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You guys aren't getting very far.

Clearly there is such a thing as an accident and the law and prosecutors acknowledge that fact and act on it all the time.

As to the issue of who is responsible for a bystander's safety I think you ought to move directly to the most illustrative case: not accidental but intentional.

You are threatened with a gun in your shop and the criminal holds a hostage as a shield in front of him. Can you shoot the hostage since your life has been threatened?

I'm not sure why a war context has been brought up, and I know this may not be the case today (though there is some argument about that), but in a rational, individualist society, shooting bystanders in war would be allowable. In fact, even targeting civilians in war is appropriate if it is necessary to end the war sooner and save good guys' lives.

In the situation above I would say that shooting the hostage to get at the criminal is allowable if your life is threatened (and having a gun pulled on you is a threat to your life no matter what a robber might say to the contrary.)

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And the term 'accident' is a device used to evade personal responsibility for one's action. There is no justification whatsoever to not hold someone responsible for aiming and pulling the trigger on

Omniscience and omnipotence are not prerequisites for one being responsible and accountable for one's actions, including erroneous actions. Your example fails because the shooter is responsible f

Another difference between military use of small arms and civilian self defense is that the military uses automatic weapons. One does not aim the individual rounds of an automatic weapon, instead the weapon is aimed in the general direction of the enemy and then it is a struggle against the recoil to keep control of the weapon. Snipers and guys making single shots from their rifles do have time to center their weapon sights on their target, which means they do get to see their target and have a chance to identify it as a friendly. If the lighting is poor or the target presents only in silhouette it can still be misclassified based on being in the wrong place at the wrong time and confirmation bias.

No store clerk drawing a handgun in self defense can claim misidentification as an excuse for shooting the wrong person. Robbery requires the thief to approach the goods to be stolen before he can take them. If a clerk can't distinguish between two people standing 2 or 3 meters away or becomes that blinded by panic or fear then that clerk has no business to be carrying a weapon in the first place.

Your points are getting more absurd by the minute. And you've pretty much proven that you're not an expert on guns.

And you still haven't explained how two posts after declaring that there is no such thing as an accident, you declared something an accident.

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Your points are getting more absurd by the minute. And you've pretty much proven that you're not an expert on guns.

If you are incapable of replying with logic or facts, then replying anyway makes you look impotent.

And you still haven't explained how two posts after declaring that there is no such thing as an accident, you declared something an accident.

To take the idea of an accident literally is to believe that the law of causality occasionally suspends itself. Actions require actors, always. The only valid referents of the concept accident are "happenings (usually unfortunate) to a passive subject that were in no way caused by that subject" which groups together events with human causes (ex. auto collisions) and natural causes (ex. tornados) when the cause is not relevant (ex. criteria to get a no-fault insurance policy to pay out).

An action implies the existence of an actor. It does not matter if the actor did not act with full intention or if there were unexpected consequences of an action, the actor remains the cause of his action and is responsible for it and its consequences. An action such as shooting a hostage or a bystander can either be justified or not be justified, in either case the shooter is still the cause of the shot. If that shot is morally and legally validated then blaming the perpetrator of the crime as the moral or ultimate cause is correct. That validation is not automatic.

If anyone wants to proffer an argument theoretically justifying the use of an automatic weapon in response to an attempted armed robbery using a pistol which results in killing the robber, some people in the store and three people across the street then I would be interested in reading it. A successful argument would have to overcome or circumvent the ethical and legal principle of proportionality in justice.

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Just to make sure everyone is clear on what I'm talking about, I'll illustrate.

This is NOT a machine gun:

ar15Tapco.jpg

Actually without seeing the selector lever on the other side of the gun, I can't be sure this one isn't a full auto model.

Nevertheless the point remains that many people don't know the difference between a semi-auto rifle that is a "clone" of a military select fire model and a real full auto weapon (thanks to a media that is on the gun-grabbers' side). And even those full auto weapons aren't really "machine guns" in the sense of a belt-fed weapon, even though they can fire multiple rounds on one press of the trigger.

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