Politicians say it might be ok to fight back!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Letterwritingman, Dec 7, 2004.

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  1. From the T'Graph

    "Michael Howard, the Tory leader, has said homeowners should have the right to defend themselves and their property.

    He is calling for householders and shopkeepers to be given new rights.


    The Tories are to call for homeowners to be able to defend themselves
    "The fear of imprisonment or physical harm should lie with the intruder, not the homeowner," he said at a press conference at Conservative Central Office in London.

    "The law must be on the side of the victim, not the burglar.

    "If a burglar breaks in, attacks you and you defend yourself, you can find yourself in the dock.

    "Most people think that's absurd - typical of the topsy-turvy, politically correct world in which we live."

    Patrick Mercer, shadow homeland security minister, has drawn up a Householder Protection Bill, which would make it legal for people to take violent action to defend their property against burglars.

    David Davis confirmed the proposed legislation would also apply to shopkeepers who may be confronted by violent criminals.

    The issue has been high on the political agenda since Sir John Stevens, the outgoing Scotland Yard chief, said in an exclusive interview in The Daily Telegraph at the weekend that those who attacked burglars should face prosecution only in "extreme circumstances" - even if their actions resulted in the death of an intruder.

    Sir John suggested that it was acceptable to use maximum force as long as it was not "gratuitous".

    Householders can currently use "reasonable force" to defend their property, but Sir John said the public were unsure of their rights because the law was ill-defined.

    The debate was reignited last week when bond dealer John Monckton, 45, was knifed to death and his wife, Homeyra, seriously injured after two men - one posing as a postman - forced their way in to their home in Chelsea, west London."

    Who is it that makes the law?.............................if I remember Laws are representetive of the veiws of the majority of a society. Why is a burglar given more protective rights and priviledges than my children in their own home? Why can I be prosecuted for having glass cemented into the top of my wall..........surely anyone with a lawful right to have been there would have been given a H&S briefing? if so that surely exempts me fron responsibility?.............ad nauseum :roll:
     
  2. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    There is a prescedence for dealing with this type of tragedy, and the answer is very simple.

    Ban all postmen.
     
  3. The only fault in Mr. Howard's plan is that - errr - you already do have the right to use reasonable force on lawbreakers. That goes up to and including death, in the case that you thought your life was directly threatened. You do have the right to brain anyone who nicks your stereo, you don't have the right to chase them down the street with a chainsaw and cut their head off.,

    In the light of this, is this Bill just an exercise in political spin, or just an exercise in political spin?
     
  4. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    The problem is that 'reasonable' is a legal definition that most people don't understand.

    The law needs to be much clearer on the level to which you can use force.

    Reasonable stops once the intruder stops being an intruder...i.e. left the building, is trying to leave the building or is incapacitated or surrendered.

    problem being that you have a whole host of things that stop it being reasonable.....i.e. the use of a weapon that is kept in the house for the deliberate reason of defence is illegal. So storing a baseball bat under your pillow is illegal if you aim to use it to brain a person entering....as that is a pre-meditated assault.

    Basically if you make the law nice and simple.......if someone enters your house without your permission for an illegal purpose you are entitled to carry out any action you deem necessary to remove said person.....then there is no interpretation problems for those who ain't lawyers.
     
  5. I'm sure you are right about death possibly constituting reasonable force. It's not many years since a career bad guy was acquitted of murdering a police officer who was conducting surveillance from the shrubbery in his garden.

    I don't think you are right about using force to protect preoperty, though.

    In either case I want a new dispensation - the right to use unreasonable force to protect both life and property. I want to be able to give the blighter a good hiding with a cricket stump and maybe break a few bones to ensure two things - first he regrets coming into my house and second that he stays quiet until Mr Plod arrives.

    And if he shows any ability to resist that successfully, I want to be able to shoot him. Same if his mates turn up mob-handed later on.
     
  6. Reasonable force without a weapon is a joke. Especially if said said scummy burglar enters my property with a weapon or decides he can grab one from my kitchen when he is being leathered.

    Reasonable force means making sure he has no opportunity whatsoever of getting past me to mrs m or 8 year old daughter. That is why conversation recently held at my new house was along the lines of where is the baseball bat from side of bed that was there before we moved house?

    It is back beside bed now. Just part of good mil skills like checking loading list etc. My duty of care is to mine. Scum don't want to meet my bat they shouldn't enter chez moi.

    Used to have rubber mallet next to bed so I could use defence of having rubber mallet rather than metal version when crowning scum. However, having re-assessed requirement have exchanged rubber mallet for baseball bat.
     
  7. Vasco, I'd forgotten about that scum Noye getting away with skewering a cop with a pitchfork. Thanks for the reminder as it's a bloody good example.
     
  8. I believe that Noyes defence was that he didn't know that the snooper was a copper. I would suggest that if someone you don't know was acting shiftily round your place you would also have a go unless he got his warrant card out pretty sharpish.

    In that case however I believe Noye just took advantage of the situation and murdered the policeman and should have been done for it.
     
  9. Noye, yes, that was the man. He was later put away for the M25 road rage murder. There's a creature who is walking proof that capital punishment should never have been abolished.

    As for having a go at someone in the shrubbery, I have to admit that my reaction would be to stay inside with the doors and windows barred and call the Old Bill. However, they would probably be persecuting motorists, so I'd have my persuader handy.
     
  10. I have heard more intelligent debate on self defence on ARRSE in the last few threads than anything I have heard on Radio 4 for the last few days. I have even emailed them to say they have completely missed the point on. It makes me wonder if the beeb have any good researchers or whether they are in cahoots with the government.

    The point about all this is whether the force is 'reasonable' depends on the threat at the time. Clearly when someone breaks in to your house you can't quantify the threat and therefore can not guage what is reasonable. Are they there to rape and kill your family, in which case you could use virtually any means, or are they just after your video for some drugs money? Here is the crux of the problem with the current law. Personally I wouldn't want to wait to find out and would assume worst case.

    No one wants to see the US system where by if someone wlaks on your lawn you can gun them down, however this area needs to be re-thought. The only advice if you wnat to have a weapon is to use something that is not designed to be an offensive weapon and might be lying around the house. This is the beauty of Maglite torches as you can say you just had it in your hand to see what was going on. Use of aerosols, tools etc will always be better than having a machete or baseball bat at home.
     
  11. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    8O

    Bloody hell ! You've started on the hard stuff early !

    Is it happy hour in the Mess for Sports Afternoon ?
     
  12. However does this mean they are going to be more tooled up? All very well being able to crack the cnut over the nut, but what if he is now carrying? Your****ed - big style.
     
  13. That's the whole point!

    HE is the aggressor and you DON'T know what he's got... So my response can only be to assume the worst.

    Some may call this premeditation; I call it a proper AND proportionate response to a problem that I perceive to be a clear and present danger to my family, myself and my home.

    Retreat to a safe zone?

    Identify a safe zone in your home!

    Go on, select an area that gives you protection from continued and persistent aggression, protection from penetrative gunfire or protection from arson.
    Have you really looked at the construction of a modern house and the provision of fire escape routes?
    Fine in a Government building but it doesn't cut any mustard if he's downstairs, junked up or just plain evil and he decides to torch the place.

    I repeat (from the other thread):
    He who enters my home with evil intent, does so at his own peril and will receive both barrels of AAA and as many more as it takes to neutralise the threat.
    I'll sort it out with the jury afterwards but none of my family nor I will be going out of the front door in a box! :evil: :evil: :evil:
     
  14. That's not true, and you know it. You are allowed to kill if you reasonably think that your life is in danger pretty much everywhere in the states, and if your property is in danger in a smaller number (in many rural areas, your life may depend on your property, and this is why the law reflects this; and as OldAdam suggests, property took time out of your life to earn, and will take time out of your life to replace), and the burden of proof is on the prosecution to PROVE that you did not FEEL threatened. This is almost impossible in a genuine self-defence shooting. And this is the way it SHOULD be - if someone is in your house uninvited after dark, it should be PRESUMED that they are there to do you harm, unless a court can prove otherwise.

    This manages to keep the scrotes out of occupied houses (only 13% of burglaries in the US are 'hot', compared with around 50% are in the UK; and surveys of crooks show that the crooks fear armed householders more than the police, courts, and pound-you-in-the-arrse federal nick). And if the SOP is becoming knocking on the door then stabbing or shooting the occupier to gain entry, then I know where I'd rather be living...