Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kayson Helms - Summary Execution for Armed Robbery

We had a discussion yesterday about the case of Kayson Helms who was shot dead trying to rob an A.A. meeting in Columbia South Carolina. What I don't understand is the seemingly hard attitude on the part of the pro-gun crowd. Basically they all say the same thing: "If a criminal is stupid enough to show a gun and one of us is around, he deserves whatever he gets. He asked for it."

Now, that may be perfectly true, the "asking for it" part, but what is it with that attitude, that macho, tough-guy talk? It's usually followed by referring to the dead criminal as a "mutt" or a "goblin." What kind of talk is that? I'll tell you what kind. This is typical pro-gun, us-against-them mentality. It's the pro-gun guys against the anti-gun liberals. It's the pro-gun guys against the criminals. I say the pro-gun crowd are as anti-social as the criminals. It's difficult to find one of them who can take criticism and disagreement without resorting to personal attacks and insults. I believe they make the society worse not better. Here's an example.

When an armed robbery takes place how often does it result in loss of life? When an armed robbery takes place and one of you concealed carry guys is present, how often does it result in loss of life? The answer to the first one is very low; the answer to the second one is very high. That's why educated and intelligent anti-gun pro-safety experts recommend that cooperation with the robber is the best bet.

I know what the gun crowd says, what about this and what if that happens, well I suggest it's not the variations and possible twists on the scenario that worry them. What worries them is that the idea of allowing a thief to take what he wants, even if it means that statistically your chances of survival are greater, is contrary to their macho thinking. It's absolutely opposed to their don't-tread-on-me mentality. It's about their feeling like real men, regardless of the true benefit to themselves and those nearby.

What's your opinion? I thought the last Anonymous comment was quite compelling, the one about the gun having been put in the face of the writer's daughter and that Kayson got just what he deserved. The only problem is that even staunch supporters of the death penalty usually don't recommend death for robbery.

What do you think about that dilemma we talked about yesterday? What should the responsible gun owner do, shoot first and worry about the morality later?

What's your opinion.

49 comments:

  1. You have to be joking.

    The thug holds a gun to someone's head and you don't think he should be shot in order to protect an innocent person's life?

    What the hell is wrong with you?

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    Replies
    1. Well that dudes was my friend and he did have a good heart jus put hiself in a horrible situation ..

      Delete
  2. Mike,

    Come on, isn't this a little ridiculous that you aren't approving my comments?

    Nothing I said violated your policy and yet you've decided that you don't want it to be seen. Don't want a counter point to your post to be seen.

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  3. What I am surprised about is how few of the other liberals who read this blog fail to comment.

    Surely this is a subject that people agree with, right?

    Where is the support for your position?

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  4. I believe in maintaining free choice. The criminal with a gun chose to abuse the gun and has to accept the risks. His victims did not choose to be involved. In any calculation of value, even a slight risk of significant harm to the innocent is far more important than the chosen and entirely avoidable risk to the criminal.

    The moral course of action is to protect innocents from harm, even at disproportionate cost to the criminal. In some circumstances I may selfishly accept a slight increased risk to the innocent if it means I don't have to kill, but generally I feel that the criminal chose to use a gun to get their way, and as much as possible they alone should bear the risk.

    This isn't about money and goods--I will give up my wallet in a heartbeat if it means I don't have to kill someone.

    (I don't think comments have improved since moderation, and it makes it less likely that I will post, or post with as much care when I can't tell if someone has already made my points)

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  5. BTW if the Lovely Master Helms meant to harm with his childish little prank, why'd he feel the need to bring a gun and threaten people with it?

    I mean if this was a peaceful demand for charity, why not just ask? People who felt like giving would, people who didn't, wouldn't, and nobody would get confused and shoot the young wipper-snapper!

    I mean if somebody didn't want to part with their wallet, I'm sure they could have told young Mr. Helms "No" with little fear, right?

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  6. Sevesteen, Thanks for your comment, which as usual I found logical and well thought-out. I like the way you described the sort-of sliding line of determination about whether to use deadly force or not. You place less value on the life of the criminal than I would, but essentially, I like the way you describe it.

    About the comments, I see what you mean. While writing, you wonder if there's a similar comment waiting for me to release it. In fact, several of Bob's rejected comments contained lengthy arguments that I would have liked to publish. The problem is he cannot restrain himself from using, frequently, a certain analogy or comparison that I've asked him to avoid.

    I have my suspicions about why he does it, and I have my reasons for refusing to accept it. Right or wrong those are my rules. You and the others don't seem to have too much difficulty with it.

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  7. So MikeB,

    You are free to accuse us of moral responsibility in one area of crime but can't not even discuss how you might or might not be morally responsible for crime in another area?

    YGTBSM, That is absolutely incredible.

    So here is the same comment with 1 line removed.

    MikeB,

    Guess we have found out where your true sympathies lie, and it isn't with the hard working honest people.

    This is typical pro-gun, us-against-them mentality.When a criminal breaks into my house, tries to steal my property, tries to assault me; THEY ,Not I, have set up the US versus them situation.

    They have decided to take what I've earned through my hard work. They have decided to take the lazy way to achieve their desires.

    They have decided to have NO REGARD FOR MY LIFE, MY PROPERTY, MY FAMILY.

    t's the pro-gun guys against the anti-gun liberals.Nope, not a bite. This isn't a left/right, conservative/liberal issue. This is an issue about liberty and society rules.

    I notice that you don't say anything about the criminals decision to break the rules of society. Rules against raping old ladies.

    Grand Prairie police say they have arrested a Chicago man accused of raping a 78-year-old woman and then setting her on fire.

    Daniel Deshawn Neal, 23, was taken into custody Tuesday and being held at Grand Prairie jail, police said. He will be arraigned Thursday.

    The woman was at her home in the 1800 block of Sunnyvale Road, near Carrier Parkway and State Highway 161, shortly before 2 p.m. Monday when a man who introduced himself as "Daniel" came to her door, police said.

    The man said he was trying to earn points to attend college as part of a "communications exercise," police said.

    The woman is not being named because The Dallas Morning News does not identify sexual assault victims.

    After the woman allowed the man into her home, she was assaulted, doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire. The woman was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas with second-degree burns from her stomach to her chin. Police said she is expected to recover from her injuries.
    from the Dallas Morning News.


    Now, who set up the "us versus them" mentality in that situation MikeB? It sure wasn't the lady minding her own business.

    But according to you, we shouldn't interfere with what a criminal is during. We shouldn't take a hard line against criminal scum like that.

    I say the pro-gun crowd are as anti-social as the criminals.You can say what you want to, but this proves how wrong you are.

    It is the criminals who have decided to prey on society. It is the criminal how have decided to be barbaric in their treatment of their fellow citizens... not the gun owners.

    It's difficult to find one of them who can take criticism and disagreement without resorting to personal attacks and insults.Pot meet Kettle. It is absolutely amazing you can't see your hypocrisy.



    When an armed robbery takes place how often does it result in loss of life?So, are you saying that we should cooperate and allow a criminal to steal our money. Money meant to put food on my table for my kids, money needed to buy medicine. Some of us have life threatening medical conditions . Yet we should let the criminal take what they want.

    Why not condemn the criminal for not working, for not trying to earn a living?

    Why not condemn a criminal for threatening people, for acting anti-social with a firearm?

    that's why educated and intelligent anti-gun pro-safety experts recommend that cooperation with the robber is the best bet.Guess you are saying exactly that. You are saying that a criminals wants and desires are more important then the people he is robbing, then the people he is raping, then the people she is assaulting.

    What worries them is that the idea of allowing a thief to take what he wants, even if it means that statistically your chances of survival are greater, is contrary to their macho thinking.I dare you to go the blog of Roberta X and leave this comment.
    http://twowheeledmadwoman.
    blogspot.com/

    Dare you to go to The Home on the Range Blog and leave it.

    Dare you to go to the View from the Front Porch blog and leave it.

    It isn't about macho Mike, I've realized I am far from macho and I'm okay with that.

    It is about not allowing someone else to take what I've worked for.
    It's about taking responsibility for my safety instead of submitting to the barbaric demands of a criminal.

    The fact that you even post non-sense like this shows how far out of touch with reality you really are.

    What should the responsible gun owner do, shoot first and worry about the morality later? Hey Clueless!! Here is an eye opener for you.

    The gun owner has already worked through the morality of it before they start carrying a firearm.

    the gun owner has already worked through the morality of it before they purchase a firearm to defend their home, their family.

    We think about this before we make the decision to protect ourselves.
    We decide what is moral, what is ethical, We find out what is legal long before we start taking responsibility for our lives.

    The fact that you have no idea of this show how little you really know about the "gun owners" you rail against.

    Are you going to publish it now?

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  8. BTW you talk a lot about "tough guys" and "Real Men" ect ect.

    Yet why aren't you man enugh to admit you're compleatly wrong on this issue?

    I mean we have you dead-to-rights on it, we've supported our argument, and your like-minded readers have no rebuttles, and neither do you.

    Hell you choose to delete support for our side rather than let it share this web space.

    Maybe it's time for YOU to Man up!

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  9. Poor little innocent Kayson Helms was a member of the New Jersey Crips, according to his Facebook page.

    The world is a little safer now that he's gone.

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  10. Yeah Mike, just give the robber the money and you'll be fine. I mean hell, he doesn't REALLY want to hurt you...........

    or not.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/1310775.html

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  11. Weer'd said, "Yet why aren't you man enugh to admit you're compleatly wrong on this issue?

    I mean we have you dead-to-rights on it, we've supported our argument, and your like-minded readers have no rebuttles, and neither do you."
    I suppose what you mean by supported your argument is that I've allowed you to say things in these comments without my challenging them. Then I've allowed you to repeat those things over and over again until, at least in your mind, they've taken on greater credibility.

    I've told you before, I'm not convinced by your argument.

    You deny three basic things which I believe in: 1. gun flow, 2. that the percentage of "good guys" who turn bad is more than negligible, and 3. that gun availability plays a part in many instances of gun violence.

    So, no, I'm not gonna "man-up."

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  12. "You deny three basic things which I believe in:"

    Not ONLY do I believe them, but I've demonstrated them as being the truth!

    You present NOTHING. It's called being WRONG!

    The Earth is not flat, Allowing gays to marry will not cause immorality to spread in society, marijuana does NOT lead to heroin, abstinence education does not lower teen pregnancy rates or teen STD rats.

    The above statements are TRUE, and I can prove all of those with data.

    What you believe is called WRONG, incorrect, untrue!

    MAN UP!

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  13. MikeB,

    Maybe if you could show there is anything to your 3 Beliefs besides your beliefs we might be a little more willing to see your points.

    But you present no evidence, no support, nothing but you standing on your soap box yelling you have a point and everyone should do what you want.

    Sorry but now I have a soap box also besides your blog.

    Expect some counter posts very soon.

    Stop by and see me at http://www.3boxesofbs.blogspot.com/

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  14. three basic things which I believe in: 1. gun flow, 2. that the percentage of "good guys" who turn bad is more than negligible, and 3. that gun availability plays a part in many instances of gun violence.your holy trinity, which you believe in on the strength of your faith alone. you certainly haven't shown any evidence for any of those things, unless maybe you count your own prejudices as evidence enough for you.

    you're a gun ban believer, mike, it's become a religion for you, and you're offended at us meanie "atheists" who bother you with mere facts.

    now i begin to understand why you claim this issue didn't use to matter to you very much. it's the "conversion of the atheist" trope; somebody who for most of their life didn't bother to think about the issue at all, and thought themselves an unbeliever because they didn't spend a lot of mental effort on it. yet underneath that apathy, they nevertheless took faith and religion for granted; it was what they considered their starting point, their emotional grounding, even if it wasn't their intellectual framework --- and as soon as they were in any way challenged, they built their framework on that grounding, becoming religious in the process. then they can go on to claim to be a "converted atheist", when before their "conversion", they typically would never have bothered to call themselves an "atheist", because they hadn't thought about the issues enough to really know what that would even mean.


    i think we've pushed you through a similar process, mike. gun banning was very likely something you always took for granted and never thought about; that was your unconsciously accepted default position. why shouldn't it have been? you grew up in New Jersey, one of the strictest anti-gun states in the union, then moved to Italy, with traditionally European laws and attitudes on the subject. when would you ever have had reason to think "guns are all outlawed, and so should they forever be" ought not to be the automatic default basis for thought and law?

    until we came along and challenged you on it. then you had to either evaluate your unconscious assumptions deliberately --- or defend them in order to stick to them without real evaluation. i think that's what happened here, and i think you chose the latter.

    odd --- in a way, that would make us mirror images of one another. i grew up in Europe, with the same attitudes about gun control that now surround you; never thought much about that unconscious standard until i came to the USA; then went the other way from you.

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  15. Nomen,

    Great comment. Great observation.

    Isn't it amazing that some people (MikeB) will liberty square in the eye and run away from the responsibility it requires?

    Banning guns means that people will rarely have to think about whether or not defending your life with lethal force is right or wrong.

    Banning guns means that people will rarely have to look at the root causes of crime; the social and cultural issues that lead a very few people to commit horrendous acts. They have an easy scapegoat instead of wondering why the MILLIONS of people in the same situation never resort to crime.

    Banning firearms means that people are guided in the direction of letting the government take the responsibility for their safety....soon that leads the government responsible for education (how much and how little), health, wealth and so many more.

    I wonder how much of the gun control motivation is because the responsibility, the choices a person has to make are -- scary.
    It makes a person confront the fact that they can or can not take a human life. That they have the ability to rely on themselves or that they lack that ability.

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  16. thug shows gun...thug gets shot...thug gets what he deserves...all that is fine in my book except for one thing with this story...a guy attending a A.A. meeting is just as dangerous as a thug from the street with a gun in my opinion. this guy probably wasnt cleared to drive a automobile so he shouldnt have been cleared to carry a gun.

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  17. Sorry Anon. My Father-in-Law still attends AA meetings. He hasn't touched a drop in over 20 years. He drives there too.

    Got a reader over at my LJ who's been sober for almost a year now. Cleared to drive, and carries a gun to his meetings.

    Lots of sober people go to AA meetings for the support and to help the newcommers who aren't yet out of the woods, and to share their story to people who need to hear it.

    Your comment is pure pejorative bullshit. I wouldn't link my name to such a comment either!

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  18. Quick note, because I think it's important. I admit I haven't read the lengthier comments; apologies if I'm restating what's already been said.

    First, I echo sevesteen: I think your "big risk-little risk" math unreasonably conflates risk to the criminal and risk to innocents into one "risk of death" category, in a way that misrepresents the situation. To hyperbolize, I'd prefer a "four dead women and ten dead attempted-murderers" statistic to "five dead women".

    Second, I think you're relying on an inaccurate stereotype with the macho thing. I own guns because I _don't_ think I could stand up to a career criminal without the best possible weapon in my hand. Give me a baseball bat and I'll fight as hard as I can to protect myself and my family, but I fully expect a thug with an improvised weapon would have a better than even chance of killing me dead, and that I'd have no chance at all against two.

    Isn't that the opposite of macho?

    [Incidentally, I've been accused of having a "Rambo complex" for owning a gun, and of being a coward for "hiding behind a gun". You'd think the stereotypers would make up their damned minds already. ;) ]

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  19. Michael said "[Incidentally, I've been accused of having a "Rambo complex" for owning a gun, and of being a coward for "hiding behind a gun". You'd think the stereotypers would make up their damned minds already. ;) ]"I've accused some of my commenter-friends of living in a fantasy world. I've wondered if some of them have about as much chance of needing their guns as I will, yet they keep talking about fighting for their lives, about taking down a would-be rapist with a kill-shot rather than attempting to wound the guy. Some of them talk about the government going tyrannical and only they with their personal arsenals will prevent it.
    All fantasy, I say.

    Does any of this apply to you? Please take no offense.

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  20. No offense taken. :)

    For me, the bottom line is that we should prepare for unlikely events when those unlikely events have serious consequences, and preparation has two elements: minimizing the risks of a disaster and coping with the disaster that happens anyway. New Orleans should've taken better care of its levees, but that doesn't mean you disband the emergency-response system. NYC should address the root causes of crime, but that doesn't mean you take the cops off the street. I drive carefully and obey the speed limits, but I'd still buy car insurance even if it wasn't mandatory. I'm young and in excellent health (and have a family history of frighteningly good health), but still buy the most medical insurance my policy offers. I exercise care in the kitchen, but still have a fire extinguisher next to the stove...

    And I deliberately moved to a low-crime, rural-ish area, am nice to my neighbors, don't advertise the little wealth my family's managed to accumulate, don't use illegal drugs, don't associate with the kind of people who associate with the wrong kind of people, pay attention to my surroundings at night, and have a good relationship with my local cops, but I still own firearms and know how to use them safely and effectively.

    Just as preparing for the "disaster" end of medical care can make it sound like I'm obsessed with mortality ("well, _if_ I hypothetically get hit by a car at the same time that my wife has an unexpected complication with her thyroid, so I should probably get _this_ option..."), I can see how prudent planning for a crime-disaster can sound like I'm obsessed with violence ("well, _if_ somebody breaks into my home and he isn't deterred by the weapon, a shot to an extremity is extremely likely to miss or fail to disable, so I should aim for center of mass..."). I don't think that planning for a low-risk-high-consequence disaster necessarily indicates obsession with that disaster, though.

    As far as resisting the government goes, I think it's useful to unpack the situation a bit into two fundamental components: the likelihood of our representative republic dissolving into either an abusive or absent government is essentially 100%. It's the likelihood of it happening in our lifetimes that's substantially smaller. All things end. Smart Romans looked at what had happened to the Egyptians, the Persians, the Etruscans, the Macedonians, and every other great empire that came before them, and realized that theirs wouldn't last forever, either. I think it's reasonable to plan for the inevitable fall of the American empire (especially as we repeat the same mistakes, overextending our influence throughout the world and spending more and more and more on security), even if that particular disaster happens in the time of our grandchildren.

    Basically, I see it as just another example of disaster preparedness, simply on a longer scale. We do what we can to avert the disaster by voting for representatives who we think will best safeguard the limitations of power that make our system work, but we prepare for the eventual disaster that will happen when our risk-minimization eventually fails. Guns are the car insurance of history. ;)

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  21. Wow, Straw man argument AND the irony that a man who openly denies facts and reality could accuse of of living in a 'Fantasy World".

    Maybe you'll grow up and admit you're wrong, Mike?

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  22. R.I.P. kayson...we miss u soooo much...love you!!...nd fxxk everybody tha said tha he deserved this...ok he made a bad decision but NO ONE deserves this!!...he was a great friend of mine so put urself in my shoes!...='(

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  23. Ladykixxx, Thanks for sharing your pain with us. I often write about these tragedies and feel honored whenever someone personally involved comments. Thanks for that.

    I agree he didn't deserve what he got. Even from the story in the paper, he seemed like a kid doing a stupid thing and to be shot down dead for that is a shame.

    Yet I can see what some of the other guys say, can't you? If I guy points a gun at you, it's hard to tell what's gonna happen next. What do you think?

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  24. "ok he made a bad decision but NO ONE deserves this!!...he was a great friend of mine so put urself in my shoes!...='("NO one deserved to be robbed by him either. He made a conscious decision to initiate violence against another person. He chose poorly and now he's dead.

    I have little sympathy for him. I DO feel bad for the man who had to kill him, and I feel bad for his family and friends.

    As for Kayson, good riddance. I have no sympathy for violent predators. NONE.

    He decided armed robbery was his thing. One of the occupational hazards of choosing to prey on the innocent is that your victims might fight back and pump you full of lead.

    If he hadn't CHOSEN ARMED ROBBERY he'd still be alive today. You want to try and rob people then you might just end up dead.

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  25. +1 to Mike W.

    I have no sympathy to one who has no concern for human life that they would threaten innocent people for mere baubles.

    Furthermore that he chose an AA meeting, only makes his act more disgusting.

    I can only hope Kayson's death will help others make better choices in life than he did.

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  26. Well thatz my fuckn cousin you guys are talkin about and i dnt fuckn appreciate it..For the guy who said that the world is safer now that he's gone..You need to go fuck ur self..U wudnt know that he was apart of the new jersey crips if u weren't doing you fuckn research on him u jackass

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  27. I agree with you, Anonymous. This is nothing but a tragedy. But your cousin did have a gun. Why don't you tell us more about him and how it happened.

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  28. If a thief has to wonder if you're armed there's a real good chance he won't even try it.

    If the law says he's GUARANTEED that you're unarmed then he's going to rob you.

    It's as simple as that.

    Gun restrictions are job security for criminals and crime rises when they are in place.

    Plus it is our right as Americans to keep the fruits of our labor according to the founding fathers and protect our person, property, and family.

    When someone decides to commit a crime like that he willfully steps into the danger zone against American citizens who are given the power to protect the fruits of their labor.

    That is a human right that is, according to the framers again - higher than any law or rule of man.

    What if that armed robber also had rape or murder on his mind? Would you suggest the victim (or the general population be unarmed?)

    No law in a book is going to stop someone determined to rape or steal. Laws in books DO DISARM the victims of those crimes though.

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  29. Anonymous, Why do you bring up rape? Your "what if" is bullshit really. This was a kid who did a stupid thing with a gun and paid the biggest price. I question if it was really necessary to kill him. I also question all the tough-guy talk as if his life was worthless. It wasn't and this was a terrible tragedy.

    The only thing you mentioned as much as "rape" in your comment was "the framers." What in the hell do they have to do with a black teenager in South Carolina in 2009?

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  30. I beleive the point that is being missed here is personal responsiblity. Helms walks into an AA meeting intent on robbing the group, (and who knows how many other robberies were committed prior to this) waving a gun around threatening to kill someone. Now to cowards on the left, the best idea would be to grovel on the ground in fear and indiginity, which would only empower and validate the gunman's actions. Helms actions were not only illegal but also irresponable, when you point a gun at someone you better be ready to deal with the consequences, if you point a gun at a police officer your going to get shot, if you point a gun at another citizen you should rightly assume the same. Helm walked into that AA meeting intent on doing harm and he dealt with the consequences. As a result Helm's associates who may have been thinking of robbing someone may think twice. Take responsiblity for your actions.

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  31. I just read about this in msn. I wish the castle doctrine was here in CA. But I'd rather not carry a gun out in public, that's scary to me. Maybe the culture of manners in the South helps more responsible thinking about guns, I don't know.

    While I undertand the comments in this article, they reflect the victimhood only seen by the robber. Isn't that ironic.

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  32. I do agree that you should not summarily execute someone for a crime. I do also believe very strongly in an individuals right to self defense. The man who shot Mr. Helms is not a mind reader. He can only see that this is a person bold enough to threaten other people with a deadly weapon. I have many years of firearms training- military, law enforcement and civilian- and you are taught 3 main things:
    1. Be sure of your target, if you shoot an innocent bystander, you are a murderer.
    2. Fire center of mass (no trying to hit the guys legs or hand because it increases chance of killing and innocent bystander).
    3. Fire until your target is neutralized. Usually this means the guy is on the ground clearly unable to fire. Unfortunately, that also usually means the guy is also dead or near to it. But think about this. If you shoot the guy just once and don’t kill/incapacitate him, he may fire back.

    Mr. Helms made a stupid choice to go into a gun friendly state like South Carolina, where citizens will stand up for themselves. If he wanted to rob someone with little risk, he should have gone over to Washington, DC or Chicago where the government strives to disarm all of its law abiding citizens.

    Friends of Mr. Helms, where were you when you needed to put him on the right path? How did he get his gun? Why did he need to rob someone all the way down in South Carolina? Did he need money? Why didn’t you help him out with a loan or gift? Was he mentally unstable? Why didn’t you get him help? Why was he in a criminal gang like the crips? Could you have done more to discourage that? What are you now doing to keep your other friends from going down the same bad path?

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  33. I do agree that you should not summarily execute someone for a crime. I do also believe very strongly in an individuals right to self defense. The man who shot Mr. Helms is not a mind reader. He can only see that this is a person bold enough to threaten other people with a deadly weapon. I have many years of firearms training- military, law enforcement and civilian- and you are taught 3 main things:
    1. Be sure of your target, if you shoot an innocent bystander, you are a murderer.
    2. Fire center of mass (no trying to hit the guys legs or hand because it increases chance of killing and innocent bystander).
    3. Fire until your target is neutralized. Usually this means the guy is on the ground clearly unable to fire. Unfortunately, that also usually means the guy is also dead or near to it. But think about this. If you shoot the guy just once and don’t kill/incapacitate him, he may fire back.

    Mr. Helms made a stupid choice to go into a gun friendly state like South Carolina, where citizens will stand up for themselves. If he wanted to rob someone with little risk, he should have gone over to Washington, DC or Chicago where the government strives to disarm all of its law abiding citizens.

    Friends of Mr. Helms, where were you when you needed to put him on the right path? How did he get his gun? Why did he need to rob someone all the way down in South Carolina? Did he need money? Why didn’t you help him out with a loan or gift? Was he mentally unstable? Why didn’t you get him help? Why was he in a criminal gang like the crips? Could you have done more to discourage that? What are you now doing to keep your other friends from going down the same bad path?

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  34. Here is an example of what can happen to those who aren't lucky enough to have a concealed weapon on hand.

    http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/110707/reg_110707023.shtml

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  35. The case of how many Armed Robbery victims wind up dead is moot. If they were dead, it's not reported as Armed Robbery, it's reported as a MURDER!

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  36. Mr. Helms, and any other person attempting a robbery, has created a potentially violent situation. I don't believe that the disposition of that potential - whether to actual violence or simply property theft - should be left to the judgment of the criminal. Rather, I think anybody with any means to immediately stop the criminal should do so without delay. Whether that's shooting them, hitting them in the head with a hammer, spraying them in the eyes with battery acid, whatever.

    I'd far rather trust the judgment of the people who were innocently standing by than the judgment of somebody who'd already decided that the wise course of action was to threaten another person with a gun in an attempt to rob them.

    No particular empathy for Mr. Helms.

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  37. Thanks for all the comments, everybody.

    Keir, I have to say in addition to agreeing with most of the others, you are an amazing mindreader. Twice in your comment you mentioned what Helms intended.

    The truth is you can't know that. I fully empathize with the lawful gun owner who faces that moment of truth. And I know how odious it is to you gun-owning law-and-order types to even think about letting the criminal control the situation, but in many of these cases they would take the coffee money and whatever else is handy and be on their way.

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  38. But Mike, the problem is that you can't know what they're intending, let along what they're going to do in the heat of the moment.

    Again, whose judgment should we trust more, the one who decided it would be a good idea to rob somebody at gun point or the one who was just minding their own business? I'll go with the latter.

    And here's the thing: Anybody who knows a thing about guns knows that (a) you always presume that they're loaded and (b) you only point it at something which you're prepared to shoot. Those are Rule 1 and 1A of gun safety. When some guy points a gun at me, I can only assume that he's also playing by those rules... and that he must be incapacitated if at all possible.

    If he dies in the process... well, when guns start being pointed, people tend to get hurt. At least he had a choice as to whether a gun be introduced into the situation.

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  39. "in many of these cases they would take the coffee money and whatever else is handy and be on their way."

    Unfortunately, you never know if this will be one of the cases where the decide to herd everyone into the freezer and shoot them all (Brown's Chicken Massacre- Palatine, IL) or kill a 5defenseless shopgirls (Lane Bryant Massacre- Tinley Park, IL). Unfortunately, In Illinois, unless one of your fellow victims is an off-duty police officer, you are totally at the mercy of whatever psycho is robbing you.
    Mikeb302000- I agree that summary execution is not the proper penalty for simple armed robbery but I do believe the citizen had the right to fire until the robber was no longer a threat. Unfortunately, these are not set piece shootouts where you can casually fire a shot and hope the robber decides to drop his gun. He may decide to return fire. You have to shoot until you are sure you have stopped the threat. With body armor or people on drugs, one shot may not bring down the perp.

    One other point. This giving in to criminals mentality to stay safe, didn't we discredit that with 9/11 where we learned that cooperation with hijackers is just plain stupid?

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  40. Macho? No way. I'm a woman and I carry a weapon. It is exactly that, a weapon. I know that if a weapon is displayed that death may be the end result. Of course I'm not going to wave it around and I'll wait until the right moment before I shoot, to kill. The gentleman who shot Helms did it in the best way. A gun was pointed at him in front of witnesses. He reached around to what the criminal thought might be a wallet. The criminal got bullets, instead. I have no problem with what happened. I am delighted that the President I helped elect has made it possible for me to legally carry weapons on Federal land, because I routinely carry my weapon concealed every time I hike in the back country.

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  41. Mike, if someone points a gun at you and demands what you have, you don't have to be a mind reader because the intent is clear. They are using deadly force. You are welcome to handle the situation any way you choose. I will do the same. If my weapon comes out I will shoot to kill.

    It may not be appropriate here, but if it is, what do you think about the woman who shot an intruder in her home? http://www.examiner.com/x-15870-Populist-Examiner~y2009m12d10-Woman-shoots-and-kills-intruder-w911-audio?#comments

    I will understand if you decide not to allow this question on your blog. But I listed to the entire tape. It was heartbreaking. Some people tried to defend the person who broke into the house and suggested that she should shoot to wound or wait to find out what he wanted. He threw patio furniture and broke into her house. In Oklahoma there is no duty to retreat.

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  42. Couldn't resist one last comment after reading Bob S. From a Republican for Obama point of view, I could be classed as a tree-hugging conservative, and on my best days I'm a liberal intellectual with delusions of personal and financial responsibility. When I carry my weapon I'm thinking of my personal safety only, not my stuff. It is never about the stuff.

    OK, so a liberal who carries a weapon has weighed in. Now I'll go eat some quinoa and mustard greens and take my non-hunting dog out to potty.

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  43. Gecko said, "Mike, if someone points a gun at you and demands what you have, you don't have to be a mind reader because the intent is clear."

    Sorry, but the intent is not clear at all. Sometimes it'll be to scare you into submission and take your stuff. Other times it'll be to rape and murder you as well. I can accept your deciding to not take any chances and treat all such cases as the rape and murder kind, but you can't say you know what's in the mind of the criminal.

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  44. Gecko, You've made it official. Obama is pro-gun.

    "I am delighted that the President I helped elect has made it possible for me to legally carry weapons on Federal land, because I routinely carry my weapon concealed every time I hike in the back country."

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  45. Regarding your comment, Mikeb302000:
    "Sorry, but the intent is not clear at all. Sometimes it'll be to scare you into submission and take your stuff. Other times it'll be to rape and murder you as well. I can accept your deciding to not take any chances and treat all such cases as the rape and murder kind, but you can't say you know what's in the mind of the criminal."

    I think you may be confusing intent with actions. While you personally may not perceive the intent clearly when someone points a gun at you and demands your submission to his will, I understand the intent with great clarity. Understanding intent is not a prediction of what MIGHT happen. The intent is shown in the behavior and speech. It doesn't matter how the situation MIGHT play out, or whether the attacker MIGHT decide to show leniency or call off the attack. The pointing of a gun at another human being is an assault, i.e., an attack, especially when accompanied by speech that illustrates further criminal intent.

    In legal terminology ordinary citizens forget that the term "assault and battery" includes the point where someone physically and verbally demonstrates intent to harm you--assault. Battery is where they carry out the threat to harm you. If you reasonably believe the assault may lead to battery, that it is an attack and in most states an attack can be met with deadly force that includes no duty to retreat. You do not have to wait for the threat to acted upon to perceive the threat and neutralize it.

    In my long life of 54 years it has never, ever crossed my mind to assault (threaten) or batter anyone. But as a woman I've been the target of clear intent and been able to defend myself by using surprise and physical force. My very liberal father taught me self-defense with the adage "strike first and never tell them what you are going to do." In my old age I now prefer a Glock to physical confrontation.

    It's the folks that wonder about criminal intent and waste time in self-analysis who become tragic victims. The moment a person points a gun and demands that another person accede to his will, that person clearly demonstrates criminal intent, regardless of any action that may or may not happen. If it happens to me I will know for a fact that the behavior is not "alleged" because I can see it for myself. Bang!

    Regarding the legislation Obama signed allowing concealed carry on federal lands, that should clear up a lot of divisiveness that puppet Republicans create based on the erroneous belief that Obama was planning to take away their guns. I was more worried that the right-is-wrong wingnuts were going to get my guns. I still am. Perhaps if they realize that some moderate liberals may be packing heat the Tea Baggers will think twice before fomenting insurrection. Or, maybe not. Once I see the guns pointed at me I'll better understand the intent.

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  46. Gecko, You are a great writer. Thanks for coming by.

    Why don't you have a look at some of your more recent discussions.

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  47. The article is placing the blame for deaths that happen during crimes on the innocent victims that just happened to be the targets of bad guys. There would be no injuries or deaths during robberies and other crimes if the criminals themselves did not instigate the criminal acts!

    Guns are not the problem and armed citizens are not the problem. The problem is CRIMINALS! Put the blame where it belongs.

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  48. I love this site mikeb302000.blogspot.com. Lot of great information. I am Tech guy. I have been a Desktop Technician since 1997 but have tons of other interests. In my spare time... Oh, wait I don't have any of that (just kidding). Anyways, I have been aware of this website for quite some time and decided to join the community and contribute as well as learn a lot from others. I am excited to get started on the forum and am looking forward to a great journey together. Lots of potential friends and I look forward to meeting many online.

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