"BBC elites confounded by their listeners" (self-defense related)


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Kharn
January 2, 2004, 07:32 AM
The American Thinker, 1/2/04: (http://www.americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=53)
BBC elites confounded by their listeners

The BBC recently gave its radio listeners a chance to express their will, but did not want to hear the result. The great unwashed mass, who cough-up the license fees which pay the Beeb’s freight, were asked to suggest a piece of legislation to improve life in Britain, with the promise that an MP would then attempt to get it onto the statute books.

Listeners to BBC 4’s Today program (the very same show which claimed that intelligence on Iraqi WMDs had been “sexed up”), reposnded with a suggestion that would allow homeowners to defend themselves against intruders, without facing legal liabilities. The winning proposal was denounced as a "ludicrous, brutal, unworkable blood-stained piece of legislation" - by Stephen Pound, the very MP whose job it is to try to push it through Parliament.

The Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/media/story.jsp?story=477413) reports that Mr Pound's reaction was provoked by the news that the winner of Today's "Listeners' Law" poll was a plan to allow homeowners "to use any means to defend their home from intruders" - a prospect that could see householders free to kill burglars, without question.

"The people have spoken," the Labour MP replied to the programme, "... the bastards."

Having recovered his composure, Mr Pound told The Independent: "We are going to have to re-evaluate the listenership of Radio 4. I would have expected this result if there had been a poll in The Sun. Do we really want a law that says you can slaughter anyone who climbs in your window?"

The Sun is a Murdoch-owned tabloid noted for photos of bare-breasted women and nationalistic support of Britain’s participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

MP Pound’s disdain for popular opinion is typical of not only British, but Western European elites, who consider themselves, and the nations whose public policies they control, to be vastly superior to the uncivilized Yanks, who carry guns and execute vicious criminals. Public opinion polls show that a majority of Britons favor capital punishment, but there is virtually no chance it will be re-introduced to Britain anytime soon.

Segments of the British public have been outraged over the jailing of Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, who shot a burglar who had broken into his house. In all probability, this outraged fuelled the votes which selected resulted in victory for the self-defense (or ‘vigilante’) law which won the BBC poll.

MP Pound plans cursory introduction of the bill which he promised, but will only go through the motions. He called it "the sort of idea somebody comes up with in a bar on a Saturday night between 'string 'em all up' and 'send 'em all all home'".

More on the story, from the Evening Standard (http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/PA_NEWPOLITICSMartinThur10Kille?source=)

Posted by Thomas 01 01 03

:rolleyes:
Kharn

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Kharn
January 2, 2004, 07:41 AM
Oops, I ran a search on some of the key words but came up empty, this thread's related to this other one. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=57101) (same events, different article)

Kharn

agricola
January 2, 2004, 09:02 AM
er......

i) the BBC is cited as "elitist" despite coming up with this idea and getting an MP to back it, as well as publicizing it so that the MP cannot simply "drop it";

ii) the Today programme did not claim that the WMD dossier had been sexed up - one of the journalists reporting for it did, and whats more he was clearly correct, as the Hutton Inquiry found out.

iii) my views on the Sun newspaper are known to most here.

AJ Dual
January 2, 2004, 10:16 AM
Agricola,

WMD, Tony Martin, and charges of elietisim aside, how do you feel about the actual legislation that the majority of Channel 4 listeners voted for?

armoredman
January 2, 2004, 10:20 AM
They desperately need a revolution over there....:cool:

agricola
January 2, 2004, 10:35 AM
dual,

i) its BBC Radio 4, not channel four which is a TV channel;

ii) the total number of votes cast was 26,000 odd, and a majority did not vote for this - only 37% did.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/01_january/01/listeners_law.shtml

Personally, it will never happen, thankfully.

TallPine
January 2, 2004, 10:40 AM
Do we really want a law that says you can slaughter anyone who climbs in your window?"
Sounds like a great idea to me! :)

Kharn
January 2, 2004, 10:43 AM
Even Maryland has the Castle Doctrine...

Kharn

Leatherneck
January 2, 2004, 10:45 AM
"The people have spoken," the Labour MP replied to the programme, "... the bastards." What? What?

Ag, how does it feel to be governed by elected officials that call a large constituency vulgar names? Has the collective spine of Brits turned to jelly? :barf:

TC
TFL Survivor

K-Romulus
January 2, 2004, 10:46 AM
but it only gets you a free pass from the duty to retreat . . .

Kharn: Any news on the MD CCW front?

Kharn
January 2, 2004, 10:50 AM
[Warning: thread hijack in progress :D ]
K-Romulus:
Sadly, no; its my senior year of college, there arent enough hours in the day. :(

Kharn

K-Romulus
January 2, 2004, 10:51 AM
I guess that was a hijack!!!

Now back to the regularly scheduled discussion:evil:

seeker_two
January 2, 2004, 11:05 AM
Personally, it will never happen, thankfully.

Hope your windows are securely locked, agricola...:rolleyes:

Ag, how does it feel to be governed by elected officials that call a large constituency vulgar names? Has the collective spine of Brits turned to jelly?

At least the British government has the cojones to insult their voters in public. American politicians still say "please" when they ask you to bend over...:what:

AJ Dual
January 2, 2004, 12:19 PM
Agricola,

Raido 4, and not a majority, simply the winning proposition. Points taken.

In your opinion, what level of force is a citizen of the U.K. justified in using against an intruder in one's own home? (Side note, what is the perfered collective term for someone from the U.K.? Englishman/woman is only England, Scott, Welsh, etc. Is it "Briton"?)

If they are in the act of intruding?

Are caught after intruding?

If after being caught doing either of the above, they refuse to leave but do not threaten or attack?

If the intruder threatens force?

If the intruder makes good on a threat, or attacks?

How the intruder attacks, body fists/hands/kicks, club/bludgon, Knife, Firearm?

No flames, just conversation.

If I've read correctly, you're usually defending the point that the situation in the U.K. is not as bad as the U.K. Right-wing press, and Americans on this board make it out to be. I've also gleaned that you feel that there is some kind of standard of "reasonableness" in the courts, and that the British .gov does not fail the people in matters of self defense in the way that it is often portrayed, correct?

With the exceptions of "make my day laws" for carjacking, "castle doctrine laws" for homes in some states, the legal standard for justifiable violence commited in self defense in the U.S. is "Reasonable fear for one's, or another innocent's, life, or of grave bodily harm." Now granted it's often construed as "reasonable fear" for a burglar, rapist, robber to enter your home uninvited, since most of our courts feel it's unreasonable for the victim to try and ascertain the culprit's intentions.

So I am trying to feel out exactly where you stand on violent self-defense, i.e. hitting, stabbing, shooting, etc. when it's OK, etc.

Langenator
January 2, 2004, 01:00 PM
Not self defense related, but...

It would have been funnier if the winning proposition was to end the "BBC tax."

Drjones
January 2, 2004, 07:26 PM
Personally, it will never happen, thankfully.

You aren't seriously stating that you do not want such a piece of legislation to pass, are you?

romulus
January 2, 2004, 07:37 PM
Personally, it will never happen, thankfully.
hahahahaahahahahahaaha...Ag is showing his true colors. He was mr. reasonable non-doctrinaire back on TFL.

fallingblock
January 3, 2004, 06:03 AM
Britain will continue her descent into a criminal's nation of choice:D .

agricola
January 3, 2004, 07:04 AM
The law as it stands says that you have the right to defend yourself and anyone else - and this includes deadly force, where it is reasonable. the oft-cited case (that of Tony Martin) is bad caselaw, because, as a jury of his peers AND a panel of judges at the Court of Appeal found, Martin was not acting in self defence as Barras was running away - as was the case in Tottenham of last year.

The law as it stands covers all eventualities effectively; the proposed law, if it makes it onto the statute books, would set a precedent in changing the age-old principle of self defence into something else. What about where the person is invited into the home and then refuses to leave? Or the person who has every right to be in that property but is the victim of a "mistake" by the occupier?

AJ Dual,

As I say above, where a violent attack (or a reasonable person could forsee violence being possible) takes place, or is about to take place, common law dictates that reasonable force can be used to prevent or stop such an attack.

Guys, high-profile cases make bad laws.

publius
January 3, 2004, 07:56 AM
What about where the person is invited into the home and then refuses to leave?

Refusing to leave my property is claiming some right to it. I've worked for it. That's claiming some right to my labor. That's enslaving me. I'll resist with violence.

agricola
January 3, 2004, 08:03 AM
roflmao

perhaps "enslavement" might be too strong a term?

publius
January 3, 2004, 08:07 AM
Help us out here, farmer.

the winner of Today's "Listeners' Law" poll was a plan to allow homeowners "to use any means to defend their home from intruders" - a prospect that could see householders free to kill burglars, without question.


It doesn't really say that, does it? I mean, even here is blood-soaked Florida, there are going to be lots of questions if I shoot an intruder. We also have a Castle Doctrine, but it only says that I do not have to retreat within my home. I can still only defend myself and others, but not my home itself, or any of my property. Personally, if someone breaks into my home and starts taking my stuff, I think I should be able to defend my stuff, but the law doesn't see it that way. When they ask me why I shot him in the back, answering that it was because his back was the part facing me would land me in the clink for a long time.

iapetus
January 3, 2004, 08:24 AM
In your opinion, what level of force is a citizen of the U.K. justified in using against an intruder in one's own home? (Side note, what is the perfered collective term for someone from the U.K.? Englishman/woman is only England, Scott, Welsh, etc. Is it "Briton"?)


Briton for singular, British as an adjective. Plural is Britons or British, depending on context (several Britons were involved/ the British do things this way).


As for British home defence law: I think you're allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself, others and your property, including lethal force if necessary.

"Reasonable force" is whatever you can convince the jury you genuinely believed to be reasonable in order to stop the threat you perceived.

Tony Martin went to jail because he couldn't convince the jury that shooting someone in the back as they ran off was reasonable.

(Also, I think that his description of the events didn't match the evidence. Something along the lines of "I stood here and fire warning shots in the air", when he actually stood here and fired at the burglars, or something along those lines, and that may have influenced the jury. As did the fact he used a completely illegal type of weapon (pump-action shotgun) and didn't have licences for all of other guns).

From the Daily Telegraph website:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F12%2F21%2Fnmart21.xml
His use of an illegally held pump-action shotgun and suggestions that he had previously expressed a hatred of criminals convinced the jury that he had acted with malice. Conversely, it made him a hero in the eyes of much of Middle England, for whom his case encapsulates the plight of people forced to fight rising criminality with scant police support.

Quartus
January 3, 2004, 09:14 AM
His use of an illegally held pump-action shotgun and suggestions that he had previously expressed a hatred of criminals convinced the jury that he had acted with malice.


Oh! :what: How dare he hold malice towards criminals! The brute!





Odd. California passed just such a law. The only noticeable result was a drop in burglaries.


Funny how that works.



Leatherneck, the answers to your two questions are:



[list=1]
They like it just fine. :barf:

That happened a long time ago. They are subjects, after all. Oh, there's a happy exception here and there, it's true, but by and large they're happy with they way things are.
[/list=1]

Leatherneck
January 3, 2004, 10:10 AM
Yup. Too bad. But they, as we, get what you demand in government. :banghead:

TC
TFL Survivor

romulus
January 3, 2004, 01:58 PM
Guys, high-profile cases make bad laws.

Ag, hard cases make bad law, not high-profile cases. Examples of hard cases I offer the following
...the person is invited into the home and then refuses to leave...
...the person who has every right to be in that property but is the victim of a "mistake" by the occupier...


The principle of "proportional response" seems to govern in the UK and other parts of Europe. Meaning if someone comes at me with a knife, first I must through reason (no quick decision-making based on experience and instinct allowed) determine whether the assailant intends to kill me, and if the reasonable conclusion (provided it is reached in time) is "yes, he does intend so", I must put my gun down and defend myself with a knife.

Luv'ly...

Bog
January 3, 2004, 02:42 PM
Well, here we go again - but this time, for real!

I got burgled about 2 months ago. The haul was pretty much my main work machine plus Wacom tablet etc. , pile of DVDs, favourite coat, partner's handbag... haul then driven off with in partner's car. Nice. Total immediate cost? About £10k UK (that's about $16,000 US for those who don't memorise exchange rates).

Please, for the love of Gh0d don't mention "insurance" to me - I've actually found something worse than taxes. If I turn up at an NHS hospital gushing blood, they'll at least caulk the wound and give me an aspirin - an insurance company would say "It's the wrong kind of wound".

I was asleep upstairs at the time.

So, one of my worstest fears have been realised - strangers creeping around my house after dark, stealing the stuff I need to do my work.

You know what? It's a damned good thing I didn't wake up and find 'em - I'd been saving for that laptop for *months*, and had only owned it since April.

The people spoke - and it was the educated, middle-to-uppermiddle class Radio 4 listership who did it! Trust me, you're talking about Mr. and Mrs Middleclass here. Picket fences. Tunbridge Welles. Listening to "The Archers" (a radio soap opera about a farming community) on a Sunday morning and organising the raffle for the parish church's new roof - your basic Backbones of Society.

Yes, those b*st*rds, thank you Mr. Politico.

To be honest, I've kind of relaxed myself into the fact that the only person who's going to take care of Bog and his dear ones (and things) is Bog. Agricola's work-chums, the Crime Scene Officer and forensic cohorts were *far* more interested in playing with the cat than in looking for spoor.

Sorry... I've been ranting for a bit... I'll calm down now and get to the point. Mr. Politico likes us living in fear. It's about control. They don't give a wet slap about the productive members of society, just in keeping us fearful and compliant, so Mr. Blue Suit can stand between us and them. Gah, it sickens me.

Frankly, I think that this radio poll is an encouraging sign. If we can have more of this - and oh, please! More politicians calling their constituents childish names - then you never know, the upswell might just carry the Nannyists out of office and get some grown-ups running the joint.

For myself... I'm installing more security and quite frankly the next person to break in is going to have a 220V 600 Watt ATX power supply over the noggin.

M1911Owner
January 4, 2004, 01:42 AM
California passed just such a law.
WHAT??!!!! I missed that law. Can someone fill me in, or post a link? Thanks!

Mk VII
January 4, 2004, 02:15 PM
Leader [translation: op-ed] in today's Sunday Telegraph.

"Two events last week highlighted the exasperation felt by the public towards law and order in Britain. In a Leeds magistrates court, David Francis Bieber was charged with the murder of PC Ian Broadhurst, accompanied on his short journey from a neighbouring police cell by an impressive escort of police armed with Heckler & Koch machine pistols.
On Thursday, Radio 4's Today programme announced the results of a poll in which listeners were asked: if you could create one new law, what would it be? The winning suggestion, backed by 37 per cent of the 26,000 listeners who voted, was a law "to authorise homeowners to use any means to defend their homes".
The right to defend themselves and their property was assumed by police in Leeds to an absurd degree. True, the murder of PC Broadhurst was the act of a vicious individual, but the suspect was already in custody, in handcuffs and unlikely to attract crowds of cheering supporters attempting to free him.
The very suggestion that members of the public be entitled to defend their property, by contrast, was greeted with horror. "My enthusiasm for direct democracy has been slightly tempered," the Labour MP Stephen Pound told the Today programme, appearing to backtrack on his offer to help bring the winning law onto the statute book.
Mr Pound was right on Christmas Eve, before the voting began, when he told the programme: "The great agony politicians have is that we are completely disengaging from the public."
It is not that the listeners who upset Mr Pound by voting for what he considered to be a bad law necessarily spend their nocturnal hours waiting with loaded gun for the opportunity to shoot an intruder, in the manner that the Norfolk farmer Tony Martin dispatched a 16-year-old burglar and injured an accomplice at his home near Wisbech in 1999. It is more that they regard as unjust a situation in which Mr Martin can be jailed initially for murder and his surviving victim free to sue him for damages, and believe this to be an issue which our political leaders have evaded.
The lack of understanding of crime shown by many MPs was typified by Andrew Stunel, a Liberal Democrat, on Friday's Today programme. The public should rest easy, he said: he had already committed himself to a Private Member's Bill which would "improve the crime-resistance of homes" by compelling homeowners to fit such things as burglar alarms and window locks. The first priority in the war against property crime, he thereby asserted, should be a measure to enable the prosecution of homeowners themselves.
It is precisely this inversion of justice which so upsets homeowners who have been burgled. Clearly the law should not condone the slaughter of scrumping children. But the balance of the law goes too far when it allows a burglar who cuts himself while climbing a fence the right to sue the owner of the fence. As we reported in our Crime in Britain survey last year, victims of mugging and burglary are sick of the apparent lack of interest shown in their plights, only to read of the bizarre lengths police forces will go to investigate groundless accusations of sexual harrassment or to prosecute motorists who forget to fill their screenwash reservoirs.
The problem of burglary cannot be tackled by new legislation alone. Burglary is, and has been for as long as society has been constructed, an offence. It is the practice of enforcement which is wanting. But there is one change in the law which needs to be effected if the general rise in crime since the Second World War is ever to be reversed.
We need to return to the concept of the "outlaw": a person who through his disrespect for the legal rights of others has forfeited his own right to protection under the law. Burglars should not be entitled to sue those whom they burgle. Neither should homeowners who attack intruders have the onus on them to prove, as they do at present, that they used "reasonable" force in self-defence.
What might seem reasonable in a courtroom, when it is known whether or not a burglar was carrying offensive weapons, is a very different matter from what a burglary victim might consider reasonable in the panic of the moment, in a dark house in the middle of the night.
Were the police to approach the task of protecting the public as seriously as they took that of protecting themselves at Leeds magistrates court last week, there would not be the anger that was demonstrated in the Today poll. If the police will not defend our property for us, the very least the Government can do is to prevent the law from persecuting us when we seek to defend our property ourselves.
"

Bog
January 4, 2004, 03:01 PM
As I keep saying "It's going to get worse before it gets better".

The fact that a demonstrable majority lying right across the better-educated slice of the populace is getting honked off enough to actually make an issue of this is good.

Current spill from the BBC News website (not that this is headline news or anything. If you didn't know to look for the article, you wouldn't find it).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3362661.stm (http://http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3362661.stm)

"A plan to allow homeowners to use "any means" to defend their homes is unlikely to receive parliamentary support, John Prescott has predicted.

"We can't have a situation of vigilante law," he told BBC Radio 4's Today show.

The bid topped the programme's poll on the private member's bill people would most like to see become law. "

Anyhoo, the Kontrolniks are doing their usual horrified bleating, and insisting that as long as we use "Proportionate Force" then the Law will be on my side.

Which, as we all know, is a big whopping pile of fertiliser.

Ho hum, pass the rum...

Zedicus
January 4, 2004, 10:04 PM
http://http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3362661.stm
Dead link dude....BBC probably removed the page when non uk citizens were noticed to be taking intrest...

Can't have any "Outsiders" knowing what goes on here now can they...:rolleyes:

Bog
January 5, 2004, 03:43 AM
<cleese> I'm sorrry, I'll read that again.</cleese>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3362661.stm

morganm01
January 5, 2004, 11:27 AM
IT would only reflect the reality. Fact is that many people would shoot first ask questions later anyway, if they could. I have no doubt that is what happens here a lot. How many stories have I read where an armed homeowner stops an intruder with a gun, then said intruder (unarmed) "charges" him, so he says, and is shot dead. No investigation necessary, no charges filed. I think everyone knows what actually happened in those cases, and no one voices any opposition. How does it feel to be in a "vigilante" society?;)

Actually, in the super lawsuit happy 90's I was told by the sherriff in my town to do just that. In case the idiot sues for injuries.

seeker_two
January 5, 2004, 11:52 AM
IT would only reflect the reality. Fact is that many people would shoot first ask questions later anyway, if they could. I have no doubt that is what happens here a lot. How many stories have I read where an armed homeowner stops an intruder with a gun, then said intruder (unarmed) "charges" him, so he says, and is shot dead. No investigation necessary, no charges filed. I think everyone knows what actually happened in those cases, and no one voices any opposition. How does it feel to be in a "vigilante" society?

Actually, in the super lawsuit happy 90's I was told by the sherriff in my town to do just that. In case the idiot sues for injuries.

And the problem IS?....:scrutiny:

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 01:23 PM
Agricola: So a bunch of people get to decide, sitting in a warm jury room, guarded by police officers, whether my response, made when woken up in the middle of the night by 2 idiots with crowbars, was "reasonable"?

agricola
January 5, 2004, 01:27 PM
micro,

yep - after all, we trust those same people with the rest of the legal system. besides, those people have only convicted when the evidence shows that the homeowners conduct was clearly not reasonable.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 01:33 PM
those people have only convicted when the evidence shows that the homeowners conduct was clearly not reasonable

Define "reasonable"? Is killing an unarmed guy climbing through your window "unreasonable"?



It would be an interesting tidbit that Russia recently introduced a law like the one those people want - because they said the "reasonable" thing led to too many innocent people getting imprisoned.

Mk VII
January 5, 2004, 01:46 PM
“What casuist, what lawyer, has ever been able nicely to mark the limits of the right of self-defence? All our jurists hold that a certain quantity of risk to life or limb justifies a man in shooting or stabbing an assailant: but they have long given up in despair the attempt to describe, in precise words, that quantity of risk. They only say that it must be, not a slight risk, but a risk such as would cause serious apprehension to a man of firm mind; and who will undertake to say what is the precise amount of apprehension which deserves to be called serious, or what is the precise texture of mind which deserves to be called firm. It is doubtless to be regretted that the nature of words and the nature of things do not admit of more accurate legislation: nor can it be denied that wrong will often be done when men are judges in their own cause, and proceed instantly to execute their own judgement. Yet who would, on that account, interdict all self-defence? The right which a people has to resist a bad government bears a close analogy to the right which an individual, in the absence of legal protection, has to slay an assailant. In both cases the evil must be grave. In both cases all regular and peaceable modes of defence must be exhausted before the aggrieved party resorts to extremities. In both cases an awful responsibility is incurred. In both cases the burden of the proof lies on him who has ventured on so desperate an expedient; and, if he fails to vindicate himself, he is justly liable to the severest penalties. But in neither case can we absolutely deny the existence of the right. A man beset by assassins is not bound to let himself be tortured and butchered without using his weapons, because nobody has ever been able precisely to define the amount of danger which justifies homicide. Nor is a society bound to endure passively all that tyranny can inflict, because nobody has ever been able precisely to define the amount of misgovernment which justifies rebellion……” Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History Of England (1840s)

Boats
January 5, 2004, 01:49 PM
Yes, the reasonable person standard must always be used. Never mind that such a standard is increasingly shifting to that of what the reasonable weenie would do. :rolleyes:

glocksman
January 5, 2004, 01:53 PM
Because I want to help this MP come up with a good law to introduce, I'll post Colorado's law on the subject.

1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant. (3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force. (4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.


Just change Colorado to United Kingdom, General Assembly to Parliament, and section 18-1-704 to whatever the relevant section of UK law is, and you're ready to go.

No need to thank me, Mr. Pound. I consider this to be my duty to my British brethren across the pond. :D

agricola
January 5, 2004, 01:53 PM
reasonable: acting against someone climbing in of your window

unreasonable: acting against someone climbing out of your window.

Kharn
January 5, 2004, 02:32 PM
agricola:
In England, what weapons/items/implements can a home owner legally use against an intruder (say, armed with a baseball bat) crawling into the house through a broken window at 3:30am, ala your "reasonable" scenario?

Kharn

agricola
January 5, 2004, 02:53 PM
kharn,

anything he or she has to hand - none of the legislation against offensive weapons applies on private property, and this would include firearms if they were available. however, if that person used those items in a way that was not in defence of themselves or others (as in both cases mentioned) then they would be liable for assault.

use of such weapons, whatever their legal status, does not affect the right of self defence in english common law - the oft-cited case of the BP executive who stabbed two muggers on a tube train shows this as clear as day (he was prosecuted for possession of the sword-stick and not for the assault).

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 02:57 PM
and this would include firearms if they were available

Or OC spray and Tasers, if they were available.

Or combat knives if they were avialable (Knife Control Act, 1997 anyone?)

Or ....

agricola
January 5, 2004, 03:28 PM
OC spray is classed as a section 5 firearm over here (ie provided you had the permit you could have it), and the various knives acts prohibit public carriage or sale of, not possession within ones own home of, knives.

Kharn
January 5, 2004, 03:32 PM
anything he or she has to hand
What does the above mean? The individual could use whatever is readily available, but he cant go digging for it in a night-table?

Kharn

Bog
January 5, 2004, 03:41 PM
Agricola,

Let's take a situation from a couple of months ago (as detailed earlier this thread).

Had I awakened, and come downstairs to find two people in my house, one making off with my most expensive possession, and one which is vital to my work, and the other with my partner's handbag (containing purse, palmtop, keys et al), what would count as reasonable force? There are two of them, and one of me. I'm an artist, out of physical shape, and apart from one term of Judo after school when I was about 9 completely untutored in any kind of fisticuffs.

Can you please just lay down a force/counterforce example set, starting with me yelling at them, and ending with me with a hammer in my hand and a dead theif at my feet (that aforementioned awful responsibility which I frankly never want on my conscience. I honestly don't know how much of a blow with what is required to kill someone) and the consequences thereof? I keep reading news articles about theives who break in, steal stuff, and when they break an ankle on the way out successfully sue the homeowner for "improper lighting", and would really like expert clarification.

Cheers.

agricola
January 5, 2004, 03:41 PM
kharn its a figure of speech

Bog
January 5, 2004, 03:45 PM
I've always been under the strong impression that if it looks like you're deliberately keeping a deadly weapon for use against a housebreaker, that's "premeditated" in some way, and therefore looked at more harshly under the eyes of the law. If I'm wrong about that, I'll stop twitting about with keeping power supplies and the like to hand and just invest in a stout bat of some kind.

glocksman
January 5, 2004, 03:46 PM
If I were in the same situation as depicted in this EDP storyboard (http://www.edp24.co.uk/Content/search/format.asp?url=/archive_nnow/features/tonymartin/htm/storyboard.htm), I would have done the exact same thing Martin did.

And under the law in most US states I wouldn't have been charged with any crime, and rightfully so.

Laws like the Colorado statute I posted earlier were written specifically with situations like this in mind.

If I'm wrong about that, I'll stop twitting about with keeping power supplies and the like to hand and just invest in a stout bat of some kind.

Pity.

As Martin demonstated, a Winchester 1300 shotgun is an effective antiburglar tool..

Here's mine.
http://glocksman.webhobbit.net/defender2.jpg

Winchester 1300 riot gun w/8 shot magazine in Robar's NP3 finish.
:D

agricola
January 5, 2004, 03:48 PM
bog,

Its doesnt indicate premeditation any more than a burglar alarm indicates a criminal conspiracy to burgle your house, especially something like a cricket bat which most civilized people have about the house anyway.

:D

HankB
January 5, 2004, 04:16 PM
The first priority in the war against property crime, he thereby asserted, should be a measure to enable the prosecution of homeowners themselves. This quote (as posted by Mk VII) by Andrew Stunel, a Liberal Democrat, does much to illustrate the problem - a warped "blame the victim" mentality. Sick - thoroughly sick.

It's around here in the USA, too . . . I recall a report on CBS news about an attempted carjacking, foiled by an armed victim. The news reporter claimed that by driving a car "with $700 hubcaps" some claimed the victim was looking for trouble. :barf:

Bog
January 5, 2004, 05:22 PM
Its doesnt indicate premeditation any more than a burglar alarm indicates a criminal conspiracy to burgle your house, especially something like a cricket bat which most civilized people have about the house anyway.

Ah, righto - I'll expand that statement to say "A stout yet cheap cricket bat, to which I'm not emotionally attached".... ;)

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 05:26 PM
OC spray is classed as a section 5 firearm over here (ie provided you had the permit you could have it),

How many people have such permits?:D

Mk VII
January 5, 2004, 07:11 PM
nobody

Kharn
January 5, 2004, 07:17 PM
Is OC spray categorized differently from normal "pepper" spray, or do all sprays require the same license?

On college campuses in the US, pepperspray is practically handed out like candy...

Kharn

Zedicus
January 5, 2004, 08:20 PM
I'm not sure, but i "Think" that they are both classified the same, or atleast in this area anyway...

Then again, According to our Local PD, so much Pushing a attacker away with your arms/hands/legs/feet constitutes Armed Self Defence, and is Illegal according to them.:scrutiny:

Although I am Seriously begining to Doubt the Validity of what the Police in this district say....
Especaly after what some Officers from other Districts have told me.....:uhoh:

I won't go into it now, but i will say that the info made me consider moving to a diffrent district...:scrutiny:

Don Gwinn
January 5, 2004, 11:02 PM
I'm glad my pump shotgun isn't illegal.

I do have to chuckle at the Catch 22--you can legally use a firearm to defend your family, but only if you have it readily at hand when the break-in occurs.

Unfortunately, having a firearm "readily at hand" is, if I have understood Agricola's past posts on the subject, quite illegal.

So you can either call the police and hope for the best, or use your gun and go to jail for having it.

But you can't be thrown in jail for using it, see, so what the 'ell are you complaining about, Subject 9489?

:banghead:

romulus
January 6, 2004, 12:49 AM
Ag, do you have personally a strategy for defending your life, limb, and property, within the confines of your home? What tools have you set aside for this "unlikely eventuality"? Just curious about how you intend to respond in, let's say, well, any of the scenarios you've described...or, let's say, guy gets in window, prances around house looking for goodies, maybe for a lovely lady to entertain himself with, and suddenly he bumps into you...what 's your plan of action?

Mk VII
January 6, 2004, 03:11 AM
they would all be classed as 'prohibited weapon - adapted or designed for the discharge of any noxious liquid or any other noxious thing'
Yes, you must not have your firearm readily at hand - if you do you will almost certainly be done for not storing it securely.

Moparmike
January 6, 2004, 03:40 AM
Actually, in the super lawsuit happy 90's I was told by the sherriff in my town to do just that. In case the idiot sues for injuries. I have heard from several friends (and was told by a former deputy now University PD officer) not only to do that, but to drag the body across the threshold into the house.

Far be it for me to tamper with evidence (unless its cold outside and the body is in the way of the door...;) ), I plan on having the body drop accross the threshold or just inside of the door. #8 birdshot at 10ft (3.1m) will most certainly put a whuppin' upon anyone that seeks to gain entrance to my home with dishonorable intentions.

Quartus
January 6, 2004, 06:29 PM
I have heard from several friends (and was told by a former deputy now University PD officer) not only to do that, but to drag the body across the threshold into the house.

Ah, yes, that's HIGHLY recommended!


...As a good way to turn a questionable or even a GOOD shooting into a homicide conviction.

Moparmike
January 7, 2004, 01:21 AM
I didnt say I would do it, nor do I condone it. I was just repeating someones bad advice as such.

jimpeel
January 7, 2004, 01:35 AM
It seems that Mr Pound's reaction to a rapist in his home would not be to pull the man from between his wife's legs and pummel him unmercifully. Instead he would hold the front door open, pointing into the street indignantly and making admoinishments to the man to "Never darken my door again" while waiting for the man to finish.

jimpeel
January 7, 2004, 01:47 AM
... prosecute motorists who forget to fill their screenwash reservoirs.
Puhleeeeeeze tell me they are being facetious!

jimpeel
January 7, 2004, 01:53 AM
Link to Mk VII's post on Telegraph Op-Ed (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fopinion%2F2004%2F01%2F04%2Fdl0401.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=42124) wjich is located HERE (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=703370#post703370)

jimpeel
January 7, 2004, 02:42 AM
A person is smashing his way into your window. You get your key, run to the gun safe, unlock it, assemble your double barreled shotgun, unlock the drawer where the ammunition is kept, load the shotgun and confront them.

It turns out he is unarmed but starts advancing on you saying "What? You gonna shoot me? Huh? You gonna shoot me? I'm gonna take that thing and shove it up your a--!"

At this point, I assume that the only option open to you, under the current law, is to shove the shotgun up his a-- as that is all he is threatening to do to you. If you shoot him, would it not be an excessive use of force as he was only going to shove it up your a--? I mean that would hurt and all but surely doesn't qualify as appropriate to the use of deadly force does it?

dustind
January 7, 2004, 05:53 AM
Double post, my bad.

dustind
January 7, 2004, 05:56 AM
For the love of god do not drag bodies, blood will splatter when you shoot and it will be ovious where the bad guy was standing when he was hit.

My advice is to think long and hard if you live in Britian and value your life or property.

romulus
January 8, 2004, 02:10 PM
Agricola just vanished into the Swansee...

Zedicus
January 8, 2004, 09:42 PM
*peers into a nearby cave*
Nope, don't see him in there....:rolleyes:

Back on Topic, I personaly see this Legislation getting a fair bit of support if it is ever made more widely known than it is now.

Far to many people are sick of the anti-self defence laws in this country, but Far to few will do anything....:banghead:

Geech
January 8, 2004, 10:01 PM
The people have spoken," the Labour MP replied to the programme, "... the bastards."

I sincerely hope this was taken out of context, although I cannot imagine what context would make this appropriate.

Mk VII
January 9, 2004, 05:40 AM
I just listed to the interview again
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/zthursday_20030101.shtml
and there was a twinkle in his eye as he said it (if it's possible to have such a thing on radio), after which both interviewer and MP had a laugh.
It'll be a cold day in hell before anything comes of this.

Bog
January 9, 2004, 06:48 AM
Hmm. From discussions I've had over the last day, it sounds like the Tories (Conservative Party) are saying they'll push something like this through if they win the next elections.

Will ya look at the size of this grain of salt? How am I ever gonna get that in my mouth?

I can't see anything immediate coming of it, no. What I can see is a soft, inertia sodden change, just enough to take the edge off the Peepul's anger at the current situation. Something to appease just enough of the outrage that the majority's off the cusp of direct action.

Holy howling hells, someone must have topped off my Cynicism Reservoir for Christmas....

publius
January 9, 2004, 09:14 PM
I do have to chuckle at the Catch 22--you can legally use a firearm to defend your family, but only if you have it readily at hand when the break-in occurs.

Unfortunately, having a firearm "readily at hand" is, if I have understood Agricola's past posts on the subject, quite illegal.

Given that you can't use it to defend your @$$, it's probably just as well not to have it readily at hand.

jimpeel
January 9, 2004, 09:39 PM
Agricola just vanished into the Swansee...Maybe he didn't like my question.

Bog
January 9, 2004, 09:54 PM
In my humble home-town, we've had another horrible one.

A LEO had his home broken into - he discovered the burglar in his loft. The burglar threw him to the ground, pummelled him, and ground his face into the loft insulation - glassfibre. Nasty His face is a wreck, and he's got partial sight from his right eye. The LEO then threw the man, and bopped him thrice about he head with a Mini Maglite (Yes, the 2xAAA cell one) and held him 'til assistance arrived.

Guess who has won his assault lawsuit.

That is correct. The burglar. it's front-page news (along with the cop's mangled face) of today's Reading Chronicle, my local paper.

Agricola, mate - your co-workers are now prey. I think your pose is truly untenable - we *HAVE* to be able to defend ourself, and the law, as it stands, is infantile and stupid. Really.

I'll transcribe the full story tomorrow.

jimpeel
January 9, 2004, 11:23 PM
Save the keystrokes. :D

http://www.getreading.co.uk/story.asp?intid=8627

http://www.getreading.co.uk/images/8627/cop.gif

POLICE FURY AT JUDGE'S RULING

Refuses to believe battered bobby over word of burglar

THE Police Federation has hit out at a judge who refused to take a police officer’s word over that of a burglar who beat him up.

PC Pete Scott suffered a breakdown after raider Paul Reilly attacked him in a loft Reilly had broken into, Reading Crown Court heard.

Reilly admitted the assault but claimed he was only acting in self-defence – a claim Judge Stanley Spence accepted, despite PC Scott and a fellow police officer saying it was an unprovoked attack.

Judge Spence’s decision on Wednesday means Reilly will be sentenced on the basis that he may have been attacked first, a decision described by Inspector Martin Elliott, chairman of the Police Federation, as “bizarre”.

The court was told Reilly hid in a loft in George Street after officers were alerted to an intruder on April 5 last year.

Giving evidence, PC Scott said Reilly, 27, ignored repeated orders to put his hands out and instead knocked him off his feet and pinned him down.

PC Scott said that Reilly, from Oakley Road, Caversham, then leapt on top of him, delivered at least six punches, before grinding his face into some roof lagging.

“I was trying to breathe but gagging on the insulation – I realised I was in deep trouble and of the opinion I was going to die,” said PC Scott. The court heard PC Scott lost a stone in weight following the attack and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

John Denniss, prosecuting, suggested Reilly wanted to “get the police officer out of action” in his desperation to escape.

Reilly’s attack was brought to a halt after former Judo champ PC Steve Purser put him into a headlock and struck him three times on the head with a mini torch.

But Reilly, a nightshift worker at the Tesco store in Napier Road, told the court on Wednesday he complied with PC Scott’s orders but was instead beaten by the officers.

He claimed this led to a struggle and he was only acting in self-defence. He denied pushing PC Scott’s head into the insulation.

Martin Jackson, defending, said Reilly only pushed, not punched, PC Scott and that he lost his balance and landed him on top of the officer. Reilly admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the basis of self-defence but the prosecution did not accept this.

Because of the discrepancy between the two versions, a court hearing (known as a Newton Hearing) was held to decide if the basis of the plea was accurate.

Judge Spence ruled it was, saying: “I have paid close attention to what was said by all the witnesses and their demeanour when giving evidence. I cannot be sure the defendant was not acting in self defence when he pushed PC Scott.”

Commenting on the decision, Inspector Elliott said he was shocked and angered. He said: “My officers stick their lives on the line day in day out to protect the public.

Once again this is a case of the judiciary not supporting the police service or the public and it is appalling that the judge said he could not make up his mind who he believed.

“Ninety-nine point nine per cent recurring of police officers are industrious hard-working people, who are paid to tell the truth and take their duty seriously.

“This is a bizarre judgement giving the benefit of the doubt to the perpetrator as opposed to the victims of crime. It is time the judiciary got behind the police force and the public.”

Reilly also admitted a charge each of handling stolen goods on April 2 last year and burglary on April 5 last year, both in George Street. He faces sentencing on Thursday, January 29.

romulus
January 9, 2004, 11:53 PM
Ag is a cop???!!!

dustind
January 10, 2004, 12:12 AM
Yes he is. His views on gun control are at TFL. I have not looked at them but he mentioned they were over there.

romulus
January 10, 2004, 01:05 AM
Yes, Ag was a fixture on TFL...He tried really hard to sound non-dogmatic on the question of armed civilians. I have to wonder what his reaction is to one of his brethren suffering the fate that befalls so many common subjects...

publius
January 10, 2004, 07:29 AM
The officer shouldn't have had that roofing material readily at hand.

Sincerely,

Farmer.

Mk VII
January 10, 2004, 10:13 AM
most police officers here:-
don't like guns
don't like the people who want to own guns
don't see why anybody should be permitted to own one.
would like to see a total ban on gun ownership " it can't possibly do any harm, and it might do some good".

publius
January 10, 2004, 06:22 PM
most police officers here:-
don't like guns
don't like the people who want to own guns

Nice. How do they feel about martial artists?

Moparmike
January 11, 2004, 03:39 PM
That criminal should have been shot. Too bad even the police have been disarmed. Dead burglars tell no tales. :evil:


I hope this is but one incident in a string of events that leads to a new policy on armed civilians and officers. Maybe if the officers are put in the place of a few victimized civilians, their attitudes might change.

Hopefully no one will be seriously hurt while they are stripped of their rights to defend themselves.

Bog
January 11, 2004, 04:18 PM
I'm increasingly of the opinion that the only way to effectively make change is for things to get so horribly broken that even Mr and Mrs. Middleclass sit up and bray with the frickened ickle sheepies. This is, of course, bloody irritating and shows a marked lack of foresight in most people.

Ho hum.

Iain
January 11, 2004, 07:31 PM
Hate to do this to you Ag but I'm not with you on this one. As far as I understand the law in the UK regarding self-defence what is required is a 'proportionate response' but in that moment how do I judge a proportionate response? It seems to me that the law is only useful to those who have been 'battered' by another who was acting in self-defence because it can be argued in court, much after the fact, that the use of the fire-iron was not 'proportionate'.

The complicated thing for me is that it is essentially one man (or woman's) word against another. But where it angers me is that the judge in the case referred to on this page says; 'I cannot be sure the defendant was not acting in self defence when he pushed PC Scott', it seems to me entirely unnecessary that he should have needed to act in self-defence had he not broken into another persons home.

A problem then arises when a hypothetical burglar is found dead. Being as that dead men tell no tales, and certainly no tall ones how do you establish that the homicide was justifiable? A law that allows 'instant despatch' of all intruders does pose problems for me as I am sure I have heard of cases where it has been used to invite a neighbour etc around with whom one has had a dispute and then kill him in an attempt to commit the 'perfect murder'. Proportionate response worries me as much.

On the subject of Stephen Pound MP and his reference to the electorate in unflattering terms, apparently it is a quote from a failed Californian senate wannabe, being reasonably pithy in that context. Unfortunately for Pound in this context it sounds like a whine, probably because he wishes to not become another Lembit Opik, charming, intelligent but ultimately ignored because he says we should be more worried about meteorites.

spartacus2002
January 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
I think one of our Supreme Court Justices, when discussing use of force in self defense, put it best: "detached reflection cannot be expected in the face of an upraised knife."

cracked butt
January 11, 2004, 08:22 PM
The good subjects of Britain will have to learn the 3 S's:

-Shoot
-Shovel
-Shut up

Bog
January 11, 2004, 08:26 PM
Frankly, I'd rather we learned the Boxes of Freedom.

publius
January 11, 2004, 08:45 PM
it seems to me entirely unnecessary that he should have needed to act in self-defence had he not broken into another persons home.



Stop making sense over there, will you? ;)

And dead men do tell tales. To coroners. Crime scenes tell plenty as well. We haven't had a rash of "perfect murders" here in Florida, though we do have a Castle Doctrine, which says we have no duty to retreat within our homes. I doubt there's a house on my entire street (which is about 20 miles long) that doesn't have at least one gun.

Bog
January 11, 2004, 09:17 PM
I have a fundamental memeclash here.

I'm very, very good at what I do - I'm a video graphics specialist, with a strong forté in 3D animation and it's associated fields (Compositing, editing, texturing, lighting, uncle Tom Cobley and all) - but I got into it before there was a "real" profession of doing 3D graphics. I have no degree. The UK is very forgiving of this, and the US, by all accounts, seems to have a hellalotta unemployed 3D kids.

And yet... the PRUK is a Victim State.

I honestly don't know what to do!

Bill Hook
January 12, 2004, 12:19 AM
Education is very open here, so you could probably go to night school, were you to emigrate. If you're as good as you say, then let your work speak for you.

romulus
January 12, 2004, 02:14 AM
Bog, with an impressive CV, a strong portfolio, and good references, you could make it here in that field. Trust me on that...

agricola
January 12, 2004, 01:20 PM
apologies, forgot about this:

i) the ludicrous decision about the Pc is relevant, but for the wrong reasons cited. Firstly, a system which can allow the individual to be defended from the power of the state (as expressed by the Pc), even in this nonsensical fashion, is one in which self-defence is clearly in existance.

ii) St. Johns - the right of self defence is not "proportional", but "reasonable" - eg its interpretation depends on what the court-invented "man on the Clapham omnibus" would do in the same situation. The problem arises where defendants lie about what happened and there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary - like Tony Martin.

If you react out of fear and surprise at an intruder and honestly fear you are under a serious threat then your right of self defence protects you. If you lie in ambush and shoot someone in the back as they are escaping it wont.

Dain Bramage
January 12, 2004, 02:29 PM
Agricola, your spin ability puts my wash machine to shame.

"i) the ludicrous decision about the Pc is relevant, but for the wrong reasons cited. Firstly, a system which can allow the individual to be defended from the power of the state (as expressed by the Pc), even in this nonsensical fashion, is one in which self-defence is clearly in existance."

Puh-leez! The only self-defence right that exists in this looking-glass world of yours is when the individual is mugging the state! Does anybody besides a criminal have any rights? Even the Rev. Dodgson's tall tales to little girls seem reasonable in comparison.

So, who needs RKBA when you can creep into a policeman's home and pummel him? :rolleyes:

agricola
January 12, 2004, 02:36 PM
er.....

it wasnt the policemans house, they were responding to a call.

Dain Bramage
January 12, 2004, 03:22 PM
Geez...I forgot that they arm your cops with sticks of warm cookie dough over there. Something about him whacking the burglar with his AAA battery mini-flashlight made my brain skip a beat and think he was off-duty in his own home.

<Clint voice on> Seeing that this is the Mini-Maglite, the largest, most powerful flashlight in the world, and could tear your head clean off with one blow...uhhh..actually it's not...but you could get a welt if I swing it really hard...or it could poke you in the eye...<Clint voice off>

So maybe resisting arrest is one of those rights they can enshrine in the new Euro-constitution.

jimpeel
January 12, 2004, 03:30 PM
Welcome back.

I would still like an answer to my interrogatory which I reiterate here for your edification.A person is smashing his way into your window. You get your key, run to the gun safe, unlock it, assemble your double barreled shotgun, unlock the drawer where the ammunition is kept, load the shotgun and confront them.

It turns out he is unarmed but starts advancing on you saying "What? You gonna shoot me? Huh? You gonna shoot me? I'm gonna take that thing and shove it up your a--!"

At this point, I assume that the only option open to you, under the current law, is to shove the shotgun up his a-- as that is all he is threatening to do to you. If you shoot him, would it not be an excessive use of force as he was only going to shove it up your a--? I mean that would hurt and all but surely doesn't qualify as appropriate to the use of deadly force does it?The question is: Can you shoot a man who is threatening to take your firearm from you and also only threatening to beat you with it?

I assume that if you stated in court, after shooting this unarmed suspect, that he had stated he was going to take it from you and "shove it up your a--", that the prosecutor would ask "Did he ever threaten to shoot you with it?"; to which you would be obligated to say "No."

I also assume that they would accuse you of escalating the confrontation by producing the shotgun prior to having knowledge that the person breaking in was unarmed.

agricola
January 12, 2004, 06:18 PM
jimpeel,

In short yes, you could shoot him and be covered by self-defence, but it would depend on the circumstances in each case- most reasonable people would assume that someone taking a gun from you who had broken into your home would reasonably be expected to shoot you with it. A warning to retreat wouldnt be necessary, but it would help to prove further your case.

I will say it again, but there is no "proportional" form of self defence in the UK- what is required is that the action be "reasonable". These terms do overlap, and I can see where the confusion arises from, but they are not the same.

jimpeel
January 12, 2004, 07:37 PM
Thank you. That does explain some things that are confusing.

The biggest problem I see is the Monday morning quarterbacking of just what was "reasonable" at that tme, in that place, in what circumstance by those who were not there but have preconceived "Well, I woulda ..." scenarios playing in their head.

publius
January 13, 2004, 06:51 AM
jimpeel,

In short yes, you could shoot him and be covered by self-defence,

If you had a gun readily at hand, which, of course, you could not do. :rolleyes:

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