Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Dunce: Leroy Schumacher, Grieving Grandfather”

“I usually tone down the “prophet Jeremiah” flavor notes when I reread these,” wrote Benjamin after I told him that his previous comment was the COTD. I’m glad he didn’t. I prefer strong assertions of ideas and principles ( as you might have noticed ) because they encourage strong reactions.

I  decided to write about a two-year-old story about a grandfather who opined that it was “unfair” for a man in a home his grandson was breaking into to shoot the teen and his two fellow home invaders with an AR-15, because they only were carrying a knife and brass knuckles. His absurd lament  crystallized nicely the “logic” of anti-gun zealots, who now are about to ban that semiautomatic weapon (among other anti-gun ownership  measures) in Virginia, where I live. Benjamin, however, saw larger significance in the the episode.

Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce: Leroy Schumacher, Grieving Grandfather,” which takes off from a quote by another commenter:

“I’m sorry he lost his grandson.”

I’m not. Such are the grandsons who ought to be lost. Mercy would be best, of course, but his survival would’ve necessitated the death of the innocent as a direct consequence of his direct intentions. Mercy is an elevated form of justice, so no unjust intention can ever be merciful. But, going one further, this grandfather’s response to losing his grandson belies a total abandonment of principle for the sake of immediate self-interest. No doubt, these are “values” he instilled in his children and they in his grandchildren. If we’re going to move for the mutilation of our laws, for the sake of bargaining, we could at least make a far less ridiculous mistake in steering the public support to seeking to penalize this grandfather for his not-totally indirect involvement in (and perpetuation of) the crime.

Such are the grandfathers who ought to be lost. At the very least it would be an effort (maybe the first I’ve seen in my life) to reverse the engineered-and-enforced public tolerance for addictive ideas corrosive to public decency. It would be better to instill in society (rather than the laws) an intense rejection of ideas like this and the people who hold them, but politics takes place in the realm of the possible, as they frequently tell me.

Ideas which create violent, home-invading criminals, we can all agree, even in a pseudo-libertarian society, are criminal ideas. When they aren’t criminalized, their protected, entitled purveyors inevitably rise to power and criminalize their opposite. This is the cold, utilitarian argument against absolute moral (ethical?) neutrality. People willing to say or do anything to get ahead will, if not suppressed somehow, and we come to be ruled by monsters.

It’s the classic failure mode for democracy. It’s not really very different for an aristocracy or monarchy either, but theoretically it’s easier to guard against ideological corruption in a smaller group (with numerous routes of disagreement, of course). Now, when a corrupted democracy produces a corrupted aristocracy, and that a corrupt tyranny, bloodless reversal is almost a forgone conclusion. I’d say we’re just now barely resisting the elevation of a corrupt aristocracy, wouldn’t you? And it’s happening everywhere at once, except of course where the corrupted aristocracies and even tyrranies are already well-established. (Well, there might be a couple of a Eastern European holdouts.) There’ll be cataclysmic riots and wars before we know it.

Anyway, the grandfather sucks, and he’s an ugly boil symptomatic of a systemic disease.

 

19 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Dunce: Leroy Schumacher, Grieving Grandfather”

  1. I saved my comment for this entry. To quote our Esteemed Host, “Yikes”.

    We do not know that the invading grandson was raised to burgle houses. All we know is that he tried to invade this one, got himself killed and has a grieving grandfather whose words are hardly those of a rational impartial commentator.

    Something apparently went wrong in this young man’s life, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume his grandfather had anything to do with it. Plenty of loving parents and grandparents do their best with the children in their lives and, yet, sometimes the kids still turn out bad.

    I have a brother who, about twenty years ago, committed a crime. He was old enough to know better. We didn’t commit crimes in my family and it was never encouraged or endorsed. Our grandparents on both sides were wonderfully kind and loving people who would never rationalize away crime either.

    My grandmother was still devastated when my brother was arrested. She loved him very much. People who love their children and grandchildren suffer when their loved ones suffer, even when that suffering is deserved.

    So I’m still sorry this fellow lost his grandson. He’s suffering now because his grandson thought he was invincible.

    I wish the little idiot had considered the pain he would cause the people who loved him before he decided to go through with it.

    • Something apparently went wrong in this young man’s life, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume his grandfather had anything to do with it.

      I could not disagree more. There is no rational way that the grandfather’s absurd ideas, if this is representative of him, did not filter down to his grandson to some degree. Jack wrote:

      Now we know where Jacob inherited his reasoning ability.

      Indeed. It is fair to assume the criminal grandson was infected by the diseased ideas of his forebears. You may not agree, but I do. I know how many of my ideas were transmitted to me, directly and indirectly from my sires, so it is both rational and reasonable to assume that this radical egalitarian concept infected Redfearn’s thinking, and that the genesis of this thinking was Schumacher’s influence.

      Our grandparents on both sides were wonderfully kind and loving people who would never rationalize away crime either.

      I’ll wager your grandparents would never espouse the idea that it equality justified thievery, which is fully embodied in the comments of Schumacher. If we may not use superior force to defend our lives, we must immediately surrender to Great Britain, because we unfairly developed a superior firearm, the Kentucky/Pennsylvania Long Rifle, which was instrumental in our victory in the Revolutionary War.

      The concept of radical egalitarianism embodied in Schumacher’s comments is a plague upon free society, and embodies the essential thinking of the current Leftist “thinkers,” evident in their “income inequality” positions. Warren’s wealth tax is transparently legalized theft, explicitly forbidden by the Constitution, yet embraced in the name of “fairness.” It is no stretch at all to argue from there it is unfair to criminals if their victims have superior arms.

    • Something apparently went wrong in this young man’s life, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume his grandfather had anything to do with it. Plenty of loving parents and grandparents do their best with the children in their lives and, yet, sometimes the kids still turn out bad.

      Glenn did a nice job making the distinctions I would’ve. I only have one point left to address, and that only because honor dictates I say it myself.

      I certainly wouldn’t normally presume to blame parents or, especially, grandparents for the sins of their progeny. It’s definitely possible to raise a child in all the right ways who ends up making poor decisions, just as it’s possible to abuse a child who grows up to be a saint. Of course, in the balance of probability, these correlations are probably mostly reversed. It’s this particular grandfather’s way of eschewing principle that convinces me he had a hand in a nefarious upbringing. He’s made the idea of self-defense itself his enemy because, in the most twisted logical fashion I can imagine, it cost him his grandson. I can understand and be compassionate for grief, and I can make allowances for momentary madness. This is definitely something else. I can imagine this grandfather in any instance of his grandson being punished arguing that the rule is too harsh because it brought momentary displeasure. Maybe he had a line, but given that in this case the grieved forcefully entered an occupied home, armed, I severely doubt it. There can be no lower bar. Some acts make the character of the actor immediately clear, and professional writers would no doubt struggle to contrive a case this instructive. This particular man would say anything to sate his irrational sentimentality. Principle means nothing to him.

      Our grandparents on both sides were wonderfully kind and loving people who would never rationalize away crime either.

      I would never have said as harsh a thing against them.

  2. This story happened in March 2017. The facts as stated are correct: 4 people were involved, a 22 year old woman driving the getaway car, and 3 teenagers. Two were killed in the kitchen and one in the driveway. The shooter was not charged.

    Gramps, though, has been crusading to change the “stand your ground” law. He wants the law changed to limit the defense to thebimmediacy of the situation. Once the immediate risk is over then the defense ceases along with the right to use deadly force.

    I think Benjamin is correct, though. He, Gramps, rationalizes the idea that when you bring a knife or brass knuckles to a fight, the opponent should correspond in kind. “A knife for A knife” kind of logic. Gramps is completely wrong. He wants us to sympathize with his grandkin’s dumb decision. That kind of thinking is destructive to a well ordered society.

    jvb

    • No “stand your ground” law applies to that situation. He’s an idiot. The homeowner has to retreat when his own home is being invaded? This is pure castle doctrine and self-defense. A home owner will always be justified in standing his ground with a gun in his hand when 3 punks are coming in the window.

      Boy am I tired of non-lawyers presuming to interpret the law.

        • They do and will try to use Grandpa as a pawn in their anti-gun crusade because of his grief, just like they use the Parkland kids or anyone who has suffered a personal loss due to the use of guns, .Hence my original point that statements made by traumatized and grief-stricken people should never be used to back any law. But the anti-gun people want bags and bags of letters full of emotion-laden narratives of lost children and grandchildren to flood Congress via the USPS a la “Miracle on 34th Street” in order to persuade our representatives that undermining the Second Amendment is the “one and only true” way to eliminate gun violence.

          In this case, I would clearly side with the any committee head who should certainly, like the prosecutor in “34th Street”, request that no anecdotal testimony be brought into the debate (after his own young son embarrassingly testifies to his belief in Santa Claus) because there are plenty of people who would argue the opposite.

  3. I’m not. Such are the grandsons who ought to be lost. Mercy would be best, of course, but his survival would’ve necessitated the death of the innocent as a direct consequence of his direct intentions.

    Nice job on your COTD.

    Having been robbed once by youths with a pistol, and seeing the pistol aimed at my head, changed the way I look at the world!

    It took awhile — about 6 months — for me to reorganize my social tolerance concepts and when I did I had to then change and reorganize so many other notions and concepts. Through this I went from a tolerant, comprehending position as it pertains to social issues (the poor and their criminality) to the belief that if you pick up a weapon to use it in a crime you have sacrificed all your rights. (But here the criminal is seen as having all kinds of rights).

    [Going further in describing social conditions in Latin America would involve far too many asides and explanations. It would be incomprehensible to most. But I do think that a social attitude of Zero Tolerance is really better in the long run. Such an attitude requires not a maternal, forgiving mode, but a paternal and resolute attitude.]

      • A question which, to answer today, carries some risk. In fact, it’s usually wise these days not to announce the ownership of arms, let alone a willingness to carry them on your person, lest a Red Flag warrant be sworn out against you by your enemies or fearful ninnes living nearby.

        Somebody might be “triggered,” dont’cha know. 🙂

    • Nice job on your COTD.

      Thanks, and two belated “same to you”s. I was nose-deep, drowning, in DIY home renovation at the time.

      if you pick up a weapon to use it in a crime you have sacrificed all your rights

      Aha! The Principle of Forfeiture! I love how immediately intuitive the Natural Law tends to be. I wonder if there’s anyone who denies it who was ever held at gunpoint.

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