gringito wrote:I woke up in the middle of the night and suddenly had this question in my head – and shortly after a headache!
Why do so many people
on the one hand accept the criminal as an inevitable part of life, a sort of god given eternal menace, a sort of impregnable dark force against which no resistance appears to be possible and no antidote seems to exist, and they respond to it only with flight or prepare for it by utilizing means of self defense which do not hurt the criminal (...), means which they can sacrifice (e.g. a dummy wallet or 10$ as a booty), etc;
I accept the criminal as an inevitable part of life because crime itself is inevitable. I believe resistance is possible. I think the response to a criminal act depends entirely on the individual circumstances of the particular crime.
ON THE OTHER HAND
consider law abiding gun owners (or arms owner), which do not retreat from a criminal threat but are prepared and willing to repel such threat, as dangerous or even crazy people which they fear even more than the criminal and which they socially, morally and politically ostracize and depict as a danger for society and for their own existence?
In general, I don't. I do believe that there are people who have yet to commit any crime and may be crazy. Though they are currently not a criminal, who knows what could happen if you put a gun in their hand. Most likely a small percentage of the population and nothing I worry about. The same guy could go nuts with a kitchen knife or car just as easily, if not more easily.
The question aroused in the course of this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=26458
However, I have allowed myself to open a separate thread since the question is more orientated to psychological and social effects and patters.
IIn context with B) I have read, for example, of fears, exaggerations and quite irrational thoughts such as
- law abiding gun owner s would create a Wild West environment,
- even 90 year olds would carry a Smith& Wesson,
- why not arm schoool kids with guns, eh?
- even tourists would have a Kalaschnikow,
- drunk gun owners in a bar would get into fights,
- a law abiding gun owner could brake the law, i.e. become a CRIMINAL!
- the world would become a really dangerous place;
-Wild West - Perhaps in Somalia, Iraq, Syria, other (civil) war ravaged countries. Stabler countries with high rates of gun ownership such as the US and Canada, I have yet to see anything that could described as "Wild West," and I've lived in Western states where it's not uncommon to see a guy walk into a convenience store to buy a gaseosa
with a pistol strapped to his side. In remote Alaska everyone walked around armed. After an accidental death it took two days for a Park Ranger to show up and there're large bears running around. You'd be stupid to leave your house without being armed.
-90 year olds - Maybe. So what? Don't see the relevance.
-arm school kids - sounds more rhetorical than a possibility up for serious discussion.
-tourists with Kalaschnikow's - I'm guessing local, state, and/or federal laws wouldn't allow this.
-drunk gun owners in bar fights - Again, perhaps. I think a lot depends on the type of bar. Lot of hip/hop clubs use metal detectors now. I don't know that it's much of a problem now in your "average" local type bar and currently if someone wants to bring a gun into that type of bar there's not much stopping them. I get the point though. Alcohol and firearms don't really go well together.
-law abiding gun owner turns instant criminal - Semantics. Every criminal was once a law abiding citizen, until they committed a crime. Was a firearm responsible for this change of attitude? Unless the person was unstable to the point of being convinced by an inanimate piece of metal to turn criminal, no. If he was convinced by owning a gun, he has far greater problems and would be dangerous with or without a gun.
-the world would become a dangerous place - You mean it isn't already?
gringito wrote:What makes people be more afraid of their legally armed fellow citizens than of the illegally armed thug/criminal?!
I think the issue is that no one knows the intent of a stranger. Nobody walks around with good guy/bad guy identifiers. Sometimes even the police who are in uniform can be looked at as good guys or bad guys, depending on the color of your skin. I don't think people are any more or less afraid of their legally armed fellow citizens than of criminals. They just don't know who's who. What they are afraid of is being shot, be it as a direct target or caught in cross-fire between criminals and legally armed fellow citizens who are shooting it out at the mall, movie theater or other public place. I lived in the Denver area when that nut shot up the theater during the last 'Batman' movie. Lot of comments from people saying if they were allowed to have had their gun with them they'd of taken the guy out. How do you do that in a loud, dark theater showing an action movie after the guy dressed in all black sets off smoke bombs? People would just start shooting wherever they see muzzle flashes. How many people would fire not being sure of their target and what was beyond it? I wouldn't want to be near some armed, untrained person who panics and just starts blasting. Panic creates more panic. A lot of guns would have made that situation worse than it already was.
gringito wrote:And as an add on a question a la advocatus diaboli (devil's advocate):
If the legally armed fellow citizens would REALLY (…) brake the law, i.e. become a CRIMINAL, why should they care? I mean, in such case they “only” had the SAME situation they are already willing to deal with by providing sacrificial offerings (dummy wallet, cheap items, etc.) to the criminal and by acting with the flight response?
Don´t get me wrong: I do not intend to enter into an anti gun vs. pro gun discussion.
What happens behind the forehead of the person that simply accepts the criminal & the threat of crime but not the fellow citizen that resists to the criminal and considers THE FELLOW CITIZEN as the REAL threat, this is what I am interested in.
As I mentioned up top, I think response should be relative to the situation at hand. First question; how many criminals am I facing and how are they armed? Do I even fully know the answers to those two questions? Am I in my home or on the street? Let's say I'm on the street. Positive I'm in a one on one. I'd pull my gun if I had it on me and use it if necessary - the guy doesn't turn and run but continues to be a threat. No gun, I'm thinking pepper spray (giving me time to flee) which can be used at a greater distance than I knife. Knives scare me in that you have to be very close to your attacker to use it. If he physically overwhelms me he could take it and use it on me. Not as likely to happen with a gun when the gun holder is willing to use it.
What if there are more than one attackers or I'm not sure how many there are and how they are armed? Pull a gun in this situation and you may take out your main target, maybe a second if you're fast, but if there's more than one attacker your odds of getting shot (do they have guns?) increase greatly. In Lima street criminals tend to work in packs. In this case it is best to offer whatever they want because of the unknowns of knowing exactly
what you're up against. Could they harm you anyway even after you've handed over your stuff? Of course. Most street criminals are interested in your stuff, not killing you, which increases their penalty should they be caught. To me it's a matter of odds. The odds favor that I'm being robbed by someone, or a group, looking to take my stuff, not a psycho looking to take my life just to kill someone. If facing a psycho or someone you feel just doesn't want to take your stuff but your life then sure, pull your gun, knife or whatever because you have nothing to lose but your life at that point.
In a potential situation where I'm dealing with criminals like this I'm looking at the path of least resistance, not to be a hero, or stand my ground, make a point, or anything else. I just want to get out with as little harm done and as fast as possible. To me, it makes more sense to give them a wallet with a few bills in it and hope that's the end of it. Even if I had a gun, unless I was positive it was a one on one situation, the odds of getting shot or hurt greatly increase if I resist. Take the fifty soles in my wallet and take off. They're not looking to make a robbery last longer than necessary. The quicker they're satisfied, they quicker they go. Don't walk around with stuff you're not willing to lose or give up if you're life is threatened. It's possible you might get stripped naked, but more likely that they will take what's obvious and move on. I wear a travel belt with an unseen zipped up compartment on the inside. Unless they take my belt off they're not getting what I have hidden there. If they don't take my pants off they're not finding the wallet that attaches to my leg. Hopefully by tossing them a wallet and spilling some coins on the ground they're satisfied and I make a run for it while they're picking money off the ground. I'm also willing to give them my backpack because I haven't put anything of great value inside of it. I just don't want to get shot because I didn't hand over my "stuff." I'm not really into having or accumulating stuff and don't have many material possessions of great monetary value. Unless you're in a wide open space you have no idea how many attackers your facing, how they're armed, and what they're willing to do if you don't cooperate. As reminded the other day, even a martial arts expert can easily be killed. I'm not surprised or concerned if you and perhaps others feel differently about any or all of what I've written, but I tried to provide honest opinions to your questions. As we've seen just here on this forum - it's a touchy subject for some.
As far as someone trying to attack me in my house where I have a greater advantage? Say hello to my little friend....