Lethal Force Over Stuff?

Sean has a post up of yet another person killed wounded AFTER they complied with the robber’s wishes. These cases are quite common, the most horrific in my mind is the Long Island Pharmacy Massacre.

People often say not to use lethal force over “Stuff”. As a matter of fact Michael Bane talks about this at length in his most recent podcast. “I will not shoot you over my Wallet”, “I will not shoot you over my TV” “I will not shoot you over my Car” etc etc. And he’s right. If somebody takes my wallet I’m out the cash, gift cards, and various other non-refundable items, like my train pass. I’ll need to chat with officer friendly to get a police report done about the theft, and I’ll need to get my various credit and debit cards, as well as my licenses to drive and carry cancelled and replaced. That’s a SHITLOAD of work, but better than having to kill somebody, right? (Never killed anybody, so I can’t really speak about that, certainly I wouldn’t shed a tear hearing somebody ELSE killing some jerk willing to do that)

But is that really the point of contention? Let’s mock-up a mugging for a wallet.

Thug Presents a weapon or implied weapon and in-so-many-words presents this offering point: “Give me your wallet or I will kill you.”

Now lets assume he’s not bluffing. There’s no way to tell, and the antis LOVE to give violent and dangerous people the benefit of the doubt. I think any rational person should see the error in that. I don’t associate with anybody who rob somebody or so much as THREATEN violence to get something they wish to take. The people willing to do something so dastardly are not the best and brightest of the world. They are not the people you should EVER trust, or give the benefit of the doubt.

As a general rule unless its some snot-nosed Ritalin-kid mouthing off, I’m going to assume they do indeed mean to kill me over something as trivial as my wallet.

Let’s assume I do simply hand over my wallet and chalk it up for a loss. What has actually exchanged hands? My attacker now has my wallet and its contents, but I have NOTHING new in the exchange. As you can see in the above stories you are in just as much danger AFTER you comply as before. The only thing you have is your agreement in a social contract with somebody who has already demonstrated that they have both no respect for human life, nor any honor to larger social contracts like “Don’t threaten murder” and “Don’t Rob People”.

Furthermore besides the cash and credit cards which are to the immediate benefit of the robber, what else is in your wallet? Well for starters my full name and home address. My gun permits. This will tell any thief willing think about it where the house of the guy who complies lives, and not only is there the usual stuff, but there’s also guns. Also if you have business cards in your wallet, they now know where you work. There’s all sorts of other information that can be gleaned.

So even if the robber runs away with your wallet, who’s to say the danger is done?

BTW the same can be said if they take your car, many of us keep various useful items in our car that might lead back to us if somebody takes it.

I think I can say with a high degree of confidence that you are in WORSE shape complying with a robber than resisting.

Furthermore let’s look at the “contract”: “Give me X or I will kill you.”

really is that first part even relevant? Again you get NOTHING out of the bargain, and quite possibly that “or” could turn out to be an “and” as the above cases. Really how that contract REALLY reads is: “I will Kill You!” and that’s how I read it.

The closest a mugger will get to my property is if I pull out my wallet and toss it on the ground to draw his attention away from my gun as it comes out of the holster.

I will not kill somebody over my property, but somebody willing to threaten me FOR my property is willing to kill me no matter what I do. I WILL kill over that.

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0 Responses to Lethal Force Over Stuff?

  1. Pingback: QOTD: Weer’d Thoughts on Lethal Force | SnarkyBytes

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  3. Jester says:

    I have to agree with you on this entire post, furthermore I would add that similar to many other situations, most of the time the criminal has already made up their mind on what they will do, before they engage a target. You have the dubious honor of getting to try to decide what their true intentions are according to the media, and can’t possibly know so your gun will make a bad situation worse. I disagree completely with this mentality. The situation is already horrific. You get to try to make the distinction on if they have the means to carry out the threat. I’ll treat it like a domestic disturbance is by the courts and the police. Even the implied threat of bodily harm is enough to cause bad things to happen to the accused. I’ll apply the principal that if someone threatens me in such a manner they do mean it and would not be saying it if they did not have the means to make good on that threat. It should not be on the victim to prove they were threatened. The police should have to prove they were not.

  4. Will Brown says:

    You’ve spotted the critical distinction, I think, the judgement we each have to make; is my active resistence to the threat going to increase or decrease my chances of surviving the encounter? There is no universal answer, but I agree the better universal option is to confront threat from the basic mindset of pursueing active resistence whenever the entire circumstance permits it. If you’re one of those who agree, it follows I think that you want to give yourself as many choices as you’re capable of from which to resist assault. General physical fitness, martial arts (which also generally emphasize situational awareness as necessary precurrsor to defensive action), legal advice/representation, gun training, even licensing provides a layer of respectability for you once you come under the judgement of others and all of which needs to be put in place by you before anything happens in order to effective in the event. The gun’s an important part of all that, but it’s hard to honestly assert it’s the most important prior to something actually happening that forces a decision.

    As you note elsewhere Weer’d, guns are fun to shoot and the rest of all that is mostly less so (I’m one of those wierdos that likes getting – and getting to – punched around), but I think it’s all necessary if we don’t want to be at the mercy of other’s whim after not letting ourself be killed by Random Crook.

  5. Bubblehead Les says:

    Brother Beard, as one who has pulled the trigger, Deadly Force is allowed in Self-Defense. One does NOT have to determine the Criminal’s State of mind. All one needs to say is “I was in Fear for my Life”. Doesn’t matter what Weapon the Perp uses, if it can hurt or maim you, you can shoot back.

    At least one can in Ohio, where there is “Shall Issue” CCW, Open Carry, Castle Doctrine, Affirmative Defense, unlike some other “VolksRepubliks” one can name.

  6. mike w. says:

    My understanding is that the person must have opportunity and ability to do you lethal harm. If they do then you may shoot. Les is right, you need not ascertain their state of mind. If someone comes up to you with a knife and says “I want your car” lethal force in self-defense is justified.

  7. Daniel in Brookline says:

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.”
    — Frederick Douglass

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  12. junyo says:

    “What has actually exchanged hands? My attacker now has my wallet and its contents, but I have NOTHING new in the exchange. ”

    Well, if you do it right you have a distraction and a chance to invite your weapon to the conversation, at which point you can proffer a counter offer of “Run now, or else”.

  13. Windy Wilson says:

    In law school it was explained that finding self defense is all about the reasonableness of your fear for your life, given all the facts and circumstances of the situation as you knew them.
    Now, “reasonable” is what another professor referred to as a “weasel word”, meaning you can beat the concept into yielding practically any result, but the consensus in the Criminal Law class was, if you “see steel”, you are justified in fearing for your life.
    My take-away from that was, if the choir boy comes to you and threatens murder or great bodily injury if you don’t participate in his unoffical NGO program of income and property redistribution, you are justified in fearing for your life and attempting to cause him to no longer threaten you. How you do that is up to you given the facts and circumstances of the encounter.
    Some states my limit your rights because of professional courtesy.

  14. Old NFO says:

    If I am in fear for my life, I WILL act accordingly…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Odd to think that someone who threatens to murder you would be honest about the conditions.

    Let us turn to the wisdom of the late Colonel:

    “One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.”

    -Jeff Cooper, “Cooper vs. Terrorism”, Guns & Ammo Annual, 1975

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Jeff Cooper is hands down the most quotable teacher of self defense out there.

      A few other posts on this subject also quoted the Good Colonel.

      My personal fave is: “An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and fleeing from evil never defeats it.”

  16. Trent says:

    Michael Bane is an idiot. Anyone who’s listened to him talk for more than a few minutes knows this.

    You make excellent points in this post, and I totally agree. Compliance only emboldens the criminal and makes your life even more worthless in their eyes.

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