Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The London Sunday Telegraph Keeps It Up

And good for them. The entry for today is more letters from supporters of the effort. The Telegraph reports that they've received 100,000 mail-in cards, and along with them, a lot of stories of the victims of crime. I won't reproduce them all, but here's a choice sampling.

Burglary has afflicted us on several occasions. Several years ago I disturbed a man in my house and grabbed an Indian club with which to protect myself. In the heat of the moment, threatened by a provocative move, I lashed out, hitting his outstretched leg and breaking his tibia. He made his escape, albeit limping, and I alerted the constabulary.

The intruder went to hospital. To my absolute amazement I was arrested for causing grievous bodily harm. Little sympathy was afforded to me as the householder because he had not actually removed any property except a quantity of banknotes, which of course I could not prove were mine.

The case was "thrown out" of court on a technicality, but the memory of how near I had been to a possible period of incarceration, merely for defending what was mine, is still with me.

Intruders may or may not be armed with a weapon, but one cannot be sure. If they show intent to attack, then they deserve what they get.

Derek Godfrey-Brown, Okehampton, Devon

That's OK, Derek, they put the fear of God Government in you. It's that "chilling effect" they're going for, you know. If an agent of government injures or kills someone, it's "the legitimate use of force." If a citizen subject harms another, it's "lawless violence." Semantics is everything.

Here's another:
We have been subjected to three burglaries at our pub: once while we were sleeping upstairs and twice while we were busy downstairs. Only one of those burglaries has ever been solved.

However, I was myself arrested after I caught some teenagers tearing down trees in my garden. They were attempting to light a bonfire behind my wooden shed, which would have gone up in flames. I did not harm them, but I was holding one by the wrist when the police arrived. Five days later, I was charged with assault. Fortunately the charge was withdrawn the day before I was due to appear in court. It was a very distressing experience. I don't know why the police pursued the case - if I told you what I thought about them, I would probably get sued for libel.

I was a detective in the Metropolitan Police for 31 years before my retirement in 1985, but things have changed an awful lot since those days.

Graham A McIntosh, Hawkwell, Essex
Mr. McIntosh was a former police officer (probably quite familiar with the procedures for detaining subjects) and he was charged with assault. Again, there's that "chilling effect" of the government telling its subjects "YOU'RE NOT QUALIFIED!" You know these stories get around, and as a result people are more than a little reticent to defend themselves out of fear of prosecution.

This is an issue I feel strongly about, instinctively, so I am eager to hear arguments against the proposition, so that my views should be rational as well as emotional.

I have not heard any. I have heard a great deal of name-calling (in other newspapers). There is a defeatist argument that such measures will cause criminals to be more violent - a counsel of despair, if ever I heard one - and fanciful speculation about householders arming themselves. There is the lofty condescension of the "liberal elite", as William Hague called them, that the law is perfectly adequate. And, of course, the astonishing ignorance of the Attorney General about the number of prosecutions of homeowners and the persecution they suffer from the Crown Prosecution Service.

More power to your campaign.

Mike Fowle, Felixstowe, Suffolk
Hmm... A "liberal elite" that professes that "the law is perfectly adequate." Remind you of anyone?

I am 84 years old. Any burglar is certain to be far more strong and agile than I. In order to have any chance to defend myself and my home, I must have the use of a weapon that can supply the power I have lost.

Ury Baruch, London W5
Took the words right out of my mouth. Sorry, Ury. The government doesn't trust you with that much power.

This woman has taken Ury's appeal to heart. Hopefully it won't get her arrested:
I am a widow in my eighties and I live alone. I am appalled and sickened by the pictures of old ladies who have been burgled, beaten up and in some cases, murdered. I do not intend to have that happen to me and so I keep a weapon in my bedroom.

Lady Summerfield, Folkestone, Kent
You can bet, however, that her weapon of choice won't be a firearm. I doubt an 80+ year-old woman could show "need" for one, since "self defense" isn't an acceptable reason. She could always pop into London for a bit. I understand you can pick up a pistol pretty cheaply there, if you know the right guy.

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