Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pizza Robber Update

     It now appears the 15-year-old attempted robber of a pizza delivery driver was armed...with what reporters are calling "a BB gun."

     Doesn't matter.  Point a gun at someone -- even if it's really a carved bar of soap -- and use it as an inducement when demanding, "Hand over your valuables," and you're committing armed robbery.  Even with a BB gun or an inert replica.  After all, the person you're pointing it at has every reason to believe it's the real deal.

     In comments at the original story, someone who likes steak but would never, ever kill a cow was happy the delivery driver was unhurt but expressed amazement at " many people think that the death penalty is proper punishment for armed robbery."*

     Wrong.  Defending yourself is not a matter of "punishment."  You're not out to correct your assailant's behavior, you're wanting to stop it, as quickly and effectively as possible, with the least collateral damage.  Whatever does that is what you should do.

     The delivery driver did the right thing.  Not "to teach these thugs a lesson" (they'll either learn or they won't, and just what lesson they will take is hard to predict; maybe they'll decide it's better to bop their victims over the head and avoid direct confrontation).  Not "to make society safer."  Nope, he acted to defend his own life from a person who was threatening it, period.
* What's with this notion of the death penalty as "punishment," anyway?  What, so they'll act nicer in the next world? That's not really our department.   If they are killed, they don't learn anything.  Some people are, after a fair trial, determined to be too dangerous to have around.  The State kills them or locks them up forever; I favor the latter, as it is usually cheaper and if it turns out the results at trial were in error, they can be (to some degree) corrected.  But that's unrelated to self-defense and conflating the two conflates rapid reaction to preserve life with the careful deliberations of judge and jury.


B said...

Why is lifetime (remaining) incarceration cheaper?

at today's ammo prices plus a burial, it'd be cheaper to shoot 'em.

It's the trials that make it more expensive.

Drang said...

@B: I don't think Bobbi was thinking of life without parole as being cheaper.

Tam said...

"at today's ammo prices plus a burial, it'd be cheaper to shoot 'em."

It has long puzzled me that people who believe in smaller government because government is inherently inefficient and incompetent would then cheerfully trust that inherently incompetent small government to efficiently kill the right guy.

Roberta X said...

In a practical sense, in most jurisdictions, it's cheaper to lock a malefactor up for life than execute them, because there are multiple steps, mandatory appeals, etc., most of it to try to keep the State from killing anyone but the genuinely guilty. --And there is still the "cost" of being wrong, which may not have a price tag but (IMO) is still terribly expensive.

IMO, the State is wrong too often to trust it to kill people in any but the most extreme circumstances. If they've already caught the malefactor, that's not generally an extreme circumstance. YMMV, but bedammed if I trust Richard James Earl Baines Hussien Bush Clinton to never kill the wrong guy, let alone some old rummy judge and jury of my neighbors.

Tam said...

(...and don't get me wrong, it's not like I have a soft-spot for oxygen thieves. Catch a guy red-handed, especially if he pleads guilty, and then I'm fine with due process and "Next, please!", but those cases are a rarity.)

Angus McThag said...

The contents of a pizza delivery driver's money bad is a damn stupid suicide method if you ask me.

Alien said...

Huge difference between administering adoption of room temperature to the miscreant pointing a gun at you and the same result from the supposedly benevolent ministrations of a largely unaccountable bureaucracy whose default setting is incompetence.

I'm fully behind the former, should individual circumstances, as determined by the participants, warrant it, and unalterably opposed to the latter.

I suspect B's comment is not valid for all values of "cheaper."

Dirk said...

I remember reading a quote from someone's blog about their feelings on the death penalty, but I can't recall the exact wording. It was similar in tone to Alien's feelings, but it was expressed in a more pithy manner (no offense, Alien!). I thought I'd bookmarked the post, but can't find it...wish I could.

Divemedic said...

You expect me to trust that the same government that can't get my mail to the correct address will only execute the correct person? If we as a society then execute one innocent man, how are we any more moral than the murderer we sought to execute? If one person killing the innocent is wrong, at what point is it correct? Ten people killing the innocent? 100? 1 million?

Anonymous said...

just stopping by to say hi