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  1. #71
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Zed and Maynard all over again...
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

  2. #72
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    OK so you think individual property rights take precedence over others' right to life?!
    This isn't just about individual property rights. When someone trespasses in your home, it's a matter of personal safety.

    I agree with you when you say the burglar has put himself in a position where he can expect trouble but I struggle to accept that he deserves death. If so why don't we bring back the death penalty for theft, and hey, while we're at it we could bring it back for the 200 other offences people could be executed for in Victorian times.
    Deserves? No one is saying the burglar deserved to die. That's a matter of philosophy. This discussion is more concrete.

    The fanaticism I refer to is this obsession with individual rights, especially property rights. People completely lose perspective over this stuff. They fight for their 'individual rights' to such a degree that it encroaches on others' rights.
    What do you want people to do? Hide under their beds, allowing burglars to take whatever they want until they decide to leave? Then call the police so they can make it all better?

    An example of how this stuff gets taken too far:
    Couple allegedly shot children | Stuff.co.nz
    This is an absurd comparison, and something I specifically distinguished from earlier in the thread. The home of this couple was not breached, their lives were not in potential danger. They should be charged, and if they are guilty I hope they get long prison sentences.

    I rather dislike having to defend criminals and their behaviour but strangely enough I still see them as human beings. And given the sorts of attitudes toward them that I'm hearing here, you can forgive me for questioning the actions of this student.
    Has there been any home invasions in New Zealand?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #73
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Exactly. What concerns me is that a lot of people here think its morally justifiable to kill someone as long as they're a bad guy. Saying that society is better off without that burgler is positively Victorian. This is the 21st century - society's undesirables have the same basic rights as the rest of us. And this sort of situation starts a slippery slope.
    little story for you:

    Fran Drescher should really begin telling people she's an author, not an actress. Oh sure, she starred in The Nanny for a few years and she had some meaty roles in Saturday Night Fever and The Beautician and the Beast, but it is in her books that she really shines.

    A few years back, she wrote Enter Whining, a memoir detailing her aspirations and accomplishments in one of the toughest fields in the world: showbiz. It was also in this book that she detailed the rape she suffered when a burglar entered her home. What made this even more tragic was that her then-husband was tied up and forced to watch the violating act. But Drescher got through this, making her a survivor rather than a victim, a point that gets across loud and clear to her readers and fans.
    But I suppose it is possible that the burglar who got killed with a sword was a sweet guy who just wanted a TV set so he could watch a cooking show.

    Tell you what, if a burglar breaks into your house you can go ahead and assume that he's just a poor guy trying to make ends meet... Me? I'm going to err on the side of caution.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  4. #74
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    While the intruder don't deserve death, there is no way know how far he is willing to go when he confronts the occupants. There has been many cases where the intruders killed the helpless occupants just for the heck of it. The law rightfully recognize this and allows the use of lethal force if necessary for self defense.

    I think the student had no time to think. What happen to the burglar was unfortunate, but understandable.

  5. #75
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    You people are impossible to debate with - you're just sucking the fun out of it. You only hear what you want to and are never prepared to make a single tiny concession. Forgive me if I don't see it all black and white like you seem to.

    I really can't be bothered arguing with a brick wall.

  6. #76
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    OK so you think individual property rights take precedence over others' right to life?!
    Property rights? It's not about property rights at all. It's about safety.

    Are we assuming it was a coverup by the evil property owners that he "lunged" at them?

  7. #77
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    *sigh*

    You people are impossible to debate with - you're just sucking the fun out of it. You only hear what you want to and are never prepared to make a single tiny concession. Forgive me if I don't see it all black and white like you seem to.

    I really can't be bothered arguing with a brick wall.
    I am sure that it's not fun to debate when you're losing badly.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #78
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post

    That being said, I am of the opinion that career criminals understand the hazards of their chosen profession. The fact is, that somewhere around 80 million americans own firearms, and that many jurisdictions in the US have the castle doctrine. A burglar stands a statistically significant chance of encountering a home owner, who is legally authorized to use deadly force in response to the invasion. Assuming that the criminal understands this and continues to rob people anyway, it logically follows that there is consent from the burglar to utilize deadly force in the encounter. This consent of course is implied and not expressly given, but it exists non the less.
    Care to provide the source for the statistical significance? While I get your point, I feel compelled to point out that I doubt petty thieves care to access academic journals to access the most recent statistics on armed homeowners before they conduct badly planned burglaries The assumption that a burglar is aware of the possibility of facing an armed homeowner is of course fair but that is not really the point. The question is whether the use of force, particularly ending in the death of the intruder was justified given that the actual home was not intruded upon and the student's life was not in direct danger.

    The implied contract you provide above is less applicable to this situation because it is neither a social contract where citizens give up rights in exchange for public goods (defense etc) or a work contract where workers give up the right to sue for being injured in potentially hazardous circumstances in exchange for pay. What is the exchange made here by both parties? The latter did bring up a random thought (blame Ne) -- a whole new insurance line for burglars looking to protect themselves from being hurt, given the hazards attached to this profession.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    That being said, however, I don't see a problem here. With the fact that it was an intruder INSIDE their home, that therefore implies that the intruder very likely has a weapon and may use lethal force themselves. This assumption MUST be made, because if yeu stop to check, yeu're probably already dead. Furthermore, just because the guy *HAS* a sword, doesn't mean he's heavily proficcient with it, and considering the sword type in question, he needs a fair amount of swinging room to actually make any descent use of it for accuracy. Even *IF* he was skilled in its' use, trying to use it in confined quarters like that with finesse would not likely be possible. Add in fear, adrenaline rush, and other factors, and it's pretty heavily weighted that trying to strike a dibilitating, non-lethal blow is very unlikely to start with.
    The intruder wasn't actually inside the house. The original story reported that the intruder was in the garage that was not attached to the house. A newer story reports that the intruder was actually outside, in the yard.

    In the original article, a trained professional suggested that the student was likely trained in using the sword to some extent given that he confidently grabbed it and thought it would be enough to defend himself against a potentially armed burglar. Things could have been worse still - we could have seen two deaths if the burglar was armed, particularly with a gun or just the student could have been killed instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    if my home was broken into on the same day that someone breaks into it again, i think i would be pretty edgy, too. it's shittty that someone died, but let the kid go. i really doubt he would be swinging a sword at anyone on the street. chalk it up to choosing the wrong mark
    Being edgy is not a valid reason for running out with a sword - particularly in terms of protecting yourself against an armed assailant, as pointed out above. Also, being edgy is not a line of defense in this case where a person ended up dying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Some time ago, I read a report about a road rage incident in which a guy holding a crowbar was killed when the enraged attacker took it from him and used it. Being overly concerned for an aggressor's well being could quickly become a fatal mistake.
    This is a strange leap to make -- the questions raised were not to warn against protecting oneself or expressing inordinate compassion for an attacker. When attacked, using whatever means necessary to protect yourself is justifiable in any circumstance. Here, however, it wasn't clear that the student's life was in fact in danger. What would you suggest in the case you provided above? That the person originally holding the crowbar attack the enraged guy first or that it seems like a terrible idea to involve a crowbar in a road rage incident?!? This is hardly a case of excessive compassion for the attacker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    I agree with whot the person in this case did, not because they were right in the matter, murder is not a punishment befitting the crime; yeu can't even legally put a theif to the death penalty in the courts, so whot makes yeu think that an INDIVIDUAL acting on their own, and emotionally unstable at the time, should be given more authority than a legal office specifically designed to be impartial and fair, with checks and balances? If yeu can't charge them with the death penalty if they were caught by the police, why should yeu be allowed to charge them with the death penalty if they were caught by the homeowner?

    There are extrenuous circumstances however, in the case presented, yes those circumstances are present. The capacity for the individuals in question to truly restrain the theif safely is almost nil. Yeu have NO clue how hard it is to hold someone down who is scared for their life. If yeu're comming at them with a sword, trust me, there is NO way that 3 people can hold them down and keep them steady unless all three of them are notably over the weight of the person they're trying to subdue, and even then it isn't always possible, and usually requires special training to do so.

    There's not much reason to believe that the 4 who caught the theif could've reliably managed to detain him without excessive risk to themselves, and there's no reason to believe that they could've injured without killing.

    Life is sacred, stop wasting it just because yeu feel yeurs is more valuable than everyone else's. If yeu have no value on life, or value property over life, yeu already are a criminal and just haven't committed a crime yet.
    Lots of good points and you're right, all life should be respected, not just human life. The punishment did not befit the crime in this case, that is clear. At the same time, it is certainly possible, as you suggest, that the students couldn 't have necessarily held this person down and this was an attempt at self defense gone too far without the intent to kill. This was always a well acknowledged possibility. However, this was not the only possibility and given the death, accidental or not, I'm glad that a proper investigation follows.

    Non-sequitor -- an INTJ writing an emo and yet balanced response on the issue is very endearing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kra View Post
    I think some of us are forgetting that we don't know the whole story here. We don't know that the student identified a robber, picked up a sword with the intention of resolving it himself.
    Precisely...in that case it seems odd to give complete benefit of doubt to one side.

    Let's be reasonable. When people hear a loud noise from an unoccupied area of your property, most people will go to inspect the situation and will usually grab some means of protection just in case. The kids probably went to inspect it, and were caught off guard by the thief, and he apparently lunged at the kid with the sword.
    Yes, please. Let's be reasonable.

    Actually, I sincerely hope that most people will not go and investigate where the noise is coming from if the noise is coming from OUTSIDE their home. The burglar may very well have been armed and I'd rather not take the risk of facing off with someone trained to use a firearm. That seems like a more sensible response. When mugged, the advice is to hand over your wallet, not to fight the thief, right? Again, it's certainly possible that the misinformed students just went out to investigate the noise and ended up killing this guy. It is very unfortunate. I sincerely hope that others will not follow this example. In this case, the student was lucky that this guy was not armed.

    The burglar was unarmed and it was suggested lunged at the student in fear for his life. A neighbor heard screams coming from the house and called the police.


    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Tell you what, if a burglar breaks into your house you can go ahead and assume that he's just a poor guy trying to make ends meet... Me? I'm going to err on the side of caution.
    A leap you make all by yourself -- raising a question about the possible excessive use of force here or the motives of the burglar does not equal suggesting that a person should not defend themselves when attacked. The point being made, as pointed out before, is that the value of any two human lives should be equal before the law. If both human lives are valued equally, then the loss of the burglar's life deserves the same attention. We don't dismiss the student as simply acting in self defense without a full investigation and getting complete evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    Property rights? It's not about property rights at all. It's about safety.

    Are we assuming it was a coverup by the evil property owners that he "lunged" at them?
    Wasn't the student who ran out with his sword into the garage/yard in fact protecting his property? Haven't most people here made the argument that the student had the right to protect his property with any means possible?

    The student went out with the sword without being directly attacked by the burglar. This characterization is inaccurate. If we were to see it from the burglar's perspective, as hardened a criminal he may have been, he was unarmed and was faced with an armed attacker. As the police chief in the first Baltimore Sun article says, he likely lunged in fear...

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am sure that it's not fun to debate when you're losing badly.
    When you make an argument that actually holds water, let's revisit the subject of winning/losing.

    Some thoughts:

    1. I am saddened and revolted by the idea of people finding the student's actions worthy of emulation and praise. This is a sad accident, at the very least and possibly an event where the student may have overreacted. We don't need more people to go out and buy weapons and take the law into their own hands. We also don't want homeowners/renters to believe that attacking a potentially armed intruder with a sword is a good idea. This could have very well led to fatal consequences for the student. My sincere hope is that other students will not be inspired to follow suit - buying weapons that they may or may not be trained to use, putting themselves or other people in danger.


    2. We are so quick to paint the events in black and white, victim and perpetrator. The student is the 'kid', worthy of our compassion and the perpetrator, a hardened criminal unworthy of the same. Those of us raising questions are simply pointing out other possibilities. This is the 3rd event in Baltimore in the last month, apparently, where a burglar/mugger has been killed. One was bludgeoned to death with a bat. The second shot by a chasing officer while he was running away and now this one with the sword. The story is always more complicated and even hardened criminals have rights - including that to life and justice.

    3. Hopkins is an incredibly wealthy university in one of the most depressed areas in the country. As more and more people lose their jobs, crime rates have gone up in many neighborhoods. We all have anecdotes from people we know whose homes/cars may have been burgled or where they were mugged themselves from across urban areas in the country. This particular area has seen a spate of robberies. There is a real problem with security in the area, there is no doubt. There are also real problems between the university and the surrounding community. No easy answers here, of course. The point is just that there are bigger questions that need to be addressed.

    From a more recent article in the Baltimore Sun:
    4. More information has emerged showing that police were alerted by a neighbor earlier that evening that an intruder was lurking in the yard. They came around to look but failed to locate the guy. Later the student decided to investigate for himself, grabbed his sword and came out to check. He saw the guy crouching in the corned and moved towards him saying that he should stay there. He asked his friends to call the police. The man started walking towards him with his hands in the air. The student attacked and apparently with a single blow (that's mind-blowing) severed his hand and caused the laceration that led to the man bleeding to death. I'm mad the police didn't find him earlier and mad that the burglar was released from jail after all those burglaries he had previously committed. Either of these would have prevented a tragic death and other potential burglaries. :steam:

    When an event like this occurs, one would hope that we would, as the community in the area is doing, examine the circumstances that led to the event and how similar events could be avoided in the future.

  9. #79
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    You can guess and re-guess what the criminal might have been doing or thinking. But that doesn't change that he was there when he shouldn't have been. How can you blame the police for letting him go but not realize that if he hadn't been in their garage it wouldn't have happened? Wouldn't it be easier if he had controlled himself rather than the police needing to control him or the swordsman controlling his sword? Everyone get together to be concerned for his well being when he isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    1. I am saddened and revolted by the idea of people finding the student's actions worthy of emulation and praise.
    That is exactly why there is no way to understand each other. What would the burglar have to have done to be ok to "defend" yourself? Hit you with fists? Grab something in the garage and attack? Where is the line? We should hand out check lists "if the burglar does 1, 2, 3 and 4 it is ok if you defend yourself." We could all put them up in our houses and read them like a "stroke warning signs" card.

    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    A leap you make all by yourself -- raising a question about the possible excessive use of force here or the motives of the burglar does not equal suggesting that a person should not defend themselves when attacked. The point being made, as pointed out before, is that the value of any two human lives should be equal before the law. If both human lives are valued equally, then the loss of the burglar's life deserves the same attention. We don't dismiss the student as simply acting in self defense without a full investigation and getting complete evidence.
    Of course there should be an investigation. Did someone say there shouldn't be? If someone dies naturally without doctors knowing why - they do an autopsy and take time to look into it. You really think people aren't advocating for investigations? Any death is investigated. You are adding something to the argument that no one is arguing.

  10. #80
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    When you make an argument that actually holds water, let's revisit the subject of winning/losing.
    I've been doing a great job.


    Some thoughts:

    1. I am saddened and revolted by the idea of people finding the student's actions worthy of emulation and praise. This is a sad accident, at the very least and possibly an event where the student may have overreacted. We don't need more people to go out and buy weapons and take the law into their own hands. We also don't want homeowners/renters to believe that attacking a potentially armed intruder with a sword is a good idea. This could have very well led to fatal consequences for the student. My sincere hope is that other students will not be inspired to follow suit - buying weapons that they may or may not be trained to use, putting themselves or other people in danger.
    Ridiculous. How on Earth is defending your own property "taking the law into (one's) own hands?" You've got to be joking. "Taking the law into your hands" would be vigilante justice. This is anything but that. If the student had been previously victimized and felt that he was able to take charge of the situation, the right thing was done. We SHOULD be encouraging people to defend themselves.


    2. We are so quick to paint the events in black and white, victim and perpetrator. The student is the 'kid', worthy of our compassion and the perpetrator, a hardened criminal unworthy of the same. Those of us raising questions are simply pointing out other possibilities. This is the 3rd event in Baltimore in the last month, apparently, where a burglar/mugger has been killed. One was bludgeoned to death with a bat. The second shot by a chasing officer while he was running away and now this one with the sword. The story is always more complicated and even hardened criminals have rights - including that to life and justice.
    Sometimes the story IS that simple, and you have no basis to assume otherwise in this story. Even if the burglar were otherwise a nice young man who drove his grandmother to church every Sunday, HE took HIS OWN LIFE in his hands when he trespassed and broke/entered. What notion of justice was lacking here?


    3. Hopkins is an incredibly wealthy university in one of the most depressed areas in the country. As more and more people lose their jobs, crime rates have gone up in many neighborhoods. We all have anecdotes from people we know whose homes/cars may have been burgled or where they were mugged themselves from across urban areas in the country. This particular area has seen a spate of robberies. There is a real problem with security in the area, there is no doubt. There are also real problems between the university and the surrounding community. No easy answers here, of course. The point is just that there are bigger questions that need to be addressed.
    A load of hot air. One of the best ways to make dangerous areas less dangerous is for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves and learn how to use weapons properly and to fight. You cannot rely on the police to protect
    you, especially in a rough neighborhood in a rough city like Baltimore.


    From a more recent article in the Baltimore Sun:
    4. More information has emerged showing that police were alerted by a neighbor earlier that evening that an intruder was lurking in the yard. They came around to look but failed to locate the guy. Later the student decided to investigate for himself, grabbed his sword and came out to check. He saw the guy crouching in the corned and moved towards him saying that he should stay there. He asked his friends to call the police. The man started walking towards him with his hands in the air. The student attacked and apparently with a single blow (that's mind-blowing) severed his hand and caused the laceration that led to the man bleeding to death. I'm mad the police didn't find him earlier and mad that the burglar was released from jail after all those burglaries he had previously committed. Either of these would have prevented a tragic death and other potential burglaries. :steam:
    Case in point.


    When an event like this occurs, one would hope that we would, as the community in the area is doing, examine the circumstances that led to the event and how similar events could be avoided in the future.
    It's a shame that law-abiding citizens in the inner city often support more stringent gun control, because they are the ones who should be arming themselves and getting training on firearm safety, martial arts, etc.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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