When does personal responsibility become a part of the question?

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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VictoriaMcMillen
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When does personal responsibility become a part of the question?

Post by VictoriaMcMillen » 08 Mar 2018, 00:05

There is a theme to the book- responsibility - who is to blame. Corporate profit doesn't seem to take a knee to the basic moral duty to to what is right. On the flip side, I am finding that several times in the lives of nearly all the characters, personal responsibility could have been acted upon to prevent things from taking such a dark route. What are your thoughts? Who is really to blame; one shooter- or everyone involved that could have prevented the situation?
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Post by DancingLady » 08 Mar 2018, 00:25

Ultimately the shooter is to blame as they didn’t have to make that choice. However, anyone who is aware that there is a serious risk of tragedy that could be prevented is responsible for how they deal with that knowledge. Unfortunately people often blame themselves for things they couldn’t realistically foresee, while others ignore warnings signs they have the capacity to address. I think it’s just a matter or educating yourself and making a point to not ignore something if you can take action.

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Post by V_bansal2912 » 08 Mar 2018, 00:52

The shooter is obviously the main culprit. Sometimes in life, knowingly or unknowingly you take some actions, that could have been avoided. The book really makes you question the decisions you take in life.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 08 Mar 2018, 09:34

I've heard people refer to objects as EVIL, commonly anti-gun folks will refer to firearms that way. But it's not the gun that is evil. The gun is just a thing sitting in someone's safe, perfectly neutral. It is the action of the user that can be deemed evil. So for that reason I would say the manufacturer of the gun is not to blame for what happens after it is purchased. It is solely the responsibility of the user. People can own guns for so many reasons: hunting, shooting competitions, personal protection, law enforcement/security type job. I very strongly believe in taking responsibility for one's own actions and in every case in Final Notice, I solely blamed the shooter. I didn't blame Vitaltech for the Final Notice alert, I didn't blame the NRA for their marketing efforts, I didn't blame the gun manufacturers and sellers.

I do think it is a great moral choice to intervene if negative outcomes seem likely. I do believe the NRA was misguided in marketing to a group that may consistent of a large population of people who are not fully capable of making rational decisions. But it was not their fault that anyone was shot.

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Post by ericahs » 08 Mar 2018, 11:10

I think there is a balance between personal responsibility, like staying informed and making informed decisions, and placing the blame on larger social structures.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.- Douglas Adams

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Post by jennyd2003 » 08 Mar 2018, 23:28

The shooter is ultimately to blame as he/she makes the choice to carry out the act. Everything leading up to the shooting is circumstantial. Could we possibly change someone's mind about an issue and stop a shooting yes. There are a million "little" choices that go into the big decision and one different choice might make a huge difference in the outcome.

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Post by lavellan » 09 Mar 2018, 15:05

I think that the shooter should shoulder most of the blame, but the parties would could have prevented it should share some of the blame. This is especially true when the same events keep happening and no one does anything to prevent it.

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Post by LivreAmour217 » 09 Mar 2018, 15:19

I hold the shooter responsible. I also believe that VitalTech does shoulder some partial blame, because they chose to not remove the "Final Notice" feature after they learned of correlation with the shootings. The morally responsible reaction would have been to remove the feature as a precaution. HOWEVER, the watch did not force the shooters go on a rampage, so I don't think that the company could be held legally responsible, just like I don't believe that gun manufacturers should be liable for crimes committed with their products.

The reasons behind why some people choose to commit these horrible crimes are multifaceted. Mental instability, lack of social support, a culture that glorifies violence, and restrictions that are difficult to enforce are some of the reasons. But like I said before, the blame ultimately falls upon the shooter.
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Post by Libs_Books » 09 Mar 2018, 16:33

I'm sure many of us know the expression, "placing temptation in harm's way". We are all capable of making bad decisions - so a democratic society needs to decide where to draw the line between leaving people free to make bad decisions, and limiting the range of bad decisions that can be made. What would you say to someone who visited a home for delinquents in a sports car and parked it outside, leaving it unlocked? Who's to blame if one of the kids steals the car? Surely the answer is that the kid is to blame, but the car driver also has some responsibility.

What I'm trying to say is that individuals must take responsibility for their actions, but that doesn't mean society shouldn't try to limit access to lethal weapons, particularly for vulnerable individuals.

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Post by kandscreeley » 09 Mar 2018, 18:59

I believe that the shooter is to blame. Maybe someone could have prevented some of the shootings but that's a big maybe. You can't hold someone responsible for perhaps being able to maybe stop something.
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Post by berk_sumpter » 09 Mar 2018, 21:43

I have only read the sample of the book. However, it seems as if the shooter has to take some responsibly for what happened. They are the one who ultimately made the decision. However, I think that outside circumstances, people, and companies might also have some responsibility for the shootings as well.

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Post by britt13 » 10 Mar 2018, 19:24

kfwilson6 wrote:
08 Mar 2018, 09:34
I've heard people refer to objects as EVIL, commonly anti-gun folks will refer to firearms that way. But it's not the gun that is evil. The gun is just a thing sitting in someone's safe, perfectly neutral. It is the action of the user that can be deemed evil. So for that reason I would say the manufacturer of the gun is not to blame for what happens after it is purchased. It is solely the responsibility of the user. People can own guns for so many reasons: hunting, shooting competitions, personal protection, law enforcement/security type job. I very strongly believe in taking responsibility for one's own actions and in every case in Final Notice, I solely blamed the shooter. I didn't blame Vitaltech for the Final Notice alert, I didn't blame the NRA for their marketing efforts, I didn't blame the gun manufacturers and sellers.

I do think it is a great moral choice to intervene if negative outcomes seem likely. I do believe the NRA was misguided in marketing to a group that may consistent of a large population of people who are not fully capable of making rational decisions. But it was not their fault that anyone was shot.
This is an interesting take on it. I agree with you that guns are not evil and it is not the guns fault. I do however feel that there is some responsibility that falls on others that allow for deadly weapons to get into the hands of those that should not have them. But something I did enjoy about the book is that it showed people that had lived perfectly normal lives and seemed harmless doing the shooting. It helped support my feeling of total gun ban.

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Post by britt13 » 10 Mar 2018, 19:28

I agree with most of the sentiment of others on this post, yes the shooter is obviously the one that is held most accountable where blame is concerned. That being said I do think that some of the blame falls on those that allow people to get guns. Like I said in a response to someone else, the book shows us perfectly normal people that you would never think would commit a crime going and killing people. That kind of flushes the idea of just having tighter regulations on guns down the toilet. Personally, I have always wanted a total gun ban, so that kind of thinking works in my favor, but I understand that a total gun ban is highly unlikely. But yes, I think many are to blame.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 10 Mar 2018, 22:31

ericahs wrote:
08 Mar 2018, 11:10
I think there is a balance between personal responsibility, like staying informed and making informed decisions, and placing the blame on larger social structures.
My thoughts exactly. No one has to "shoot," but our current social structures certainly encourage having the means to do so, even if one isn't mentally capable of making that decision. I don't think one is in the proper mental framework when they've just been told their death is imminent.
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Post by melissy370 » 11 Mar 2018, 15:45

We are all "our brother's keeper" in some regard. If we know someone or something can bring about harm we should report it. VitalTech is responsible indirectly because they should have changed the watch options when they learned people were getting hurt. Ultimately, it is the shooter who does bear the most blame. It was their choice to pull the trigger.

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