Fight Fire With Fire?

This is a discussion on Fight Fire With Fire? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The recent discussions about killing for property and forceful resistance to criminals of all stripes got me thinking. What level of force are we willing ...

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Fight Fire With Fire?

  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,709

    Fight Fire With Fire?

    The recent discussions about killing for property and forceful resistance to criminals of all stripes got me thinking. What level of force are we willing to tolerate in order to deter criminals? Often, the same folks who applaud the extra-judicial killing of a criminal are the same folks who rail against the perceived "militarization" of the police, and the occasional abuses and mistakes that come along with more aggressive enforcement. Today, I read a very interesting article along these lines:

    From:
    Jack Chang | McClatchy Newspapers
    Posted on Wed, Dec. 05, 2007

    The gist is that the Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) police are exceptionally brutal, violent, and corrupt. They have killed 1,072 people so far this year (by comparison, the Chicago PD killed 17 people in all of 2006). A UN investigation revealed that many of these killings were not in gunfights, but were executions of surrendered, captured, and/or unarmed people. There are very, very few prosecutions of police for these killings. However, the crime rates in the favelas (poor neighborhoods) does not decline - despite the very real threat of summary execution.

    So, my question is this - how many extra-judicial killings do we think it will take to make our neighborhoods safer? The Rio favelas are home to a very, very high rate of these killings, yet they still have some of the highest crime rates (including violent crime) of anywhere in the world. And, along with these hard line measures has come massive police corruption (Rio has built a 420 person jail - now nearly full - just for cops), with some claiming that the police have become just as bad as the criminals they are supposedly fighting.

    I realize this isn't a direct comparison to the US, but it bears enough similarity to warrant discussion... So, DCers, discuss!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    OKC; by way of St. Mayberry, GA
    Posts
    4,750
    1,072 ?!?

    I believe at this point it comes down to what WE (LEO's AND civilians) are willing to tolorate.

    As the criminal element has become more violent and better armed, then so has the level of our police. The corruption of Rio's police and the enviroment of Rio's favelas (very poor, helplessness, etc.) does nothing change anything it sounds like.

    WE have to NOT tolorate corruption within our communities AND not tolorate the criminals either. I, for the most part, trust and respect our LEO's and believe in thier efforts......and I 'respect' the criminals enough to arm myself and train to NOT be a victim. WE, as Americans, MUST be responsiable for AMERICA. I don't believe vigilante justice is the answer nor do I believe a rampent police force allowed to escalate thier efforts to the point of Rio's police isn't productive for the US either.

    This is an intresting topic OPFOR, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    25,796
    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    So, my question is this - how many extra-judicial killings do we think it will take to make our neighborhoods safer?
    How many killings outside of legal proceedings (extrajudicial) would it take to make our neighborhoods safer?

    Criminals are stopped via due process, either court-applied or citizen-applied on the instant of an attack. It's simply a matter of when the stopping is done. Personally, I'd prefer all crime against people to be stopped on the instant, prior to such crimes reaching their end-goal of victimization. At that exact moment, there is proof a crime has been attempted/committed. Vigilantiism? By what standard? IMO, that term cannot apply under the shadow of an upraised knife.

    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    The recent discussions about killing for property and forceful resistance to criminals of all stripes ...
    Of all "stripes," hm? As if some are and some aren't? Do the crime ... do the time. Stripes don't really matter. So long as the penalty fits the crime, justice is served.

    In my opinion, "safer" isn't the goal. Safe, is. How many criminals must be processed via instant due process in order to make it safe? As many as cannot be effectively stopped via delayed due process. As many as it takes to reach the point of safety. So long as a single criminal exists, it's going to be unsafe for someone.

    I'm hardly wishing for law enforcement to cease, as a mechanism for bringing justice to bear on those later found to have committed crimes. I am not suggesting that people usurping the function themselves (vigilantiism) is a good thing. I am simply acknowledging the preferability that criminals be stopped earlier in the game, if at all possible, prior to that upraised knife being shoved home.

    Now, none of this addresses criminal execution on the part of law enforcement, a la the example of Rio de Janiero, above. How much of that sort of thing should be tolerated? In a perfect world, as much as is required. But since that can corrupt completely, as it has in Rio and elsewhere, I'd say that it cannot be tolerated at all.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; December 6th, 2007 at 09:12 AM.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Triangle, NC
    Posts
    607

    Question

    Maybe they are executing the wrong people! JUst a thought

  6. #5
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,709
    CCW9mm, I am right with you - if someone presents an imminent threat (i.e. the raised knife), then there is no doubt that they have forfeited their right to due process unless and until they cease to be a threat. I also agree that the punishment should fit the crime - I favor lots and lots of cruel and unusual punishment for our cruel and unusual criminals, for example. I also also believe that state sanctioned executions (outside of due process) can have some good effect, but that their costs and potential costs far outweigh the benefits.

    But, the question is, who decides what is fitting? Do we kill for property, and, if so, is there a dollar value that we must reach in order for this to take effect (i.e. stealing a candy bar from the super market vs. stealing a car)? Do we kill for immigration status? For membership in a gang?

    The Rio police (and again, I know this is a far from perfect comparison) are killing for all sorts of crimes, real and imagined. It hasn't lowered the crime rates.

    Janq and I were discussing an old "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode (not that this is the only place where the ideas presented have been raised, but it was something that both of us had seen) that focused on crime, punishment, and deterrence...this also sparked my internal debate.

    Thanks for the replies, guys (and gals), please continue.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    25,796
    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    But, the question is, who decides what is fitting?
    At the instant of an attack, the intended victim of course.

    But, who gets to decide such things as an academic excercise? Poorly, as history shows, legislatures on behalf of their constituent citizens get to decide. But when the "authority" involved is corrupted, they of course decide for themselves, for better or worse. The example is Rio, here. I've seen it previously in a large city law enforcement precint, where wanton killings were tacitly supported in an ethnically-imbalanced region by leadership supposedly dispensing justice the old fashioned way. The results were predictable (read: injustice).

    The fact is, someone's membership in a gang is irrelevant until that person's actions harm others. Someone's engagement in mala prohibita (wrongs prohibited by law, not inherently evil) doesn't in and of itself constitute a crime against someone, until that someone is impacted. At that point, others get some say in their own defense.

    The Rio police (and again, I know this is a far from perfect comparison) are killing for all sorts of crimes, real and imagined. It hasn't lowered the crime rates.
    Yeah, corrupted authorities aren't very authoritative in their execution of the law. Vigorous and definitive, to be sure. But not very good about it. Not when it reaches the point of corruption.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  8. #7
    VIP Member
    Array Miggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Miami-Dade, FL
    Posts
    6,258
    OPFOR can atest that what the police down there is facing is nothing short of a crimina state within the organized state. Make no mistake, we are talking about tens of thousands of blood-thirsty criminals, organized & willing to kill at a whim. I am not saying that local PD is not corrupt, it is like any other PD in Brazil or latin-america, but those who go toe to toe with the bandits in the Favelas do deserve respect. No corrupt cop is going to wander in the favelas because they are in the force for their own personal gain and dying is not a good way to enjoy the fruits of corruption.
    As here in the USA, the level of extra-judicial killing should be zero IMHO. We cannot afford to lose the respect we have for our LEOs,
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

  9. #8
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,709
    Miggy - it's going well beyond the "normal" corruption levels there... Militias forming to hunt and kill drug lords - sometimes not to remove them as drug lords, but to take over their operations... Moving bodies from precinct to precinct to keep the body counts more even... Supplying arms to the very gangs they are fighting... There were even some very strong evidence that the Brazilian Army Special Forces were training and arming some of the gangs - so much evidence that the SF, in its entirety, was moved from its headquarters in Rio to a central state a thousand klicks away.

    No one doubts that the Rio state police (Policia Militar do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, though they are not "military" police as we understand them) have an insanely tough and dangerous job, and that they do it for moderate pay and with generally poor training and equipment. No one doubts that there are a few good cops left hiding in the force. What is in doubt is whether or not the fear of instant death for criminal activity is really a deterrent...

    Also, and this goes for everyone: You MUST find and rent/buy the movie "Tropa de Elite" (Elite Squad) as soon as you possibly can. It's in Portuguese, so make sure it has subtitles, but I defy you to watch this movie without having a very strong emotional reaction (plus it's full of guns!)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  10. #9
    VIP Member
    Array ppkheat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    4,064
    Interesting topic, and IMO one of those that are difficult to answer.

    They've killed 1,072 this year and the neighborhood crime rate is basically unchanged? It sounds like the neighborhood is overwhelmed with a criminal culture and/or becoming a criminal is the only avenue in their future. What type of crimes are being committed mostly in this neighborhood.......theft?, drugs?, etc. It's probably "all of the above". Is this neighborhood destitute and being a criminal is essentially an "occupation"?
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  11. #10
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,709
    ppkheat, it's not one neighborhood, its a bunch of them. Favelas are basically "unauthorized" ghettos, where people just squatted on the land and built places to live. Over time, these get bigger and more populated, usually they eventually get hooked up to the power and sewer systems (but not always), and they may even get the Guv'ment to build them some "projects" or otherwise throw a few bucks at them (though this rarely helps - another GREAT movie to check out that gives some insight to this is "City of God" and the series it spawned, "City of Men." OPFOR says check 'em out.)

    Life in the favelas is basically dominated by the drug gangs. There is nothing else for most people to do. Certainly there are honest, hard working folks there, but they live under the shadow of constant armed conflict between the gangs and other gangs, and the gangs and police. It comes pretty close to an actual war there fairly often (to wit, cops go in to some of these favelas in actual APCs when they do go in at all; and they are often met by heavy machine gun fire, grenades, and so on.) For a while, an average of one "civilian" Carioca (what residents of Rio are called) was being killed EVERY DAY by a stray round from these gunfights - some victims were more then a kilometer away, as many of the favelas are in the hills surrounding Rio and the rounds have a tendency to "fall" into the city proper.

    So, it's not an easy problem, by any stretch of the imagination. My point (I had one, I think) is that even though the cops are meeting this with nearly unprecedented violence, the crime continues. Some have brought up the idea that, if we met violent criminals in the US with more violence, it might cause some criminals to rethink their chosen careers... I don't know if I agree or disagree (actually, I think I'm beginning to form some ideas that don't really fall into either category), but it's something worth thinking about.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6,781
    Great thread OPFOR, and this is exactly what I've been saying in other threads in response to the folks calling for shoot (BGs) first and don't care about lawfullness or Constitution provided civil rights ever.
    As distasteful as it might seem and sound, criminals in America who are citizens do have rights too just as we good guy and/or victim citizens do. We have been the way of Rio before and it wasn't but 30 + yrs. ago either. Peoples memories are so darn short (!).
    Its in our history books, recorded and been featured in our news, and as much still goes on today albeit very much reduced as it had been in the past.
    I don't understand how people can be so cavalier toward as much and forgetful of history that's not even dusty muchless old.

    "There is no free lunch." - William S. Burroughs
    "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one." - Frederich Nietzsche
    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition. For if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." - Thomas Paine

    - Janq

    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." - The American Pledge of Allegiance which most all of us Americans born or by immigration have recited and pledged, and live by
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,766
    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    The recent discussions about killing for property and forceful resistance to criminals of all stripes got me thinking. What level of force are we willing to tolerate in order to deter criminals? Often, the same folks who applaud the extra-judicial killing of a criminal are the same folks who rail against the perceived "militarization" of the police, and the occasional abuses and mistakes that come along with more aggressive enforcement. Today, I read a very interesting article along these lines:
    This is not a simple topic as to have a simple answer, ok, everyone knows that. My basic belief is that it boils down to the reasoning behind the action.

    If the police are caught in an extreme use of force during a situation that is caused by factors in which their adrenaline system cause them to be a bit rough when cuffing someone etc, after a foot chase or car chase whatever, I can grant them some latitude on that. However if it is a pure case of corruption, and they are doing it for personal gain, with forethought, they should be punished at twice the limits of the law for a person that is not charged to uphold it.

    For the general public, if the thief or bad guy is breaking into your home, car or holding you up on the street with the intent to steal from you, then he gets what is delivered to him, I don't care what value the object is. Justice is served there and then. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and it was slammed shut on him. On the other hand, if the crime has taken place you don't go out looking for the criminal and seek to have a vigilanty justice system. That is when they are granted the due process of the court system and the penalties that are assessed by society.

    There are too many variables to pin it down exactly where each of us stand on when and what is acceptable. This is a basic from where I stand. Society has become way to tolerant of wrongdoing to others whether it be a direct physical threat by the every day bad guy, or the unseen threat by someone who steals, or does something to you via technology. Don't get me wrong, I believe in forgiveness and all of that, but don't expect forgiveness when your standing there trying to do me harm. I will forgive you tomorrow, or the next day.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
    www.ddchl.com
    Texas CHL Instructor
    Texas Hunter Education Instructor
    NRA Instructor

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Waponi Woo
    Posts
    1,045
    Okay some of my thoughts. I feel that what the police are doing, the 1072 killings, is totally wrong and is probably contributing to the downward spiral.

    The LEOs down there should be doing their best to catch the criminals, not become them. And the people should have the right to defend themselves. If that means shooting and killing a BG, I say the BG made his choice and is reaping the consequences.

    Now, as to the contributing part. The police are there to enforce the laws, not break them. What is the old saying, "when a government breaks their own laws, chaos ensues." This is what seems to be happening there. Who is the populace supposed to support when they can't tell the difference between the "good guys" and the "bad guys?" If the "bad guys" are telling the populace that they are trying to protect them from the corrupt government and they can point to instances where the government is corrupt, the populace might be inclined to believe them. The bad guys have co-opted the traditional roles of protector, even if they are the originators of the problem. Does any of this sound familiar? It should. It was what was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only way to break this cycle is for the government and LEOs to show that they are the good guys and follow the laws and regain the respect of the general populace.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    1,123
    I'm wondering if the 1072 killings were actually BGs during/after the commission of a crime, or if that number includes people who stood up to the corrupt cops, or normal citizens killed for not paying protections, etc.

    Corruption is just that. If you are corrupt, then you are no longer a LEO, you're a criminal with a badge.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

  16. #15
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,709
    As far as I know, it includes only "official" killings, so murders that the police couldn't reasonably claim were done during official operations wouldn't count. That being said, anyone who gets killed in a police operation down there is automatically a drug dealer, right?

    But that's not the point. The point here is that many feel the police in the US are ineffective, that the justice system is weak, and that if criminals feared that a quick death administered via firearm was a real potential outcome of their lifestyle, that crime would be substantially dimnished. I don't know if it would or would not, I was just presenting this example (and not a direct corellation, of course) where that threat of violent and immediate death IS a real concern for criminals, and where that threat hasn't done much to curb the criminality.

    I'm certainly not suggesting that we become like Rio, or that we give criminals a free pass. I'm just feeding the discussion...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Dry Fire?
    By Adamcop84 in forum Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: September 19th, 2009, 12:09 PM
  2. Replies: 65
    Last Post: April 8th, 2009, 09:16 AM
  3. I used to do security and fight fire with this molester
    By paramedic70002 in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: March 21st, 2009, 08:22 AM
  4. Dry Fire
    By SelfDefense in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: June 27th, 2008, 06:03 PM
  5. Would you ever buy a gun you'll never fire?
    By Sigearny in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: October 25th, 2007, 02:49 PM