Can You Pull The Trigger To Take Someone’s Life?

I get what he’s saying in this video but….

If you put value on the life of someone who is trying to take yours then I can see how there would be an internal struggle.  The question is, why are you putting any value on the life of someone that will kill you if you don’t stop them first?  In a self-defense situation the bottom line is if you shoot someone you didn’t have to, you’ll most likely be charged with murder.  If you shoot someone to save your own life then you won’t (or shouldn’t) be.

1:29 – Some of us pro-gunners are intentionally naive that we might actually have to put down someones son or daughter or mother or father some day.

Yea, but the only possible way that might happen is because one of those people listed are trying to kill you.  Do I care if the guy that’s going to kill me has a family?  Not at all… his family and the world in general is better off without him.

MrColionNoir is wearing the Tactical As _ _ _ _ t-shirt from ENDO Apparel.

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS - JUMP DOWN ↓ TO ADD YOUR OWN

SittingDown November 24, 2012 at 01:31 am

You nailed it, Mike.

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Lupe November 24, 2012 at 01:47 am

Yeah… I don’t have the intuition that human life can gain/lose value depending on how the person acts.
There are all these heavily consequentialist judgments at play here, and they don’t even seem consistent.

In the case that I kill an attacker, in conjunction with the assumption that he is a person who has no value, then in killing him I acting in such a way as to produce a world that is better. However, this doesn’t take into account the possibility of the attacker acting in different ways– ways that perhaps include him gaining more value than I. (This is assuming we’re keeping to utilitarian standards, which we seem to be, as the deontological notion that he has value as a person is seeming ignored.)

The most reasonable response to this is stay that from the act of attacking unjustifiably (at least, I hope we’re keeping to this stipulation), we may infer that he would do so again. The deterministic assumptions here are so counter-intuitive it baffles me. Likewise, in the case that this defense is true, that he is bound to act in accordance to his psychology, then in what ways are we justified in saying he has lost value as a person for acting so?

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Bob November 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

+1 for pushing the boundaries on the normal ENDO blog post and invoking Kant in your argument. -1 for not knowing your audience. What’s your position? Do you think killing an attacker morally right or not? I see you addressed several positions but I don’t see where you outlined your stance. From my perspective, I would posit that killing the attacker is good. It is good (or moral) from a variety of consequentialist perspectives. From a motive consequentialist perspective (most useful in time when a quick decision must be made) if your motive to protect yourself or someone else when you perceive a threat, the act is good whether or not you make the correct choice. The Constitution codifies our right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Many state and federal laws are nested with this idea. Particularly when it comes to self defense. You could invoke act utilitarianism but I doubt in most self defense situations, experiencing the psychosomatic effects of stress, you’ll have an opportunity to decide what course of action yields the greatest good to the most people. In examining a self defense killing post mortem (sorry I couldn’t resist) Mohist consequentialism would be a sound, logical defense as a harmful element of society was eliminated. This is also, in my opinion, the most ethically altruistic stance.
In regard to the Deontological principal of Moral Absolutionism, which it seems you touched on, our society has dispensed with the idea by adopting a much more pragmatic view of moral and immoral actions.
Just my humble .02 …

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Poppy November 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I JUST WANT TO SHOOT MANS CAUSE I LIKE IT WHEN HE FALLS DOWN.

But seriously, my right to be secure in my persons and live free from fear supersedes the life of someone who is trying to rob/murder me. I don’t have the right to fuck with you and take what I want and neither do you to me. Even though I consider my Ipod to be less valuable than a human life, if someone tried to assault me (or any of you) and take it away by force I think it’s okay to shoot the bastard. I think its the principle of the thing that counts.

BRING ON THE FLAMES!!!!

And fuck you Frank.

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Poppy November 25, 2012 at 12:08 am

You can afford to say that kind of stuff because you live in, presumably, a safe area and haven’t been robbed/raped/assaulted before. It’s easy to spout such pretentious, philosophical rhetoric positing the morality of self-defense when you haven’t been faced with a situation that necessitates such action.

In my opinion, all this discussing the value of human life is pointless. Because I’m pretty sure no one really contemplates that shit during life or death situations.

I mean, if I burst into any of your guys’ houses busk-ass naked wielding a meat clever in one hand and my massive, throbbing erection in the other, would you contemplate the value of my life and try to determine the systemic root of my psychosis or rightly decide to put a bullet in my head?

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dave w November 25, 2012 at 12:14 am

The best thing to do is to choose to classify the various ethnic, racial, social and economic groups that you don’t belong to as sub-human and therefore the whole human life argument is moot. The great thing is this system will work for anyone.

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Poppy November 25, 2012 at 01:02 am

Communists, Twi-Hards, Evangelion Fanboys, Ninten-nerds, Anarchists and people who use the words “YOLO” or “swag” unironically.

Bam, done.

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cc19 November 25, 2012 at 04:07 am

I like this list.

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DaveP. November 26, 2012 at 09:16 pm

Forgot furries.

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dave w November 27, 2012 at 01:19 am

and Bronies

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Riley November 24, 2012 at 07:50 am

I value my family’s life and emotions over the attacker’s life and family. That’s not to say there wont be any struggle at all though. Maybe you would have to remind yourself from time to time to justify it, because all value for that life went out the window when they decided to attack you. After all though, better him than me.

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Mike November 24, 2012 at 10:26 am

I think he has it all right.. I had a neighbor a few years ago that I didn’t know too well.. I had an odd work schedule and didn’t really get around to knowing the people living near me. This guy had some issues that I was unaware of and one day I hear a lot of yelling and noise and a guy yelling for help.. I grab my glock 19 and run over to find the guy on the floor of his garage next to a car with a kid I had seen around the neighborhood on top of him. My first instinct is to yell at the kid to get off him.. I see a small knife about a foot away from them and I’m still yelling for the kid to get off the guy and in my mind I’m in a million places all at once and I knew that if I were to have to fire that I’d probably hit both of them.. my hand was shaking and I felt sick to my stomach trying to decide if I could run up and knock the kid off the guy then kid saw that I had a gun and jumped off and ran into the house.. I run up to the guy to check on him and the kid and a lady came running out and I’m in a state of confusion and the lady is yelling for the kid to call the police and I’m yelling about how I don’t know wtf is going on. Turns out the guy was the kids older special needs brother that was playing with a pocket knife and got caught and tried to run out to the car.. the kid was afraid the brother had the keys and was going to try to get in the car and drive. The entire thing lasted about a minute but I was drenched in sweat and had a massive headache. I had my gun in my hand thinking that I was about to have to use it to defend a neighbor’s life and if I had acted on my first instinct after spotting the knife I can’t imagine what the consequences would have been.

Having said all that.. I have taking several classes.. read some books like Into the Kill Zone and have really looked deep into my mental and emotional facilities. I’m thankful that it all worked out and I’m fairly confident that I would have done what needed to be done if the kid had a gun or the knife in his hand and I’m certain that anyone entering my home uninvited with intent to harm me will be on the receiving end of either a 9mm or 45 ACP. In the heat of them moment though, my mind was a million different places and it was something deep and unconscious that told me to keep my gun ready but not aimed in that situation. There is a coldness and out of body kind of thing that happens when you are in that moment and I hope that I’m never in the situation to have to make those mental decisions again.

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Nate November 25, 2012 at 07:28 pm

Kudos to you for not acting too soon. RE: your sweating and headache: the Ken Murray (iirc) book is a good source for info, however, I’d suggest that you read On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. It’s about the psychological and physiological effects of combat and other high stress situations, during and after those encounters.

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Mike November 25, 2012 at 09:07 pm

The honest truth is that at the time I had been a gun owner for about six months and been to the range maybe 10 times.. I was an ok shot but not confident enough that I was comfortable firing but I certainly thought about it and if I had it would have been the wrong decision.

What I get about what Mr. Noir is saying is that if I fire on someone there are things that I’ll have to deal with the rest of my life. It’s not about whether that person left me with no other option and it is my life or theirs. It’s about the taking of a life, justified or not. I think anyone who claims that they could take a life without any issue is a person that society should be wary of and someone that will probably be quick to shoot in the wrong situation.

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Butthurt Dweller November 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Pussy

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Church November 24, 2012 at 02:57 pm

I think about this all the time… And there is not 1 ounce in my body that feels I should not stop the person trying to do harm to me.
The second to last thing I ever want to do is kill someone, the very last thing is having myself or someone else getting killed when I could have stopped it.

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Mike November 25, 2012 at 09:26 pm

The thing that I think a lot of people that have the concept that they would have zero issues with firing on another person is that it’s not whether or not that they would shoot.. I think most people if they have a gun or knife or any other weapon will act in self defense if necessary… it’s about when to shoot. In a high stress situation of glass breaking in the middle of the night a person better be certain that they’re drawing on someone that is looking to do harm rather than a family member. Mistakes can happen under stress. And the mind is more complex than “he was going to kill me so I killed him.. end of story.. no worries or further thought needed.” I saw a kid fall from about 15 feet on a playground and become paralyzed for life.. I think about that frequently with guilt that if I had been paying more attention that maybe I would have seen the kid climbing where he shouldn’t have been climbing. Two years ago I had a guy on a motorcycle pass me doing about 100 mph and I thought for half a second that I should call the police and let them know that a guy is driving recklessly.. I didn’t and then about ten minutes later the cyclist smashed into the side of a car that was pulling out. I didn’t make the guy drive like an idiot or make him not notice the car pulling out.. but I still feel that if I had phoned 911 and reported it maybe the police could have caught up to him before he met his end on the side of a highway and the driver of the car had to live with the accident for the rest of their lives.

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Jim P. November 24, 2012 at 08:28 pm

If someone is attacking me — I quite frankly don’t care what their family history and what relatives exist. I want to live.

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Ted N November 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

Meh. Shoot to stop. If stop=dead, too damn bad. Don’t start nuthin, won’t be nuthin.

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Nate November 25, 2012 at 07:34 pm

+1 to Church and Ted N. We should never be shooting to kill anyone. Personally, I’ve made the choice that To advance the discussion a little, it’s also critical that you visualize yourself in situations like those and decide beforehand whether you have the ability to shoot and use deadly force. Otherwise, why carry? Realistically, you must win (probably by shooting) any physical donnybrook you get into if you are going to carry a weapon.

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