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Old 03-19-2008, 06:44 AM   #21
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I like the firm linkage between the actual outcome and what the criminal is charged with. If 7-11 clerk dies, then the crime is greater and the criminal should get a heftier sentence. Otherwise, it opens the door to all kinds of questions (did he intend to kill him, or did he intend to wound him? Hey, society doesn't care--the criminal did, in fact, kill the clerk in the course of the robbery, so that's the charge.)
I think the law should presuppose that if you shoot someone with anything larger than a pellet gun, esp in the commission of a crime, your intention was to kill them - same with a stabbing. (self-defense, defense of others, and castle laws excepted)

Television and movies have put a lot of nonsense concepts of "shoot to wound" in the minds of people - juries want to know "why didn't the officers just shoot to wound the violator" - the truth is you are very likely to kill someone if you shoot or stab them & any different perception people in this country might have needs to change. People should understand that if you shoot someone or stab them you are very likely to kill them. It won't make any difference to me or my family when I'm dead that the criminal's "intent" was just to wound me.

We had a case here locally of a domestic dispute wherein the woman slashed at the mans arm with a box cutter - severed a major artery - & he bled out before the ambulance got there (note: both were actively engaged in fighting).

I personally had a relative killed in a bar fight some years ago via knife wound - if he hadn't died it would have been just ADW and a couple years jail (if that) - because he died the offender got 15 years - simple "chance"

We should penalize actions - not outcomes that are decided by mere chance.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:23 AM   #22
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I can't own a nuclear weapon, I can't own a quality machine gun, I can't own a decent mortar, I can't drive a suitably equipped tank. Now I may not be able to own a hand gun. What is this country coming to?
Well, you certainly can't own a nuclear weapon. But I personally know people who own tanks, machine guns, mortars, and cannons. You simply have to live in a state that still believes in freedom and fill out some paperwork.

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Old 03-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #23
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No where final - that should come in May or June but it is looking good: Justices Appear Skeptical Of D.C.'s Handgun Ban
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:41 AM   #24
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I'm not one of those strict constructionists who is so absolutist about the Second Amendment that I think it guarantees the right of private citizens to own ridiculously powerful weapons that didn't exist in the 1780s, such as flamethrowers, grenade launchers, bazookas and nukes carried in a suitcase.

But it seems to me that the DC law is so far in violation with the spirit of the Bill of Rights that it should be overturned and revert to Federal law until a more measured gun law can be enacted.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:55 AM   #25
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I'm not one of those strict constructionists who is so absolutist about the Second Amendment that I think it guarantees the right of private citizens to own ridiculously powerful weapons that didn't exist in the 1780s, such as flamethrowers, grenade launchers, bazookas and nukes carried in a suitcase.
I hope so. But, even though I want to be able to own a handgun and believe an individual right will come out of this case, I wonder about some of the implications. If one of the reasons for the amendment is to ensure the rights of the common people to organize to oppose a tyrannical state then it would seem the "arms" the people need access to have to be sufficient to fight the state. In today's world that means those bunkers in Montana need a pretty hefty arsenal. It might very well take another amendment to turn this into a personal defense right. But, the liberal justices were pretty good at adjusting the constitution to fit changing times. Maybe the conservative side will find it needs to do something of the same now that it is their turn. Well, count Scalia and Thomas out on that. We can hope Roberts might hold the line at schools and machine guns.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:06 AM   #26
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"An armed society is a polite society." - Robert A. Heinlein

I carried a weapon for 29 years, but when I retired I didn't bother to get a carry permit. Just didn't feel the need. But I have a few around the house, they just kind of accumulated over the years.

It would be good to see DC's ban overturned. People who live in that city need to have guns available!
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:00 AM   #27
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It would be good to see DC's ban overturned. People who live in that city need to have guns available!
I hope all this talk about DC crime hasn't poisoned people on the city. It is really quite safe. I have been living on Capitol Hill since 1982, and I walk and bike all over regularly. I have never been or felt threatened. Most of the killing you hear about are poor on poor and/or drug matters. That said, I wouldn't want to man the counter of a corner store in a bad neighborhood. And, as in any city, people need to be street wise and prudent. But, in general the city is safe and a great place to visit. DW and I plan to stay put right where we are during retirement despite having the means to go pretty much anywhere we choose.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:04 AM   #28
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I hope all this talk about DC crime hasn't poisoned people on the city. It is really quite safe. I have been living on Capitol Hill since 1982, and I walk and bike all over regularly. I have never been or felt threatened. Most of the killing you hear about are poor on poor and/or drug matters.
Most cities that have a heavy reliance on tourism do a really good job at maintaining law and order in the pockets of their cities where tourism is heavy, because crime isn't good for business. I suspect that's true of the Mall in DC, the Vegas strip, the French Quarter in New Orleans, et cetera. But stray a few blocks from these touristy areas, and it's often another story.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:45 AM   #29
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Most cities that have a heavy reliance on tourism do a really good job at maintaining law and order in the pockets of their cities where tourism is heavy, because crime isn't good for business. I suspect that's true of the Mall in DC, the Vegas strip, the French Quarter in New Orleans, et cetera. But stray a few blocks from these touristy areas, and it's often another story.
Admittedly there are some scary areas in DC but I would not characterize it as a few safe, tourist areas surrounded by no-man's land. I get around to "edgy" areas all the time and don't feel threatened. Even the bad areas are generally OK during the day when workers are out and about.

Now to hijack the thread and talk about scary areas, I accidentally programed the wrong address into my GPS for a stop in Miami on my recent vacation. As I rolled into the wrong place at the wrong time (night) I realized I had no gas. Drove all over and finally found a station. As I was pumping gas, a guy with low rider jeans and a flat brimmed hat came sauntering through the pump area as he took a shortcut at the corner. He stopped and looked at me with my q-tip head of hair and my bikes on the car and said, "man you should be getting gas in a more suburban location." I realized that, if he felt compelled to make a comment like that, I was truly off track.

EDIT: To get back on topic, I would have felt better if I had 9mm in my belt that night.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:53 AM   #30
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I would like to see severe penalties impossed on those who use firearms in committing a crime rather than criminalizing those whose only crime is wanting to protect themselves and family. It appears the career criminals are treated much too lightly.
I don't think so. Compared to other countries, we are close to the top if not the top in the percentage of our population in prison.

My thought is that we need to step up catching, punishing and rehabilitating the small time criminals, especially juveniles. Vandalism. Possession of unlicensed firearms. Trespass. Get the problems when they are small and maybe the big stuff will be less likely to develop.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:59 PM   #31
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I don't think so. Compared to other countries, we are close to the top if not the top in the percentage of our population in prison.

My thought is that we need to step up catching, punishing and rehabilitating the small time criminals, especially juveniles. Vandalism. Possession of unlicensed firearms. Trespass. Get the problems when they are small and maybe the big stuff will be less likely to develop.
Legalize drugs and the prisons would be 3/4 empty. Now there is a thread to get hackles raised.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:04 PM   #32
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Legalize drugs and the prisons would be 3/4 empty. Now there is a thread to get hackles raised.

People would probably be less likely to need a gun for self defense if that happened.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:21 AM   #33
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I like the policy already in place in several areas (states or cities) where commission of any crime while in possession (don't even have to fire it) of a handgun is an automatic felony and should be punished as a violent crime.
I also believe that the justice/prison system in the US is broken and needs a major rethinking of crime and punishment. Violent criminals who break and enter, rape and physically endanger others should be locked away. People who break laws, white collar crimes, drug crimes involving private use where no violence or physical threat to others occurs should be punished monetarily and by public service to their communities but not locked up at the expense of the taxpayer for years.
It is unbelievable to me that society thinks that locking Keifer Sutherland or Paris Hilton, a child support offender, an employee who stole from his workplace, (or any other usually law abiding citizen)away in a jail for months or years for a white collar non-violent crime, can be more beneficial to society than fining them heavily and having them contribute their time and effort for many years to better their communities.
Back on topic, I have a CCL in Texas and firmly believe that when laws are made prohibiting law abiding citizens from having guns, only criminals will have guns. Then the inmates will be in charge of the asylum.

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Old 03-27-2008, 08:43 AM   #34
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Violent criminals who break and enter, rape and physically endanger others should be locked away. People who break laws, white collar crimes, drug crimes involving private use where no violence or physical threat to others occurs should be punished monetarily and by public service to their communities but not locked up at the expense of the taxpayer for years.
Why?

What is the difference? A company embezzler taking money from a company can bankrupt it and put 100 people out of work - I've seen it happen. (Yes the co. should have had safeguards in place but that's another subject.)

Is the loss of income and health insurance, etc. for those 100 laid-off people any less demoralizing or frightening than the fear of the convenience store clerk who was robbed at gunpoint?

Many times people say the white-collar criminals are not a danger, and they should be made to "pay it back". That assumes that there's something left to pay it back with. Most times there's nothing left of the stolen money - that's why it was stolen in the first place! To spend foolishly.

Enron wasn't a danger? Bear Sterns management wasn't a danger? Many people - some on this forum - firmly believe the US will eventually become a 2nd-world country because of overspending and managerial incompetence.

I don't see the distinction between the embezzler and the armed robber. They are both merely thieves, and to assume that someone who generally commits non-violent crimes will not commit violent ones is a false assumption.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:47 AM   #35
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Is the loss of income and health insurance, etc. for those 100 laid-off people any less demoralizing or frightening than the fear of the convenience store clerk who was robbed at gunpoint?
I would say it's certainly less frightening. The white collar criminal was just as much a threat to their property but not to their lives. The violent criminal poses a threat to both.

That doesn't justify or mitigate the severity of white collar crime at all, but I don't think it can be fully equated with crime where weapons and the threat of violent death -- whether made explicit by the perp or implied by the mere presence of the weapon -- adds the component of fearing for one's own life. I'd say it's also more likely to leave someone emotionally scarred as they "flash back" and have bad dreams about it.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #36
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I didn't say they should not be punished. I said that the idea prevalent in our society today that the only REAL punishment is to be locked away in a prison for great lengths of time is flawed. The punishment can and should be severe for major crimes like Enron or Bear Sterns white collar crimes. I just believe that there are more constructive and productive ways to punish criminals.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #37
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I just believe that there are more constructive and productive ways to punish criminals.
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And those are....?
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:48 PM   #38
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For the embezzlers who seem to think money is the be all and end all of life, why not be sure they have to spend every penny they earn over and above food and rent for the rest of their life supporting a fund to repay the people they wronged. For others how about public service benefiting society with a salary of just enough to get by for however many years they would have been in prison costing society. Surely these programs would be cheaper to run and better for all concerned in the long run than warehousing non-violent criminals and making many of them into unemployable ex-cons when they get out. Many people who go into prison for petty crimes such as minor amounts of drugs come out as career criminals who clog up the parole system and end up back in prison.
I do not have the absolute answer to this problem, I just said that our system is broken and there is a problem with our crime and punishment system as it seems that when something like 1 out of 100 men in our nation are in prison.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:47 PM   #39
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And those are....?
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:58 PM   #40
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Embezzlers, forgers, con men, etc steal the fruit of people's labor. In a way,they steal the lives of these people--the time they spent earning that money. The deserve punishment---something that will make others considering the same actions to really fear the consequences. They need to have their liberty taken away, and that means jail time. Any "pay it back" scheme will be very difficult and costly to administer, and will be full of loopholes (example: OJ killed the Goldman's daughter, was ordered to pay them millions, yet still seems to live pretty well.)

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I do not have the absolute answer to this problem, I just said that our system is broken and there is a problem with our crime and punishment system as it seems that when something like 1 out of 100 men in our nation are in prison.
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The problem is that too many people are committing crimes. The answer is to give them a darn good reason not to commit crimes.
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