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Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:35 pm
by Grimjac100
Wow...from use of force to Eric Garner to grand juries and the job of the police...time to throw in my over-inflated opinion!

Firstly: anyone who has not been shot at, assaulted with a knife, gotten curb-stomped, kicked in the nads, or otherwise personally experienced violent attentions...shut the hell up because you haven't got a clue. You have NO idea what a `proper' response would possibly be. Just like those of you not women have no idea what menstrual cramps or PMS is like. You can entertain all the lofty ideals you want about it, craft your dream palaces about How It Ought To Be...and none of it means a damn because you don't know how it IS.

How many of you have jobs? How many of those jobs deal with people? How many of you like it when some uninformed dork looks over your shoulder and starts telling you how to do your job? I can't draw a stick figure; am I then competent to tell tailsteak how he should move his pencil when he's creating this comic? Or would you feel he'd be completely justified in telling me to shut the hell up and let him do his job? Can I come to your job and start telling you how it should be done?

What most people on this particular board have completely missed, especially those beating the Eric Garner case into the ground (I would have said `to death' but that'd just be mean)...ANY physical confrontation is life and death. Period. Anyone who comes at you or after you...be they male, female, cop, civilian, military, gay, straight, androgynous...if they get physical, they have the possibility of killing you. It may be a low probability, but it *is* possible. This is why self-defense pretty much hinges on the judgment call of "Do you think your life is in danger?"

And Bob Psycho doesn't even have to INTEND to kill you. Maybe he wants your wallet, or the hot dog you just bought from a vendor, so he grabs you...you twist away, your foot slips, and you slam your head on the edge of the hot dog cart. You are now dead. Stupid accident, Bob Psycho didn't *mean* to kill you, he didn't *want* to kill you...but you are now dead nonetheless.

So how is there even a question that if someone approaches you with violence that you should not respond with overwhelming force? Do you want to be dead or crippled? Is your heart so over-full with the milk of human kindness that you will cheerfully go to the slaughter, just so your attacker doesn't have to strain himself?

Bugger that. You come at me with a fist, I'm bringing a rock. Bring a rock, I'll grab a club. I'll use any and every weapon I can find, hoard, create, buy, carry, and use. ZERO limits.

Why? Because you do NOT and never will have the right to threaten me and mine. I will not risk my life or the lives of those I love that the Universe is going to play nice and I'll get away with just a black eye or bloody nose.

Sure, it would be really nice if we could all solve all our problems and differences with a few well-reasoned words and maybe a cupcake. That would be awesome...but as long as humans are human, it's nothing but a wish for Never-When. It is a fact that humans will do whatever most benefits them. This translates roughly into: people will do whatever they feel they can get away with. Don't believe me? How many of you have cheated on your Significant Other, under the assumption that it would be forever a secret? How many of have exceeded the speed limit? Played a computer game while the boss was in a meeting? Called in sick because you had sick days and really wanted to sleep in?

You do all these things, knowing they aren't `right', aren't `honorable' or `legal' or `ethical'...but you tell yourself nobody cares, nobody will know, it doesn't hurt anyone, everyone does it, blah bah blah. You do it, knowing it's `wrong'...because you can. That action benefits you in some way, and you can get away with it.

Some people take it farther. They push people around because they can. They'll steal, they'll rob, they'll threaten, they'll rape and kill. Because in their mind/heart/soul...it benefits them and they can get away with it. In many instances, they can and do.

Who's going to stop them? If your well-reasoned words and your fluffiest cupcakes don't dissuade them from their course...who stops them?

And yes, there are those that say, "My life is not worth taking another human life." They'd rather die than cause permanent harm to another human. I can respect their belief, but I can't share it. As I see it: if we are all equal under the eyes of God/the Universe/whatever Divine presence you may feel watches and weighs us...the one who initiates the violence loses the most points on the scoreboard. That's my belief; you don't have to share it or agree, but know that you aren't going to change it.

Since this is my sincerely held belief, I am also very aware of my actions. I don't want anyone attacking me because of where it might lead; therefore I don't attack others. Physically, I mean. As Roosevelt said: walk softly and carry a big stick.

As for the police...we tend, as humans and as a society, to look at end results and assign blame. We'd be better off all around, as I see it, to focus more on responsibility. No job comes with an I'm Always Right! button. Cops can screw up just as any human can, and I believe any investigations of wrong-doing should be handled by an outside body. And that body should focus on responsibility. In the vast majority of cases, police brutality and wrongful deaths would have been avoided if the person had not decided to break the law and therefore come to the attention of the police. No matter how you slice it, except in a very few mental health cases, that person made a decision to break the law. The law of unintended consequences applies, but they made the decision. Attempting to shift the responsibility...to economics, race, gender, family status, number of Twinkies consumed...dehumanizes that person. What raises humans above animals is our ability to engage in abstract thought. To imagine, think, plan. Saying Bob Psycho isn't responsible for murdering his family because he's a poor gay Asian transgender who ate too many Quarter Pounders means he wasn't able to handle abstract thought. He couldn't/didn't imagine, think, plan for consequences. Take it to the logical extension and if Bob is not responsible, he is not human.

Seriously, am I the only one who realizes that an altercation with a person carrying a gun is not a long-term survival tactic? If they have a gun, there is the possibility that YOU WILL GET SHOT. Me, I'd think even the *lowest* probability of that possible outcome is way too friggen high. The odds may be 100 million to one against it, but that's still way too high for me to play with.

Violence is not a game. Sadly, a lot of people think it is...that certain levels are acceptable, or even glamorous. They go right on believing it until they're the ones down and bleeding out, and their family is crying about who to blame. Newsflash: you are.

As for what qualifies me to expound on such deep philosophical matters: combat Marine, executive protection, martial arts student and instructor, self-defense instructor, firearms instructor, and the recipient of more ass-kickings than I care to remember. (As an aside: anyone who claims to be familiar with violence and states they never got their ass kicked? Yeah, they're probably lying.) And yes, most of my ass-kickings, I deserved.

Or, you know...maybe I'm just full of crap. Believe what you will.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:52 am
by Razmoudah
For the most part I agree with you, except for one thing. There are times when cops have assaulted someone who did not break the law. It doesn't happen very often, but there are documented cases of it happening.

Now, I do think your reaction is a tad over the top regarding reacting to potential threats, but that is ultimately up to you to decide. Personally, unless I am absolutely certain the other person is trying to kill me (although I do assume that once they start waving a gun around) I prefer to incapacitate them. Broken limbs, destroyed joints, even a broken spine if they just keep coming, but I do prefer to give them a chance to learn from their mistakes until I'm absolutely certain they mean to kill me. Once that point has been crossed however I'm going to eliminate them by the most efficient means at my disposal, and at that point I have to say I completely agree with you.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:55 am
by snowyowl
Razmoudah wrote:There are times when cops have assaulted someone who did not break the law. It doesn't happen very often, but there are documented cases of it happening.
Of course. The legal system is absurdly complicated; there's no way to tell on the spot if some arbitrary thing is illegal or not, that's what we have courts for. Courts which are presided over by trained professionals with years of education. Cops can't judge whether someone is breaking the law. Lawbreakers can't judge whether they're breaking the law.

Grimjac100 wrote:Seriously, am I the only one who realizes that an altercation with a person carrying a gun is not a long-term survival tactic? If they have a gun, there is the possibility that YOU WILL GET SHOT. Me, I'd think even the *lowest* probability of that possible outcome is way too friggen high. The odds may be 100 million to one against it, but that's still way too high for me to play with.
What if the person with the gun is the one initiating the confrontation? And maybe don't realise it at the time? We see a lot of stories in the news about police shooting people because they thought that person was carrying a gun, when it was actually some harmless mundane item. If I carry a Coke bottle near a cop and get shot for my trouble, who was responsible for starting the altercation?

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:35 pm
by Razmoudah
I am referring to the rare cases where there was no evidence of any type of crime having been committed and even a court found the victim of the police beating to have been completely innocent. They are extremely rare, but they have happened. There are also times where it was an extremely obscure law that was no longer being enforced that the police used as an 'excuse' to assault the person. Those ones are more common, but are still very rare.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:26 pm
by snowyowl
You're implying that using violence to arrest people who the courts will find guilty is more justifiable than using it against people who the courts will later find to be innocent. How can the police know at the time whether someone is breaking the law or not?

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:31 am
by Razmoudah
That's not what I am trying to say, and part of the training of being a police officer does cover a significant portion of the laws and identifying when someone is breaking them. After all, if a police officer can't decide if you are breaking the law or not then by what justification can they give you a speeding ticket? Or a seat belt ticket? Or maybe a poor lane control ticket? Part of being a police officer is being able to identify a certain variety of criminal behavior, the other part is being able to investigate when a crime has taken place to track down the suspect(s).

What I am trying to say is that there are times when police have used excessive, even unnecessary, force against someone who was not suspected of having committed a crime, but did so just because they could. When an officer has reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime then they have a responsibility to take you in and verify if you have or haven't, as they can't always know if you have or haven't, but they are only to use the degree of force needed to do so. Beating you into a bloody pulp with their batons when you aren't even fighting back is excessive force, and there are a lot of documented cases of something like that happening, where the suspect was subdued and police continued to attack, sometimes even fatally so. That is what I am trying to get at, when police have used more force than was called for or necessary, even against people that they didn't have reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:34 am
by snowyowl
OK, I agree with that.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:42 am
by Razmoudah
Yeah, I was probably doing a bad job of explaining it before.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:21 am
by jocaypa
You know what the problem is? Most people agree that an ideal world is one without violence. However, in the eternal war between offense and defense, guns are often seen as the non plus ultra (Not because they are the most destructive, but because they are the deadliest [as in, easiest to kill with]). Is that so, however? "Deadly force" is a right no individual person should carry, and whatever the role police must play in each society, the general case is that, between all of their priorities, "Protecting innocent people" should come before "stopping the criminal", even if it's easy to believe the second is the only way to solve the first.

Re: Use of force

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:08 am
by Bramble.Chappell
jocaypa wrote:You know what the problem is? Most people agree that an ideal world is one without violence. However, in the eternal war between offense and defense, guns are often seen as the non plus ultra (Not because they are the most destructive, but because they are the deadliest [as in, easiest to kill with]). Is that so, however? "Deadly force" is a right no individual person should carry, and whatever the role police must play in each society, the general case is that, between all of their priorities, "Protecting innocent people" should come before "stopping the criminal", even if it's easy to believe the second is the only way to solve the first.


Lethal force isn't a right. But protecting myself or a bystander from attempts on my/their life is. And yes, if someone is attacking you, shows no signs of restraint or being willing to back off, and you don't have the ability to restrain them or a safe place to retreat to that you can access in seconds, you aren't safe when your attacker is on the ground. You're safe when you know they aren't going to get up five seconds later and charge you again, when you might not be as lucky as the first time.

I'm biased. Though more recently I've been blessed to be in a much safer environment, to live in the town I grew up in qualified as "a damn good reason" to carry a gun and know how to use it. One can certainly argue that any law enforcement officer should be trained and equipped to absolutely everything in their power to protect bystanders without resorting to lethal force- I agree.

I don't have that training. I don't have those resources.