When is it better to ask forgiveness instead of permission?

Tom_in_CA

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I will agree with you that its indefensible to walk past a no-trespassing sign, or hop a fence (to which the intent of the fence is obvious). The world would be a better place if everyone minded their P's & Q's. Agreed.

But I notice that you seem to exempt land where no such signs or fences exist. That describes 95% of the lettuce/leaf crop ag fields around my city. Ie.: You'd have to try hard to enter in such a way as to see any sign. Eg.: The obligatory small print placard at the dirt road entrances. :roll: Or put another way : As innocuous as the short-cut paths we're discussing .

.... I think it's a fair assessment on your part to assume that the owner doesn't really care

And I agree that if the "owner doesn't seem to care", then ... gee.... the owner doesn't seem to care. Hhhhmmm

.... then maybe you might have a slim chance of detecting on it without any repercussions

Ok, great ! I think we can compromise there. Good discussion !
 

Xxray

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Ummmmmm, not really. It would be a hypocritical of me to say that you shouldn't speed, but then admit that I have no problems with speeding myself. It would be hypocritical of me to say that no one should knowingly metal detect on private property without permission, but then admit that I metal detect on private property without permission all the time.

And to be clear, comparing the two situations as if they're somehow equivalent is a bit of a stretch. Speeding is [most often] simply a moving violation and is not a crime. Stealing, on the other hand, is a criminal offense that results in a criminal record.

3 possibilities here, you, me or anyone else either:

* Follows all laws
* Ignore all laws
* Follow some and ignore others

You, me and most everyone else are in the 3rd category - And going over the posted speed limit is a violation of the law that can result in fines, loss of driving rights and even incarceration, your sugar coat aside.

Talk about a bit of a stretch, equating something dug out of the ground in the middle of nowhere that would have remained there into eternity without my efforts "stealing", then you blow off and make excuses for an actual violation of the law, speeding [which kills 1,000's of people every single year].
I am very sorry but to me, that is the very definition of a hypocrite, or "selective absolutist" as I said earlier.
 

Tom_in_CA

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.... you blow off and make excuses for an actual violation of the law, speeding.....

Xxray, here's where this is a futile conversation : Because no one can deny that : If everyone obeyed the speed limits, the world would be a better place. The fact that everyone fudges, does not change the fact that : The world would be a better place if no one ever fudged.

And the same goes for md'ing. While I do find the psychology fascinating (I've seen a lot of great old-town demolition sites where only a few brave souls partook :laughing: ), yet on the other hand, I'm the first to admit that it's indefensible (technically speaking). So too is it indefensible to speed. It's kind of like nose-picking: America's favorite hobby, but no one will admit it. You simply CAN'T come on a family friendly forum and boast of exceeding speed limits, or .... playing footloose with an oldtown demolition site. It's one of those "undiscussed" (not admitted) things. HHhhhmmm

So my hats off to F/O's stance.
 

Xxray

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Xxray, here's where this is a futile conversation : Because no one can deny that : If everyone obeyed the speed limits, the world would be a better place. The fact that everyone fudges, does not change the fact that : The world would be a better place if no one ever fudged.

And the same goes for md'ing. While I do find the psychology fascinating (I've seen a lot of great old-town demolition sites where only a few brave souls partook :laughing: ), yet on the other hand, I'm the first to admit that it's indefensible (technically speaking). So too is it indefensible to speed. It's kind of like nose-picking: America's favorite hobby, but no one will admit it. You simply CAN'T come on a family friendly forum and boast of exceeding speed limits, or .... playing footloose with an oldtown demolition site. It's one of those "undiscussed" (not admitted) things. HHhhhmmm

So my hats off to F/O's stance.

Well, you can say the whole thread is futile, doesn't stop people from making points. I have my limits, I don't hop fences, I don't detect posted private property.
I dumpster dive in my spare time, dumpsters that are gated, locked or posted no trespassing I don't dive.

One of the main beaches I detect doesn't allow metal detecting, but I do anyways. I am on good terms with the folks who work there, and they usually let me slide. They have Halloween festivities, now that thats over there will be next to no one there, just me, my dog and the seagulls [no dogs allowed there either], and I don't feel 1 bit guilty about that because I am not a selective absolutist, there are some rules and laws that I simply do not obey, and not a single person is getting hurt, put out or inconvenienced because of it.
If they tell me to stop I stop, sometimes state cops roll by in plain view, they just wave and move on. Surely they know detecting and dogs are not allowed on the beach, but they agree its a ludicrous ordinance and don't enforce it. [In the summer with people there, no I am not swinging my detector and walking my dog, in daylight at least] ,, But I do sneak some water detecting in.
 

Tom_in_CA

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... doesn't stop people from making points.....

Agreed. It's a valid (albeit contentious) topic.

As a past md'ing club president, this subject came up a few times in our club's ranks : Eg.: Some old-town demolition project would go down. A few of us brazen souls would be all over it.

Then at the next month's show & tell time @ club time, we'd place our entries up on the table. And if word (rumor-mill) leaked out @ where we got them, then ........ sure as heck, someones else would muse out-loud : "Gee, how did you get in there ? ". And then sure as heck, discussion would start. Someone would cry "foul" . Since perhaps they went knocking on city hall doors/desks and got a "no". Or the contractor told them "no". Or perhaps they saw the obligatory fence. :roll:

And you can imagine the discussion/debates that arose. Not unlike here ! So the few of us more brazen souls learned to "stay mum". :roll: Still though, the subject fascinated me (to a fault, doh !)

I realized that ... while we *could* offer up the old "no one cares" attitude, yet the pushback was predictable : Gee, if no one cares, then why is there a ribbon around the site ? Or : Gee, if no one cares, then why did I fetch a 'no' ?

And a million shades of grey for various ownership entity status's.
 

MTtrashdigger

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It is inevitable , when this subject comes up, that someone will point out that : So too are people's front yards *also* "un-fenced" and "un-signed". :roll:

At what point does common sense enter into this question ? I mean, .... NO ONE is going to dispute the difference between "someone's front yard" vs "middle of nowhere". :roll:

For example : Would you take this shortcut or not ?

I am only posting this to make a point. In this case the " middle of nowhere " is still a private parcel of land. Where I live I can drive 10 miles in any direction and be " In the middle of nowhere". That doesn't make it any less private or exempt me from following the laws regarding private property and trespassing. This is something that city dwellers like yourself cannot seem to understand. Your shortcut pic shows an obviously well established path that others before have taken many times and has no bearing on the OPs question.
I stand by my simple point that it is NEVER OK to knowingly trespass to fish, hunt, metal detect, picnic, camp or otherwise recreate. My example may have been a bit obtuse but the OP wanted to know if it was OK to metal detect private property without permission and the simple answer is NO.
925 Bill stated in his post that he would metal detect it, knowing it was private property, until someone kicked him off. Also WRONG.
PUBLIC property like parks , curbstrips etc. are different in that they are intended for public use. They may have obscure , hidden or even unpublished rules around certain activities but the fact remains , they are public property. A farmer's field, no matter how remote, is still PRIVATE property and despite our society's ever increasing sense of self entitlement, private property owners still have rights and they need to be respected.
 

stetam

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I am only posting this to make a point. In this case the " middle of nowhere " is still a private parcel of land. Where I live I can drive 10 miles in any direction and be " In the middle of nowhere". That doesn't make it any less private or exempt me from following the laws regarding private property and trespassing. This is something that city dwellers like yourself cannot seem to understand. Your shortcut pic shows an obviously well established path that others before have taken many times and has no bearing on the OPs question.
I stand by my simple point that it is NEVER OK to knowingly trespass to fish, hunt, metal detect, picnic, camp or otherwise recreate. My example may have been a bit obtuse but the OP wanted to know if it was OK to metal detect private property without permission and the simple answer is NO.
925 Bill stated in his post that he would metal detect it, knowing it was private property, until someone kicked him off. Also WRONG.
PUBLIC property like parks , curbstrips etc. are different in that they are intended for public use. They may have obscure , hidden or even unpublished rules around certain activities but the fact remains , they are public property. A farmer's field, no matter how remote, is still PRIVATE property and despite our society's ever increasing sense of self entitlement, private property owners still have rights and they need to be respected.

Well said and I agree 100%

Steve
 

FliesOnly

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I will agree with you that its indefensible to walk past a no-trespassing sign, or hop a fence (to which the intent of the fence is obvious). The world would be a better place if everyone minded their P's & Q's. Agreed.
It's also indefensible to just walk onto a unknown [to you] piece of property and start to metal detect.




But I notice that you seem to exempt land where no such signs or fences exist. That describes 95% of the lettuce/leaf crop ag fields around my city
I'm honestly confused...how am I ignoring lands with no signs or fences? Look, it's quite simple, if I "see" a piece of property on which I'd love to metal detect, I find out who owns the property. If it's private, then I do not detect without first getting permission. If it's public, then I use this wonderful thing called "the internet" to look up the rules/regulations as they relate to that particular piece or general type of property.




And I agree that if the "owner doesn't seem to care", then ... gee.... the owner doesn't seem to care. Hhhhmmm
He doesn't seem to care about one particular behavior...people cutting the corner. That doesn't mean he'd be ok with you digging up artifacts there.




Ok, great ! I think we can compromise there. Good discussion !
But you ignored the pertinent point...would the land owner still NOT CARE if you dug up a jar full of valuable gold coins?
 

FliesOnly

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Talk about a bit of a stretch, equating something dug out of the ground in the middle of nowhere that would have remained there into eternity without my efforts "stealing",
OK, then let me be a bit more specific and ask this: At what monetary value would you consider your action to classified as "stealing"?



...then you blow off and make excuses for an actual violation of the law, speeding [which kills 1,000's of people every single year].
I'm not blowing off or making excuses for speeding. I'm telling you that the two issues are not equivalent. Speeding and stealing are not the same thing.



I am very sorry but to me, that is the very definition of a hypocrite, or "selective absolutist" as I said earlier.
Fine, I'm a hypocrite.
 

Xxray

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OK, then let me be a bit more specific and ask this: At what monetary value would you consider your action to classified as "stealing"?



I'm not blowing off or making excuses for speeding. I'm telling you that the two issues are not equivalent. Speeding and stealing are not the same thing.



Fine, I'm a hypocrite.

Just from your probing questions I can see you almost always draw the wrong inference from what I have said - Stealing can be a $.20 stick of gum or a $1,000,000 bank heist, obviously. I see your drift here, think about your own words, "not equivalent, not the same thing" ,, Do you mean to tell me that you see no difference between digging up a gold ring from the ground in the middle of nowhere, a ring that would just sit there in the ground forever Vs walking into a jewelry shop and outright stealing a gold ring from the shop owner ?


Speeding and stealing are not the same true, hardly anything is the same as anything else which is why we have a wide variety of words/nouns/adjectives to describe things. They are however both VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW, that is my point if you can grasp that - And you roundly condemn one violation and make poor excuses for the other.
You can argue oh, one is bad, criminal, the other is not so bad, civil infraction, everyone does it - So you tell me about good and bad and research how many innocent people have died digging up old items from farm fields vs how many have died from speeding in cars, then you have a whole new perspective on good vs bad.
 

Tom_in_CA

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.... Do you mean to tell me that you see no difference between digging up a gold ring from the ground in the middle of nowhere, a ring that would just sit there in the ground forever Vs walking into a jewelry shop and outright stealing a gold ring from the shop owner ?.....

Yes. We all intuitively know the difference between : 1) The ring in the jewelry shop case, 2) The ring on the night-stand of farmer Bob, and 3) the ring that's been in the ground for years or decades in the middle of nowhere.


Now is there a technical legal difference ? NO ! The fact that 'no one knew it was there' *technically* does not make a difference to the status. So in that sense : F/O is right.

But do we all subconsciously know there is a difference ? OF COURSE we do. I've pulled reales and buttons from ag land here in my area, that .... I'd venture to say I would be HARD-PRESSED to find anyone in the company to "care less" (they're probably 1000 miles away). But on the other hand, if I went to that company owners' house and removed a reale from his coin collection, then .... He'd care.

We all know the difference. But technically, there is no difference.
 

Xxray

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Yes. We all intuitively know the difference between : 1) The ring in the jewelry shop case, 2) The ring on the night-stand of farmer Bob, and 3) the ring that's been in the ground for years or decades in the middle of nowhere.


Now is there a technical legal difference ? NO ! The fact that 'no one knew it was there' *technically* does not make a difference to the status. So in that sense : F/O is right.

But do we all subconsciously know there is a difference ? OF COURSE we do. I've pulled reales and buttons from ag land here in my area, that .... I'd venture to say I would be HARD-PRESSED to find anyone in the company to "care less" (they're probably 1000 miles away). But on the other hand, if I went to that company owners' house and removed a reale from his coin collection, then .... He'd care.

We all know the difference. But technically, there is no difference.

I would argue that there are major differences.
Take a ring from a shop, the shop owner is instantly out of whatever he paid for it.
Take a ring you dug in the middle of some field out in the middle of nowhere, which has no fences, no signs posted private property, no good way to track down who or what owns that parcel of land, no one is out of nothing. He would have paid the same for the plot of land whether there were 0 rings or 5,000 rings buried on the property. Since he is not motivated to dig around and find out what is there himself, the ring is not an asset.

I see where you will go, the unknown owner is still the owner, and owns every single pebble and twig on that field, so in theory and technically, you stole the ring from him. I'm not going to get into mental gymnastics and extreme technicalities like that, I'll just suffice it to say that, unlike the shop owner, the field owner has suffered 0 financial losses as a result of the ring no longer being in the ground.
 

Tom_in_CA

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I would argue that there are major differences......

Yes, there are realistic differences. We all (even F/O) intuitively know the difference. SURE !

But when the notion is posed in terms of *technical* and *legal* differences, then : No, there's no difference.
 

Xxray

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Yes, there are realistic differences. We all (even F/O) intuitively know the difference. SURE !

But when the notion is posed in terms of *technical* and *legal* differences, then : No, there's no difference.

Just saying so doesn't make it so.
Do you have any examples of anyone paying a legal price for removing ground dug items from a random, wide open field ?
Probably could not find any to save your life, whereas examples of guys paying a price for robbing a jewelry store are plentiful.
 

FliesOnly

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Do you mean to tell me that you see no difference between digging up a gold ring from the ground in the middle of nowhere, a ring that would just sit there in the ground forever Vs walking into a jewelry shop and outright stealing a gold ring from the shop owner ?
That's actually a very good question. Maybe ask a lawyer, as I'm not sure how, or if, a court of law would treat them differently. Keep in mind that the fact that you are knowingly trespassing and do not have permission to detect on that piece of property is an important part of this discussion, not to be ignored.


Look, I'm just going to ignore the rest of your post, not because I don't want to respond (because actually, I do), but rather simply because it's irrelevant to the original post, and I'd like to once again try to get this back on track.

You're out in the boonies, metal detecting on private property where you do not have permission. You find a variety of objects. Is there some threshold where you might actually think the landowner would be pretty pissed off if he knew that you had found something of significant monetary or sentimental value, and that you just decided to keep it since your logic is that "it" would have just sat there in the ground undetected anyway?
That is to say, is there nothing that you would not keep?
 

FliesOnly

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Do you have any examples of anyone paying a legal price for removing ground dug items from a random, wide open field ?
Go do the same thing right there in their front yard and see if there's any price to pay. You seem to think it's OK simply because you're out in the boonies where you're unlikely to get caught. If you somehow or another manage to steal a ring from a jewelry store undetected (ha...see what I did there ) in the middle of the night, is it any less of a crime than if you walked in the store in broad daylight, snatched the ring, and ran out the front door? Heck, the first one is actually worse because it would include the additional charges of breaking and entering.



Probably could not find any to save your life, whereas examples of guys paying a price for robbing a jewelry store are plentiful.
Cuz they got caught!!! You're almost making it sound like you feel that breaking the law is fine, just as long as you don't get caught. I hope that's not what you're trying to say.
 

Tom_in_CA

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Just saying so doesn't make it so.
Do you have any examples of anyone paying a legal price for removing ground dug items from a random, wide open field ?
Probably could not find any to save your life, whereas examples of guys paying a price for robbing a jewelry store are plentiful.

Ha ! Well what you describe above ^ ^ is, as I say, the "realistic" difference. YOU'RE RIGHT !! We all know that it's wrong to take the ring from the jewelry store. But we all know that no one gets the book thrown at them for the ring in the ground in the "middle of nowhere".

But despite these "realistic" differences: There's no technical or legal difference. If someone wanted to (that "farmer" with the field in the middle of nowhere) could have the book thrown at you for removing a pebble, or ring, or whatever.

Now *would* that farmer ever do that ? Of course not ! Would the farmer care less ? Of course not ! But *could* the farmer do it ? Yes.

So again : The difference is technical vs realistic. It's like the prohibitions against "removing" and "harvesting" on public land : *Could* they be construed to apply to coins and rings ? YES ! But *does* the average person ever construe those laws to apply to coins and rings ? NO !
 

Xxray

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That's actually a very good question. Maybe ask a lawyer, as I'm not sure how, or if, a court of law would treat them differently. Keep in mind that the fact that you are knowingly trespassing and do not have permission to detect on that piece of property is an important part of this discussion, not to be ignored.


Look, I'm just going to ignore the rest of your post, not because I don't want to respond (because actually, I do), but rather simply because it's irrelevant to the original post, and I'd like to once again try to get this back on track.

You're out in the boonies, metal detecting on private property where you do not have permission. You find a variety of objects. Is there some threshold where you might actually think the landowner would be pretty pissed off if he knew that you had found something of significant monetary or sentimental value, and that you just decided to keep it since your logic is that "it" would have just sat there in the ground undetected anyway?
That is to say, is there nothing that you would not keep?

I think we have been over my dislike of highly rhetorical questions, so until you are ready to declare how you would have held up at Iwo, I'll pass.
 

Smooth23

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When do you people find time to detect? Y'all are too busy bickering it out on the forums!
 
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