NRA-ILA -- Yep, bad news to be a UK victim!


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P95Carry
June 10, 2004, 10:44 PM
NRA-ILA today .....

Britons Right To Self-Defense Practically Eliminated
The withdrawal of Englishmen?s right to self-defense is having dire
consequences in Great Britain: higher crime rate, weak sentences for
assailants, and even the victims end up thrown in jail, says historian
Joyce Lee Malcolm.

http://www.ncpa.org/newdpd/dpdarticle.php?article_id=133&PHPSESSID=a293fbeec324e52af29a6e29e4e03bce

A portion of the (brief) article. Nothing much we haven't heard before but it still appalls me.This did not happen all at once. The people were weaned from their fundamental right to protect themselves through a series of policies implemented over some 80 years, she says. Those include the strictest gun laws of any democracy, legislation that makes it illegal for individuals to carry any article that could be used for personal protection, and restrictive limits on the use of force in self-defense.

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Treylis
June 11, 2004, 08:50 AM
I was just talking with someone about the situation in England... and, yep, it's pretty grim.

TheEgg
June 11, 2004, 09:53 AM
Don't worry, Agricola will be along at any minute to assure us that there are NO restrictions on the right to self-defense in the UK.:rolleyes:

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 11, 2004, 10:10 AM
I have been hearing alot of "chatter" about this fundamental right of self-defence across the pond. They may grow a pair and actually do something to reurn the "right" to the people, I mean priviledge.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 10:11 AM
i suspect Agricola will be along, and he will be quite clearly correct. (http://www.bsdgb.co.uk/law.htm)

Anecdotes are not evidence. Anyone can post anecdotes to support their position.

And if there is no right to self defence in the UK, then no-one told this guy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3524350.stm)

Critical
June 11, 2004, 10:30 AM
Or maybe this one (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/3265379.stm)

See, we can swap anecdotes all day..........

Werewolf
June 11, 2004, 10:38 AM
I read the articles that Critical linked to. Interesting.

However, the problem I see is that UK self defence hinges on the use of reasonable/proportional force.

WHAT THE HELL IS REASONABLE AND PROPORTIONAL FORCE?

If a guy attacks me with a knife and all I have is a gun and I shoot him seems to me in the UK I'm gonna be spending time in the joint. After all I didn't respond proportionally or with reasonable force.]

That guy Martin got sent away for life for shooting two thugs who had repeatedly broken into his home and stolen from him and threatened him.

Anectdotal evidence aside - the right to self defense in England is all but dead.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 11, 2004, 10:50 AM
Or maybe this one

See, we can swap anecdotes all day..........

Let me make sure I have your argument straight. In this anecdote a man got drunk, grabbed a machete, went to another man's home and attacked him in the hallway of his home with said machete.

You are holding up the fact that the murder charges against the man who was attacked in his own home were dropped as evidence that the right of self-defense in England is healthy? :confused:

Critical
June 11, 2004, 10:55 AM
You are making the mistake of assuming that the onus lies on you deciding what is reasonable force. The onus is not on you.

""If there has been an attack so that the defence is reasonably necessary, it will be recognised that a person defending himself cannot weigh to a nicety the exact measure of his necessary defensive action. If a jury thought that in a moment of unexpected anguish a person attacked had only done what he honestly and instinctively thought was necessary that would be most potent evidence that only reasonable defensive action had been taken."

from here (http://www.bsdgb.co.uk/law.htm)

The Crown prosecution service also

makes this clear (http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/section5/chapter_d.html)
"In assessing the reasonableness of the force used, prosecutors should ask two questions:

was the use of force justified in the circumstances, i.e. was there a need for any force at all? and

was the force used excessive in the circumstances?

The courts have indicated that both questions are to answered on the basis of the facts as the accused honestly believed them to be:

The burden of proof remains with the prosecution when the issue of self-defence is raised. The prosecution must adduce sufficient evidence to satisfy a jury beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was either:

not acting to defence himself/herself or another; or
not acting to defend property; or
not acting to prevent a crime or to apprehend an offender; or
if he was so acting, the force used was excessive"

The Tony Martin case is extremely simple. Tony Martin lied about what happened. He "took the advice of his legal team" and changed his story about what happened. Thats why he was considering sueing his old legal team. You lie in court, don't be surprised when you get found out.

Also, under clearly established laws, which pre-date all the gun control laws which so seem to upset people 4000 miles away, someone running away from you out a window is not a suitable reason to shoot someone.

The Tony martin case is virtually unique. And it is not the exception that proves the rule. There are many more cases of proven self-defence, but people like Malcolm don't want to hear them. And incidents involving armed intruders are rare full stop.

I can also assure you, that if your a farmer and someone comes at you with a knife and you shoot them you wont go to jail.

Unless of course, you decide to lie about it........

Critical
June 11, 2004, 10:58 AM
"Let me make sure I have your argument straight. In this anecdote a man got drunk, grabbed a machete, went to another man's home and attacked him in the hallway of his home with said machete.

You are holding up the fact that the murder charges against the man who was attacked in his own home were dropped as evidence that the right of self-defense in England is healthy? "

from the article:

"Police arrested Mr O'Connor in connection with the incident but he was not charged. "

You don't have it straight. What murder charges?

And Malcolms article is claiming the right to self defence has been "practically eliminated". Bunk. I have also never claimed the law is "healthy". But it is there and is used way more often than you think.

There are areas where the law needs reform. But this kind of statement is hysterical claptrap.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 11, 2004, 11:19 AM
You don't have it straight. What murder charges?

You don't have it straight. I was referring to the Sofrin link you provided. Here is a quote from that article:

"A father of two has had a murder charge against him dropped after it was found he had been acting in self-defence.

Barry Sofrin, of Little Snoring, Norfolk, had been charged with the murder of fellow villager 44-year-old Richard Saunders who died in an altercation on 9 August 2003."

They charged him with murder after a drunk man broke into his house with a machete and attacked him in the hallway of his own home! The news story didn't even mention Sofrin having a weapon, the death was from Sofrin striking him as he fought a man armed with a machete.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 11, 2004, 11:29 AM
Wel, I hope the prosecutor and jury are available during the next attack so that they can provide real-time advice to the defendant. Otherwise, there is no clear allowance for self-defense and the defender must be ready to prove in court, against fickle standards, what is and is not allowed.

Iain
June 11, 2004, 11:39 AM
In the Sofrin case there is no reference to witnesses in those articles, nor whether or not these two had a history.

Just a thought.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 11:44 AM
Sorry my mistake, but the point still holds. The right to self defense has not been "practically eliminated". It clearly operates. And as the other example shows, it does not follow you will be charged by the Police if you act in self defense. Your incredulity is specious at best.


Fullmetaljacket:

"Otherwise, there is no clear allowance for self-defense and the defender must be ready to prove in court , against fickle standards, what is and is not allowed."

I post again from the CPS:

"The burden of proof remains with the prosecution when the issue of self-defence is raised

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 11, 2004, 11:49 AM
Ok.

But what is the standard for defining self-defense?

Can a citizen reasonably know what constitutes self-defense?

Critical
June 11, 2004, 11:55 AM
A citizen can reasonably know, but it is not an easy area. It isn't in any country. It would be considered reasonable to kill someone if they are armed or are attacking you. However it would not be reasonable if you knock someone unconscious and then batter them 30 times over the head with a baseball bat. Or if they are running away from you it is not reasonable to chase after them and stab them.

The best summary of UK law is here (http://www.bsdgb.co.uk/law.htm)

But again, we are moving away into an argument about what is self-defence. It is clear that Malcolms assertion that "self defense is practically eliminated" is bunk

Bartholomew Roberts
June 11, 2004, 12:06 PM
Your incredulity is specious at best.

Specious? I assure you my incredulity is quite genuine. Even in the parts of America that aspire to the self-defense laws of your nation, it would be extremely unusual to bring murder charges against a man who was attacked in his own home with a machete and fought back weaponless.

From your perspective, perhaps that seems regular and unworthy of comment. From my perspective, that you would cite this in defense of your nation's laws on self-defense speaks more to the issue than silence would have.

St.John
In the Sofrin case there is no reference to witnesses in those articles, nor whether or not these two had a history.

True. There might well be an explanation of why charges were brought that I would find perfectly acceptable.

The point (from my perspective) is that no information supporting that conclusion can be found in that story, yet Critical seems to feel that this is perfectly good evidence to present in support of the thesis that self-defense is well and good in England. The fact that it didn't even occur to him that this article could be construed as more of an argument against his case than for it tends to reinforce my belief that the mindset there is much different than the U.S. and not something I wish to see take root here.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 11, 2004, 12:12 PM
Can the average person read and understand that long dissertation? Can you summarize, in lay terms, what the average guy is allowed for self-defense?

I submit that unless the law is very clear regarding self-defense, then the person being assaulted may hesitate to consider the legal ramifications of defense. That is where I draw the line. If the defendant is more worried about the courts than his life, then you have no right to self-defense.

Over here in the good ol USA it is real simple:

"I feared for my life" is justified in most areas. As well as "my home is my Castle."

However, more socialistic areas, such as California, are adopting the British slide where if you have a route of escape, then defense with lethal force is not justified. That is why we are interested in the happening there. Many "enlightened" jurisdictions here take their lead from Britain and Australia. Which ultimately spereads like a bad rash.

If the lack of self-defense is seen as a problem there, then we can point to it here and say that IT DID NOT WORK.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 12:13 PM
"Specious? I assure you my incredulity is quite genuine. Even in the parts of America that aspire to the self-defense laws of your nation, it would be extremely unusual to bring murder charges against a man who was attacked in his own home with a machete and fought back weaponless"

And theres the point in a nutshell. It's extremely unusual in the UK too!! People like Malcolm take cases like Tony Martin and portray the exception as the rule. Malcolm only wants to talk about the cases she thinks support her case. Its the only cases you will read about on here.

Theres a name for that.

Hysteria.

there are plenty of cases where people have fought back against attackers. But Malcolm takes difficult cases to make sweeping judgements.

There has to be balance in cases of self defense. Is it perfect? No? Is there a case for reform? Possibly

Are Britons unable to defend themselves? Hysterical garbage........

Critical
June 11, 2004, 12:21 PM
"Can the average person read and understand that long dissertation? Can you summarize, in lay terms, what the average guy is allowed for self-defense"

I already have above, but the thing is, the average lay person wouldn't even bother to read it. Why?

Becasue, on the whole they aren't worried about it.....

Partisan Ranger
June 11, 2004, 12:23 PM
Lady I know is moving her whole family to Australia. Sounds nice but I almost wanted to warn her she can't defend her family with much of anything down under anymore. Not even a sword.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 11, 2004, 12:27 PM
Becasue, on the whole they aren't worried about it.....

:confused: Crime is on the rise and nobody is worried about self-defense?

F4GIB
June 11, 2004, 12:29 PM
CRITICAL posts I have also never claimed the law is "healthy". But it is there and is used way more often than you think.

Critical, I notice that you are new and that your profile is blank.

Do you live in the UK?
Are you law trained?
Do you have a police or prosecutor background?
Why should we pay attention to your postings?

Have you read Olson & Kopel, All The Way Down The Slippery Slope: Gun Prohibition in England and Some Lessons for Civil Liberties in America, 22 Hamline L. Rev. 399 (1999) ? It is available online at http://www.davekopel.org/2A/LawRev/SlipperySlope.htm

P95Carry
June 11, 2004, 12:32 PM
F4GIB ... I also am wondering about a very empty profile. It'd be interesting to know the background... and I'm not being facetious.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 12:34 PM
"Crime is on the rise and nobody is worried about self-defense?"

no i never siad that. What I am saying is that the chances of being faced with an intruder or an assailant, armed or otherwise is so small, worrying about what self defense laws are is not somethging most people bother about.

Of course, you might get mugged, you might get robbed, and there are some bad areas for crime, but most people are not cowering in their homes afraid to go out.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 12:36 PM
Do you live in the UK? yes
Are you law trained? As much as my duties require - see below
Do you have a police or prosecutor background? Policeman for 22 years
Why should we pay attention to your postings - :confused:

Iain
June 11, 2004, 12:44 PM
I'm about to head across country for a week, annoyed that this has popped up now.

Critical - welcome to THR. No-one has said that yet.

jfh
June 11, 2004, 12:45 PM
than you would have otherwise on this board.

so while you may post with complex responses, you'll gain a lot in credibility if you back them up with something of yourself.

Clearly you are at a spot no better than offering (perhaps) considered opinion. I can do that, too--and IANAL.

Iain
June 11, 2004, 12:49 PM
Er... jfh?

How exactly do we ever establish credibility over the internet? Especially in the space of ten posts.

For instance I just noticed that my profile says I live in Durham. I haven't lived there for three months.

Play nice with the new guy.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 12:49 PM
I didn't fill out my profile because frankly I fill out enough bloomin forms........:D

jfh
June 11, 2004, 01:00 PM
and add more to the profile--I don't think you'll get harassment if you do.

FWIW, my grandfather emigrated from Birdlip in the 1870s. He had no opportunity for land ownership, and he wanted to farm. (Actually, he really just wanted to hunt--why else would he have sold a farm near Redwood Falls, MN, where the soil is some of the best anywhere, and move to a farm near Warroad, MN--where the growing season was a month shorter--but the deer were plentiful.)

One of the real issues for us here in the US in understanding English culture and law, I think, is that we often have no more than stereotypes, some of which are simply political cant, to know more of the UK culture in issues such as these.

I've read St.John's comments as much as I can to gain insight into the current culture regarding firearms--and I'd like to learn more.

From where I live, I would rather have my (nominal) fifty guns in my own gun safe, and my S&W HP special with Hydro-Shoks in the bedside table, or the S&W 4069 in the other bedside table--and the Benelli Super 90 in the closet, and know I will probably not be arrested for dispatching an intruder.

To deal with one of those stereotypes, then, as we have been doing--then I think I need more of a set of citations showing that self-defense by the average UK (British?) subject is not unduly hindered by a complex set of law subject to political interpretation.

jfh
June 11, 2004, 01:08 PM
but if you two form up to defend the AWB extension, I'll start ranting and ask the moderator to move this to the roundhouse forum, or whatever it's called. :D

One other expansion--keep in mind, (as St.Johns knows, I am sure)--US gunnies are absolutely flummoxed by the common law and NO written Bill of Rights--and keep in mind that many of us have sustained a deeply-held national identity as the descendents of The Rebels--aka The Founding Fathers.

So, any comments you would make in those areas should probably give us some good exchanges.

carpettbaggerr
June 11, 2004, 06:15 PM
Welcome to THR, Critical. My profile's blank too. :uhoh: Are cops in England still unarmed, or do they carry guns now? Seen both claims on the 'Net, and I'm wondering which is the truth.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 07:46 PM
Most officers are unarmed. There are specialist firearms units which we call on if need be, but off the top of my head there about 5000 officers authorised to use weapons in England and Wales from a strength of about 130,000 officers. Armed force is subject to strict rules of deployment and engagement.

There have always been Police officers who have been authorised to carry firearms. A lot of met officers carried them up to the 1930's.

Critical
June 11, 2004, 07:47 PM
Incidentally, am I missing something or is there no "quote" function?

P95Carry
June 11, 2004, 11:40 PM
is there no "quote" function? Admin has that switched off .. IIRC mainly because too many people quote whole posts unnecessarily .. and purely gobble bandwidth.

If you want a selective quote from part of a post, copy it to clipboard and paste into the following .. but use square braces instead of curlies.

{quote}you quote{/quote}

or use the quote button above in the message reply window to open a small window and paste into that. Does the tags for you.

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