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Does anyone know who this arsehole is?

Does anyone in London know who this piece of shit is? This creep assaulted Jackie, one of our intrepid Samizdatistas, so if you recognise him, please either let us know (e-mail link is in the sidebar) or if you prefer call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. For the story, see here.

arsehole_who_assaults_women.jpg

96 comments to Does anyone know who this arsehole is?

  • michael farris

    Link didn’t work for me, it said I didn’t have permission…

  • Odd, the link works fine for me. I hope someone can ID this ‘gentleman’. Such people who prey on others fill me me with extremely violent urges.

  • APL

    Oughtn’t you to say, “we are looking for this person to assist police with their enquries in conection with an assault”?

  • Jso

    It works for me.

  • CFM

    OK, I swear, I truly am an Anglophile. Just, on this subject, apologies in advance, I may not sound like it. This stuff really pisses me off.

    Though the physically weak have always been preyed upon by cowardly thugs, only recently has it been decided that to defend one’s person and life, or that of one’s fellow citizens, is a “vigilante action”. A crime.

    In a great city once inhabited by “Gentlemen” who would not tolerate assault on a woman, we now have silent invertebrate spectators, who feel that this young woman’s predicament is not their problem. They pass in silence, paralyzed by fear of an accusation of vigilantism, or if the perp is of a “minority” group, of “racism”.

    The British Government, and apparently British men, have abdicated the responsibility to protect the weak, the innocent, the victim. Worse, something as simple as pepper spray, which would provide a woman with a means to discourage pigs from violating her person, is outlawed.

    She is advised to suffer violation in silence.

    There is NO excuse for allowing this crap to continue.

    What the fuck is WRONG with you people?

    CFM

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Jackie, this is really upsetting to read. I have been assaulted – twice – in London and I remember how shaken up I felt. I am sure Antoine will comfort you through this. Be sure to keep in contact with the police. You never know, some good may come from putting this photo up. This person may have criminal form.

    Anyway, make sure you relax at the LA dinner tonight.

  • rollo

    Hmmm. It just struck me that Baker Street is the stopping off point for many heading to and from the Baker Street mosque. You dont suppose……?

    Nah.

  • At the beginning of last week I was almost assaulted by a couple of muzzies who thought I was a jew (they made this v. clear) on the tube. If it weren’t for a very large and rather gay man who stood by me there would have been trouble. Once they realised it would be two on two they left the tube train.

  • andy

    I so badly want to visit London (and a few other places in the UK). But, alas, I’m afraid I’d get arrested. If I saw something like this, I’d intervene and I’d probably beat this yob (that is the correct term, no?) to within an inch of his life. You fucking British nancy-boys should be ashamed. (I don’t mean the Samizdata readers, I mean the wussies on the platform)

    Churchill is spinning in his grave.

    I have no words for this. Not just the yob that did this, but the sad state that Britian is in now. Just what in the hell is wrong with you?

  • RAB

    Jackie, this is appalling! But alas not unusual.
    Like Johnathan I have been attacked twice in my life for no reason at all. The worst I suffered were glancing blows, and being fit and fast on my feet, I was out of there in the twinkling of an eye.
    But when it comes to protecting my fellow citizens, I steam right in!
    As a consequence, a few years ago, I had my arm broken by a pissed up little thug who was attacking the daughter of one of my neighbours. I heard her screams of help, and helped.
    I like to think my intervention may have saved her from serious injury. She was able to get away after all!
    We are not all gutless over here!!

  • This case reminds me of a quote from David Green’s recent booklet “We are (nearly) all victims now(Link)”:

    A booklet produced by the Equal Treatment Advisory Committee for the Judicial Studies Board, the official agency for advising judges, begins with the statement that: ‘Justice in a modern and diverse society must be “colour conscious”, not “colour blind”’ (…) But the police have gone the furthest. The laws against alleged ‘hate crimes’ have become a rationale for using police powers against innocent people who have had the temerity to venture an opinion disliked by a politically-defined victim.

    I also recall that the police now have a habit of taking DNA samples and fingerprints from everyone they arrest and that they keep them permanently –even if it subsequently becomes clear that they made a mistake. Maybe it is all of the above that makes people reluctant to intervene in a case like this one. They would not just be confronting the thug but also the state which now quite officially takes a biased position.
    Intervening would clearly be the right thing to do, but the incentives not to are powerful and growing, so the unfortunate result is not really surprising.

  • John G

    I sympathise with anyone who gets assaulted – and especially if they feel let down by those who could do something.

    I think people are reluctant to intervene because they fear for their own safety and feel they don’t know what’s happening – and part of the defence mechanism of living in a sometimes very squashed country is not trying to know what’s happening. I’m not detracting from the real problem that people won’t intervene – is it better elsewhere in the world (honest question)?

    That said, if it was clear to me that someone was being assaulted, I think I would try to intervene (I’d like to think so but so easy to say that sitting here!) I’ve wondered just what exactly I ought to do – throw them off the train at the next station? Sit on them and wait for the police? And if they had a knife?

    CFM> It’s a bit of a myth that defending yourself against an aggressor is likely to get you arrested (well, it depends what you do to them…).

    andy> I can understand your need to vent your frustration, but I think there is a more rational response possible… And saw something like what, exactly, to beat someone within an inch of their life?

    There is virtue both in being quick to intervene to help and being rational and calm in following due process and passing judgment later.

  • Thanks, all. I definitely hold no ill will towards anyone who didn’t pipe up or defend me – I was outnumbered myself by these two guys, and I can understand another person feeling any intervention would be futile or even make things worse. As has been pointed out to me several times today, for all I knew these guys had knives. (*I* didn’t think they did, but it would not have been unreasonable to assume so.)

    Bottom line: I am not free – nor is anyone else in the UK – to defend myself. This is a ridiculous state of affairs.

  • How did she get the picture?

  • Vesuvius

    The thing that strikes me about this is that if he would do this kind of thing in a public place, in full of view of witnesses, just think what he gets up to when nobody is looking. His calm expression makes me suspect that he’s not just some drugged-up kid gone off the rails but a seriously dangerous sex offender who needs to be taken out of circulation ASAP, and for a very long time.

  • Does anybody remember the name Kitty Genovese? New York used to be just as bad or worse in the 1970s and 1980s. It took Rudy Giuliani (who was constantly berated as a fascist by the left) and a pissed-off public pushing for longer sentences, but they turned the situation around. This is a lesson for Londoners – – the question is, how much longer will it take them to turn?

  • Midwesterner

    Giuliani? Sorry, Jim. Government is not the solution. The reason is more like this. While not common, it is the sort of thing happens on a smaller scale from time to time in the US. I reserve judgement on his actions (I wasn’t there) but the mere existence of such sleeper hard targets has a definate effect on how strangers treat each other in the US. It doesn’t take too many to make bullies cautious.

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

  • effjay

    Steven asked how did she get the picture?
    Is that what pissed him off in the first place?
    That is the first impression I got when I looked at his picture.

  • He assaulted her on the platform and then followed her on the train, where she took his picture with her phone.

  • CFM

    Self-Defense is the most basic human right. The British people really do need to straighten their screwball government out and demand their rights be restored.

    Hey, we started a revolution over a tax on tea. You can make enough noise to be allowed to protect yourselves, your families, and even young women on trains. Good on Perry D for posting this. Gets the word out, and makes people think.

    Yes, things get stupid over here too. But self-defense is still allowed, even in lefty California. My young daughter is in school at UCLA – in Los Angeles, which can be a pretty rough town. I gave her pepper spray, a loud alarm thingy with a pull cord, and a 950kv taser. All perfectly legal.

    Also, the University periodically encourages groups of burly young men, all volunteers, who will escort young women to their cars and dormitories on request. Nobody whines about “vigilantes” (at least nobody to whom we pay any attention).

    British women deserve the same rights and support.

    CFM.

  • Midwesterner, Goetz performed his charitable act (“Here’s five dollars for each of you”) in 1984. Things continued to go downhill through the rest of the eighties and early nineties. I am as aware as anyone of the inherent limitations on governmental action and can cite Hayek on the underlying philosophical reasons why that should be so as well as anyone. But the fact is that when Giuliani started to enforce the little laws people found to their amazement that many of the people nabbed that way also had warrants outstanding for big crimes. Many of these started to go up the river for much longer terms than before and lo and behold, locking a thug away for twenty years instead of two produced eighteen additional years in which that thug was not preying upon the general population. Strict enforcement , greater certainty of conviction, and longer sentences have correlated pretty well with reductions in crime rates. The point is, the only real thing Goetz accomplished was to build more public spport for these actions, which were the things that reduced crime. But saying “government is not the solution” is not relevant to the actual story of why it is now safer to ride the New York subway than the London Underground.

    The scumbag who assaulted Jackie will probably not be found. If found he will probably not be convicted, and if convicted he will likely serve little or no time.

    It would be great if the British people got to effectively use the right to self-defense, as they did for the great majoritreal principled of their history. But they also need a movement to apply the same solutions that worked in New York.

  • RAB

    It will be interesting to see if the assailant is apprehended.
    The photo, obviously from a moble phone, is a good one.
    Given how much we are surveyed-
    If he isnt…
    It just goes toward asking the question
    What’s the point of all the survailance!

  • James_C

    Sickening. He looks like a pansy and pantywaist just waiting for someone to chin jab his flabby ass in unconciousness.

    I hope he dies while painfully violated.

  • The link isn’t working for me, either. What happened?

    Best wishes to Jackie.

  • guy herbert

    rollo,

    It just struck me that Baker Street is the stopping off point for many heading to and from the Baker Street mosque. You dont suppose……?

    Idiot. That’s the most astonishing piece of arbitrary prejudice I’ve ever seen on this blog. Leaving aside the more obvious available aspersions on black men in order to attack Muslims in such serious cricumstances really takes the biscuit.

    RAB,

    What’s the point of all the survailance!

    It is at least partly to stop us defending ourselves or intervening and arrogating the power of the state. As also is the “offensive weapons” legislation.

    Baker Street station has several hundred cameras, foreign readers may be interested to know, “for purposes of public safety and crime prevention”. All the research (even though most of it is paid for by the Home Office) appears to show that they are of no significant use for such purposes. They are good for pinpointing the ‘suspicious ‘ for officals to waste time on in safety, however.

  • guy herbert

    His calm expression…

    That’s impunity. It is the main thing they teach in Inner London schools.

  • The subjects of Britain looks to be heading towards the same tactics that western US ranchers were using back when they could not defend their flocks and herds from ‘endangered’ predators, without fear of persecution. They called it the 3 “S”‘s:

    Shoot
    Shovel
    Shut-up

    But in an urban area, not to mention a transit platform, the ‘Shovel’ part needs to be altered.

    The ‘Shoot’ part seems easy, just ask any criminal and you will likely be able to get a nice concealable 9mm, at a good price.

  • I am sorry but any man that does not stand to defend a woman in trouble is not much of one. Period.

  • Midwesterner

    Sorry Jim, the facts just don’t support your assertion. Giuliani was US attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1983-1989. During that period, crime stopped a short downward trend and began increasing rapidly. See this PDF for statistics, particularly obvious in figure 1 – homicide, figure 3 – robbery, spectacular in figure 4 – aggravated assault, figure 5 – violent crime, and figure 8 – vehicle theft.

    If it is your claim that problems he couldn’t address as US attorney, he later solved as mayor (1994-2002) it is patently obvious (from this chart, courtesy wikipedia/giuliani) that preexisting nationwide crime trends merely continued during his mayorship. The actual downturn in crime began during a period during which he was neither US Attorney or mayor. This did not, however, stop him from taking credit for the trend.

    What Goetz and the fall out from his activity did was make it socially acceptable, even in NYC, to defend oneself with deadly force. It was the event that inspired people to fight back. It empowered others.

    In modern UK, crime is an industry that the government uses to justify its own existence and excesses. Much like the US war on drugs. The job security of the crime monitoring, surveying, analysing, supervising, deterence program development and administration, and I could go on ad infinitum, is the reason the one thing the UK government won’t do is allow citizens to defend themselves. It might reverse crime trends, and a lot of government employees would be out of work.

  • I think the drop in crime in New York was so dramatic that there is room for giving credit for more than one source. Yes, there was a drop in crime due to demographic and other trends and this is certainly part of the explanation, but the quality of law enforcement also increased dramatically. These things together fed on one another and New York changed from being quite a dangerous place to being a very safe one. Tough law and fair enforcement – actually going to the trouble of catching criminals, and punishing them harshly – does work. It deters further criminals, it keeps the worst criminals off the street and in jail, and it encourages citizens to see the police and legal system as part of the solution and therefore to assist in enforcement. Where the law is seen to be fair and helpful, it is much easier to enforce. Failing to catch or punish actual criminals but using the law to harass and annoy people who haven’t done anything that the law should have an interest in is massively counterproductive, in that as well as being bad in itself, it makes dealing with actual crime harder

  • 1327

    Guy’s comment about impunity is spot on I’m afraid. In the last year I have been involved in 3 or 4 incidents either at work or on the way home where myself and others have held onto an offender until the Police arrive. In every case the toe rag involved was under 20 and every time while being held they chanted “you can’t touch , me you can’t touch me” etc etc. One even told this to the Policeman while he handcuffed him and put him into the back of the van. Am I correct in thinking they are taught this at school ? It must be coming from somewhere.

    Oh an in all the cases I have been involved with no charges have ever been brought. Sometimes it really does make me despair.

  • On Guiliani. Take it from me, I was here during a good bit of that time. During the Dinkins administration we had ‘homeless’ break into our building and sleep in the halls. The cops said they were under orders to leave them alone. After Guiliani that sort of thing stopped.

    Crime may have started to go down during the last years of the Dinkins rule thanks in part to Bratton, but thanks also to the end of the major crack epidemic which had pushed the murder rate to unbelievable highs.

    It was Guiliani’s push and his refusal to back down in the face of Sharpton and those like him that really reduced crime to levels where this city is truly liveable. He also forced all the different Police departments into one command structure and as any military historian will tell you, unity of command and clear goals are an essential part of success.

  • Here in Portland, Oregon, we had an incident on the MAX (light-rail commuter train) a few months ago when a tourist couple with a small baby was getting off the train at a station. Some guy grabbed the baby and ran with it. Before he had gotten more than a few yards, he was grabbed by about eight people who had seen what had happened. They handed the baby back to its mother and held onto the guy until the police arrived.

    I can’t imagine civilized people not intervening in such situations. If I saw something like Jackie’s incident happening, I would at the very least yell at the guys, but of course I’d feel confident that other people around me would back me up — at least a few of them armed, if it was a typical American crowd. In London apparently you can’t count on that. Mind-boggling.

    As for the bully in the photo, my guess is that by now he’s sweating. He must know his picture and this incident are on the internet. He knows that eventually friends and relatives of his will see it, his employer (if he has one) will see it, and so on. Even if he never gets arrested, he’s going to have some unpleasant moments. Maybe he’ll think twice before he does something like that again.

  • Midwesterner

    Taylor, was Rudy mayor of Newark as well? While Giuliani was mayor of NYC, he increased law enforcement officers from 30,135 to 37,240, ~24%. At the same time, he increased civilian law enforcement employees (bureaucrats) from 9,818 to 16,534, ~70% in 8 years. And yet NYC was following a nationwide trend that was even more pronounced in other nearby areas. Like Newark. Almost everywhere crime was high, it was dropping in that period. And it had gotten that high under his watch as US Attorney.

    And I really don’t get your reference to Bratton. He was Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police department from 91-93. He was appointed by Giuliani. Please don’t give credit where it isn’t due.

    It bothers me to see Jackie’s treatment in London used as an early advertisement for Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is a politician who is very good at arriving for the credit, is unwilling to give up power even when the law is clear that he must, and most importantly, he is a big government authoritarian and is no friend of libertarians.

  • Gabriel

    LOL! “government is not the solution”! An armed society under law is a polite society an armed society without is…Somalia.
    Just as Communists should spend at least 3 years in Nortyh Korea before anyone listens to their BS, anarcho-caps should spend at least a few months in the wonderful land of sun, sea and Al Queda or STHU.

  • Midwesterner

    Gabriel, if more government is the solution, why was Jackie attacked in London!?

    And perhaps some remedial political philosophy for you. The problem in Somalia isn’t law abiding citizens with arms. It is quasi government militias competing to be the government. It is a battleground between competing governments. This may seem an inconsequential distinction to you, but it is not.

    Government’s just role is to mediate disputes between citizens, not to forceably place itself between citizens. A function it can never successfully achieve. Our two respective governments (UK and US) did not use to use proactive force. Police departments did not used to exist. Are you suggesting that our nations where like Somalia before the law enforcement industry existed?

    Government should act only at the request of a citizen and not act to prevent citizens defending themselves. If an overzealous citizen commits a crime, that is the time to punish them. Not by punishing all citizens at the hands of criminals who will not be detered by empty threats from a lethargic bureacracy.

  • RAB

    Well in the spirit of be prepared (I used to be a Scout) ,
    Because this sort of thing is bound to happen to one of us again, I will pass on a couple of tips that my ex Para mate taught me-
    First of all, dont try a punch unless you really really know how to punch.
    If your attacker is in your face and you still have both hands free, slightly cup your hands and whack him as hard as possible in a playing the symbals type move, over both ears. This will , at the very least cause such pain and balance disorientation that you will be able to get away easily. Also , if you have the stomach for it, slightly cup your hand again and punch the tips of your fingers into his throat as hard as you can. According to my friend, these two moves will have your assailant a dribbling wimpering pile of puke at your feet. You may even get bonuses in that his eardrums may be perforated and if your even luckier, break is windpipe.
    In contrast, I am almost ashamed to say, my wife and I, and thousands of fellow Bristolians have been having an inordinately pleasurable and civilised weekend. To see why go to http://www.northbristolartists.co.uk
    Someone really must show me how to do those little blue link things!
    Take care y’all, and mind how you go.

  • Gabriel

    Midwestener, the distinction isn’t trivial it just happens to be innacurate. The warring pseudo governmental organisations (all of whom are distinctly unpleasant) arose out of widespread dissatisfaction with being raped, burgled, assaulted etc.
    Why not buy a gun? Because it doesn’t make a difference when 20 men with guns turn up,
    I remember very distinctly that about 3 years ago every an-cap worth his salt as well as a lot of non-anarchist libertarians would bang on endlessly about the wonders and joys of Somalia; then they all suddenly shut up and pretended they never had. Ideologues are all the same.

    Anyways…. the government is a solution to two problems
    1) How can I stop my countrymen attacking me?
    2) How can I stop foreigners attacking me?
    Now, it’s not a terribly effective solution and I have no doubt that an armed populous is to be desired. It is, though, the best solution we’ve got and we should focus on meaking it better at this task
    Giuliani, to an extent, made government more effective at its primary purpose, for this he is to be commended.

    The point about London, surely, and this is something it shares with much of the western world, is that the government has forgotten its basic role in favour of BS it shouldn’t be doing, but happen to be a lot easier to do (although not successfully). So “more government” isn’t the solution, but effective government is.

    As for what England was like before we had a police force, it depends upon what you mean. Before Peel we certainly had police forces, so I can only assume you are going back much further and are talking about the feudal era. Obviously policing wasn’t important then because you could always go to your local, and scrupulously beneficial, local lord. Perhaps this is what you are advocating.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Mid,

    I think the point Gabriel was trying to make was that ‘polite society’ relies on the particular protocols and conventions of our society, not simply on everyone being allowed and able to defend themselves.

    It is a point I’ve tried to make several times before. Society is a self-organising phenomenon, and most self-organisation tends to produce fractal structures, where each individual part reflects the whole on every scale. If the typical family is structured around the angry patriarch, the society will be autocratic. If it is based around the tribe or extended family, society will be corruptly nepotistic, and so on.

    The freedoms you ascribe to the right to carry guns to protect yourself from the state are in fact derived from the habits of mind of Americans who are integrated into the national culture. (The vast majority of people don’t want to shoot you, and so the guns are able to serve against the rest.) It is the reason why I think politicians are not the issue, their influence being outweighed by the vastly larger society they work in. It is the reason revolutions so often replace the old government with one that soon looks exactly like it. It is the reason that I don’t only fear the government, I fear everyone – as society swings, so does the state. Watch what society as a whole is doing, government is merely a sideshow distraction from where the real power lies.

    The current thread seems to reflect a society moving towards mob vigilantism. Now I’m sure Jackie is honest and telling the truth in this case, but have a little think about what you’re doing here. Somebody has posted a picture of a person and given a story about what they’ve done. I get the feeling that there are people reading this who might, let us say, not necessarily be inclined to resort to totally legal means should they come across him. Do we have twelve jury members here who have delivered a verdict? If RAB’s suggestion is followed, do we potentially have a sentence of death? I have yet to see the case for the defence, and the evidence I have seen so far is one person’s word. As I said, I don’t doubt Jackie, but wouldn’t this be a fine way to settle personal scores?

    I will grant you that many of the comments are about what people would do if they witnessed the events, which is different, but even there you can misunderstand or fail to see the whole story. If you chase after such a person and engage in an attempt to bring them to justice, and somebody sees you do so without having seen the cause, what would they think? Intervene and offer support, yes, possibly use force if it looks like someone is going to get seriously hurt, yes, but sentiments like “I hope he dies while painfully violated”, if taken seriously, reflect a society that on a large scale would look like Uganda or rural Afghanistan – blood feuds and spirals of ever-increasing atrocity. What sort of society do you Libertarians expect to build?

    Oh yes, and our nation was rather more like Somalia before the modern police forces existed, as a result of the move to the industrial cities. (In practice justice was privatised, which meant the rich got it and the poor didn’t, and it was all very corrupt.)
    I do find this Golden Age of English civil rights entertaining, but what I know of how the police and courts worked even 50 years ago, let alone 250, doesn’t really bear that out. I don’t think the Wild West was exactly like Hollywood portrayed it, either, although I’m sure you know more about that than I do.

    Should you ever find your own photo on the internet, along with the “Wanted, Dead or Alive” caption, I hope that you continue to live in a society where ‘Alive’ and a fair trial are the generally preferred option.

  • Midwesterner

    Gabriel, you must have a very different idea of what police are than current government officialdom. You state that there were ‘police forces’ before (Robert) Peel. But even the ‘police forces’ of Robert Peel (Bobbies) weren’t really police by the modern meaning of the word. Police today are granted special privileges and equipment that is expressly denied to civilians.

    From Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles

    7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

    In no unclear terms, that is not by any stretch of fantasy, the modern idea of a privileged police force with powers reserved exclusively to the government and expressly denied to civilians. I repeat, there were no police forces in modern use of the word in the UK or US probably until the 20th century.

    Jim Bennett at 2:25 AM, expressly gave an example of bystanders standing by and allowing a long and protracted murder to be carried out as being prevented by giving government professionals (Giuliani) power to handle it they way they want. This is soooo wrong, I don’t even know how to start. Reading and returning to those Peelian principles would be a start. Police must have no power that the law abiding public does not have.

    If I am missunderstanding you and you are actually advocating a return to a Peelian time of self defense with police officers/watchman who come to assist in the defense of, not to be the exclusive defenders of private citizens, then we are in agreement. But that is not at all what Bennett is advocating.

    As for your two points, in any other conversation I would say we are in total agreement. But since there is some disagreement between us, I will split hairs. We cannot stop our countrymen or foreigners from attacking us. This is what our present governments are attempting and failing at. What we can do is immediately come to the aid of citizens under attack. Government cannot successfully interpose itself to prevent attacks. That effort alone is having terrible consequences. The sole role of the government/police should be to come to the aid of citizens on request and assure that all persons required to present themselves in court, do so.

    Why not buy a gun? Because it doesn’t make a difference when 20 men with guns turn up,

    Buy a gun. If you don’t have twenty friends and neighbors who will come to your aid (and you to theirs) then it’s time to make more friends. You seem to be suggesting that nobody should come to the aid of another. I think you guys over there have some readjusting to do to your thinking and expectations.

    BTW, I am not even remotely an anarcho-capitalist. I am a constitutionalist and view government as a contract between citizens.

    PA, your comment came up while I was finishing this one. I’ll post this and then read it and comment if necessary.

  • Midwesterner

    Pa, it is not guns I am talking about. It is the idea of a citizen as being allowed, encouraged even, to participate in his own defense. This is expressly criminalized in UK. Any act to defend yourself or another person can get you in prison. This ingrained belief is what I am attacking.

    Society may be a self organizing structure for people who don’t have constitutions, but for us who do, the rules are clear. I reject your fractal example and say that anyone from any culture must learn to obey the constitution they subject themselves to.

    Your use of the word ‘vigilantism’ is a sign of how far you in UK have gone when you equate proactive vigilantes with reactive self defense. Police have an appropriate responsibility to make sure people who are required to appear in court, do so. But to sit quietly taking (sometimes fatal) abuse while waiting for an approved government practitioner of personal defense to arrive is just plain ludicrous.

    The entire body of your comment tells me that you in fact do not see a distinction between proactive and reactive actions.

  • RAB

    PA, you are beginning to seriously annoy me!
    What suggestion???
    I merely passed on to the readers a piece of self defence that was passed on to me.
    I have no wish to harm anyone, but if I am attacked, and if you have been reading closely you will know that I have been attacked twice, and managed by fleet of foot, to avoid harm.
    But what if I were not able to flee with such alacrity?
    Am I supposed to wait for 12 good men and true to ponder my demise? or fight for my life?
    I prefer to fight for my life, even if it means lethal force.
    On the main point from which we have hugely wandered ,Jackie says was attacked. I believe her. Had she known to biff the bastard over the ears when he attacked her he, perhaps, would be lying on the platform and she on the train to the next station. Safe and secure.
    You see I have no compunction or bad conscience about inflicting harm on those who wish to inflict harm on me.
    My motto is dont hurt me and I wont hurt you. Simple isn’t it really.
    Having been, for a decade or two, involved in the administration of Justice in this country, I have learned that my government cannot protect me. The police are invisible, exept in retrospect will they help me. I.E. By trying the bloke who killed me for the crime, and only then if they catch them on their goddam cameras bang to rights. Ha! and usually not even then.
    Thanks for ruining a lovely weekend.

  • guy herbert

    Am I correct in thinking they are taught this at school ? It must be coming from somewhere.

    Well, my remark was ironic. They do learn it at school, but they are not actively taught it. It isn’t part of the official curriculum.

    But in the past 25 years (getting on for two generations in these parts) the ideology of ‘child protection’ has meant that children discover in schools that no one may touch them however badly they behave, that punishment is non-existent, and that their assertions and complaints, however fantastic, will always be taken seriously against the word of those in authority.

    Schools therefore act as an anti-socialising mechanism on those who have innate psychopathic tendencies (in the broad, Eysenck, sense), inadequate upbringings, or who choose gangs of contemporaries in preference to familial guidance. By the time they are of an age of criminal responsibility they are then ready to be further trained in impunity by the “Youth Justice” system, which handily helps inculcate criminal value systems at the same time.

    It’s a consequence ultimately of not recognising that infants are amoral. We are born savages and the capacity to play by social rules is learned largely by unconscious conditioning. The reason most people are not criminals, is not because of future severe punishment but because of past minor punishment. “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” Cliché but largely true.

    Which is why I agree with Gabriel, largely but not wholly. We ought to be able to defend ourselves, but in the absence of a predominantly polite and commercial nation, an armed society is just gangland: the same anti-socialisation that occurs in ghettos and prisons (which reinforce a shared culture as prisons are presently constituted) extended to everyone else. Contrary to Gabriel it is not the state in its manifestation as instruments of force that is the principal actor in the establishment of civil values and order but a variety of social institutions, which the state can assist, leave alone, or undermine.

    I surmise that is the fact that the state has seized (directly or indirectly) control of the policy of schools and the detail of child upbringing and spare time activities that has allowed the the more pernicious doctrines of “progressive education” [parts of it are excellent] and the paedophile panic together to prosper and displace the evolved structures of early 20th century education in the west.

    We are witnessing in Britain a redoubling of the disaster, as the answer to such problems offered by Blair and Blears and Casey and co., is a Bigger Bully ethos, with the state intervening everywhere as top gangster. A better way of inculcating the conception that the right way to get what you want is by arbitrary imposition on others who come to your notice and can’t get away, one cannot imagine.

  • guy herbert

    [...] early 20th century education in the west.

    Should probably have written, “early 20th century socialisation in the west,” since I would include many other institutions that aren’t necessarily part of the formal education system.

  • Freeman

    I have held off commenting as I had hoped that by now we would have heard that someone had identified the photo and “authority” had started to investigate the incident. However. . .

    1. A caution about intervening in a public dispute between a man and a woman you don’t know. There is always a chance that the two have had some kind of relationship that has gone sour. If you overcome the man, the risk (and it’s happened) is that the woman will then turn on you, and with the two of them against you, both physically and then in evidence, you could be in deep trouble.

    2. It can be very dangerous to start lashing out. After the first serious blow all rules disappear in a street-fight, and one party can be gravely injured within a few seconds. Do you really have the speed, strength and ruthlessness to deliver a crippling pre-emptive knockout?

    3. Unless you are forced to defend you own home, surely the most sensible route is to run, and for a woman also to scream. I don’t understand why Jackie stood her ground, or why she ended up on the same train and sitting opposite her tormentors. It’s the sort of foolish bravery that earns one a medal in wartime, but is perhaps imprudent otherwise.

    Let’s hope for a good outcome.

  • Midwesterner

    Freeman, that is an artificial problem. For example, in this case, another person(s) could have interposed himself between them and then “begging the lady’s pardon, am I in your way?” If she said “yes”, you let them carry on. If she said “thank you”, you stay.

    If at any time you personally are attacked, then you have your own case for self defense regardless of their personal relationship.

  • Midwesterner

    Freeman, the more I read your comment, the more it gives me a cold frisson for the future of the UK. I hope you are the exception.

  • Midwesterner

    Guy,

    We are witnessing in Britain a redoubling of the disaster, as the answer to such problems offered by Blair and Blears and Casey and co., is a Bigger Bully ethos, with the state intervening everywhere as top gangster. A better way of inculcating the conception that the right way to get what you want is by arbitrary imposition on others who come to your notice and can’t get away, one cannot imagine.

    This is a large part of my opposition to the death penalty. I believe it is consequential, not incidental, that states with the highest numbers of executions have the highest numbers of murders and violent crimes.

  • Gabriel

    Buy a gun. If you don’t have twenty friends and neighbors who will come to your aid (and you to theirs) then it’s time to make more friends. You seem to be suggesting that nobody should come to the aid of another. I think you guys over there have some readjusting to do to your thinking and expectations.

    Right, so socially awkward loners deserve to get gang raped by armed thugs. Cool got you.

    What if I can’t be bothered to get 20 people to help me defend my property? What if I want to get on withmy job instead of organising militias all the time?

    BTW, I am not even remotely an anarcho-capitalist. I am a constitutionalist and view government as a contract between citizens.

    Well that’s not exactly the impression you give off with statements like “Government is not the solution”.

    I want government to do its utmost in order to create a situation in which people are not the victims of crime. I don’t really want it to do a great deal else.

    I don’t see why this is such a weird view to hold.

    If I am missunderstanding you and you are actually advocating a return to a Peelian time of self defense with police officers/watchman who come to assist in the defense of, not to be the exclusive defenders of private citizens, then we are in agreement.

    I guess we are then. We should have
    a) an armed population with an express legal duty to intervene in cases where the law is broken.
    b) the legal right to do whatever necesary to protect our life and property
    c) a tough police force which DOES ITS FRICKIN JOB INSTEAD OF ATTENDING DIVERSITY LECURES.

  • “I think the point Gabriel was trying to make was that ‘polite society’ relies on the particular protocols and conventions of our society…”

    That is exactly what makes the resort to “Somalia” a bloody horse-laugh. It’s hilarious when people run that idiotic little gag; as if all the premises of western rationality condensed in the Enlightenment can also be attributed to dirt-scratching savages.

    It’s one of the dumbest things that I routinely see on the ‘net.

  • Voyager

    Britain is a failed state. The ruling elite can provide neither internal, nor external security and the borders are wide open. The definition of a minimalist state is not being met.

    The European Union has left Britain spread-eagled on the beach with no prospect of being able to move or to impose any presence on the surroundings. The head moves and talks, but the arms, legs, and torso are fettered rather like Gulliver in Lilliput.

    The situation is so dire that seemingly the only resolution will come through violence and the country will return to its traditional roots after a period of quiescence.

    There seems to be no other way in a society where all institutions are discredited and most people feel they are living under occupation by an elite with alien beliefs and attitudes. The period of relative peace domestically since 1918 – people forget that the Army mutinied in 1914 and civil strife was enormous in the 1912-19143 period with The Triple Alliance – is over.

    Britain may go the Yugoslav route or it may go the Labenese route, but it is very unlikely to be what t was between 1918 and 1970

  • Midwesterner

    Gabriel, Government as a solution is the knee jerk response to every problem that arises. I disagree strongly on the need for “a tough police force which DOES ITS FRICKIN JOB…” The bobbies were not a ‘tough police force’ when London was at it safest. On the other hand, police states by definition have tough police forces.

    Obviously a tough police force is NOT what makes a society safe. (Unless you have some affinity for gulag style ‘safety’.

    As for the 20 gunmen case, you were explicitly refering to Somalia. Face it. If you are a socially awkward loner in Somalia, you’re SOL.

    Our own government in the US is failing to recognize its constitution because of the same sort of societal and historical discontinuity that is so much more pronounced in the UK. Our pendulum has been swinging back in some respects as indicated by the return of our right to self defense that has been occuring over the last 20 or so years.

    Government should be a cooperative endeavor. It is when it is turned into a service industry that we get messes like the one that started this thread. When I say “government is not the answer” I mean government as a service industry.

    Police and courts need to be positively separate. Police do not need to be strong. Court DO need to follow the laws of the nation. I agree with your sentiment, I think we are arguing implementation.

  • zara

    I know this is a minor matter (and maybe it has already been addressed and I missed it), but I am finding it extremely annoying. Midwesterner — the U.S. attorney has virtually no possible influence on the crime rate in New York. As I would have thought you would know, since from your name you seem to be American, street crime in the U.S. is prosecuted on the state and local, not the federal level. The U.S. attorney for the Souther District, which is what Giuliani was, has no control over the NYPD or over the prosecution of the overwhelming majority of crimes in New York.

  • Midwesterner, as US attorney, Guliani would only have been concerned with Federal crimes. He dealt with RICO and bank robberies, not the every day criminality that plagued the city.

  • Midwesterner

    It’s not a minor matter. It’s a major one. He deserves neither the credit nor the blame. Why are people trying to give him the credit for a drop in crime? Because he is running for president.

    You are making my point. He had prescious little to do with crime rates.

  • Midwesterner

    I should elaborate. The crime rate was already dropping dramatically by the time Giuliani was elected mayor of NYC. He neither slowed or accelerated the trend relative to the rest of the high crime area drops.

    The only way to give him credit for anything more than not stopping the drop (as happened in LA) is to credit it to his tenure as US attorney. Which, as you both point out, he hadn’t the capacity to given the credit or the blame.

    The statement that started this was

    New York used to be just as bad or worse in the 1970s and 1980s. It took Rudy Giuliani (who was constantly berated as a fascist by the left)…

  • Pa Annoyed

    RAB,

    My apologies for annoying you. The comment I was referring to was the “break is windpipe” one, which could quite possibly be fatal. Attempted murder justifies such measures in self-defence, but you’ll face an argument if you want to say mere muggers, or even people who are simply very angry and look like they might attack you, deserve to die. If the state imposed the death penalty without trial for such crimes, people here would be the first to object. Plus, if you miss, the other guy will know you’re trying to kill them, raising the stakes somewhat. If you’re going to advise people on how to kill other people, I think you should also give advice on when you should do it. My apologies again if I misunderstood what you intended.

    Mid,

    “It is the idea of a citizen as being allowed, encouraged even, to participate in his own defense.”
    Yes, but you’re allowed to participate in your own defence in Somalia (or rather, there’s no law to stop you). It doesn’t help much because you’re outnumbered and outgunned. It doesn’t help either to get together with your friends/self-defence militia (otherwise known as gangs run by warlords) because so does everyone else, and all you’ve done is increased the stakes without changing the odds. Only when everyone left alive belongs to the same gang does the conflict end.

    “This is expressly criminalized in UK. Any act to defend yourself or another person can get you in prison.”

    I don’t think it is. Last time the issue came up, the police explained that in fact you are allowed to defend yourself or others, and anything up to and including lethal measures is allowed. The police have to investigate such cases, of course, but if you have acted reasonably, or even lashed out in a panic, killings can and have been left unprosecuted.

    What I think you might be referring to are the laws on carrying weapons in public. These are not allowed, on the basis that the police find it distressing to have stopped some well known criminal armed with knives, hammers, crossbows, and power tools, and have to let him off because they’re “for self defence”. Or worse, have somebody killed and then for the attacker to claim it was in self-defence. Proving intent is very difficult. The aim is not to protect the criminals from angry victims, but to stop a very nasty arms race. There are arguments both for and against; but in practice there are many ways round it if you’re reasonably intelligent and see a need. Unfortunately, the criminals know that too.

    “Society may be a self organizing structure for people who don’t have constitutions, but for us who do, the rules are clear.”

    Well, since that was exactly Gabriel’s original point – that the politeness of societies only applies under law – I’ll take that part as answered.

    Does a constitution pose a counterexample to my idea of self-organisation? I don’t think so, but it’s a good question and worth thinking about.

    Firstly, how was the constitution formed in the first place? By a group of like-minded individuals coming together and codifying their shared values. The self-organisation came first, the Constitution sought to preserve and clarify the commonly agreed values arrived at by the give and take of having had to live together. So it reflects a self-organised structure in its genesis.

    Secondly, the Constitution does not and cannot codify everything. There are many other laws, set by the representatives of the people, in such a way as to be consistent with the common values of those people and the constitution. They don’t always succeed, partly because people’s values differ, and partly because of the inevitable flaws in any joint decisionmaking process, but if the government enacted a law requiring everyone to wear clown outfits or to walk to work they would soon get told. Laws not specified by the Constitution are influenced by public views, which are developed by an on-going self-organising process of public and private debate.

    Thirdly, constitutionality is the high level manifestation of an individual characteristic of holding some values to be self-evident, traditional, a matter of pride, and not subject to change. The parent raising a child is well-advised to set a clear set of rules and principles and then stick by them consistently. Families have family rules, companies have mission statements and slogans to guide their behaviour, institutions put service to their country ahead of self interest. Respect for higher principles in which people express pride in holding is a feature of American life at every level. (In my limited experience, anyway.) When your kids join the scouts, or adults help out at their church, they fell pride in upholding the standards of the organisation to which they belong. The same values are reflected at every level of society – the Constitution is a part of it.

    It is that willing conformity to a common standard that stops most Americans shooting each other. It is such a common standard to live up to that nations like Somalia lack.

    As above, so below.

  • Gabriel

    I think we are arguing implementation.

    I suspect we may be arguing semantics.

    The bobbies were not a ‘tough police force’ when London was at it safest.

    Are you referring to the 1950s? It depends what you mean by tough. Of course back then if a youth was acting agressively it was considered OK for anyone, including the police, to box his ears, but liberzoids would probably say that this was violating his *rights*.

    That is exactly what makes the resort to “Somalia” a bloody horse-laugh. It’s hilarious when people run that idiotic little gag; as if all the premises of western rationality condensed in the Enlightenment can also be attributed to dirt-scratching savages.

    It’s one of the dumbest things that I routinely see on the ‘net.

    I don’t think there is any need to point out the near total similarity between this statement and those of Communists when confronted with Russia. However, I wanted to, so I did.

  • RAB

    Pa, apology accepted. The windpipe bit was, I conceed, a bit over the top, but I have a retentative memory and that is exactly the way my Para friend described the moves to me. His job was, after all, killing people, and I dont know how many members of the armed forces you know, but they tend to be a bit macho about these things.
    Thank god I have never had to use those techniques, but if I am in a tight corner I may well have to.
    I am 6′ 2″ but weigh about 10 stone. I would be no match for the gentleman in the photo , any more than Jackie was, if it came to a slugfest. I have not been in a fight since I was twelve in the playground at school.
    The twice I was attacked, completely unprovoked was as a Law student in Nottingham in the early 70s. They came in swinging, and as I was a sprint champion at school, I was away in an instant, it being outdoors both times. If I had been in a Tube carriage it would have been a whole different ball game.
    I would never use force if it was not the last resort. The time I got my arm broken was just short of my 50th birthday. I’m fit but naturally older and slower, and had responded to a cry for help. I always do( I have been involved in several incidents of a similar nature). It’s the way I was raised. It may be the death of me yet. But as the police in our country are always never to be seen, especially on the streets, who else will take up the slack? I am a citizen who cares about my fellow citizens and despite my age and physical inadequacies, if I hear a cry for help, I do my best to help. And there is no harm in having the knowledge of a couple of nasty tricks up your sleeve, just in case.

  • The above debate is very interesting and I’ve enjoyed reading through it, but in my opinion, the best response to this article is to take action.
    I’ve posted about this nasty assault on my blog (I’ve linked back to here and to Jackie’s own post) and I’ve included the photograph, and have urged all like-minded bloggers to do likewise. This photo needs to be plastered all over the net until it gets noticed by the main media. Then there will be an arrest, and justice can begin to be done. Hoping Jackie is doing alright.

  • Midwesterner

    Pa,

    Only when everyone left alive belongs to the same gang does the conflict end.

    At which point they get recognized by the UN and are considered legitimate. That’s why the Somalia example doesn’t work. It truly is a battle between competing governments.

    Your claim for freedom to defend yourself with deadly force is certainly not in line with anecdotal evidence, do you have any numbers for people killed in self-defense? I looked at a lot of UK and Aussie firearms and crime data a year or so ago and don’t recall seeing a single case where the self-defender was not prosecuted and convicted of a serious crime. Since I was not looking for that particular statistic, I would like you to tell me the ratio of people in the UK who kill in self defense (or barring that, severly injure) who are punished versus those who are not.

    As for your paragraph that begins “What I think…”, no doubt that is the feelings of the people who defend those laws. But it has “The Law of Unintended Consequences” written all over it. The inevitable – truly inescapable – result is that criminals are armed and law abiding citizens are not. This, even aside your other laws against self defense, serves as a barricade preventing everyone from defending themselves. THat is, unless they are capable of greater physical violence and believe their attacker to be unarmed. (And are willing to gamble on that belief.)

    Regarding your first paragraph on constitutions, whatever its origins, for the vast majority of US citizens ancestors, they choose to join a constitution that was culturely and historically strange to them. For example, my dad’s parents came here from a non-English speaking and rather socialist leaning country. They energetically learned the language and the culture and prevented their children from learning any other. (unless you count Christmas treats)

    The rest of your comment from there on out seems to equate our (US) constitution with unlimited democracy. Our bill of rights is very all encompassing. Virtually any law we find intolerable now, is in violation of our bill of rights. So, I guess you may be right with your unlimited democracy presumption. I said earlier in this or some other thread, that like in the US are losing our cultural and historical continuity just like the UK. It is why our constitution is slipping through the cracks.

    But at least we in the US have been, with occasional back steps, reclaiming our right to self defense and our crime rates reflect that proportionately. Market economics, risk/benefit ratios, do work with crime as well.

  • “I don’t think there is any need to point out the near total similarity between this statement and those of Communists when confronted with Russia. However, I wanted to, so I did.”

    The communists happened to be right about Russia — which, to this day, cannot seriously be considered “western”. The difference is that they had no serious idea what to do about it.

    What’s your point?

  • Midwesterner

    Gabriel, I had a funny image in my mind of those ‘tough’ bobbies armed with funny hats, lots of shiny brass buttons and a loud whistle trying to dazzle and whistle a Brazilian to death in a subway.

    I don’t want strong police enforcing justice. That is the job of the courts. Police are to be neutral and use only as much force as it takes to deliver the suspects to court. In the case of a violent assault, that may be substantial IF the are there when it happens. But it seldom works out that way, does it? Their job is to arrive quickly, secure the scene and suspects, document and preserve evidence for the courts and deliver anybody to jail/court that may not be inclined to deliver themselves.

    Justice is not to be found in the police departments. It is to be found in the courts. When the courts fail. The system fails. No matter how tough the police are.

  • TPS

    Police must have no power that the law abiding public does not have.

    In my previous discussions on the topic of self defense, people are often surprised when I point out to them that (American) police have no legal obligation to protect them. This has been upheld numerous times (Warren v. District of Columbia, et al) to the dismay of citizens who have been robbed, beaten, raped, murdered, etc and then unsuccessfully sued the police for not protecting them.

    So, an absurd situation exists in some jurisdictions where the police (who jealously reserve the right to carry and use weapons) are conveniently unencumbered with the task of defending the populace from criminal predators; while simultaneously and hypocritically criminalizing armed self defense by mere “civilians”.

    The phrase which is stenciled on the sides of many police vehicles: “To Serve And Protect”, should more honestly say: “To Serve And Protect The State”.

    Anyway, I am glad Ms. Danicki is unharmed and I hope the miscreants get what is coming to them.

  • Gabriel

    The communists happened to be right about Russia — which, to this day, cannot seriously be considered “western”. The difference is that they had no serious idea what to do about it.

    What in the sam hell are you talking about.

    Just as communists (and a lot of non-commmunist leftists) waxed lyrical about the virtues of the SU and then, when the weight of ghastly evidence became to much to bear, said, en masse, “but that’s not real Communism; ancaps wouldn’t shut up for a few years about how great Somalia was until Al Queda took over the country and then of course “that’s not real anarchy.
    Like I said, ideologues are all the same. Fun at dinner parties, sure, but don’t let them operate machinery.

    Gabriel, I had a funny image in my mind of those ‘tough’ bobbies armed with funny hats, lots of shiny brass buttons and a loud whistle trying to dazzle and whistle a Brazilian to death in a subway.

    I’ll be perfectly explicit about this. If some goon is swearing at, say, an old woman I think someone, if needs be a policeman, should smack him in the face, real hard.
    If some drunk is trying to start a fight I want someone, if needs be a policeman, to forcibly take him home.
    If some terrorist is planning an attack I want someone, if needs be a policeman, to apprehend him and, preferably, exercise brutality while doing so.

    etc. and so on

  • Midwesterner

    Gabriel, you are equating police with justice. This is wrong. Justice is found in courts of law. I don’t want “some goon … swearing at, say, an old woman” to receive a “smack in the face” with the “old woman” as the plaintiff and the policeman as judge, jury, sentencer, and punisher. I grew up in Chicago. I have a very cynical view of police “justice”. It inevitably serves the voters, not the law.

    Likewise with the suspected terrorist, I expect him to be apprehended alive if at all possible and delivered to the courts for justice. Not arbitrarily brutalized by police. Remember the Camp Davidians? They were terrorists in the eyes of the police and eminent threats to society. So you must approve of that societal immolation in the name of the public good.

    When you insist on placing judgement and punishment in the hands of police, out of reach of the law, judges and juries, you are asking for a reign of terror. A democracy without limits. That is pure, unqualified collectivism. And it will bring evil.

  • “…ancaps wouldn’t shut up for a few years about how great Somalia was…”

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. Most certainly: I never said anything like that.

  • Gabriel

    Likewise with the suspected terrorist, I expect him to be apprehended alive if at all possible and delivered to the courts for justice. Not arbitrarily brutalized by police. Remember the Camp Davidians? They were terrorists in the eyes of the police and eminent threats to society. So you must approve of that societal immolation in the name of the public good.

    When you insist on placing judgement and punishment in the hands of police, out of reach of the law, judges and juries, you are asking for a reign of terror. A democracy without limits. That is pure, unqualified collectivism. And it will bring evil.

    I’m not talking about the field of law and justice where I totally agree with you, but something different entirely. I don’t think goons who swear at old ladies should have to go to court, I just think they need a smack. Not very long ago they would have and no great harm came of it.
    I agree that if I was from a big city rather than the sticks (where crime is definitely getting much worse, in step with more government programmes and liberal policing) I might have a different attitude.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. Most certainly: I never said anything like that.

    http://www.somalianarchy.com/

    This site used to have a lot more traffic than it does now. I can’t think why.

  • Gabriel

    Likewise with the suspected terrorist, I expect him to be apprehended alive if at all possible and delivered to the courts for justice. Not arbitrarily brutalized by police. Remember the Camp Davidians? They were terrorists in the eyes of the police and eminent threats to society. So you must approve of that societal immolation in the name of the public good.

    When you insist on placing judgement and punishment in the hands of police, out of reach of the law, judges and juries, you are asking for a reign of terror. A democracy without limits. That is pure, unqualified collectivism. And it will bring evil.

    I’m not talking about the field of law and justice where I totally agree with you, but something different entirely. I don’t think goons who swear at old ladies should have to go to court, I just think they need a smack. Not very long ago they would have and no great harm came of it.
    I agree that if I was from a big city rather than the sticks (where crime is definitely getting much worse, in step with more government programmes and liberal policing) I might have a different attitude.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. Most certainly: I never said anything like that.

    http://www.somalianarchy.com/

    This site used to have a lot more traffic than it does now. I can’t think why.

  • Simon Jester

    I can’t connect to Jackie’s blog – I keep getting a “Forbidden You don’t have permission to access / on this server” error.

    I saw someone who looked very similar to the culprit on Ealing Broadway around 3PM today – the earrings looked similar, among other things.

    I have no idea if it was him, though.

    Would it be worth spreading this around the Ealing blogs (if anyone knows any)?

  • BritBlog maintain a list of Ealing blogs and Pub Philospher has already posted.

    I’m not sure many blogs in the general sense are focused on their localities though, or if even local bloggers attract local readers.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Mid,

    “It truly is a battle between competing governments.”
    Yes, that too. Governments are simply the hierarchies of the biggest gangs. This is especially obvious with other countries’ governments, but it applies in a way to our own too.

    On self-defence laws, see here and here. I’m sure you could find many more references. I’m not aware of any collection of statistics on people who weren’t prosecuted, but I admit I haven’t looked very hard.

    Regarding the Brazilian in the subway, that wasn’t intended to be the delivery of justice, it was intended to be protecting the public. That’s another of the police’s roles. Unfortunately, they have to do the best they can with the resources and information they’ve got. Sometimes their best isn’t good enough.

  • Midwesterner

    Interesting links. At first glance reassuring. But with thought, it appears to be extremely discretionary. The section in the second link titled “public interest” seemed to leave zealous prosecutors a lot of room.

    And in the pamphlet, this paragraph was perhaps less reassuring than it was intended to be.

    What if the intruder dies?

    If you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies you will still have acted lawfully. Indeed, there are several such cases where the householder has not been prosecuted.

    I think there is enough discretionary latitude in both of our systems that the only serious knowledge of the true state of things is the actual statistics.

    And whatever the intentions re the Brazilian in the subway, it is pretty clear that it was behavior most typical of a “tough police force”.

    My strongest priority is for the protection of the individual rights of life, liberty and property. Historically, nations with weak police and a strong and empowered citizenry have done this best. Nations with a strong and empowered police force and a weak and disarmed citizenry have failed conclusively. It’s not a coincidence that we have the term “police state”.

    I agree with (or at least share) most of the sentiments of those I am arguing with here. Since I think we all reject actions based on “because I have good intentions”, I think time is well spent having this discussion. I hope I have convinced some here to widen your frames of reference and perhaps adjust some opinions.

  • Poor Jackie. I have been on the receiving end of this type of unwarranted abuse myself. I was told, by a drunk football fan, that he would cut my throat and rape my wife (sitting next to me) if I didn’t give him all of my money. I told him to stay away from me, unable to call the police on the tube and getting no support from other passengers. As you can imagine, my wife was petrified. Thankfully, I had judged correctly: he wasn’t a killer, just a slimeball mugger.

    This sort of yobbery should stop. We can’t rely on anyone else to stop it, unless we’re prepared to do our bit.

    http://www.pledgebank.com/standupforlondon(Link)

  • Dale Amon

    A number of anecdotes…

    I know Jim Davidson quite well and he was in Somalia through the whole Blackhawk Down period. His opinion was the US coming in effed things up. My own opinion is that it was more the very typical case of what happens during global wars. The world came to Somalia and Somalia was that much worse for it. Something similar happened here in Ireland on the Boyne when European power fought out their war.

    One night after midnight in the late 1980’s I was having a late dinner in the Eat’n’Park on Murray Avenue when I saw someone across the street getting jumped by a group of ‘youths’. In less time than it took me to raise food to my mouth, men nearest the door poured out onto the street, stopped the beating/mugging and ran down several of the youths. The professor who was beaten up, went to the hospital. So did several of the assailants. That affair gave me a very good feeling about my home town. It’s a place that if you are part of a neighborhood, everyone has your back.

    I have met Goetz; he is quite… an interesting character. Last I heard he was into ‘squirrel hirises’ for the Lower East Side, sort of like birdhouses but for the the bushy tailed rodents. I have also heard that his attacker not only recovered but swore off crime.

    In a case like Jackie’s, I would very much like to see the attacker get the s**t kicked out of him at the time of the attack. Maybe the schools will not teach kids to be part of a cvil society… but those who believe in one certainly can. Anyone who wishes to actt n such an uncivil manner should be terrified of how badly hurt they will end up if they try.

    As for the more violent ones, if they die attempting violence against peaceful individuals, “Think of it as evolution in action.”

    Or as the french say “Pour encourager les autres”.

  • Dale Amon

    It is late. I did not annotate the above well enough. That was Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill Area of Pittsburgh; and the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

  • Just a thought – if people could upload the image into their phones and then, if they think they see the person contact the authorities, showing the image.

    That, or chalk an “M” on your hand and then pat them on the back…

  • Midwesterner

    Dale,

    As long as we stipulate that the government agents (police etc) may only do any s**t kickin’ if due process of law orders it. Until that point, they should only be allowed to act in their own self defense as necessary to achieve their lawful work.

    It is a stipulation that I think needs made as there are people in this thread who appear to believe that the police should skip the due process part and administer ‘justice’ on the spot when it is something the commenter thinks should be punished. Since police answer to politics and courts to laws, that is just gang rule.

    However, in probable agreement with you, I don’t like the idea in UK law (which I inferred from the links that Pa Annoyed provided) that someone attacked may only match force with what you think is being used against you. Leaving the choice to escalate in the sole hands of an attacker who has already demonstrated a willingness to escalate beyond what is legal is just plain dangerous. We must always be free to defend ourselves at a level adequate to preempt our attackers next action. The UK system seems to require defenders to actually see and feel threatened by a knife or gun or actually take a hit in order to act legally in proportionate defense.

  • Pa Annoyed

    “We must always be free to defend ourselves at a level adequate to preempt our attackers next action.”

    I think that’s the idea. The law says ‘reasonable force’ not ‘proportionate’ or ‘equal’ or ‘equivalent’. If you can give a good reason why what you did was necessary for your own safety, you’re on as safe ground as you ever are in court.

    The point of making the caveat is to stop people torturing people for a month and then feeding them to the dogs because the other person threatened them and shoved them out of the way a bit. Rude, but it’s a bit harsh to decree slow agonising death for it. It is not the case that if attacked there are then no limits or you can mete out corporal punishment, but the law is worded so that what most people would regard as reasonable and justified self defence is allowed. Of course, you can’t apply common sense unless the law has a degree of vagueness about it, and that means you can interpret it unreasonably too. I make no claim that this never happens; it’s the price you pay for flexibility. Mistakes happen, but apparently they’re only unacceptable when the state makes them.

    As for the no-need-for-a-trial alternative that some others seem keen on, I have this mad vision of coming across a line of a dozen men all lined up groaning on the ground with one guy stood at the end beating up a second. Immediately intevening to thump the attacker while the victim joins the crowd and rolls around moaning in pain, I suddenly hear a “Hey, You!” shouted behind me.

  • Midwesterner

    Hey you! No need for a trial here. I know how to deal with your sort.

    Mistakes happen, but apparently they’re only unacceptable when the state makes them.

    As long as government grants itself superior powers and privileges for action, it must be held to a higher standard. A mistaken police force is far more consequential than getting bludgeoned with a loaf of French bread, or whatever the deadliest weapons you guys are permitted to carry is. Just ask Brazilian electricians. Had any civilian made a mistake like that, what standard would this government be holding him to?

    Of course it is unacceptable when the state makes mistakes. Their whole claim for usurping these powers is that mere civilians will make mistakes. They are trying to have it both ways. Citizen’s can’t be armed because they might make a mistake, but the gov can’t be held accountable for making mistakes. And since they control prosecution …

  • The Happy Rampager

    The point of making the caveat is to stop people torturing people for a month and then feeding them to the dogs because the other person threatened them and shoved them out of the way a bit.

    Let’s get this straight – the law on reasonable force is the way it is because the powers that be assume that there’s a good chance that victims of crime will behave just like a crime boss who’s been ripped off. Right? And while you might try to make it sound as if people would only face prosecution for committing such grossly extreme vioence, for so trivial a reason, it’s not true, is it, Pa?

    We stand a good chance that the police or CPS will decide to prosecute if we do far less than that, in far more stressful circumstances, do we not? If we were to accept that the police/CPS were genuinely concerned to avoid criminals being tortured to death by angry victims, then we have to conclude that the prosecutions they have brought are for actions comparable to torture.

    Such as when a motorist has several thugs surrounding his car, one of whom climbed onto the car and proceeded to jump up and down on it, and subsequently drives over that thug while trying to get away, that’s tantamount to cold-blooded torture and the motorist must be sent to prison.

    Or when a near-blind pensioner kills a younger intruder who was strong enough to kick his front door off its hinges, the police will serious attempt to have him sent down for murder, as what he did was in their view morally and legally equivalent to tying up and torturing an inturder. (In that case the only thing that stopped them was a lawyer pointing out that they wouldn’t be able to fool a jury that the murder charges they wished to bring were appropriate under the circumstances. If they had had less uncertainty, they would have proceeded.)

    Let’s not forget that our authorities have admitted a particular concern that criminals should be protected from danger while committing violent/confrontational crimes, therefore they proceed to invcestigate in which ways they can ‘get’ victims for doing any harm to any miscreant. That hardly allows you to say that they approach such matters in good faith, does it?

  • TPS

    Their whole claim for usurping these powers is that mere civilians will make mistakes.

    Civilians actually make mistakes less often than police, since they are more likely to be eyewitnesses to the crime (usually by virtue of being the target of said crime). In contrast, a police officer responding to a crime in progress must determine who is doing what to whom before they can contemplate the appropriateness of deadly force. That can be very difficult to do in the span of a few seconds.

    NYPD is under fire for a controversial shooting last week.

  • Pa Annoyed

    “Their whole claim for usurping these powers is that mere civilians will make mistakes.”

    The aim is not to stop honest citizens defending themselves. It is to stop criminal toerags going out armed and attacking anyone less effectively armed, and claiming it is all for self-defence. To stop little old ladies having to go out armed just to keep up. It is to stop thugs armed with machetes and machine guns laughing in your face and telling you there’s no law against it, and nobody being able to do anything unless they actually catch them in the act.

    You’re all concentrating on the honest citizen being allowed to bear arms, to defend themselves, and to instil fear in criminals. Yes. Good. But the other side to that coin is that the thugs get to be armed too, and the thugs get to claim they were only defending themselves or their friends when they’re caught standing over your dead body with the smoking gun still in their hand. You’re still living in fear, but now you’re scared of being shot instead of just being punched. The criminals taunt you: “Anything you can do, I can do better”. You haven’t changed the odds, you’ve just raised the stakes.

    The Brazilian electrician was killed because a group of concerned civilians thought he was a terrorist carrying a bomb onto a packed subway train. (Policemen are civilians, and as human as the rest of us.) You’re 90% certain he’s a terrorist: if you shoot, one probably-guilty man dies, if you don’t shoot it’s 90% certain that fifty 100% innocent people die. In the circumstances it was the correct decision, and I would expect that any other civilian with the same information would be held to the same standard. When police make mistakes it is generally not because they are policemen, but because they are human. You cannot in fairness hold anyone to a super-human standard.

    It isn’t only the police that can make mistakes. – We had a mob round here who attacked a pediatrician because they couldn’t spell ‘paedophile’. There are lots of people I’ve met that I wouldn’t trust with a gun. You would also arm the anti-globalisation protesters, and the radical Islamists, and the animal rights activists. Do you trust them to have the same definition of “criminals in need of a good kicking” as you do?

    You can certainly argue for the CPS or police to correctly apply the law to allow for people to defend themselves, and criticise the cases where they don’t. I don’t think it’s a step forward to argue for us all being allowed to perpetrate the same abuses. The right to a fair trial and proper procedure applies whether it is the state or the citizen who accuses you. You can’t just go round beating up people who deserve it any more than policemen can. Justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done and it isn’t only the state that that applies to.

  • Midwesterner

    Oh Pa! Surely you’re more rational than this –

    But the other side to that coin is that the thugs get to be armed too.

    You seem to be making the preposterous assumption that criminals selectively obey the laws against being armed and break only other laws.

    And policeman are not truly civilians anymore. Those days ended when they acquired the exclusive right to arms. And if those civilians had carried out the mistake, it would now be in the hands of the courts. Instead, the government agents made the mistaken execution and we shall never here another word about it. Action and consequence! Remove consequences and actions run out of control. And for big bro, consequences have been removed.

    The right to a fair trial and proper procedure applies whether it is the state or the citizen who accuses you.

    No. Regretably, it does not. Only if a citizen accuses you do you get a fair trial and proper procedure. When the state does it, the grant themselves immunity.

    You seem to believe that we are overrun with pathologically violent sociopaths who, if allowed the means of defense, will run around indiscriminately shooting people. You have a very sad circle of friends, I must say. Even though I live in one of the more restrictive gun law states (we have no procedure to be granted concealed carry) we are legally permitted to strap a gun on our hip and go most places in my community (very few do except a few security guards). And yet statistically, my community is in many ways safer than the UK.

    Robberies in the UK outnumber Wisconsin by almost 2 to 1 but Wisconsin has more rapes by a 4 to 3 margin. Homocide is greater in Wisconsin by a 2 to 1 margin, but assaults went to the UK by almost a 7 to 1 margin. Robberies went to the UK by ~3 to 1 margin. Statistically this plays out to trading 14 homocides for ~23,900 assaults, 840 robberies and 9,522 burglaries. Your terror of violence in the streets seems to be, at the least, exaggerated. Many people would consider exchanging 23,900 assaults, 840 robberies and 9,522 burgluries for 14 murders to be a good swap. Especially considering that virtually 100% of murders are reported and a great many assaults, robberies and burglaries are not reported so the true numbers could be far more extreme.

    Here are the sources for the UK and Wisconsin I used. It is important to convert the statistics into numbers relative between differnet types of crime, and not just compare locational percentages of each type. Otherwise the 1 less murder for 23,900 additional assaults, etc would not be apparent. It would only be obvious that there are twice as many murders and ~6.5 times as many assaults. But I think a lot of people will consider the murders per assaults, etc to be an important statistic. I sure do.

    I’m sure with your mathematics career, you can have a heyday with these numbers. And it is highly likely that I’ve made some embarassing arithmatic errors. I do that occasionally by full orders of magnitude. (I caught one while preparing this that would have been very embarassing, indeed. There may be more.) But when you consider the presumption that the US (and self defense in general) is such a dangerous place, maybe it is not so bad as some of you think.

  • TPS

    …the thugs get to claim they were only defending themselves or their friends when they’re caught standing over your dead body with the smoking gun still in their hand.

    That seems highly unlikely. I’m sure it has been tried, and I’m sure the entire courtroom laughed for a few moments. “Your honor, I did indeed rape and murder that woman, her sister and her best friend, but it WAS SELF DEFENSE! And that poor fool that tried to intervene? Well, I was simply defending myself and exercising my God given right to perpetrate forcible felonies! It was FOUR AGAINST ONE!”

    You haven’t changed the odds, you’ve just raised the stakes.

    Every time Concealed Carry of a Weapon (CCW) is brought up, someone inevitably predicts “blood running in the streets” and a “wild west” scenario. That has not proven to be the case in places where CCW has actually been enacted.

    Policemen are civilians, and as human as the rest of us.

    Try telling that to some of the more egomaniacal among them who believe that they have super citizen powers, unparalleled skill and knowledge far above that of pitiful mortals. There are plenty of those out there. For a significant number of them the firearm is more of a symbol of authority than a weapon, akin to their badge. Granting permission to carry weapons for self defense to lowly “civilians” bruises their egos and makes them feel less special. Especially when you can use them more competently than they can.

    There are lots of people I’ve met that I wouldn’t trust with a gun.

    So have I, and many of them are police officers.

    You can’t just go round beating up people who deserve it any more than policemen can.

    I’m not sure anyone was seriously advocating this. I think that most people would simply like to be able to forcefully defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted for it.

    On a related note, the Guardian Angels have had a revival in some places, including London.

  • The Happy Rampager

    Yes. Good. But the other side to that coin is that the thugs get to be armed too, and the thugs get to claim they were only defending themselves or their friends when they’re caught standing over your dead body with the smoking gun still in their hand. You’re still living in fear, but now you’re scared of being shot instead of just being punched. The criminals taunt you: “Anything you can do, I can do better”. You haven’t changed the odds, you’ve just raised the stakes.

    And of course there’s nothing you can do legally to deter thugs from using guns in crimes, like for instance hugely increased sentences. No way in which we can even attempt to get the point across that ‘we have removed restrictions on defensive weapons for the benefit of law-abiding citizens, not to make it easier for you to victimize them. If you think different, then we are going to come down on you like a ton of bricks’, No, that would indicate a willingness to support ordinary people that our beloved authorities just don’t have, even think they shouldn’t have. And that’s why the authorities will never put a stop to ‘victim disarmament’.

    It’s strange that for all the people you hear decrying ‘fear of crime’, people like you certainly don’t mind playing on a fear of what the criminals might do…in order to maintain a situation in which criminals already feel empowered to do all the things you talk about. Like what you’re saying, ‘oh, oh, oh, but the criminals will just turn nastier! You’ll just have to put up with the way things are now’. Cynical and nasty.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Mid,

    “…criminals selectively obey the laws against being armed…”

    Yes, I should have said ‘legally armed’. In this country, only the outlaws have guns, so if you arrest anyone with a gun you tend to get outlaws exclusively. It’s an easy way to recognise them. :-)

    Criminals obey most laws most of the time. They only break them ocasionally, at the point where it will do them most good, and when the risk is worth it. Most of our criminals are unarmed, too.

    “And policeman are not truly civilians anymore…”

    So if we were all armed none of us would be civilians?

    Firstly, the police are not the only ones allowed to carry guns. They’re quite popular for sport, hunting, and gamekeeping. And there’s the odd bit of trouble with farmers ‘shooting across their own land’ and intruders accidentally getting in the way. Secondly, in this country the vast majority of the police are not allowed to carry guns either. They generally get a truncheon, and even then have a load of politically correct rules about when they can use it. The gun squads only come out when they’re fairly sure the other side is armed and dangerous too. In this country you simply cannot legally walk around with a gun for self-defence ‘just in case'; whether you are a policeman or not.

    “And if those civilians had carried out the mistake, it would now be in the hands of the courts.”

    Every such shooting is automatically subjected to independent investigation with a view to prosecution. Policemen can and do end up in court as a result. The circumstances in this case were investigated, and it was found that the policemen acted correctly and prosecution was not justified (a decision I agree with), exactly as it is supposed to happen.

    The law says that self-defence is allowed, and deadly force if you believe the other person is armed and dangerous, even if you turn out to be mistaken. If you’re argument is that this law shouldn’t be selectively applied to policemen and not the victims of muggings, then I would agree with you 100%. If you’re saying the law grants the privilege to shoot people and get away with it exclusively to the agents of government, then I’d like to see some references, please.

    “You seem to believe that we are overrun with pathologically violent sociopaths who, if allowed the means of defense, will run around indiscriminately shooting people.”

    So do you. That’s pretty much what you’ve accused the police of.

    “…my community is in many ways safer than the UK.”

    Very probably. But what I am questioning is whether that is a consequence of the gun laws, or because most people don’t want to hurt others.

    Note, I am not arguing that relaxing the gun laws here would induce terror in the streets. I personally think it would make very little difference to the probability of meeting trouble. I said it raised the stakes, but that it didn’t change the odds.

    “Many people would consider exchanging 23,900 assaults, 840 robberies and 9,522 burgluries for 14 murders to be a good swap.”

    You’re making the assumption that the reason for the difference is the laws on self-defence and carrying weaponry. What if it is simply that we’ve got more people who like fighting each other after getting drunk? Would we actually be exchanging 23,900 assaults for 23,900 murders? Or would we continue to get 23,900 assaults but we get the 14 murders as well? Note, I am not saying that would happen, but your statistics don’t show that this is the reason for the difference. Correlation does not imply causation, and the causes of crime are a subject of great complexity.

    “presumption that the US (and self defense in general) is such a dangerous place”

    For what it’s worth, I don’t consider the US to be a dangerous place. I just don’t believe that the gun laws have any influence on it, one way or the other. I think the US is a safe place simply because it is full of nice people. :-)

  • Pa Annoyed

    TPS,

    “That seems highly unlikely…”

    In the circumstances you describe, yes. But people do plead self-defence, and what if there is no evidence or witnesses? “Yes, your honour, I poured petrol over my husband as he slept and set fire to him, but only because he was abusing and threatening me and would have killed me if I had confronted him openly”? Was he abusing her? Hard to tell now.

    “…someone inevitably predicts “blood running in the streets””

    I don’t. I’m specifically saying that it doesn’t change the odds – there would be as little crime with guns as there is without. But that when it does happen, it isn’t just two children punching each other in the playground, it’s two children carrying knives fighting in the playground. When I was a kid you sometimes got a bit bruised, but that’s as far as it went.

    “Try telling that to some of the more egomaniacal among them…”

    And you think this won’t apply in even greater measure to the young street toughs when they get guns?

    This is just human nature. I know of some Libertarians who believe themselves superior to the mere sheeple who follow along the statists’ agenda, who believe themselves to be heroic and vigilant defenders of liberty, and whose egos are bruised by society not trusting them with heavy weaponry and fortifications against the inevitable day when the government declares itself to be a totalitarian dictatorship and that everyone must eat five portions of fruit and veg a day OR THEY WILL DIE!!! ;-)

    “…I think that most people would simply like to be able to forcefully defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted for it.”

    Good. Then we’re in agreement. :-)

  • Pa Annoyed

    Happy Rampager,

    “people like you certainly don’t mind playing on a fear of what the criminals might do…”

    People are arguing in favour of carrying weapons on the basis of self-defence against “what the criminals might do”. (Or in various cases, ‘what the government might do’.) OK, that’s a valid concern, but so is the criminals’ response to it. You can’t argue your case on the basis of the actions of criminals and not allow me to do the same.

    For the record: I am most definitely in favour of all people being allowed to defend the lives and liberties of themselves and others, and to use reasonable force in an emergency if that is believed absolutely necessary, and whether it subsequently turns out to be or not. That applies equally to the police and to any other citizen. I am not in favour of anything tantamount to punishment or intimidation of people believed to be criminals without fair trials and due process – which is mainly what I was originally complaining about – and I have concerns about publishing photos with associated accusations, although so long as it is for the purposes of bringing them before a court I can see the necessity. That applies equally to the police and to any other citizen. I believe that weapons are only a help if you’ve got them and the other person doesn’t. There’s no reason I can see to suppose that would be the general result if you allow everybody to carry weapons. I believe that societies are safe and peaceful because of the customs and liberal beliefs of the people and the respect they hold for each other, not because they’re made to behave by the threats of either government or their neighbours. And finally, I don’t consider the neighbours are any safer guardians of my liberty than the government – we’re all humans with human failings.

    And may I say, I’ve found this a very interesting debate.

  • The Happy Rampager

    OK, that’s a valid concern, but so is the criminals’ response to it.

    Did you just not bother reading my suggestion about how we could deal with the ‘criminals’ response’?

    You can’t argue your case on the basis of the actions of criminals and not allow me to do the same.

    Well let’s consider what each of us arguing in favour of. I point to the actions of criminals to support the public having weapons with which to protect themselves against criminals, while for you, the actions of criminals are exactly why the public should continue to endure the actions of criminals.

    And how’s about quoting me in full, since I was commenting on the irony (and/or disingenuousness) of using fear of crime in such a fashion.

    I believe that societies are safe and peaceful because of the customs and liberal beliefs of the people and the respect they hold for each other, not because they’re made to behave by the threats of either government or their neighbours.

    OK then, since you think it’s better that scumbags such as the one in the photo should be encouraged to respect people around them more, tell us how you would try to do so in his case.

  • Midwesterner

    Pa.

    I am beginning to wonder if you are debating in good faith. For one thing – Civilian.

    Perhaps you actually believe the things you are saying. I suspect that you actually do. For example –

    The circumstances in this case were investigated, and it was found that the policemen acted correctly and prosecution was not justified (a decision I agree with), exactly as it is supposed to happen.

    So in concert with your previous statement, then, you are saying that if civilians did the same thing in the same circumstances (to the Brazilian electrician) they would not be prosecuted just as the agents of the government were not? The only way out is to either say “yes”, which is obviously false, or to grant immunity to agents of the government. WHich is what has happened.

    So do you. That’s pretty much what you’ve accused the police of.

    I expect any group that has no checks on their conduct to escalate their conduct to suit their own ends. Whether their ends are to live in peace or to commit crimes or to get their bosses reelected. As you repeatedly point out, civilians who engage in unlawful acts face court. Demonstrably, police are not held to the same standard as civilians. This is wrong.

    Further, you say correlation does not imply causation. Our gun laws have not been static. They have been changing a lot. In past threads, I have reveiwed studies performed by researchers applying economic theory to gun crime. All I can say is for someone who is trained in scientific method (or not, do mathematicians need to practice it?), you seem to have a rather emotional attachment to theories even when they defy evidence and study.

    Seriously, I encourage you to look at the research comparing before and after cases. I’ve referenced a lot of it in other threads on Samizdata. I just don’t have time to go back and find it for you right now. I believe most of those discussions occured before you frequented Samizdata. I’ve got to be out for a while but this evening I’ll try to find time to reread your comment in a slower and more thoughtful way. But in a nutshell, the facts and studies are against you. Economic theory works very well. Risk/benefit and all that good stuff.

    You really seem to think every one carries arms if they are allowed to. Very very few do. I suspect elderly ladies are probably one of the highest carry groups, and still quite low. But what it comes down to is that criminals do what they can get away with. If they don’t think they can get away with it, they look for sure things. Any convicted criminal who is caught with a gun in his possession is sent away for a long time.

    Let me repeat that, convicted felons return to jail merely for possessing a firearm. Usually for a very long time.

    Your irrational fears are entirely emotional ones. I used to worry about people with guns. Then I thought about people with cars. The number of cars approaching me head on at closing speeds (our speeds added together) of 120mph while they are looking at the CD player controls or talking on the cell phone or trying to eat a hamburger or any number of other stupid things. Causing massive bloodshed with a car is easy. Just watch the news for a few days. We had an elderly person lose control and drive through pedistrians at a farmer’s market, for example. Causing accidental harm with a gun is very difficult. In spite of MSM obsession with gun danger, the cases are hard to find and receive huge press. Causing deliberate harm with a legal firearm is also extremely rare.

    Since your case is so strongly an emotional one without base in facts or reseach, I’m easily bored by this discussion. I’ve been through all of this too many times to remember.

    Before you carry on with your non-Bayesian, religious fears of evil guns, try a little of that Bayesianism you claim to hold. Use the facts and studies to put probabilities on your theories. Here are some sites that have data links.

    http://www.guncite.com/

    http://www.heartland.org/PolicyBotTopic.cfm?artTopic=53

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-284.html

    I can’t get the heartland one to work properly on my browser, maybe it will work on yours. CATO has tons of interesting articles. Guncite is loaded with links.

    Here are some links courtesy of John Lott’s website. His site is an antiquated pure html mess that strains the eyes. It does everything but blink, so I’ve reporduced his links here. That also helps if his site changes or moves since you can bookmark this thread.

    http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/advances/vol4/iss1/art1/(Link)

    http://www.terry.uga.edu/~dmustard/police.pdf(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/issues/v44nS2/012201/brief/012201.abstract.html(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/issues/v44nS2/012203/brief/012203.abstract.html(Link)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=523002(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/issues/v44nS2/012206/brief/012206.abstract.html(Link)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=56862(Link)

    http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Plassmann_Whitley.pdf(Link)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=320102(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/issues/v44nS2/012207/brief/012207.abstract.html(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/issues/v44nS2/012204/brief/012204.abstract.html(Link)

    http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/BibEc/data/Articles/oupecinquv:36:y:1998:i:2:p:258-65.html(Link)
    I couldn’t make this one work. It was broken in the original, I ‘fixed’ it but still couldn’t get it to work.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=161637(Link)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=320107(Link)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=248328(Link)

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/abstracts/261lot.html(Link)

    Enjoy!

  • Pa Annoyed

    Thanks, Mid. It will take me a while to work my way through those.

    The first one I clicked on, though, had this to say:

    “I now believe that the best currently available evidence, imperfect though it is (and must always be), indicates that general gun availability has no measurable net positive effect on rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U[nited] S[tates]. This is not the same as saying gun availability has no effects on violence–it has many effects on the likelihood of attack, injury, death, and crime completion, but these effects work in both violence-increasing and violence-decreasing directions, with the effects largely canceling out.”
    Gary Kleck.

    Which I believe is pretty much exactly what I said.

    I’ll get back to you when I’ve done a more detailed survey.

    On your other points: many police forces are not civilian, but the British metropolitan police force was specifically instituted by Robert Peel as a civilian force in 1829. We do have military police, and the civilian force is referred to as such to distinguish them. I gather this isn’t as commonly known as I thought.

    My answer would indeed be “yes”, and I don’t see its falsity as in any way obvious. I certainly wouldn’t prosecute the one who pulled the trigger, and I wouldn’t convict if I was on a jury. I suspect I’m not alone, and I expect the CPS know that too.
    (As a matter of fact, I understand one policeman is being prosecuted as a result of it: Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.)

    Oh, and I don’t have any fears, irrational or otherwise, about gun control or its lack. The policy has arguments both for and against; I don’t believe it helps, but neither would it result in a social disaster. What I’m saying is that arming yourself for self-defence is as irrational a kneejerk reaction as banning all weapons, because they’re both founded on the same sort of arguments and the reasoning cancels out. I was mainly trying to correct your strawman understanding of the reasons the British legal establishment put forward in favour of it and how they are a reflection of your own against; not advocating or endorsing those arguments. It’s not for fear of civilian mistakes, or jealousy over their greater competence with weapons, but to allow them to stop criminals carrying weapons with intent to harm before they use them. I make no comment on the wisdom or effectiveness of their policy. Not-obviously-illegal weapons are not hard to improvise, anyhow.

    I’m enjoying the debate, but I get the feeling others are getting genuinely upset by the argument, so I’ll give it a break.

    I expect the topic will come up again eventually… ;-)

  • Midwesterner

    This thread has rolled off of the front page. They would have to deliberately seek it out in order to find and be upset by it.

    I read through all of the abstracts I sent you but did not read most of the papers. (I have read some of them.)

    The present police force in UK bears little if any resemblance to the Peelian principles. It would be good if all of them where re applied in toto.

    I once (in the days when computers were very slow) worked in a company that worked 8 hour days everywhere except in the computer department. It ran for 16 hours per day. I was the sole occupant of the building from ~6PM until I left at 12 ~ 1AM. Big empty parking lot in an empty commercial district where everything shut down by around 6 or 7PM.

    The problem was, I worked for a medical supply company that had schedule II drugs on premises. I had keys to get to all of the building except the locked drug cage and I had complete keys to the alarm system. Supplies were kept in the warehouse and I needed access. Had the option been available, I may have chosen to CC for that job, particularly leaving the building and getting to my car, but I didn’t have the option.

    Something about US gun laws that you need to keep in mind when you’re looking at the data and research. Gun laws are regulated as locally as each municipality. But registration, if any, is ususally statewide. To make statistics like those for Wisconsin sensible requires segregating out jurisdictions (like Milwaukee and Madison) that are exceptions to the state regulations.

    Predictably enough, when you do this the distinction between lenient and restrictive areas shows an even more pronounced tendancy towards different crime rates.

    If any other readers are still out there, I hope they read some more of that page you linked considering that, by his own statement –

    [Gary Kleck] is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates.

    The other links are very interesting also.

  • I was attacked with extreme violence on the Piccadilly Line in ’87.
    I kept the slags talking till Earl’s Court.
    All the Londoners ran away; the ones who came to my assistance(I managed to give one of the crims a bloody nose)were a New York American and several Australians.

    I still refuse to have anything to do with London, but if you are going to get attacked, try to get to Earl’s Court.

    You might then have a hope.

  • jimmy j

    although i agree what this “KID” did was wrong i hardly think slandering him on a website is very mature why did u not report this to authority or confront the kid yourself instead of being cowardly and making cheap shots about him on a webpage. Now the kid was completely wrong if he did what you made out and fair enough he does deserve to be punished but i think that you are also wrong in making this cheap piece of propaganda about him i mean have some balls and at least hunt him down face to face !!! as doing this makes you just as cowardly as you make him out to be. THINK ABOUT IT !!!

  • although i agree what this “KID” did was wrong i hardly think slandering him on a website is very mature why did u not report this to authority or confront the kid yourself

    Did you actually read the fucking article? Did you follow the links? I was not there, Jackie was. And she did tell the cops. And far from ‘slandering’ that piece of shit, he was arrested and done to this (and other) crimes, so no need to track the toad down, we know who he is now. Busted.

    Put brain in gear before using the keyboard. Idiot.