The Poor Starving, Burglaring Father And Other Fantasy Tales – a blast from the past from May 2013


The Poor Starving, Burglaring Father And Other Fantasy Tales – a blast from the past from May 2013

So, yesterday Glenn Reynolds linked to this story at Hot Air about a home invader (IN TEXAS!) who was so unfortunate (as well as stupid) as to lock the son of the homeowner in the gun closet…  Hilarity ensued.

Only, as I was getting ready to go out and unable to work in those ten minutes or so, I thought it would be a good idea to read the comments.  Which was fine too, except…

Except that I came across something that made me sit down and think.  In fact, I thought all the way in the car to Denver (business) and all the way back, and decided this must be written about.

For those of you not inclined to click on that link, let me summarize.  Story goes something like this: a house in Texas was broken into by three home invaders (a completely different thing from burglars.  Growing up I was always told that the real danger from burglars was to interrupt them in the commission of the crime – please keep in mind that I grew up in a country where gun ownership is not allowed – and so was instructed that, if coming home and suspecting the house was being burgled, I should run next door the neighbors and call the police.  Home invaders are burglars who PURPOSELY go into occupied houses, which is a completely different ball of wax.  In fact, often – from what I read, though I confess I didn’t look at statistics – they’re there for a bit of bizarre sexual assault or other acts of random sadism, as well as property.)

After wrestling with the occupant of the house in residence, i.e. the son of the homeowner, they locked him in the closet.  He got his gun, broke out of the closet, exchanged fire with one of the invaders, the other two fled.  The one who was shot (shoulder and leg.  Cut the homeowner’s kid some slack.  He was probably agitated.  I would be) tried to run, collapsed, was captured.

So far so good and a fairly straight forward story.  And then I hit the comments.

Before I report on this comment I want to point out that from the replies other people made him, he might be a “regular troll” on the blog.  (AFAICT we’re the only blog with active commenters without a resident troll.  This is probably because I’m testy and an overheated Latina.  Deal.  I know it would give us great cache and also that I never let you guys have any fun, but you can MOST ASSUREDLY deal.)

However, the comment bears mentioning because a) if you tell this type of a story at a party, this is almost sure to come back as a talking point.  b) because when I was in college – or high school – while I would PROBABLY not have made this point myself, I would have bought it, hook like and sinker.  c) because not only it’s not a valid “counterpoint” but it’s not even a sane one.  d) because nine times out of ten someone not politically involved will buy it sight unseen.  e) the reason people will buy it.

So, now that you are ready – the comment was made by someone named “nonpartisan” and while I can’t find the comment itself (you can search!) it was quoted enough for me to get the gist of it.  Apparently this critter opened with a gambit that he didn’t think burglars deserve death.  And either in this comment, or in another, he identified himself as a Harvard Law graduate.  The commenters make much fun of this last.  They shouldn’t.  Having received an excellent liberal (!) education in Europe, this seems perfectly plausible to me.

But here’s the part of the comment I could find:

what if you know for a fact that the burglar is unarmed, would you kill him?

a burglar could be a father who is unemployed and at his wits end at finding options to provide for his starving family. Not every burglar is a violent, armed psychotic rapist.

nonpartisan on May 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

This is exactly the type of story my text books, from middle school on were full of.  The criminal was a misunderstood soul, an exploited worker, down on his last dime.  We were hammered with comparisons to medieval people stealing a loaf of bread and being hanged for it.  (Suburbanshee will know better than I, but I’ve come to doubt those stories too.  The Arab world might punish first-time thieves, but I sort of doubt western civilization did.)

When someone brings up a story like that, I’ve been conditioned to feel a pang and go “well, what if…”

Why have I been conditioned to do this?  Well, because that’s a plot for a Hollywood movie, and, beyond my text books, it’s been tossed at us a thousand times in movies and mysteries.  (Did any of you watch Boogie Nights?  Might be one of the worst movies ever made.  We watched it for the same reason we watched a lot of cr*p.  It was in the dollar theater.  Unfortunately once we paid for it, we had to sit and watch it, because Dan feels wasteful otherwise.  No, don’t ask.  It’s a thing.  Anyway, from what I dimly remember, Boogie Nights has that type of thing, where they decide to rob a store, because they’re desperate and stuff.  More on that later.)

We all know about the honest-but-desperate father who goes and robs someone for money to feed his starving brood.

We all know of him – but does he exist?  I’ll remind you that we all also know of Santa Claus.

Right now, off the top of my head, I’m going to say that not only doesn’t he exist, but that if he ever existed, in history, it was probably before the eighteenth century.

Look, in normal human beings there’s  a huge stop before “commit crime to solve my problems.”  There just is.  It might “simply” be fear of retribution, but it’s there.  And when one thinks of “committing crime” and is desperate enough to break that taboo, there are a bunch of things a normal human being would do LONG before burglary, let alone home invasion (which as we said, is a different animal.)  There’s swindling someone.  If you don’t have the brains for that, there’s credit card number theft.  There’s even, up the scale, mugging.  (You get your loot in money.)  Further, burglary, let alone home invasion, is a fairly sophisticated crime.  You have to know how to break and enter.  This might have been easy in a medieval hovel, but these days it’s not so much (Okay, I can break into a house in five minutes.  I never claimed to be nice.  What?  Mostly to not be grounded for coming home late.  “But mom, I was in bed all along.  Maybe I was in the bathroom and you missed me?”)

Second, once you break into a house, your chances of walking off with a bundle of untraceable bank notes are slim.  Most people simply don’t sew money into the mattress.  So, if you’re breaking in for money to feed your children (snort) you’re going to have to convert whatever you find into cash.  (I’ll note that I have never heard of ANYONE breaking into a house and making off with the contents of the freezer, so if it’s food they want, they’re going about it the wrong way.)  This means you need to know fences, or you’re going to be a one-time burglar.

But before that let’s look at how an otherwise law-abiding person could get desperate enough  to become a burglar in order to feed his chil’uns.

Kids, I’ve been broke.  I’ve been so broke that merely being broke would be a relief.  At one point twenty years ago we spent six months paying our Visa with our Mastercard and vice versa.  Twice, we parked in front of soup kitchens, then decided we were NOT desperate enough to go in and went home hungry.

The idea of robbing another person NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME.  In that situation, the hierarchy would go something like this: charities/soup kitchens.  This by itself, might be enough to hold us, until we could get back on our feet.  (who was that guy who moved to a town with his girlfriend and found he couldn’t starve even if he tried to?)  Friends and relatives.  No, I don’t care how broke your friends are, you can usually sleep on the sofa.  Unemployment/Federal/State assistance. (This might come first for most people.  Even for us, unemployment would.)  If you exhaust all of these, if you lose your home, there’s still the charity of strangers.  Look, our city supports a large (!) and colorful (dirt is a color!) population of homeless which I GUARANTEE haven’t done a lick of work in years.  NONE OF THEM IS STARVING.  (And most of them are also not burglars or even muggers.)  There’s soup kitchens.  There’s informal soup kitchens (college students host a dinner for the homeless near my house every weekend.  No. Don’t get me started.)  There’s begging on the street.

And if you’re not going “but all of those are demeaning.”  Yes, they are, but they’re not VIOLENT crime.  And which would you rather be?  A beggar or a burglar?

Neither, right? But begging is at least honest, and I’d bet you most NORMAL people would do that.

It turns out, weirdly enough, that a small percentage of the population commits 90% of the violent (or potentially violent) crime.  It’s not need.  It’s something broken in them.

A lot of these people are heavy drug users or mentally ill.

That said, I’m the first to say our mental health system is broken.

IOW you’re unlikely to find a starving father of four in your home unless he’s also mentally ill and POSSIBLY also an acid dropper.

The problem is that someone with that combination and willing to commit a violent crime has no breaks.  (A lot of mentally ill drug users just want to sit in a corner and talk to the lizards because they’re awesome and stuff.  The ones who get violent are inherently very dangerous.)

So, should you shoot someone who breaks into your house?  Yep.  What are the chances of your killing an otherwise innocent man?  Next to none.  What are the chances of you getting killed otherwise?  VERY high.

So, how come that comment, or the gist of it would have got even me to hesitate when I was much younger?

Because in a million stories, movies, novels, we’ve been sold the story of a creature that if he ever existed is vanishingly rare – so rare that his sightings are more scarce than those of Bigfoot.  – the “poor but honest, desperate father, driven to crime to feed his brood.”

And people tend to think of stories as things they’ve lived.  They “experienced” it.  So, of course, it’s true.

It’s a great story, of course, but I bet you it was much rarer in Victorian times.  (And if you read the bios of Victorian criminals, the being it depicts was almost as rare.  People would go to the workhouse, horrible as it was, rather than commit crimes.  Unless they were one of the few who PREFERRED crime over anything else.)  And it was even rarer before that.

What it comes down to is people have to be told these stories, and be told them over and over again, before they will be scared of defending themselves lest they hurt others.

Civilizations don’t commit suicide unless they’re brainwashed into it.  And destroying a civilization starts with corrupting its story tellers.

Go you, look closely at the stories you tell and make sure you do no harm.

Oh, yeah, and be not afraid.

379 thoughts on “The Poor Starving, Burglaring Father And Other Fantasy Tales – a blast from the past from May 2013

  1. Obviously someone hasn’t watched Parasite, otherwise you’d know the home invaders are the good guys and the rich family is the real parasites. I know it’s true cause it won a bunch of awards.

    1. Plenty of Skidoos over at the dealer. Low snow year was a bit hard on sales. I did count 20 still in crates, so they had more than 23 most of the winter

  2. The question is often phrased, “Would you be willing to take a life, over [insert thing here]?”

    The answer is, “I resent them for involving me in their suicide.”

    1. My answer would be “if [thing] was all they were after, they could have just asked. Since they didn’t, assuming that’s all they want is stupid.”

    2. Yep.

      THEY decided that (item/activity) was worth their life; by implication, they decided that them being able to have my stuff is worth THEM taking MY life or health.

      That is on them, not me.

      (I get really, really pissed at the evergreen news story of “he was just robbing the guy at gunpoint, the victim had no right to execute him!)

      1. They have not simply taken things, they have stolen any sense of security and privacy your castle offered. They have deprived you of good nights’ sleep for the rest of your life.

        1. I was thinking about this very thing yesterday, because I was repairing the door to Castle Phantom. I recall some interviews with convicts from television long ago, and many of them had no insight into the effect their burglary/robbery/theft had on the victim of the crime. I recall one where the -murderer- in the room informed the mere thieves/robbers that the victims experienced it like rape, and that they’d never be the same again.

          This was a guy who had killed a bystander during a crime with a stray shotgun ball. He attempted to dismiss it as “nothing personal, just business.” Indicating that like the thieves, prison was the right place for him to be.

          I fixed the door pretty good, thinking about that.

          (Important safety tip, modern front doors are garbage. They are good for maybe three or four hearty kicks. Five with the “security” chain on. Once upon a time I locked myself out of my apartment in a horrible apartment building, and discovered that three good kicks will indeed open one of those heavy steel-clad apartment doors. All that lock is good for is about ten seconds warning, maybe 30 seconds if the person kicking it is drunk/stoned/otherwise impaired.)

          People don’t die fighting to save their television. Nobody is that lame. People die fighting to save their lives from rape and destruction.

          1. Had a related conversation just the other day with my daughter. They were doing a pretend game and she yelled “you can’t break down my door, it’s diamond!”
            Me: “How about the hinges? The screws? The wall it’s built into? Are there any windows?”
            Her: “….the whole house is diamond, including the windows, and they don’t open!”

            1. Minecraft! ~:D

              Introduce her to the notion of liquid nitrogen and thermal shock. Cracks travel suuuuuper fast in diamond I’m told.

            2. Introduce her to how jewelry diamonds can be formed. 😉

              1. This is the daughter who is already declaring that only diamond can cut diamond. (she’s aware of the wiggle room to that, but…hey, she’s 8)

                1. Have you informed her that diamonds aren’t cut but split?

                  National Geographic article from the 70s(?) on the Hope Diamond said that the director of the gem exhibits at the Smithsonian was quoted that he had women show up wondering what could be done about the engagement ring they reduced to powder by hitting it just right against the sink.

                  A sledgehammer would be bad for her house….. 😎

                  1. Heat the powdered diamond in an oxygen-free environment to convert it into black carbon. Use the carbon to grow new diamond crystal. Of course such diamonds only cost pennies to the dollar compared to the ones dug out of the ground.

                  2. That one came up in asking how they *get* the diamond dust to put on the blades they use to cut diamond.

                    I would guess that since she’s working with imagi-tech on the level that they can use a diamond to make a door that’s exactly like her bedroom door (you can picture it– the ones with four decorative inset bits, so it looks like two tall, squared off 8s next to each other) that they can avoid cleft-lines and flaws like that.

          2. Indeed. That is why I put in a gate in the fence between my house and the next – so that I would have one more barrier before the front door.
            Which IS solid wood.
            And why I have a machete between the mattress and the box spring, a pepper-gas canister in the bedside table, and a gun safe in the bedroom closet.
            Plus, just about everything in the kitchen is strong enough to be a weapon…

            1. My preparations mostly involve mindset, as this is Canada and we are not allowed to hit back. (Really. We’re not. All you guys yelling at the screen, wake the f- up.)

              Basically my plan is: f- that, I’m hitting back. I’ll have ten seconds warning before the fight of my life, possibly the -last- fight of my life. If I live they can throw me in jail later.

                1. Better to shoot the 12 who want to condemn you for having the temerity to fight back. Not saying the U.S. is perfect, but Canada and the U.K. have some decidedly anti-human laws.

                  1. It is necessary to keep in mind that their laws are premised on the principle that certain acts – e.g., taking of life – are reserved to the Crown. Defending yourself through lethal force is thus a prerogative of the government (in their case, avenging the taking of your life) which they may or may not opt to pursue.

                    Your life is property of the Crown, in essence, and the taking of it may be an inconvenience to to you but it is the Crown who decides if it matters.

              1. I’m not far from the border and have extra vacation days. I don’t ask many questions when helping a friend, and I doubt the border patrol is going to look too closely at my shovel.

                1. I’d worry more about the Customs guys, because that’s who you’ll be dealing with (Fun fact: you can leave the US anywhere you want, but you must come in through a Port of Entry) but I doubt they’ll pay you any mind.

              2. Before the laws in my state changed, self-defense was considered a worse crime than armed robbery or ADW.

                Our plan, should we wind up dealing with armed attackers, was to wait half an hour to see if anyone called 911, then roll the remains up in plastic, shove them in the truck, and dump them off in the next county. Because even if we were caught in the act, it wouldn’t have made the charges any worse.

                Fortunately, the legislature saw reason and changed that a while back.

                1. The last 15 years some of the government assaults on victims of robbery and assault who defended themselves have been Soviet in nature. The one I keep going back to is the guy who was attacked by two men armed with firebombs, intent on burning down his house with him in it. He had VIDEO of them doing it. He ran them off by showing them his pistol and firing a warning shot, then spent the next three years defending himself from attempted murder charges and gun charges.

                  Recently out West there have been many cases where farmers defended their property and family against multiple armed assailants and then had to defend them again from the government.

                  We’re talking seven-figure legal bills here.

                  On the bright side, none of them -died- so that’s good.

            2. I did recall training about how to make an improvised claymore when I was repairing siding by the front door.
              At the time, chuckled at myself for being paranoid.
              Now there are some places in the country where it would be reasonable.

            3. I live on herd immunity. My neighborhood is full of farmers with shotguns (and other small arms) and the development I live at the edge of has a sprinkling of cops. There is next to NO crime. The smarter crooks target areas where they are less likely to get shot, and the dumb ones don’t get out this far.

              Which is good, because I’m a klutz, and such people should not operate firearms or power saws.

              Or I could by lying, and have a small Arsenal.

              *evil grin*

              1. Of late in Canada there has been an epidemic of tragic boating accidents. Everyone I know lost everything they owned when their duck boat overturned. The bottom of Lake Ontario must be a foot deep in lost items by now…

                1. Seems to me that I read that the bottom of Lake Ontario IS covered with lost items. Seems they found an entire gunship from the Revolutionary War down there.

          3. There’s a video of firefighters kicking down various doors and some safety tips they had. After watching it, and the extended exertion they had with some of the doors, I replaced all the screws in the hinges and strike plates with 8″ ones. They’ll still get through if determined, but they’ll announce themselves loudly doing it.

          4. One ‘interview with a crook’ that sticks in my mind involved a man who had gone straight and lectured on how to make his former job (burger) harder. The interviewer asked him what weapon he feared most in the hands of a householder; pistol, rifle, or shotgun? He said that the majority of people bought guns but didn’t train with them, so he would just run. The one that REALLY scared him was when he picked his way in the front door, looked up the stairs, and saw a man with a compound hunting bow. He said, in effect “Somebody who grabs a bow would be somebody who USES a bow. I said ‘Would you like me to call the cops, sir?’”

        2. They have also stolen however much of your life you spent working to earn that money, and buy those things. How long do you work to earn $1,000? How much of your labor does your car represent?

          Robbery should be considered a partial murder. Stealing more money than the average person earns in a lifetime should be considered equivalent to murder.

          In addition, violent criminals have already decided that their crimes are more important than the lives of innocent people. We are therefore justified in concluding that preventing those crimes is more important than the criminals’ lives.
          Wing: ”Have you ever heard the phrase, Living well is the best revenge?”

          Miles: “Where I come from, someone’s head in a bag is generally considered the best revenge.”

      1. No you are saving some poor guy that the criminal would kill on his next crime.

          1. Exactly this. Predators will go after more than one until they are stopped.

            The really disturbing thing is A twisted version of this is used by leftists to argue / guilt-trip women against self-defense and making themselves less of an appetising target for predators: making yourself less of a target just has you set up the girl who is less careful to be the victim, so the rape of the next girl is “your” fault.

            Not the predator’s. The ‘fault’ of the more responsible, self defence aware woman.

            1. I’d like to punish these leftists for this. Doesn’t have to be awful. Pie in the face maybe. Just something to make them realize the evil that they’re encouraging.

              My father–G-d rest his soul–was born in 1920 and was a teenager etc in the Depression. His family rented a house and had the wherewithal to clothe their children. Father was teased about having “nice” clothing to wear. As far as I know, none of his contemporaries ever committed a crime.

              This pernicious nonsense was not acknowledged in my father’s house.

              1. Personally, dropping them off in the middle of ISIS country is what I consider a learning experience.

                I recently learned a bit more about the photo which depicts a woman selling her children during the Great Depression, and apparently the kids were sold, at least one to virtual slavery. The nation fundraised to help the family but nobody had any idea what happened to the funds, and the mother later had four more children.

                I felt bad for the kids.

            2. Exactly. Why is the opinion of some old white fat dude, or barely graduated from law school skinny black chick, in a black robe any more valid than yours?

  3. Victor Hugo probably told that “poor desperate man trying to feed starving relatives” best, but I still didn’t buy it even when I read the book as a teen. (It was a good story. The 100 page description of the–apparently extensive–Paris sewers was a bit much, though, and really the primary thing I remember.) Although he at least had it be “man escapes, turns to crime again because it’s just easier, but Christian redemption happens” which made it a cut above the usual crap along that line.

    The musical did it even better, ’cause it set it all to catchy, catchy tunes. (I enjoy the music, but…again, not buying it. Though again–at least regarding Valjean–it was more “Christian redemption” than “I didn’t ACTUALLY commit a crime, I was just starving.” Valjean never tries to claim that he wasn’t a thief, and he spent the rest of his life atoning for it all.)

    Of course, I never bought into the “actually feeling truly sorry for the Phantom of the Opera” line, either, because I’ve never quite managed to grasp the “the psycho is actually sexy and misunderstood.” They did a better job of selling it when they cast freaking GERARD BUTLER in the role for the film (and then had the ‘deformity’–cough–look like a bad sunburn) but even so–I mostly laughed. No, sorry, still not gonna buy the “someone whose first solution to problems is major felony in the form of kidnapping/murder/torture is actually someone I should feel really sorry for and secretly have a crush on.” No matter how catchy the music is. (And it is. But there’s a reason that The Scarlet Pimpernel supplanted all others as my favorite musical…)

    1. (It was a good story. The 100 page description of the–apparently extensive–Paris sewers was a bit much, though, and really the primary thing I remember.)

      Victor Hugo is the prime example of the bad incentive of paying authors per chapter. “Hmm … not sure what the characters are going to do next. I know! How about a lengthy discourse on street argot!” Granted, paying by the line gets you Alexandre Dumas’ choppy dialogue where characters constantly repeat and interject each other.

      Pterry’s Night Watch may be my favorite novel of his, simply because he vindicates Javert.

    2. Of course, I never bought into the “actually feeling truly sorry for the Phantom of the Opera” line, either, because I’ve never quite managed to grasp the “the psycho is actually sexy and misunderstood.” They did a better job of selling it when they cast freaking GERARD BUTLER in the role for the film (and then had the ‘deformity’–cough–look like a bad sunburn) but even so–I mostly laughed.

      They should have stuck with their first casting of Antonio Banderas. The Phantom is supposed to be seductive and charming — and Gerard Butler is not. (Granted, my first exposure the story was with Charles Dance playing him, so I have rather high standards.)

      1. Charles Dance? Sigh.

        Claude Rains. It was only later that I discovered Lon Chaney’s magisterial production.

    3. Hugo also extensively details how Valjean was in a descending mode until he was turned around by an extraordinary act of Christian mercy. Javert would have been perfectly justified had Valjean continued on the path he was on when he first broke parole.

      And the hundred pages of Parisian sewers? I raise you Waterloo, of which the very last portion is the only thing that has any remote connection to the story at hand. Or take The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which opens up with a hilarious amount of architectural snark.

      Love that book, but I don’t consider it realistic in any degree.

      1. And the Dutch Phantom with Floor of Nightwish:

        He has been performing with her on her solo shows and having the time of his life.
        He learned voice distortion just for Floor and I don’t think in rehearsals, he used it, judging by her reaction.
        This is a speedier version of the Nightwish rendition of Tarja era fame.

        1. Speaking as The Phantom (but not the Phantom of the Opera) I approve this video. ~:D

          And in case anyone was wondering what a robot girlfriend looks like, that lady is IT. Wow.

          1. Floor will make you cry like a baby. Even when the song is hers, but sung by another:

            Floor’s mom suffers from Rheumatism. She wrote this years ago for her mom. She has been doing it in solo shows lately, and barely makes it through the song. Emma’s mom suffered cancer, so it struck a cord with her too. One sees why Emma has like 2 million followers on YouTube

          2. And Floor doing a country-fied song by the kid Ruben (he’s a “pop” singer songwriter, influenced by Country and Western). She and her sister translated it to English, and Floor took on a Reba kinda vibe, made a million metal fans cry, and like it:

            imho the best female singer on the planet.
            iirc Ruben was all of 16 when he wrote it, too.
            Oh, and same show Henk sang “Your Man” with a twang, and played guitar. The guy is too cool.

            1. oh, and translation issues from Avratros. The song is “About Love, I Don’t Know A Thing”
              Ruben wrote it to deal with his parents divorce.

            1. I have a friend who saw them and said they were excellent. From what I have seen and heard of them, I agree.

              1. Everything I’ve seen them do was very, very, well done on their end. Their official videos are impressively well filmed, and they give English translations of the songs. And some of their vlogs I found fun to watch.
                This too was good, but I’ll set it to start at 6:08 for how amazing throat singing can be:

                The song at the start is worth the watch as well.

      2. I confess that reading Les Miserables as a teenager rather put me off any desire to read any more of Hugo’s stuff. I mean, I didn’t *dislike* Les Mis, but…yeah.

        Reading the Phantom of the Opera around that same time also contributed, I think, to finding the musical!Phantom at once less “sexy” but easier to feel sorry for. The book!Phantom is a freaking PSYCHO serial-killer who *enjoys* being horrible. And also in that one there are pages and pages and PAGES of endless minutiae and description, so I strongly suspect Leroux was being paid by the word as well…

    4. a decently done dutch version of Bring Him Home:

      The older teary eyed gent performed it back in the day, after his step dad died he imagined singing it to him.

    5. -Victor Hugo probably told that “poor desperate man trying to feed starving relatives” best,-

      Not to beat the same drum, but Parasite was also pretty good: the poor family HAD to become con artists y’see, and murdering the rich at the end was perfectly understandable. And there’s no hope in following the rules and working within the system anyway.

      Again, beating the same drum, but it was pretty effective in tugging on those heart strings…and a lot of people saw it.

      1. Yes, killing rich people is WHY it won awards from RICH PEOPLE. Progressives will virtue signal anything.

        1. One of the core tenets of the noxious Critical Race Theory (CRT) (the starting point of all the identity based Marxist nonsense) is that the “historically oppressed” (i.e. non-whites) have an absolute right to steal from the “oppressor classes” and that doing so effectuates redistribution of wealth from those who stole it to those whom it rightfully belongs. Indeed this is where “re distributive justice” as a term developed from.

          I have noted before in comments that CRT is the academic equivalent of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad’s “The White Man is the Devil” imposed on a Marxist-Leninist framework.

          Is it any wonder the left loved “Parasite”. It’s entire them is based in CRT style identity based Marxism.

          1. But no white people: it’s a South Korean film.

            It’s also…pretty good.

            Message is pure poison, but you feel for the characters, sympathy for the poor family and anger at the oblivious rich.

            It’s also ironic that the left has ate so many of its own on these shores they have to look to a foreign filmmaker to find someone who can pack the message in a decent story.

    6. Another good one in book form was Man of the Hour by Peter Blauner, where a principle character is an immigrant kid who can’t adapt and gets radicalized into a jihadi, but in that one it’s clear he’s become a bad person and needs to be stopped. He’s sympathetic enough that you keep hoping he’ll make a different choice at some point, and the terrorists who are radicalizing him keep using Islam to get him to justify his crimes – Like robbing a store for money to fund terrorist activities is just like the Prophet doing his caravan raids.

      1. Oooh, sounds like when Maul shows up in Rebels.

        (No spoilers. You know of Darth Maul, you already have an expectation that he’s Really Bad; they did a good job of making it so you’re sitting there hoping he’ll do good.)

        1. Oh dear, I’m a total sucker for… even fairly nasty villains with sympathetic points… in the sense of hoping they’ll turn things around and learn to behave themselves.

            1. I haven’t actually watched DS9 since sometime before it went off the air, and haphazardly at the time — I think I missed the last season or two, including most of the good stuff with Garak. It might be fun to try again sometime.

              The versions of some Marvel Comics characters that live in my head bear very limited relation to the official ones…. To be fair, this happens to them within canon too. *snark*

              1. If you have access to BBC America, they are running DS0 blocks on Mondays and Tuesdays now.
                Along with TOS, my favorite Trek.

            1. Plenty of men achieve that level of dumbness or greater when the gal is “hot.” Male IQ tends to vary inversely with cup size, all other proportions being pleasing. When a woman advises a man that “my eyes are up here” she’s disrupting the instinctive calculation of adjustment of intellect.

      2. From what I understand, in Islam _all_ prophets were murderous bandit warlords (including Jesus), because that’s what Mohammad was and therefore that’s what the Master of Deception wants for his most useful slaves.


        1. I don’t recall Issa (Jesus) being described as a murderous bandit warlord in the Koran. Although I suppose he could be described as such in the various Surras which I have not read.

          1. Doesn’t the Koran have a story of Jesus killing a kid when he was a child, and then raising him back up? Maybe that was one of the apocryphal stories dug up in the desert. I didn’t pay close attention to either lecture in CCD, I was passing notes with my girlfriend.

            1. I do know that Muslims tell stories that were originally Gnostic, but I don’t know about that one.

        2. No Jesus was the Prophet of LOVE. Love just didn’t work, so ALLAH sent Mohammed the Prophet of the SWORD. According to Islam that is working better.

          1. That’s because they haven’t fought the Scots recently. (Except for the Highway of Death in Desert Storm. I suspect Scots blood had something to with that little reminder.)

              1. The Poles haven’t gotten a good run at anything the last hundred years. If I recall they used to produce some top-notch mercenary troops.

                1. They seem to have been making a comeback–if not in war, at least culturally, so it’s a start–in the last few years. They are fed up with the EU’s sissiness, I think.

                  But yes, the Russians I gather very nearly broke the Poles and they’ve needed some decades to heal? But certainly at least as recently as WW2 they made the Nazis really, REALLY regret occupying Poland.

                2. Mercenaries weren’t really a Polish thing, IIRC. However, they did produce some topnotch cavalry–and, interesting enough, some seriously good cryptographers and code-breakers.

      3. “Like robbing a store for money to fund terrorist activities is just like the Prophet doing his caravan raids.”
        How are they different??
        Muslims going to Muslim. Read the Quran, the boy is just following what the book teaches.

    7. My Lady LOVED ‘Les Mes’ and I’ll admit to liking the music. The STORY made me want to climb up on stage and shake various people until their teeth rattled.

      Still the ‘heroic thief’ character is OLD. Older than Robin Hood by centuries.

      1. Except of course Robin Hood was stealing from a tyrannical government that was imposing excessive taxes to the point of complete confiscation of people’s property and wealth.

          1. One could wish more members of my generation had taken Disney’s Prince John — “Taxes! TAXES! AHAHAA! Taxes!” — as a warning rather than a role model, rather like 1984.

            1. Right?

              Also, that is one of the BEST Robin Hood adaptations, if only because it’s so much fun. And the guy voicing Prince John (and his animators) are clearly having SUCH A BLAST. (One of the few cases where Robin Hood has to play straight man to…pretty much everyone else, heh.)

        1. YES. I *hate* it when various media forms try to retcon Robin Hood into a communist. NO NO NO, he was stealing from the GOVERNMENT and it’s corrupt agents, dammit…

          I am a sucker for a good Robin Hood story–so yes, ‘heroic thief’ is a trope that rings a LOT of bells for a LOT of people. (One of the best examples would be the original 3 Thief games–fun, not too gritty, and a very nearly perfect example of heroic thief.)

          1. It is useful to remember that the government and its corrupt agents responded to Robin hood’s plundering by increasing the tax burden.

            Further complicating the matter are elements of the tales concerning Robin’s holding his takings in order to pay King Richard’s ransom, a ransom that would have been wholly unnecessary had Richard stayed o his throne instead of gallivanting about …

            1. RES, the invitations to go on Crusade were quite powerful. One not insignificant one was indulgences. Forgiveness of sin was relatively simple, but that was not the end of the story, For example, say you were committing adultery, but you ceased to do so and confessed. Your priest says you are forgiven, but he tells you to go on a pilgrimage to such and such a shrine and eat only bread and water for five years. You do so.
              But that ain’t the end of it. That was only your EARTHLY penance. You still were obligated to some time in Purgatory after you died.
              Consider the state of a knight. The Commandment reads, “thou shall not kill.”How can we reconcile this with the career of a faithful knight, who may have killed dozens of men in his lifetime. Even if they were “Good Kills” self-defense, following orders, what have you. You could be completely forgiven, but looking at 500-1000 years in Purgatory before you can continue on to Heaven.This Purgatory is no picnic – exquisite torture and pain, thought to be every bit as agonizing as Hell.
              What the Pope offered was expunging all that time you owed in Purgatory if you went on Crusade. You got this forgiveness even if you died on the way.
              This was why the initial response to the Crusades was so massive; Neither Pope Urban nor Alexios, the Emperor of Constantinople dreamed of the flood of Crusaders that comprised the People’s Crusade and its subsequent Keystone Cops adventures. Everybody wanted a free Get Outta Jail(Purgatory) Card.
              So, that nobleman you mentioned very likely was doing more than gallivanting off on a lark.

              1. The phrase “thou shalt not kill” in the King James Bible is frequently misunderstood these days, because we use the word “kill” for all forms of ending someone’s life, including accidents or self-defense, and we use the word “murder” for unlawful killings. But “kill” back when the King James Bible was first translated meant what “murder” means now, and “to slay” back then meant what “to kill” means now. And the connotation of the word used in Hebrew text is the same: the commandment was against murder, and did not forbid killing in warfare or self-defense. (Indeed, other parts of the Law of Moses give explicit self-defense exceptions to certain laws about murder).

                So the knight, though he may have killed dozens of men in his career, would probably have a clear conscience about those killings and not fear that they will land him in Purgatory. Though he might well have other sins on his conscience, so your broader point, about fear of Purgatory driving people to join the Crusades, is well taken. I just wanted to correct the mistake about the meaning of “kill” in the Sixth Commandment.

                1. Bingo. Of course there are people nowadays who prefer the mistranslation because it allows them to distort the word of God for their own purposes. All primates lie. The natural state of man isn’t good, it’s self-centered. It requires a lifetime of cultural training to overcome that tendency.

                2. WELL — in Le Morte D’Arthur, the Grail chapters condemn all the other knights besides the three who succeed for pride, for lust, and for — violence. A knight often spent a lot of time killing for not so noble causes.

        2. Note that despite what the more modern re-tellings say, he was NOT “re-distributing” from the rich to the poor. He was returning the tyrannical taxes to the people.

          1. Ahem.

            In the oldest versions, he was just enriching himself. He does help a knight, but first he checks that he is a knight of old and respected family, no upstart. Frequently, he tries to rob a poor man, and recruits him when proves to be a tough customer.

            In a ballad that is NOT among the earliest, we have an old woman who helps Robin escape because of his almsgiving to her. There was definitely a thread of “stole from the rich to give to the poor” in Tudor times.

            The thing about taxes did not occur until the movies came along.

              1. No, that was a Victorian myth. The oldest ones are clearly related to such figures as Hereward the Wake, who was historical (if rendered legendary) and other realistic outlaws. The Victorians went “Oh he was a figure of folklore” and operated their usual notions of evidence. . . .

                Though they did, in the process, thoroughly debunk the story that there had ever been a historical Robin Hood. Ill wind, indeed.

                1. No, Mary. I did a DEEP dive, recently. That wasn’t the Victorian myth.
                  It REALLY REALLY REALLY can’t be pinned down. It’s like fog. The deeper you go, the more it changes.

                    1. Everything I could find. Quite literally. Including an ethnographers recent attempt of tracing the beginning of the legends, to medieval ballads that might or might not have older roots. (Because I recognized cognates from Portugal, I think they do? BUT there is nothing you can really pin down.)

                    2. ??????
                      The ballads? D*med if I know. I have notes…. waves…. somewhere. Sigh. Look, the last three years have been a blur and htat was a prod for a project I decided not to do.

                    3. *comments before she forgets again*

                      I am so incredibly amused at the idea of the Victorian Folk Historians getting something right for the wrong reasons. ^.^

                    4. Elf and I were having a discussion that involved both Lokis (marvel and mythology), Joker and the fox or coyote stories– Trickster is a ‘thing,’ as is that guy being admired and doing something really brave/good. Even if he’s frequently a perversion of The Proper Order…sometimes he’s a needed warping….

                    5. Yep. And I suspect there have been hundreds of prototypes. Some of which were just wishful thinking, like the one in Portugal.
                      ALL in times of extreme stress…
                      I always wanted to do Robin Hood and his band, time travelers….

                    6. Stasheff kind of did that, in one of the Wizard in Rhyme stories– they are of song and legend, of course he did– and it worked really, really well.

                    7. And now I’m pondering if Firefly can be pounded into the setting, although ouch on the “Maid” Marian, there; Jayne/little John works.
                      (I’m hobbled by not much caring for the show. Great setup, I could see so many ways it would go wrong… but never got a chance.)

        3. Yup. Robin Hood stole from the tax collector and returned the money to the Payers.

      2. I like Megan Whalen Turner’s take on the heroic thief. Admittedly, he also falls into “magnificent bastard” territory.

        1. That is a fun series. He also qualifies as a Trickster type.

          That reminds me, I haven’t read the latest book or two in the series. Hmmmm, time for a reread of all of them!

      1. Yes, and no. Vlajean’s initial crime was driven by desperation, iirc. That’s not the case when he robs the priest. In fact, iirc, he initially decides to beat the priest while the latter is sleeping, and only changes his mind on what is more or less a whim. After the priest intercedes on his behalf, Valjean becomes a very different man. His only crimes afterwards are his parole violation (the reason why Javert was initially after him), and his escape from prison.

  4. Fines (and being forced to give stuff back) were the most common early medieval punishments for theft without violence. Usually you ended up paying two or three times the worth of what was stolen, and it was expected that your relatives would help pay the fine and then keep you from stealing again. More severe cases might get you shipped or flogged, lose you a body part, or get you hanged. (But of course this was tons better than getting killed by your outraged victims.) Violent theft had more severe punishment aimed at the violence: things like being outlawed, or getting hung on a first offence.

    Stealing crops, or stealing all that people owned of other equipment necessary for life, was treated much more harshly than just stealing odd bits and bobs. Banditry on the roads was also a bigger deal, as was stealing directly from your lord (in many places), because it was a form of treason (against the social order, your oaths, etc.). Forest laws were exceptionally harsh in how they punished theft of game, firewood, etc.

    Theft punishments got harsher as government got more centralized. But sometimes this sounds more harsh than it was, because stuff like a silver penny or a shirt used to be worth a lot more man-hours of work than it was by the 18th or 19th century.

    You also get late medieval/early modern penalties like being fed only bread and water. If you have a population (like monks) that expects to fast as a medicinal penalty, and as a penitential reparation to God, you have a different situation than doing that as a secular punishment (especially on people who are not medically suitable for fasting, or were too old or young for that to be a canon law consequence for their actions).

    1. Oh, and there were earlier forms of stocks and pillory as punishment for theft, which could let your victims get in some licks. But the criminals were supposed to be guarded so that they suffered no serious harm.

      1. Theft in war (when pillaging was authorized) or taking spoils in raids against neighboring policies (such as cattle raids in early medieval Ireland) were regarded as legal and fair. So there’s that.

        1. The difference then was that for Vikings, that was the easiest way to get resources they needed; while denying their opponents the wealth necessary to launch a counter offensive against them. Starving, impoverished Celts, Franks, and Iberians who had their food, good looking women, and metals stolen (plates, crosses, workshop tools, coin) and boats burnt weren’t going to fix those boats or build new ones anytime soon, to go after those reavers. And sometimes the looting was the only pay the raiders got for their work.

    2. The thing with forest laws (and it was not just hunting forests for aristocracy) was that stealing game or wood was stealing the chance for animals to mate and multiply, and for years of growth of trees.

      1. Also, the various towns and villages designated as “forest” could only be taxed by the king, instead of every aristocrat and gentry in the line of fealty.
        Which could make them unpleasant places to be when the king had to raise money *quickly*. (Nottingham and its sherriff, for example. )
        But by and large, it beat the alternative.

    3. Early medieval Welsh law imprisoned thieves, which was awfully Roman of them, but forcible robbery was actually considered less serious than theft by stealth. (Because stealth led to divisive suspicion and accusation, whereas forcible robbery in daylight with your face showing was an aboveboard way to steal. Same thing with murder by stealth vs. murder outright.)

      Welsh law regarded rape of a virgin as a theft of maidenhood. But if the rapist didn’t pay the heavy fine (that legally made his victim a virgin again), he would be castrated.

        1. Very fond of this song. I feel that the last two lines imply that the man’s father is delighted in his redoubtable daughter-in-law and her father likes having a lord in the family (and doubtless embarrasses the HELL out of his son-in-law).

      1. Obviously my Welch ancestors never raped anyone and got caught, or if they were, they ponied up the funds post haste!

        Which might also explain why they immigrated to America.

        1. GGGrandparent was also quick enough on his feet when suspected of stealing feed grain from his boss, the country squire.

          OTOH, the family story says he sent his family to America before selling off the stolen grain and shipping out. Any slower, and we’d have an Australian branch of the family.

          On the gripping hand, some of my relatives have/had more balls than brains.

    4. I found the concept of ‘deodand’ rather fascinating as well. In a nutshell: whatever item–or, presumably, domesticated critter–that caused or was involved in the death of a human was considered tainted by the sin of murder, and had to be either forfeited to the church so it could be ‘cleansed’ or a fine had to be paid on it in lieu of forfeiture. (And then, I suppose, the church then cleansed it anyway, they just didn’t get to use it.)

      Sure, it strikes me as yet another money-making scheme for the monasteries, but it was interesting all the same. 😀

      1. In France the animal could be tried for the crime of murder and hung.
        Trying animals for crimes was a French thing.

        1. In fairness, the distinction between the French and animals is often a challenging one to make.

          Especially if going by smell.

        2. IIRC, the laws handed down by Moses provided for the death of domesticated animals who killed someone.

          1. 28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels[f] of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.
            33 “If anyone uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss and take the dead animal in exchange.
            35 “If anyone’s bull injures someone else’s bull and it dies, the two parties are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. 36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.

  5. Some moron made this exact comment after a video of a woman getting mugged surfaced where she shot the mugger. “The penalty for robbery isn’t death!!!” bleated this poor lamb. I have to look it up, its too good.

    Boi got -schooled- by Twitter, let’s just say.

    1. If death isn’t the penalty for robbery, what is the point of a cop’s classic “stop or I’ll shoot!”?

      1. They don’t like threats of death from cops for violent crime, either. Only to enable property confiscation from the Right People.

      2. Cops have different responsibilities. They’re required by law to apprehend the people the get sent out to arrest. If that requires shooting the guy, oh well.

        Civilians have no such problems. We protect ourselves from assault and if Mr. Robber runs away, it is no longer our problem.

        1. In many jurisdictions cops are forbidden use of deadly force to stop a fleeing felon.

          Our nation’s Founders would doubtless be appalled.

      3. That has nothing to do with theft — or any other crime in progress — but with the absolute necessity that a criminal must submit to authority. And no, it doesn’t say anything about whether the law should be obeyed; the penalty for rebellion has always been death.

        Civil disobedience has been stripped of a lot of its’ meaning precisely because no penalties are typically imposed. The essence of that protest is that the law is unjust and should be repealed, not ignored until less sympathetic targets come along.

      1. Thieves but of course they could have been the type to rob & kill their victims. 😀

        Of course, they may have “claimed” to be rebels against Rome. 👿

    2. Found it:

      A strong, independent whamyn of colour resisted armed robbery (armed with a gun, lets be clear) by shooting the perp -after- he knocked her down and pulled out his weapon.

      Zach Ford said: “The punishment for armed robbery is not death, though. Of course I don’t think he should have had a gun either, but if she had let him rob her, even at gunpoint, both likely would have survived. It’s the praise for her gun ownership that bothers me.”

      Zachy baby also said: “Conservatives a thrilled a woman with a concealed-carry permit shot and killed a 19 year-old would-be mugger. That’s not how justice works. The penalty for theft is not death, nor do we want it to be.”

      It was a beautiful ass-kicking he got, let me tell you. Shirt-storms work both ways, Lefties.

      1. That’s not how justice works. The penalty for theft is not death, nor do we want it to be.

        If the assailant wanted Justice he should have gone to the cops. When a person waves a gun in your face you’ve no guarantee your purse will be all he wants.

        Critics assume facts not admitted in evidence, that robbing her was all he aimed to do.

      2. There is no way to know in advance whether someone robbing someone else is going to kill the robbery victim; there have been enough cases where the victim was killed (to prevent post-robbery identification, for kicks, etc), and a person being attacked may not even be aware of what the attacker seeks (robbery, rape, both?). The intended victim has every right to use all means to defend themselves, and that includes shooting the attacker if one has the means to do so. Malcolm X noted the fundamental right of all humans to defend themselves and objected to laws restricting the ability of black people to do so(i.e. gun control) as depriving them of this fundamental right

        1. “There is no way to know in advance whether someone robbing someone else is going to kill the robbery victim;”

          Yes, absolutely.

          But this is the beauty of Collectivism, you know. You can ignore the specific case as Little Zacky has here, and deplore the general case. Guns are bad because people die, is his thing. Just take away all the guns and less people will die, that’s his platform. Take her gun away and let her be robbed, nobody died so that’s good, right?

          From an Individualist standpoint, we have a perfect outcome. Perpetrator is driven off by his intended victim, she took zero damage in the battle. Job done. What happens to the perp afterwards is not the victim’s problem.

          That the perpetrator died of his wounds is not optimal from a -Christian- point of view, because he has no chance to repent and make reparation for his sins. It would be nice, religiously speaking, if the perpetrator had lived. That’s why we have cops, ambulances and hospitals in Western Civilization. So that shit-head 19 year old robbers have the opportunity to survive their mistakes.

          1. I think I get what you’re saying ,,,

            except …

            How was the hypothetical woman supposed to drive away her attacker if she had no gun?

            Zachy certainly didn’t think it through.

            1. No, you got it. Young Zack was perfectly fine with her getting robbed. Driving away the attacker by inflicting a mortal wound, double-plus ungood.

              Although, if she’d stabbed him through the neck with a broken off hockey stick he probably wouldn’t have commented, because only -shootings- are bad. Death by splinters doesn’t give aid and comfort to the Republicans, right?

            2. Zach’s problem was equating self-defense with vigilantism. She stopped the threat. It did not matter if it was a threat to her life, virtue, or property. He happened to die from her stopping the threat. Tough luck. Punishment would have been determined by the courts if he had survived. What she did had nothing to do with punishment, just self-defense.

              1. Hm; an awful lot of the stupid conclusions from the Proggies boil down to ignoring relevant differences.

                *looks at mug*

                I need more coffee for this.

                1. William F. Buckley captured their flawed logic best in his aphorism, “the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”

                  Confusing form for substance is no way to go through life.

          2. “That the perpetrator died of his wounds is not optimal from a -Christian- point of view, because he has no chance to repent and make reparation for his sins. It would be nice, religiously speaking, if the perpetrator had lived. That’s why we have cops, ambulances and hospitals in Western Civilization. So that shit-head 19 year old robbers have the opportunity to survive their mistakes.”

            This “Christian” doesn’t have a problem with the perp dying of his wounds without chance to repent and make reparations. Because this “Christian” believes in life after death, and said perp is going to be sent by God to a place where he’ll be punished for his deeds. He may spend 10 years, 100 years, a thousand years or more there before he finally learns and embraces His Lesson. Besides, this “Christian” believes he has a duty to protect those who aren’t as able to protect themselves.

            There are three quotes from Orson Scott Card’s, “Ender’s Game”, that are very apropos to the situation (actually, the entire book could be considered as such.)

            “Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too. So they’d leave me alone.”
            ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

            “because if you can’t kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you.”
            ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

            “When it comes down to it, though, the real decision is inevitable: If one of us has to be destroyed, let’s make damn sure we’re the ones alive at the end.”
            ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

      3. I’ll repeat what I said back in that thread:

        “We don’t have the death penalty for driving without a seatbelt either, but sometimes when you go flying through the windshield, you end up dead anyway. Similarly, when you attack someone, they might fight back, and if they fight effectively, you might end up dead.”

        And yes, a home invasion most certainly counts as an attack.

        1. In Ontario (and a lot of US states) unless the home invader corners you, the law requires you to LEAVE THE HOUSE and run away. In the snow, in your bare feet if neccessary.

          Only if the invader follows you out of the house and continues to attack are you allowed to repel him/her/it with deadly force. Because only then, when they follow you, is it proven to the satisfaction of the law that the attacker’s intent is murder.

          If you wax the armed attacker in the hallway outside your kid’s bedroom with a Louisville Slugger, that’s murder. If you shoot him, then it is super-duper murder.

          As I’ve said many times before, it is better for a Canadian to let home invaders steal everything in the house and then burn it down than to defend yourself and your home. The legal bill for self defense will be larger than replacing every single thing you own.

          1. That’s actually changed down here. By now, the only places where you have duty to retreat are Vermont and Washington DC.

            Neither of those is really surprising.

          2. “As I’ve said many times before, it is better for a Canadian to let home invaders steal everything in the house and then burn it down than to defend yourself and your home.”

            Maybe if lots of Canadian politicians were victims of violent home invasions they would change their minds… No, they’d just demand government-paid bodyguards. /spit

      4. The penalty for theft is not death

        That’s a cute little example of shifting definitions in the middle of your argument.

        The mugger did not commit theft. He committed armed robbery, assault, battery, and all of the above with a deadly weapon. Which makes his actions an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm to the victim. That means the victim was completely justified in taking any and all necessary measures to protect herself, up to and including shooting her assailant. At which point, if he dies, he dies.

        If the assailant didn’t want to risk dying, all he had to do was not go out and try to mug people.

        1. “That’s a cute little example of shifting definitions in the middle of your argument.”

          I’m told it is racist to notice things like that when gender-fluid people of colour do them.

  6. A few years back there was a made-for-tv-movie about a homeless family that the makers unwittingly destroyed.


    Because after the father lost his job and house, his brother offered him & his family a place to stay (in the brother’s home).

    The idiot refused so out of misplaced “pride”, he and his family were on the street.

    And we were to feel sorry for that idiot?

    Oh, I mentioned this TV Movie fairly recently and somebody commented on the idiocy of the wife staying with her idiot husband. IE The brother-in-law would have likely accepted her and her children into his home. 😦

  7. Marvel’s “Antman” is a perfect example of the down on his luck father burglarizing an inventor’s stuff to pay for his child support.

    As you say, it’s a cute theme, but you’re more likely to find unicorns in real life that to run into someone like that. Shoot ’em and let God sort them out.

    1. I haven’t seen the Antman movie, but from when he shows up in the other ones– he’s exactly the kind of not-deliberately-harmful idiot that would buy into such a crackfic idea.

    2. Scott Lang’s also the kind of person who wouldn’t break into a home if he thought someone was in it. As our hostess notes, this is a crucial point. Scott likely wouldn’t get shot by an armed home owner because the home owner would be away when Scott paid a visit.

      1. True– I can see the character accidentally burglarizing a house, running into someone, and half-killing himself being sorry about it.

        1. I had a character (never written) who burglarizes offices (or other places with valuables) never homes.

          Of course, he doesn’t burglarize places where there would be people.

          But then, if somebody did “catch him in the act”, his reaction would be “run like heck is after him”. 😉

          Oh, he doesn’t have a “sad story” per say and makes no excuses.

          He considers himself a High-Level Acquirer not a Thief but doesn’t claim “he was forced into crime”. 😀

      2. He makes a point, in the first film, about the difference between ROBBERY (threatening another human being), and BURGLARY (just stealing stuff) and the he is a burglar, thank you very much. (Actually, he uses the phrase “cat burglar” which–unless there were other burglary incidents prior to the one that got him sent to prison that we didn’t hear about–is laughable. “Subtle” is not in Scott Lang’s vocabulary…)

    3. Yeah, that was more a comment on the difficulty of felons getting a job of any kind–especially, you know, someplace like San Francisco–than trying to make us feel okay with his life choices. The ORIGINAL crime that landed him in prison was a stupid bit of Robin Hood-ing. He tried to whistleblow on his employer, who was stealing money from people, got fired, so he used his skills to steal the money back and give it to the people it was stolen from and then ALSO stole former-Big Boss’s car and drove it into his pool. I could only assume that he NEVER intended to NOT get caught, as he was looking to make a point. Only it turned out that it didn’t do him much good, he got sent to prison, his wife divorced him, and now he has a felony record and his ex has laid out a list of requirements for him to be able to see his daughter (having a steady job, an apartment, and paying the child support are part of it). So he stupidly lies about his record to get a job at Baskin Robbins…and then they find out about it and fire him. Because, y’know, he LIED.

      So then he decides to give crime another go, on the (stupid) theory that he can’t get a real job anyway. (Nevermind that, you know, so far as we can tell he tried precisely ONCE.)

      So yeah. Scott Lang is a smart guy in the electronics/mechanics/science department, but is a total moron when it comes to making smart life decisions. In the second film, he is literally TWO DAYS away from getting off house arrest for the stuff he pulled in Captain America: Civil War, and then–because he’s a good-hearted doof–he learns something about Hank Pym’s long lost wife (too complicated to go into here), and tries to give them a heads up. (Hank and his daughter are on the run post Civil-War.) So they kidnap him and essentially force him to break his parole so they can all go rescue Janet Pym. It does work out, of course, because Scott ALSO has amazingly good karma (because, I suspect, he’s a good-hearted doof), but he does spend a lot of the film extremely put out with Hank and Hope because THEY ARE SCREWING HIS LIFE UP after he was really, REALLY good for years about sticking to his house arrest.

      So I’d argue that Scott is more a send-up of the “driven to crime out of desperation” trope than anything else…because really, he’s not desperate, it’s “path of least resistance.” I mean, he went from “whistleblower who got fired” straight to “high-tech thief” without any stops in between, so clearly he’s not big on the “let’s try ALL the available avenues” approach.

    4. It’s been awhile since I watched that one, but I seem remember he was more blackmailed/set up for a trap than acting out of desperation – mainly cause he’s got mad burglar skills – and it was pretty obvious he was doing it a BAD THING back in his full-time burglary days before he got caught and sent to prison, and he bitterly regrets that life of crime.

      1. Scott wasn’t blackmailed. He took the job because he’d lost his legitimate job, and his friends kept encouraging him to take one particular easy burglary job.

        The burglary was a test of his skill, though he didn’t know it at the time.

        In the second movie, he’s wised up a bit, and now runs a firm that sets up security systems for clients. His clients know that he’s an ex-con, but see that as an advantage since he’s had experience looking for weak points in security set-ups.

            1. I’ve vague mpression that Harrison was a bit pink, although his Wiki listing merely says

              Harrison was a writer of fairly liberal worldview. Harrison’s work often juxtaposes the thinking man with the man of force, although the “Thinking Man” often needs ultimately to employ force himself.

              Certainly his Bill, the Galactic Hero was meant as a rebuttal of Starship Troopers. While it is problematic to impute a writer’s politics from his works, Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld series strongly suggest a man of the Left, not conservative nor libertarian.

              At a guess, Harrison never thought very deeply about DiGriz’s logic nor status.

              1. Bill, the Galactic Hero
                That was one of the worst books I’ve ever tried to read. Disgusting.
                One of only a handful that I didn’t finish.

                1. Harrison wrote several sequels, and then his publisher had others write even more…

                  Whatever you disliked about the first, you’ll likely dislike of the others exponentially more.

              2. “I’ve vague mpression that Harrison was a bit pink”

                More than a bit, I believe.

            2. He’s a criminal. His wife was a murderous, sadistic psychopath. He rationalizes by saying that this future society is so safe that I’m just livening things up and providing employment for cops. He also says that DiGriz is the only criminal.

              Listening to this tripe makes me have a RCOB moment. According to them it’s peachy keen if some other woman gets robbed, raped and murdered because she was followed by a thug. Besides fargin’ Leftist, what do you call someone who thinks it’s OK for someone else to be assaulted but mot his family.

        1. Antman is a blast! Heist movie with superheroes, and doesn’t take itself too seriously! It’s totally worth a watch.

          And honestly, even setting aside a largely stellar cast, the introduction of Scott’s buddy Luis–played by Michael Pena–and his approach to narrating things would be worth all of it. I still keep hoping that Marvel will pay him (and all the other actors, because they have to do the lip-syncing of his narrations) truckloads of cash to film a “recap” of all the events of the Marvel universe up to Endgame. I would pay a LOT to see that.

    5. I have to say that Scott Lang is not my favorite Marvel character, and the Antman movie did play that “victim of society” trope too hard for my taste. But because the movie makers were not complete idiots, this one trope played a minor enough role that it didn’t spoil the whole movie for me. Still a good movie.

    6. Huh. In the books, he did it to get a way to rescue a kidnapped doctor whom he needed to perform an operation for his daughter. He got away with it because he did not disable all the alarms, Dr. Pym saw him stealing the Ant-man suit and nothing else and thought he ought to find out what inspired such selectivity, and when Lang broke into a supervillain’s stronghold and rescued the doctor, Pym let him off and even keep the suit.

      Lang was also willing to surrender as soon as he saw Pym after the operation. OTOH, he had been tempted to steal again to pay for his daughter’s medical bills, and his original purpose in breaking in was to steal stuff for money and then hire help for the rescue.

      1. See, the presence of supervillains in a world actually would make tropes like this work BETTER. Because obviously a supervillain kidnapping someone is a whole order of magnitude beyond what one might expect the normal authorities to deal with, and so less lawful measures might, in that case, make more sense 😀

        1. I’ve read lawyers gravely discussing the legal aspects of superpowers, and they do tend to argue from the premise that of course the laws go unchanged —

          Why does Superman get to have a secret identity when Joe Cop can’t? Because, fundamentally, you don’t NEED Joe Cop, and because you can, when it comes to it, prevent Joe Cop from keeping his identity secret.

          Likewise, the FAA only regulates flight using some kind of device. Three seconds after someone with innate flight powers shows up and causes airline troubles, its jurisdiction will expand.

  8. Not every burglar is a violent, armed psychotic rapist.

    Maybe not, but that’s the way to bet!

    1. The assumption of benign intent of unknown intruders never ends well for the owner/residents. At best, you’ve been subjected to unnecessary anxiety and stress (by the way, that constitutes “harm”.) At worst, you’ve been tortured, sexually assaulted, killed, and robbed. NOBODY ever breaks into someone’s home to give them a million dollars.

      1. Yeah, but I understand that the occupied home invaders tend to be a little bit more dangerously crazy than the unoccupied home invaders.

    2. They’re just sick, not evil. They deserve our help to cure them of their disease.

      “Lead, 230 grains, administer as necessary.”

    3. Yup. Most serial burglars don’t do it for the money. Most get a sexual thrill and a feeling of control, and often graduate to rape and serial killing.

      Lawrence Block’s Burglar Who series deals with this, albeit his protagonist stays more on top of his compulsions and hates killing, and violence against women. But he does a great job of showing why people burgle.

      1. That’s precisely how the Golden State Killer started out. Started with burglaries, progressed to serial rape, and then to serial rape and murder. (AND he was a cop–albeit one that was soon fired for petty theft–which undoubtedly contributed to him going uncaught for so long. He knew how to evade most things, it was only the DNA advances in the last few years–and one particular county sheriff’s office in California that did not destroy evidence even after the statute of limitations on the rapes and burglaries had passed–that got him.)

        So yeah. Never gonna assume that someone breaking into a domicile is “just desperate.”

        1. Robbery and homicide are paired so often that LAPD combined Robbery and Homicide into a single Robbery/Homicide Division in 1969.

  9. Kind of like the hooker with a heart of gold?

    I’m not into much in the way of popular TV these days– have they done a serial killer who is a good guy and was just forced into doing it For His Family? (I know they already did the a-hole victim angle of serial killer as good guy. I respond very poorly to that type of manipulation, since I’ve noticed that most folks who justify their behavior by their victims being “jerks” are quite skilled at…ah… selective interpretation.)

      1. You know, the only homeless woman I ever met who MIGHT have pulled that trope off…well, she wasn’t of Interesting Race (unless you count Romanian, which is basically…well, white. Because Romanians are NOT Gypsies–as both sides will emphatically inform you.). She was very much of the manic pixie type and as I found out…not actually homeless. Quite well off, in fact. Nutty as a squirrel’s hoard, and liked begging on the street because of the people-interaction, and because she was bored. Apparently. And she was quite successful, in fact. I strongly suspect that the fact that she was cheery, friendly, and not scary–and probably also because she didn’t actually NEED it to eat–was the reason.

        So yeah. Take from that what you will.

        (Although I must say, Romania had the BEST crazy people as far as “interesting but probably not going to hurt you” variety. At least, the ones I met. The guy who handed me detailed plans for a secret, invisible US Military base in Andalusia was my favorite.)

        1. Where’s your novel about the crazy guy with the plans to the secret base in Andalusia? Come on, the Universe gave you that one on a freakin’ silver platter! ~:D

          I may steal that, I need a Secret Base to invade pretty soon in my current WIP. Although, mine is supposed to be in North Korea so you can keep Andalusia for your book. (They’re doing high-tech Necromancy, so the invasion is going to be a bit harsh. Main Character was Not Amused.)

          1. The especially hilarious thing? the method he described as to HOW this secret base made itself invisible was EXACTLY the fictional technique used in the first Avengers film, for the giant airship.

            He gave me another one, rather less coherent, about some strange experiments on cows. I have both of those bundles of notes packed away somewhere–if I find them, I’ll see about scanning them in (they come complete with some diagrams) and sharing them. 😀

            See, the guy was fluent in English. Extremely fluent. He swore up and down that the Romanian military had done experiments on him back in the 80s…and you know, I believed him about that one.

            Nice, NICE man, but so very bonkers. And paranoid about government agents following him–though I suspect that was not without reason.

            He always came to our English classes (when I was an LDS missionary, we offered them for free as a community service, since the gov had booted us out of the orphanages for some reason). He tended to get fixated on one missionary at a time, and he would give them strange little gifts (he never came across as stalker-ish or creepy, just…deeply strange). One of the young men, he gave a rather horrifying painting of the plane hitting the towers shortly after 9/11 (that happened about 3 weeks after I got into the country–I wasn’t in the city this man lived in until about 6 months after that). Or he’d give them a little notebook filled with minute-by-minute accounts of what he’d done over the past few days (including notations regarding supposed government spies following him). Me, I got fascinating notes on secret US military bases and bizarre experiments on cows.

            Bless the guy, I hope he is doing well. He was always clean and well fed, so I think he either did all right taking care of himself, or had a good family.

          2. Where’s your novel about the crazy guy with the plans to the secret base in Andalusia?

    1. I haven’t seen that variation, but they did, as you mention, have Dexter the serial-killer-who-killed-other-serial-killers. Though what little I saw of the show, they were NOT pitching him as a good guy, just…not killing innocent people. (I only watched a couple of episodes before the overabundance of profanity put me right off it, so I don’t know if they delved into “But what if he screws up and kills someone who HADN’T committed a violent crime?) I haven’t read the books it was based on, so can’t vouch for those.

      As a fiction concept, it was at least interesting: adoptive father twigs to the fact that his young son is a budding psycho-killer, and tries to channel it into a “better” use of his, ahem, proclivities. But is that a good thing? Arguably not, since he really should have put more effort into getting the poor kid help in dealing with past abuse than training him, sigh. On the other hand: witness the popularity of Batman, who is arguably as big a psycho as any of his rogues’ gallery. Possibly bigger, since he keeps letting them live, and they keep mass murdering innocent people as a result…

      1. As for Batman, I don’t see him as any sort of psycho as he knows Right and Wrong.

        While definitely a vigilante, he doesn’t see his job as “providing justice” but in gathering information to convict criminals. (There’s some problems in how the comics show him doing it.)

        It isn’t his job (in his mind) to deal out the punishment that’s the courts’ job.

        Oh, many of his rogue gallery (especially the Joker) would have been executed by the State in the Real World. Blame the idiot writers for the Joker’s survival.

        1. >> “Oh, many of his rogue gallery (especially the Joker) would have been executed by the State in the Real World.”

          Or, failing that, would have had an “accident” or been “shot while trying to escape” at Arkham Asylum eventually.

          1. Hell, death by poor victim selection– especially the Joker! He really likes to do things like pop up in someone’s back seat…. that SOB is in MY car? I know I’m likely already dead. So I’m taking that monday-friday out with me.

              1. Eh, hit my log-in-your-eye limit right off the (ahem) bat– why on earth should Batman be expected to kill The Joker, and nobody else?

                Especially since if Batman did so, it would end his ability to stop any other crimes?

                1. He addressed that (among other things) in the second part: “These are all valid questions, but they can’t be answered because they stem from our inherently bent world: We need a hero to punch famously dangerous and unrepentant criminals in the face, and we need him to do it basically forever.”

                  1. He does a good job of setting up the framework for his conclusion, but it reads like he had the conclusion already– where it doesn’t read like a glorified version of “if he killed the bad guys, then the story would end.” Which is one of the explanations that he dismissed at the start.

                    It’s kind of like the man of steel, woman of kleenex thing– if you agree already, sure, it’s persuasive. But if you’re not already there, much less if you poke it the same way it’s poking the target, it doesn’t hold so well.

                    1. >> “if you agree already, sure, it’s persuasive. But if you’re not already there, much less if you poke it the same way it’s poking the target, it doesn’t hold so well.”

                      Did you read the whole thing? He makes essentially the same point towards the end. Sounds like you’re in violent agreement with him.

                    2. The problem is that I read the end, and the beginning, while on alert for rhetorical sliding because of the thing where he put all the weight on Batman.

              2. Why doesn’t anyone kill the Joker?

                Simple: the Joker sells comic books, movie tickets and games.

                So long as he’s popular, he can’t be killed off.

                They could even permanently kill Loki for crying out loud!

                1. Heh. Except they didn’t. After Tom Hiddleston, the comics resurrected him–with the younger, trickster, sexy one being more a good guy while also still having the evil ugly one out there. 😀

                  Because, well…it was selling comics. And sold movie tickets. And now Disney+ subscriptions when they finally drop the Loki series…

                2. The Joker cannot die because the Joker is a meme, a concept, possessing the bodies of various people — this is why (in part) there can be no definitive origin of the character.

                  Similarly, as has been explored many times, Batman is also a concept, occurring across time, combating injustice in those areas the Law cannot reach. He is the embodiment of the Eternal Warrior and Joker is his antithesis, his Nemesis.

                  Neither can truly die because neither is merely alive.

                  I’d have thought that bleedin’ apparent.

                  1. But Batman DOES have an origin. The Joker can’t have one because it undermines the effect of pure insanity.

                    1. Re-read my comment. I said NOTHING about Batman’s origin.

                      His IS integral to the concept, and every iteration of the character across Time has one.

                    2. And Batman’s origin is a fundamental element of his conceptualization. It does not necessarily follow that Bats, being also a concept, has no origin.

            1. Depends very much on what mood the Joker’s in: maybe he’ll give in, but maybe he’d let the bomb go off if he thought it was funny, or when it’s shown to be a dud produce a real one and toss it in the air: “Here Bats, deal with THAT!” and start laughing while Batman scrambles to diffuse or get rid of it.

              Cause Joker’s been infamously careless of his personal safety on many an occasion.

              1. Amen– in fact, that’s one of my complaints for the Dark Knight’s Joker– I just know that I’d annoy the piss out of him and he’d kill me.

            2. There’s also the animated short in which The Joker and Prankster kidnap World-Famous Actor Mark Hamill.

              (who has also done some voice acting work…)

              1. Whaaaaat. How did I not know this existed?!

                And dude, more than SOME voice acting work! That’s been his primary job for decades now. And his Joker is considered THE seminal Joker by many, many Batman fans. To the point that when he retired his character with the Joker’s death in Arkham City (videogame), the guy who had voiced Batman for just as long ALSO retired.

                (Though I’ve heard rumors that didn’t actually stick for either one of them. Not sure if that’s true or not.)

                1. The understatement about Hamill’s voice-acting was intentional, given that he’s the voice for all three characters in that scene. And he’s also the actor who played Prankster in both live-action Flash tv series.

                2. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill both returned to their famous VA roles in the final game, Arkham Knight. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with that game, particularly in comparison with the earlier games. Even the buggy Arkham Origins was a much better experience than Knight.

        2. I’ve always seen Batman as a lesson in “how to be a lawful good hero in a world where the law isn’t always on the side of good.” The fact that he’s never the one to mete out punishment is the big reason I see him as lawful, even though he’s acting as a cop without a badge.

          1. Well said!

            If he wasn’t lawful good, he’d lose something–and have a good chance of giving some kind of support to the evergreen “not so different” junk from the Joker.

        3. Batman’s fundamental problem is that he’s not allowed to have a story, because stories END. Hence, you can not do permanent things. Like kill villains.

          This is one advantage of Astro City. Characters can have life-changing events, and then have new lives. (Busiek fairly frequently did stories about retirement — and not fifteen minute ones!)

      2. With Batman, you have to deal with Idiot Writer issues.

        Can’t really blame Batman for not executing people that the actual law enforcement keeps letting escape, though.

        1. I assume from the overall free hand the supervillains and gangsters have that Gotham has draconic gun control (which, in the way of things, doesn’t even slow down the supervillains or gangsters). There might be potential for a good story in an uncomfortable-with-guns-for-psych-reasons Batman coming to terms with a regular citizen of somewhere using one effectively in self-defense. Prohibited from existence or competence by the political proclivities they seem to be hiring for, presumably.

          1. Golden understatement, there.

            I made the assumption– while playing with that scene– that it was one of those may-issue places where the only way for a normal citizen to get a license was to give a really big campaign donation.
            There are, however, a couple of different military/gov’t programs that can bypass those, then combine with the frequent “bunch of people trapped in a museum” situation that Batman and Wonder Woman seem to run into a lot, and… well, when I found myself trying to research if the ‘no gun zone’ signs were legally backed by anything but being asked to leave and never come back, I kinda yanked myself out.

            1. The CCW info sheet we get upon issuance (or renewal) of the permit states that Oregon law (YMMV) makes it a felony to disregard the “no gun zone” signs. Further comment redacted.

              I’m waiting for a wrongful death lawsuit for the case of these free fire zones.

              1. I cannot find any support for that, which makes me suspect that someone played fast and loose with the signs telling you a place is one where you’re legally barred from carrying (ie, courthouse) as opposed to the “No Guns” signs such as at that mall in Portland where the shooter thought nobody would be packing. Several gun law websites specifically say that Oregon law is silent on the subject, thus my theory.

                I know some states have specific formats that the sign has to follow to have the force of law, too.

                1. (Rereads letter from the Sheriff’s office…) Well, I’m absolutely thrilled to say you are right.

                  There’s a long list of places not to carry, generally for government facilities and such (including some federal lands and wilderness areas (apparently, some of these have prohibitions against firearms)). Also, Indian Reservations and property (may or may not apply to casinos, a moot point for me).

                  This does mean that if I carried in the hospital or the affiliated clinic, I wouldn’t be busted for that. OTOH, there’s probably a disorderly conduct charge and getting banned from the facilities–not good with the next nearest hospital 100 miles away (road miles, because lake and mountains). I’d still like to see places insisting on a free-fire-zone see legal consequences after a shooting.

                  1. “There’s a long list of places not to carry, generally for government facilities and such (including some federal lands and wilderness areas (apparently, some of these have prohibitions against firearms)). Also, Indian Reservations and property (may or may not apply to casinos, a moot point for me).”

                    No carry in:

                    * Government facilities, especially buildings, definitely.
                    * Federal Lands? Wilderness areas? Those there are some that you don’t dare NOT carry*. Even national parks it depends on what state you are in. That came before the Supreme Court some years ago. It depends on the state. Oregon, if you have the concealed permit, or are hunting or traveling to/from hunting, then legal to carry on Federal Lands, including Wilderness.

                    Don’t know about Reservation land in general. Casinos … well guess I understand that, would be equivalent to carrying into a bank or jewelry store.

                    * The permanent techs might have been carrying (not legally, but …) that summer; summer temps were not. There were more than one job site that the USFS crew hiked into and ended up turning around and hiking back out, quickly. Someones had setup a grow on the route into the units we were suppose to be working. Between when the area was laid out (flags) and when we walked in. It wasn’t safe to run across the grows then. It has only gotten worse in the last 45 years. The locals, not working, all carried.

                    Then 2010 we took I-5 South to the highway that cuts across south Shasta to the east side to come into Yosemite through the NE entrance. Dog notified us she needed a break. It was late afternoon, fairly dark on the road in the timber (not quite dark enough to need flashlights, but “mood” set?). We found a safe place to pull over, where it was relatively flat so could take the English Toy Spaniel on her break. I leashed her up and took her out. It wasn’t long before a State Trooper pulled in behind the Trailer. Conversations between him & hubby. He stayed with us until we were ready to pullout. We were informed they patrol that stretch of the highway as frequently as possible. Even then it is extremely inadvisable to stop along that section between I-5 and east side highway, except as established places (of which are few) …

                    1. The letter from the S.O. says that *some* NF and Wilderness areas are marked for no firearms. We drive through NF land on the way to town, and haven’t seen anything posted, so I assume it’s a rare thing.

                      The casino firearms ban would be for those set up on reservation land. The Klamath Tribes are odd, so I don’t know if they’d be Rez or not (reservation was terminated in the 1950s (or so), but some restoration has occureed. Where we live used to be Rez, but isn’t now. Lots of Modocs and Klamath in the area, though.

                    2. Let’s just say I have some grim ideas on the “mysterious disappearances” where someone is out hiking, and their car is later found dumped like 60 miles away for no apparent reason.

                    3. I wonder if the wilderness areas with the firearms ban, it isn’t as much a fire-prevention thing as anything else? I can’t think of any other reason to ban carrying in a wilderness area.

                      (Though to be fair, I live in a open carry, concealed carry, whatever you want to do state, but as I am a federal employee we are NOT ALLOWED to carry, ever, while on the job unless we are the law enforcement agent, aka, the ranger. It’s utterly ridiculous, but what can you do?)

                    4. Poaching prevention, as I heard it.

                      Better to have people dying to wolves, cougars and cartels than maybe stealing a deer.

                    5. Also, Foxfier: there are a disturbing number of people that simply vanish in parks/forests/etc. To be sure, it could logically be argued that a lot of those are due to accident/animals/getting lost…and yet…they’ve also discovered more than a few serial killers in the last couple of decades operating in and around wilderness areas–and that’s just the ones they’ve caught/found out about…

                    6. I know, it’s one of those things where Coast to Coast AM is not crazy.

                      FWIW, after reading Borderland Beat for a while, much less skimming (since it’s awful) some of the details of what the cartels do, I’m pretty sure that serial killer illegal they caught down in Texas is only unusual in not having anybody pay him for his work. LOTS of seriously sick, shoot-him-now types.

              2. Same thing applies in TX with 30.06 (No concealed carry) and 30.07 (No Open Carry). However, the definition of what constitutes a valid notice is defined and enforced. You can’t stick up a 3×5 card in micro Pica and have everyone arrested.

              3. I actually looked up the law a while ago. It specifically exempts CCW holders from the ban.

            1. Yeah. I gave up on Arrow round about season 3 (though it had it’s fun points prior to that). I do question the logic behind “guns are bad, but it’s TOTALLY COOL to shoot people with arrows” thing…

              1. I thought they did an incredibly good job of translating the character to the small, live screen.

                Which is why I couldn’t stand the twit…. 😀

          2. I think there’s considerable evidence that there’s something weird in Gotham City’s water supply. There was a lovely Planetary/Batman crossover in which Elijah Snow describes Gotham as being “Basically unfit for human habitation”.

            1. I mean, take the recent Batman video games (which are a BLAST and fulfill every fantasy you’ve ever had about being Batman, AND at least the first 3 or so have the original 90s voice actors–Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill–as Batman and the Joker). The second one, Arkham City has the new mayor essentially turning a huge chunk of Gotham into a…prison colony…while apparently leaving most of the non-criminal people living there still stuck inside, not to mention the local MUSEUM and the police headquarters…and also throwing people who protested this (*cough* Bruce Wayne *cough*) in without any kind of due process…and…somehow the state governor or federal government didn’t call in the Guard…?

              That was when I finally decided Gotham must be some kind of independent city-state on American soil notorious for its human rights violations, but which somehow has not yet provoked the United States into squishing it.

              1. “That was when I finally decided Gotham must be some kind of independent city-state on American soil notorious for its human rights violations, but which somehow has not yet provoked the United States into squishing it.”

                And this would be different from 1970s and even present day NYC….. how, exactly? Look at how many federal laws New York has said it wouldn’t enforce on immigration and drugs….. and the 2A doesn’t even apply.

                The problem with any metro area the size of NYC is that it’s basically only as governed as it feels like being, because there’s too many people to arrest if a significant chunk decide to ignore the law.

                The difference between NYC as it’s always been and now is that a lot of officials are openly declaring that they’ll ignore any laws they want to. Before now, the immigrants etc. would simply get warned under the table. Now, it’s public service announcements.

      3. (Even if I do have a fan fic scene with Batman glaring at some middle aged mother with three kids and bad knees, who points out that yeah, Bats can beat up the bad guys– there’s no training on earth that will let HER do that.)

        1. Batman used to have guns. Lots of 1930’s guns, just like the Shadow.

          So yeah, Bruce is just law-abiding. But he probably has a really nice gunroom somewhere.

          1. I’m fond of the emotionally-scarred-but-fully-functional Batman of the ’90s TV show, where he really doesn’t like guns, doesn’t respond well to them– but is a freaking adult and would at most frown.

            1. I *loved* that series as a kid/teen and faithfully watched it when I got home from school pretty much all the way through high school.

              I think I need to rewatch it.

                1. It did. And it’s telling, I think, that almost everything that followed after it has, in some way, drawn from its influence–though most of the follow-ons are pale imitations.

                  I think that’s why the first two in particular of the Rocksteady Studios Batman games were so very awesome: they were, essentially, intended to be part of THAT Batman universe, right down to the voice actors. It’s grimmer, more “realistic” (if one can term anything to do with Batman realistic, heh), at least visually, but at it’s core is that same edge of cartoonish (in a good way) but grim lunacy that the 90s series captured so well.

          2. On a practical level in modern ish times, guns would make him a lot less scary to the criminals– and a lot more scary to the cops/civilians.

            1. I think my biggest complaint–and I made it knowing that early Bats WAS a Shadow-ripoff complete with guns–was the writers who jumped on the “Batman is better than everyone because he doesn’t use guns/kill people” which led me immediately to “Then technically the blood of every victim of the Joker/Penguin/anyone else after the FIRST TIME they escaped is on his hands.”

              I know, I know, vigilante, he’s trying to avoid having them call the National Guard down on him, probably, but…still.

              1. Yeah, preening authors are a pain.

                Bats has limits for good reasons outside, and good inside, that doesn’t make him more virtuous.

              2. It’s all very well for the readers, with their privileged view to like THIS vigilante, but it’s an awful power to put in anyone’s hands.

            1. Cat Tales by Chris Dee. She’s been writing it since 2001 so the events don’t match up with what’s currently going on in the comic books. But it’s so funny and I just love it. The first story is “A Girl’s Gotta Protect Her Reputation”. You can download the stories as eBooks which is nice.

              Here’s the link:

              1. Thank you!

                so the events don’t match up with what’s currently going on in the comic books.

                Sounds like a selling point to me.

      4. Another example at least vaguely similar to the Dexter one is in David Drake’s RCN series. One character is a conscienceless sociopath. She’s highly intelligent, though, and knows that there’s something missing in her psyche that other people have, so she seeks out one of the protagonists and says, “Please let me work for you. If I’m on my own, I know I’ll eventually do something that gets people angry enough that they kill me, and although I’m skilled, I’m not skilled enough to outfight a lynch mob. But if I’m taking orders from you, I know you’ll only tell me to kill people when it’s acceptable to kill them.” Basically, she finds someone else to be the conscience that she lacks.

        I kind of liked that take on it: that a sociopath who’s intelligent enough doesn’t have to act like a conscienceless killer, by finding someone who will be able to tell them what’s right and what’s wrong.

    2. Serial killing to save your family is a bit difficult to justify. The first season of Arrow sort of went this route, albeit with saving the city and getting revenge instead of saving his family. The Punisher is another character that targets a specific kind of victim (criminals), and is motivated by a desire to avenge his family. He’s generally understood to be somewhat mentally unstable.

  10. I’ve reached a point where I was out of work, had rent due, kids to feed, and a couple of guns.
    There were 2 ways I could think of to use the latter to take care of the former. Only one left me reliably able to keep trying. So the guns went to a dealer and bought me another month in the job hunt. The risk / reward ratio on the other choice was tilted way to far in the wrong direction.

  11. I think it’s a form of countercultural pride. “Those judgmental fools think that just because someone broke into someone else’s house, he’s a bad guy! Only someone as enlightened as I am is capable of seeing things from the perspective of this supposed ‘bad guy’ and realizing that society is really to blame.”

    Another piece that’s along those same lines is “The Highwayman.” We’re clearly supposed to sympathize with the eponymous character and his girlfriend, but I always found myself wondering just where the Highwayman was going to get “the yellow gold” and how much harm the actual owners of said gold were likely to suffer as a result. The redcoats were perhaps a bit too brutal with Bess (but perhaps not; clearly they had to go to extreme lengths to keep her from warning the bad guy), but overall I had to be on their side.

    1. Heh. I read a (fun) romance novel about the Highwayman’s daughter (with the ghosts of mum and dad hanging around being nuisances) that justified it with the usual trope: the guy he robbed who then sicced the soldiers on him was an especially EEEEEEVIL rich/nobleman who also was after the girlfriend.

      Yes, it was ridiculous. Especially given even a modicum of research into what real-life highwaymen did.

      (Still, like gypsies and pirates, it makes for a fun romanticized version even though–or especially because–the reality was so very depressing and awful.)

        1. I served my mission in Romania. I *definitely* noticed. 😀

          (As I would point out to people: genetic gypsies should NOT be discriminated against. It’s the ones that also follow the gypsy CULTURE that are the problem, and absolutely should be barred from polite society.)

          1. That distinction between race and culture is one that far too many people miss. In fact, a lot of “racial prejudice” is really cultural prejudice. If someone really disliked, say, African-Americans, they probably wouldn’t have too much issue with my former roommate, an immigrant from West Africa — because what most person are prejudiced against isn’t skin color, but certain cultural behavior patterns that they dislike. And the cultural behaviors of West Africa are, for the most part, very different from those of urban African-Americans.

            1. ^This, SO much. It’s not skin color, it’s cultural attitudes/mores/behaviors.

              There’s more than a few “white” cultures I really, really can’t stand either. Almost inevitably of the same variety I dislike in other “non-white” cultures (including gypsies): the crab bucket ones. The ones that punish you for trying to do better/be different/get OUT and hate personal responsibility.

              So…collectivism, basically. 😀

        2. I saw an interesting article on the reason for this. The Romani were highly targeted by the Holocaust, to the point where they killed off something like 90% of the population in the areas Germany controlled. The part that is interesting about this is that virtually 100% of the upper and middle classes were killed—leaving the survivors to be the ones who didn’t assimilate, stay in one place, have middle-class values, etc, but the outliers and the ones so focused on survival that they didn’t have much room for anything else. Sort of a one-two punch that killed off everyone with “conventional” values at the same time as showing that adopting those values came with a huge risk.

    2. I gotta admit, I couldn’t get past his being so wasteful of her warning to really spend a lot of time thinking about his other life choices. I’ve told my husband, if I ever spend my life in order to save yours, make sure you use it for something worthwhile. Even if it is just managing to kill the bastages.

      (I… don’t see it coming up. But the sheer waste made me want to do… *something*.)

      1. Yeah. I always imagined a major tongue-lashing when he crossed over to the other side. “I SHOT MYSELF TO SAVE YOUR LIFE YOU UNIMAGINABLE GIT!!!”

        1. The reason the Highwayman’s ghost haunts the road up to the inn is in order to get away from Bess’s ghost and her justifiable outrage…

    3. One way to see the highwayman as sympathetic is to see 18th century Scotland as a nation invaded and occupied by England, so that his acts of banditry/robbery are a form of resistance against the hated occupying army. And he must have been quite a thorn in _some_ Englishman’s side, to have an entire troop of soldiers show up for the purpose of killing him.

      I’m given to understand that there were centuries and more of border violence before England and Scotland were united, and that the Scottish have persistently felt ill-done-by in that unification, but somehow we didn’t study it all that much in public schools. So I don’t know how justified they are in seeing themselves as victims of British unification.


      1. Some of my maternal ancestors got kicked out of the Borders for liftin’ th’ kai’ and then tossed out of Ulster for ditto. And run out of the Carolinas. Dad’s side were (in theory) the proper dour Scots, except for that One Dude in Tennessee. In theory. Not victims, just, hmm, possessed of a charisma that induced cattle to follow them. Yeah, that’s it.

      2. They can give all the justifications they like, but the Borderlands were always a problem LONG before the English got all oppressive. 😀

        Many, MANY of my ancestors are from there. There’s a REASON that modern “white trash” (or ghetto black) culture is, according to Thomas Sowell, equivalent to the culture of the Scottish borderlands.

        Those people desperately needed to be booted out of everywhere until they learned manners. XD

        1. Somewhere I heard that cattle/sheep/horse raiding was a common practice on both sides of the England-Scotland border. 😀

      3. On the other hand, I have read that Scottish border raiders were a cause of the English invasion, and the highlanders had a proclivity for theft and robbery. “They can take our lives but they can never take our freedom to rob and steal and kill!”

  12. Side note: If you are ever hungry enough to go to a soup kitchen, but feel unjustified in going there, consider volunteering. They usually feed the volunteers, and you can feel as though you’ve worked for your meal.

  13. This is a meme as ancient as fairy tales — and about as valid.

    Less, actually, as there are now no end of charities and government programs (with the latter crowding out the former as best they can) providing food, clothing, shelter, health care and what all else for the indigent poor.

    1. Huh. Actually, there are fairy tales about thorough scoundrels, and they are not portrayed as nice, and then there are starving people who go out and get jobs. Maid Maleen didn’t steal even when she was hungry even to eat thistle, raw.

  14. One problem I have with Pratchett was the scene in Hogfather mocking Good King Wenceslas. Apparently it’s better for a poor household – one in which the man of the house had to go out into the bitter freezing cold at night in order to try to gather enough fuel to survive to morning – to virtuously freeze/starve than to be visited by a well-off _christian_ bearing high-calorie food and fast-burning fuel to relieve their suffering. (Was that because marxists don’t have nearly as much suffering poor to speak for if would-be disciples of Christ are obeying His commands to be charitable and merciful?)

    Prior to industrialization, I suspect it was a lot easier to forage and poach than to rob. Industrialization brought so much prosperity that marxist authors had to go full Michael Moore in novels like The Jungle to try to promote the ‘necessity’ of socialism-leading-to-communism. Leading in turn to the modern obesity crisis among our current poverty-stricken masses.


    1. I think he was more trying to comment on it being a one-off, thoughtless thing than, say, helping the poor man learn a better trade so he could build a better life. (Or helping him more going forward, instead of one night just so’s the Wensceslas expy could feel good about himself.)

      It wasn’t one of Pratchett’s better analogies, and I do think he’d missed the point of the song/legend.

    2. I think it wasn’t the act he was lampooning; it was the attitude that so often comes with certain acts of charity. “We gave you something NICE so you’d better be grateful.” IOW, if the act were one that led to checking in on the man on a weekly basis, making sure he’s all right, that would be fine, but the Gift At Christmas with nothing else the rest of the year is pretty obnoxious.

  15. I’ll note that I have never heard of ANYONE breaking into a house and making off with the contents of the freezer…

    About 15 years ago my house was burgled over a holiday weekend. They took some stereo equipment (and of the two sets of speakers they took the old crummy ones I had recently replaced) , a 13″ portable TV & a Commodore-64 (but not its power supply). They also took a large (Sam’s Club) bag of fish sticks from our freezer and our old, cheap toaster oven – leaving the microwave oven underneath it. So now you have heard of one such instance… 😉
    Hungry, broke druggies I would guess.

    1. Obviously the purpose of the break in was not Lenten observance of no meat on Fridays. The fish sticks grab was an impulse steal.

    1. Baltimore deserves everything it gets. I don’t even blame Irsay for moving the Colts anymore, and especially not in the middle of the night.

  16. > And when one thinks of “committing crime” and is desperate enough to break that taboo, there are a bunch of things a normal human being would do LONG before burglary

    I think if I were in such desperate need of a meal (which I wouldn’t be… there are at least four places, likely more, in my town where you can get a free meal, no questions asked), good old fashioned shoplifting would be the first thing that came to mind, not home invasion.

    Judges, juries, and even cops are probably going to look rather more kindly on the guy who grabs a bag of potatoes from the display in front of the store and runs than they are the guy who breaks in and holds a family at gunpoint.

    And now I’m thinking of one of Eddie Murphy’s “Mr. Robinson” bits from back when he, and SNL, were still funny.

    “This turkey and this steak meet very similar nutritional needs. But the steak is a lot easier to put under your coat.”

    1. And this is something I’m surprised no one brought up before this. Most of the “I’m hungry” theft would occur as theft from a food vendor (in the city) or something like stealing turnips from the local plot/neighbor’s garden. Hungry people did NOT rob a man and then buy food.

      I understand most home robberies are an attempt to get enough funds to buy the next couple of fixes of whatever substance they abuse. (I could be wrong, but I seem to recall statistics showing it.) If it’s someone jonesing for a hit who wanders into your abode, they could be very dangerous

  17. he identified himself as a Harvard Law graduate.

    This constitutes an admission against interest, given that the vast majority (Ted Cruz being the notable exception and I presume they’ve tightened their screenings to prevent further such embarrassments) of Harvard-trained lawyers are taught not to think.

    And yes, imposing the death penalty for home invasion (a Harvard Law graduate ought know the distinction between burglary and home invasion — your average cop on the beat, likely a beneficiary of a community college criminology course — certainly would) seems entirely reasonable as a deterrent to “unemployed fathers at their wits end at finding options to provide for a starving family” by resorting to destroying other people’s sense of their homes as a private refuge from the incursions of an indifferent world.

    Ad, while “not every burglar is a violent, armed psychotic rapist” it is often too late to do anything about it by the time such proclivities are made manifest. It isn’t as if you can require home invaders to undergo background checks and fill out questionnaires confirming they aren’t insurance salesmen.

    Establish a “shoot on site” standard and you will preserve desperate unemployed fathers from being mistaken for violent, psychotic rapists, benefiting at least two of the three types of parties involved: unemployed fathers and potential victims of rapists.

      1. His Faculty CV page says Yale Law …

        Areas of Expertise
        Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Internet Law, Second Amendment, Space Law, Technology

        JD, 1985, Yale Law School
        BA summa cum laude, 1982, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

        Not that I would ever argue that the saner law school. A quick Wiki check reveals the following Justices* from each:
        Harvard Law School: Harry Blackmun, Louis Brandeis, William J. Brennan, Jr., Stephen Breyer, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (graduated from Columbia Law School), Neil Gorsuch, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Edward Terry Sanford, Antonin Scalia, David Hackett Souter

        Yale Law School: Samuel Alito, Abe Fortas, Brett Kavanaugh, Sonia Sotomayor, Potter Stewart, Clarence Thomas, Byron White

        I’d say the comparison favors Yale

        *selected – listing not complete

        1. Possibly a clew:

          Harvard newspaper survey finds 1% of faculty members identify as conservative
          A recent survey by the Harvard Crimson found that conservatives make up just over 1% of the school’s faculty.

          Harvard University’s student newspaper published the survey results on Tuesday of nearly 500 members of the faculty. Of those who responded, 38% identified as “very liberal” while 41% identified as “liberal.” Another 19% said they were “moderate,” and only 1.5% of the respondents said they were “conservative” or “very conservative.”

          The poll showed that 44% supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president. Only three people said they would vote for President Trump in his reelection bid.

          Faculty members submitted their answers to the questions of the survey anonymously. …

    1. Establish a “shoot on site” standard
      Well, it’s usually a bad idea to shoot them elsewhere, then drag them into the house before the police arrive. A lot of the police are smart enough to figure that out and arrest you.

  18. We all know about the honest-but-desperate father who goes and robs someone for money to feed his starving brood.

    In this day and age such fathers are advised to stick to gas station convenience stores: their employees are trained not to resist and they’ve insurance to cover their losses. Besides, their prices are so ridiculously jacked-up that they’re practically committing robbery already. They view robbers as occasions mandating professional courtesy and avoid messy contretemps.

      1. Agreed – which is why the employees are trained in nonresistance.

        Non-compliance with robbery is strictly a task for bystanders only.

  19. LA County Disteict Attorney Jackie Lacey, who just ran what appears to have been a successful reelection campaign, had BLM show up at 5:30 am banging drums and knocking on her door.

    Her husband greeted them with the muzzle end of a pistol when he opened the door.

    Unfortunately, since “brandishing” a weapon if you don’t actually try and shoot someone with it is illegal in California, there’s a possibility that he’ll face charges.

    1. It is my understanding that drums are weapons, as are horns. The precedent was clearly established in Joshua v Jericho.

    2. As husband to the D.A. I think his chances of beating the charge are pretty good. It *is* California, though, so we’ll see.

      I liked the way he handled the matter. No histrionics, although he was clearly angry, just calm resolution. “Get off my porch.” Their dumb asses deserved to get the shit scared out of them for pulling a stupid stunt like that.

      1. Hell, a mob is a threat of violence.

        Especially one that is explicitly violating social norms by showing up at someone’s home (threat: “we know where you live”) and being loud at five freaking thirty in the morning.

        Not to put too fine a point on it, but showing up at a black family’s house as a mob doesn’t have a very good history, y’know?

        Properly speaking, it can’t be brandishing, because it was in self defense.

        Also, Time magazine is going hard on the “scary black man” thing, says the protesters were there “in an attempt to speak with her” and puffed up the twitter clip as “disturbing.”

        Looks to me like a guy with a mob of crazies on his porch, holding a gun and not shooting them. Even though it’s not yet six in the morning.

  20. begging is at least honest, and I’d bet you most NORMAL people would do that.

    See prior comment about “Harvard Law graduate.” The very definition of Not A Normal Person. To borrow from something Orwell apparently never said, it takes a heap of educating for somebody to get that stupid. That there is your highly-trained, accredited stupidity. Do not attempt to achieve that through self-study.

  21. I bet you it was much rarer in Victorian times.

    In Victorian times I suspect any freelance burglars would have experienced extremely uncomfortable training sessions, courtesy of the Thieves Guild, on the importance of a) paying your dues, b) clearing all burglaries before undertaking them, c) hiring supplemental services (look-outs, for instance) from cooperating guilds, d) paying dues to the Thieves Guild, e) reputable bookies for disposal of goods obtained, f) appropriate exchange rates and standards for evaluation of condition of goods, and g) paying dues to the Thieves Guild.

  22. Thankfully Hitchcock avoided this trope in “To Catch A Thief,” neither Carey Grant’s character, nor the actual thief were portrayed as desperate and without a choice. Well, Grant’s character didn’t have a choice in finding the actual thief; the gendarmes were willing to arrest him solely because he’d been a cat burgler prior to the war.

    1. Well, and there’s a whole other sub-section of “hero-thief” that falls under “suave, charming gentleman thief who does this maybe for the money, but mostly ’cause it’s fun” and they usually steal high end stuff like art or jewels. 😀

      (My favorite example of this trope is Sir John Smythe of Elizabeth Peter’s Vicky Bliss mysteries. Because he’s as much a send-up of the trope as a straight example.)

  23. As a side note, about the only situation I could see this trope actually existing is “we’re part of a group that’s being systematically persecuted and we’re on the run.”

    This situation, however, does not presently exist anywhere in the First World.

  24. If you read the book “Wiseguy”, upon which the film “Goodfellas” was based, you find that the organized crime figures featured within absolutely loved being criminals. They loved the thrill and excitement, plus the respect from being a criminal.
    Likewise, Medellin cartel hit man Rivi Ayala pointed out during his interview in “Cocaine Cowboys” that he was from a good family, and didn’t need to go into crime.
    And there’s no end of young, wannabe thugs who are working hard to be respected gangsters.

  25. a) Lot of these explanations passed around regarding druggies. No shelter and it makes them feel warm. No Jesus in their life, and have a yearning for something they don’t know how to find.
    b) Admission against interest time. There may well be no good policy grounds for mass murder. So my actual attempts to justify it as a remedy for a number of ills would be an example, if anyone but me were taking them seriously.
    c) Re: what exactly is wrong with Frank Castle. I think banshee is right about the distinction between mental and spiritual here. Some of my own issues with excessive wants in regard to punishment of crimes seem to fit the description of spiritual error or weakness more than being purely issues of mental health. Certainly, that is a more sensible approach to them than assuming they are mental health, then demanding the same accommodations that my peers have demanded for their mental health issues.
    d) I liked the 90s cartoon Batman/Batman Beyond Batman well enough.

    I also like the idea of a Batman who is sane enough that Bruce Wayne is quietly and deniably involved in addressing the issue from a policy perspective. I think there is room for a Batman who gets gun rights established in Gotham, then retires after the crime rate normalizes.

    That said, I think Gotham makes most sense as a fabulously corrupt city, nearly to the point of dystopian nightmare, out of a Democrat’s wet dream. Where Batman can’t solve the problem as Bruce Wayne, because Wayne would be murdered if he showed a hint of effective intervention.
    e) I think the vigilante crime fiction of the pulps, and the super hero genre have to be understood in the context of the times in which the genres were initially formed. Wilson was living memory. It was credible that the explanation for organized crime was also the local political faction, who owned the judges.

    1. You mean that Gotham isn’t NYC in the ’70s? Wayne Manor was probably in Dutchess County.

      1. There’s a line that goes “Metropolis is New York in the daytime; Gotham City is New York at night”. 😉

        Of course, it was in the 1940’s that established that Batman lived/worked in Gotham City. So Gotham City would be NYC of the 1940’s not the 1970’s. 😀

        1. New York was relatively sane in the 40s. I think that Gotham is NY in the 70s. I lived through and it was bad. Bernie was there for a reason.

  26. As a police dispatcher for 20+ years in a very safe state (our largest city is a bedroom ‘burb in pretty much any other state) we don’t get much for home invasions. I have taken a grand total of 2. In both instances it was over drugs. Of the other approximately dozen calls my friends who are also dispatchers at other departments have taken in that time, every single one of them was related to drugs.

    If there is a real world instance of a broke father committing a home invasion, he likely arrived at the scene on a multicolored unicorn.

  27. I live in an exurb…and home invaders are likely to get shot full of holes. You have to remember that if someone kicks your door in, you have NO idea what his intentions are. Robbery? Rape? Murder? All of the above? Plus a bit of arson?

    Nope. You have no requirement to sacrifice your own life finding out what a home invader’s intentions are.

    1. if someone kicks your door in, you have NO idea what his intentions are.

      Like as not it’s a SWAT Team executing a no-knock warrant at the wrong address …

  28. I just had to add my two cents. In the last six years I’ve heard of several home invasions in Clark County usually in the more well-off parts of the city. The two that are memorable to me was first a house about two doors down from where I was living (I was watching a house for a month for my brother) was hit by a group of home invaders who tied up the father and raped the mother and girls. The family were recently from California. The second one I remember well was a twelve or thirteen year old boy and his sister were in the house alone after school (parents worked). Home invaders broke into the house and found him standing on the top of the stairs with a loaded shotgun. They rushed out while the sister was calling the police. In both cases the police found the offenders. So who do you think suffered mentally afterward?

    1. The way a liberal would see it, the rapees are now on the Permanent Victim gravy train, and the boy is a violent psycho who should be institutionalized before he hurts someone.

  29. The most believable situations where father steals to feed starving family are in situations that involve total government untrustworthiness (Venezuala, French Revolution), or war-torn areas with tons of refugees (which the French Revolution also fits). And even then, sneaking is the way to do it even if the house is filled to the rafters with people, not the brazen breaking in of these home invasions we’ve been hearing about which are often done by teams of people (must be multiple starving fathers teaming up to feed their hungry hordes of children /sarc).

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