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A hypothetical for you to judge: Likely or Unlikely?

USNavySquid

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In this hypothetical, everyone will carry a gun and everyone will know that the other guy carries a gun. It will have been that way for a long enough time that people in society have adjusted to it, accepted it and take it for granted. Par for the course, status quo etc etc. Even if a person doesn't carry a gun, it will be reasonable to assume that like most others, he/she does carry a gun.

Now, if you and I are on the street having an argument, it might be prudent to pull my gun out first. I reasonable assume that you have one. You are a stranger. I don't want you to pull your gun. I just want to stop arguing. In other words, I got my gun out first, so please calm down.

I'm not out of control. I'm not irrational. I just want this to end peacefully and me getting my gun first is preferable in my mind to you getting your gun first.

But what if it doesn't end peacefully? What if you feel threatened enough by my gun (after all, you don't know my intentions) and you decide to reach for yours?

Seeing you reach for your gun and begin to raise it up to me, I may be justified in shooting you at that point (or would I?) Would you have been justified in reaching for your gun after I reached for mine? (Hell, yes in my opinion.)

Is this a likely scenario? If it's likely, is it likely to be frequent or likely to be rare? If it is unlikely, why? What changes would have to occur to allow us all to carry guns and yet prevent this scenario from happening frequently or even at all?

Some may argue that you shouldn't reach for your gun unless you intend to shoot it. Does that mean that me reaching for my gun --for the purpose of ending the argument before you reached for yours-- was the wrong choice? How many people do you think might make this wrong choice in the heat of an argument with a stranger who we can reasonably assume is carrying a gun?
 

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If all you want to do is stop arguing but instead of just shutting up and moving on you decide to pull a gun you deserve whatever happens to you. See, by pulling the gun all you're doing is escalating the situation which means that you don't really want to stop the argument, you want to win it by whatever means necessary including killing the person you're arguing with. Decisions like that are not made by normal people. They are made by brain damaged people.
 

Captain Adverse

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In this hypothetical, everyone will carry a gun and everyone will know that the other guy carries a gun. It will have been that way for a long enough time that people in society have adjusted to it, accepted it and take it for granted. Par for the course, status quo etc etc. Even if a person doesn't carry a gun, it will be reasonable to assume that like most others, he/she does carry a gun.

Now, if you and I are on the street having an argument, it might be prudent to pull my gun out first. I reasonable assume that you have one. You are a stranger. I don't want you to pull your gun. I just want to stop arguing. In other words, I got my gun out first, so please calm down.

I'm not out of control. I'm not irrational. I just want this to end peacefully and me getting my gun first is preferable in my mind to you getting your gun first.

But what if it doesn't end peacefully? What if you feel threatened enough by my gun (after all, you don't know my intentions) and you decide to reach for yours?

Seeing you reach for your gun and begin to raise it up to me, I may be justified in shooting you at that point (or would I?) Would you have been justified in reaching for your gun after I reached for mine? (Hell, yes in my opinion.)

Is this a likely scenario? If it's likely, is it likely to be frequent or likely to be rare? If it is unlikely, why? What changes would have to occur to allow us all to carry guns and yet prevent this scenario from happening frequently or even at all?

Some may argue that you shouldn't reach for your gun unless you intend to shoot it. Does that mean that me reaching for my gun --for the purpose of ending the argument before you reached for yours-- was the wrong choice? How many people do you think might make this wrong choice in the heat of an argument with a stranger who we can reasonably assume is carrying a gun?
Well, I am not going to comment on some of the errors in your scenario; I'll just respond accepting it as a given.

First, look at past history for guidance. When everyone carried a firearm in the old west, there really weren't that many "shoot-outs." That's a myth created by penny-dreadful writers who exaggerated the actions of a few men. In fact, shoot-outs were so rare they were noteworthy for the fact they ever happened.

Why? Because people are naturally cautious in a potentially dangerous situation, and DON"T "go for their gun" as quickly or with as little justification/provocation as you show in your scenario. When things start to look really dangerous one or both would usually calm down, try to walk away and let things cool off.

Another historical example is the establishment of some sort of code duello (dueling code) for situations where things get heated enough someone feels the need to shoot someone. You agree to meet with seconds, then duel to first blood or death, or calm down and someone apologizes and the duel is off.

In any case, we'd have to indoctrinate kids in weapons use and safety, and instill a proper awareness of the dangers inherent in "totin an sidearm."
 

LaMidRighter

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Pulling is a last resort, it is the end result of a situation that is escalating to the point of aggression. If you pull first without an imminent threat you are the aggressor, simply stated, pulling a gun to end an argument is a bad move, pulling it to end violent aggression or imminent threat is rational.
 

USNavySquid

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Pulling is a last resort, it is the end result of a situation that is escalating to the point of aggression. If you pull first without an imminent threat you are the aggressor, simply stated, pulling a gun to end an argument is a bad move, pulling it to end violent aggression or imminent threat is rational.
I agree. I also think that many people would make this mistake... they would make the mistake of pulling without justification. How do we allow people to carry guns without making that mistake?
 

USNavySquid

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If all you want to do is stop arguing but instead of just shutting up and moving on you decide to pull a gun you deserve whatever happens to you. See, by pulling the gun all you're doing is escalating the situation which means that you don't really want to stop the argument, you want to win it by whatever means necessary including killing the person you're arguing with. Decisions like that are not made by normal people. They are made by brain damaged people.
I agree with all except the normal vs. brain-damaged part. Someone can be normal... then they make a bad choice... then we call them brain-damaged. How do we mitigate the risk that the normal person will make the bad choice?
 

USNavySquid

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Well, I am not going to comment on some of the errors in your scenario; I'll just respond accepting it as a given.

First, look at past history for guidance. When everyone carried a firearm in the old west, there really weren't that many "shoot-outs." That's a myth created by penny-dreadful writers who exaggerated the actions of a few men. In fact, shoot-outs were so rare they were noteworthy for the fact they ever happened.

Why? Because people are naturally cautious in a potentially dangerous situation, and DON"T "go for their gun" as quickly or with as little justification/provocation as you show in your scenario. When things start to look really dangerous one or both would usually calm down, try to walk away and let things cool off.

Another historical example is the establishment of some sort of code duello (dueling code) for situations where things get heated enough someone feels the need to shoot someone. You agree to meet with seconds, then duel to first blood or death, or calm down and someone apologizes and the duel is off.

In any case, we'd have to indoctrinate kids in weapons use and safety, and instill a proper awareness of the dangers inherent in "totin an sidearm."
I find your description of the old west to be encouraging. I have to weigh it on how I think the individual has evolved since then, however. (I think the concepts of honorable duels and caution are somewhat lost on the Me generation. Not to say that we could not find them again.)

"We'd have to indoctrinate our kids... " Should this be up to the private citizen? or mandated by the government?
 

LaMidRighter

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I agree. I also think that many people would make this mistake... they would make the mistake of pulling without justification. How do we allow people to carry guns without making that mistake?
Only a complete psychopath would do that. Honestly most people do not have bloodlust, and even then there is a major contingent that would hesitate because of the magnitude of the decision and it's consequences. Self defense starts at physical, then it progresses to moral and ethical, and finally mental, no rational person wants to kill, it's a very heavy burden.
 

USNavySquid

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Only a complete psychopath would do that. Honestly most people do not have bloodlust, and even then there is a major contingent that would hesitate because of the magnitude of the decision and it's consequences. Self defense starts at physical, then it progresses to moral and ethical, and finally mental, no rational person wants to kill, it's a very heavy burden.
Ok. I disagree. Let me throw some imagery at you... For me, --and maybe you-- it is automatic, for the image of a white-male to pop into my head for this scenario. The white male who has been brought up on action movies and is a bit more savvy about street confrontations than say.... the 45-year old woman with her purse and groceries clutched in a death grip as she walks home. She, in all her interactions throughout her life, has never been in a confrontation with an armed stranger before. Has no savviness about remaining cool. She's the flighty type. But she carries a gun because it is par for the course and she does not want to be a victim. What if she pulls first because she's scared? Is she a psychopath?
 

LaMidRighter

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Ok. I disagree. Let me throw some imagery at you... For me, --and maybe you-- it is automatic, for the image of a white-male to pop into my head for this scenario. The white male who has been brought up on action movies and is a bit more savvy about street confrontations than say.... the 45-year old woman with her purse and groceries clutched in a death grip as she walks home. She, in all her interactions throughout her life, has never been in a confrontation with an armed stranger before. Has no savviness about remaining cool. She's the flighty type. But she carries a gun because it is par for the course and she does not want to be a victim. What if she pulls first because she's scared? Is she a psychopath?
What you are describing with the woman is the definition of percieved threat, nothing wrong with her reaction. The "White male raised on action movies" is an unfortunate stereotype, while it's possible that someone could be influence by too many action movies, the nuclear family and basic reality dispell much of the Hollywood myth.
 

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In this hypothetical, everyone will carry a gun and everyone will know that the other guy carries a gun. It will have been that way for a long enough time that people in society have adjusted to it, accepted it and take it for granted. Par for the course, status quo etc etc. Even if a person doesn't carry a gun, it will be reasonable to assume that like most others, he/she does carry a gun.

Now, if you and I are on the street having an argument, it might be prudent to pull my gun out first. I reasonable assume that you have one. You are a stranger. I don't want you to pull your gun. I just want to stop arguing. In other words, I got my gun out first, so please calm down.

I'm not out of control. I'm not irrational. I just want this to end peacefully and me getting my gun first is preferable in my mind to you getting your gun first.
If you have to draw your weapon just to settle an argument, you are out of control and irrational.
 

USNavySquid

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What you are describing with the woman is the definition of percieved threat, nothing wrong with her reaction. The "White male raised on action movies" is an unfortunate stereotype, while it's possible that someone could be influence by too many action movies, the nuclear family and basic reality dispell much of the Hollywood myth.
I haven't posted in the gun control threads before tonight. I don't know what particulars people have been discussing. The "perceived threat" is particularly interesting to me. I understood that threats are defined. They are not up to the individual's perception/determination.

"I perceived a threat," said the armed sentry.
"What threat?" said the commanding officer.
"That he was going to physically attack me," said the sentry.
"But he was 40 yards away, walking slowly and had no visible weapon," said the CO.
"But he was cursing at me and looking at me angrily."
"So? That is no justification to pull your gun."
"But I perceived that it was."

Does this dialogue apply to our discussion?
 

Surtr

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I haven't posted in the gun control threads before tonight. I don't know what particulars people have been discussing. The "perceived threat" is particularly interesting to me. I understood that threats are defined. They are not up to the individual's perception/determination.

"I perceived a threat," said the armed sentry.
"What threat?" said the commanding officer.
"That he was going to physically attack me," said the sentry.
"But he was 40 yards away, walking slowly and had no visible weapon," said the CO.
"But he was cursing at me and looking at me angrily."
"So? That is no justification to pull your gun."
"But I perceived that it was."

Does this dialogue apply to our discussion?
That sentry would find his ass in a court martial quick fast, and in a hurry. There was absolutely no justification for using deadly force in this scenario.
 

USNavySquid

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That sentry would find his ass in a court martial quick fast, and in a hurry. There was absolutely no justification for using deadly force in this scenario.
So that weakens the argument for "perceived threat" being justification for a scared lady to shoot a stranger in a confrontation?
 

RabidAlpaca

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In this hypothetical, everyone will carry a gun and everyone will know that the other guy carries a gun. It will have been that way for a long enough time that people in society have adjusted to it, accepted it and take it for granted. Par for the course, status quo etc etc. Even if a person doesn't carry a gun, it will be reasonable to assume that like most others, he/she does carry a gun.

Now, if you and I are on the street having an argument, it might be prudent to pull my gun out first. I reasonable assume that you have one. You are a stranger. I don't want you to pull your gun. I just want to stop arguing. In other words, I got my gun out first, so please calm down.

I'm not out of control. I'm not irrational. I just want this to end peacefully and me getting my gun first is preferable in my mind to you getting your gun first.

But what if it doesn't end peacefully? What if you feel threatened enough by my gun (after all, you don't know my intentions) and you decide to reach for yours?

Seeing you reach for your gun and begin to raise it up to me, I may be justified in shooting you at that point (or would I?) Would you have been justified in reaching for your gun after I reached for mine? (Hell, yes in my opinion.)

Is this a likely scenario? If it's likely, is it likely to be frequent or likely to be rare? If it is unlikely, why? What changes would have to occur to allow us all to carry guns and yet prevent this scenario from happening frequently or even at all?

Some may argue that you shouldn't reach for your gun unless you intend to shoot it. Does that mean that me reaching for my gun --for the purpose of ending the argument before you reached for yours-- was the wrong choice? How many people do you think might make this wrong choice in the heat of an argument with a stranger who we can reasonably assume is carrying a gun?
Drawing your gun on someone is a direct threat. Just like the wild west, you should never draw on someone you don't plan on killing.

Though this scenario is very rare in the grand scheme of things. This isn't something that would magically start happening often if more people had guns.

I haven't posted in the gun control threads before tonight. I don't know what particulars people have been discussing. The "perceived threat" is particularly interesting to me. I understood that threats are defined. They are not up to the individual's perception/determination.

"I perceived a threat," said the armed sentry.
"What threat?" said the commanding officer.
"That he was going to physically attack me," said the sentry.
"But he was 40 yards away, walking slowly and had no visible weapon," said the CO.
"But he was cursing at me and looking at me angrily."
"So? That is no justification to pull your gun."
"But I perceived that it was."

Does this dialogue apply to our discussion?
No, this doesn't apply even remotely to our discussion. The sentry couldn't identify a gun, and by Army regs would end up getting court martialed and likely imprisoned. (with certain exceptions for afghanistan, IE: there is a point that they could cross where they will be shot, armed or not.) Your scenario involves someone in a rage drawing on someone. In the first scenario the person can clearly see the gun and the threat imposed.
 
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Surtr

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So that weakens the argument for "perceived threat" being justification for a scared lady to shoot a stranger in a confrontation?
The only time you should ever draw your weapon is when there is a real and imminent threat to life. Perception that there might be danger is not enough, because death is permanent.
 

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The only time you should ever draw your weapon is when there is a real and imminent threat to life. Perception that there might be danger is not enough, because death is permanent.
I agree. Do you remember the case of the US border patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican who jumped the fence and threw stone(s) at the agent? I felt then and now that it was an unjustified shooting. But, I can see how some might argue that a stone throw could be lethal if it hits the head just so.

But going back to the armed sentry, and his training on the continuum of deadly force, would the sentry have been justified to draw and shoot a man who threw a stone at him?
 

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I agree with all except the normal vs. brain-damaged part. Someone can be normal... then they make a bad choice... then we call them brain-damaged. How do we mitigate the risk that the normal person will make the bad choice?
Young black males in urban cities carry guns because they think it gives them respect. "Respect" seems to be key in why they carry a gun and why they use one. It has very little to do with self defense and more to do with machismo.
 

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Young black males in urban cities carry guns because they think it gives them respect. "Respect" seems to be key in why they carry a gun and why they use one. It has very little to do with self defense and more to do with machismo.
It could be equal parts machismo and self-defense. I think black males know that other black males on the streets have guns and i think that knowledge influences their decision just as much as machismo. But it is an uninformed opinion. i have never asked a black male why he carries a gun.
 

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I agree. Do you remember the case of the US border patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican who jumped the fence and threw stone(s) at the agent? I felt then and now that it was an unjustified shooting. But, I can see how some might argue that a stone throw could be lethal if it hits the head just so.

But going back to the armed sentry, and his training on the continuum of deadly force, would the sentry have been justified to draw and shoot a man who threw a stone at him?
If all he did was throw a rock, then no. Our body armor stops bullets and shrapnel, a rock is not a credible threat. If any action were to be taken, I'd remind myself of ROE, and act accordingly. When I was in boots, you call it in, tell the guy to **** off, and if he still insists, you shoot dirt. If he pulls out a firearm, then you can show him what his lungs look like, but not until he makes the wrong move.
 

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If all he did was throw a rock, then no. Our body armor stops bullets and shrapnel, a rock is not a credible threat. If any action were to be taken, I'd remind myself of ROE, and act accordingly. When I was in boots, you call it in, tell the guy to **** off, and if he still insists, you shoot dirt. If he pulls out a firearm, then you can show him what his lungs look like, but not until he makes the wrong move.
Agreed. But civilians don't follow those rules and I'm not sure civilian courts would either. I think a lot of street confrontations between opposing fans at the major league stadium parking lot , the mall, the discount grocery store, the highway etc etc, will end up in a lot of what you and I might call unjustified shootings simply because people are irrational/make bad choices for WHATEVER reason, and have a gun at hand they can rely on (a crutch). in the late 90's, my social group said they would get cell phones only for emergencies. now, we rely on them. cell phones are not guns. But the tendency to rely on what is at hand is the same.
 

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Agreed. But civilians don't follow those rules and I'm not sure civilian courts would either. I think a lot of street confrontations between opposing fans at the major league stadium parking lot , the mall, the discount grocery store, the highway etc etc, will end up in a lot of what you and I might call unjustified shootings simply because people are irrational/make bad choices for WHATEVER reason, and have a gun at hand they can rely on (a crutch). in the late 90's, my social group said they would get cell phones only for emergencies. now, we rely on them. cell phones are not guns. But the tendency to rely on what is at hand is the same.
Yeah, but most people don't rely on threatening to kill someone in order to win an argument. It does happen with & without guns, but that's certainly not the norm.
 

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Agreed. But civilians don't follow those rules and I'm not sure civilian courts would either. I think a lot of street confrontations between opposing fans at the major league stadium parking lot , the mall, the discount grocery store, the highway etc etc, will end up in a lot of what you and I might call unjustified shootings simply because people are irrational/make bad choices for WHATEVER reason, and have a gun at hand they can rely on (a crutch). in the late 90's, my social group said they would get cell phones only for emergencies. now, we rely on them. cell phones are not guns. But the tendency to rely on what is at hand is the same.
None of that justifies whipping out a pistol, and those who do should rightfully be imprisoned and stripped of their rights. Over 80 million legal gun owners in this country disprove your last line every day. A firearm carries with it extreme responsibility and concequence, and the vast majority of us know this, and act accordingly.
 

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It could be equal parts machismo and self-defense. I think black males know that other black males on the streets have guns and i think that knowledge influences their decision just as much as machismo. But it is an uninformed opinion. i have never asked a black male why he carries a gun.
I guess it depends on what they're defending. No doubt there are many factors but "disrespect" seems to be at the heart of a lot of the violence where even the smallest slight can result in either killing or being killed.

"I shot him because he disrespected me."

Living on the raw edge of despair, they desperately husband and protect their "respect." Arrested killers frequently explain to the police, "I shot him because he disrespected me." To these young people, losing "respect" means leaving them with absolutely nothing, as in nothing with living for. And so the desperate young will kill anyone who attempts to attack their pride by "disrespecting."
I Gotta Gun. Disrespect Me and I'll Kill You.


The article notes that the common temptations for gun carrying by youth include protection during drug dealing; protection from disrespect; and protection from repeated aggression and bullying. Gun handling produced two diverse responses, fear and excitement. The interviews conducted revealed a dangerous form of gunplay known as “flossing” and cognitive distortions of peer attitudes toward carriers. Flossing was characterized as the casual handling or firing of a firearm, and an interim step between intentional posturing and automatic behavior.
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=246199


You got to be ready to put in your work [violence] at any time; it doesn't matter what it's over: disrespect, money, whatever. Work is work. (BG, aged 17 years)

You have to be ready because it [violence] can happen at any time… . Someone is always going to try [disrespect] you. Once you violate [disrespect] my space, you gotta get dealt with [use violence]. (BL, aged 16 years)

The findings suggest that some youth offenders equated violence to labor. In communities where Black male youths are often chronically unemployed and marginalized from mainstream opportunities and labor markets, economic violence—meaning violence associated with economic crime— represents a form of work. Accumulated engagements in violent events on the street give an individual credibility and respect and in a sense build the "street resume."....read.."
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806402_5
 
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CRUE CAB

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In this hypothetical, everyone will carry a gun and everyone will know that the other guy carries a gun. It will have been that way for a long enough time that people in society have adjusted to it, accepted it and take it for granted. Par for the course, status quo etc etc. Even if a person doesn't carry a gun, it will be reasonable to assume that like most others, he/she does carry a gun.

Now, if you and I are on the street having an argument, it might be prudent to pull my gun out first. I reasonable assume that you have one. You are a stranger. I don't want you to pull your gun. I just want to stop arguing. In other words, I got my gun out first, so please calm down.

I'm not out of control. I'm not irrational. I just want this to end peacefully and me getting my gun first is preferable in my mind to you getting your gun first.

But what if it doesn't end peacefully? What if you feel threatened enough by my gun (after all, you don't know my intentions) and you decide to reach for yours?

Seeing you reach for your gun and begin to raise it up to me, I may be justified in shooting you at that point (or would I?) Would you have been justified in reaching for your gun after I reached for mine? (Hell, yes in my opinion.)

Is this a likely scenario? If it's likely, is it likely to be frequent or likely to be rare? If it is unlikely, why? What changes would have to occur to allow us all to carry guns and yet prevent this scenario from happening frequently or even at all?

Some may argue that you shouldn't reach for your gun unless you intend to shoot it. Does that mean that me reaching for my gun --for the purpose of ending the argument before you reached for yours-- was the wrong choice? How many people do you think might make this wrong choice in the heat of an argument with a stranger who we can reasonably assume is carrying a gun?
I stopped reading at you were in an argument then pulled your gun.
If going for the gun is the way you wish to stop an argument, please return your gun to the safe and leave it there.
You always have the option of walking away from a person you do not wish to argue with.
You pull your gun everytime you and the wife argue?
 
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