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Teen thugs taken apart by would-be victim
May 31, 2006 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Former Marine disarms 5 attackers They were teenagers, but still, 5 on 1, and two of them were armed? That's one well-trained Marine...
posted by tadellin (119 comments total)

 
Four attackers, no? And he killed three too few.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:51 AM on May 31, 2006


So this really is Fark now, only without the good titles.
posted by dmd at 8:53 AM on May 31, 2006


Or, he could have handed over his wallet and perhaps walked away without killing anyone . . .
posted by aladfar at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2006


Yes, 4 attackers, one of them was a 17 year old girl, and he killed her. What's the point of this post?
posted by Espy Gillespie at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2006


dmd: Yea, that is exactly what I was thinking. In fact, there are a few of these "Farklike" FPPs lately.
posted by splatta at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2006



posted by prostyle at 8:56 AM on May 31, 2006


Or, he could have handed over his wallet and perhaps walked away without killing anyone . . .

Except, perhaps, for the thieves' next victims.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:58 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


And he killed three too few.

Yes, because the appropriate penalty for a mugging should be death. We get it, Kwantsar, you're a dick. No need to keep beating about the bush...
posted by jonson at 9:00 AM on May 31, 2006


5 attackers (the dead 17 year old, 19 year old guy and 3 juvenilles).

What's the point of this post?

Alt-F or metatalk.
posted by the cuban at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2006


Or, he could have handed over his wallet and perhaps walked away without killing anyone . . .

You're a black man living in Atlanta Georgia being chased by a bunch of people with a shotgun. Why in the FUCK would believe that they were just going to take your wallet?

No offense but that would be a dangerously stupid assumption.
posted by Ryvar at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"He's just a cook"...
posted by longbaugh at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2006


RTFA: "My first instinct was to run, but they cornered me, so I had no other choice than to defend myself," Autry said.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2006


"He's just a cook"...

So he's Steven Seagal?
posted by Leather McWhip at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2006


The girl that died was with child. So that would be two less criminals I guess.
posted by econous at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2006


Guns don't kill people, Marines do.

Gun optional.

Even when the other people have guns.

Or don't.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2006


jonson:

1) I hand you a knife.
2) I point a shotgun in your face.
3) I dare you not to stab me.

Luckily for me, the appropriate penalty for being an idiot threatening your life isn't death. Whew.
posted by effugas at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2006


@jonson:

Yes, because the appropriate penalty for a mugging should be death. We get it, Kwantsar, you're a dick. No need to keep beating about the bush...

And apparently you're illiterate, because they were packing a shotgun. If I were in the same situation and cornered, I bloody well would do what it took to protect myself, including shuffling them all off their asshole-ish mortal coils.
posted by illiad at 9:17 AM on May 31, 2006


Not a bad interview. I'm surprised that CNN would bother to cover something like this... seems like local news (then again, this was in Atlanta, no?)

Anyhow, the guy seemed pretty low key about the whole thing. I don't think he's a killer, just someone who knew how to handle himself under those circumstances. It just so happened that someone died, and it wasn't him.

Any word on why the thugs targeted him, or is random violence like this pretty common place in that area?
posted by C.Batt at 9:22 AM on May 31, 2006


No such thing as a former Marine.

(had to be said)
posted by sidereal at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2006


If I were in the same situation and cornered, I bloody well would do what it took to protect myself

Meaning you'd give them your wallet, like the rest of us...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:24 AM on May 31, 2006


Needs more Domo-kun.
posted by dreamsign at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2006


He may not be charged criminally but you can bet he will be sued civilly. He probably should not have done that interview.
posted by 517 at 9:36 AM on May 31, 2006


I'm sure there are MeFites who have been bludgeoned to near-unconsciousness for failing to understand that "Nice phone" is an instruction to hand it and your wallet over, but who will turn the other cheek and say that what this Marine did is wrong. I am not one of them.

The man's a fucking hero to me.
posted by Hogshead at 9:39 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Awesome. He should have killed all of them.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:43 AM on May 31, 2006


death penalty without trial for muggers: A-OK

so much for the liberal bastion of the Internets. worrying about MetaFark is beside the point
posted by matteo at 9:48 AM on May 31, 2006


The girl that died was with child. So that would be two less criminals I guess. -
posted by econous



Since when? I didn't read that, but maybe I missed it? If the woman was pregnant (and I still don't seem to be able to find it) and going to keep the baby, she shouldn't be jumping on people in the first place. Not exactly healthy behavior for keeping a child in the womb. In the meantime, all of us women are not perpetually pregnant, so please don't make pretend we are - just to make things more horrible. Life is bad enough, and even women can be jerks. That guy was just defending himself.
posted by eatdonuts at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2006


A conservative is a liberal who just got mugged, right?

I guess this story'll get a lot of airplay - Thomas Autry seems to exemplify the American ideal of the righteous defending themselves... except he didn't need a gun to do it.
posted by anthill at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2006


I'm still not sure how in any of this one is supposed to feel sad for the death and injury inflicted on these people at anything other than the most abstract level. I look at this kid and can only imagine a dozen worse outcomes, mostly involving his death or permanent disability, and the likelihood of no witnesses and thus no criminal charges for his attackers. I'd go a step further and state my gratitude that medical resources weren't flushed away on ICU care for any of these twits.

Civil suit? That will be a riot. Maybe they can garnish his awesome wages for the next thirty years.
posted by docpops at 9:51 AM on May 31, 2006


So this really is Fark now, only without the good titles.

Titles... oh, okay. That too, I guess.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:52 AM on May 31, 2006


Yes, because the appropriate penalty for a mugging should be death.

As a cold-blooded after-the-fact punishment? No, of course not. As a hot-blooded means to prevent a serious crime? Absolutely.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 9:52 AM on May 31, 2006


I assume you're joking matteo -- because otherwise, that's one helluva kneejerk. The guy was protecting himself, it was very likely he'd have been murdered by shotgun. Are liberals then supposed to put their mouths on the barrel?
posted by undule at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2006


hoverboards, effugas, illiad, etc: It's not the death of one of the attackers I'm against, it's the concept of "killed three too few" that kwantsar (and later Mean Mr. Bucket) espoused. "He should have killed all of them" implies that after he was safe, when they turned from attackers to fleeing for their lives, a better outcome than arrest at the hospital would have been for them to be killed, which just strikes me as a little harsh. Killing someone who attacks you while you're fighting them is actually not something I have a problem with.
posted by jonson at 9:56 AM on May 31, 2006


If you threaten someone with lethal force, you should expect the person to be willing to use lethal force to defend himself. This isn't about vigilantism, it's about self defense, and human rights. We have the right to defend ourselves, with violence, when necessary. Giving a mugger what he asks for in no way guarantees your safety.
posted by knave at 9:57 AM on May 31, 2006


Semper Fi, motherfuckers!
posted by fixedgear at 9:57 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


I, for one, do not sympathize with the attackers. If you are going to attack another human being, do not underestimate the fight or flight response. Frankly, they got what the deserved.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2006


@petermcdermott

Meaning you'd give them your wallet, like the rest of us...

No, I'd run if I could. If I was cornered...well, I've learned enough about the criminal mindset to know that I might as well try to take at least one of them down with me rather than cower and hope they won't hurt or kill me.

I hope the Marine gets some kind of civil commendation for standing up to those vile predators.
posted by illiad at 10:05 AM on May 31, 2006


@jonson:

I getcha. Sorry if I got a little barbed there.
posted by illiad at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2006


Or, he could have handed over his wallet and perhaps walked away without killing anyone . . .

I suspect he did offer his wallet ; not doing so would not be reasonable.

Consider the context : you have 5 reasonably dangerous opposers , 2 certainly very dangerous. The wallet and money isn't worth a bullet or death, so you hand it over and hope it's enough.I guess they wanted more or tought he hid some money ..or maybe there was some ulterior unknown motive. Or maybe being a Marine he tought the best idea was entering conflict, maybe he wasn't trained to defuse conflict or tought no amount of negotiation was enough.


Kwantsar : Except, perhaps, for the thieves' next victims.

So he should have resisted to set an example so that you are not robbed next ? Don't you think it's unreasonable to expect others to put their life at risk in order to hypothetically preserve you from a potential, but not actual attack ?
posted by elpapacito at 10:08 AM on May 31, 2006


The guy was protecting himself, it was very likely he'd have been murdered by shotgun.

Wrong. The overwhelming majority of muggings do not turn into murders. It's impossible to know what happened from the news story, but what this guy did was stupid and wrong. The smart thing to do would be to run, then hand over his wallet. Only if there was no other alternative available should he have started stabbing people.

And really, I must say, there's nothing more pathetic than a bunch of skinny internet geek fucks rooting for violence.
posted by nixerman at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2006


Some of you need to read the fucking article and turn your smugness down just a tiny, tiny bit.

He was assaulted by multiple assailants, at least one of which was armed. With a shotgun. I expect at least one other of these street criminals had a knife or similar, but probably didn't feel it necessary with superior numbers and that kind of hardware.

He tried to run but was cornered.

He felt his life was in immediate jeopardy and fought back. He had to have felt VERY threatened to have knife vs shotgun, wouldn't you say?

He had every right to do what he did. Notice the immediate statement by the authorities that he will not be charged with any crime.

It is embarrassing how badly some of you are missing the point. This was self defense from assault with a deadly weapon, not exactly the same as "mugging" and you know it.

Matteo, you especially, come on. I'm not sure where in the Liberal Handbook (tm) it says you must never resist the threat of physical violence. As someone said before, would a good liberal put the barrel in their mouth?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2006


death penalty without trial for muggers: A-OK

Are you joking?

so much for the liberal bastion of the Internets.

Christ, matteo. Don't you ever get tired of repeating that old sarcastic mantra?
posted by Stauf at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2006


I look at this kid and can only imagine a dozen worse outcomes
posted by docpops at 2:51 AM JST on June 1


Americans seem to set the upper age of kidhood at a very high value. Especially when the kid is military or ex-military. Autry is 36.
posted by Jenga at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2006


As a fairly straightforward event this is pretty simple, a bunch of people decide to rob someone and pay with their lives. To quote Werner Herzog "I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." I sure as skippy hope I never have to kill anyone. However, as pops drilled into my head "Never point a gun at anyone unless you are going to shoot them and if you shoot them always aim for center mass."

Once again, my stated position is: Please avoid killing at all costs!

As a chance for people to flex their various ideologies into nasty penis puppets this kind of thing is a mess. Free will is fucked up, no?
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:20 AM on May 31, 2006


Deserve's Liberal's got nothing to do with it.
posted by edverb at 10:21 AM on May 31, 2006


Why would a 17 year old mugger leap at a 6'6" man?
posted by ori at 10:24 AM on May 31, 2006


And by the way, I'm a bit offended by someone asking me what the point of this post is when their last posted link was a flash cartoon of sheep playing instruments, ESPY GILLESPIE
posted by tadellin at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


“I’m sorry this whole thing happened. I hate this world has gotten to the point where it is predatory,” said a shaken Autry.*

Early police reports indicated Martin was pregnant but the autopsy concluded otherwise, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office.Autry sighed with relief after learning the teenager was not pregnant. "That really makes me feel a whole lot better that she wasn't with child," he said. "I'm sorry to her family. I just feel real bad at the situation."
Autry was honorably discharged in 1992 after serving in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. When told that many people consider him a hero for his actions, Autry disagreed. "The heroes are those guys out there fighting for us every day and not getting respect," he said, referring to military personnel fighting in Iraq and elsewhere. "That [killing the attacker] wasn't admirable, it was fight or flight — and I tried the flight."*

He seems he's a reasonable person, much more then some chickenhawk indeed, applauding the killing. The tragic fact is that, probably, had he dropped his wallet and run away they may have not chased him. That doesn't make the assaulter less criminal and less despicable, yet maybe killing was easily avoidable.
posted by elpapacito at 10:32 AM on May 31, 2006


And really, I must say, there's nothing more pathetic than a bunch of skinny internet geek fucks rooting for violence.

Wet, stinking, malnourished kittens are more pathetic, but that's about it. Now watch me down this tremendous stein of GainerFuel3000.
posted by docpops at 10:33 AM on May 31, 2006


Most police officers will tell you that, when held up at gunpoint, it's best to acquiesce to whatever demands are being made. Not because it amounts to liberal gun sucking, as Ynoxas suggests, but because it offers the best chance of survival for both the victim and the desperate, panicky criminal.
posted by aladfar at 10:35 AM on May 31, 2006


Here's the article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg required, bugmenot works).

The autopsy showed she was not pregnant, as was initially reported.

Radio reports yesterday morning indicated that this gang had been terrorizing the neighborhood for at least several days prior to this incident.
posted by ewagoner at 10:37 AM on May 31, 2006


One attacker had a shotgun, and another had a pistol.
"My first instinct was to run, but they cornered me, so I had no other choice than to defend myself," Autry said.

The suspects caught up with Autry, who yelled for help and pulled a knife out of his backpack. He kicked the shotgun out of one of the attacker's hands and stabbed both a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him and a man who also attacked him.


I'm sorry for the 17 year old and the deaths, but I think it's weird that people think he should have or even could have just handed over his wallet and walked away. I suppose a Marine's first instinct would be to fight back whereas maybe someone else would try to talk their way out first. But how many people really think that when cornered and confronted with a bunch of people with a shotgun and a pistol, that they could talk their way out in some peaceful manner? I think it's clear that he was defending himself and is lucky that he knew how to.
posted by gt2 at 10:40 AM on May 31, 2006


It's also worth pointing out that if you go to CNN.com and listen to Autry's account, they drove up, rolled down the window and pointed a gun at him, which caused him to take off running. Once he stopped running, they immediately attacked, and escalated very quickly to pointing a gun at him. There wasn't any demand for money made so far as I can tell.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:51 AM on May 31, 2006


Ryvar writes "You're a black man living in Atlanta Georgia being chased by a bunch of people with a shotgun. Why in the FUCK would believe that they were just going to take your wallet?"

Heck strike black and insert any location and it still works.
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2006


I've learned enough about the criminal mindset to know that I might as well try to take at least one of them down with me rather than cower and hope they won't hurt or kill me.

Bollocks you have. It sounds like the guy in question probably didn't act in any way he couldn't have avoided, but the amount of dick-fondling machismo dripping off this thread is astounding.
posted by Drexen at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wrong. The overwhelming majority of muggings do not turn into murders.

Yep, that's what you do with a shotgun in your face. You think about statistics. Or, maybe, you do what your instincts tell you to do.

And really, I must say, there's nothing more pathetic than a bunch of skinny internet geek fucks rooting for violence.
posted by nixerman


Unless it's telling others how cool and calm they'd be with a gun in their face. Pathetic.
posted by justgary at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2006


I am thinking that when he kicked the shotgun out of the hands of the one mugger, that was the signal for the rest of the muggers to run. 6'6" and they still jump him? Either these people (and they're obviously human only in a marginal sense) were extremely stupid or jonesing so bad for a fix that they were beyond desparation. Either way, they also had their chance to fight or flee and chose an extemely stupid alternative. A 17 year old girl decides to jump a guy who in all probability was quite taller than her and just took a shotgun away with a single kick was clearly heading for a Darwin Award sometime in her life. I am sorry for her death and feel bad for whatever circumstances pushed her into that kind of life, but she and the rest had a chance to get out of their with their lives after a clear demonstration that this guy was not going to give in gently. Morons with a death wish.
posted by Ber at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2006


it's pretty embarassing when you're mistaken for being pregnant.
posted by soma lkzx at 10:58 AM on May 31, 2006


Some of you need to read the fucking article and turn your smugness down just a tiny, tiny bit.

A good second step would be to read the posts that you're insulting.

No one is saying that the marine was wrong to defend himself.

What is scary and horrible, on the other hand, are the many people in this thread who are saying that the muggers deserved to die.

The marine had every right to defend himself however necessary, and the muggers have no one to blame but themselves for their fate. But as soon as you start celebrating people dying, congratulations, you've officially entered crazy person land.
posted by Simon! at 11:18 AM on May 31, 2006


Local News. Yes the girl was two weeks pregnant, not showing, except to the pathologist. Hot looking little lady as well. Had those fools tried to mug me, I can assure you she would still be alive. And I'd be getting treatment for PTSD. Cause I is tuff. As they are all black does it still count as news?
posted by econous at 11:24 AM on May 31, 2006


So he should have resisted to set an example so that you are not robbed next ? Don't you think it's unreasonable to expect others to put their life at risk in order to hypothetically preserve you from a potential, but not actual attack ?

No, he had no moral responsibility whatsoever to fight back, and I don't expect anyone to do what Autry did-- least of all for my benefit. However, Autry made the streets safer (for decent people) in two ways-- first, he removed at least one thug from circulation, and second, on a macro level, he increased the perceived costs of perpetrating violent crime.

Yes, because the appropriate penalty for a mugging should be death. We get it, Kwantsar, you're a dick.

Not the "appropriate penalty," jonson, but a completely tolerable side effect of self-defense. I must be some sort of sociopath, because I don't feel even the slightest pang of sadness when I learn that a member of an armed pack of assailants is killed while attacking an innocent person with (potentially) deadly force.

And, Simon!, I wonder if there's a certain (sane) stripe of consequentialist utilitarianism that might claim that the assailant's death was indeed something to be celebrated.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:26 AM on May 31, 2006


econous, no the girl was not pregnant. Did you bother to read the link you just posted? The last sentence:

"Contrary to earlier reports an autopsy showed that Martin was not pregnant when she was killed."
posted by Gamblor at 11:29 AM on May 31, 2006


“That's one well-trained Marine.”
In other words - a Marine.

Wow, I love all the armchair quarterbacks. He’s alive, unhurt - he wins.

“He could have...”
I like how folks untrained for dangerous situatons suddenly become Ghandi or Bruce Lee - sorta how everyone’s a counter terrorism expert now after 9/11.
Everyone knows so much more than the guy on the ground in the situation. Wow. Perhaps because he is a Marine he has no survival instinct and will attack irrationally? Maybe his secret ninja Marine training kicked in and he just couldn’t defuse the conflict.
Statistics show ‘x’ ‘y’ ‘z’ - therefore his personal judgement in the immediate situation is wrong.
Perhaps his I.Q. just isn’t as high as all of ours or perhaps he doesn’t respect life as much as we all do.

Blah blah blah. Do people read the article and thread? The situation becomes fairly clear.

Violence is very, very rarely the answer. When it is, it’s the only answer.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:30 AM on May 31, 2006


As both Bruce Lee and Gandhi, I'm often conflicted.
posted by horsewithnoname at 11:34 AM on May 31, 2006


According to the AJC article, the pistol the assailants has with them misfired. That's not Marine Corps training; that's damn good luck.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:36 AM on May 31, 2006


Statistically speaking, handing over the wallet is the 2nd most likely way to ensure your survival in a mugging.

Armed resistance (with a gun) is the 1st.

on preview:
Violence is very, very rarely the answer. When it is, it’s the only answer.

Very true.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:43 AM on May 31, 2006


Bugger, sorry on rather to late preview Gamblor and others, you are quite correct. Not pregnant, the text has been updated, the first video on that site still makes the claim. Yes I read the link, can you guess when.. yep before the update.
posted by econous at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2006


They article said that the Marine will not be charged with murder. He is not the one who should be. The other four should be charged with murder under the Felony Murder law. Felony Murder states that when a person undertakes the commission of an unusually dangerous crime that could foreseeably lead to someone's death (rape, armed robbery, etc) and a death occurs as a result of their actions, then they are guilty of murder.
posted by flarbuse at 11:49 AM on May 31, 2006


“That's one well-trained Marine.”
In other words - a Marine.


'Cept when they aren't right?
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF8&q=marine+guilty

The Marines have had a number of fine men who served...Smedley Butler as an example. But the Marine label isn't a magical label that makes a failue a winner.

Mr. Autry got lucky in many ways...the disarming, the mis-firing gun, and the DA not charging him. May he not be hassled in such a way in the future.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:57 AM on May 31, 2006


“'Cept when they aren't right?”

‘Cept when it’s a reiteration of other tongue in cheek bravado upthread
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=hyperbole&btnG=Search

We can argue whether training dictates a man’s actions or whether it gives him a tool through which to perform actions.
But the first google result rebuts the first bit of your point nicely (from the Marine Guilty of Abusing Iraqi Prisoners link): “A Marine reservist was found guilty Thursday of dereliction of duty and the abuse of prisoners last year.

Dereliction of duty is when one willfully, through negligence or culpable inefficiency fails to perform one's expected duties.
Duties that would not otherwise be expected to be performed unless one was trained.

As to the second part: “the Marine label isn't a magical label that makes a failue a winner” - I agree. Sorry my hyperbole wasn’t that clear.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:14 PM on May 31, 2006


nixerman : "It's impossible to know what happened from the news story, but what this guy did was stupid and wrong."

Er...how is that possible to know, given that you say that it's impossible to know what happened?
posted by Bugbread at 12:29 PM on May 31, 2006


Metafilter: Just hand over your wallet.
posted by showmethecalvino at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2006


bugbread, try reading the rest of the comment and thinking it through. It'll come to you, I'm sure. Generally, a good strategy is to take the comment as a whole instead of latching on to a particular section.

Armed resistance (with a gun) is the 1st.

Er, no it's not. In the real world, attempting to draw a gun on somebody who's aiming at you just gives them a strong incentive to fire. Please take your Rambo "armed resistance" fantasies elsewhere.

And as for my later comment, I was responding to the idiots in the thread who were howling for more blood. From his actions and comments I think Autry is a pretty admirable guy.
posted by nixerman at 12:51 PM on May 31, 2006


Sorry my hyperbole wasn’t that clear.

Tiz Ok. Your tie to Mr. Butler's name has shown more level headness than most, and was wanting to confirm that you weren't tying his actions to some kind of 'Marines are wonderful because they are Marinens' mojo.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2006


nixerman : "bugbread, try reading the rest of the comment and thinking it through. It'll come to you, I'm sure. Generally, a good strategy is to take the comment as a whole instead of latching on to a particular section. "

Nixerman: You said it yourself in the rest of your comment:

nixerman : "It's impossible to know what happened from the news story, but what this guy did was stupid and wrong. The smart thing to do would be to run, then hand over his wallet. Only if there was no other alternative available should he have started stabbing people."

So we don't know what happened. We know that he stabbed someone. You've said that if there was no other alternative available, then it's ok for him to resort to stabbing. So how can we know that what he did was stupid and wrong, and not that there was no other alternative?
posted by Bugbread at 12:57 PM on May 31, 2006


bugbread, well obviously my comment is a contradiction in terms. I think that's the only logical conclusion you can make. There's no other information you can glean from it since it simply won't parse. Though to be sure we should diagram it. Give me a couple of minutes.
posted by nixerman at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2006


Geez, nixerman, how long does it take you to diagram a sentence??
posted by Floydd at 2:12 PM on May 31, 2006


I can't get over the fact that they were driving a brand new 2007 cadillac, but they can't afford more than 2 guns, one of them a crappy .380 (probably a Davis or some other $30 gun) and the other a cheap shotgun.

next time, get a 2003 cadillac, and spend the $10000 savings on better guns.
posted by Megafly at 2:20 PM on May 31, 2006


posted by econous Had those fools tried to mug me, I can assure you she would still be alive.

Where can I get a pair of your Future-Vision goggles that allow you to see and know exactly how you'll respond in any given situation? Because I'd like to know how I'll respond if I'm attacked again in the future, and then I'll alter the future by preparing now. And then I'll be invincible.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:24 PM on May 31, 2006


fandango_matt miss points at all?
posted by econous at 2:35 PM on May 31, 2006


yeah, no kidding. econous's comment was a joke about how hot the (now-deceased) female attacker was. fandango_matt completely mis-read it.
posted by jonson at 2:42 PM on May 31, 2006


Please, in the future, if you're being mugged, remember that the majority of muggings DO NOT end in murder and hand over your money before killing a 17 year old. Feel free to mail me, I'll reimburse if you the money is that important.
posted by iamck at 2:59 PM on May 31, 2006


@Drexen

Bollocks you have. It sounds like the guy in question probably didn't act in any way he couldn't have avoided, but the amount of dick-fondling machismo dripping off this thread is astounding.

My word, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

This has nothing to do with machismo, it has to do with being cornered and nearly knifed in the past, and if you'd kindly park your attitude up your arse, we'll all get along just fine.
posted by illiad at 3:18 PM on May 31, 2006


iamck: I was mugged, um, a few minutes ago, and I didn't kill anyone! er.. hmm, $400 dollars, just paypal that stuff my way and we'll call it even, ok?
posted by WetherMan at 3:19 PM on May 31, 2006


posted by iamck Please, in the future, if you're being mugged, remember that the majority of muggings DO NOT end in murder and hand over your money before killing a 17 year old. Feel free to mail me, I'll reimburse if you the money is that important.

So as the adrenaline's shooting through you and the situation unfolding before you seems to slow to a crawl and you're suddenly hyperaware of every perceivable detail while simultaneously realizing your hands and legs have already begun operating with their own independent instinctive logic, remember not to kill anyone and hand over your wallet since iamck on MetaFilter will reimburse you.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:25 PM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


fandango_matt : "remember not to kill anyone and hand over your wallet since iamck on MetaFilter will reimburse you."

What? He never said not to kill anyone, just "hand over your money before killing a 17 year old". Are you telling me I misinterpreted him?! But...but I just got "1. Hand over money. 2. Kill mugger" tattoed on my arm so that I wouldn't forget what to do in the heat of the moment!!
posted by Bugbread at 3:38 PM on May 31, 2006


and spend the $10000 savings on better guns

Muggers with Barretts. That's a great idea. At least they won't be chasing you (but with a Barrett, they don't really need to).
posted by ryoshu at 4:12 PM on May 31, 2006


posted by ryoshu Muggers with Barretts. That's a great idea. At least they won't be chasing you (but with a Barrett, they don't really need to).

"I Syd gimme your wallet!"
posted by fandango_matt at 4:18 PM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Equating this with the death penalty is ridiculous. In no way does this have anything to do with punishment; it is a matter of self-defense.

The question shouldn't be "can I survive this without killing someone?", it should be "which action is most likely to allow me to survive?" He obviously chose right here, because he's alive. You can't concern yourself with their lives, they obviously have no consideration for yours and put you in this position knowing precisely what can happen when guns are drawn.

While it is true that most muggings don't result in the death of the victim, it is also true that they can. It is not even a given that their true goal was only to get his money to begin with. Splitting someone's pocket change four ways isn't entirely profitable, after all. You'd think the attackers were either strung out or thrill seekers, both of which are quite dangerous, especially when coupled with the young age (lack of composure can lead to a mess in such a situation).

How dare anyone suggest what any man should do in a matter of life or death. That being said, some of you on the other side seem to have your bloodlust hard-ons in full effect. I thought you were all a bunch of bleeding hearts weiners. Color me shocked. This is a tragedy to be sure, a young kid is dead and there's blood on someone's hand.

Kudos to this man for surviving. Hopefully the blood on his hands doesn't get him down because he did the right thing.
posted by rob paxon at 4:23 PM on May 31, 2006


He obviously chose right here, because he's alive. - rob paxton

That is the most idiotic thing I've heard all week. If he had handed over the money, he would have almost certainly still be alive, and so would the muggers. I'm not defending the muggers here, and I think the guy is a badass, but he was taking a huge risk by trying to fight back.

I got mugged at gunpoint earlier this year (three guys, two guns) and I did the smart thing and handed my money over. Did they kill me? No. Do I wish that I could have defended myself and killed one of them and disarmed the others? Christ no.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 4:36 PM on May 31, 2006


posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld If he had handed over the money, he would have almost certainly still be alive

You don't know that, and neither did Mr. Autry.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2006


That is the most idiotic thing I've heard all week. If he had handed over the money, he would have almost certainly still be alive, and so would the muggers. I'm not defending the muggers here, and I think the guy is a badass, but he was taking a huge risk by trying to fight back.

I got mugged at gunpoint earlier this year (three guys, two guns) and I did the smart thing and handed my money over. Did they kill me? No. Do I wish that I could have defended myself and killed one of them and disarmed the others? Christ no.


First of all, there is no T in my name. I find it annoying enough when people assume there is after hearing my name, but that is really compounded when the proper spelling is right in front of you.

It is all well and good for you to disagree, but finding my statement "idiotic" really says a lot about you.

He would almost certainly still be alive, eh? Do you have a web site where I may access your crystal ball? How about this for certainty... he IS alive.

You aren't defending the muggers, no, you just think the death of one is enough to want to make this man go back in time and roll the dice on his life once again for their sake.

I'm glad to see you're still alive and all, but don't act as if that gives you any insight into mugging that is unique. You made the right choice in your situation because you're still alive. I'm not about to say "well, you could have fought back and you'd almost certainly still be alive PLUS you'd have your money", so don't say "he could have handed over his money and he'd almost certainly still be alive as would the mugger."

In the future, refrain from calling someone's statements idiotic while framing a fool's argument.

I will agree that he took a huge risk by fighting back. The risk, for all we know, would have been even greater should he have not fought back, though. The point is, risks be damned because we know the outcome. He's alive and thus he made the right decision.

Like I said, it is tragic that someone is dead, especially such a young kid. It is a shame that we have groups of young kids going around mugging hard-working people for small amounts of money. It is a shame that such small amounts of money result in people on both sides dying. Save the tears you're shedding for the deceased mugger and drip them over the causal factors that lead to these sorts of things.
posted by rob paxon at 4:51 PM on May 31, 2006


That is the most idiotic thing I've heard all week.

Right back at ya.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:00 PM on May 31, 2006


I'm sorry I got your name wrong. My real last name is not common and people often get it wrong as well, but I deal with it. And I apologize if you were offended by my calling your statement idiotic. But lets think about this for half a second.

If I got drunk, jumped off a ten story building and lived, can I pat myself on the back and say "well, I survived, obviously jumping off that building was the right thing to do."? Just because he made it doesn't mean that it was smart choice.

Do I know if they were going to kill him even if he gave them his money? Of course I don't. But I do know that as soon as he fought back they certainly were going to try.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 5:13 PM on May 31, 2006


While you do have a point with the whole "jumping off a building" analogy, it isn't very spot-on.

This is different. There are guns pointed at him and he has three options. 1. Do what they say. 2. Run. 3. Fight back. The reason for picking any of these three is survival. He picked to fight back and he survived. We do not know what would have happened if he did what they said. We do not even know the intention of the muggers. It is quite possible they intended to beat or kill him. It is also quite possible that one of them, young as they are and presumably unstable, panics and kills him even if their goal was only a mugging.

You also can't know for a fact that fighting back means they're certainly going to try killing you. In this situation that did happen and, of course, if their intention wasn't simply to mug it is a given that fighting back will result in them trying to kill you. In other situations, if a guy pulls a knife on you and you bop him on the nose, for all we know he might take off... he perhaps wasn't looking for a fight.

Everything I'm saying boils down to this: we don't know jack shit other than what happened. What happened was good for the man in question, the victim. Things could have been far worse. In a perfect world no one would have died because in a perfect world there would be no muggings, thrill killings, or whatever this may have been.
posted by rob paxon at 5:32 PM on May 31, 2006


I agree things turned out well for him, and I'm glad he is alive. And I'm not shedding any tears for the attackers. Whatever the quality of the decisions he made, the ones they made were clearly much worse.

All I am saying is this. He chose to go from a situation where statistically he had good odds of survival (getting mugged at gunpoint) to one where his odds of getting killed were much greater (fending off four people, two with guns, armed only with a knife). People get mugged at gunpoint all of the time. That is all my anecdote was meant to illustrate. Most muggings don't end in people getting killed. But if you bring a knife to a gunfight, I would expect to get shot.

But if I'm wrong, and they had just picked someone random to kill, well then he did the right thing. And of course neither of us can know if that was the case. And he can't have either. It was a big fat risk, and he got lucky.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 5:52 PM on May 31, 2006


I agree that statistically, if this was to only be a mugging, he took a higher risk. However, he is presumably well-trained to handle pressure situations such as this and the results show, so perhaps for him, even assuming this was a run-of-the-mill mugging, the risks weren't much higher.

So long as your beef is only that he altered the risks against his favor I have nothing to debate. However, if your beef is with that plus it ending up with a dead mugger, then I have to continue to take issue. Now it seems like the former is true but from your initial post I believed the latter to be the case.
posted by rob paxon at 5:59 PM on May 31, 2006


"There are guns pointed at him and he has three options. 1. Do what they say. 2. Run. 3. Fight back...He picked to fight back and he survived." - rob paxon

Just to clarify - he chose to run first. They got out of a car and chased him. Then cornered him. Then he fought back.

So, quickly Lazlo Hollyfeld - some people get out of a car and are chasing you. They are armed - perhaps a pistol - but most certainly a shotgun - do they only want money?

Your life depends on the right answer.

In your case, you made the right decision given the circumstances you were under - why you don't extend the same legitimacy to this guy's judgement of his circumstances, I don't know.

Hey, if you were Bill Buckner, you would have closed your legs. If you were Roberto Clemente you wouldn't have gotten on the plane. Etc. Etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2006


Just because he made it doesn't mean that it was smart choice.

Why do you think it was a choice? You ever been in that situation?

Unlike a large percentage of the middle class techno-nerd white folk on MeFi what if he lives on the edge financially? What if that wallet represents something more to him than simply a replaceable amount of credit and cash? What if, after a lifetime of dealing with similar situations and seeing first hand what the criminals in his immediate surroundings do to innocent people, he had a better read on a bad guys "intentions" than the majority of white privileged internet bloggers would who have only experienced it maybe third-hand (certainly not daily)?

People seem to have problems with anecdotes but fuck it I'm giving you one. Year back I was coming back from an ATM flush with cash. I was in an unfamiliar city walking with a couple acquaintances - a man and his girlfriend.

A guy approached in front of us and began asking us some questions (he must of scoped out the ATM). No sooner had I extracted my self from the conversation with my friends when another guy walked up behind us and hit (maybe pistol whipped? It happened too fast i didn't see it) the guy I was with who fell into me. The other guy started screaming for our cash. I think he had a gun too but it was hard to see. So we gave it to them. Everything. In about 10 seconds. I thought they we gonna leave but they didn't.

The guy who got hit was just mumbling "Here! Here!" The guy in front of us was swearing and laughing saying he was gonna blow our brains out and for him to shut up.

The guy from behind then hit the girlfriend somehow - I just saw her go down. If he had a gun he must have pocketed it. Before I could get between them (I was still kind of stunned and holding up my friend) he soccer kicked her full on in the midsection while she was on all fours. Hard.

He was going for another one and I got my arms around him, bear hug like trapping one arm, and spun him between me and the other guy. But I could do much because the other guy I thought had a gun. But I could keep his accomplice between us. Maybe that was stupid but I couldn't let go. So I just kept saying "you got the money, you got the money..." The other guy tracked us for a second and turned and ran. A car had come into the parking lot. I pushed the other guy away and he ran.

I can't remember this girls name now but she got hurt pretty badly. My friend got a concussion. We were out about $400. It was slightly humiliating for me as at the time I was a Karate self defense instructor and NOTHING but bad highschool wrestling came to me in that instant (one reason I changed arts). And given the circumstances of ambush and innocent bystanders maybe it's a good thing. But could I stand there and let a 120lb girl get the shit beat of her in front of me? Could you live with that? It all felt like something real bad was gonna happen. And we had given them what they wanted.

I am certain. CERTAIN. Don't ask me how, but I am. That if I hadn't fought back for that 30 seconds or so - long enough for the car to pull up - somebody would have died.

People get shot after handing over money all the time.

Yeah. It it's your best bet. Hand it over. The only other time I was mugged it was basically that. But it's also a judgment call.

Sometimes you just feel you have no choice but to fight back and if you can you do. I think this marine sensed that. Second guessing him is fucked up.
posted by tkchrist at 6:11 PM on May 31, 2006


I think I've lost sight of my initial point here, which was not to second guess him. He was in the situation, I wasn't, he made the call. My problem was with the suggestion that because he made it out alive, he made the right choice. Maybe it was the right choice, maybe it wasn't. And if all other things being equal, not wanting anyone to get killed is an objectionable position, well then so be it.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:26 PM on May 31, 2006


I'm a huge bleeding heart liberal who is anti, anti, anti death penalty.

That being said, you (or your boyfriend) pull a shotgun on somebody I'm not too shocked if you get killed. He has a right to defend himself, and good luck proving to a jury that he premeditated killing someone who had a shotgun with a pocket knife.

I'm sorry the dead girl won't get a chance to figure out she was fucking up, but she was fucking up. I've been in more than one life-threatening situation, and I know, you do what you have to.

Mugging does not deserve the death penalty. But if you get killed trying to threaten someone with a gun, you deserve it. You shouldn't threaten peoples lives.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:29 PM on May 31, 2006


Just to clarify - he chose to run first. They got out of a car and chased him. Then cornered him. Then he fought back. posted by Smedleyman at 9:07 PM EST on May 31

Yes, I did catch that in the article. Perhaps I should have made mention. After writing out the three options I only analyzed the two because in my mind the option to run wasn't possible as reported in the article.
posted by rob paxon at 6:47 PM on May 31, 2006


And if all other things being equal, not wanting anyone to get killed is an objectionable position, well then so be it. posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:26 PM EST on May 31

Of course a reasonable, decent person couldn't argue against that. If you were, though, to alter the thought slightly to insinuate that the death of the mugger should enter into our judgement of the situation or the potential of it into the victim's assessment at the time -- in other words, all things not being equal -- then you're talking silly. As I said in my last post to you, this is what I thought you meant in your initial post and is what I took objection to.

More directly, it seemed your objection to my statement that he made the right choice was because someone died where he could have forked over the cash and, as you assumed, no one would have gotten hurt. I was quite sure your semantics were intended to put this meaning across and I disagreed. Your latest statement seems to say otherwise and I don't know if I simply misread you or if you changed your mind slightly. In either case, I'm in agreement with your last post and disagree with anyone who would say that he should have done otherwise just because someone happened to die.
posted by rob paxon at 7:00 PM on May 31, 2006


iamck:
Please, in the future, if you're being mugged, remember that the majority of muggings DO NOT end in murder and hand over your money before killing a 17 year old. Feel free to mail me, I'll reimburse if you the money is that important.


I was mugged about three years ago by two people, and one of them was almost certainly 17, if not younger. They took my new iBook, about $200, as well as a my briefcase, and even the take-out food that I had with me. I'd say that all told, it came to about $3000. I didn't fight back, even though I wanted to. Paypal will be fine.

I've had plenty of time to think it over, and I'm really, really sorry that I just gave the muggers what they wanted. I like to think that if I had it to do over again, I would risk injury myself to avoid the humiliation that I felt when it was over and for months afterward. I wish that I could hurt them right now, and I wish only the worst possible things to befall them for the rest of their lives.
posted by bingo at 7:47 PM on May 31, 2006


Some of the people backing this guy (e.g. killed three too few) are irredeemable morons. However, I bet all the people who criticise him have grown up privileged and insulated from the kind of situation he found himself in.

My mother married herself out of this environment when I was 16 and, mercifully, took my brother and I with her. If she had done that when I was a toddler, I think I'd have a very different, and less accurate, perception of the situation now.

I'd forsake my wizened, Smedleymanesque take on this thing in an instant for the comfortable life I would have had if Mum met my stepfather the traditional, pre-natal way. Then again, my dad would then be some other guy and I've got the world's best dad now so maybe I wouldn't.
posted by Jenga at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2006


"A conservative is a liberal who just got mugged, right?"

Hate to tell you, but defending yourself is not an exclusively conservative belief.

Fact is, most conservatives "freak out" when a liberal defends himself - then they call us "hateful."
posted by rougy at 9:21 PM on May 31, 2006


"... remember that the majority of muggings DO NOT end in murder and hand over your money before killing a 17 year old."

You've never lived in downtown Denver, around east Colfax, have you?

You really don't know what the hell you're talking about.

A group of minors with criminal intent is probably ten times as deadly as the same group if they were adults.
posted by rougy at 9:25 PM on May 31, 2006


The overwhelming majority of muggings do not turn into murders. It's impossible to know what happened from the news story, but what this guy did was stupid and wrong. The smart thing to do would be to run, then hand over his wallet.

Wow! That's the stupidest statement I've heard in quite a while. To run from a fucking SHOTGUN? To run faster than 1000 fps, and THEN hand over the wallet?
People who criticize that guy are probably the same ones that would tell a rape victim that she should just give in and try to enjoy it. God damned sheep.
posted by c13 at 9:58 PM on May 31, 2006


I was robbed at gun point a few years back. I had more than one person say to me something like, "Don't you wish you had a gun with you?" My reply would generally be, "Yes, it would have been much better to get in a gun fight." I would rather hand over three dollars (that was all I had) than risk shooting someone or being shot. They also tried to steal my car, but they did not know how to drive a stick so they threw my keys into some bushes.
posted by flarbuse at 10:20 PM on May 31, 2006


Most muggers aren't in the business of risking their life, for the specific reason that it's not long-term viable. There are non-linear effects regarding fighting back -- if you have a 1% chance of getting shot by your victim, after a hundred muggings you will either be a murderer or you will be dead. If you imagine that the average mugging will yield $200, that means you're dead or a fugitive within the year.

Furthermore, it's not like this happens in isolation. If you've got twelve friends, someone's crossing that line once a month. That's alot of funerals to go to.

Of course, this doesn't work if the entire society is forced to just "hand it over". Imagine the self-defense rate drops to 0.1%: Now you can go ten years without escalation, and funerals/jail becomes much rarer.

Empircal evidence? Look what happened in Britain after they stripped the entire population of weapons and passed laws so extreme, if you shotgunned a repeated home invader you _still_ went to jail:

Their violent crime quadrupled. Seriously, 4x increase from 1990 to 2000. 4x. Disarm the population and mugging turns from a dangerous action to...umm...harvesting.

(Don't worry though, they got it all that ... harvesting ... on video. Fuzzy, fuzzy useless video.)
posted by effugas at 10:40 PM on May 31, 2006


You've never lived in downtown Denver, around east Colfax, have you?

No, thank god. Must be a bloodbath.

If someone has the upper hand on you and wants to murder you, they probably are going to murder you. If they have the upper hand, but don't want to murder you, then you walk away, alive.

Since the majority of situations end in the latter, then that's how I would procede rather then a.) attempting to imitate a marine and tough talking commenters on metafilter thus escalating a potentially dangerous situation or b.) having a death on my conscience when emprical evidence shows the likelihood of me walking away.

Anyways, this is all a null discussion for the most part. Are most of you advocates of the Judge Dredd school of thought marines? Are you "trained to kill?" If no, then you probably should just hand over your money. Statistically speaking, you're not going to kill anyone, you're just going to get hurt.
posted by iamck at 4:03 AM on June 1, 2006


Have you guys ever been in a situation where you suddenly and unexpectedly feared for your life? Have you ever had adrenalin flood your system, feel your heart pounding in your chest, feel that horrible sickening fear deep in your gut and have your brain go blank with terror? Maybe you run, maybe you freeze, maybe you fight, or maybe you beg. Something primal emerges that has tremendous influence over rational thought. Its just horrible to lose yourself to that. Please don't be too harsh judging people by their actions/reactions in such situations.
posted by Meridian at 5:49 AM on June 1, 2006


I don't know what I'd do if confronted by an armed gang -- probably faint -- but I sure don't think anyone should be held accountable for a split-second reaction to such a situation. Once things started, any of them (attackers or defender) could have reacted differently. She might not have jumped. They all might have run away after he kicked the gun. Or he might have had his head blown off.

But the people who had all the time in the world to think things through beforehand were the muggers cruising around listening to tunes in their Cadillac. And yet they armed themselves, found a poor fucking waiter walking home from work, and ganged up on him.

It's a shame some kids turn out so stupid and cruel and greedy. I feel sorry for the dead kid's mother -- for any mother who loses her child, even if the mother maybe didn't do a good job of mothering -- but that girl and her friends actually stopped their big safe car, jumped out with guns, and ran headlong into a deadly situation of their own making. At least it wasn't the involuntary participant who died.
posted by pracowity at 8:38 AM on June 1, 2006


“My problem was with the suggestion that because he made it out alive, he made the right choice. Maybe it was the right choice, maybe it wasn't. And if all other things being equal, not wanting anyone to get killed is an objectionable position, well then so be it.” -posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

What rob paxon said + the fighting ethos that states whatever choice you make in a lethal situation that ends with you retaining your life is the right choice is based on solid principles.
The objective of any conflict - once you are in that conflict - is to survive.
Any means taken to overcome anything actively in opposition to that objective is legitimate.
So you could not use this fighting principle to George Costanza-like run over an old lady and a group of kids to escape a fire (so long as they’re not actively trying to keep you in the fire -) and really it’s applicable only to combat situations.
It’s a tool. In part it is to emphasize fighting spirit - that is - you might feel squeamish about spearing someone in the eye with your finger (like Gene LaBell kids!) but if the alternative is worse: your death, you are justified in doing it.
On the flip side - once a lethal situation has ended, you are no longer justified in doing such things. It is a recognition that the initiator of a conflict is subject to full and lethal retaliation - because you can know your own intent, but it is much harder to read the ultimate intent of an aggressor beyond the aggression.

It is not simply that surving retroactively justifies what you do, it is recognition that you must maintain control of your actions in a lethal situation. If you survive, than you did the right thing. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
This also addresses shame and post-event guilt and anger - all these things one might feel (just read upthread), but those feelings can be soothed by the simple fact that one is alive to feel them.
There should be no shame in doing what you need to do to survive, if that means crying, handing over your wallet, or cowering to get sympathy - so be it.
I’m very well trained. Cutting off the cartoid or collapsing a trachea is second nature to me. But I’d shit my pants and cry like a baby if I thought that’s what it would take. I got a wife and kids and they need me. And, hell, I like being above ground anyway. So it’s not just fighting in the sense of engagement - sometimes your toughest opponant is inside your skull.
But you do whatever it takes and if you were lucky, great, but if you had to hurt someone or you had to eat some shit yourself to get out of the situation you don’t let that sit on your head and make you a perpetual victim or force you to make a mistake and not survive the next time.


What you’re arguing Lazlo Hollyfeld is from moral premises - the “how” and “why” do we apply this principle.

There are several philosophies of conflict resolution, but in many cases that principle holds - differs in execution but not form.
Non-violence - A perfectly reasonable ethos, albeit with less recognition of the self and a more optimistic perspective.

If the guy in the situation was a pacifist and believed it was worth his life not to harm another and/or to insure that no one else was killed, that’s fine.
The fighting principle still applies in form, but with the modification that whatever choice you make that results in no one else being harmed is the right one.
I can respect that position, but my life isn’t mine to give anymore (as I said - wife, kids).

But again - the emphasis is on control and the freedom of action with a clear head.
You cannot be - nor are you - responsible for the actions someone else takes in interacting with you. You can only control your own actions.

In this case this man made choices that resulted in him living and someone else dying.
Was that the morally right choice? Debatable - but that debate takes place long before there is a conflict and never within one.
It is something one should decide on long before one trains oneself to respond.
(I’m trained to kill. I’ve been studying a softer martial art and training myself to respond non-lethally. Updating my reactions to align with the change in my moral philosophy.)

Apparently this Marine’s moral philosophy is to avoid conflict as long as possible until there is no other option - then fight.
Moral? Good? Bad? We can argue about that all week (but I suspect we’re on the same page).

But within a conflict there are only tactical choices - he made the right choices there - how can we tell? He’s alive.

And I think he’s very much with you that he didn’t want anyone to die (at least from what he said - he’s expressed remorse) - but he wasn’t the one in control of that.
He didn’t put the guns in their hands. He didn’t force them to chase him. He didn’t invite them to corner him or to harden themselves to mercy when he called for help. He didn’t make them advance on him when he had a pocket knife in his hand.
Those were their choices, not his. And they were the wrong choices. How can we tell?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:27 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Look, every profession has its risks, some more so that others, including that of being a criminal. In this case, these criminals got their asses kicked and one of them died. So sad, too bad. These people - scumbags - went out with weapons and the express intent to terrorize people and relieve them of their property, and possibly their lives. If their intention was to be nice people, they wouldn't have been prowling around with firearms and chasing people, now would they? The fact that they are the ones who ended up hurt and dead should not lead anyone to feel sorry for them.

I'm sure the dead girl's mother didn't raise her to be a gun-toting creep with bad taste in boyfriends, but that's how she turned out, and now she's dead. Oh well. Who's fault exactly is this? Uh, it would be hers, not her mother, not the marine. People don't want to listen to their parents and teachers (stay away from bad people, stay away from drugs, stay in school, go to college, etc). No, they have attitude and they want what they want and they want it now. Do you think they legally acquired that 2007 car they were prowling around in?

The ONLY victim here is the retired marine who did what he had to do. He tried to avoid a confrontation, and when he was forced to do so, he did an excellent job of defending himself, although he's now emotionally traumatized.

And for the record, I am a left-learning anti-death penalty type.
posted by TrinityB5 at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2006


And for the record, I am a left-learning anti-death penalty type.

Then please, defect, we don't want you.
posted by iamck at 3:17 PM on June 1, 2006


iamck -

"Are most of you advocates of the Judge Dredd school of thought marines?"

Judge Dredd is a fictional person based on a comic book character.

East Colfax is a real place. Around the Capitol Hill area, it is densely populated to the north and south by real people. Some of those people are bad people.

Thomas Autry, a real person, was walking home, minding his own business when he was accosted, four to one, on a dark and lonely street by four teenagers, also real people.

He defended himself, and in the course of the fight, a girl died.

Good riddance. You can go lay flowers on her grave. And, please, post the e-mail address where future victims of street crime can contact you in order to retrieve the worth of their stolen articles, or the estimated value of their molested dignity.

You’ve never walked a mean street, that is clear.

Maybe someday you’ll understand the difference between fact and fiction.

But I doubt it.
posted by rougy at 9:30 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


iamck: you live in brazil? Aren't most muggings there performed by true children (8-12 years old) with knives?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:30 PM on June 4, 2006


Megafly writes "next time, get a 2003 cadillac, and spend the $10000 savings on better guns."

It is fortunate that most criminals exhibt poor descion making coupled with little impulse control. Otherwise we'd be over run.

rob paxon writes "I thought you were all a bunch of bleeding hearts weiners. Color me shocked."

Ya got to start paying attention, despite the shrill cries of groupthink and echo chamber their is a pretty diverse group of opinions on this site.
posted by Mitheral at 11:29 AM on June 5, 2006


The one truth I try to extrapolate everything else from is that violence is not acceptable, ever. And I think it's a good starting point. There will be human weaknesses and there will be failings, and I don't think I'm above it either. If it occurs, we should try to understand it. But we should never give in to celebrating violence and praising it's practice. It's a dangerous road, and it's too easy.
posted by iamck at 4:10 AM on June 6, 2006


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