Another Example of How the Law Doesn’t Disarm Assailants.

From the BBC. Apparently the “yob culture” of violent youth gangs is really taking off (or it’s just the “flavor of the month” for the British mainstream media.)

Shopkeeper killed by teenage gang

A shopkeeper was murdered in a “horrific and frenzied” attack in a shopping precinct by more than 20 armed teenagers, police say.

Mi Gao Huang Chen, 41, was battered to death in front of his girlfriend with a spade, tree branch and metal pipes in Scholes, Wigan, on Saturday night.

Police have arrested 17 teenagers on suspicion of assault and violent disorder, including a girl of 14.

Mr Huang Chen, known locally as Michael, ran the Superb Hut takeaway.

Residents say a gang of teenagers have plagued their community with anti-social behaviour.

I love that expression: “Anti-social behavior.” It sounds like they’re just being rude. More of that British stiff-upper-lip understatement, when what it really means is homicidal.

Mr Huang Chen, who was from China, lived at Towcester Close in the Ancoats area of Manchester.

Police say the attack on him lasted up to 15 minutes. He suffered massive head injuries and died in Hope Hospital, Salford, on Thursday.

Det Ch Insp Steve Crimmins, leading the investigation, said: “It is quite frightening really, it was a frenzied attack. It was horrific and sickening.

“There have been ongoing problems in the area. There was a heightened police presence prior to the incident.

Police don’t say, or at least aren’t quoted in this piece, as to why if “there was a heightened police presence prior to the incident” their response time was apparently in excess of the fifteen minutes the assault took.

“There’s been general nuisance that you associate with large groups of youths, in essence rowdiness and criminal damage.

“For some reason it has escalated out of all proportion and a man has lost his life.”

Might I suggest that one reason it “has escalated out of all proportion” is because the “large groups of youths” don’t fear either the police or their victims? I wonder if any of the assailants recorded video of the assault on their cell-phones?

More than TWENTY attackers, all minors. An assault that lasted fifteen minutes. And no one could intervene without risk of getting killed or severely injured themselves.

A question: What would have happened if a large adult man had waded into that melee with, say, an axe-handle and prevented Mr. Chen’s death by inflicting some serious injuries on Mr. Chen’s assailants? Would the charge be attempted murder or merely assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm?

When will people wake up to the fact that the world can be a dangerous place, and the government is not responsible for your protection?

UPDATE, 4/30: Apparently this piece caught the attention of a UK message board. (Welcome, y’all!) But this comment absolutely floored me:

This is yet another example of how people think of tackling things the wrong way. If Mr Chen or some other random passer-by had been carrying a gun, you would have 17 dead teenagers rather than one dead shopkeeper. Yes, they were in the wrong but that’s no reason to kill them.

At least one of the posters felt the same:

X, that is perhaps one of the most naive posts to ever come from your keyboard. No offense mate, but you’ve seen too many movies.

“X” seems to miss the point that, had a defender been armed with a firearm chances are good that NO ONE would have been killed. The twenty-plus attackers would have been quelled.

I’m not much for Hollywood’s interpretation of defensive gun use, but “No, Ace. Just you.” comes immediately to mind. And better one or two of them dead (and the rest running) than the shop keeper, IMHO.

I noticed also that, as of this posting, no one has addressed my question concerning a defender armed with an axe-handle. I wonder why that is? Is contemplation of that question uncomfortable?

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