Sunday, April 22, 2012

People with guns collection # 47

"RIOTS CHICAGO - APRIL - 1968 - Private policeman standing behind gate in front of a store he was hired to protect. He said he stood guard all night with his .38 cal. pistol in hand and chased away several attempts by people to loot store."

This photo brings up an interesting question, one that certainly doesn't have any easy answer. I believe that an overwhelming majority of my fellow citizens would agree that you have the right to defend your life with deadly force. But do you have any such right when defending your property? Please note I'm speaking here of ethics, not the law, which would vary greatly depending where you live. Do you have a right to defend your property? Always. Never. Maybe, depending on the circumstances. This is where the lines get blurry. I suspect that if you asked ten different people, even ten different gun owners, you would get as many varied answers. It's a tough question that many people don't even want to consider. I've thought about it and I don't really have a definitive answer myself. I'm sure many would say no, never, under any circumstances. You don't have any right to kill someone over "stuff." I would imagine that most people wouldn't shoot someone trying to steal their TV or car. But what about someone trying to burn down your house? Could you watch and do nothing as somebody destroyed everything that you spent a lifetime working for? Could you stand by while you were made penniless and homeless? Like I said, there are no easy answers here. I only bring it up because I believe it's a question that every American needs to ask themselves. It's better to think about it now, when you can do it calmly and rationally, rather than later when you might not have that luxury.

7 comments:

RobertM said...

In my opinion you always have the right to defend your property with all necessary force. You paid for you property with you time (which IS your life) or someone else paid for it with theirs.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Well, if someone was threatening ME to gain access to my stuff...
Remember, originally it was right to life, liberty and property. (it was excised because of the slavery thing)

Sport Pilot said...

Good question. Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground in some state's provide an answer but is "stuff" worth the risk or emotional baggage? If someone were forcing their way into your home or business while you are there is one thing. To go and wait for someone to do so at your business or a non residence is another.

Wilson said...

Gentlemen, thank you for your comments. My main purpose in posting this was to get people to think about the question, to consider exactly where their personal “line in the sand” was BEFORE they might be in the situation.

The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

Touche', Wilson. It is something that every one needs to know, before things go sideways.

Tam said...

If a mob of people is busting up into your crib, how do you know that they're going to stop with your stuff?

From an ethical standpoint, they are aggressing against me. Further, they are taking my stuff for which I paid money, money which I acquired in trade for my time, time that I will never get back. That stuff is my life, in concrete form.

Wilson said...

This blog post was a little different for me. Normally I’ll post and usually get some comments and maybe an email or two. This one was exactly the opposite; I had many more emails than comments. I guess many didn’t want to put the answer out there for all to see. Among commenters with a strong opinion it was about an equal split between those that said they would shoot over “stuff” and those that wouldn’t. Others expressed thoughts mirroring those in my post, where they might shoot depending on the “stuff” itself, “big stuff” being worth killing for and the rest not. As one mailer (that asked to remain anonymous) put it, “I might kill to protect my home but I don’t think I could kill to keep my stereo. I would not be able to look in the mirror again.” I suspected that a lot of you already had an opinion on this subject but this post was more about those that didn’t. The reason I asked to begin with was for people that had never considered the question.