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Thread: Booby traps: Man in Maine killed by own device

  1. #1

    Booby traps: Man in Maine killed by own device

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50619952

    A 65-year-old American man who rigged his home with a booby trap to keep out intruders has been killed by the device.

    Ronald Cyr called police in the town of Van Buren in the state of Maine to say he had been shot.

    Police found a door had been designed to fire a handgun should anyone attempt to enter. Mr Cyr was taken to hospital but died of his injuries.

    It is illegal for home-owners to install such traps.

    Police in Van Buren, which borders the Canadian province of New Brunswick, said they responded to a 911 call in the early evening of Thanksgiving, last Thursday, from a man who said he had been shot.

    "Following an extensive investigation that lasted into the early morning... it was determined that Mr Cyr had been shot as the result of the unintentional discharge of one of his homemade devices," the police department said in a Facebook post.

    "Regretfully, Mr Cyr succumbed to the injuries he sustained from the gunshot."

    It is not known how he managed to set off the device.

    The police also found other possible devices and called in help from the Maine State Police Bomb Squad.

    There have been other cases of booby-trapped homes in the US.

    In February, a team of real estate investors walking through a home they had bought in Philadelphia discovered that a staircase had been rigged with string which, if tripped, would have triggered a swinging knife.

    In September last year, a man in Illinois was killed when he opened a neighbour's shed that had been rigged to fire a shotgun. William Wasmund, 48, was found guilty this September of first-degree murder and aggravated battery.

    And in October last year a man in Oregon was charged after fortifying his home "like a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark".

    FBI agents found a circular hot tub linked up to a tripwire, a fortified front door, animal traps and a wheelchair rigged with a shotgun that went off, hitting an agent in the leg.

    Is it legal to booby trap your home in the US?
    The definition of booby trap is a concealed or camouflaged device that can cause bodily injury when triggered.

    It is illegal to set up devices in your home to protect it from intruders, if those devices can cause harm.

    The legal argument is that life is more valued than property and that the devices have no means of preventing accidental harm or distinguishing between targets.

    Even if the trap targets a criminal, the trap-setter, though having the right to protect their home, has no right to determine the punishment.

    Injury can lead to lawsuits. In the 1971 case of Katko v. Briney, in Iowa, two homeowners were held liable for injuries caused by their spring-loaded shotgun to a trespasser intent on stealing from a vacant property.

    The court ruled the deadly force was not reasonable and awarded the plaintiff $30,000 (£23,000) in damages.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 12-02-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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  3. #2
    Bad Idea. Too indiscriminate.

    I remember one case from Michigan years ago.

    questionable tactic even in Wartime.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  4. #3
    Pete is right . I make no attempt to conceal or camo any trap. That would be illegal .
    Do something Danke

  5. #4
    The legal argument is that life is more valued than property
    Yeah, that legal argument is going to go out the window the moment the mega-corps start deploying humanoid robot security guards. "The robot acted in defense of itself, which is sentient ACME Corp. property and, as such, has the same intrinsic value as human life, your Honor. Of course, we are sad that Mr. Smith made the wrong choice to trespass on ACME property and threaten ACME personnel but he would have been treated exactly the same way by an armed human security guard in the same situation."

    Next stop: Skynet...

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Yeah, that legal argument is going to go out the window the moment the mega-corps start deploying humanoid robot security guards. "The robot acted in defense of itself, which is sentient ACME Corp. property and, as such, has the same intrinsic value as human life, your Honor. Of course, we are sad that Mr. Smith made the wrong choice to trespass on ACME property and threaten ACME personnel but he would have been treated exactly the same way by an armed human security guard in the same situation."

    Next stop: Skynet...
    The defense of property with deadly force never should have been illegal.
    There are certainly cases where it might be immoral to shoot a kid for shoplifting a candybar etc. but it's not the government's place to enforce all morality and people have a right to defend their property without relying on the police.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  7. #6
    Is it possible this guy wanted to commit suicide?
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The defense of property with deadly force never should have been illegal.
    There are certainly cases where it might be immoral to shoot a kid for shoplifting a candybar etc. but it's not the government's place to enforce all morality and people have a right to defend their property without relying on the police.
    I remember in the 1970's people talking about taping razor blades to their car stereo.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    Is it possible this guy wanted to commit suicide?
    That angle should definitely be investigated. He knew where all the booby traps in his house were located.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge



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  11. #9
    Wow. I'm glad the Officers are OK. Sounds like a close call.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
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    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The defense of property with deadly force never should have been illegal.
    There are certainly cases where it might be immoral to shoot a kid for shoplifting a candybar etc. but it's not the government's place to enforce all morality and people have a right to defend their property without relying on the police.
    It's not that simple. Property is itself a human construct. The propertarian conception of "property as an exercise in slicing up space and time into absolute, error-free units of containment and ownership" is attractive but fails to capture the essence of what property is.

    Under no conditions should automated machines be taking human life. We allow a certain amount of possibility of injury to be built into certain structures (e.g. barbed-wire topped fence) but we also place a lot of restrictions on these kinds of things so that the public space doesn't get transformed into some kind of booby-trapped hell on earth. The real criterion of how far one's property rights extend in this direction is liability. Parking garages sometimes use directional spikes to enforce entrance/exit. These spikes work well (legally and practically) for several reasons. First, while they can cause mechanical failure of a car's tires, they are unlikely to injure a human being, even if they walk on the spikes (they're not sharp, they just puncture vehicle tires due to the weight of the car). Second, the amount of damage done is, at most, in the low thousands of dollars (a new set of tires). Even if the vehicle driver somehow managed to sue and win, the damages awarded would not be very much. Which makes it unlikely that anybody would try to sue in the first place (although, knowing our litigious population, I'm sure somebody somewhere has tried). In short, the individual who implements some kind of automatic mechanism for destroying property or causing injury is taking on himself or herself legal liability for all the potential consequences of this mechanism's operation.

    It may feel very propertarian for corporations to use androids to defend their property. But what is overlooked is that corporations are, already, "agency amplifiers". That is, corporations obtain a surplus of legal rights vis-a-vis ordinary citizens by virtue of creating a fictional "person" who can, supposedly be "injured". This is one of the reasons that the rise of corporatism has been coincidental with the demise of genuine free market, which is the opposite of what conservative economists have believed and predicted would happen, since almost a century ago.

    Conservatives and/or libertarians need to realize that AI and robotics are the ultimate agency amplifier. "You injured my robot and he's going to sue you! (That is, I'm going to file a lawsuit on his behalf but make it sound like you injured a living person)." This kind of nonsense is only the beginning of woes. Soon enough, humanity is going to find itself enslaved not by a gun-wielding Skynet, but by a briefcase-toting VIKI. Sound crazy? So did a music player that could hold more than 1,000 CDs that was the size of a credit card... before the invention of the iPod. It's coming, like it or not and I would issue a general caution to conservatives and libertarians to take care what you blindly cheer on.
    Last edited by ClaytonB; 12-03-2019 at 06:21 PM.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    It's not that simple. Property is itself a human construct. The propertarian conception of "property as an exercise in slicing up space and time into absolute, error-free units of containment and ownership" is attractive but fails to capture the essence of what property is.

    Under no conditions should automated machines be taking human life. We allow a certain amount of possibility of injury to be built into certain structures (e.g. barbed-wire topped fence) but we also place a lot of restrictions on these kinds of things so that the public space doesn't get transformed into some kind of booby-trapped hell on earth. The real criterion of how far one's property rights extend in this direction is liability. Parking garages sometimes use directional spikes to enforce entrance/exit. These spikes work well (legally and practically) for several reasons. First, while they can cause mechanical failure of a car's tires, they are unlikely to injure a human being, even if they walk on the spikes (they're not sharp, they just puncture vehicle tires due to the weight of the car). Second, the amount of damage done is, at most, in the low thousands of dollars (a new set of tires). Even if the vehicle driver somehow managed to sue and win, the damages awarded would not be very much. Which makes it unlikely that anybody would try to sue in the first place (although, knowing our litigious population, I'm sure somebody somewhere has tried). In short, the individual who implements some kind of automatic mechanism for destroying property or causing injury is taking on himself or herself legal liability for all the potential consequences of this mechanism's operation.

    It may feel very propertarian for corporations to use androids to defend their property. But what is overlooked is that corporations are, already, "agency amplifiers". That is, corporations obtain a surplus of legal rights vis-a-vis ordinary citizens by virtue of creating a fictional "person" who can, supposedly be "injured". This is one of the reasons that the rise of corporatism has been coincidental with the demise of genuine free market, which is the opposite of what conservative economists have believed and predicted would happen, since almost a century ago.

    Conservatives and/or libertarians need to realize that AI and robotics are the ultimate agency amplifier. "You injured my robot and he's going to sue you! (That is, I'm going to file a lawsuit on his behalf but make it sound like you injured a living person)." This kind of nonsense is only the beginning of woes. Soon enough, humanity is going to find itself enslaved not by a gun-wielding Skynet, but by a briefcase-toting VIKI. Sound crazy? So did a music player that could hold more than 1,000 CDs that was the size of a credit card... before the invention of the iPod. It's coming, like it or not and I would issue a general caution to conservatives and libertarians to take care what you blindly cheer on.
    It is the extra privileges that corporations are granted and the potential granting of rights to robots that are the problem as far as I see it.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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