Santa Monica watch dealer defending his store against armed robbers killed five criminals in the course of four gunfights. Targeted for revenge by an LA gang, he finally gave up his storefront, but he still sells watches and does repairs by appointment and on-line.
It is impossible imagine a better metonomic image of Britain disarmed.
The recent breakdown of civil society in British cities has been widely associated with welfare state entitlements and an all-encompassing liberal egalitarianism which insists on treating criminality as victimhood. A version of society Kipling predicted: “[T]he brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.”
But it must also be noted that the left’s aversion to punishing crime has consistently featured a single notable exception, a passionate determination to make a conspicuous example of any law-abiding citizen competing against the state’s monopoly of force by daring to defend himself against crime and violence. In such cases, liberal authorities have consistently been out for blood.
Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University has made the study of the British experiment a personal specialty, and reports in the Wall Street Journal on some of the atrocities produced by the contemporary administration of justice British-style and their results in multiplying crime.
Great Britain’s leniency began in the 1950s, with a policy that only under extraordinary circumstances would anyone under 17 be sent to prison. This was meant to rehabilitate young offenders. But the alternative to incarceration has been simply to warn them to behave, maybe require community service, and return them to the streets. There has been justifiable concern about causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment, but little admission that some individuals prefer theft to work and that deterrence must be taken seriously.
Victims of aggression who defend themselves or attempt to protect their property have been shown no such leniency. Burglars who injured themselves breaking into houses have successfully sued homeowners for damages. In February, police in Surrey told gardeners not to put wire mesh on the windows of their garden sheds as burglars might hurt themselves when they break in.
If a homeowner protecting himself and his family injures an intruder beyond what the law considers “reasonable,” he will be prosecuted for assault. Tony Martin, an English farmer, was sentenced to life in prison for killing one burglar and wounding another with a shotgun during the seventh break-in at his rural home in 1999. While his sentence was later reduced to five years, he was refused parole in 2003 because he was judged a danger to burglars.
In 2008, a robber armed with a knife attacked shopkeeper Tony Singh in West Lancashire. During the struggle the intruder was fatally stabbed with his own knife. Although the robber had a long record of violent assault, prosecutors were preparing to charge Mr. Singh with murder until public outrage stopped them.
Meanwhile, the cost of criminal justice has convinced British governments to shorten the sentences of adult criminals, even those guilty of violent crimes, and to release them when they have served half of their sentence. Police have been instructed by the British Home Office to let burglars and first-time offenders who confess to any of some 60 crimesâ€”ranging from assault and arson to sex with an underage girlâ€”off with a caution. That means no jail time, no fine, no community service, no court appearance.
In 2009, 70% of apprehended burglars avoided prison, according to British Ministry of Justice figures. The same year, 20,000 young offenders were electronically tagged and sent home, a 40% increase in the number of people tagged over three years.
All sorts of weapons useful for self-defense have been severely restricted or banned. A 1953 law, the “Prevention of Crime Act,” made any item someone carried for possible protection an “offensive weapon” and therefore illegal. Today there is also a list of devices the mere possession of which carries a 10-year sentence. Along with rocket launchers and machine guns, the list includes chemical sprays and any knife with a blade more than three inches long.
Handguns? Parliament banned their possession in 1997. As an example of the preposterous lengths to which zealous British authorities would enforce this law, consider the fate of Paul Clark, a former soldier. He was arrested in 2009 by Surrey police when he brought them a shotgun he found in his garden. For doing this personallyâ€”instead of asking the police to retrieve itâ€”he received a five-year prison sentence. It took a public outcry to reduce the normal five-year sentence to 12 months, and then suspend it.
The ban on handguns did not stop actual crimes committed with handguns. Those crimes rose nearly 40%, according to a 2001 study by King’s College London’s Center for Defence Studies, and doubled by a decade later, according to government statistics reported in the London Telegraph in October 2009.
Knives? It’s illegal for anyone under age 18 to buy one, and using a knife for self-defense is unlawful. In 1991, American tourist Dina Letarte of Tempe, Ariz., used a penknife to protect herself from a violent attack by three men in a London subway. She was convicted of carrying an offensive weapon, fined, and given a two-year suspended sentence.
The result of policies that punish the innocent but fail to deter crime has been stark, even before the latest urban violence. The last decade has seen a doubling of gun crime. According to the latest annual report of the Home Office (2009), there was a 25% increase in crimes involving contact, such as assault and battery, over the previous year.
A survivor of an Alabama university shooting said the professor charged in the attack that claimed three lives methodically shot the victims in the head until her gun apparently jammed and she was pushed out of the room.
Associate professor Joseph Ng told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was one of 12 people at the biology department meeting Friday at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He described the details in an e-mail to a colleague at the University of California-Irvine.
Ng said the meeting had been going on for about half an hour when Amy Bishop “got up suddenly, took out a gun and started shooting at each one of us. She started with the one closest to her and went down the row shooting her targets in the head.”…
Ng said the meeting was held around an oval table. The six people on one side were all shot.
“The remaining 5 including myself were on the other side of the table (and) immediately dropped to the floor,” he wrote.
Ng told the AP the shooting stopped almost as soon as it started. Ng said the gun seemed to jam and he and others rushed Bishop out of the room and then barricaded the door shut with a table.
Ng said the charge was led by Debra Moriarity, a professor of biochemistry, after Bishop aimed the gun at her and attempted to fire but it didn’t shoot. He said Moriarity pushed her way to Bishop, urged her to stop, and then helped force her out the door.
“Moriarity was probably the one that saved our lives. She was the one that initiated the rush,” he told the AP. “It took a lot of guts to just go up to her.”
Ng said the survivors worried she would shoot her way through the door, and frantically worked up backup plan in case she burst through. But she never did.
I thought it was interesting to read how when Amy Bishop’s gun jammed (or was simply empty), after she had shot six people, several of the remaining biologists were sufficiently driven by survival instinct to rise from hiding on the floor, ask her to stop shooting people(!), and then, as she presumably gaped at them in astonishment, employ superior numbers to push her out the door. After which, they proceeded to try to barricade themselves inside. It would be just too bad, of course, for anybody else who had recently offended Amy Bishop who happened along after she reloaded or cleared her jam.
Five people made no attempt to apprehend or disarm a woman who was obviously, temporarily at least, unable to fire any more rounds. As far as they were concerned, short term personal survival was the key priority. Dealing with Professor Bishop would be a job for the authorities. Let the police and the rest of the university community take their own chances. And when I look over the list of department members (not named in the article), it does seem to be the case that the majority of the persons potentially present, and not otherwise accounted for, would have been male.
British model and singer Myleene Klass called the police after she waved a knife and managed to scare off two intruders trying to break in at 12:45 A.M. British police warned her that she might very well be arrested if she did that again.
Miss Klass, a model for Marks & Spencer and a former singer with the pop group Hear’Say, was in her kitchen in the early hours of Friday when she saw two teenagers behaving suspiciously in her garden.
The youths approached the kitchen window, before attempting to break into her garden shed, prompting Miss Klass to wave a kitchen knife to scare them away.
Miss Klass, 31, who was alone in her house in Potters Bar, Herts, with her two-year-old daughter, Ava, called the police. When they arrived at her house they informed her that she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an “offensive weapon” â€“ even in her own home â€“ was illegal.
When someone is stalking you, you need a gun right now, but when Robert J. Averich meets a young woman in trouble in a gun shop, he is obliged to tell her that she’ll have to wait for federal criminal checks and take safety classes before she can protect herself.
Me, I would have explained that she might want to buy a black powder replica right now (requiring no waiting period) to keep on hand while going through the process.
Melanie Phillips describes how the British left and the Labour Government has shamefully surrendered to the Saracens.
In Britain, the war in Gaza has revealed the extent to which the media, intelligentsia and political class have simply crumbled in the face of the global jihad.
The U.K. is a major player in European and world politics and is Americaâ€™s most significant strategic ally. Until now, it has been considered one of Israelâ€™s firm supporters and a linchpin of the Western defense against the world-wide Islamist onslaught. With the reaction to Gaza, however, that reputation is no longer sustainable.
Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism within Britain have now coalesced, as a result of the media misrepresentation of the Gaza war as an atrocity against civilians, in an unprecedented wave of hatred against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.
Throughout the war, Londonâ€™s streets have witnessed a hallucinatory level of violent and explicit support for Hamas from Muslims, members of the far left and supposedly progressive individuals.
Certainly, there have been anti-Israel protests around the world. But in Britain, not only have these been particularly violent but the authorities have done nothing to stop such incitement of hatred.
The police told pro-Israel demonstrators on at least one occasion to put away their Israel flags because they were â€˜inflammatory.â€™ Yet officers allowed some anti-Israel demonstrators to scream support for Hamas â€” and even to dress up as hook-nosed Jews pretending to drink the blood of Palestinian babies.
In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding through Londonâ€™s West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the police, all the time shrieking â€˜Allahu akbarâ€™ and â€˜cowards.â€™ The police ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping the rampage.
But, why be surprised? This is the same Britain that convicted Norfolk farmer Tony Martin of murder and sentenced him to life in prison (later reduced on appeal) for defending himself against two burglars.
From the modern leftist perspective, criminals are always at least partially justified by their grievances, and the crime which cannot be forgiven is self defence.
This 9:07 video describes how Britain’s bans on handgun ownership and self defense have resulted in unprecedented, previously unimaginable levels of violent crime. The British policeman, formerly equipped with a nightstick, now carries a pistol and wears body armor.
Miami Local10.com provides an inadvertently hilarious example of liberal media self-parody, gravely quoting with dead seriousness the relatives of the criminals who got shot by one of the victims of a hold-up, who, though 71-years-old, happened to be a retired Marine with a concealed-carry gun permit.
The family of one of the men who was shot by a retired United States Marine while they attempted to rob a Subway sandwich shop said the customer shouldn’t have pulled the trigger.
According to Plantation police, two armed men barged into the Subway at 1949 Pine Island Road shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, demanding money from the employee behind the counter. When they tried to force John Lovell into the bathroom, he pulled out a gun and shot both men, police said.
Donicio Arrindell, 22, was shot in the head and later died at the hospital. Fredrick Gadson, 21, was shot in the chest and ran from the Subway, but police found him in hiding in some bushes on the property of a nearby BankAtlantic.
Lovell, 71, was the lone customer at the time. Police said he had a concealed weapons permit.
Gadson’s grandparents told Local 10 on Thursday that Lovell was wrong for pulling the trigger.
“He should not have taken the law in his hands,” said Rosa Jones, Gadson’s grandmother.
Her husband, Ivory Jones, also condemned the media for its portrayal of Lovell’s actions.
“I don’t condone what they did, (but) I definitely don’t condone the news people making him out to seem like they’re making a hero out of this man because he shot somebody down,” he said.
On first glance, I would say that the Court’s ruling primarily represents a strong rebuke to intellectually farcical sophistry and the kinds of whimsical and creative legal analysis which divorce themselves from the Constitution’s historical background, the expressed views and intentions of the framers, commentaries on the Constitution, and the entirety of history before 1932.
Justice Scalia writes at length, and with ill-concealed contempt, for efforts to eliminate the individual right to keep and bear arms by facile manipulation of the prefatory “well-regulated militia” clause, happily following the jurisprudential practice of recent decades of including a thorough and comprehensive survey of the relevant history.
And he concludes:
There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both the text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.
But, no sooner does Justice Scalia arrive at his bold conclusion than he begins retreating from its implications and striving actively to limit its practical consequences.
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. …
Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those â€œin common use at the time.â€ 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of â€œdangerous and unusual weapons.â€
It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military serviceâ€”M-16 rifles and the likeâ€”may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendmentâ€™s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of smallarms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
In the end, the ruling merely affirms the existence of the individual right to keep and bears arms, and strikes down the District of Columbia’s ban on handgun possession in the home and its requirement that lawful firearms kept in a home be inoperable. It specifically declines to address licensing requirements (which Heller failed to challenge). Insofar as the Court affirms a right of self defense, it has done so only with respect to one’s home.
The moderation of Scalia’s opinion is likely to make its power as a decision stronger rather than weaker though, and District of Columbia v. Heller signals a major reversal in the direction of Constitutional Law at the Supreme Court level.
British leftist George Monbiot (whose name is believed by many to be the etymological source of “moonbat,” the popular pejorative used on the Blogosphere for a seriously addled leftist) is thinking of arresting John Bolton.
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, faces a citizen’s arrest when he addresses an audience at the Hay Festival in Wales this evening.
George Monbiot, the journalist and activist, is planning the action because he believes Mr Bolton is a “war criminal”.
He said he was surprised that a “war criminal” such as Mr Bolton would be allowed to “swim through the politest of polite soirees â€“ which is of course Hay.”
Mr Bolton, who was the American ambassador to the UN from August 2005 to January 2006, is due to talk at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival at 6.30pm on international relations.
Let’s hope JB decides to resist arrest, and commits a minor war crime on Monbiot’s nose.
In one corner an aggressive panhandler. In the other a disabled, wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran who turned out not to be the underdog.
When the two met up five days ago in northeast Albuquerque the attacker became the attacked.
Gary Gould said the attempted mugging had him fighting for his life reminding him of what it was like fighting for his life in Vietnam.
“I can’t walk; I’m paralyzed,” he told KRQE News 13 today. “I got blown up in Vietnam.
“I’ve been in a chair for 38 years.”
Gould, 58, is safe at home now miles away from the Billiard Palace where he took a break from playing pool last Thursday. He said he went out back to smoke a cigarette when a man approached him asking for money.
“He put his hand out like this,” Gould said. “I said, ‘I don’t have any money. Get out of my face, man.'”
Melvin Romero should have listened he didn’t. Instead he then demanded money and repeatedly stabbed Gould with a pair of scissors, according to a criminal complaint.
Gould has some marks and bruises now, but Romero’s the one who ended up hurt the most.
“When he stabbed me, I grabbed him, and I wrestled him to the ground,” Gould said. “Every time he kept trying to get back up, I had to knock him back down.
“They transported him, and I heard he lost a pint of blood.”
Romero wasn’t booked into jail until Monday four days after the attack because that’s how long it took him to recover in the hospital.