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"..And he shot him till he stopped."


SOC-14 1K
From the Rush Limbaugh website. I agree with this Sheriff. Good job deputies.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to give some kudos to Kern County, California Sheriff Carl Sparks. He appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Thursday night and gave the ultimate quote of the year. I couldn't believe he said what he did, but I'm glad he did, because we need more of this sort of thing.

Sheriff Sparks was explaining what happened with the shooting death of the kidnapper who abducted the two teens in California on Thursday. In describing the incident, he said that while the deputy was rescuing the girls, the suspect approached with a gun. The deputy shot him until he stopped. Then he added, and this is the quote of the year my friends, "We don't have to worry about him being rehabilitated. We don't have to worry about the Supreme Court. He's deceased." What a great line, and he said it in front of a bunch of lawyers who were also on the program.

I mean, folks, if that line doesn't express the frustration that law enforcement is having right now. People that commit violent crimes are out on the street with hardly a slap on the wrist. They put these guys behind bars and they're out in two days, meanwhile Jim Traficant is going to jail for eight years.

The sheriff also said, "You do not draw a gun on my deputies and live to tell about it. You draw a gun on my deputy in a situation like that and those deputies are going to defend themselves and shoot and that's what happened." These guys in law enforcement have to make split second life or death decisions. It's always easier for someone to ask 'why shoot?' when the gun isn't pointed at their head.
I agree, as a society we are to easy on criminals and to hard on law enforcement. We should take a clue from some of the less advanced countries in dealing with violent crime. It shouldn't cost the taxpayers so much to rehabilitate a violent offender so we can let them out again. Why are we more concerned with their welfare rather than the people hurt by their actions? I believe in victim restitution by offenders, their sentences should not start until they have completed restitution to their victims or their families. Parole should be abolished in all violent crimes.

I am not really hard nosed I just sound that way.
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this kind of discussion. I feel uncomfortable with this on a gaming related forum.
Originally posted by Stephen Herron:
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this kind of discussion. I feel uncomfortable with this on a gaming related forum.
Well...to help bridge the gap remember in Traveller there are all sorts of different law levels and ways to handle things. While this discussion is about our own society, it can make you think about how would these situations be handled differently depending on where you're at. Would the same law grant the same punishment on a different world?

Having said that, please forgive me but here is my take on our society's (or a Traveller world with our society, take your pick) situation... The definition of a criminal is an individual who has chosen to act outside a society's given moral and legal laws. If a criminal has chosen to renounce and operate outside said laws, then they are not entitled to be protected by them. I'm a fan of Sing Sing and Alcatraz. Back then they didn't have cable, or video games, or other ridiculous luxuries. They were horrible places. Places so bad that people didn't commit crimes for fear of having to go there. Prisons should not be hotels. Criminals should not be treated like guests.
I have very strong opinions about crime and punishment (and let's tie it into Traveller again) but I come from a place with very specific problems in law and order (or Law Level, let's say), being from Northern Ireland. I live and work in the US now, which is a similar place yet with a subtly different Law Level.

Perhaps a single number can't always represent the difference (often very subtle) between systems with different Law Levels.

Thanks, Labs, for trying to make this relevant to the game.
I agree with 'Labs. Rehabilitation is great, but, the criminals should be motivated to never break the law again. In this case, no one will ever have to worry about this criminal relapsing and kidnapping and worse ever again. Perhaps, out there in the dark, there is someone with enough threads left on their loose screw to recognize, by this, that abduction maybe isn't a way to meet girls. This dispensation of instant justice may have just saved some lives. Both of those that could have been abducted and those of the crazy that would have commited the crime.

This wasn't "frontier justice". This criminal was caught in the act, and continued to be a threat to those he had abducted and the law enforcement personnel. The only bad part about this is that the criminal had not been picked up yet for his other crimes. It could have saved everyone some grief.

In an absence of official law enforcement (like in the old west), people will do whatever they want. Abduction, theft, murder, etc. and in response, the general populace will do what they have to to remove the perpetrators from their presence, sometimes at the end of a rope. This has been the case for as long as civilization has existed, and will continue where ever people are found.

(segway into TU connection)

This concept of old west justice can be used in the TU, especially in frontier areas, that in the absence of official law enforcement, people will exhibit their true nature. In some cases, that nature is as weeds.

I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but the line that best sums up the whole thing for me comes from an episode of Star Trek: TNG (Justice).

"I realize now that there can be no justice... no justice so long as laws are absolute. Life itself is an exercise in exceptions."

I'm such a geek-dork.
I don´t know about others, but I would prefer to keep these boards Traveller- or at least SFRPG-themed.

Even with the tacked-on Traveller references, this thread really isn´t either. I shudder to think that the term "Obtrav" will soon surface on this board...


That was my original point, but I have to admit, it has led into a possible discussion of Law Levels. I remain uncomfortable with the original post in this thread, but if it leads to game related discussion...
While it isn't Traveller related directly, I think it was important.

Now on to Traveller:

Law levels could possibly be broken down into such as Law Level 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 to detail various differences in the same law level

THe same goes from a Journal article about Tech levels where TL 6 can comprise everything from P-51 Mustangs up to the SR-71. So at TL 6.1 you have a certain level of developement, and at TL 6.6 you are more advanced within the same tech level.
hmmm. I'm not sure I agree. (about using decimal places for law levels. about real world concerns of Freedom vs. Security I shall keep mum. HERE at any rate.)

Law level to me, is not a standard progression.
The subtlties of law level, if one is to quantify them, almost require additional axis of measurement and a co-ordinate system. Too much bother.

remember that Law Level in the UWP is NOT an all encompassing standard. It's strictly a measure of how restrictive and interfereing OFFICIAL enforcement is.

Increased law level = Increased chance an officer will find some excuse to pass the time of day with you.
Increased law level=increased restrictions on personal armament.

Factor in government type and you can infer a heck of a lot.

A captive goverment with a high law level is probably under some kind of military lockdown. AFV's patrol the streets. Soldiers stand guard outside convience stores. There is probably a curfew.

The same law level under a charismatic leader probably has more 'civilian' police present but it's probably also a crime to criticise 'the leader'

Law level 0 doesn't necessarily mean a wild west free for all. It could be a small mining town able to solve most of it's problems by consensus. Maybe there's a 'posse' of volunteers who would arm themselves if the town came under some real outside threat. and maybe the citizens would have their own... restritions. bars might have a 'coat check girl' guarding a gunrack.

Stores might exchange the 'no shirt no shoes no service' sign for one saying "leave your iron outside."

Law level doesn't presume to tell you anything other than how much harassment you are likely to recieve from officialdom.

I think it works well as is. Though it's hardly perfect. For example, in the States and Canada. Weopans laws have long been much more restrictive and harsh against 'melee' weapons than firearms.

Ask any martial artist.

However in traveller, swords and knives are the last things to be banned.

Originally posted by Garf:
hmmm. I'm not sure I agree. (about using decimal places for law levels. about real world concerns of Freedom vs. Security I shall keep mum. HERE at any rate.)

Law level to me, is not a standard progression.
The subtlties of law level, if one is to quantify them, almost require additional axis of measurement and a co-ordinate system. Too much bother.

Somewhere in the deep recesses of the Traveller Mailing List archives (whereever they may reside at this time) I remember that someone had created a chart of Law Level variation in the fashion of the Tech Level variation provided in the MegaTraveller books. I just need to find it and I'll post it here.

Simon Jester