On being murdered in your own home

1) Murder, of any kind, is an almost unimaginably horrible thing to happen to you or anyone you know.

2) Being randomly murdered by a stranger in your own home is among the most horrible subsets of murder to happen to you or anyone you know.

3) When this incredibly horrible and rare thing happens to someone you know, it’s understandable to jump to conclusions about the appalling state of society, and use them to justify whatever your own personal cause may be.

4) It’s in rather poor taste, however, for someone who doesn’t know the victim to use said grief-sticken exhortations as a peg for their own personal conspiracy theories. Especially ill-informed xenophobic ones.

5) It’s entirely daft in such a situation to claim that such things never happened before Labour’s gun laws, no matter how much of an arse you think David Blunkett is.

Tangentially, I’m glad my friends and I rejected the option of renting the flat we saw 100 metres from the murder site in Chelsea and picked Finsbury Park instead, otherwise we’d’ve been greeted by police tape and fear-of-being-murdered-in-our-beds within two weeks of moving in [*].

Still more tangentially, found on a related Google search – Ian Huntley was innocent, and it was the Americans wot done it. People are strange.

[*] The irony here may be lost on people who don’t know about the relative perceived niceness of the two areas.

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40 thoughts on “On being murdered in your own home

  1. re 4: I missed the ‘ill-informed xenophobic’ comment. Could you point me to it?

    re 5: Natalie Solent does not suggest that this is all Labour’s fault. Indeed she doesn’t even mention any political party in her post.

  2. One of the problems with this issue is the way it is reported in the press. Little or no distinction is made between ‘defending ones life’ and ‘defending ones home’, and rarely are we told the exact circumstances of the event (which, admittedly, may take a while to piece together). This leads the columnists to lump all attacks together and make it seem like innocent home owners all around the country are continually being assailed by violent villains out to kill them. We know it ain’t so, but what can you do against the agenda of fear-mongering this kind of story so neatly fits into?

  3. Peter – "The State there has gone completely insane. Wild animals have more of a right to self-defense than you do" was one of many comments from ignorant Americans who think that just because we don’t have the right to shoot unarmed intruders in the back, we don’t have any self-defence rights whatsoever.

    Natalie does suggest that it’s all the fault of the UK’s gun laws. Labour implemented them. I don’t think I’m misrepresenting what she’s saying.

  4. Actually, that Samizdata comments thread includes a detailed description of how UK gun laws were made hugely restrictive decades before Dunblane, and that the Tories were responsible for implementing much of the legislation.

    For instance, pre-1997 you might have been able to own a licensed handgun, but that still wouldn’t have given you legal protection had you decided to use it to shoot someone.

    And of course the absurdity of the post-Dunblane crackdown is that while it made the government look suitably tough, it avoided the rather more compelling issue that Thomas Hamilton was only allowed to own his guns because existing laws weren’t being implemented properly. The relevant chief constable rightly resigned over this after the enquiry – and the matter should have ended there.

  5. Well that’s no good!
    He might be ill-informed, and he’s certainly guilty of hyperbole, but there’s nothing xenophobic about comment 1. Speciesist perhaps. And calling him an ‘ignorant American’ doesn’t exactly help matters.

    re Comment 2. The Tories have implemented plenty of gun laws too, many of which Natalie disapproves of. Read her archive. Ask her. She’s a Libertarian, not a Tory.

  6. Incidentally, has anyone done a detailed survey of the number of prosecutions for householders injuring or even killing burglars to see what proportion of such cases ended in acquittals on the grounds of reasonable and proportional force?

    There certainly have been quite a few such cases (here’s an example), which generally haven’t had anything like the publicity that the Tony Martin affair had.

  7. Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that to oppose Blunkett’s anti-libertarian laws meant that one was a Tory, otherwise I’d be out canvassing with you and Peter Cuthbertson next time round…

  8. And calling him an ‘ignorant American’ doesn’t exactly help matters.

    The wording was probably a mistake given the context, but John is quite right – the comment was by an American, and his statement clearly demonstrated ignorance. Had John called him a "stupid American", this would of course be an entirely different matter.

  9. (‘you’ = Peter Briffa – comment crossed with Michael’s).

    A survey along the lines Michael suggests would be rather interesting. I’ve yet to read of a case where a householder who injured or killed a genuine threat (not a fleeing child), and didn’t do anything appallingly stupid in the legal process (such as pleading guilty despite having a very strong case to answer) was convicted.

  10. No I didn’t take the bet, if you took the trouble to read the original comment, it was meant to be a cynical poke at Plod.

    I didn’t think that any further comment yesterday was either the right place of the right time for ‘point scoring’, or ‘finger pointing’.

    That Newton guy’s comment re Huntley, which I first took to be a spoof, just proves my contention that the Plod may well arrest someone, but will it (they), be the ‘right’ one(s)?

    What’s up with you people? I write something a bit different from the rest of you, and you all get high and mighty, and
    all so very touchy about the Boys in Blue, which leads me to assume that you are still a bit wet behind the ears, and have no experience of just what makes for a good police force.

    In my experience the Rowan Atkinson depiction of life in the police, was too close to the truth for comfort or complacency….

  11. re 5: Natalie’s words, from her linked blog entry:

    "Think about that nine year-old’s experience. At 7pm she and her parents were in their own home, not indulging in any risky activity, not bothering anyone. An hour later she was calling the police to say her father was dead and her mother seriously injured."

    Focussing on the potentially psychologically damaging effects of the experience for the child (as Natalie is presumably doing here) does absolutely nothing to bolster the argument for ownership of handguns.

    I’d personally much rather be trapped in a lift with someone who as a child witnessed the murder of a parent, rather than one who witnessed a parent pumping five rounds into an intruder’s face.

    The presence of a gun in ANY situation of conflict means one thing, and one thing only: it is far more likely that somebody will die. That much is indisputable, and stands alone as one of the only genuinely valid points in the whole farcical ownership debate.

  12. Hey John B,

    Didn’t realise you lived in Finsbury Park. I used to live over the hill in Crouch End until quite recently.

    Small world and all that tosh…

  13. Small world indeed (I’m a big fan of the Old Dairy). At the moment I live in Finsbury Park in a fairly loose sense of the word, in that I’m renting a house there but still working in Manchester and living in my old Manchester flat from Tuesday-Thursday (hooray for the fast trains that are finally running). Come Dec 17, I’m moving down properly…

  14. Of course Mark, you have such a wide experience of meeting people who have been traumatised as children.

    I fail to see how you can be so positive that seeing one’s parents ‘defending the home’,and protecting their child, even with such dire consequences – which is surely a good and positive act of self-sacrifice, is so much worse than seeing one’s parents being pointlessly slaughtered, surely a very negative act.

    You seem to get the point that if you burgle a house where you know a gun is likely to be kept and used, that there will likely be a shooting, and that the person doing the dying, and the burgling will be you.

    That is what guns are for, for protection, and as a deterrent. That you may not wish to have a gun in your house, is your decision, but then you may feel well able to defend yourself, – I am sure that your powers of logic and reasoning would be enough to deter any intruder! others are not so young or so sure that they can defend themselves.

    The possesion of a gun would certainly give the less physically able, a boost of confidence, whether they felt capable of actually using it, or whether they used it as threat. Either way it would be their choice, not yours or some other self-righteous, pompous blowhard’s imposition.

    Just what is wrong in shooting, and killing, if necessary, an intruder? – they are not there by invitation and can only be intent on on mischief or mayhem. If you do not wish to get shot, don’t take the chance by going a-burgling. Simple really, when you think about it…

    The degree of your naivety is astounding…

  15. After suppressing my sniggers at your breathtakingly patronising and wildly assumptive first line there, Ernest (my girlfriend AND two members of my immediate family are adolescent care workers, and as a direct result I have indeed amassed a by-no-means-exhaustive-but-certainly-quite-reasonable amount of experience in said field), I moved on to the rest of your post with some interest.

    It seems we disagree on a very fundamental level, in that I simply don’t believe an individual forfeits the right not to be mown down in a hail of bullets by illegally stepping onto somebody else’s property. You, on the other hand, clearly do. And that’s fine – there’s a potentially fascinating discussion shaping up right there.

    Or rather there would be, were it not for the fact that your apparent gnashing, foaming bitterness toward humanity in general seems to be of the type that typically procludes constructive debate of any kind. A shame, but not altogether unprecedented.

    So, whilst we’re disagreeing with little hope of reconciliation, I’ll point out that I also disagree with you on your following ‘points':

    1) That guns exist "for protection, and as a deterrent". Absolute rubbish, as any priapic, semi-automatic ‘hand cannon’-weilding NRA nut would surely grunt in dribbling confirmation of. Guard dogs, intruder lights and window locks, on the other hand, all it your description rather well.

    2) "If you burgle a house where you know a gun is likely to be kept and used, that there will likely be a shooting, and that the person doing the dying, and the burgling will be you."
    And yet, seconds later:
    "The possesion of a gun would certainly give the less physically able, a boost of confidence, whether they felt capable of actually using it, or whether they used it as a threat."
    Your second point somewhat undermines your first – if a person wasn’t physically able or willing to USE the gun they’re waving shakily in the general direction of our intruder, then I’d argue there’s a reasonable chance our intruder will NOT be the one leaving the crime scene on a trolley with a hole in their face.

    3) "If you do not wish to get shot, don’t take the chance by going a-burgling."
    Or by living in a house where there is a loaded weapon, and any (or, in most ‘normal’ houses, ALL) of the following: alcohol, children, stress, arguments, risk of break-ins, misunderstandings, accidents, depression, etc etc ad nauseum…)

    4) "Just what is wrong in shooting, and killing, if necessary, an intruder?"
    If you really need to have this explained to you, then I fear all hope of a reasonable discussion is lost.

    5) (This one’s just for ‘fun’, really).
    "Others are not so young or so sure that they can defend themselves."
    What the hell made you so sure I wasn’t one of your elderly, fragile, or physically disabled (and therefore, as implied by you, utterly helpless) ‘victimes in waiting’?

    Oh, and by the way – just to add insult to injury: you clearly missed my WHOLE POINT, which was simply to say that if Natalie is in favour of gun ownership at home, she should avoid talking about the potential psychological repercussions of violence witnessed by young children as it doesn’t support her point at all. I was contending that if children are going to be severely damaged by witnessing violent crimes (which IS of course a very real risk), the DIRECTION those crimes are perpetrated in isn’t going to make an awful lot of difference. (The simultaneous loss of a parent would undeniably bring with it a whole additional set of possibly damaging repercussions, but my only point was that extreme violence is extreme violence, utterly regardless of whom it is exacted upon.)

  16. Personally, I’m going to set up a load of fucking big beartraps by every possible entrance and exit to my house. Admittedly it’ll piss the cat off no end if it gets caught in one, and it’ll be a shame if any of us forget where they are, but with crime soaring to such levels, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  17. I do love the "reasonable and proportional" concept, since the essence of civilization is fairness.

    A crazed, strung-out, amphetemine powered addict breaks into your house, with a hard on for the 17 year old that lives there, and you are supposed to sort out reasonable and proportional as the a******* sorts your kintchen knives?

  18. Well, if you don’t have the "reasonable and proportional" concept, what restriction is there on torturing an intruder to death.

    Contrary to what the Sun says, criminals do not lose all human rights. If that were the case, then illegal gun owning nutjob Tony Martin really can’t complain about his repeated burglary, can he? People committing a crime can be stopped, restrained etc. If the only reasonable way to do this is to shoot them dead, then it has to be in response to a threat to bodily harm, not the loss of a video recorder. That is the proportional.

    Texas, incidentally, effectively has an extra-judicial death penalty.

    The number of cases where a news story reports that someone ‘will’ be prosecuted for self-defence far outweighs the number of news stories that report that someone ‘is’ being prosecuted, which in turn outweigh the number of convictions. On this last point, you can hardly moan about the balance of criminal law being in favour of the criminal, while arguing that anyone acting in self-defence will end their days in some kind of New Labour gulag.

  19. So your girl friend – and two members of your family are adolescent care workers! – well bully for them, I queried your experience, not theirs, and your hearsay experience includes just how many instances of children shooting intruders, or their parents being shot by intruders? which is what we were discussing…

    I liked that bit about my ‘gnashing, foaming bitterness towards humanity’ bit, quite an imagination you have there…

    and in the next paragraph you come out with the most cliched piece of patronising nonsense, which sets a new low by anyone’s standard. There is certainly very little chance of any reconciliation of ideas between us, as I can find little merit in any of your tenuous infantile ideas.

    1) I am sure that the Monckton’s house had all of the deterrents that you seem to favour, they just weren’t a deterrent were they? Your description of your mythical NRA member as a ‘hand cannon wielding, dribbling imbecile’ is neither very original, nor very descriptive – just very juvenile…

    2) Once again your fertile,imagination runs riot, you mention the gun being waved shakily around, as though you have to be a big strong macho man to point a gun and to fire it, I know several very elderly folk who while not being strong enough to beat off a younger person, would be quite capable of pointing a gun very steadily, and of being wily enough to use it effectively. The gun could effectively level the field between an older, or less robust resident against some younger intruder.

    3) Total rubbish, just what are you smoking?

    4) A reasonable discussion? all you care to do is preach, you have no intention of listening to any ideas other than your ‘pre-packed off-the-shelf’ones, which you have the gall to call your own. As I mentioned earlier, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. You may like walking metaphorically naked through this travesty of a country, I do not!

    I am not trying to force you to have a gun, . If you feel that you do not have the maturity to handle the responsibility of gun ownership, then so be it. Please do not force your naive ideas on me…

    5) The one ‘just for fun’, – more vivid imagination, you really should try writng pc children’s stories.

    Of course you aren’t an older person, no older and more mature worldly wise person would spout nonsense in the way that you do..

    Burglers and muggers are basically bullies, and there comes a time when a stand has to be made, what better place than in your own home, when you have a very valid reason to stand your ground, to reply to their intrusion with the utmost force possible. Burglars and other assorted criminals who rely on terrorising and invasion of property have no rights, civil, human or otherwise. So why pretend they do…

    Owning an unlicenced gun is a civil offence, not a criminal one. So Tony Martin could not be rightly called a criminal..

  20. "Burglars and other assorted criminals who rely on terrorising and invasion of property have no rights, civil, human or otherwise. So why pretend they do…"

    Pretend? Okay, if they have no rights, are there any restrictions on their treatment? Can you, so long as you are not yourself yet a criminal, rape, torture and murder burglars? Must the burglar be a proven burglar, convicted in court, can you act on suspicion, heresay, or must you be a direct witness. What if you rape, torture and murder your ‘burglar’, but evidence proves that he/she was not a burglar? Are your rights then stripped from you?

    They do have rights. To argue anything else is simple stupidity. You might not like it, but they do. Among those rights are the right not to be executed or tortured. In other words, when you defend your person and property the force used must be reasonable and proportionate. The law already takes the heat of the moment, confusion and fear into account in these cases. That is why you hear of very few convictions. The convictions that do result from cases where the legal defence is self-defence are never simple self-defence, or, at least, that is what is argued in court beyond the reasonable doubt of the jury. Again, if the legal system is biased in favour of the accused, why are you worried about carrying out your murderous fantasies?

  21. Your argument may have had some validity, if you hadn’t gone overboard in suggesting that I may rape or torture a burglar. You are making the assumption that I am as uncivilised and as barbaric as the burglar, are you not forgetting that we are supposed to be living in a civilised society, where the majority are civilised, responsble people.

    Responsible people would be expected to protect their property and homes, and not to treat a burglary as some sort of opportunity to practice some sadistic fantasy. Why would you suggest otherwise, is it some sort of debating trick to suggest the most outrageous and extreme instance that you can think of to avoid you having to deal with reality?

    My worry is not over the fulfillment of any pre-supposed murderous fantasy, – I have no desire to kill another person, – but over being able to protect my family and home. Something that is at the very core of most normal people’s being, and is of the highest importance. It is the ultimate right, and trumps all of your burglar’s PC human rights.

    I would have thought that the definition of a burglar was perfectly simple to understand; a stranger in your home, uninvited, and unexpected, rifling through cupboards, even simpler if it occurs at nighttime, but I daresay that in your bizarro world there maybe some sort of valid excuse for such behaviour…but certainly not in the real world.

    I hesitate to assume that you have had very little experience of, or responsibility for others, but your comments would suggest that is the case…

  22. I see the ‘suspect’ in the Monckton case, has been released on bail. – A murder suspect, and he is released on bail???

    No mention as to the amount or who actually posted it, – maybe crime really does pay?

  23. "Your argument may have had some validity, if you hadn’t gone overboard in suggesting that I may rape or torture a burglar."

    If they lose all their rights, then you may.

    "You are making the assumption that I am as uncivilised and as barbaric as the burglar"

    No, I am making the assumption that as there are people as uncivilised and barbaric as burglars, it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that there are other uncivilised and barbaric people, who might happen to live in homes.

    "are you not forgetting that we are supposed to be living in a civilised society, where the majority are civilised, responsble people."

    No, but as my point above makes clear, as we assume one uncivilised barbarian in the burglar, it is not unreasonable to assume a second in the home. If there is only one uncivilised barbarian on the prowl then an argument about self-defence is largely moot.

    Furthermore, by stripping away the burglar’s rights, we give licence to the householder to behave in an uncivilised and barbaric manner. Not bound by reasonable and proportionate force, do you really believe that we would not see burglars being tortured to death, and the only sanction that the community can deploy against the revealed sadist is some kind of shunning. That is, if the death of the burglar was investigated properly.

    "I would have thought that the definition of a burglar was perfectly simple to understand"

    We all understand what burglary is. My question however, asked by who, when and where can a buglar be treated in a way that, against a non-burglar, would be treatment classed as a serious crime? Do burglars lose their rights forever? Do they regain them when running away? Can a burglar be shot the following day? By the householder? By someone the householder told the story to?

    To say, ‘burglars lose all their rights’ is simply nonsense. It is fair to say that right to self-defence and the defence of property are have a greater claim to prominence in the situation of the burglary than the rights of the burglar. Situations of contesting, competing rights occur all the time in non-criminal cases, strikingly, for example in public emergencies. But, as in public emergencies, the use of force and the infringement of rights must be reasonable and proportionate, and allowance is given for the urgency of action, confusion and the like.

    Again, the question is asked, if burglars lose all rights, what is there to stop the rape, torture and murder of a burglar by a householder?

  24. A belief in a civilised society should be enough to put your mind at rest re the torture of burglars. Even in those nasty days of the Victorian and Dickensian eras, I cannot recall a story, either fact or fiction, where a burglar was raped or tortured. Surely your fantasy has little basis in reality.

    Any concept of a burglar’s or indeed of any criminal’s, ‘rights’, must surely be at the discretion of either society, or of the injured party, in this case it would be the property owner. No, burglars would not lose their rights for ever, only until they had made restitution to their victims. All part of ‘If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime’.

    Pressure to treat the wrongdoer with some degree of humanity would be excercised by society as a whole, by consensus and not by the granting of ‘rights’. The very concept of the ‘granting of a right’, is feudal in concept, and statist in the extreme.

  25. Yeah, but I bet you’d love to be able to though – imagine the deterrent effect that seeing a captured burglar slowly wasting away in a glass box in front of your house would have. A much better use of such an asset than simply shooting them dead on the spot, don’t you think? What’s the point of having someone bleed to death on your carpet if no-one else is going to see what you’re capable of?

  26. I see the ‘suspect’ in the Monckton case, has been released on bail. – A murder suspect, and he is released on bail???

    The police are freeing him on bail "pending further inquiries" – which suggests to me that they don’t have anything like enough evidence to charge him with murder.

    Which in turn is a powerful argument against your advocacy of shooting first and asking questions later – where do you stand if the "burglar" you shoot turns out to have a legitimate reason to be on your property? Or is merely there inadvertently, like that poor Japanese guy who was shot dead in one of the southern United States after getting lost and making the literally fatal mistake of going up to a house to ask for directions?

  27. I can’t bring myself to read the linked Samizdata post, but a lot of the discussion around this issue (particularly from libertarian Americans who think the UK is a quasi-police state because children can’t buy shotguns from Asda) wrongly focuses on the issue of the handgun ban. The fact is there was no ‘gun culture’ in the UK comparable to that in the US even before handguns were banned, and so people like John Monckton almost certainly wouldn’t have had one in the house. This was part of the reason why the handgun ban was popular (the other reason being post-Dunblane hysteria) – it had no impact on the lives of the vast majority of the population, who couldn’t understand why anyone would want to own a gun anyway. If you really think handguns are an effective method of self-defence, you’d have to mount a huge PR campaign on their behalf after legalising them, and even then it would be several decades before it had any lasting effect on people’s attitudes towards guns.

  28. Exactly. The vast majority of the UK public – and please don’t smugly ask me to ‘prove’ this, because clearly I cannot and will not, but I think it’s a fairly safe assumption to take it as a given – the majority do not want to see gun laws relaxed, or an increase in ownership.

    Or, indeed, burglars starving to death in a glass box, David Blane-style, in the front lawn of a semi in Romford.

    The problems with a law allowing injury or murder of an intruder would, as Michael highlights, be exactly the same as problems we encounter regarding captial punishment. Unsurprising, really, as all such a law would provide in real terms would be a license to carry out your own brand of capital punishment behind closed doors, without recourse to prior trial or conviction. Clearly that would be an absolutely ridiculous situation to encourage.

    Consider, for example, the number of potential cases where one individual feels they have a right to be on a property (divorced partners, door-to-door salesmen, maintenence workers, teenagers retrieving footballs, neighbours looking for escaped pets, delivery workers…the list is practically endless) whilst the owner does not necessarily agree. Presumably you wouldn’t want to argue these people are all ‘fair game’ to the gun-weilding housekeeper – and so what’s going to be the golden rule of mitigating circumstance? (Do you have to actually catch the intruder in the act of stealing or harming? And if so, what have you solved? You’re right back where you started!)

    Finally, Ernest…I’m not going to turn this into a personal dispute, but come on, really – to dismiss my concerns over the existence of guns in houses where there will most likely also be alcohol, children, stress, arguments, risk of break-ins, misunderstandings, accidents, depression, etc with the phrase "total rubbish, what have you been smoking?" is bizarre to say the least. I would expect even the most die-hard firearms advocate to agree that these really are concerns worth taking very seriously in ANY debate over gun ownership at home.

  29. Having done some research, I have found it is not actually illegal to own and use a Captive Bolt device, in the case of
    "The killing of an animal by its owner" and "The immediate slaughter of an animal for reason of its welfare". Which, to my mind, includes the burglar – after all, once it has strayed ONTO my property, surely it BECOMES my property? And of course, the burglar is probably never going to reform its ways, so the killing will be for its own good.

    Of course this raises the questions:
    Would be acceptable to fatten the burglar in a pen before slaughter (this could be where the aforementioned ‘Blaine Box’ comes in?).
    Where I can find the best price on a chest freezer (preferably Energy Efficiency Grade A).
    And who to invite to the barbeque?

  30. Michael,

    Maybe he just wasn’t one of the burglars, just some poor sap who was conveniently at hand. A murder commited by stabbing, all that blood around, and they dont have enough evidence to hold the guy?

    Your far-fetched suggestion that salesmen, meter readers etc. are likely to get shot just for doing their job is just plain stupid.

    You point out the case of the Japanese tourist, but make no mention of the fella shot by the police in London for carrying a chair leg home from the pub. Ban guns for the populace, then ban guns for the police, they seem to be even more irresponsible than Joe Public in the usage of firearms. You don’t think that they carry them for your protection, do you?

    Simon,

    Don’t you folks just love to exaggerate, who is suggesting that children should be able to buy guns? – only you, and even you recognise that as being foolish….

    Mark,

    How nice that you speak for the rest of the population, just like the Beeb, if you wish hard enough, and say it often enough, it might just come true. Sure there is no ‘gun culture’, unless, of course, you are in the Army… but there is a longstanding culture of freedom…freedom to make your own decisions, and the freedom to take responsibility for your actions, but then I doubt that you would know too much about that. What you don’t seem to understand is that even if guns were ‘legalised’, no one would force you to go out and buy one. You would have a choice.

    and please don’t smugly ask me to ‘prove’ this

    Heaven forbid that should be held responsible for your equally smug assumptions…

    Regarding the right to be "on’ a property, subtly, but significantly different from being ‘In’ a property.

    Finally, in houses where there will most likely also be alcohol, children, stress, arguments, risk of break-ins, misunderstandings, accidents, depression, etc What you describe is probably a normal household, what you miss, is that most normal people are mature enough to cope with all of the above without any of the superficial drama that you seem to imagine. You seem to imagine that most households are peopled by psychotics and maniacs, living from one drama to the next. You may well be surprised to learn that most homes, – and don’t smugly ask me to prove it! – are inhabited by nice normal folk.

    I imagine all three of you to be of a similar age, all of you delight in posing ‘straw man’ hypothesis’, – just too prove how smart you are, and none of you seem to have any appreciation of the concept of freedom, responsibility, or even reality. I would suggest that this is more indicative of a poor education, rather than of a poor intellect. You all pose similar ‘cookie cutter’ arguments, with little original thought, – have you all been forced to read the Statist’s little red book?

    Enough is enough, it’s been fun, but I think that it is a given that you just can’t nail jelly to a post…

  31. Michael,

    Maybe he just wasn’t one of the burglars, just some poor sap who was conveniently at hand. A murder commited by stabbing, all that blood around, and they dont have enough evidence to hold the guy?

    Your far-fetched suggestion that salesmen, meter readers etc. are likely to get shot just for doing their job is just plain stupid.

    You point out the case of the Japanese tourist, but make no mention of the fella shot by the police in London for carrying a chair leg home from the pub. Ban guns for the populace, then ban guns for the police, they seem to be even more irresponsible than Joe Public in the usage of firearms. You don’t think that they carry them for your protection, do you?

    Simon,

    Don’t you folks just love to exaggerate, who is suggesting that children should be able to buy guns? – only you, and even you recognise that as being foolish….

    Mark,

    How nice that you speak for the rest of the population, just like the Beeb, if you wish hard enough, and say it often enough, it might just come true. Sure there is no ‘gun culture’, unless, of course, you are in the Army… but there is a longstanding culture of freedom…freedom to make your own decisions, and the freedom to take responsibility for your actions, but then I doubt that you would know too much about that. What you don’t seem to understand is that even if guns were ‘legalised’, no one would force you to go out and buy one. You would have a choice.

    and please don’t smugly ask me to ‘prove’ this

    Heaven forbid that should be held responsible for your equally smug assumptions…

    Regarding the right to be "on’ a property, subtly, but significantly different from being ‘In’ a property.

    Finally, in houses where there will most likely also be alcohol, children, stress, arguments, risk of break-ins, misunderstandings, accidents, depression, etc What you describe is probably a normal household, what you miss, is that most normal people are mature enough to cope with all of the above without any of the superficial drama that you seem to imagine. You seem to imagine that most households are peopled by psychotics and maniacs, living from one drama to the next. You may well be surprised to learn that most homes, – and don’t smugly ask me to prove it! – are inhabited by nice normal folk.

    I imagine all three of you to be of a similar age, all of you delight in posing ‘straw man’ hypothesis’, – just too prove how smart you are, and none of you seem to have any appreciation of the concept of freedom, responsibility, or even reality. I would suggest that this is more indicative of a poor education, rather than of a poor intellect. You all pose similar ‘cookie cutter’ arguments, with little original thought, – have you all been forced to read the Statist’s little red book?

    Enough is enough, it’s been fun, but I think that it is a given that you just can’t nail jelly to a post…

  32. Maybe we should slaughter these ignorant youngsters for their own good too, eh Ernest?

    I’ll have mustard relish with mine, please.

  33. <I>Don’t you folks just love to exaggerate, who is suggesting that children should be able to buy guns?</I>

    No-one; it was obvious rhetorical hyperbole. I stand by both the basic point of the remark, and the rest of the post.

  34. Your far-fetched suggestion that salesmen, meter readers etc. are likely to get shot just for doing their job is just plain stupid.

    I would respectfully suggest that it’s a fair bit less stupid than your implication that you should be entitled to kill anyone you take exception to, just because they happen to be on your property.

    As it happens, I didn’t actually mention meter readers and salesmen – I was thinking more along the lines of people who end up in the wrong place by mistake, for instance trying to gain entry into the wrong flat early in the morning while a little the worse for wear. What was that about "straw man" hypotheses?

    You point out the case of the Japanese tourist, but make no mention of the fella shot by the police in London for carrying a chair leg home from the pub.

    That’s because the case of the Japanese tourist demonstrated my point, while the Harry Stanley case had nothing to do with the immediate subject under discussion.

    Ban guns for the populace, then ban guns for the police, they seem to be even more irresponsible than Joe Public in the usage of firearms. You don’t think that they carry them for your protection, do you?

    Most British police officers are unarmed, and the impression I get is that they very much prefer it that way – especially as cases like the Harry Stanley affair show that they’re just as liable to prosecution as anyone else if they shoot someone with no good reason.

    Incidentally, how many people have been shot dead – or even wounded – by British police officers who were subsequently found to be innocent of any wrongdoing? Given the vast publicity the Harry Stanley case got, my guess would be "hardly any".

  35. Michael,

    If you read my comments, I have never said that I wished to kill anyone on my property that I took exception to, now if they were ‘in’ my property, it may be different matter, and I would suggest that even you would not expect someone who was in your house at 2 a.m. would ‘just happen’ to be there – all innocent like…

    Likwise with the proverbial ‘drunk’ at the door of the wrong flat…total fiction.

    The whole point of being armed is to act as a deterrent, that most burglaries are commited while there are people at home, and that residents are as likely to be injured, whether offering resistance or not, has to be taken into account.

    Now, you may not want to own a gun, that is your choice, the problem with a total ban is that there is no choice, so those folk who may wish to arm themselves do not have that option. The argument that all the irresponsible nutters in town will have guns and go around shooting at all and sundry is just fantasy, the police, (God Bless their conniving little souls), would still have a say in who would be licenced and who would not.

    Not forgetting that it was largely on the premise that the police would be there to protect the population in general, that this ban was enacted in the first place, something that they have patently failed to do. I would much rather have protection before I get killed, – what use is some hypothetical ‘clear up rate’, when you are dead and buried? Good for them, bad for us…if the situation demands a strong deterrent, then why ban it?

    There is no doubt that where a sensible gun licencing policy is in force, that burglaries, and other crimes against the person are at a minimum, yes, even in the USA.

  36. Admin note: at some point before long I’ll correct the formatting in the earlier comment that has knackered this thread, and delete this comment.

  37. Sorry, I have been guilty of the same error. Twice!. Its in mistaking the ‘shootaway’, as some sort of ‘preview’.

  38. England’s finished. This is almost unbearably sad and depressing to see.

    Perry should think about getting out of your self-created hellhole soonest.

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