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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:18 PM

This is a follow up to the post I did yesterday about my feeling on RKBA.

This does not have as much to with gun rights or the 2nd Amendment but I think it is a part of the discussion that I havenít read much about here on DU that I think needs to be talked about. This is what I think. I donít know what other people think that may have been in my situation because I have never talked about this before with anyone.
My guess is that if George Zimmerman is acquitted he will never carry a gun again and he will never play neighborhood watch again. Itís not because he doesnít want to get into that kind of trouble, but because heís had time to think about who Trayvon Martin was. The guy Zimmerman thought he killed was in reality a fantasy that he created in his mind. Had he known then what he knows now about Trayvon, he would never have shot him.
One morning in Vietnam during Tet I volunteered to be part of a body count detail. This was after an attack on Bien Hoa air base the night before. We were supposed to look for any kind of documents or information that might be there. Sometimes there would be a family picture which forced you to see this body as a person similar to yourself.
The point I am trying to make is that to kill someone I think you have to first dehumanize them. In your mind you have to justify killing them. Usually the justification is self-defense. In a war zone you had long ago dehumanized anyone who you felt would be trying to kill you.
Now project that onto a society where people carry guns because they feel the need to defend themselves. If what I am saying is true then they have dehumanized anyone they feel would be trying to kill them. The more people carry guns the more dehumanizing goes on. Thatís why a guy can kill a teen playing loud music or a guy can kill a woman who got out of her car because his wheel chair hit her car or a cop in Cleveland, who needed to reload, can fire over 30 rounds into a Black couple who he was in a car chase with. Thatís a lot of dehumanizing going on.
Sure you could risk not dehumanizing someone who maybe you should have but then to lesson that risk you have to go through life dehumanizing just about everyone you donít know. Is that what we want society to become? We could be turning pieces of our country into war zones.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is a follow up to the post I did yesterday about my feeling on RKBA. (Original post)
upaloopa Dec 2012 OP
Clames Dec 2012 #1
upaloopa Dec 2012 #2
Clames Dec 2012 #3
ManiacJoe Dec 2012 #4
Eleanors38 Dec 2012 #5
rrneck Dec 2012 #6
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #7
sarisataka Dec 2012 #8
PavePusher Dec 2012 #9
sarisataka Dec 2012 #10
Eleanors38 Dec 2012 #11

Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:31 PM

1. Well, we aren't.

 

Drugs and gangs are doing that, not CCW permit holders. I also think you are seriously off base with the whole dehumanizing thing. The absolute vast majority of both soldiers and citizens feel the same about taking a life in their own defense and their is certainly no dehumanizing involved. Quite the opposite really.

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Response to Clames (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:39 PM

2. Well I have tell you that experience tells me otherwise

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:12 PM

3. My experience tells me otherwise.

 

Much more recent experience too.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:18 PM

4. While the dehumanizing will help the military get the soldier to where

the military wants them to be, no one makes that attempt for CCW users. It is just the opposite actually. Sounds like you need to update your training.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:22 PM

5. I understand the de-humanizing that can and does occur when someone is declared...

the enemy. Most, including myself, cannot speak from personal experience, but the de-humanizing aspect goes on.

There are some hideous and lurid web sites which provide a video buffet of thugs and robbers violently engaging store clerks or non-resisting victims of their violence. The comments I read are often de-humanizing in the reference to the criminals committing these acts; it is hard not to relate to the feelings of some of the comments, but others are gratuitous chest-beating and have no value. But nothing is as de-humanizing as a thug who wipes a gun across someone's face, or when a citizen fights back, persists at trying to shoot the citizen; gun pointed blindly over the counter, chasing the clerk, playing a perverse cat & mouse game, all during a time when by even the most minimal standard of survival, the thug should be high-tailing it. But no, he just has to shoot at the clerk or store owner.

He's not defending his life. He's making the most de-humanizing statement by his actions: My killing you is more important than even robbing by force.

It is difficult to sympathize with -- or humanize -- someone who has clearly gone feral.

BTW, some of these thugs are as white as the inside of my wrist.

This is worth exploring some more. Thanks for bringing up a subject most do not wish to deal with.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:47 PM

6. When does dehumanizing occur?

The laws surrounding the carriage if firearms are rules of engagement. You don't turn a neighborhood full of civillians into a free fire zone in a war, and you don't do it at peace.

Don't shoot non combatants. And that's a lot easier to figure out outside of a war zone. It obviously isn't perfect, nothing is, but it's the best we can do.

There is no reason to assume anyone carrying a gun is dehumanizing everyone around them.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:10 PM

7. I am a Vietnam Veteran and I have a CHL.

You have certainly presented a different argument for not allowing concealed carry.

From my experience I know that I have not dehumanized everybody that I see. But if someone were to endanger my life, I would certainly shoot and deal with the emotional consequences later. At least I would be alive to deal with them.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:30 PM

8. The act of killing and the aftermath is not

a well studied or understood part of psychology. An excellent book on the matter is Lt. Col. Grossman's book On Killing.
He likens the issue as virgins trying to explain sex. As most researchers have never killied anyone, they can explain the process but are out of touch with the actual feelings.

He postulates much of the dehumanizing occurs on a daily basis, largely through the media. This in par may explain why youths today are willing to quickly use violence on a more serious level than in the past.
I am not sure I fully agree with his theory but it certainly gave me food for thought.

On the battle field we do dehumanize our enemy to make killing easier. Always referring to your enemy in derogatory terms is one visible facet of the process. Usually in combat, it is pretty clear who the enemy is and how to engage. The fact the we take prisoners and do not massacre our enemies does mean we can pull back from that edge and remember they are human; more importantly, remember we are human. In days past, my Marines and I always treated our prisoners as well as we were able to and treated enemy KIA with the same respect we would have done for our own. (I thank my God that I was lucky and never had to write a letter to a family)

In the civilian world we do dehumanize the 'thugs' to a certain extent. We also realize (most of us anyway) that not everyone with a different skin tone is out to get us. For most, it is the 'aggressor', the person who clearly demonstrates intent to do us harm that we dehumanize. I, and I believe many, are color blind when it comes to this image; I will know the 'aggressor' when I see him or her.

The danger, as you show in your two end examples, is that anger can replace the dehumanizing process in nearly the blink of an eye. It is critical to make sure our rational thoughts are controlling our actions to keep our violence to the bare minimum, always remembering the conflict avoided is the best.

My pop-psych $.02, before taxes.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:57 PM

9. Recced for the thoughtful conversation...

 

even though I disagree with much of what you say.

Food for thought. There's a lot of that going around lately.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:00 PM

10. It is kind of funny

I come here for quiet to get away from all the fighting in GD and meta... oh and the lounge and well... THIS is the quiet forum

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:00 PM

11. Some of the fighting there makes the Gungeon look peaceful.

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