We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Time for some vigilante law

MP Andrew Dismore has blocked attempts to clarify the law on self defence in Britain being proposed by MP Anne McIntosh, because he thinks it would be ‘vigilante law’.

Well I have thought for some time now that non-state use of force in defence of life, limb and private property is exactly what is needed in this country and to make no apology for robustly defending what is yours. Take the law into your own hands because it is indeed yours to take, not Andrew Dismore’s to deny. I realise that if you are old, infirm or a small woman living alone, the fact the state has disarmed you means you have no option whatsoever but to surrender your property and just pray the criminal(s) will not harm you, but those of us still physically able should be encouraged to use whatever weapons they can find at hand to assert some self ownership. Just do not make the mistake of calling the Police in Britain after the fact if you can possibly avoid it as they work for the likes of Andrew Dismore and are not there to serve you.

You may not have the legal right to fight back effectively, but you will always have the moral right to defend yourself and what is yours. Look at it this way, if you are the only one left alive after some son of a bitch breaks into your house, well, that means it is going to be hard for him to sue you or contradict your version of events, doesn’t it. If they do make it out, then just clean up the mess and deny everything.

Vigilante law? As so many members of the political class in Britain leave us with little alternative, I am all for it. When the state fails in its most fundamental duty, it is time for society to remember whose law it really is. If you are able to, fight back, just keep in mind you will be fighting back against the state as well and act accordingly when the plod turns up a few hours or days later to ‘protect’ you.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

78 comments to Time for some vigilante law

  • jimf

    A friend of mine in the UK related that he had been advised by a friendly policeman …that if some breaks in and you are lucky enough to dispatch him…make sure you put a weapon in the fallen miscreant’s hand and place him in a location from which you had no exit so as you had to defend yourself, rather than run.

  • Old Jack Tar

    make sure you put a weapon in the fallen miscreant’s hand and place him in a location from which you had no exit so as you had to defend yourself, rather than run

    Yes, and most importantly, don’t feel guilty about doing it. One of the weapons you will need to defend yourself is lying and it is them who should be ashamed for putting you in that position, not you. Be psychologically tough and never, ever admit anything. Keep your story simple and refuse to be drawn on the details. Let them work to prove you wrong, don’t make their case for them.

    I’m getting on a bit myself but I am quite willing and capable of laying about myself with a stick if need be.

  • Perry, you’re sounding more and more American every day! Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania must have really gotten to you. (Come home Perry, the voice of Pennsylvania whispers, come home to the place where you belong!)

  • Verity

    Well said, Perry. I don’t see how a woman can kill a young man with anything but a gun, though. Not that I would have the faintest objection to owning an illegal gun and using it, but the British being what they are, the would hear the shot and report you.

    The only hope would be for you to tell the police that he brought the gun into the house with him, and in the struggle, he got tragically shot through the forehead.

    A very long knife might work, as he couldn’t grab it by the blade without injuring himself. Mace would be good, but I don’t think you can come by it in Britain (I know it’s illegal, but that’s not the issue). I had Mace in France, perfectly legally.

    I really don’t know what a woman could do to defend herself and her property in Britain.

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    “I really don’t know what a woman could do to defend herself and her property in Britain.”

    Buy a big fierce dog. That seems to be about the only legal option remaining.

  • Verity

    GCooper – and then if the dog apprehended the intruder, say by jumping up and biting him through the throat trying to protect you, you would be brought up for keeping a dangerous dog and the burglar would sue you.

    Face it: the British people have allowed themselves to be completely disarmed by Bliar, the thugs and chancers who surround him, and the police. The British citizen, in other words, has absolutely no protection. Absolutely none.

  • Keith

    Verity, buy a small spray bottle of anything, empty it of the original contents and fill it with ammonia.
    Works as well as Mace when aimed at an attacker’s face. Just remember to discard the contents every couple of weeks and fill it with fresh ammonia.

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    “…you would be brought up for keeping a dangerous dog and the burglar would sue you.”

    You know, that’s a very interesting thought. I wonder what m’learned friend would have to say?

    That point aside, I completely agree with you about the miserable state we’re in in this country.

  • These are quite good if you want to add a little extra to your impact. Not quite suitable for everyone but I certainly recommend it for giving muggers a ‘tap’. Best of all its totally legal (at the moment)

  • This is all nonesense,if you people would behave in a decent law abiding way,just fill your tribute basket and leave it on the doorstep every night,there would be no need for all this talk of “vigilate law”

  • So this whole thing about ‘filibustering’ still being allowed, what’s that about? I thought that the Speaker could call time on someone clearly intending to ‘talk out’ a bill?

    Why wasn’t this done?

    Personally I think that if a burglar or other intruder encounters any difficulty, then what happens to them is purely the result of their own misadventure. If they die, then that’s the same as someone trespassing into an electricity substation and being fried – death by misadventure. The ‘warning sign’ as such is that they are on someone else’s property without permission and with no good sanction.

  • Brian

    I’m a little mystified by the condemnation of vigilante law. I’d like to know what we should do to protect ourselves against being shot eight times in the head by a gang of armed thugs while travelling on the Underground.

  • Brian,
    You should refrain from being Brazilian unless you are in the company of an EU Commissioner…..at the very least throw yourself on the ground shouting “It’s a fair cop” every time you buy a ticket

  • Verity

    Peter – that was funny!

  • Verity

    I’ve never understood why people shouldn’t “take the law into their own hands”. Whose law is it anyway?

  • Verity,
    It is the plaything of politicians and the criminal justice system,to them it is an abstract concept which works better without being cluttered up with people.

  • Billll

    I’ve thought that there might be a nice opportunity for some enterprising soul to offer a clean-up service to anyone who finds themselves with a deceased thug, and no one currently asking embarrasing questions as to how he got that way.
    If you’re going to keep an illegal gun, why not equip it with an equally illegal suppressor? In for a dime, in for a dollar.
    I’m told it’s not difficult to tell when a body has been “rearranged”. Relocated isn’t hard either, but the new question becomes “from where?”, which is somewhat more difficult.
    Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.
    So I’m told.

  • I have always been a fan of the old adage “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

    However, this has it’s own complications Stateside, so I can only imagine what goes on in Olde England.

    For example, I’ve heard that some police recommend that if you must shoot an intruder, to aim for the head as to prevent any chance of him living and thus suing you.

    Others simply recommended emptying your magazine in to him/her, for the above reason and so the judge will be more convinced you felt your life was threatened sufficiently to excuse the use of lethal force.

    Still others have suggested that either of these methods may be considered excessive or dubious in intent, and make you liable for a manslaughter charge.

    For you euros without access to firearms, and the aforementioned elderly and small women, I can only recommend moving in to A Castle. Crenellations and a moat should provide a modicum of safety.

    Besides, you’re practically tripping over them over there, aren’t you? [eG]

    Samedi

  • Verity

    Well, Samedi, your post certainly was ill-informed and therefore not funny.

    For you euros without access to firearms,

    Err, we’re British, not Europeans. Do pay attention. The British have no access to firearms, via Tony Bliar fiat.

    The peoples in European countries are not wanting in firearms and the Swiss are armed by law.

    It is just Britain, you see.

    Your patronising, “amusing” suggestion about moving into a castle is mantled in creepy ignorance – meaning there is no anchor to fact that might render it funny.

  • anonymous coward

    Verity having done the chicken run (as they used to call it in South Africa) can hardly tush and tut about whether Brits are Euros or not. Sit safely in Texas and castigate Americans–what an act!

  • Rubin

    Chicken run? Yeah, wicked Verity, not wanting to piss away her life in a lost cause nation.

    Schmuck.

  • ::shrug:: not intending on patronising anyone, really. I was actually paraphrasing Mr. Eddie J. Izzard, who is British when last I checked. It was funny when he said it. 🙂

    Insofar as being uninformed about firearms-related laws in Europe, I confess I am very much ignorant. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up to speed on the tangled mess of laws here in the US. I am similiarly frustrated at “keeping legal” for this reason.

    You see, plenty of Americans are / have been busy seeing to it that none of us have any right to firearms / self-defense, rights that our founders bled for and that modern citizens are desperately trying to legislate away.

    I suppose what I was getting at in thought and did not express very well in words, is that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, in this case.

    And that, my friend, is definitely not funny.

    Samedi

  • Verity

    Insofar as being uninformed about firearms-related laws in Europe, I confess I am very much ignorant.

    You are indeed. There are (I think) around 25 countries in “Europe” and Britain isn’t one of them. Humour is only funny when it’s informed.

    Eddie Izzard can be very funny in a disconnected kind of way, but I think better not to try to translate his humour via America back to the Brits, who got it the first time round without your assistance.

    anonymous coward – Yes indeed. Like hundreds of thousands of others, I was able to decipher the writing on the wall and got the hell out. That doesn’t disqualify me from telling Americans that the British are not Europeans. Fact. Escapee or not. Fact.

  • John_R

    Samedi, you must live in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia or Taxachusetts. Here in Kentucky, I can defend myself(Link): (PDF)

    503.050 Use of physical force in self-protection — Admissibility of evidence of prior
    acts of domestic violence and abuse. (1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or
    imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person. (2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable
    under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary
    to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, or sexual
    intercourse compelled by force or threat.
    (3) Any evidence presented by the defendant to establish the existence of a prior act or
    acts of domestic violence and abuse as defined in KRS 403.720 by the person
    against whom the defendant is charged with employing physical force shall be
    admissible under this section.

    My property(Link)

    503.080 Protection of property.
    (1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the
    defendant believes that such force is immediately necessary to prevent:
    (a) The commission of criminal trespass or burglary in a dwelling, building or
    upon real property in his possession or in the possession of another person for
    whose protection he acts; or
    (b) Theft, criminal mischief, or any trespassory taking of tangible, movable
    property in his possession or in the possession of another person for whose
    protection he acts.
    (2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable
    under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that the person against whom
    such force is used is:
    (a) Attempting to dispossess him of his dwelling otherwise than under a claim of
    right to its possession; or
    (b) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling; or
    (c) Committing or attempting to commit arson of a dwelling or other building in
    his possession.

    Or a third person(Link)

    503.070 Protection of another.
    (1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when:
    (a) The defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect a third person
    against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other
    person; and
    (b) Under the circumstances as the defendant believes them to be, the person
    whom he seeks to protect would himself have been justified under KRS
    503.050 and 503.060 in using such protection.
    (2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable
    when:
    (a) The defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect a third person
    against imminent death, serious physical injury, kidnapping or sexual
    intercourse compelled by force or threat; and
    (b) Under the circumstances as they actually exist, the person whom he seeks to
    protect would himself have been justified under KRS 503.050 and 503.060 in
    using such protection.

    Self defense = vigilante law? I just don’t get it.

  • Verity

    John_R – Kentucky law is something I could warm to. But it’s irrelevant to the conversation. We don’t have Kentucky law in Britain. We have no right to protect ourselves in Britain. None.

  • Tony Di Croce

    I just don’t get this.

    How can it be that self defense is illegal? It’s just… inhuman…

    Actually, I heard a funny story once. Basically, it’s legal to shoot and kill someone breaking into your house as long as you shoot the front of them. If they are found shot in the back, you might have some explaining to do.

    So, if you want to rob houses, you need to do it while walking backward… Then, no one can shoot you… 🙂

  • Frogman

    As much fun as it was watching Verity open up that can of Whup-Ass, there’s an important point here for all of us.

    /Rant on

    Though graduates of the American public school system have been tragically un-informed of this fact, British civilization, historically, is the peak of Western Civilization. The concepts of individual liberty, free markets, property rights, and freedom of conscience reached their highest realization by the efforts of the British. The founders of the lands of the Anglosphere were British. And the Anglosphere is unique. It is NOT the “Europe” envisioned by the termite hordes of Brussels. (to be fair, neither is most of Europe.)

    The British are being systematically stripped of the most precious rights of free people. The rights of free speech, free association, property, even the right to defend their very lives and families.

    Cracks about “Euros” and “Chicken runs” expose a perilous lack of awareness that the British are US. ALL OF US in the Anglosphere. If the Source of our societies can fall to the predations of Komrade Blair and his ilk (Hillary comes to mind) then the rest of us are NEXT.

    Repeat after me: The British are NOT “European”. The British are US, and we are standing at the precipice.

    /Rant off

    OK, I’m a little dis-jointed when annoyed. Too bad. Keep those cans of Whup-Ass handy Verity.
    F

  • >So this whole thing about ‘filibustering’ still being allowed, what’s that about? I thought that the Speaker could call time on someone clearly intending to ‘talk out’ a bill?

    >Why wasn’t this done?

    Radio 4 reported that Dinsmore has a done this before on pieces of legislation ‘not supported by the government’ IIRC. In fact he broke his own previous record.

    It certainly sounds as if there’s been a successful attempt by those in power to stop this bill in its tracks.

  • ic

    ‘The British are NOT “European”.’ Then why the hell did they join the European Union?

    Here in the US, if you shot an in truder even though you are not licensed to have guns, most prosecutors would refuse to prosecute, grand juries refuse to indict, and juries refuse to convict if the homeowner was indicted. A couple of years ago, a homeowner in a north Chicago suburb shot an intruder, and was indicted. That caused such an uproar that the indictment has to be withdrawn.

    The question I have is: why don’t Brit juries refuse to convict?

  • zmollusc

    “‘The British are NOT “European”.’ Then why the hell did they join the European Union?”

    Same reason we ‘gave up’ guns and did all the other fool things. It was done in our name by whichever crook had got into power at the time. If the opposition had got into power, they would have done other stupid things in our name.

  • Julian Taylor

    A friend of mine in the UK related that he had been advised by a friendly policeman …that if some breaks in and you are lucky enough to dispatch him…make sure you put a weapon in the fallen miscreant’s hand and place him in a location from which you had no exit so as you had to defend yourself, rather than run

    I doubt he was told that by a police officer in the UK. If you were ‘lucky’ enough to own a firearm in the UK you would be prosecuted under the Firearms Act either for illegal possession or for not having the gun in suffficiently permanent secure storage; shotguns etc must be kept in a cabinet which is then regularly inspected by the local plod. As for being able to shoot a miscreant … Tony Martin – ’nuff said?

  • John East

    Interesting couple of linked comments from Frogman,

    “British civilization, historically, is the peak of Western Civilization. The concepts of individual liberty, free markets, property rights, and freedom of conscience reached their highest realization by the efforts of the British.”

    and ic,

    “Here in the US, if you shot an in truder even though you are not licensed to have guns, most prosecutors would refuse to prosecute, grand juries refuse to indict, and juries refuse to convict if the homeowner was indicted.”

    Most Britains today don’t have any concept of individual liberty, free markets, property rights, and freedom of conscience. Neighbours, with the possible exception of the underclass on sink estates, are only too happy to give statements to the police against anyone who injures a criminal, and such cases appear to be the prosecutors favourites.

    Whilst I will continue banging the drum for Samizdata values, I often wonder if the modern pampered and degenerate British population are worth fighting for. I’m tempted to go and join Verity, but the same societal trends appear to be in full flow in the States. Somewhere like Singapore maybe?

  • Self-defence is not vigilantism. A vigilante is one who takes on himself the punishment of offenders, which is legally a state monopoly.

    The (wrong-headed) notion that the use of force in prevention, rather than punishment, of crime is (or should be) a state monopoly is extremely recent – far more recent than the concept of the vigilante.

    It is possible to make an argument for vigilantism, but it is not the core issue here – self-defence is.

  • Pete_London

    ‘The British are NOT “European”.’ Then why the hell did they join the European Union?

    We joined what was thought to be just a free trade area. We are no more European than Americans would be Asian in the event of the US entering an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement.

    Frogman – well said.

    Verity – one quibble. We do have the right to self defence and it’s as inalienable as the right to breathe. Self-defence is as base an instinct as any other. A creature with half a chance will defend itself and kill and attacker when it is threatened. That Dismore and his ilk believe this instinct, this natural state of affairs, can be changed simply by the wording of laws simply demonstrates the sheer arrogance and contemptible nature of the left. Nothing changes for me. The law ends where my property begins.

  • John K

    I’ve thought that there might be a nice opportunity for some enterprising soul to offer a clean-up service to anyone who finds themselves with a deceased thug, and no one currently asking embarrasing questions as to how he got that way.

    You must have been watching the film “Nikita”. Where is Victor le Nettoyeur when you need him?

    Seriously though, if you ever have to kill an intruder, I would counsel against moving the body, putting a knife in his hand etc. The crime scene will be examined minutely, and fibres, blood spots etc will give the game away, and make you look guilty.

    The police have to investigate a homicide. You know the bloke was an intruder, they have to establish that fact. For all they know he was your wife’s boyfriend.

    Any householder in this situation should keep his mouth shut and wait for legal advice before making any statements to the police. Just tell them that you had to act in self defence against an intruder, but decline to make any further comment until you have received legal advice. If that means a night in the cells in a paper suit so be it.

    Some coppers are decent, some are bastards. It doesn’t matter. They are working the system, so you have to too. The police are public sector workers. That means they work for the public sector, not the public. Be straight, do not mess with the body or concoct a story, because that could well sink you. But don’t assume that the cops are your allies, they are civil servants doing a job. Say nothing until you have seen a solicitor, and only make a statement when you are good and ready.

  • Joshua

    John_R – Kentucky law is something I could warm to. But it’s irrelevant to the conversation. We don’t have Kentucky law in Britain. We have no right to protect ourselves in Britain. None.

    John_R was responding to Samedi – who was trying to give the impression that the right to self-defense is under seige by this Dismore villain’s counterparts in America. Samedi is not wrong for a lot of states – especially Massachussetts, I would say. But there are as many other in which the right to self defense is fiercely defended and even being given expanded legal scope. I can vouch that North Carolina and Indiana have laws similar to Kentucky’s (NC even goes a bit further in terms of when you can kill an intruder), and Florida was recently in the news for wanting to greatly expand the legal definition of situations in which one is allowed to use deadly force in self-defense. (TIME did a shameless hatchet-job on the state for this, but I couldn’t find any links on my first Google sweep.)

    In any case – maybe it’s irrelevant to Britain, sure, but I think the point of John-R’s post was to point out that Samedi was giving a false impression of America. The outer edges, which have very much been infected with Europe/Canada thinking, maybe, but the interior is much freer than Samedi seems to know.

  • Luniversal

    John East: “I’m tempted to go and join Verity, but the same societal trends appear to be in full flow in the States. Somewhere like Singapore maybe?”

    Singapore, the new paradise for libertarians!

  • John East

    Luniversal,
    I’ve changed my mind concerning my hypothetical emigration to Singapore.

    I just saw this (In the Sydney Morning Herald on-line)

    “A 17-year-old Singaporean student has been spared a jail sentence and instead placed on probation for two years for posting anti-Muslim remarks on his weblog, his lawyer said.

    Gan Huai Shi, who had pleaded guilty to sedition last month, was also ordered to do 180 hours of community service, lawyer Edmond Pereira said on Wednesday”

    It would appear I’d spend all of my time in jail if I lived there.

    Oh well, maybe I’ll move to Mars.

  • Jeffrey

    As a symapthetic reader in the States I ask:

    WTF? What the hell is going on with the CULTURE in Britain that self-defense is termed “vigilantism” or whatever? What is the cultural force behind the masses (not the media) acquiescing to this trend? Is it self-hatresd? Nihlism? Nanny-state induced coma? What?

  • Verity

    ic – I am going to share a little secret with you. We are tired, as in wearied, fatigued, with naive, ill-informed wonderment from American readers who think the entire world is an extension of the US.

    Shocking, I realise, but none of us here gives a rat’s arse about a homeowner in Chicago who shot someone. We are very aware that in many American states, sanity reigns and people have a right to own and carry guns. We know that. Can we take that as a starting point for any further comments from you?

    We don’t give a rat’s arse that some American commentators think they are contributing to the discussion by taking the straw out of their mouths and saying, “Gee, how can self-defence be vigilanteism?” “Yeah, but, what about your right to self defense?” “Why doesn’t the jury refuse to convict?” … “Well in W Virginia (fill in the name of your own state) in ’97 there was a ……”.

    Here is the secret I am going to share with you: Britain is not America!! The laws in your states are of absolutely no relevance to the governance of Britain!

    Once the proud possessors of the most advanced freedom in the world, the British are now subjects of an iron-fisted, jack-booted government in the service of the mad ambition of one man. How this came about is relevant, but too complex to explain to people who think an anecdote about a homeowner in Chicago is going to provide a eureka! moment to British Samizdatas.

    Frogman, thank you for your comments, and not just the part about me. Yours is an excellent post. To all informed, cosmopolitan Americans who also hang around on this site, I hope it is obvious that I wasn’t referring to you in the above snappishness. Your informed thoughts are of interest, as I think you are aware.

    Pete_London, yes, I know we have an inalienable right to self-defense. The communist government, in consultation with the unelected nomenklatura of the EU, will decide what is the proper measure of force allowed. As far as I can see, you have the right to stamp your foot at the baseball bat wielding intruder and say, “Leave my things alone or I’ll sulk!”

    To the others, we are witnessing the death by a thousand cuts of our ancient nation. Big brother has managed to embed so much citizen-as-servant/dependent-of-the-state thinking in the electorate that I don’t think we will ever get our country back.

    I saw it coming, and I left. Others who are contemplating fleeing should bear in mind that if the socialists get back in, Gordon Brown will sooner or later be obliged to impose limits on the amount of currency Brits can take out of the country. Mark my words. If you’re going to go, go now, and grieve from afar.

  • Jeffrey

    Well said, Verity.

  • Julian Morrison

    Verity – “I really don’t know what a woman could do to defend herself and her property in Britain.”

    Crossbows and swords are legal to own, inside your own home. Either will make a good showing against anyone not armed with a gun, and can be operated by a woman.

  • John_R: Samedi, you must live in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia or Taxachusetts.

    Worse, I’m afraid. Just outside Wash. DC. You know, draconian UK-esque gun control for 25+ years, and it’s somehow managed to be the “Murder Capital” of the country at least 5 times since I moved here in ’91. I have noticed that life seems to be easier for folks in the interior… and our situation in VA has improved in the past several years. Still, we soldier on…

    I must say I’m shocked by the mentality that “The laws in your states are of absolutely no relevance to the governance of Britain!”. Anyone who keeps up with anti-Firearms / Self-Defense lobbying efforts in the US, Canada, Australia etc. will notice that the UK’s state of disarmament is held aloft as the ideal situation for the rest of us. Your situation has a lot of relevance to the governance of our situation, at times. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that the reverse might also be true.

    I know of at least one occasion when our Congress has received petitions from the UK and Japan, demanding that our government disarm us. For that reason, many Yanks (myself included) desire to support our bretheren in the UK and elsewhere as they struggle to win their rights to self-defense – just as we often struggle to perserve our own.

    I thought that’s what global community was supposed to do. “Join or Die”, and so on.

    But apparently some view our attempts to identify common threads between us as a desire to contribute from a Yankcentric P.O.V – not because we’re trying to identify with unfamiliar territory, but because we’re ig’nint and don’t know any better. Whether this is knee-jerk reaction or some sort of nationalist bravado, I’m uncertain.

    For that, you truly have my sympathies.

    Samedi

  • Joshua

    Well said, Verity.

    Erm…some good points, but a bit over the top, no? We’re only allowed to comment on situation in Britain because that’s where the discussion started? Really?

    I would just like to go on record as not minding if anyone from Canada, Australia, Norway, South Africa, wherever would like to post on the minutiae of self-defense laws and culture in their countries. I find these things interesting – as I find the subject of the legal status of self-defense in general interesting.

    But fine, point taken, no more posts about laws in specific states in the US on discussion threads about political developments in Britain.

  • Yes Verity, its a very sad,sad state of affairs in the U.K. and to happen so soon after Britain’s finest hour (WW2) is hard to comprehend. No chance of popular revolt?(Link)

  • Verity

    Samedi writes:
    “Your situation has a lot of relevance to the governance of our situation, at times. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that the reverse might also be true.”

    Sorry. It is 100% unreasonable. The Socialists are going to carry out their agenda. The laws of the 50 American states are irrelevant to a country that is being heave-hoed into the EUSSR. Some of the posters here think of Britain as a kind of cousinly extension of the US. Would that it were so, but it’s not.

    “For that reason, many Yanks (myself included) desire to support our bretheren in the UK and elsewhere as they struggle to win their rights to self-defense – just as we often struggle to perserve our own.” And this will involve what action on your part, exactly?

    You are looking at Britain from an ethnocentric point of view and you clearly know very little about our government and how it works. You can probably recognise Tony Bliar and you probably think he is aces, but you have absolutely no conception of how much power a British prime minister has and how easy it is for someone of totalitarian bent to exert his will for destruction. If power is ever wrested from Bliar and his henchmen, the role of prime minister has to be redefined.

    “But apparently some view our attempts to identify common threads between us as a desire to contribute from a Yankcentric P.O.V – Whether this is knee-jerk reaction or some sort of nationalist bravado, I’m uncertain.” I do not understand this remark. There’s no more enthusiastic Americaphile than me. And as I have spent several posts hacking away at the British government and the British system, and as I do not live in Britain, I think accusing me of “nationalist bravado” is rather quixotic.

    Joshua, it is not the minutiae of self-defence laws that we are discussing in a languid, pipe-smokerly way. We are discussing the wrecking ball that has been maliciously wielded against our country and our liberty. People asking, from a completely uninformed base, how it is possible that we cannot arm ourselves are coming in too late in the movie.

  • been advised by a friendly policeman …that if some breaks in and you are lucky enough to dispatch him…make sure you put a weapon in the fallen miscreant’s hand and place him in a location from which you had no exit so as you had to defend yourself, rather than run.

    Extremely bad advice, guarranteed to get your friend a long stay in the clink.

    Never tamper with evidence. Its so easy for forensic investigators to tell when you’ve planted a weapon or moved a body. You go directly from innocent victim to suspect and it is all downhill from there.

    If you reasonably and lawfully acted in self defense and can explain why you did what you did, the location of the body (yes people do move after being stabbed/shot and all investigators know this) or presence of a weapon in hand doesn’t matter.

    Mind you this is from an American legal perspective. Regardless I am positive that evidence tampering will be frowned upon by any investigator in the UK as well, and will lead to questions you don’t want to answer and a situation you truly do not want to be in.

  • Look after yourself

    Never tamper with evidence. Its so easy for forensic investigators to tell when you’ve planted a weapon or moved a body.

    No, it is a great deal harder than the cop shows would have you believe and in any case, all it takes is a little context to muddy the waters hopelessly and THAT CAN BE ENOUGH.

    If you put a weapon in their hand, you take it out again so your prints are all over it and you do not pretend otherwise, explaining how you moved the weapon out of reach of your opponent in case they recovered. All they get smeared partial prints and a weapon on a table somewhere.

    They want you to explain? Tell them you are too upset, too traumatised, everything is just a blur. Most people who get in trouble for defending themselves do so because they are straight with the cops because they think (correctly) that what they did was justified and (incorrectly) the cops are on their side. Cops are looking for low hanging fruit. Don’t let that be you. You don’t have to tell them a damn thing. Remember: first, call a lawyer. Second, keep it simple… upset, traumatised, can’t remember. Sorry, upset, traumatised, can’t remember. What? Sorry, upset, traumatised, can’t remember.

    You go directly from innocent victim to suspect and it is all downhill from there.

    You have missed the point. The moment you defend yourself you become a suspect and you need to act accordingly. DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE POLICE ARE GOING TO BE SYMPATHETIC OR BE ON YOU SIDE! The truth will most certainly NOT set you free.

  • anonymous coward

    We know that Verity emigrated from Britain to Texas and lives there; she’s told us so.
    She’s also proud of having left Britain (she says so).
    But she keeps talking as if she lives in and represents Britain: “We don’t have Kentucky law in Britain. We have no right to protect ourselves in Britain” and “our country and our liberty….”
    And she also says: “many Yanks (myself included)…” and “There’s no more enthusiastic Americaphile than me.”
    Yet she is constantly contemptuous of Americans: “We don’t give a rat’s arse that some American commentators think they are contributing to the discussion by taking the straw out of their mouths and saying, “Gee…”
    I suspect that Verity is one of those who hold both British and American passports and mock the hosts who were generous enough to take her in. Shame!

  • Frogman

    “Frogman, thank you for your comments, and not just the part about me. Yours is an excellent post. . . .”

    Thanks, Verity. It’s nice to know someone can decipher my ramblings. I usually expect the folks in Internet land to just wonder what it is I’m on about. I lived in Britain for a short time, and in Europe for many years (in the Belly of the Beast, Brussels.) Some other countries as well. That had an effect (twisted?) my viewpoints.

    “Most Britains today don’t have any concept of individual liberty, free markets, property rights, and freedom of conscience . . . “

    Just so. Thus the qualifier, “Historically.” Labour, as charter members of the international Left, have been tragically successful at subverting the traditions of Britain. The land that produced Edmund Burke and Adam Smith is now ruled by the termite minions of Karl Marx and Red Cherie Blair. One slim hope: the few “Keepers of the Flame” like the Samizdatistas.

    BTW – shouldn’t that be “Britons”? Or would that be too . . . Celtic?

    “‘The British are NOT “European”.’ Then why the hell did they join the European Union?”

    As was stated by another poster, the EU was originally sold as a sort of large free-trade area. That was a bill of goods. The Lefties pulled a real coup in ’92.

    There was considerable resistance from the “Euro-skeptics.” Too bad they were unsuccessful.

    The denigration of the concept of self-defense is part and parcel of the agenda of the ideological Left. It goes right along with the welfare state, “hate speech” laws, National ID cards, multiculturalism, “solidarity,” and “Equality” (i.e., of peasant-hood.)

    We know the Left’s real message. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. I mourn the assimilation of a great nation.

    F

  • Frogman

    “We know that Verity emigrated from Britain to Texas . . . ”

    Dude! You better leave that lady be. Cans of Whup-Ass are sold by the truckload in Texas, and I just finished cleaning that other fella’s blood off the inside of my monitor from the last round.

    F

  • jimmmy

    Verity said:

    “The laws of the 50 American states are irrelevant to a country that is being heave-hoed into the EUSSR. Some of the posters here think of Britain as a kind of cousinly extension of the US. Would that it were so, but it’s not.”

    I understand your skepticism, but this, if any, is the place to change that reality. the blogosphere is not yet mature in the u.k., but this site, as well as others (EU Referendum and albion’s seedling come to mind), link the anglosphere like-minded. true- this site and others may not have a direct effect on politics in the u.k., for now, but as readership grows, so does the hope for the eventual victory of individual rights in the u.k., right? aren’t you the same “verity” that writes for albion’s seedling?

  • “I’m having a hard enough time keeping up to speed on the tangled mess of laws here in the US. I am similiarly frustrated at ‘keeping legal’ for this reason.”

    Now, from The Vampire State, that was funny.

  • Verity

    Frogman raises another very important point: our armed services (we and the French are the only ones who have armed services that could actually defend our countries) are being subsumed into a “Euro” armed services and are going to be run out of that power of military might and conquest, Belgium. We are being stripped of our possessions and our rights and being hammered into the coffin of the EUSSR.

    Tony Blair ignores the laws that have served us well for hundreds of years and creates new, silly, oppressive laws almost daily. Seven hundred new laws created by him since he slithered under the door of Downing St. Seven hundred! This is not laws created by legislators. This is laws he has decided he wants and has commanded his vast majority of MPs to vote for. In other words, they all originated in Downing St, not the mind of some legislator or other.

    No, I believe the blogosphere can mobilise like-thinking people, but most people aren’t really interested in politics. They’ve got 24/7 opening for their supermarkets and all night opening for bars and pubs, cheap holidays overseas and extremely easy credit. They pay obscenely big prices for their produce at the supermarket because of CAP, but they don’t know that. They just accept it as a fact of life and don’t even know the prices are at least twice what they are in the rest of the world.

    Blair has got a huge tranche of the population not bothering about Europe, or actually believing it is a wonderful thing and benefits us in some (very) mysterious way. They don’t know that many new laws are imposed on us by the unelected nomenklatura in Brussels and completely bypass their national parliament. Many of the more ignorant, and make no mistake, Britain is full of very ignorant people, believe they are modern and trendy because they feel positive about the EUSSR and think those of us trying to preserve British independence and liberty are xenophobic and “little Englanders”.

    In fact, they are so ignorant and stupid that they think it is correct when Blair calls people who don’t want to be run by Brussels “racist”. They don’t know that all Europeans, save immigrants from the third world, are Caucasian. We’re all the same race.

    Yes, I write for Albion’s Seedlings, as does the formidable Helen Szamuely – a strong, informed, articulate voice against the EUSSR and what is happening in England.

    anonymous coward writes: We know that Verity emigrated from Britain to Texas and lives there; she’s told us so. Oh, really? Where did I say that? Why would I say that? Why do you think I said that? Go and have a little lie down.

    He thinks I wrote: And she also says: “many Yanks (myself included)…” Not me. That was another poster above. So far everything you have reported is inaccurate. Let’s see what else you have fantasised.

    “Yet she is constantly contemptuous of Americans.” A remark that denigrates SOME – never all – Americans from me is very rare indeed.

    “There’s no more enthusiastic Americaphile than me.” That is the one statement in your entire post that is correct.

    But she keeps talking as if she lives in and represents Britain I am still British. I still care. I have never said I will not return if sanity returns to the British electorate.

    I suspect that Verity is one of those who hold both British and American passports and mock the hosts who were generous enough to take her in. Shame!

    Wrong again, Sherlock.

  • Of course self-defence is not illegal. The suggestions to the contrary are offensive to the intelligence.

    The rule in the UK is simple: you may commit what would otherwise be a crime, if you’re doing it to prevent another crime (or indeed, a breach of the peace); there’s a scale of increasingly serious things you can do: threatening someone with violence, touching someone without their consent, injuring them, killing them. How far can you go? However far is reasonable.

    The problem is that the phrase “reasonable force” is ambiguous. This ambiguity has been used to sell newspapers and policies to the gullible. For the purposes of exculpating violence, the phrase “reasonable force” does not mean “reasonable” in the sense of “a small amount”, it means reasonable in the sense of “however much is reasonable”.

    That includes outright homicide.

    Really, the law already licenses what it ought to license.

  • Verity

    It’s still an unfair imposition. How is anyone, in a moment of terror and defending his own life and possibly the lives of his family, to take a few minutes to have an internal debate on the pros and cons of using this instrument or that?

    Some people are exceptionally clear headed – especially if they’ve had military training – but most people lash out in terror. It is outrageous that they should be made to prove that lesser force wouldn’t have worked.

    And as the British people are not allowed guns, it’s a moot point anyway. The one sure way to stop an intruder is a bullet through the brain.

  • Julian Taylor

    This post actually comes in at quite an opportunistic time. My eldest nephew (16) wants me to get him one of these Walther Night-Hawk air pistols for Christmas – he actually wanted this thing, but even I drew a line at that. Now I find that the law [LINK] only just allows me to get him this gun, he’s not allowed to actually go out and buy one, nor is he permitted to buy the CO2 cylinders or pellets for it. For him to try and buy one constitutes both a criminal offence AND is also subject to a Anti Social Behaviour Order. If his younger brother (13) tries to buy one, or even if someone tries to give him one as a present it becomes a major league offence … “Making a gift of air weapon or ammunition to person under 14 – £1,000 fine.”

    So far we might just think that this is just loony Labour but then they move up a gear.

    Threatening others with an air weapon (even if unloaded) to cause them to fear unlawful violence – 10 years imprisonment and / or appropriate fine.

    This is threatening someone, probably carrying a knife or a gun himself, with an empty gun, designed with a maximum 8 ft range – and even that probably won’t break the skin and it qualifies for a TEN YEAR jail sentence? Pass the sickbag Alice ….

  • Verity

    Actually, I think I would take issue with Julian. I would rather 16 year olds got real guns that they learned to shoot under qualified adult supervision, and that these guns be locked in a cabinet when the target session is over, than a 16 year old boy be walking around free with an air-rifle, which can cause real damage. I think this is completely the wrong attitude. Sixteen year old boys are, by nature, thoughtless and action-oriented and I frankly would fear one going around unsupervised with an air rifle. Those pellets can wound.

  • Joshua

    This is threatening someone, probably carrying a knife or a gun himself, with an empty gun, designed with a maximum 8 ft range – and even that probably won’t break the skin and it qualifies for a TEN YEAR jail sentence? Pass the sickbag Alice ….

    Ten years is ludicrous – I agree.

    However – the law you’ve quoted does specify “unlawful violence.” Presumably, when the law was written, “unlawful” was intended to distinguish between threatening to use one during a holdup, say, and threatening to use one when under attack (or threat of attack).

    Who knows how they’d interpret this now, of course, but it does raise a kind of interesting question. Namely – should it be against the law merely to threaten someone with a gun? It would seem to me that in most cases where someone, motivated by criminal intent, is threatening another person, there should be some other charge that would stick: attempted robbery in the case of the shop hold-up example. So for the most part, laws against (improper) threats seem unnecessary. But then, I guess there would also be things like road rage cases where someone pulled out a gun to get a slow driver out of the fastlane or whatever, and we’d want to make mere threats illegal to deal with those situations.

    What I’m getting at is that while I agree that this law is bad – the principle behind it is not necessarily. It’s just that the framers should have made clearer that using an airgun to threaten force in self defense was OK (they way it’s worded I just kind of have to assume that’s what they meant – which is unacceptable), and TEN YEARS is, of course, absolutely off the scale.

  • Personally,I would feel safer with a Verity on the premises.

  • Joshua

    Sixteen year old boys are, by nature, thoughtless and action-oriented and I frankly would fear one going around unsupervised with an air rifle.

    Verity – I see what you’re saying, and sixteen-year-old boys are indeed “thoughtless and action-oriented,” but I’d prefer a penalty on the threatening action rather than actual ownership. Like members of any other group – some sixteen-year-olds meet your description better than others. Seems unfair to make them wait till majority because some others might misuse the things.

    I can’t come up with a better analogy off the top of my head – so apologies for the way this sounds – but it’s not unlike the case for allowing people to own pit bulls. Sure, pit bulls are often dangerous, but provided the owner can control it, I’d rather not make it illegal to keep one as a pet (this kind of law is becoming fashionable in the US now – I don’t know what the laws are in Britain). When a pit bull attacks, we make the owner legally responsible. Likewise, I see no problem making parents whose 16-year-olds misuse the airguns they gave them partly responsible for any damage. In theory, at least, no one knows better than the parents whether their son is mature enough to handle an airgun. Certainly the parents have a better guess than the government!

  • Verity

    Ha, Peter. Ha ha.

    “In theory, at least, no one knows better than the parents whether their son is mature enough to handle an airgun.” Have you ever calculated how many parents are not just stupid, but drooling idiots with no more ability to judge whether their 16 year old is responsible enough for an air-gun than to debate the pros and cons of the Treaty of Versailles with Jacques Chirac?

    An airgun can put an eye out, and it can wound a cat sitting quietly on a wall minding its own business.

    I think the penalties are much too harsh, but Tony Bliar’s a bossy, self-righteous, heavy-handed little shit and this is par for the course. I would still rather a 16 year old had a real gun and went out for practice with his dad or other experienced adult, and the guns were then locked away until the next session.

    Little freelance 16 year old boys roaming around with airguns are not my idea of rational judgement.

  • “Threatening others with an air weapon (even if unloaded) to cause them to fear unlawful violence ”

    Read that again! “to cause them to fear unlawful violence” the deed is,like the racialism Catch 22,in the eye of the beholder.

    “Did you Mr Thugmaster,fear unlawful violence”?
    ” I did indeed yer’oner,I wuz well fearful”

    Another ZaNulab weasel wording.

  • Julian Taylor

    Verity, the reality is that 16 year olds in the UK are not allowed near a real handgun, black powder or otherwise, unless they join the armed forces or indeed cadet forces. So to pipedream of training them with full-calibre firearms is just that … a dream.

    The intent of this ’10 years for threatening someone with an airgun’ regulation was obviously intended to close a loophole for criminals using air pistol replicas of normal guns when committing robbery, but it suits the ‘we control your lives and your right to protect yourself’ mentality of the Labour Party as well as the Michael Howard types of the Tory Party as well.

  • Verity

    I wouldn’t argue with you, Julian. But that is the problem. The insane gun ban is the problem. That is what we should be focusing on. Not wanky little ways round the outrage to liberty.

    Has anyone ever organised a nationwide petition to be presented to Emily?

    (For all our American friends who think I have dealt too harshly with them, a petition would never get off the ground at this point. The Brits have been sucked in to becoming complicit in their own victimisation. My guess, most of them would report someone to the police if they suspected them of harbouring a gun in their home.)

  • Self-defense is NOT vigilantism! Self-defense is a human right.

    And as governments on both sides of the Atlantic have shown, police mostly show up after the fact and take statements from the witnesses/survivors.

    When a 55kg women is confronted by a 95kg rapist, if she doesn’t have some effective means of defense she is trouble. What “reasonable force” could she apply?

    As a brochure for the Colt’s Patent Firearms Mfg. Co. put it, “Have no fear of any man no matter what his size. When danger threatens call on me, and I shall equalize.” Or as it is usually remembered, “God made men; Colt made all men equal.”

  • Actually in the US we are making great strides in REVERSING gun control. It looks like Wisconsin may become the 47 state to legalize the carrying of concealed firearms, and the 37th state to have a SHALL ISSUE form of the law. (If you meet the criteria, the state SHALL ISSUE a license. No bureaucrat gets to decide if you have the right to self-defense.)

    The fight is not over, but we are long way from where the UK is. (With the exception of California, Boston, Washington, DC, and a few other places.) A number of states have legal open carry – in Ohio for example it is legal to carry a weapon, if it is in plain site – standard old-west gunbelt carry.

    Gun ownership is at an all-time high, and our rate of murder and violent crime is at 30 year lows (or better).

  • In order to get past Diamond Jim Doyle’s veto, any Wisconsin Personal Protection Act is going to full of quibbles and limitations. It will still be a step forward, roughly the step we anticipated when we decided to move from Illinois. That’s right folks, people really do take into consideration the relative severity of victim disarmament laws when contemplating a move.

  • As someone in the same position as you, Verity, I understand your frustrations with the way the UK has gone – but, two things.

    1) I’m not sure that people can’t discuss things from another point of view – most of their comments were supportive of your general point, and I think you’d do well to recognise that. They weren’t disagreeing with you, and I think you are nitpicking to get so worked up about such comments.

    2) Remember this: Tony Blair and his government were elected, not once but twice, in a LANDSLIDE, by the people of the United Kingdom. I have personally come to realise that most Brits do not agree with me on most political issues. Libertarianism is far from the political soul of most UK citizens…. unfortunately they just don’t know/see the value of liberty – they prefer to enjoy the feeling of being looked after. British Samizdatas are not a representative example, of course.

    It’s sad, but if a referendum was conducted tomorrow on the issue of firearms, there would be an overwhelming rejection of any law making their possession legal. I now live in Arizona, where you pick up a gun like a Mars bar and carry it open on your jeans without a permit. And I don’t think that’s an invalid point.

    PS- love your contributions here.

  • Verity

    John Wright, remarks based on total ignorance of the polity of Britain, whether they are supportive of me or any other commentor or not, are pointless and irritating. We are not discussing people commenting from another point of view, which is always welcome and one of the things Samizdata is all about. Some of these people were commenting from an uniformed point of view.

    As it happens, I agree with you that the majority of Brits really don’t care about liberty. I would judge them infantile, because they want the government to find answers for them, and take care of them. I agree that, given the chance, they would vote overwhelmingly for a continuation of the ban on owning a firearm. They would even take a quiet pride in being the only country in the world with this draconian law, probably considering it rather advanced.

  • Verity

    I didn’t preview and let ‘uniformed’ slip through for ‘uninformed”.

  • R.G. Newbury

    The question I have is: why don’t Brit juries refuse to convict?

    Because most the the charges which are laid for ‘illegal self-defence’ are down-graded by the Crown to avoid the defendant(s) having a right to a jury, and where the offence requires a jury-trial, by the judge being required to advise the jury that effectively in law, there is no right of self-defence.. so that if the facts are that an assault took place, whether in self defence or not, then it was illegal.

    That is, as I read it, the effective state of the law in England..

    Of course, Dismal Dinsmore and the Lord Chancellor might change their minds if they got awakened a few times at 3 in the morning by the sound of breaking glass.

    RGN

  • Julian Taylor

    Could you tell us which charges are not actually subject to trial by jury? I’m not aware of the right to trial by jury ever having been discarded yet, despite the best intentions of Blair, Irvine and others to change the jury system just for large-scale fraud trials and for the Diplock system in Northern Ireland.

    British juries do not have the ‘right’ to refuse to convict, they have been appointed to either acquit or convict and most certainly not to return a ‘none of the above’ verdict. They can, in certain circumstances, deliver a failure to agree (a hung jury) but they may not conspire to that end.

    Also there is no such offence as ‘illegal self-defence’ in this country. The role of the Judge is to instruct a jury as to what the law is surrounding the defendant’s actions. The jury must then apply the facts as given to the law and reach a decision on that basis and they are fully entitled to return a not guilty verdict against instruction. In example, the Clive Ponting case where the judge directed the jury to prosecute the civil servant as he had clearly broken the Official Secrets Act by leaking the truth about the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands War. However, the jury accepted Ponting’s argument that he did so in the public interest and so found him not guilty.

  • Verity

    In Scotland they have a third verdict, Not Proven.

  • Julian Taylor

    It’s not actually a third verdict, ‘Not Proven’ is just another grounds given for acquittal while indicating to the defendant “we are pretty damn sure you did it but we can’t prove it”. Quoting Silicon Glen,

    In all respects the verdicts of not guilty and not proven have exactly the same legal effects. In practice it is thought that a verdict of not proven simply means that the judge or jury have reasonable doubt as to the accused’s guilt. It is interesting to note that the not proven verdict is used in one third of acquittals by juries, and in one fifth of acquittals in non-jury trials. Because of the higher number of non-jury trials ninety per cent of all not proven verdicts are returned in such cases. It is generally thought that the verdict gives juries, and judges, an option between not guilty and guilty where they feel that the charges have not been proved but they equally cannot say the accused is “not guilty” because of its moral connotations.

    Of course under Our Little Tony’s new improved UK criminal law (the version that will allow A.Blair esq to practice law without losing every case) such a verdict will require the accused to be tried again and again until Tony gets it right.

  • Verity

    Julian – Not proven is only in Scots law, I believe.

  • Andy

    Further to the comment about what to do if you kill an intruder,my advice is to not get the police involved at all,if you have a car then stash the body in the boot and dump it a 100 miles away from where you live and then make the police prove it was you.its time that people woke up to the fact that the police are not your friends,in Bliar”s Britain they exist to protect the state.