Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tragic Reminders

They happen all too often, if you ask me.

At this time almost 32 years ago, I was stationed in Ft Riley Kansas. One evening I got a call from my Commander, who notified me that my sixteen year-old brother had been killed. He and a couple of his pals were in the house, one of them got a hold of my dad's .22 caliber Derringer and accidentally shot/killed him.

As long ago as it was, it still is fresh in my mind.

This becomes especially true when
stories like this are reported.

Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter said 16-year-old Carson Wallace and his younger brother had been having a snowball fight in the family's yard just before the shooting.

Carter said they ran into the garage and the 14-year-old picked up a shotgun there, thinking it was unloaded. He aimed it at his older brother Carson and pulled the trigger.

Carson was shot in the stomach and later died during emergency surgery at Methodist Hospital.

Sheriff Carter knows the family and says the 14-year-old boy looked at Carson "as his hero."

Carter said the two boys were avid hunters and that both had been trained in gun safety.


Even after all these years, it still makes me sick. But even so, the gun did not shoot anyone. The human that made the fatal error did.

This is a sad situation to be sure. Not only is the young man gone from this life, the family stands a good chance of thorough collapse after the initial trauma begins to wear off. I know mine did.

Even though I was out on my own seeing the world, it was never the same afterward.


24 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

LAS- Wow...first of all, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your brother. I lost a 16 year old brother, also, and I know that the memories of the day you hear about it never leaves you. In my case, it wasn't because of an accident but I know the shock of having them one day and not the next never leaves you.

You're right, the gun didn't kill that young man, but I don't understand why it was left loaded in the garage. How sad, a tragic and irresponsible mistake by the gun owner. Teaching your children about gun safety is good, but leaving a loaded gun around...doesn't help their safety. How sad.

Chuck said...

LA, I too am sorry to hear about your brother. 32 years cannot be enough time to erase the horror and heart break.

I do have to agree with Mary Ellen. I am a strong advocate for gun rights but with any right comes a responsibility. A parent has this responsibility to keep their children safe.

I do not want this to be taken as an attack on the parents, they have to live with a hell I hope to never know.

LASunsett said...

ME and Chuck,

My father took this pain to the grave with him. My mother still feels it even as she approaches 80.

My brother and I were taught from an early age that there is NO such thing as an unloaded gun....ever. Even if you just unloaded it, you never point it at anyone unless you are protecting yourself and intend to use it, if necessary.

I am not sure this was ever taught to these kids, I am not sure it wasn't. But no matter what the case, a young man with his life ahead of him is gone and the 14 year old is going to need a lot of counseling over the next several years or he will be into so many self destructing behaviors, his life will be hanging by a thread.

That's what happened to the boys that were involved with my brother's shooting.

Anonymous said...

Guns don't kill people etc.


First time I heard it I admit I was taken aback and couldn’t help thinking, well, sounds true in the end. And yet, I knew there was a hitch but where was it hidden?

Let's see how it works in other situations.

- It’s not the saw that cuts the branch of the tree it’s the one who uses the saw. Huh? And if he has no saw? Well he’ll use an axe. But if he has no tool can he cut the branch? Humm… obviously not, he needs some kind of device but he alone can’t do anything. There’s interdependency between both a tool and someone to use it.

Not really convincing still.

- Let’s try with something else:

It’s not the plane which flies; it’s the pilot who makes it fly.

Hummm… I feel there’s some kind of trick here.

- Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes; it’s the one who eats sugar.
- Tobacco doesn’t cause cancer; it’s the one who smokes.

And on and on and on…

It’s very confusing really because at first glance you can’t dismiss the apparent logic of the line.

Now, let’s have a look at Aristotle and his notorious 4 causes.

Isn’t it clearer now that when someone came with the line we’re discussing he actually constructed a sentence with 2 final causes included?

The gun is the final cause because it has been designed and manufactured in order to kill and nothing else. It’s a tool like any other one.

Man is the efficient cause because without him there would be neither guns nor any other tools.

Each tool has been conceived with one specific goal, the ultimate goal of the gun being to kill whereas the man wasn’t born to kill (well, for some trigger-happy you may wonder indeed).

Here lies the trick then: To artificially put on the same level the man and the tool (here the gun) he fabricated, eg to hop over the efficient cause in order to have 2 final causes in the same sentence, which is logically impossible.

Another and last example may make things less confusing:

It’s not the atom bomb that killed 80.000 Japanese in August 1945 it was a man.

Which one? P. Tibbets? Come on here, it can’t be so.

It' not the bullet that kills, it's the finger that pulls the trigger. It's not the copper of which the bullet is made that kills it's the intermediate phalange of the hand etc.

Some Americans are really, really good at logics.

Now if they're pleased with the killings of several thousands of their fellow citizens...

Actually they inflict upon themselves far more casualties than the terrible terrorists who are everywhere, lurking to attack our great Nation.

LASunsett said...

Anonymous,

The gun is a tool, made of metal and linked together in such a way that it is capable of expelling a bullet that can kill a person if it hits them the wrong way.

With no thought or action from a dynamic life or other energy force, it does nothing but sit in an inanimate state. It carries potential energy, but must be operated properly for it to become actual energy.

Sugar does not cause diabetes, an inefficient pancreas does.

Without a smoker, tobacco is just a plant.

Anything that has any use to man must start with something. A rock in the soil, a plant in the dirt, or an animal that lives and roams the earth. The tools that are used to achieve an end can only do what mankind wants it to do.

The thing that caused this misfortune was a gun. But it would have never happened, unless a human being failed to exercise good sense and pull its trigger with out knowing if there was a round in the chamber. It certainly would not have killed this young boy's older brother and hero, and this post would not have been posted at this time.

You can extrapolate many things in this life, if that makes you happy. "If the tree falls in the forest and no one is there. does that tree make a sound?" types of questions are fun at times. But they don't do much justice to the issue at hand.

The other point I would make is even simpler. If no one ever wanted to kill anyone or take other people's stuff by force would we even need guns, or other tools that help defend and protect what we have earned by our hard work and effort? Better yet, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer my comment.

Anyway, you just keep on repeating the NRA mantra which is basically a trivial tautology.

We all know that any tool designed and manufactured by men needs men to be activated and to deliver its potential energy (when it has energy in it).

Any 12 year old understands that and this is precisely why the NRA line is so powerful : understandable and a priori undebunkable by untrained intellectuals.

"The tools that are used to achieve an end can only do what mankind wants it to do."

Yeah, sure, but this is plain tautology.

If guns didn't kill people, criminals could resort on the sole letal power of their frightful look. But it's inefficient so they use the tool most effective to accomplish their wishes.

Some try by throwing paper balls but it doesn't really work. And yet they try hard...

It's not the will only that kill people, it's the tool, eg the guns which final cause it is to kill.

Too bad you chose to alltogether ignore the reference to Aristotles' 4 causes which explained the fallacy in the famous creed of "guns don't kill etc."

All the same with the atom bomb. So P. Tibbets is responsible for 80.000 thousand dead? Why wasn't he treated as a war criminal then?

I'm happy to learn that Abe Lincoln didn't die because a bullet smashed his head off. And the same goes for Kennedy. Bullets didn't cause their death I'm told.

"You can extrapolate many things in this life, if that makes you happy. "If the tree falls in the forest and no one is there. does that tree make a sound?""

(If that makes you happy wasn't necessary).

As for the existence of a sound or not, it's not that insignificant as you seem to think it is. Have a look at Subject and Object in Wikipedia (or anywhere you want).


"If no one ever wanted to kill anyone or take other people's stuff by force would we even need guns, or other tools that help defend and protect what we have earned by our hard work and effort?"

Does this apply to politicians and traders in Washington and New-York? (regarding efforts and hard work). I'm being ironic here as you guess.

"which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

You can as well use the example of the mother and her child. Be it a lion or a fly. But maybe you're a proponent of intelligent design and the case is lost IMHO.

By the way, how many Americans killed by terrorists since 9/11 and by fellow Americans with their guns?

But the final answer is GOD of course who created man according to his (her? it?) image, which is perfect.

Anyway, thanks again for answering my comment. I didn't mean to make you change your mind of course, just wanted to give you another insight on the matter. Too bad you skipped it alltogether.

Have a nice day.

LASunsett said...

Anonymous,

You are correct in that you are not able to change my opinion.

In all of your writing I really fail to see one iota of evidence that my "circular reasoning" is wrong. The disagreement may rest upon the perspective in which we see the issue.

From the argument you present, you have created the impression that the elimination of guns would make the world safer. It would, but only if absolutely every last one were destroyed. Not one could ever remain in existence, even in the hands of police and other government forces.

Unfortunately for mankind, this kind of absolutist thinking is not reality. It will never happen.

Now once again, remember that I agree with you as a matter of idealistic principle. But I cannot agree with you in realistic terms. In that, there is a huge difference.

If there is a chance that a man can come into my home (uninvited and unwelcome) and proceed to threaten or hurt my wife or myself, the US Constitution allows me to keep a tool that can be used to legally defend myself and my wife against that man. Until that time that I feel the need to use the weapon, it sits somewhere in my house in an inanimate state. it does nothing.

You and any other person who is prone to adopt a path of moral absolutism will not be able to convince me that my thinking is wrong. And as you ponder this, please keep in mind that if you were a guest in my home at the same time the man threatens us all with injury or death, I would use it to protect you too.

So you are free to believe that my thinking is shaped by the NRA if you wish, but you should know something before you make that assumption. My value system was shaped and formed long before the NRA began their campaign slogan. I am not a member of the NRA, nor have I ever been. I don't agree with every stance they adopt on every issue. But just because this is true, it does not follow that the statement they use as their key slogan is wrong.

BTW - Please allow me to correct one more thing in your comment (which I do appreciate and thank you for):

The phrase "if it makes you happy" is merely a cliche that is usually not intended as an insult, much unlike the phrase you used, "Any 12 year old understands that".

Anonymous said...

"You are correct in that you are not able to change my opinion."

And conversely may I say ;-)

"In all of your writing I really fail to see one iota of evidence that my "circular reasoning" is wrong. The disagreement may rest upon the perspective in which we see the issue."

Definitively agree here. I failed to provide the link about the 4 causes. My bad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_cause#Final_cause

I probably wasn't clear enough. My goal certainly wasn't to tell you whether twas right or wrong to carry guns.

Nor did I introduce any notion of morality in my comments.

My aim was just to see where the logical flaw was in the famous slogan we're talking about. Hence the ref to Aristotle that you seem to completely ignore.

Yet, it breaks the circular thinking you refer to yourself.

"From the argument you present, you have created the impression that the elimination of guns would make the world safer. It would, but only if absolutely every last one were destroyed. Not one could ever remain in existence, even in the hands of police and other government forces.

Unfortunately for mankind, this kind of absolutist thinking is not reality. It will never happen."


I definitively am not in this sort of absolutist thinking contrary to the impression you seem to have got from my comments. I sure wasn't clear enough and gave way to misinterpretation. My bad...

Anyway, even without weapons of any sort (guns, swords, daggers, hammers, you name them) men will always have an instinct to kill. So I ain't no dreamer about that one.

"Until that time that I feel the need to use the weapon, it sits somewhere in my house in an inanimate state. it does nothing."

The same could be said about daggers, knives etc. of course since they're just tools like any other ones.

Since we're at it, how many Americans are shot before they can react and kill the would be killers? I have a feeling there are more innocent victims than the other way round like we've seen again no later than today in Alabama.

"the US Constitution allows me to keep a tool that can be used to legally defend myself and my wife against that man".

This I know but it has nothing to do with what I wanted to demonstrate. I have nothing to say about your Constitution of course.


"You and any other person who is prone to adopt a path of moral absolutism will not be able to convince me that my thinking is wrong."

I'm afraid we're off topic here since the goal of my comment, once again, was to "deconstruct" a slogan with the help of logics and nothing else. Besides, I'm not prone to adopt a path etc.

"you are free to believe that my thinking is shaped by the NRA if you wish, but you should know something before you make that assumption."

I mentioned the NRA because I know (well I think I know) the slogan comes from this association. Never did I make any assumption about you personnally.

"it does not follow that the statement they use as their key slogan is wrong."

It logically is wrong. There is the efficient cause (the man) and the final cause (the weapon). Granted, the difference seems unappropriate in reality but logically wise it's wrong.

That's the point I wanted to convey. Nothing to do with morality, the need to protect oneself etc.

Logics, logics, logics and only logics.

Now to the point of deciding whether the legislation in your country is good or bad, do I really have to say it's none of my business?

"The phrase "if it makes you happy" is merely a cliche that is usually not intended as an insult, much unlike the phrase you used, "Any 12 year old understands that".

Right you are. Please accept my apologies for that.

Anonymous said...

I just learn that the comments cannot contain more than 4096 words...

So here come the remaining of my comment :


Now, points that remained unanswered :

1°) If guns didn't kill people, criminals could resort on the sole lethal power of their frightful look. But it's inefficient so they use the tool most effective to accomplish their wishes.

Some try by throwing paper balls but it doesn't really work. And yet they try hard...

It's not the will only that kill people, it's the tool, eg the guns which final cause it is to kill.


2°) Did P. Tibbets kill 80.000 Japanese by himself or did the bomb achieve the feat?

3°) Did Lincoln and Kennedy (and thousands other) die because their brains were smashed off by bullets or just simply because of the will of the murderers?


A very long comment indeed that will have taken part of your precious time but an interesting exchange anyway.

And once again, it was just a matter of logics and nothing else.

LASunsett said...

Anonymous,

//Hence the ref to Aristotle that you seem to completely ignore.//

Since my educational background and career is in science (medical and behavioral), philosophy is not one of my stronger subjects. Ergo, my curriculum did not call for any specific course in the subject, although it was a viable option. With my course of study, I elected to take more of a Humanities line with more of a focus on World Religions.

So, it's hard for me to think along the lines of an Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates, outside of a what quotes they have had attributed to them.....the ones that I have adopted as philosophical pillars in my personal life.

You are correct in your implication that a link to the source of Aristotle's four causes would have been more helpful to make your specific point. I used the link you gave and now I understand more about your argument.

Now, if we adopt this theory as the basis of our discussion, we can see that the gun does meet the definition of the "final cause". But as I said earlier, I am not prone to think completely in these kinds of terms -- without some level of prompting, more qualifying perspective, or clarification.

Still, I see three other causes listed in the link. With each carrying its own specific definition, the ones that I am trained to seek out or the ones that will most often stand out in my line of work are the formal and efficient causes.

If you are able to follow my current path of logic, then you possible can see that without those two causes preceding the final cause, there can be no real action.

Since the subject of the post is guns, let's look at this example:

Man sees his wife out with his best friend and through more thorough investigation it becomes clear that they are having an affair. He then becomes angry and enraged enough to get a gun to kill her and her lover. He purchases it (if he doesn't already have one) and ultimately kills them both. If my understanding of your point is correct, the weapon is the "final cause", but not the only cause. Then....if it's not the only cause, it cannot be the complete cause.

When the NRA (or anyone else not prone to philosophical definitions) parses the wording in "Guns don't kill other people, people do", most are not inclined to seek out Aristotle as a source for their operational definitions.

Thanks for the clarification.

Mustang said...

There was a time when men of various origins ran about bashing one another with heavy mallets and impaling one another with sharp instruments. They were particularly successful against those who were unable to defend themselves. We might note that timid men with pitchforks were hardly effective against highly aggressive folks with superior tools —and the will to use them.

Now it would seem to me that the people of Europe, rightfully aghast by what weapons can do in the hands of unspeakable people, have opted to outlaw firearms, except for shotguns for hunting and highly advanced weapons in the hands of the government. Well, all but Switzerland, of course, who requires citizens to maintain their government-issued firearms as part of the national militia organization. It is interesting to note that of all European nations, Switzerland has the least violent crime (source).

I have weapons in my home. They are always loaded with very lethal ammunition. In this way, there is never any doubt that the weapons are dangerous the instant one picks them up. There is never any doubt about whether the weapons are loaded. They are always loaded. I hope never to have to use these weapons against anyone … but I will use them in self-defense. This is my right, and I shall insist upon it.

The argument is moot. Guns do exist, and hell will freeze over before Americans consent to government outlawing them. We do not agree that only the government shall be allowed to maintain lethal weapons. Unlike most Europeans, we don’t trust government quite so much as that. But we should be careful not to make the erroneous assumption that simply because there are no guns in Europe that any European nation is a necessarily safer place to live. As with America, bad Europeans can arm themselves, even if law-abiding citizens do not: advantage, bad Europeans. I should like to note that on a per capita basis, crime levels are relatively constant throughout the world because murder and mayhem are still possible using ‘other tools.’ In Japan, the most common form of murder is by the use of knives of the culinary variety. Dead is dead, no matter how done. The common denominator, therefore is not guns, or weapons of any kind. It is people. Shall we seek to reduce crime by ridding ourselves of people? Or shall we only focus on those people, who are behaving badly, in our own defense?

Anonymous said...

Mr LASunsett,

"Then....if it's not the only cause, it cannot be the complete cause."

I'm glad to see you've perfectly understood Aristotele's 4 causes theory.

There is nothing like a complete cause but always (like in airplane crashes for example) a cumulative effect of several causes.

In the Thchernobyl nuclear catastrophe, for what I remember, the enquiry showed that 7 breaches of rules led to the accident. None of these 7 causes, alone, would have been sufficient to provoke what happened. Even 6 of the breaches wouldn't have led to the explosion. The 7th was the straw on the camel's back.

But this 7th wasn't the final and complete cause. It was one among others; it simply came last. I even dare say there were no particular ordre between these 7 causes.

Probably did the same occured in the case of the Three Miles Island accident (you don't need me to find any link do you?).

Back to Aristoteles. He wrote about physics, botanics, medicine etc. No need to say there have been incommensurate progress since the 3rd century BC...

The same goes for logics. He set the basis of formal logics as we know it but in this field too, there have been unimaginable advances. Like in mathematics, medicine etc.

I refered to Aristotele's four causes simply because its the beginning of logics. Its B-A BA so to speak.

But basically, logics is a mean to avoid circular thinking that simply leads nowhere. LIke a snake swallowing his tail.

Logics teaches us there is always a progression towards a specific goal, whatever it may be. eg, there is movement in our way of thinking in order to reach new results.

[I know I express myself very badly here, my apologies but I hope you get the point.]

The line we're talking is circular thinking and leads nowhere, that's what I wanted to mean.

Of course, without men tools are ineffective (be it a saw, a hammer or a submarine). Well, this is sheer common sense and pure tautology. But logically speaking it doesn't hold water.

So, what or who killed 80.000 Japanese in August 1945? Paul Tibbets as the slogan would have it us believe or the bomb?

Wasn't Zyklon B responsible for the death of say, 6 million Jews in Nazi concentration camps? Or just the guys who oppened the taps?

Were 1 million Vietnamese killed by American carpet bombings or did the pilots kill them? Unless it was P. McNamara?

If guns don't kill people people do, why didn't William Calley, convicted as a war criminal by the US judiciary, end his life behind the bars?

As I wrote before will doesn't suffice to kill, a tool is necessary, be it a chainsaw or a gun or an iron bar.

At the end of the day, it's the gun that kills people, not the will of the killers. Even if it's tempting to think so, but it's logically impossible.

Mr.LASunset, I appreciate this interesting discussion all the more since I have a feeling we eventually don't disagree.

As I wrote before, it's none of my business whether Americans carry loads of guns with them, or whether their Constitution gives them this right, whether it's moral or isn't etc.

I just wanted to see deeper in the line Guns don't kill people, people do.

Your answers about Tibbets, Zyklon B or carpet bombings will be welcome.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Mustang,

"Guns do exist, and hell will freeze over before Americans consent to government outlawing them."

Are you sure you have 302 million Americans behind you on this particular opinion? I tought carrying guns was illegal in New York and some other cities?

..."but I will use them in self-defense. This is my right, and I shall insist upon it."

For what I know, this right is and has always been granted in all civilizations throughout history.

Nonetheless, killing someone in self defense, legally speaking, qualifies you as a criminal in the first place even if you're latter cleared by justice.

Your comment is interesting but has more to do with sociology and culture than with logics as was the way I approached the topic.

Your's is an entirely different point of view on our subject, a point of view that calls for another discussion.

I hope I'm not being rude here.

Anonymous said...

A slight correction in the comment to Mustang re self defense.

This right, contrary to what I wrote, isn't universal:

If a woman kills her rapper or would be rapper in Saudi Arabia, she'll end up being beheaded whereas the bastard will have licence to do it again all he wants.

This isn't specific to Saudi Arabia (you know, the country of the One Thousand and one nights[mares])

A book which actually comes mostly from Persia.

Leslie said...

"Nonetheless, killing someone in self defense, legally speaking, qualifies you as a criminal in the first place even if you're latter cleared by justice."

This is interesting. I will ask the question: Would you have this same theory if it was your home and family being threatened in an assault or home invasion? Self defense is not a criminal offense --in any measure.

"At the end of the day, it's the gun that kills people, not the will of the killers. Even if it's tempting to think so, but it's logically impossible."

Actually, it is the will of the man or woman that kills. A person bent on killing can use any number of tools: knives, clubs, blunt objects as well as one's hands to strangle... Pick up an number of forensic books (which I have a large bookshelf full of) and you will find many techniques of killing.

Therefore, the tool makes no difference whatsoever, logically speaking. The killing lies in the intent and motive within the person committing the crime. A crime would not be committed without the will of the person seeking to commit the crime. It is the only logical presupposition in the matter, for a gun does not speak, think, nor jump into the hands of a killer on its own merit or compulsion.

A gun in the hands of an individual not bent on killing will not kill. A gun in the hands of an individual bent on killing will be used to kill. It is the person who then, does the killing.

Mustang said...

Sir:

Let us first recall that cities are governments. It behooves government to disarm the people. Now I will say that NYC has made significant strides cleaning up crime since Rudy Giuliani served as mayor, but let us contrast that record to Chicago, and Washington DC where guns are illegal and the government is corrupt --including their police forces. These two cities compete with one another for the highest murder rates in the entire world. How shall we interpret that, given that guns are illegal in both cities?

The right of self-defense does not exist in any city or nation that outlaws the possession of the means to resist assault; your statement that it ‘has always been granted in all civilizations” is simply not true and, given what you already mentioned about New York City, illogical.

So too is your statement that killing someone in self-defense qualifies me (or anyone) as a criminal. A criminal is not one charged by law enforcement authorities; a criminal is one convicted of a crime. Since everyone has the right of self-defense (even when governments may outlaw the means of self-defense), it is hard to imagine you would think of them as criminals for doing what logic tells us is an inalienable right, even if government disagrees. Remember, the people create government … not the other way around.

If New Yorkers prefer to allow government to take away their right to carry firearms on their person, or use them in self-defense, fine … democracy works best at the local level. Where I live, I am licensed to carry a firearm, I do carry a firearm, and I will use that weapon in my own self defense as set forth in state statutes.

Thank you for the opportunity to debate this topic.

LASunsett said...

Anonymous,

//Your answers about Tibbets, Zyklon B or carpet bombings will be welcome.//

I am not altogether sure how this has much to do with the original post, as we have strayed somewhat from the intended topic. These subjects are quite complex when the multiple variables are factored in.

Maybe someday I can write something on these topics... and once again we can argue our personal philosophical perspectives.

//killing someone in self defense, legally speaking, qualifies you as a criminal in the first place even if you're latter cleared by justice.//

Not according to the laws of my community. Yes, there may be an investigation. But here, we are innocent until proven guilty. Maybe in some people's opinion they see this as a moral issue, but such is not the case in case law.

Anyway, I appreciate your input here and you are correct in your assertion that my view will not change.

Anonymous said...

Leslie,

I feel sorry for you since it's so obvious you haven't read the comments above your's. I suggest you do your home work ;-)

"This is interesting. I will ask the question: Would you have this same theory if it was your home and family being threatened in an assault or home invasion? Self defense is not a criminal offense --in any measure."

Another suggestion : when you speak to someone you don't know, you should abstain from resorting to childish arguments ;-)

As for the rest of your comment, you're just saying that A = B therefore B = A.

It's called circular thinking and it's very creative indeed.

If you want to have a glimpse of
what you should know before you talk have a look here:

1°) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic-synthetic_distinction

2°) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_logic

3°) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivism

4°) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_philosophy

That is just for a start. Maybe you'll understand that A = B therefore B = A falls a bit short for explaining what goes on in the world.

Anonymous said...

//killing someone in self defense, legally speaking, qualifies you as a criminal in the first place even if you're latter cleared by justice.//

Not according to the laws of my community. Yes, there may be an investigation. But here, we are innocent until proven guilty. Maybe in some people's opinion they see this as a moral issue, but such is not the case in case law.


It all depends on the positive laws of the country where you live.


"my view will not change."

Which means that you admit that 2 + 2 = 5.


"Eppur si muove"

(see Wiki)

Thanks for your welcome.

LASunsett said...

//It all depends on the positive laws of the country where you live.

With all due respect, I don't think you are fully understanding the laws of my community. I do not live in NY or Chicago. I cannot speak in total for their laws. But I can shoot an intruder in my home, in self defense. That does not make me a criminal. My laws are based on intent. Whether you agree with them or not, that's what they are based on.

//Which means that you admit that 2 + 2 = 5. //

Look.... you are free to fall back on ancient philosophers as a primary guiding principle in the development of your own personal values, if that is your choice. I won't.

IMHO, you have proved nothing except that a gun meets the encyclopedia definition of a "final cause". You have not proved that my weight towards the other two causes are wrong. You have not proved to me that a gun is capable of shooting anyone, without an energy force to make it do so. That is my argument and until you can show me differently, it is one I will maintain.

The ancients lived in a very different era. Not all of their wisdom of that day, translates to the present. To narrowly focus on one discipline is not the way I believe is best to understand anything. To imply that my perspective is not logical, solely based on your preference of logic, is not logical in most settings that include those who truly seek to know and understand all aspects of a given issue.

Aristotle did not have benefit of all of the many scientists, doctors, and other forms of academics that have come since him. If he had, he may have seen many things differently. I may not know as much about logic as he or his peers, I may not know nearly as much as you. But I would match my knowledge of medicine, psychology, and my library of such things with him, any day (if possible).

And I truly believe that he would want to explore and learn that of which he missed all along the way.

Leslie said...

Anonymous,

I had the thought that I was speaking to someone who could carry on an intelligent conversation rather than resorting to childish insults. Thanks for proving me wrong. You would fit in perfectly with the progressive left in this country.

I found most of your former comments overflowing with pomp and mush; in spite of that, I did my best to wade through them.

But this is how liberals end a debate: to avoid answering even the smallest questions that pose a challenge to your opinions. Quite sporting of you.

~

Anonymous said...

Leslie,

Thanks a lot for your kind words of appreciation but, really, you're being too flattering with me.

Anyway, if it makes you feel better to deliver your rant and drivel, please, I beg you, don't hesitate, it always will be my pleasure to help you.

Leslie, I can read you're an intelligent, educated, sophisticated gal. So you certainly know some Americans (not all of them of course) have a reputation the world around not to be -how should I put it?- especially subtil. Yes, subtil seems to be the appropriate word.

I have to congratulate you for having played your part for this reputation. Kudos and "Mission accomplished!"


"But this is how liberals end a debate: to avoid answering even the smallest questions that pose a challenge to your opinions. Quite sporting of you".

How funny you write this. I have asked several questions during this exchange, most of them have remained unanswered.

In particular these 4 questions:


1°) So, what or who killed 80.000 Japanese in August 1945? Paul Tibbets as the slogan would have it us believe or the bomb?

2°) Wasn't Zyklon B responsible for the death of say, 6 million Jews in Nazi concentration camps? Or just the guys who opened the taps?

3°) Were 1 million Vietnamese killed by American carpet bombings or did the pilots kill them? Unless it was R. McNamara?

4°) If guns don't kill people people do, why didn't William Calley, convicted as a war criminal by the US judiciary, end his life behind the bars?



LAS didn't answered any of these questions, quite the contrary he dodged them.


Again: "this is how liberals end a debate: to avoid answering even the smallest questions that pose a challenge to your opinions"

Do I understand that LAS is a liberal? Some kind of crypto marxist? A commie in disguise?

Well, I must say I strongly share your suspicion.

Thanks again for opening my eyes on the true nature of the owner of this blog.

Anonymous said...

LAS,

With all due respect, I don't think you are fully understanding the laws of my community.

I wasn't referring to the specific laws of your commmunity, I wrote : it depends on the positive laws of the country you live in. Not your county or community. I meant countries as Brazil, Germany, Sweden etc.

here, we are innocent until proven guilty

Like in Guantanamo?

Anyway, there's nothing specifically American here. The presumption of innocence is part of many International treaties on Human Rights.

See article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

http://tinyurl.com/7hyccf

Also here:

http://tinyurl.com/yjj3npb

Where I read:

"The Constitution of the United States does not cite it explicitly" but is understood to be an interpretation of etc. (See by yourself)

As for the 4 questions I asked, you're smart enough to understand that they undercut the line you defend against all evidence.

If not, then P. Tibbets is personnally responsible for the death of 80.000 Japanese, not the atom bomb.

The guys who turned the taps open are personnally responsible for the death of 6 million Jews, not Zyklon B.

The American pilots who dropped million tons of napalm in Vietnam are personnally responsible for the death of, say, one million Vietnamese, not the bombs.

And yes, William Calley is responsible for the massacre of My Lai. Why is he walking free then?

As for Aristotle, I ain't not gonna rewrite what I wrote that you deliberately ignore.

There has been incommensurate progresses till the time of Aristotle, see the links I provided to Leslie, who didn't need them anyway since she's so knowlegeable in logics.

At the end of the day, I personnally don't care whether you believe or not (besides, it's not a matter of believing but of reasonning) that guns don't kill but people do.

It reminds me of the brightest minds in the XVIth century who simply wouldn't accept that the earth wasn't flat and that the sun didn't revolve around the earth.

So much they were educated and mentally conditionned into one way of thinking. Any other way was anathemous to them. So they desperatly sticked to their old mantra...

Too bad.

I have a feeling that you start being fed up with this discussion so I'd better leave it here unless you want to keep on feeding this post.

LASunsett said...

//Like in Guantanamo?//

They are nemy combatants are not US citizens. They do not have any rights afforded to them under the US Constitution. And I do not recognize anything that comes out of the UN. I live in the US, the state of Indiana. I recognize those laws. The UN has no jurisdiction over me. We are a sovereign nation.

When I go to other countries, I recognize their laws.

This was originally a post about a young boy who tragically was killed. (As was my brother many many years ago.) But you have dissected it and shredded it into a diatribe on topics that have absolutely nothing to to do with the original post.

I will not have it used as a platform for you to condescend to me or anyone else with your UN agenda, any longer. I don't agree with it. Go back to Super Frenchies, where you have a more receptive audience.