No property is worth a life?

This is a discussion on No property is worth a life? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; When did this idea first come to be considered a fact? Originally I believe it was meant to imply that a person should not foolishly ...

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    No property is worth a life?

    When did this idea first come to be considered a fact? Originally I believe it was meant to imply that a person should not foolishly risk their life for property than can be replaced. It did not mean that you should not protect what you own.

    I would never risk a loved ones life for property. They are more valuable to me than any possession. However, the life of a criminal attempting to steal that property has no value to me. It has no value to society.
    Example: my car has a value to me and society. It allows me to earn a living and pay taxes. A car thief has no value. He brings nothing of value to society.

    We have taken a saying and twisted it around to mean something totally different that what it started out meaning.

    Michael
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Property??? A significant percentage of the population doesn't even believe that a life is worth a life, hence the resistance to the death penalty.
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    JD
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    No one says that you should not protect what's yours, only that lethal force is not to be used as a FIRST option in order to protect what's yours. Lethal force (in most of the country) can only be used to prevent grave/serious bodily harm, you can't just shoot people for being a thief in today's society.

    Your car is that valuable to you, that's cool, but where does the line get drawn? Can I shoot someone trying to steel my kids favorite toy from the back yard? How about a lawn mower? Can I shoot someone for that? What if I NEED that lawnmower to make my living?

    Now should you attempt to prevent someone from stealing property and they put you in a position where you feel you are in great danger of serious bodily harm etc, game on.

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    I can buy a fleet of new cars for what it would cost me to go through the entire legal process that would be involved if I killed someone over property.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    When did this idea first come to be considered a fact? Originally I believe it was meant to imply that a person should not foolishly risk their life for property than can be replaced. It did not mean that you should not protect what you own.

    I would never risk a loved ones life for property. They are more valuable to me than any possession. However, the life of a criminal attempting to steal that property has no value to me. It has no value to society.
    Example: my car has a value to me and society. It allows me to earn a living and pay taxes. A car thief has no value. He brings nothing of value to society.

    We have taken a saying and twisted it around to mean something totally different that what it started out meaning.

    Michael
    If you would never risk a loved one's life for property, why would you risk yours, or risk your future, over property?

    Any direct engagement with the BG puts you at risk. We often read here of stuff like, what do I do if there are people in my driveway stealing my car?

    Ans. Stay inside and call the police and stay armed in case they want to break into the house as well.

    Why risk your life over a stupid car that's insured? Why risk thousands--no tens or hundreds of thousands -- in legal bills for something like that?

    I have to admit that I do have a conflict between what I just wrote and what my gut tells me. Well, that primitive part of my brain anyway. It has an emotional response which is go out there and put a stop to the outrage. That's an understandable reaction. It just isn't very practical in most jurisdictions, and it is arguably not particularly moral.

    I think I have benefited a great deal from the existence of this board. It has helped me to put some of these issues into a more sane perspective. Reading all the scenarios and what ifs allows one to refine possible reactions in comfort and safety. In my case where I might in the past have run out the door gun in hand, now I think I'll sit back, dial 911, watch and witness now, and laugh later.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    I can buy a fleet of new cars for what it would cost me to go through the entire legal process that would be involved if I killed someone over property.
    Not trying to say that it would be smart or even right to shoot but only on the way people think about it. I am only commenting on the popular notion that a thief has more value than something you worked for.
    I believe that to be a fairly new idea.

    Michael

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    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Legal costs and current laws do nothing but empower the criminal.

    Simply stated, I believe if someone is willing to use force to steal something from me, I should be able to use force to keep it. Nothing more, nothing less. The law (and courts) prohibit such actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdcard View Post
    Legal costs and current laws do nothing but empower the criminal.

    Simply stated, I believe if someone is willing to use force to steal something from me, I should be able to use force to keep it. Nothing more, nothing less. The law (and courts) prohibit such actions.
    Well that's not exactly true, as you're over generalizing the concept of "force." It obviously varies by jurisdiction, but the law permits the use of reasonable force in the vast majority of instances. Of course, what reasonable force would be depends on the circumstances, but you can certainly defend your property with physical force of a non-lethal variety. However, the type of force we typically think about in the context of this forum is lethal force, and that is only reserved for instances where you are in grave bodily danger, etc.

    In other words, you're watering your lawn and you see someone trying to steal the tools out of the bed of your truck. You may be able to yell at him and run over to keep him from grabbing your stuff, but you can't use deadly force to do it. Now if you take two steps over there and he pulls a knife/sidearm, then the force level has probably changed and the force you can use in defense has as well.

    OMO/YMMV/not legal advice!

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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    To answer your question, it was somewhere around the turn of the 20th century, when everyone became "enlightened". Drinking (Prohibition movement started) and killing (even for defense or punishment), and such became "uncivilized", mostly pushed by various religious groups. There were also a number of what I would call "communist" or "populist" movements started, to "help out the poor man". It wasn't really until FDR got in and pushed a bunch of this garbage through, that things really really changed though. Up until then, everyone was expected to pull his own weight, with "charity" taken care of by extended family and churches.

    In 1870, it was quite common for a "horse thief" to get shot attempting robbery. Of course, rough times in places with little law enforcement, called for rough treatment of criminals. (talking about West of the Miss. river mostly)

    IIRC, up until the late 60's or early 70's, it was perfectly legal for a man in TX to shoot another man if he found him in his own home (as in his bed with his wife) Imagine how things have changed nowadays.

    I'm kind of the opinion that we are headed back towards the "rough times" scenerio. But, hog-tied with the laws as they are today, regarding use of deadly force, and the fact that law enforcement has to treat criminals with kid gloves, gives the criminals little to fear.

    But, no--it wasn't always that way.

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    From a religious point of view (Fully understanding you may choose to not partake in any particular religious belief) I feel that every human life has a purpose. Without having any real life examples at the forefront of my brain I think it would be a safe bet to say that many people who used to be addicts, burglars, prostitutes and other people which society throws away, have gone and changed and positively effected other people's lives. Does that mean that they all will? Of course not, I wouldn't even say most...but to shoot someone over property is not only a poor financial decision but it wouldn't stand up to my personal moral code. But to each his own I suppose...
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    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisMia View Post
    Well that's not exactly true, as you're over generalizing the concept of "force." It obviously varies by jurisdiction, but the law permits the use of reasonable force in the vast majority of instances. Of course, what reasonable force would be depends on the circumstances, but you can certainly defend your property with physical force of a non-lethal variety. However, the type of force we typically think about in the context of this forum is lethal force, and that is only reserved for instances where you are in grave bodily danger, etc.

    In other words, you're watering your lawn and you see someone trying to steal the tools out of the bed of your truck. You may be able to yell at him and run over to keep him from grabbing your stuff, but you can't use deadly force to do it. Now if you take two steps over there and he pulls a knife/sidearm, then the force level has probably changed and the force you can use in defense has as well.


    OMO/YMMV/not legal advice!

    I understand your point and agree that the 'law' allows for such circumstances. I'm just concerned with the legal costs and/or getting a judge/jury/AG that's been trained to punish the victim. How would I answer the attorney when they make the case to prove that "I" was actually the agressor? According to current police recommendations I should NEVER confront a criminal.

    While I agree with you, I'm concerned that what is law is not always what actually happens. Just look at the open carry threads. The law clearly proves the actions are legal and yet citizens are victimized for obeying the law. Sure you can fight it sometimes, but my pockets are not that deep.
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Well, I look at it this way....

    I don't go outa my way to look for trouble, so if it goes down in front me, I have a decision to make. Do I act, or do I let it happen and do nothing. For me it's always been to act and defend what's mine, and until I'm unable to do just that, that's what I'm gonna do. Personally, I don't really look at the value of what ever it is that's in question, unless it's a human life of course. For me it's more about the severity regarding the situation. Some kids egg my house, who cares, some guy tries to rob, or kill someone I love, he/they get the full treatment. To me there's really nothing to understand or digest with that, it just comes natural.

    GBK
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    No property is worth a life....... yet so many are willing to risk their lives or to take another's to acquire property illegally. If we look at this as a question of free markets then it would seem that a significant portion of the population do think that property is worth a life. So the question then as I see it is do these people value that property that is not theirs so much, or their own lives so little? If they put such a low value on their own life how should I think they value mine?

    Hopyard, I can see your point about the car if you have full coverage. But not everybody does. If you only have the minimum legally required coverage you do not have theft coverage. That vehicle may have a book value that is equal to or greater than a years salary for some people. That vehicle may contain their means of earning a living. Last figures I saw (2008) only about 43% of stolen vehicles in this country were recovered. Should someone just let a person take off with a year of their life and their means of feeding their family in the hope that the police will catch them? And who is going to pay their bills while they wait for their vehicle and tools to be recovered?
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    Not sure how much of a legend it is, but in the 'old days' horse thievery was a crime punishable by hanging, and you could shoot a horse thief. The reason was a horse was a means of survival, transportation and I guess a 'friend' to the cowboy. Likewise, today, the equivalent is your car. I don't see why you can't protect your livelihood, transportation and even your shelter (for those who live in their car) with deadly force, regardless of whether you're in the car (car jacking) or not.

    I believe in the doctrine that it's better for ten guilty men to go free than one to be falsely convicted, but why cater to the criminals. They transgress against a law-abiding citizen (or anyone) and if it results in their demise, then what's the problem. Yes life is sacred, but by taking your possession (tools) your transport (car or bike) they are more-or-less depriving you of your 'life' needs. If more criminals were in fear for their lives if they committed personal crimes, maybe there'd be less crime.
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Not trying to say that it would be smart or even right to shoot but only on the way people think about it. I am only commenting on the popular notion that a thief has more value than something you worked for.
    I believe that to be a fairly new idea.

    Michael

    Perhaps you should do some research and find out where this idea originated if you believe it is a fairly new idea. I don't say that sarcastically but to say that if its something that is that important to you then put some time in and research it.

    I'm not one to take up for the thug that is stealing your car and I would never try to pawn off some pathetic excuse like he can't help it, he's poor and he needs your car to get a job, etc. There is no excuse for theft and I'm not a pragmatist so I don't buy the common rationales like, yeah I'd steal to feed my kids, blah, blah blah. BULL. There are all kinds of relief and effort programs not to mention the church that help true and honest people in need. There's no need to steal. Period.

    To say, on the other hand, that property is worth more than a life is to belittle the value of life. People make mistakes and sometimes they are reformed and make better citizens than the guy that never committed a crime in his life. Also, to say that you have the authority to take a life per stealing is to promote vigilantism which is something that this country has historically frowned upon for the greater part of it's history. To leave these remarks on the face of their merit, however, is pragmatism at its best so I believe there is also yet a purer motive behind our refraining from owning vengeance and that is, it simply does not belong to us. Even in the wild west when people would take matters in their own hands, it was out of necessity because there was not a legal institution in place. As a result, people had to make their own justice the same as they had to make their own butter, kill their own pigs and build their own houses, etc. Even in this extreme, however, there was always a sense of the "law" even in the absence of a Marshall. That's not to say that matters weren't ever handled in an inappropriate matter but to say that there has always been an effort to implement justice and not vengeance.

    Even if you don't subscribe to the ethical standard pertaining to the value of life and how we don't have the authority to seek our own vengeance, I'm sure I don't have to go into the whole plethora of dilemmas and problems we run into when we trade our current legal system for one grounded in vigilantism. I suppose there could be a set of rules of engagement to subscribe to, I'm guessing however that once you go down the path of vigilantism it becomes increasingly difficult to relinquish your authority to a set of arbitrary rules, etc.

    Although I feel we have a legal system and not a justice system, I also believe that it is our value that we as a society place in human life that dictates the foundation of the system that we have in place today. The same legal system that values life and makes it illegal for you to take a life for stealing property is the same legal system that presumes you to be innocent until found guilt because a man's life has value and to treat it in a manner that leaves him likely to suffer wrongful imprisonment is an intolerable idea we hold onto - given our value we place on human life.
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