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U.K.: "The British Gun Closet"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by cuchulainn, May 14, 2003.

  1. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    from the National Review

  2. agricola

    agricola Well-Known Member

  3. KMKeller

    KMKeller Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed very laughable... your country and its policies are indeed very laughable.
  4. lapidator

    lapidator Well-Known Member

    yeah... this is a real knee-slapper.

    yikes! :uhoh:
  5. agricola

    agricola Well-Known Member

    why is it that some of you spend hours deconstructing the inaccuracies in the likes of Bowling for Columbine, and yet ignore these:

    i) Some teenagers who perpetrated an unarmed gang homicide on a random stranger were last week sentenced to terms of 2-4 years.

    these kids were not found guilty of the murder - the actual killers got life.

    ii) The same week, reports the Evening Standard (4/29), "An evil young killer who stabbed a complete stranger through the ear with a hunting knife" was sentenced to seven years in prison.

    this is either a typo or is made up - the actual story is: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/4584417?source=Evening Standard and the 16 year old youth was sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure (ie life) on the understanding that he serves at least 7 years 10 months. That is not "sentenced to seven years".

    iii) The bombers grew up in England in a secular, English-speaking, integrated environment, but then fell under the influence of hateful clerics in England, so the connection between terrorist incitement and terrorist action is clear enough. The civil-liberties merits of tolerating terrorist clerics is far outweighed by the massive loss of liberty for non-terrorist citizens that would follow the nearly inevitable advent of jihad bombings in Great Britain.

    This is verbatim from the likes of the Sun, Mail and Express. It ignores all the arrests and convictions of Islamist clerics who preach race hate and wishes to paint the picture of a rampaging Muslim youth out of control in the UK. On one hand Kopel states that HMG denies civil rights by firearms controls; on the other he criticises HMG for not cracking down on free speech.

    iv) Using force to resist a crime seems to trouble the government a great deal. A businessman who hit a pair of burglars with a brick was prosecuted and called "an unmitigated thug" by the government (Daily Mail, 5/1). Yet the jury acquitted the victim, since British jurors do retain the right to acquit a morally innocent defendant who has technically violated the law.

    he would have been called "an unmitigated thug" by the prosecution, not the Government. The man was found not guilty, presumably on grounds of self-defence - which at a stroke disproves all of Kopels statements about self-defence being illegal.

    v) and the suppression of every form of non-government use of force against criminals.

    see above. The oft-cited cases, those of Martin and the bloke from Tottenham, were found guilty because a jury of their peers thought them guilty. For each of these, there are far more cases where the right of self defence has been upheld. Do a google search for "Duncan Ferguson" and burglar for the truth of this.

    vi)The right to silence has been abolished, the right to jury trial has been restricted, surveillance cameras are pervasive, and wiretaps and e-mail intercepts are skyrocketing

    The right to silence has not been abolished. if you choose to excercise that right then the Court may draw conclusions from that, especially if the defendant raises something in his defence that he failed to answer when questioned. The right to jury trial has also not been restricted - one can demand a jury for most criminal matters. CCTV has taken off, precisely because it has proven to be effective at detecting crime; and CCTV evidence has proved vital in so many murder and anti-terrorist investigations - James Bulger, the nail bomber Copeland, the Real IRA cell and so on. Wiretaps and e-mail intercepts remain very rare; Hitchens (and Kopel) are confused by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which governs these investigative practices.
  6. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    You're equivocating. The right to silence refers to a ban against the prosecution using your silence against you. As you so clearly describe, that ban has been abolished.

    Thus the right to silence has been abolished. Period.

    It's as if you are saying people have the right to free speech in Totalitarian-stan, but if they choose to exercise that right, the government might imprison them.
  7. agricola

    agricola Well-Known Member


    no, you still have the right to silence.

    the prosecution can only use your silence if you state at trial something which you were asked in interview and did not answer. thats the same as stating something different in interview than you do as trial. the court can draw an inference (which is not evidence) if you do that, or fail to take the stand, or remain silent when asked a question.

    (edited to add the last part)

  8. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    Yeah, and people in China have free speech, but might go to jail for exercising it.

    People remain silent -- even when they have valid defenses -- because they are under pressure and they are not trained lawyers. Thus, they may inadvertantly say something that can be twisted against them or be taken out of context.

    The right to silence refers to the right to let the trained, professional lawyers speak for you under the controlled and **OPEN** atmosphere of a public trial, and it involves a ban on the prosecuction from using your prior silence against you.

    That right has been abolished.

    You are equivocating.
  9. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    No, no, wait ... I take it back.

    Gutting entirely of its original purpose and power and rendering effectively useless is not the same thing as "abolishing."

    That's why HM's subjects still have the RKBA too!

    All is well.
  10. agricola

    agricola Well-Known Member


    no it doesnt. all of our rights, in both countries, are qualified to some extent, even and especially your BoR rights. because you can be arrested for shouting fire in a cinema doesnt mean you have no free speech, does it? does the AWB mean you have no RKBA? of course not. all the supposedly-inviolable rights have qualifications that society imposes on them.

    where a person remains silent because he is denied legal advice (which would render all subsequent evidence invalid btw) then the significance of that silence would be nil. the same applies if the prosecution fishes in its questioning. IME the only time such inferenences are drawn is in "no comment" interviews where subsequently the defence tries to state that there is a legitimate reason for whatever the question is about - eg: burglar breaks into home, leaves fingerprints, gets arrested, makes no comment interview, then at trial claims he is a friend of the family / gas board official / carpet fitter that worked at the house hence the marks - something that is usually false but the defence hopes to ambush the prosecution believing that they dont have time to disprove that.

    your silence is not evidence. your silence when asked about things for which you are on trial, after you have recieved legal advice and when its your oppurtunity to have your version of events on record can (as indeed it should) allow people of the jury to ask themselves why you did that.

    if further evidence was needed that the right to silence remains, its that defence lawyers still advise their clients to remain silent. the ambush defence is, sadly, alive and kicking.

    also, we have never had "RKBA" as a nation. check the history, please.
  11. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    Your silence can be used against you in a court of law.

    No amount of equivocation will change that a primary reason for the right of silence -- keeping silent until (and/or during) the trial -- has been effectively abolished by allowing a "penalty" for using it. The "penalty" is allowing your prior silence to be used against you.

    Edited to add: The defendant should have the option to remain silent at trial or raise a defense at trial regardless of what transpired during the investigation. This rule penalizes the latter.

    And spare me the further equivocation:
    Evidence is made up of facts which a jury/judge can consider when deciding your case, and silence is now a fact which a jury/judge can consider when deciding your case.

    No such thing. The defendant should (and did) have the right to remain silent. Period. Thus, he should have no obligation to provide his defense prior to the trial.

    Edited to add: The prosecution has a duty to come to trial able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant is guilty. Not anticipating and accounting for a possible defense is not being "ambushed" but a sign of incompetance on the part of either or both the police or the prosecution.

    If the defendant brings a formerly un-uttered defense that is nonetheless true -- nothing whatsoever should apply negatively to the prior silence (i.e. no inference allowed). If the defendant brings a false defense, his silence is irrellevant -- the prosecution has a duty to show why it is wrong. If there are fingerprints, for example, then it is the prosecution's duty to rule out -- prior to trial -- his being a family friend or gas meter reader. This duty exists regardless of whether the defendant actually makes such defense prior or during the trial.

    Indeed failure to fully investigate such possibilites are in themselves proof of the prosecution's failure to establish guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt and should be used against the prosecution's case regardless of what the defendant claims.

    Apples vs. oranges. Infringe (apple) vs. abolish (orange). The AWB infringes the RKBA. Your silence rules effectively abolish the right to silence by putting up penalties (allowing negative inferences) for exercising it in the primary way it was intended -- keeping silent until and if you decide to break silence.

    You did have it, though it certainly was not codified like ours.
    Last edited: May 14, 2003
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    I am finally beginning to understand how they lost the Empire. Brutal stupidity.

  13. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    There, but for the Grace of God, Go We.

    Uh, god? We can use a little more Grace here, on our side of the pond with respect to RKBA and self defense....

    At least the british subjects remember jury nullification.
  14. T.Stahl

    T.Stahl Well-Known Member

    If I could choose between means that will help the court to prosecute my murderers or means that will help me to prevent that murder...

    Sorry, as much as I'd like to visit the Brecon Beacons, the Highlands and your military museums again, travelling to a country where I'll be fined for carrying even a pocket knife is not an option.
  15. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    It's all over for England. Only a revolution could restore any semblance of civil rights, and frankly, I can't imagine those sheep ever mustering the courage even to contemplate the idea of a revolution.
  16. agricola

    agricola Well-Known Member

    go back to your usual comment plz SW, its more correct.
  17. Mk VII

    Mk VII Well-Known Member

    you can remain silent until the trial and then produce your explanation - but you'll almost certainly get an order for prosecution costs made against you, as by your silence you "misled the prosecution into believing it's case was stronger than it was" - so here's a de facto fine for wasting everybody's time. Actually, it's difficult to see why you would want to stay schtum in those circumstances. Doing a Perry Mason number to escape with one bound might be dramatic but in the real world no defendant wants to spend time and money going to the courthouse when they can stop the whole process before it gets that
  18. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    Sheeple making 101...

    As Dennis Praeger says "The Criminal Justice system is a lot more criminal than it is justice.."
  19. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Well-Known Member

    Well, that and an obsessive compulsive desire to control everything and log all the details. I think it is their compulsiveness which actually sealed the casket. It comes across as stupidity but it is really more misdirection than anything else. Kipling once wrote an entire book of poetry dedicated to the bean counters of the British Empire. :rolleyes:
  20. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    agricola wrote:
    Help me out here. In the US, prosecutors work for the government and speak for the government in prosecuting a case, so when they say something, it is resonable to conclude that they're stating the government's position. (Unless a prosecutor says something so off the wall that higher level officials feel compelled to step in and repudiate what was said. ) By your statement above, you appear to be saying prosecutors in the UK don't speak for and represent the Government in criminal cases.

    So the clear implication is that UK prosecutors don't work for and represent the government.

    Please explain why statements by UK prosecutors do not represent the government's position.

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