Citizens being able to defend their property without expensive or time-consuming legal complications seems like a great way to have a distributed policing force at no cost, to uphold the very laws that our society has already put on the books.
Unless something is done soon those areas are going to decline. The stores closing is a symptom of there being no safety. It screams "don't do business here". No businesses means no jobs, which means more poverty in the area.
Saying that you can't defend property means that you're tolerating this theft. The police don't do anything for property theft. This isn't a uniquely American problem - property theft is just too hard to prove, the legal teeth on it have been neutered in the world etc. The only one that can really stop property theft is yourself, but if you're not allowed to defend it then you can't even do that. Being able to defend your property doesn't stop the problem, but it gives you the ability to do something about it.
I think the thing to do would be to not treat people as disposable so that they end up poor, homeless, addicted, and desperate in the first place. I am not opposed to Texas' laws about protecting one's home and property with deadly force but the prevention can come far sooner i the form of better workers' rights, better working conditions, and social safety nets that drastically reduce the number of people incentivized to do things like steal catalytic converters or form organized crime gangs of addicts to routinely rob the Walgreens and CVS. You don't see that kind of thing nearly as often in other wealthy Western countries.
The fact that you don't, and that you think street executions are a substitute, is what makes it a failed state.
Honestly, what is going on in the US?
There's a segment of the population that seems to believe this kind of looting and other theft/crime is largely a product of poverty; that if we would increase the minimum wage, have more affordable housing, and generally improve the conditions of the working poor, that these crimes would go away.
I believe that kind of thinking is dangerous and foolish.
See 9.42: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm#9.42
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
WTF? Why don't you think that should result in a murder charge?
Generally speaking, PTSD is an extremely well-documented consequence of killing.
"killing or seriously injuring someone in the line of duty was significantly associated with PTSD symptoms (p< .01) and marginally associated with depression symptoms (p < .06). These results highlight the potential mental health impact of killing or seriously injuring someone in the line of duty."
"Killing in War Leaves Veterans with Lasting Psychological Scars, Study Finds"
lots more evidence out there.
And the first of your sources does say that 7-19% of officers get ptsd but also that 25% kill or seriously injured someone, which is a larger number than get ptsd. so that suggests 6-18% officers kill or seriously injure someone and don’t get ptsd. Assuming the ones that get ptsd are the same as the ones doing bodily harm, unrealistic but conservative, that means half of officers who do that could easily be just dandy.
That data was in the intro. The study itself had a drop out rate that surprised me, about half the participants.
Conclusion, better studies needed. Also conclusion, did not support the original point.