This is one of the more ridiculous incidents of security theatre that I have read. I know it is preaching to the converted to post such a link to Samizdata, and the increasingly farcical nature of the United States government surprises no one who reads here, but the post deserves to be spread far and wide. Reading Mike Masnick’s account of how the knuckleheads providing “security” at the US Capitol conduct themselves, one can better visualize the inherent idiocy of the entire operation.
Recently widowed Sarah McKinley from Oklahoma shot and killed a man who broke into her house, according to ABC News, via Huffington Post, via Michael Yon’s Facebook page. An accomplice also broke in, but he ran away after hearing the gun shot and gave himself up to the police. Oddly, he has now been charged with murder.
It’s not an easy decision to make, but it was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.
For propaganda purposes it helps that she is media friendly: articulate and not weird. An article on examiner.com mentions other women who have “refused victimisation” recently. I wonder if Feminists for Firearms might make a successful counter-meme to Mothers Against Guns.
The ABC video states that the police called the killing “justified”, and goes on to explain that 30 states, including Oklahoma, have the castle doctrine. In the other states you are required to retreat if you can, though the law expert interviewed could not think of anyone in the USA who had ever been imprisoned for killing an intruder. Most such cases get thrown out by the grand jury, as in the case of Joe Horn even though he shot burglars attacking his neighbour’s property.
What a civilised state of affairs.
There was an item on the local London TV news early last night about a bunch of cooks who, when confronted by a bunch of crooks, defended themselves, their restaurant and their diners. Yes, here is the story, from earlier in the month, at the time of those riots. Remember them?
Chefs and waiters leapt to the defence of members of the public enjoying an evening at The Ledbury, an upmarket restaurant in Notting Hill, London.
Thugs and rioters armed with bats and wearing hooded tops forced their way into the two star restaurant before demanding diners hand over their wallets and wedding rings.
But staff and others fought back with kitchen tools before leading customers into the wine cellar for protection.
Later in the evening, the looters returned, and the diners were ushered by the staff to the safety of the downstairs wine cellar. Which seems like a craven retreat, and in a way it was. But the personal cash and valuables of the diners were what the looters were after, and they were again thwarted.
The significance of the TV coverage I saw this evening wasn’t just that all this happened, but that the TV coverage was so sympathetic to the restaurant staff for doing what they did. The Ledbury (which I had never heard of until now) has apparently won some kind of vote of excellence for its food, organised by a restaurant guide, and the general atmosphere radiating from my TV was: hurrah! Good for them, and the perfect excuse to tell the story, again, of those heroic deeds by the heroic Ledbury staff a few weeks ago.
A few further thoughts occur to me. → Continue reading: Praising the defenders of the Ledbury (again)
I am delighted to see that some people are ‘taking the law into their own hands’ and not just abandoning their communities to the barbarian thugs…
When the trouble came, hairdressers, sales assistants and butchers were among the scores of Turkish and Kurdish workers who stood outside their businesses in Green Lanes, Haringey, from 8pm having been warned by police to expect trouble.
The Guardian filmed others – some armed with baseball bats – on guard outside shops and restaurants in Kingsland Road, only a mile away from Hackney’s burning high street. Three workers from Re-Style Hairdressers were among those out in Green Lanes, after word spread that an attack was imminent at about 4pm
“We were outside ready and expecting them,” said the manager of Turkish Food Market, who asked not to be named. “But I felt very panicky because we are not safe from either the rioters or police. We put all of our efforts into this shop. It took 20 years to get it like this. But we do not know about our rights. I’m scared that the police and the government will attack us if we defend our businesses. We are being squeezed between the two.”
Firstly, to those blaming ‘immigration’ rather than the welfare state, and the utterly grotesque way the state demands you do not protect what is yours, well people would do well to emulate the Turkish and Kurdish community in Britain. Indeed the looters we see on television and streamed over the internet are so multi-racial it must gladden the hearts of the Welfare Statists who created them.
So when the police decry ‘vigilantes‘, I would point out that communities can often do a better job at protecting themselves than the police can and the folks who got out on the streets, not to loot but to defend their neighbourhoods, well they are the real heroes here.
The safety of you and your property is only tangentially of interest to the state (certainly they want to tax what you own, so to that extent they do indeed care about your life and property), but as demonstrated starkly over the last few days, the state also created the conditions that led to these riots and is therefore rather uneasy about punishing people who, after all, only do what the state does every day only without having to smash any windows.
A community of few people with rifles and something worth protecting are not such a soft target to thugs, even armed thugs, compared to a disarmed general population looking vainly for the Plod to save them. But for all sorts of reasons, the British state has so effectively propagandised this country that to even suggest armed self-defence puts you on the lunatic fringe… so crowbars and cricket bats it is then.
If these last few days shows anything it is that when push comes to shove, only you and your neighbours can defend against what can only be called barbarian scum. Contrary to what the state would have you believe, you have the right to defend yourself and your property that morally supersede any law that would deny that right. The rioters ‘took the law into their own hands’ so I applaud those Turks and Kurds (and many others whom the Guardian would not be so keen to report on) who did the same… they took the law back from the barbarians with and put it where it belongs: in their own hands.
The state is not your friend, so do what you have to do and if you drive off some thugs, do not call the police after it is all over as nothing good will come of that.
When you read this kind of thing in a newspaper, it’s bad. But when you read it at cricinfo …:
The riots and looting in Birmingham were copycat incidents following events in London over the previous days. The vandalism was concentrated around the city centre, with masked young men and women going on a rampage from early evening, looting shops and destroying property.
They started by snatching mobile phones and handbags from pedestrians, followed by kicking, punching, breaking windows of shopping centres, banks, pubs, restaurants, forcing people to shut down these establishments. Groups of two or three suddenly grew larger and created an atmosphere of panic and fear. Through the evening and night riot police were on the main streets, armoured police vehicles and other cars scanned the roads, and a helicoper hovered overhead.
The headline above this says: “Test likely to begin despite riots”.
One of the more depressing things about these riots is the way that the only thing that the Police can think of to say to us non-looters and non-arsonists is: “Don’t join in” and “Let us handle it”. If the bad guys start to torch your house, let them get on with it. If they attack your next door neighbour, don’t join in on his side. Run away. Let the barbarians occupy and trash whatever territory they pick on and steal or destroy whatever property they want to.
There was a fascinating impromptu TV interview with some young citizens of Clapham last night, not “experts”, just regular citizens, one of whom stated the opposite policy. Law abiding persons should get out of their houses, he said, en masse, and be ready to defend them.
The trouble with “letting the Police do their job” is that in the precise spot in which you happen to live, or used to live, their job probably won’t start, if it ever does start, for about a week. In the meantime, letting the Police do their job means letting the damn looters and arsonists do their job, without anyone laying a finger on them, laying a finger on them being illegal. This is a doomed policy. If most people are compelled by law to be only neutral bystanders in a war between themselves and barbarism, barbarism wins. The right to, at the very least, forceful self defence must now be insisted upon. The Police, as we advocates of the don’t-disarm-the-victims-of-crime policy have been pointing out for decades, can’t be everywhere. They cannot instantaneously attend every crime, and magically prevent it. Only the potential or actual victims of crime can sometimes immediately prevent or immediately punish crime, provided only that they are not forbidden to.
Unlike L.A., there are no Korean shopkeepers with AR-15s to help contain the looting.
The best thing about these riots is that they have distilled and aggregated the folly of the “let the Police see to it” policy into a large and combined event, and they have done it right next door to where our political class lives. These riots are not confined to Birmingham, or some such second-tier city. They are happening in the backyard of our rulers, even as they hurry back home from Tuscany.
For the last few decades the don’t-get-involved, let-Them-handle-it policy has applied only to more isolated crimes, or to riots only way beyond our capital city, which has meant that its doomed nature has impacted only upon those individuals or local populations attacked by criminals, not on the nation as a whole as perceived and lived in by those ruling it. Now our rulers can see this policy in vividly dramatic “action” (i.e. inaction), live on TV, and near enough to where they live for them to be scared, along with everyone else. And the rest of us will see them turning into the kind of vengeful right wing monsters they despise, as soon as their own houses are attacked. Which they well might be.
I recall reading about a yob who stole something from a street stall in Nigeria, many years ago. He was promptly set upon by a mob, of stallholders and their customers, and beaten up. Are you civilised? It depends which side your mobs are on. All our mobs, except the little mobs that are the Police, are anti-civilisation.
I own a cricket bat, inherited from my late Uncle Guy (whom I wrote about towards the end of this ancient blog posting), with “G Micklethwait” written on it. I hope I don’t find myself thinking about using it during the next few days, but I have already checked where it is.
Reading about the arrest of what appears to have been an extremist planning an attack on Ft Hood, Texas, I was struck by the contrast with the Oslo attack last weekend.
Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested Wednesday after making a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009.
The point being that a legal gun shop owner is more likely to call the police than a black market arms supplier would. Now if we could only get all the gun rights people in America to realise the advantages of legal outlets for drugs as well…
I never had a mammogram and never hope to get one, and far from dreading mastectomy, the subject makes me positively canty: I could get a better fit in a shoulder holster.
- Florence King, “The New Hypochondriacs”.
What a pity there is no culture of personal defence and widespread concealed carry in Norway as it would have been nice to see one of the victims shoot back at the bastard.
- A sentiment much echoed in various armed self-defence forums regarding the recent atrocity in Norway.
Violence must be replied to with violence. The only time I would suggest turning the other cheek is when firing off the left shoulder with a rifle after taking cover in a doorway.
- Perry de Havilland commenting here
Well, call Ghost Busters if you like but for heaven’s sake do not call the Plod.
When a gang of travellers trespassed on her land and allegedly threatened to cut her throat with a chainsaw, Tracy St Clair Pearce dialled 999, expecting protection and reassurance from the police.
But while they took a statement and visited the nearby traveller camp, officers came back and confiscated her shotgun, saying it was a “sensible precaution”.
Well Tracy got quite a life lesson, eh? Where on earth did she get notion the State gives a damn about her right to self defence from some predatory ‘Traveller’ thugs?
The rule is simple… are you a home owner? Never. Ever. Call. The. Police.
They are not there to protect you. Just file this under ‘the State is not your friend’…
Praveen Swami, diplomatic editor of the Daily Telegraph, has a good piece – although I might quibble on one or two points – concerning the problem of Somali piracy, about which I have written several times here at Samizdata. I am not going to add further comment to what I have already said, but I was impressed by this article and a longish comment attached to it by a person with the signature of “IgonikonJack”. It is pretty good. And another, by “itzman”, refers to the issue of “letters of marque”.
A related point is that I have been reading Wired for War, by PW Singer, and it has fascinating things to say about some remarkable new technologies as apply not just in areas such as robotics and pilotless aircraft – those “drones” – also in the innovations now under way in the nautical world. They will surely play a part in any move to suppress piracy, but as Singer points out, the bad guys can increasingly get their hands on technology as well, and often by entirely legitimate means. This is all the more reason why libertarians, who are sometimes at the cutting edge of thinking about alternatives to government-imposed laws, as in the case of legal writer Bruce Benson, should get involved in how to address issues such as piracy.
In the Daily Telegraph article I link to, is the fact that, at the time of writing, more than 1,000 people are being held hostage by Somali pirates. If the same amount of people had been taken hostage on civil airliners, say, I think the major powers of the world might have adopted a more robust view by now.
I am sure most of our readers will get a kick out of this assuming they have not already heard about it.
A former beauty queen blew away a thief who broke into her home in Florida. Think of it as evolution in action…