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 "...how 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.
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