What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

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What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Is it ever justified to act against people because of what they might do, rather than what they did do? If so, when, and when not?

In a superpowers universe such as the universe of X-Men, do you want all mutants collared, if collars exist that prevent them from using their powers? Why or why not? If, yes (in any circumstance) is this a concession of morality or is it still moral?

Would you wear a collar if you were a mutant yourself? In what situations would and wouldn't you?

Yes, this is an analogy for gun control, with the important distinction that peoples' mutant powers are part of them, so the act of restraint must be continuous. No mutant "cure" - just collars in this scenario, for that specific reason, though we will assume they work and it's not easy to get them off. We can't just do something (like grabbing the guns or injecting people with the cure against their will) and then pretend we didn't do it.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #11

Post by Kenisaw »

Miles wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:55 am
Kenisaw wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:57 am
Purple Knight wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:57 pm
Miles wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:18 amTo out wit or out maneuver an enemy, typically one will have to anticipate their next move and act before they do. In some cases even killing those who would otherwise hinder your plan.
It's also generally accepted, even by libertarians, that self-defence can occur before the aggressive act that triggers it, not after.

In other words, if some maniac with a gun is pointing it at you and screaming how he'll kill you, it's okay to self-defend now, and not wait until he actually does kill you, though this technically means you're not defending against anything since he never hurt you and might never have done so.
Pointing a gun and screaming IS the aggressive act. It's called flourishing a weapon and that is enough, in most states, to legally trigger a right to self defense.

To your OP, owning a gun does not make one a future criminal anymore than owning a knife or a six pack of beer with car keys in your pocket does.
I believe the word your looking for is "brandishing" or maybe even "flaunting." "Flourishing," an adjective, just doesn't fit very well went you need a verb.

flourishing adjective
flour·​ish·​ing | \ ˈflər-i-shiŋ
, ˈflə-rish \
Definition of flourishing
: marked by vigorous and healthy growth a flourishing garden
: very active and successful a flourishing career
source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

.
Flourishing a weapon is a legal term.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #12

Post by Kenisaw »

Purple Knight wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:50 pm
Kenisaw wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:57 amPointing a gun and screaming IS the aggressive act. It's called flourishing a weapon and that is enough, in most states, to legally trigger a right to self defense.
But you're not self-defending due to what someone has done. Flourishing a gun doesn't hurt you. You're self-defending because, at the point someone is waving a gun at you, it becomes likely that he'll shoot you. You're self-defending because of what someone might do.
I would recommend a deeper dive into the law. From criminaldenfenselawyer.com: "A criminal threat involves one person threatening someone else with physical harm. The threat must be communicated in some way, though it doesn't necessarily have to be verbal. A person can make a threat through email, text message, or even through non-verbal body language such as gestures or movements. However, some states require written or verbal threats, and in those states gestures are not enough."

In most states a criminal threat is considered assault: "The crime of assault, in some states, is very similar to criminal threats. An assault occurs when a person either attempts to physically injure someone else, or uses threats of force accompanied by threatening actions. Words alone are usually not enough to commit an assault, and some sort of physical action is typically required. For example, threatening to punch someone is usually not an assault. However, making the threats and then approaching the person in a threatening manner does qualify as assault." Pointing a gun and threatening to kill someone is assault, Purple. Plain and simple.
Kenisaw wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:57 amTo your OP, owning a gun does not make one a future criminal anymore than owning a knife or a six pack of beer with car keys in your pocket does.
You could argue for the right to flourish a gun in exactly the same way. Just because you're waving it at someone and threatening to shoot someone doesn't mean you will actually do so.

I'm not speaking to what the law currently happens to be. I'm speaking to what we would want it to be. I'd want that law about not waving a gun at people to be on the books, despite that it's an act that doesn't, in itself, harm anybody. It's about what he's likely to do once he's done that.
You don't have the right to threaten another individual. Being threatened IS a harm in the eyes of the law. You seem to think that a physical harm is the only harm that can befall someone. If that were true then extortion, copyright infringement, libel, and many other harms would not be crimes. Again, a deeper and more thorough dive into the law would be the recommended course of action here.
But I don't want all mutants collared just because their powers make people uncomfortable, and I don't want peoples' guns taken away because they might shoot people.

The problem is I can't reconcile the two. I must either say, it's not okay to act against people because of what they might do, in which case I must wait for the guy waving a gun at me to actually shoot me before I can act against him, or I must say, it is okay to act against people because of what they might do, so collar all mutants and take all guns regardless of whether people are waving them or not. Owning a gun might lead to waving it might lead to shooting me.

I can try to reconcile it by saying, in a universe where most mutants are violent, we get the collars and that's fair, but it isn't. It's no more fair to the one mutant who wasn't going to use his pyrokinesis to burn buildings than it is if we don't allow preemptive self-defence in a universe where most gun-wavers won't shoot and force a few people to stand there and get shot because the guy waving the gun probably won't really shoot him.
The only thing I will add to what I've already written is that your trying to compare apples to oranges. A mutant who might do something tomorrow is not an immediate threat. Someone pointing a gun at you IS an immediate threat. They are two completely different things. A gun owner, owning a gun, is not an immediate threat. Someone swinging a baseball bat at your head is an immediate threat. You need to understand the difference, because that is where the roots of your reconciliation issue lay.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #13

Post by Purple Knight »

Kenisaw wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:31 pm
Purple Knight wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:50 pmI'm not speaking to what the law currently happens to be. I'm speaking to what we would want it to be. I'd want that law about not waving a gun at people to be on the books, despite that it's an act that doesn't, in itself, harm anybody. It's about what he's likely to do once he's done that.
You don't have the right to threaten another individual. Being threatened IS a harm in the eyes of the law. You seem to think that a physical harm is the only harm that can befall someone. If that were true then extortion, copyright infringement, libel, and many other harms would not be crimes. Again, a deeper and more thorough dive into the law would be the recommended course of action here.
I'm not failing to understand the law; I'm questioning it. If someone waves a gun at me and then doesn't shoot, I have not been harmed. Being frightened is not harm. Seeing a gun brandished is not harm. The reason I would want the right to self-defend at this point is because I expect he might actually shoot me. If I know he's not going to then there's no problem.

Extortion, copyright infringement, libel, blackmail, and things like that do cause harm, and though a Libertarian will say they are not forceful or aggressive (except copyright infringement, since it's property), I can show the harm. I can show where, through that person's action, I have physically lost something I'd have otherwise had. In the case of libel it might be a job, but if I lose nothing then having mean things said about me is not harm.

Before you ask, I do make an exception for hate speech, and it's complicated, and it's another of the things I'm trying to reconcile. But without large-scale societal agreement and a really good reason that it is harm, I do lean toward the side of letting people say mean things. But if those mean things cause harm, then they should be liable in any case. I make another exception for this reason, when it comes to calling up peoples' workplaces and making false complaints to get them fired. Now, if the complaints are true, no matter how small they are, no matter that the person sat there all day for a month collecting them, well, they're true, and I make an exception to my exception for truth. I think truth should be above libel and slander laws. I realise this is two exceptions and an exception to an exception but this is what I truly think. (And it's very little different from how the law works now.)
Kenisaw wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:31 pmThe only thing I will add to what I've already written is that your trying to compare apples to oranges. A mutant who might do something tomorrow is not an immediate threat. Someone pointing a gun at you IS an immediate threat. They are two completely different things. A gun owner, owning a gun, is not an immediate threat. Someone swinging a baseball bat at your head is an immediate threat. You need to understand the difference, because that is where the roots of your reconciliation issue lay.
I don't see how immediacy is relevant. It seems relevant, because I can see the guy waving a gun at me; he's in my face, right now. The one making a pipe bomb to blow up my work or a disease to kill humanity is just as much of a threat, it's just that it lacks that factor. I often wonder, how many people make bombs and then decide not to use them? Or what if we know the mutant in question, with level 4 pyrokinesis, is a misanthrope? What if he and we go to the same high school, and what if he talks about how horrible the world is and how he wishes it would burn down on a daily basis? What if he talks about wanting to do it? What if he talks about actually doing it? Now it's immediate, right? Now it's a threat? We just don't know if he's the kind of person who follows through or not.

It would be really sad if we called the cops on him, got him arrested and collared, but he was never going to do it, and the next day a different mutant blew up the school who never talked about it. People are not infallible in assessing threats.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #14

Post by The Barbarian »

The practice of restricting people because of what they might do is called "prior restraint", and the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional. If the authorities can document a demonstrated danger to the public, such restraint is allowed, but the mere possession of the means to do harm is not sufficient.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #15

Post by Purple Knight »

The Barbarian wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 3:10 pm The practice of restricting people because of what they might do is called "prior restraint", and the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional.
Do you agree with that?

If so, do you still agree with that in a world of at least some level 4 pyrokinetic mutants who could take out a whole city block or two with a thought?

I hate to think that the only reason prior restraint is considered bad form is because when a single person decides to go off and kill people, he can realistically only kill a handful before the cops show up and take him away.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #16

Post by The Barbarian »

The Barbarian wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 3:10 pm The practice of restricting people because of what they might do is called "prior restraint", and the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:35 pmDo you agree with that?
Yes. No freedom is absolute, of course. Which is why the 2nd Amendment allows you to have an AR-14 without a license, but more capable weapons are banned or require specific authorization.
If so, do you still agree with that in a world of at least some level 4 pyrokinetic mutants who could take out a whole city block or two with a thought?
We live in a world where that's possible with a rental truck and some fertilizer and diesel fuel. And yes, we should pay attention when someone without a farm suddenly buys a few tons of ammonium nitrate.
I hate to think that the only reason prior restraint is considered bad form is because when a single person decides to go off and kill people, he can realistically only kill a handful before the cops show up and take him away.
A society wherein such things are effectively made impossible turns out to be more terrifying than the relatively unlikely case of a mass shooting. China, for example has the technology and control to prevent such things. I fear that kind of government more than I fear crazed gun nuts.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #17

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]
Is it ever justified to act against people because of what they might do, rather than what they did do? If so, when, and when not?...Yes, this is an analogy for gun control,
1) I don't think it's as black-n-white as that. 2) And I don't think it's a good analogy at all. So there's a two fold response:

1) I'm all for acting against people for what they may do if there's enough reason to support it. I'm even more for keeping certain people from doing certain things after they repay their debt to society.

2) I believe you're trying to make this analogy be proper when it's not. Comparing something that's innate (like being a mutant in your X-MEN comparison) to an action that someone may or may not do isn't logical. So let's move on to the actual picture: GUN CONTROL.

I see little to no reason why ANYONE of the general public needs working assault rifles. None. The argument I've heard is 'it's just a gun'. But in the coming decades or centuries, if 'laser guns' are created, are those to be considered 'just guns'? For this intent and purpose, I say NO. Sounds silly but the point of where do we draw the line from a simple gun to something much more desctructive?
The general public should be able to defend themselves if necessary, but assault rifles are intended to do more than defend (they're not called defense rifles).
As far as hand guns go, I don't see the draw of them, personally. A family member carries one, he said, 'in case the government comes to take what's mine'. These type of people are the like people who think aliens will come to earth and zap us with ray guns. If aliens are that advanced, they could simply insert a virus or disease and kill humanity without getting out of their crafts. Likewise, the government can create just as much damage digitally and biologically with its constituents than they could with guns. No hand gun or assault riffle will stop a virus, digital or biological.
That said, in the USA, I'm OK with people having certain guns and types of guns. But there are people who shouldn't be able to have them - my family member is one of them.
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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #18

Post by Purple Knight »

nobspeople wrote: Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:13 pm [Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]
Is it ever justified to act against people because of what they might do, rather than what they did do? If so, when, and when not?...Yes, this is an analogy for gun control,
1) I don't think it's as black-n-white as that. 2) And I don't think it's a good analogy at all. So there's a two fold response:

1) I'm all for acting against people for what they may do if there's enough reason to support it. I'm even more for keeping certain people from doing certain things after they repay their debt to society.

2) I believe you're trying to make this analogy be proper when it's not. Comparing something that's innate (like being a mutant in your X-MEN comparison) to an action that someone may or may not do isn't logical. So let's move on to the actual picture: GUN CONTROL.

I see little to no reason why ANYONE of the general public needs working assault rifles. None. The argument I've heard is 'it's just a gun'. But in the coming decades or centuries, if 'laser guns' are created, are those to be considered 'just guns'? For this intent and purpose, I say NO. Sounds silly but the point of where do we draw the line from a simple gun to something much more desctructive?
The general public should be able to defend themselves if necessary, but assault rifles are intended to do more than defend (they're not called defense rifles).
As far as hand guns go, I don't see the draw of them, personally. A family member carries one, he said, 'in case the government comes to take what's mine'. These type of people are the like people who think aliens will come to earth and zap us with ray guns. If aliens are that advanced, they could simply insert a virus or disease and kill humanity without getting out of their crafts. Likewise, the government can create just as much damage digitally and biologically with its constituents than they could with guns. No hand gun or assault riffle will stop a virus, digital or biological.
That said, in the USA, I'm OK with people having certain guns and types of guns. But there are people who shouldn't be able to have them - my family member is one of them.
I agree with you that nobody needs a gun. People lived for hundreds of thousands of years without them, so the idea that having a gun is a right, to me, is absurd. I do think there's at least some logic to your family member's argument, because even though the government will ultimately win that fight and take him away, if enough people resist with their one small gun, eventually the ruling class will run out of police and soldiers willing to die for them. And even one small gun means there is likely to be a casualty. Just your fists? Yeah you can't hurt the people with guns. They'll take you away with no casualties.

But ultimately, I do not see owning a gun as a right. There might be a benefit to treating it as a right, but that's beside the point. Then it becomes a discussion of how society should be structured so we get the best benefit, but that's moving away from the question of right and wrong: The things that should and should not be done in any universe.

That's precisely why I want to up the ante to mutant powers, where we must now choose between violating someone's body (which may well violate his rights if he's done nothing wrong) and leaving people free on the street with potentially the firepower of that truck Barbarian mentioned that's filled with diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate.
The Barbarian wrote: Fri Feb 18, 2022 11:40 amWe live in a world where that's possible with a rental truck and some fertilizer and diesel fuel. And yes, we should pay attention when someone without a farm suddenly buys a few tons of ammonium nitrate.

A society wherein such things are effectively made impossible turns out to be more terrifying than the relatively unlikely case of a mass shooting. China, for example has the technology and control to prevent such things. I fear that kind of government more than I fear crazed gun nuts.
Well, my question then would be, if you're the mutant, do you wear the collar if they say you have to? What if they simply want to "pay attention" to you for the rest of your life, since you can't be separated from your firepower?

Whether I would or would not depends heavily on whether or not I estimate that safety can be achieved, not whether my rights are violated. I think you're onto something with comparing it to China, because it's somewhat about rational versus irrational fear, and the cure potentially being worse than the disease.

My power has zero actual firepower, though obviously with the right intent it can be used to do damage. I'm also in a bad way since I need it to do my job. If I can't get another one they had better pay my room and board for expecting me to wear the collar, but I'll still submit to it under the right conditions. If they say they have to just collar everybody with any power, no matter how little dangerous, fine, so be it, if the safety is needed - if hordes of rampaging mutants are a real problem - and if that safety can be achieved. It's an example of something I don't apply universalisability to... because it's in precisely the situation where the government can't control the mutants that I need my own power to defend myself and I don't wear the collar either.

For me, how much of that China-level tyranny I'll accept is very much about what I feel is likely to happen. Right now I don't think I'll be killed in a shooting; I think the chances of that are very low. If the chances are not low, perhaps the surveillance is the answer, but only if it works. If they're spying on me for no bloody reason while hordes of criminals rampage with impunity, then I start ripping the cameras out of my house.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #19

Post by The Barbarian »

[quote="Purple Knight" post_id=1067928 time=1645240271 user_id=14486
I agree with you that nobody needs a gun. People lived for hundreds of thousands of years without them, so the idea that having a gun is a right, to me, is absurd. I do think there's at least some logic to your family member's argument, because even though the government will ultimately win that fight and take him away, if enough people resist with their one small gun, eventually the ruling class will run out of police and soldiers willing to die for them. And even one small gun means there is likely to be a casualty. Just your fists? Yeah you can't hurt the people with guns. They'll take you away with no casualties.

But ultimately, I do not see owning a gun as a right. There might be a benefit to treating it as a right, but that's beside the point. Then it becomes a discussion of how society should be structured so we get the best benefit, but that's moving away from the question of right and wrong: The things that should and should not be done in any universe.[/quote]

It's a moot point. Having a gun is a right in the United States. I don't like them, myself; most people who have them, don't know how to use and store them safely. But the law is what it is.
That's precisely why I want to up the ante to mutant powers, where we must now choose between violating someone's body (which may well violate his rights if he's done nothing wrong) and leaving people free on the street with potentially the firepower of that truck Barbarian mentioned that's filled with diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate.
There are lots of people who have been taught how to efficiently kill other people by a variety of means. They are the equivalent of that mutant. Other than the mythical "register your hands as lethal weapons", what do we do about them? Nothing, far as I can see. How would we?
The Barbarian wrote: Fri Feb 18, 2022 11:40 amWe live in a world where that's possible with a rental truck and some fertilizer and diesel fuel. And yes, we should pay attention when someone without a farm suddenly buys a few tons of ammonium nitrate.

A society wherein such things are effectively made impossible turns out to be more terrifying than the relatively unlikely case of a mass shooting. China, for example has the technology and control to prevent such things. I fear that kind of government more than I fear crazed gun nuts.
Well, my question then would be, if you're the mutant, do you wear the collar if they say you have to? What if they simply want to "pay attention" to you for the rest of your life, since you can't be separated from your firepower?
See above. We've already decided not to restrict people who are potentially lethal, unless they act on it.
Whether I would or would not depends heavily on whether or not I estimate that safety can be achieved, not whether my rights are violated. I think you're onto something with comparing it to China, because it's somewhat about rational versus irrational fear, and the cure potentially being worse than the disease.
Yes.
For me, how much of that China-level tyranny I'll accept is very much about what I feel is likely to happen. Right now I don't think I'll be killed in a shooting; I think the chances of that are very low. If the chances are not low, perhaps the surveillance is the answer, but only if it works. If they're spying on me for no bloody reason while hordes of criminals rampage with impunity, then I start ripping the cameras out of my house.
Fact is, violent crime has dropped dramatically in the last few decades. Sometimes (like now) there's a bit of a tick upward, but it never gets close to the way things were a few decades ago. Anyone who professes to be concerned about violent crime is not aware of the actual level of danger.

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Re: What People *Might* Do -or- Should all Mutants be Collared?

Post #20

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #18]
I agree with you that nobody needs a gun.
I never said nobody needs a gun. I said no one needs assault rifles, which is a type of 'gun'. I said I don't understand the fascination of guns of any type. I also said there are some people that should be prevented from doing certain things.
But ultimately, I do not see owning a gun as a right.
Legally, it is a right in the USA (which I personally don't agree with these days). Morally is another question, I suspect.
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