Ignore them, They’re Only Peons
Seems the BBC ran a poll of its viewers with the promise that the law most desired by the viewership would be put forth in Parliament by the Right Honourable Mr. Pound, member of Parliament.
So what won? Garnering 37% of the vote, the right to defend one’s home and property by any means without fear of prosecution for “excessive force.”
Mr. Pound’s response to this hubris?
“The people have spoken,” the Labour MP replied to the programme, “… the bastards.”
Yes, folks, he said that live on the air.
Continuing, the story says:
Having recovered his composure, Mr Pound told The Independent: “We are going to have to re-evaluate the listenership of Radio 4. I would have expected this result if there had been a poll in The Sun. Do we really want a law that says you can slaughter anyone who climbs in your window?”
Why not? It works in South Carolina pretty well. Texas, too.
Another paper expands on the story a bit, with the inevitable mention of Tony Martin, the farmer who shot two burglars, killing one, and subsequently went to jail for it. Says Tony:
“This is wrong, heinously wrong, that you should actually live in fear in your home that if somebody breaks in that, basically, you are going to have the law jump down on you. It is just not right.”
Asked whether he would do the same thing again, he said: “In the same circumstances, yes, if I am terrorised. People are highly jeopardised in this country. I personally think we are looking bloody stupid in the world.”
Mr. Martin’s representative in Parliament agrees:
“I think the law at the moment is totally confused. The current test of reasonable force is discredited … there appears to be a presumption of guilt against the householder, and I think what we need is a presumption of innocence in favour of the householder.”
However there’s always the “government knows best” voice, in this case a criminal lawyer (who probably doesn’t want to see his clientele either dead or taking up another line of work):
“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.”
Ah, yes. The inevitable comparison to the wild West (that never was, by the way).
The problem is, in the middle of a home invasion or assault, how do you determine what is “proportionate force”? How do you know the home invader doesn’t intend to bludgeon you to death with a crowbar? Or shoot you with an illegal handgun? You don’t. You must assume that if someone is willing to invade your occupied home with the intent to take your possessions, then he is willing to do whatever is necessary to do so successfully, up to and including killing you. Relying on a “proportionate response” gives the attacker the upper hand. Overwhelming force is the only appropriate response.
The home invader is the one making his life equal in worth to your DVD player or TV, because the presumption must be that it’s worth your life to him to get it. Killing him is not an inappropriate response. And it will absolutely prevent recidivism on his part.
And after a few burglars die at the hands of homeowners, a lot of burglars will decide they need to find a different line of work.