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Not So Great Britain?

According to this story from the Belfast Telegraph, a man who stabbed an intruder/burglar in self defense may be prosecuted for assault. I'm glad to know that, in the United States, self defense is a right (and a law).

13 Responses to "Not So Great Britain?"

  1. It's hard to tell who's right in this case without knowing any more specifics. The right to self defense does not mean you have a right to use the most extreme measures every time you defend yourself.

    To make a fair judgement in this case, one would have to know more details: At what point in the struggle did the man stab the intruder? Was teh intruder already trying to escape? Was the man clearly physically stronger than the intruder?

    Note also that GB historically has much stricter gun laws, which also means that there are by far less guns in circulation. So the probability of the itruder carrying a gun is less likely than it is in the US.

    I'm all for using anynecessary means in self defense - if that means seriously hurting or maybe even killing someone, well be it so. However, I'm also for investigating thse cases to make sure the right to self defense isn't abused: If it's clear that you've got the attacker under control or fought him off, then the defense oart is over. Call teh police and let them take it from there, because self defense != punishment.

    Like I said, it's hard to tell in this particular case, but I think it's okay that the police are looking into the stabbing. After all, under normal circumstances, stabbing another person would be a crime, so why shouldn't they take a close look to make sure the cicumstances were abnormal enough to warrant the action. (Giving, of course, leeway to the resident, because of his fear, etc.)

  2. Note also that GB historically has much stricter gun laws, which also means that there are by far less guns in circulation. So the probability of the itruder carrying a gun is less likely than it is in the US.

    That's not necessarily true. Criminals don't obey laws, so who cares what the law says?

    Yes, investigation is necessary in this situation, but to me it should be fairly simple: is the wounded "criminal" inside the house without evidence that he was moved there after being stabbed? If so, home owner and husband clear of charges.

  3. At least here in Austria, you aren't allowed to hold somebody until the police arrives and they aren't obliged to give you any personal identification, so they can leave and there's nothing you could do about it... Hitting them on the head sure can help to get somebody arrested.

  4. The law is a joke over here, trust me.

    The burglar shouldn't have been in the house in the first place - so how he can press charges against the owner of the house - and for it to go to court is even more of a joke.

    Oh, and I should also say that this has happened before in the UK.

    A farmer shot one of two burglars who were stealing his belongings. One of them died, and the other was wounded.

    The one who survived tried to claim against the farmer for shooting him in the leg. I don't think he succeeded with his claim - but the fact it got to court is beyond me.

    Sorry - just remembered that the farmer was actually sent to jail for a few years for killing the one he shot.

  5. I can recall off the top of my head more such stupid lawsuits happening in the US than anywhere else in the world - people suing home owners for damages after they slip and fall during break-ins and what not.

    Not that it makes it any less stupid, of course.

  6. From a short law class at school I seem to remember that you may defend yourself "with equal force". Bear in mind that a jury also decides whether your actions where those of a reasonable person. This means that if someone knocks on your door you can't shoot them for invading your property, especially not if they were just asking to borrow the sugar. Similarly if they are threatening to shoot you, you are entitled to shoot them back.

    You are allowed to hold someone until the police arrive for any imprisonable offence. Its a citizens arrest.

    The farmer in question was Tony Martin, and the boys in question had been harrassion the entire village. Nearly every house had been burgled. However they were running away at the time so it was not reasonable to shoot them. It is reasonable to leave the police to catch them. Are your possessions worth their lives?

    Criminals might not obey laws but there is nowhere in the UK to buy guns. Simple possession of anything other than a shotgun is normally illegal unless on a licensed shooting clubs land, and even there gun ownership is strictly controlled. Weapons sold in the UK are nearly all in rural areas and the local police issue licences to those who need them. The local police will most likely know those with guns. It simplifies matters for the police greatly if they know that the person holding a gun is a criminal because he is holding a gun. I think that simply aiming at a police officer is an offence enough to warrent being shot at. Guns kill, why bother allowing them. We have an army to defend us, although I doubt we need one. I don't see any situation in which I might need to bare arms.

  7. It's more likely you're kids will get shot at in an american school.
    Maybe all the kids in american schools should have a gun for self defence too?
    What about all those silly accidents in the US, because daddys gun was in the cupboard, and little 9 year old billy shot his 5 year old sister because she took his chocolate bar?
    By making guns harder to buy you are making it much more difficult for the local criminals to get hold of some... and I'm quite happy to know that there aren't thousands if not more people who purchased their gun at a supermarket and are a risk to themselves and me because they can't use it properly.

  8. In my humble opinion the problem with easy access to guns is that it escalates the matter. The problem extends to other weapons than guns.
    In Germany, where I live, it is pretty hard to get by guns, so most criminals won't have one. The chance of being stabbed is magnitudes larger. But what would happen if we were allowed to carry guns around, like in the US? Wouldn't that entice criminals to carry guns, too? Maybe even legally?
    As a friend of mine, who is a police officer, recently said to me: "We used to carry semiautomatics, but now those suckers (=criminals) are carrying automatics, so we have to do, too. Maybe even rifles. And that will go on...". But bear in mind, that he is concerned with organized crime (call it mafia if you like) and that's a quite different story.
    Anyway, I digress. While I do respect the decision to have guns for self-protection and recreational purposes (hunting, gun clubs etc.) and do trust most gun owners to be responsible with them, educating their families about them and think before they shoot, I have this eerie feeling, that the race is on.
    The criminal might have a knife, so I will buy pepper spray, the criminal will act and get a gun, to be safer (yes, that's the reasoning), so I get one, too. Next, he will get a automatic handgun, so I get one, too. And round it goes.
    There lies the danger of easy access to weapons, not that you might cripple or kill someone with it. Hell, I could do that quite easily with my own hands.

    That being said, I'm not a gun owner (obviously, living where I live) simply because I'm not willing to be part in the escalation process. The problem of violent crime stems mostly from economic disadvantage and not from pure cruelty. Criminals are humans, too, although that doesn't lessen their crimes. But keeping in mind some basic christian values (or if you're not christian, chose the name of your value system, most of them will tell you the same idea) in most cases the solution is obvious: Do not let people rot in their problems, extend a helping hand before they turn to crime as a last resort of survival. It is my belief that most weapon-related crimes/killings/inuries and precursory crimes won't happen then.

    Call me an idealist, but this blog is about opinions, isn't it?

  9. Funny thing....guns are dangerous ? Who do you call when trouble strikes ? People with guns.

    Never been an armed hold up at a gun show...I wonder why?

    Britian and gun laws, is a government castrating it's citizens.

    dk

  10. message for Kay Roepke..............what utopian world do you live in? I admire your christian, yet foolish values. You do realise that the values you go by were set out 2000 years ago in some story past on down the years by men whose credentials cannot be challenged with recollections of what "actually" happened that's been re-written and regularly contradicts itself (hence the need for a new testament even way back then).....attitudes like that is what allows the criminal problems to rise unchallenged as we meet them with a "caring" punishment, if any, and sympathy for this poor misguided 'lamb of god' who really didn't want to commit a crime against your person but was forced to do so by the strains of modern life (which we are guilty of putting this pressure onto these miscreants to live a decent life.....oh what hardship for them??.......i'm being sarcastic for those who can't tell)
    The UK is a terrible place to live these days! A democracy that favours minorities?.....now that's a contradiction in terms! but that is what it is. Our government bends over backwards to appease the muslims (radical ones - better watch what I say here, don't want to offend them or infringe their human rights), homosexuals, transvestites (yes, you heard me) paedophiles and any individual who cares to shout about their "Human Rights" and when you speak up you're met with a tirade of personal abuse so violent that if you came from another planet you would swear the agressor was the so-called defender of moral rights, not the so-called "racist" like me (have you seen me mention race yet? Religion and sexual deviance yes but race? No)
    It's funny you know, our government turns a blind eye to the immigration problem. Illegals sometimes get caught, plead "human rights" and then are let loose to make their own way home? whatta joke, but it's true, our latest government ploy is to send a text message to them informing them they are illegally here and to go home.....how do they know their mobile/cellphone numbers but can't find them?
    This is not how to run a business let alone a country or even a way of life, nothing makes sense, it's a recipe for chaos and that is what it is at the moment for a member of the democratic (not in the american political party sense) majority of the UK these days.
    And as for the Global Warming con? don't get me started, I work in an environment analysing multiple (thousands) of data sources for manufacturing and all these scientists going on about "disaster" in the future are just using the phrase to get funding for their research and are using poor data sources for their conclusions. Apparently, you mention global warming or climate change when looking for funds and you are guaranteed to get it. Average scientists do this to enhance their profile for better things (recognition - a scientists holy grail) and in my opinion are conning the human race out of the progression of mankind by following this falicy of ice melting.....ice does that.....it melts.....sometimes and freezes other times.....do you get it? Yes, I still have 3 different refuse bins for paper, garden and household waste, that's common sense to do that and get the most from your material objects around you but my contribution wont' stop climate change.....controlling the sun would..... because it's the big yellow thing that causes climate to seem to 'change'
    Scientists eh? they once said the world was flat, later on they changed their mind and said it was round, in the 70's it was global ice age approaching, overnight it changed to global warming
    hmm....a change of mind again!
    Get the picture?

  11. This is not exactly on point, but makes for interesting reading: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/10/i_only_hang_wit.html

  12. embarrased to be british these days said on March 13, 2007:

    message for Kay Roepke..............what utopian world do you live in? I admire your christian, yet foolish values. You do realise that the values you go by were set out 2000 years ago in some story past on down the years by men whose credentials cannot be challenged with recollections of what "actually" happened that's been re-written and regularly contradicts itself (hence the need for a new testament even way back then).....attitudes like that is what allows the criminal problems to rise unchallenged as we meet them with a "caring" punishment, if any, and sympathy for this poor misguided 'lamb of god' who really didn't want to commit a crime against your person but was forced to do so by the strains of modern life (which we are guilty of putting this pressure onto these miscreants to live a decent life.....oh what hardship for them??.......i'm being sarcastic for those who can't tell)

    Wow, such hostility for Christianity shouldn't be surprising these days, but I'm still pretty amazed. For the record I myself am not tied to any organized religion, but do recocgnize your false claims. True enough the Bible has been "translated" so many times that it's difficult to figure out what the original intent was. But anyone who takes the time to find a source of translation based off of the original Hebrew. As far as the "need for a new testament" you're way off the mark. The reason for it is that (if you choose to accept the Bible as truth or merely just humor it for arguments sake) that the life and death of Jesus Christ changed everything. Everything.

    Furthermore, you are twisting Kay's words and meaning to fit into your own hostile take on things. She never said to not punish criminals in any way differently than they are now. What she said is, treat people kindly, extend a helping hand and perhaps they won't turn to crime as a last resort. People get desperate and do desperate things. What led them to desperation is really irrelevant, but it can and will cause people to behave out of character out of basic survival instinct.

  13. to Anonymous
    Aaah, the desperation of criminals, they never got the helping hand you talk of! I, and many others, do not turn to crime as acts of desperation because we do not receive an extended helping hand, we knuckle down and get on with it and respect other respectable people. A hungry man may steal from a shop out of desperation for himself and his family, but we're not talking about them are we? Maybe you should read the articles more and see that we are talking about criminals here, people who don't care about you, me or anyone else but themselves and having a laugh or good time at our expense then put on the puppy dog eyes when they get caught and say "sorry" and people like you defend them because they never got the helping hand you talk of. Wake up! So you think a mugger is doing it out of desperation do you, a bank robber robs because he needs to put food on the table? A rapist rapes because they can't get a partner? Another liberal comment from another doe eyed liberal!


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