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Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?

Richard Hawkes
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http://media.guardian.co.uk/bbc/story/0,7521,1114888,00.html
To be able protect ones home by any means necessary appears to be a very popular sentiment in the UK according to a poll taken on the Today programme.
Some were unable to comprehend the result ...
"My enthusiasm for direct democracy is slightly dampened," the MP [Stephen Pound] told Today. "This is a difficult result. I can't remember who it was who said 'The people have spoken - the bastards'."

... hence his warning that the show might have been duped, although there is no evidence of such duping. Funny.
Tim Baker
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well Tony Martin is a most disagreeable character so if there were such a law I'd hope it not named after him. I don't think an 'any means necessary' clause would be very good, perhaps something more along the lines of necessary self defense


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Michael Morris
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:
well Tony Martin is a most disagreeable character so if there were such a law I'd hope it not named after him. I don't think an 'any means necessary' clause would be very good, perhaps something more along the lines of necessary self defense

Not being a citizen of the UK I'm not familiar with all this but I take it that the proposed law grants an individual the right to protect his property with deadly force if necessary. I'm not sure I agree with using deadly force to prevent your car from being stolen or some other property apart from your home, but if someone breaks into your house you should have every right to do whatever is necessary to protecet yourself and your family. If a thief takes my property so be it, it can be replaced, my children can't be. I must assume that anyone brazen enough to break into my home has little regard for human life, incuding his own. It's a sad state of affairs when a man is arrested for protecting his family.


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
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Should any MP decide to try and grant homeowners the right to use "any means" to defend their homes

It seems odd to think that a people would have to be granted the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property. There just seems to be something somehow wrong when people are more concerned about protecting criminals than they are the victims. That a measure such as this may have some support amongst the masses is a positive sign imho.
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Michael Morris:
...
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
...
The law in the UK currently permits "proportionate force" if you are attacked or threatened. As to how far one can go to protect personal property, I'm not really sure. I assume if you were to put yourself physically in the way of the property being stolen a determined thief would essentially have to attack you to get at it, thereby allowing you (by law) to react. I would think though, as Michael says (and the police advise), that its probably wiser to let them take what they want (unless they are out to harm you specifically), especially if the intruders are armed and/or outnumber you. If there were only one intruder, one might be tempted to take them on - I'd feel pretty incensed if I found someone in my house and I'd probably want to beat the hell out of them for just being there. In fact most guys I know (not women) would think the same way. However, that isn't legal!
A big problem with "proportionate force" is how can, say, a pensioner apply proportionate force to a stronger assailant without the aid of a weapon? A weaker victim cannot use proportionate force; if they could they wouldn't have been a target in the first place.
Question: There are armed guards in Banks in the US yes? Are they permitted to shoot and kill robbers after they leave the bank with money after a raid, even if the robbers no longer pose a threat to the customers and staff?
[ January 01, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
John Dunn
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JM: It seems odd to think that a people would have to be granted the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property. There just seems to be something somehow wrong when people are more concerned about protecting criminals than they are the victims. Jason, don't shoot anyone in the back, if you catch 'em robbing your NYC hotel room. You may just end up in the slammer.
from the above link on this thread:
"The law as it stands at the moment, despite its critics, is functioning. If you are in your house and you are attacked by someone or threatened by someone, you can use proportionate force. We do not live in the wild west. This legislation that is proposed effectively may well turn us into that."

Translation: If a 12 year old boy is caught climbing out the window of your home you cannot execute him. We don't want to hand out the death sentence for petty crimes.
Take in mind, its not an absolute. I do know someone personally that was held up in the elevator of his apartment building and he struggled with the gunman, got shot in the leg and finally got the gun and killed his attacker.
He immediately turned himself in to the police and nothing ever happened to him. The dude was a known drug addict. My buddy is a tough nut and it freaked him out. It makes me think that it may not be as easy as it seems to kill someone.
Now given what I just said above, if you blatantly kill an intruder in NYC, you'll go to prison. So if a shop owner kills a little boy who just stole a pack of gum, he's going to Riker's Island, where he belongs. Makes sense to me.


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Michael Morris
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We don't want to hand out the death sentence for petty crimes.
Breaking into my house to steal 10 cents is not a petty crime in my books. My home is my castle. Since I don't read minds, I have no idea what the burglar's intentions are, whether he is armed, high on PCP or whatever. I'm not willing to take chances in such a situation. I hope I am never faced with this but I would use overwhelming force if it came down to it.
Now if I caught someone coming out of my house and no one was home at the time, then I would certainly give him wide berth and call the police. On the other hand, if I unknowingly walk in on such an event taking place, then all bets are off. In this state, if you kill someone in the act of burglarizing your home whether he be armed or not, you are within your rights.
Richard Hawkes
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/3098131.stm (from July):
In many countries in Europe and the US the law appears to give householders more rights.
Olivia Luhrmann, public prosecutor in Dusseldorf, told BBC News Online: "In Germany the law is that you are allowed to shoot burglars, you are allowed to use lethal force, if you are defending your property."
She recalled one case in Germany where a burglar was shot dead running away from a house with property he had stolen.
"At the first trial the householder was convicted of manslaughter, but the appeal court said what he did was OK because it was justified to protect his property," said Ms Luhrmann.

The Martin conviction seems to hang on the fact that he was *too prepared* for the intruder and his reaction wasn't spontaneous enough to be deemed defense.
There was a news article a few years back about a guy who put razor wire up on the fence around his mother's home. She lived in a rough area. The council made him take it down because it was a danger to burglars and the public. It was very high up on top of the fence. In fact only people trying to climb the fence had any chance of injury! (I don't have a link)
[ January 01, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
Jason Menard
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I draw the line at home invasion. Any intruder in the home upon being discovered should be subject to lethal force. If you are the homeowner, you must assume that the intruder is armed and/or willing to harm you and your family. As such, you must be allowed to protect yourself accordingly. If you arrive home and an intruder is fleeing out the back door, fine, let him go. If you walk in on him in the middle of ransacking your house, or if he breaks in while you are at home, then it should be within your rights to apply lethal force if need be.
John mentioned New York's laws. New York is generally a liberal's paradise so they are a bit restrictive up there. Case in point, last year a New York man shot an intruder who was in the bedroom of his two-year old son. The NY DA made it his mission to prosecute the homeowner because his handgun wasn't properly registered.
In Texas last month, a family of four came home and surprised an intruder or intruders. All four were shot dead. This incident serves to underline the fact that an intruder in the home must be assumed to be armed and intent on doing physical harm.
As far as UK law, I'm not exactly sure what the legal meaning of "proportionate force" is, but it doesn't sound like it serves to protect the homeowner. For one, how do you know what force the intruder is capable of? The only way to know this is to wait for him to make the first move. This goes against common sense, which dictates that you must assume the intruder is capable of lethal force. Aside from that, it doesn't take a firearm to kill someone. An intruder can just as easily kill with a baseball (or cricket) bat, a knife, or his hands. So a UK citizen shoots someone in their home who would have killed them with his bare hands, and he goes to prison for manslaughter. That just doesn't pass the common sense test.
As for Martin, although I am only slightly aware of the details, if he was prepared for someone breaking into his home, and someone did indeed break into his home, it seems his actions were prudent, right? It would seem that it is a crime to be prepared to protect yourself.
Tim Baker
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If you make it legal to just shoot anyone who breaks into your home it isn't going to put off the drug users who need to make a quick buck, but it is going to make them more likely to carry a gun if they think they might be shot at.
I don't think just shooting someone can be conceived as moral just because they have broken in to your home. If you notice someone has broken in to your home you should get your family together into one room and lock the door and defend that room only. What on earth is the point in going downstairs to confront someone who is very possibly armed. There is no point in risking your own life to save a few hundred bucks you spend on a television or computer. If indeed you do have a family to protect and you get killed by this intruder what do you think is going to happen to your family. They will certainly be worse off and the intruder could infact harm them afterwards. If the burglar came in to your room, or you were in a flat or apartment then you might be forced to confront them. If you have a gun then it doesn't mean you actually have to shoot them, but you can hold them there until the police arive. If they were too close obviously you would make them move away and stay still. If they came too close then you would probably be excused for shooting them but if they ran for the door you would have to let them go.
In the case of the UK if we actually made a law that said you are allowed to shoot a burglar then more and more people are going to want guns, perhaps illegal ones. And these guns are probably more of a threat to their safety than burglars.
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:

The law in the UK currently permits "proportionate force" if you are attacked or threatened. As to how far one can go to protect personal property, I'm not really sure. (...)
I would think though, as Michael says (and the police advise), that its probably wiser to let them take what they want (unless they are out to harm you specifically), especially if the intruders are armed and/or outnumber you.

I think it best that one take legal advice before undertaking any action against an intruder in the UK. I'm sure that solicitor services exist which allow one to contact a solicitor via mobile phone. Though looking up citations and delivering a legal opinion may well prove to be problematical under the circumstances.
One has to keep in mind that while the burglar has no fixed address as far as the police are concerned, the homeowner does. Given that householder irregularities in weapons registration, council tax, or TV Licensing fee arrears can be far more easily investigated by the authorities than upon the burglar it might be wise for the victim of a burglary to tidy up such details before contacting the police. Given the delay in police response (up to several days) in some UK jurisdictions there may be plenty of time.
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:

If there were only one intruder, one might be tempted to take them on - I'd feel pretty incensed if I found someone in my house and I'd probably want to beat the hell out of them for just being there. In fact most guys I know (not women) would think the same way. However, that isn't legal!

Most unwise. A much better policy would be to update your insurance cover in case an intruder should encounter an unsafe condition in your house, such as a loose roller-skate, overly-heavy computer, or any other hazard. A proper spirit of helpfulness (such as offering to help the burglar in his job of removal) may well be viewed kindly by the courts in mitigation.
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:


The Martin conviction seems to hang on the fact that he was *too prepared* for the intruder and his reaction wasn't spontaneous enough to be deemed defense.

Quite right, too. The very fact that Mr. Martin posessed a gun meant that he was too prepared. Had he not possessed a gun he would have had the right to use a gun.
A similar principal ought to apply to any such potential weapon, whether it be a butcher knife, cricket bat, or whatever. If you have it ahead of time you cannot use it because that is being 'too prepared'. If you don't have it then UK law allows it's use.
Steve Wink
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Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

Quite right, too. The very fact that Mr. Martin posessed a gun meant that he was too prepared. Had he not possessed a gun he would have had the right to use a gun.
A similar principal ought to apply to any such potential weapon, whether it be a butcher knife, cricket bat, or whatever. If you have it ahead of time you cannot use it because that is being 'too prepared'. If you don't have it then UK law allows it's use.

I don't think it was just the gun. He also had a lot of booby traps around the house, such as sawn through stairs. He had been burgled quite a few times before.
Bela Bardak
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We're overlooking one factor, that gun possession is a far more serious crime in the UK than mere breaking and entering. The booby traps were a major crime as well.
Mr. Martin did not show a proper attitude of cooperation either during the burglary or the trial afterward when he contumaciously refused to tell the court he would not do it again.
Contrast that with the highly-proper attitude of the surviving burglar, who has promised the police and the courts to go straight after each of his 30+ arrests over the years. Most recently after a conviction for pushing heroin. A solid citizen!
That is the kind of behavior we want from our citizenry!
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Tony Alicea
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    5
I have thought about the same scenario. I hope it never happens to any one but if I was in the situation of a person breaking into my home, I would shoot him (I'd first had to get a gun which I don't have).
I agree with the poster that said that if someone does that, they don't have respect for human life including (I'd add especially) their own.
If the attacker was armed, then it's a no-brainer. I'd shoot him. If the attacker is not armed, I would shoot just the same and tell the police that he said to me when he saw me: "You are not going to shoot me, you coward. I am now going to take that gun from you and shoot you myself".
And that he started going at me so I shot him. End of story.
Once he enters my home he's fair game. Screw him. The homeowner must prevail. My lie would be justified.
Even more if there is a spouse and children living in the place!
I had to think about all this when I was living in Miami in 1980 when Fidel Castro let loose on American shores hundreds if not thousands of criminals and mental patients (the notorious Mariel boat lift) and the crime rate went up really fast in said city.
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opl/mle/mariel.htm
You had to be there but in the local newspapers even the Cuban community was saying that there had not been ever in Miami so violent criminals loose.
As I said, you had to be there!
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]

Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Tony Collins
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Well I'm glad I live in England( with house contents insurance ) and not in America with a gun. I think the English and Americans are very different. What's good for you isn't good for us.
(BTW the polls are the result of bravado from our less intellectual members of society, we still have a healthy revulsion for hand guns in this country)
Tony
Tim Baker
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I don't think anyone has considered that the person who was shot and killed by tony martin was 16. If it was a hard set career criminal breaking in then sure I for one wouldn't care. But for someone that young it's easy to immagine that they have been mislead and that infact they could be rehabilitated.
Michael Morris
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TB:
I don't think just shooting someone can be conceived as moral just because they have broken in to your home. If you notice someone has broken in to your home you should get your family together into one room and lock the door and defend that room only. What on earth is the point in going downstairs to confront someone who is very possibly armed. There is no point in risking your own life to save a few hundred bucks you spend on a television or computer. If indeed you do have a family to protect and you get killed by this intruder what do you think is going to happen to your family. They will certainly be worse off and the intruder could infact harm them afterwards. If the burglar came in to your room, or you were in a flat or apartment then you might be forced to confront them. If you have a gun then it doesn't mean you actually have to shoot them, but you can hold them there until the police arive. If they were too close obviously you would make them move away and stay still. If they came too close then you would probably be excused for shooting them but if they ran for the door you would have to let them go.

What do I even start with here? If it were just about breaking into your house it wouldn't be moral to shoot the intruder. Most of the posters here have indicated that if the intruder were fleeing they would let him go. This is not about protecting property. Screw the laptop and TV. How do I know that the intruder is after property? What if he's a pervert after my 14 year old daughter? The point of going downstairs is not to confront him but to send him to the inferno. There will be no warning unless he is lucky and fast enough to hear the sound of my 12 gauge before the lead arrives and dodge it. Locking your family up into a room seems foolish to me in that, if this guy is truly depraved then everyone is together and what's to stop him from just taking pot shots thru the walls for fun?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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We have such insurance in the US too.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Frank Silbermann
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Tim Baker: "If you make it legal to just shoot anyone who breaks into your home it isn't going to put off the drug users who need to make a quick buck,"

Funny, it does put off a great many here in America. At least, that's what many British newspaper articles claimed when explaining America's much lower "hot burglary" rate.

Tim Baker: "but it is going to make them more likely to carry a gun if they think they might be shot at."

By that logic, why not impose heavy prison sentences for resistance of any kind, with amnesty and money for burglars who provide evidence against victims who illegally resist? Then the only weapon burglars would need is a video camera -- much safer than a knife or club!

Tim Baker: "I don't think just shooting someone can be conceived as moral just because they have broken in to your home."

The Bible explicitly says that it is permitted, at least at night. I don't see any reason to consider it any less moral to shoot a burglar than to shoot, say, an Argentine soldier who breaks into one's Faulkland Island. (Particularly since the soldier was probably coerced, whereas the burglar chose to be there.)

Tim Baker: "In the case of the UK if we actually made a law that said you are allowed to shoot a burglar then more and more people are going to want guns,"

I'm glad at least one Englishman finally understands why so many Americans value gun ownership!
I got so angry ten years ago when Clinton tried to justify banning "assault weapons" on grounds that "these guns were designed for shooting people." (I, personally, have no use for a semi-functional replica of a military rifle, but being able to shoot people is the most important reason for having a gun! We're not in the Wild West anymore, where four legged critters were the biggest danger.)

Tim Baker: "...(more and more people are going to want guns,) perhaps illegal ones."

I can't see why good people would have any interest in illegal guns as long as they had and adequate selection of legal guns from which to choose.

Tim Baker: "And these guns are probably more of a threat to their safety than burglars."

But since it's their lives, shouldn't it be their choice? It's not as though their lives and property were property of the state. (Are they?)
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
Frank Silbermann
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Tim Baker: "I don't think anyone has considered that the person who was shot and killed by tony martin was 16. If it was a hard set career criminal breaking in then sure I for one wouldn't care. But for someone that young it's easy to immagine that they have been mislead and that infact they could be rehabilitated."

As I heard it, he was a 16 year old hard-set career criminal, with already 30 convictions. In any case, the judges could easily have protected him by keeping him locked up longer for any of his earlier crimes.
Still, I don't think this is much different than the case of the sixteen year old son of a colleage of my wife's father. This English boy tried to hitch a ride by climbing on top of a train, and was killed when the train slammed him into a low overpass. A tragedy, to be sure, but no one suggests dismantling England's rail system to prevent foolish boys from getting themselves killed. Nor are any laws being passed to ensure that boys can steal free rides more safely.
No, what the state should do is to educate boys about the suicidal nature of such acts (e.g. climbing atop moving trains, burglary). But you cannot keep someone from killing himself if he insists.
Tim Baker
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Then why don't we just let everyone carry around guns hiddne under their coats incase someone tries to pick pocket you at the train station.
If you hide in a bedroom upstairs a normal burglar, armed or not, is not going to come upstairs into a bedroom because he doesn't want to wake you. Now if he's not a burglar but wants to have his way with members of your family, then he's going to come upstairs and if he discovers you in your bedroom, he'll see you awake and leg it because you've already called the police. Now if he doesn't care about that then you can shoot him when he comes into your room with a gun or comes near you. I've never heard of a single case of a burglar taking pot shots through walls of a house when he doesn't know if theres anyone in there.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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A good, loud alarm system is more effective and less risky deterrent than a gun. So is effective lighting of entry areas. Maybe such things aren't as satisfying as baring one's teeth against the Onslaught of Evil that wants to fence you tv for more drugs, but in order to steal you gotta be on the outside to do it.
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:

As I heard it, he was a 16 year old hard-set career criminal, with already 30 convictions. In any case, the judges could easily have protected him by keeping him locked up longer for any of his earlier crimes.

Frank, it was my impression that the older criminal (the one in his 30s) was the one with 30+ arrests and/or convictions. The younger burglar had a much thinner CV. I don't believe he deserved death.
What concerns me is the way Tony Martin was treated by the authorities both before and after the killings. Martin was repeatedly victimized by burglars. Some accounts I've read indicate he was burgled more than 20 times. Apparently the police made few attempts to deal with it, possibly because Martin was and is what the British call a 'nutter'. A strange, solitary man living in squalor in a barely habitable house.
I am also concerned that Martin may have been convicted because of his nutter status, and kept in jail as long as possible in order to work out the feelings which this incident raised.
Martin certainly was not treated as a victim of police negligence (which he certainly was). And I've seen no signs that the police and courst have seriously reviewed their procedures in light of there utter failure to protect Martin in any way.....
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Bela Bardak:
...in case an intruder should encounter an unsafe condition in your house, such as a loose roller-skate, overly-heavy computer, or any other hazard.
Originally posted by Steve Wink:
He also had a lot of booby traps around the house, such as sawn through stairs. He had been burgled quite a few times before.
Was Macaulay Culkin ever prosecuted after that "Home Alone" incident?
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:
...in case an intruder should encounter an unsafe condition in your house, such as a loose roller-skate, overly-heavy computer, or any other hazard.
Originally posted by Steve Wink:
He also had a lot of booby traps around the house, such as sawn through stairs. He had been burgled quite a few times before.
Was Macaulay Culkin ever prosecuted after that "Home Alone" incident?

No. I believe he was underage.
In any case the system in the US works differently. The remedy commonly available to the injured burglar consists of filing a lawsuit against the agent(s) of his discomfort and becoming an instant millionaire. The UK's sustem (jailing the homeowner) is more just and morally far superior to anything prevailing in the US......
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:
I don't think anyone has considered that the person who was shot and killed by tony martin was 16. ... But for someone that young it's easy to immagine that they have been mislead and that infact they could be rehabilitated.
It is tragic, really, but how is the victim of a break-in supposed to determine whether the intruder is a career criminal or a misled kid? And by all accounts both "types" are just as dangerous. Should Martin have taken the time to find out? It seems that he was living somewhat isolated and in fear. All things considered (they certainly didn't deserve to die) I don't have much sympathy for the intruders.

A few years back in the UK, a man stabbed to death an armed intruder and the jury acquitted him. The householder used a kitchen knife. There was never any question of premeditation [I don't have a link]. It is possible to defend yourself and "get away with it". The Martin case was a little unique. Depending on which paper you read, you focused on a sixteen year old dead kid, a booby-trapped house and a shotgun wielding "nutter" OR a lonely, victimised old man let down by the local authorities being burgled by a couple of scummy pikeys after an easy target.
Tim Baker
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It's actually very easy to judge what you need to do. Is the intruder directly threatening your life at that moment. If you have a gun this actually sets you at a disadvantage because it is harder for them to be threatening your life. So if they are 10 foot away with their back to you and not currently holding a gun then they aren't a threat if your holding a gun. If you're not holding a gun but say a knife then you cant wait for them to turn around to attack them. If someone was in my home and I had any kind of weapon there's no way I would kill them unless I saw something that made them an actual and identifiable threat. However this is clearly not how the american mindset works as is clearly demonstrated by their policies of shoot first and ask questions later all around the world.
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:
It's actually very easy to judge what you need to do. Is the intruder directly threatening your life at that moment. If you have a gun this actually sets you at a disadvantage because it is harder for them to be threatening your life. So if they are 10 foot away with their back to you and not currently holding a gun then they aren't a threat if your holding a gun. If you're not holding a gun but say a knife then you cant wait for them to turn around to attack them. If someone was in my home and I had any kind of weapon there's no way I would kill them unless I saw something that made them an actual and identifiable threat. However this is clearly not how the american mindset works as is clearly demonstrated by their policies of shoot first and ask questions later all around the world.


You are quite certain of this? By all accounts such situations are very stressful and sometimes people do things normally out of character for them. I'll also point out that there is no set 'american' mindset. For example I've never owned a gun and never will. Nevertheless I would probably vote to acquit a homeowner accused of murder for killing an intruder. So what is my 'american mindset' here? My personal refusal to defend myself with a firearm or my refusal to judge others for doing the opposite?
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Tim Baker:
...
Very noble intentions, and I would attempt to do the same I guess, but there's no way of knowing how you'd react. Tony Martin was, reportedly, a very scared man and still is.
Should you be jailed for acting instinctively or out of fear? Would a single mum or an old lady have been jailed in the same situation? I dunno, but I doubt it, considering it was a jury that put him away.
Tim Baker
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Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

You are quite certain of this? By all accounts such situations are very stressful and sometimes people do things normally out of character for them. I'll also point out that there is no set 'american' mindset. For example I've never owned a gun and never will. Nevertheless I would probably vote to acquit a homeowner accused of murder for killing an intruder. So what is my 'american mindset' here? My personal refusal to defend myself with a firearm or my refusal to judge others for doing the opposite?

It was a generalisation obviously not a personal comment on you.
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:

Very noble intentions, and I would attempt to do the same I guess, but there's no way of knowing how you'd react. Tony Martin was, reportedly, a very scared man and still is.
Should you be jailed for acting instinctively or out of fear? Would a single mum or an old lady have been jailed in the same situation? I dunno, but I doubt it, considering it was a jury that put him away.

You can and should be jalied for how you react in every situation. If someone comes up to you in the street and shouts boo in your ear and you turn around and smack them with something hard, then that is assualt, probably agrevated assualt but it's still a crime. Now be it another person say a granny then I very well may have more sympath but Tony Martin himself has made some very disturbing comments about he will easily do it again and if you did it out of fear in the moment you would probably express at least some sympath for the family of the person you killed.
Michael Morris
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Now be it another person say a granny then I very well may have more sympath ...
Doesn't sound like blind justice to me. What difference does it make who shoots the intruder or commits the assault? Are women or old women less capable of rationalizing the "morality" of the situation than men?
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
If someone comes up to you in the street and shouts boo in your ear and you turn around and smack them with something hard, then that is assualt - If I went to get something hard and then hit them with it, fair enough, maybe. Someone walking alone at night in dodgy neighbourhood may well be forgiven for lashing out at a prankster like that, provided the reaction was instinctive. Violence and fear of violence can destroy people's confidence and lives. I'm pretty liberally minded generally but on an issue like this the feelings and rights of the "aggressor", or whatever, don't really concern me.
Tony Martin himself has made some very disturbing comments about he will easily do it again and if you did it out of fear in the moment you would probably express at least some sympath for the family of the person you killed. - Even without expressing remorse Martin had his conviction changed to manslaughter on appeal. Expressing remorse only effects your sentence (if you are convincing!) and has no bearing on the conviction AFAIK.
Tony Collins
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Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Look what guns have made American society. People afraid to walk on the streets, virtual prisoners in their cars and houses, they have totally killed community. Why would we want that in England, where you can walk on just about any street at anytime. I've lived in the worst inner city areas and I've never had problems. In England people who have guns are those that intend to use them in a premeditated fashion( and that's not for robbing houses ).
Tony
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Look what guns have made American society. People afraid to walk on the streets, virtual prisoners in their cars and houses, they have totally killed community.
As we say in Texas: What a crock o' shit! I don't know anyone who is afraid to walk on the streets or virtula prisoners in their own homes (except for agoraphobics). It may be as you say in places like New York where the criminals have won the arms race due to liberal policy, but I don't know that to be fact either.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
Look what guns have made American society. People afraid to walk on the streets, virtual prisoners in their cars and houses, they have totally killed community.

Methinks someone's been watching too much BBC. I suspect this myth only pervades in some parts of the world to bolster some highly misplaced feeling of cultural superiority.
[ January 03, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Tony Martin himself has made some very disturbing comments about he will easily do it again
Here's something to think about. Do you think that an intruder would now knowingly break in to Tony Martin's house? It's well known he has firearms and would kill such an intruder. Knowing this, it is very unlikely another break-in would occur. It seems like the deterrent is very effective in a case such as this, doesn't it?
Here's an interesting statistic to keep in mind. Home invasions occur about three times more often in England than they do in the US. Why do you think this is?
Here's another interesting fact. There are almost no home invasions in Switzerland, where every home is required to have an automatic weapon and ammunition on the premises. Coincidence?
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Look what guns have made American society.
Just for fun, I did a little digging and pulled the crime statistics for England and Wales (from the Home Office) vs. the crime statistics of America (from the FBI). With America having nearly five times the population of the UK, the results are actually rather interesting.
Here's what I found (UK figures for 2001 on top, USA figures for 2002 underneath):
PopulationMurderSexual OffenceViolenceRobbery
60,000,000?37,29995,154600,873
1609631100
PopulationMurderRapeAssaultRobbery
288,000,00016,20495,136420,637894,348
177733027685322

The top row for each country is the number of crimes reported, while the bottom row is the chances of a person suffering one of these crimes. For example, in the UK there was one robbery per every hundred people.
Since some of these numbers are not exactly apples to apples (Rape vs. Sexual Offence, for example), you can't really draw generalizations, but a cursory examination of the numbers doesn't seem to corroborate Tony's assertion that the USA is a completely lawless place compared to the UK. In fact, it sure looks like you've got a much better chance of being robbed in the UK than in the States.
Joe
[ January 03, 2004: Message edited by: Joe Pluta ]
Tony Collins
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Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Homicide Rate Per 100,000 people
U.S.A 5.64
England & Wales 1.61

web page
Tony
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
Homicide Rate Per 100,000 people
U.S.A 5.64
England & Wales 1.61

web page
Tony

So it's okay as a whole to live in a more violent society as long as you don't actually manage to kill each other quite as frequently? An interesting note regarding UK crime statistics.... The murder rate in Scotland is about twice that of England and Wales.
What Tony fails to mention is that, since the disarmament law was passed, the homicide rate in his more civilized culture has risen to the highest recorded levels of all time and continues to rise, even while homicide rates in the US continue to decline. It's all well and good to point out snapshot figures for any particular year, but of much more value is the future trend.
A couple earlier points I've been meaning to address:
TC: Well I'm glad I live in England( with house contents insurance ) and not in America with a gun.
The idea of home owners insurance and renters insurance isn't a uniquely English one. We also are able to enjoy such revolutionary advances here as well. Further, as instances of home invasion in the US are 1/3 that of England, it is possible that there is some correlation with the fact that Americans are allowed the Constitutional right to keep arms in their possession.
TC: BTW the polls are the result of bravado from our less intellectual members of society, we still have a healthy revulsion for hand guns in this country
Tony here is trying to imply that anybody who would support a law allowing one to protect oneself in their home is inherently stupid, and below him. Anybody who is intelligent of course would never support such a law. Further, a revulsion of handguns is healthy, and therefore anything that would allow one to protect oneself with a firearm must be unhealthy.
TC: In England people who have guns are those that intend to use them in a premeditated fashion( and that's not for robbing houses ).
You mean in a premeditated fashion, such as hunting? If I interpret it correctly, the above quoted statement is pure bunk. All people in England who have guns do not intend to use them for premeditated violence. In fact, when I lived in England (prior to the 1997 law) I owned a firearm. Of course it was a black powder weapon and the only premeditated acts I had committed with it was English Civil War re-enactment, but the mere fact that I did possess a gun in England for something other than Tony seems to imply in the above quote would seem to render that statement quite false.
On a personal note I might add that i myself do not own a firearm, although I am quite happy to enjoy the overall deterrent benefit of our gun laws which makes home invasion much less a frequent occurence here. I do not own one, but I wholeheartedly support the right of citizens to own them. I have used firearms when I was in the military of course, and rented a handgun for target shooting once or twice, but I just don't feel any burning need to own one right now. I'm glad I have the freedom to go and get one if my circumstances change however.
[ January 03, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
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subject: Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?