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Is it really fun to shoot people?

  1. Feb 15, 2005 #1
    Is it really fun to shoot people??

    Re a quote I read this week in Newsweek:

    Spoken by Lt Gen James Mattis

    Is it just me that thinks guys like this should be thrown in the stockade? I'm not an American but I would sure like to know what Americans and others think of this mentality.
    And those Americans who dislike this type of stupidity, why aren’t you lobbying your congressmen to have this fool relieved of his command.
    From what I understand he was told not to make that type of remark in public again.
    In public or in private, who cares, is this really the mindset of the US military. What do you military men and women out there think?. Would you serve under this man??

    And the man cannot even speak English. Perhaps there should be a literacy test for loudmouthed generals. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
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  3. Feb 15, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    Dunno - a very close female friend of mine has an abusive boyfriend and I sometimes fantasize about kicking his teeth in. Is that the same thing?

    The guy's a jackass for talking like that and he could have said it better, but I certainly see his point.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2005 #3
    I see your point Russ, I feel like that too sometimes when confronted with that type of situation. The difference is that I would kick his teeth in. Violence against the fairer sex is the biggest no no in my book. Be he twice my size, I would and have kicked teeth in in this situation.

    The question is not whether he could have said it better but should he have said it at all.
    If you slapped your woman around, you would go to jail, but to pay for this with your life, come on.
    This is not the message we are trying to get across to the Iraq people.
    This is grist for the Al Jazeera mill. Everytime someone makes a comment like this, more Arab men become angry and then they go and kill more soldiers.
    He may indirectly be responsible for the deaths of good men and women.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2005 #4
    I don't think he literally meant you should die for slapping you wife. IMO, he was just characterising the brutish nature of the Taliban regime and saying that it was fun to destroy it. There is no harm in having fun in destroying the evil.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2005 #5

    Bystander

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    W. F. Halsey ---"... the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell."" Plus plenty of similar material from WW II. If you can't "whistle while you work" at a job you'd rather not be doing, then is the time to find another job, start the revolution, go into PC snivel mode, whimper about the insensitivity of the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force leadership --- war is NOT an encounter group.
     
  7. Feb 15, 2005 #6
    You are a sick puppy Sid. I hope you do not own a gun.
    And I certainly hope you are not representative of your countrymen and women.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2005 #7
    You are right. It's not an encounter group. It is a duty and a solemn one at that. Whistling as you kill another human being is beyond immoral.
    Ask the soldiers in Iraq if they all whistle while they work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  9. Feb 15, 2005 #8

    loseyourname

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    I think it's a little absurd to talk about the morality of one man's mindset as he is killing another man. Let's face the facts. This guys is an idiot for publicly saying that, but he's telling the truth. It's fun as heck to beat the crap out of another guy. Why do you think American Football is so popular? If you head into a battle and are squeamish about killing, you'll be killed. War selects for this type of man, on both sides. It is absurd that we humans must kill one another on mass scales, often for no good reason. Perhaps it's just a fact of our genetics. If you look at all of the social species with no natural predators, the only two that engage in warfare are chimps and humans (there is some controversy as to whether or not ants do). Even so, it's far more absurd to dictate the morality of what a man is thinking as he engages in this brute practice.
     
  10. Feb 17, 2005 #9
    Care to DISPROVE what I said instead of resorting to undignified "puppyish" name calling?
     
  11. Feb 17, 2005 #10

    arildno

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    Since the guy quoted is precisely the type of guy who, say 20-30 years ago would have had no problems with slapping his own wife around, I don't think he has any point at all.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2005 #11

    russ_watters

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    That isn't really true. The agressions of military men are very specifically focused. Navy SEALS, for example (officers anyway), tend to be really nice guys. I've never worked personally with one about to go into combat (I did work under one for about 2 years in a non-combat position), but I've heard from others who have that the change in their persona is like flipping a switch from "nice" to "killing machine" in the hours before combat.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2005 #12

    We all say stupid things from time to time and for this guy it was a particularly bad time to say that stupid thing. I personally could careless how someone feels about something like killing people as long as they are not breaking any laws.

    For example some people think its fun to take aways some peoples money to and give it to other people. I think it is no different than stealing. But what I think and what other people think really does not matter as long as everyone follows the same laws. We don't have to see eye to eye on every or any issues for that matter as long as we respect the laws we can still get along just fine.

    All he did was make his opinion about something known. There is nothing wrong with him having an opinion about something no matter what it is. The only problem is that while speaking on behalf of the Marine Corps he should have been professional and kept his personal views like that to himself. I would never answer a question about my opinion on something while I was representing an organization or group that may not share my opinion.

    As far as you thinking he should be thrown in the stockades for having a particular opinion, tell my why I cannot say the same for you or anyone for that matter. People should not be punished for having or expressing their opinions cause if that was the case then what is to stop someone from thinking that your opinion should land you in jail? Why draw arbitrary lines in the sand about what opinions are ok and what opinions are not ok?

    Feel free to think what you want but please be aware of the fact that your opinions are no more correct than his and he might think that you should be thrown in the stockades for what you said here. Both cases are opinions with each being equally likely to be false. Why should either opinion be taken seriously?
     
  14. Feb 17, 2005 #13
    I have heard that only about 2% of men can kill face-to-face without being traumatised by the experience. Of these about half will be classifiable as sociopaths.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2005 #14
    I can kill things without it bothering me too much but not another person, hell no. From a distance I don't think it would be as bad but it would still affect me deeply for the rest of my life.

    That is one reason I cannot understand how some of these terrorist groups have no problem cutting off someone's head like they are just livestock or something. It really creeps me out when the value of human life becomes so diminished that it really does not affect people too much.

    Another thing to consider is how hard would it be to kill someone if they were shooting back at me and my friends? A hell of a lot easier I am sure. Now if ever had to watch one of my good buddies die from enemy fire, well you can be sure I would want to avenge his death and would not be in the right state of mind.

    Anyways, where did you hear that 2% number? Sounds kind of arbitrary to me.
     
  16. Feb 17, 2005 #15

    Bystander

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    "2%?" S. L. A. Marshall: from immediate post-engagement debriefings of troops in the Pacific in WW II --- carry a gun, hold their places in the line, but will not shoot --- the study has been challenged, and the numbers vary from 2-10, maybe 20%. Until gun cameras for infantry become universal, it's really not going to be possible to say with any certainty what percentage of the troops shoot, nor what percentage shoot effectively. Keep in mind that the small arms rounds per kill ratio was in the hundreds in the 18th century, thousands for the ACW, millions in WW I, might have reached 10Ms in WW II, and is who knows what today --- on the one hand, this suggests lots of shooting, but to very little effect, on the other, it could be another example of the Bradford-Zipf distribution --- 10% of the troops do 90% of the shooting, 10% of the cars on the road contribute 90% of the pollutants, 10% of the population has 90% of the money, etc.
     
  17. Feb 18, 2005 #16

    arildno

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    And wherever have you got the notion that "nice guys" don't slap their wives around?
    That's simply naive.

    It's about as silly as saying that every Roman slave-owner necessarily was a "monster".
    He was not; he was firmly convinced that it was right and duty to "chastise" obstinate slaves. That's all there is to it.
     
  18. Feb 18, 2005 #17
  19. Feb 18, 2005 #18
    Don't twist my words around. I did not say he should be thrown in the stockade for having an opinion. The thought police are not here yet. But he should be at the very least relieved of his command for conduct unbecoming an officer. He is supposed to be an example to his men. And this is simply not a good example.
    As I said, words like this inflame the enemy and the result is more good soldiers killed.

    No Sid, I will not waste my energy "Disproving" anything to you. Your mindset is so far removed from mine, I would be wasting my time :-)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2005
  20. Feb 18, 2005 #19
    I grant you that, that no opinion is worth more than another, and that is why these forums are so valuable to us all, but I am not an elected representative of the US military whose every word carries weight. The reason I started this thread was to find out what other people thought of his comments and whether he should have made them, not his personal opinions.
    The comment was made, and therefore this thread exists.
    If the comment had not been made, we would not be discussing it now and his opinion would still be tucked away safe and sound in his own little pea like brain.
     
  21. Feb 18, 2005 #20

    Kerrie

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    i'll second that...
     
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