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

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Journey Down the Path of Compelled Helplessness

The title of this post is from a comment left at On Being Down and Defenseless in Britain over on The Gates of Vienna. The latest outrage from Old Blighty?
Jump up and down and shout to beat street crime

Witnesses to violent street crime should try to 'distract' attackers by honking their car horns or even 'jumping up and down'. That's according to Labour's Police Minister.

The extraordinary remarks by Tony McNulty prompted an immediate, angry response from law and order experts, who described him as 'irresponsible'.

The standard police advice to people who witness violent behaviour is that they should not get involved and immediately call 999.

But in an interview with the BBC's Jeremy Vine, Mr McNulty said concerned citizens should 'try some distractive activities' instead.
Absolutely. Fucking. Amazing. This is the Monty-Pythonesque "You're Not Qualified" mentality brought to its highest lowest form. Citizens shouldn't get involved - even to the point of simply making noise. If this doesn't define "compelled helplessness," I don't know what would. I'm reminded of an old post by Dave Kopel at The Corner where a University student told of her introduction to acceptable victim behavior while staying in England:
(The officer) instructed us on how to properly be a victim. If we were attacked, we were to assume a defensive posture, such as raising our hands to block an attack. The reason was (and she spelled it out in no uncertain terms) that if a witness saw the incident and we were to attempt to defend ourselves by fighting back, the witness would be unable to tell who the agressor was. However, if we rolled up in a ball, it would be quite clear who the victim was.
In other words, assume a fetal position. How appropriate.
The Minister, who is the deputy to Home Secretary John Reid, suggested that 'simply shouting' at would-be muggers or 'blowing your horn' at them could act as a deterrent. And he said that people who witness an attack in the street should 'jump up and down' while waiting for the police to arrive.

His comments come during a deepening crisis in the Home Office and follow new figures showing a sharp rise in violent crime.
Right. Would that be the report indicating that recorded violent crime is down, or the official crime survey report that indicates that violent crime is up? Because, you know, I'm confused. Of course, it's fairly easy to reduce "recorded" violent crime. Just don't record them, you see!
The interview with Mr McNulty is part of a Panorama special being screened tomorrow evening which examines the crisis of anti-social behaviour sweeping Britain's streets.

Law and order campaigners warned that anyone following the Minister's advice to 'distract' robbers could be putting themselves at serious risk.
Which is why "it's most important that all potential victims be as dangerous as they can." Instead, the UK emotionally and legally neuters its populace via an official but unwritten policy of compelled helplessness.
Street criminals routinely carry knives or even guns and there have been a growing number of incidents in which so-called onlookers who intervene have also themselves been attacked.
Because the criminals know they have little to nothing to fear from an unarmed populace unsure of what they can legally do to defend themselves or others, and the police are too overwhelmed to intervene. Besides, they're too busy running the "Big Brother" video cameras.
The remarks add to the already confusing and sometimes contradictory messages sent out to concerned citizens.

In some cases police publicly praise so-called 'have-a-go heroes'. But in other situations, people taking the law into their own hands have become police suspects while the original perpetrator has walked free.

Even honking a car horn, as Mr McNulty suggests, can backfire. A motorist who sounded his at a pedestrian who stepped out in front of his car was recently fined by police for 'excessive' use of the instrument.
Sweet bleeding jeebus. I rest my case.
Serving police officer Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, called the Minister's remarks 'irresponsible', adding: "Tony McNulty needs to get into the real world. Only then will he realise how ridiculous these remarks sound. The public are not going to jump up and down - they are going to be scared witless."
Only because you and those like you made them that way. Once upon a time, England was populated by a people with pride and a sense of right and wrong. Apparently between the losses of WWI, WWII, and the increasing control of their everyday lives by a Socialist government, the population has been domesticated. It's sad, really.
For the Tories, Shadow Police Reform Minister Nick Herbert said: "Jumping up and down and waving your hands in the air in a hopeless manner does seem to be the standard Home Office response to problems these days. The public need some consistent guidance about what they should do in these circumstances."

Figures out this month showed a two per cent rise in crime over the past year to a total of 2.44 million incidents, with gun crime soaring by ten per cent. And there was a 46 per cent surge in householders suffering the terror of being robbed at gunpoint in their home.
Isn't England the sterling example that the gun control organizations point to as the pinnacle of achievment? Weren't handguns banned there, oh, about 1996? Banned not as in "you can't have any more," but as in "turn them all in"? Aren't all other guns there supposedly strictly controlled? Licensing? Check. Registration? Check. "Safe Storage?" Check. No "gun show loopholes," no "assault weapons," no "Saturday Night Specials," no "Pocket Rockets"? Check. Isn't England an island - without the excuse that neighboring countries don't share its strict gun control laws? Check.

So, instead they smuggle Uzis in via truck.

Economics 101. Supply will meet demand.
The statistics come against a backdrop of a growing crisis in the Home Office, with Mr Reid admitting he and his ministerial team had failed to make the Home Office 'fit for purpose'. Mr McNulty was reshuffled from immigration to his current brief last May after the scandal over foreign criminals being allowed to walk free without even being considered for deportation.
Sounds like catch-and-release is popular on that side of the pond as well.
But, as the man in charge of law and order, the 48-year-old MP for Harrow East has continued to be dogged by controversy.

He was recently blamed by the Tories for another furore, this time involving Britons who committed sex crimes abroad being allowed to return home and work with children.
Of course. It's not like he's in danger of losing his job or anything. He's from the government, and he's there to help you. Good and hard.
Extract from the full Panorama interview

Jeremy Vine: "You see a young man looking aggressive, shouting at an old woman. What do you do? Do you retreat and ring the police?'

Tony McNulty: "I think you should in the first instance. It may well be simply shouting at them, blowing your horn or whatever else deters them and they go away."

Jeremy Vine: "He's now hitting her and the police haven't come. What do you do then?'

Tony McNulty: "The same, the same, you must always..."

Jeremy Vine: "Still wait?'

Tony McNulty: "Get back to the police, try some distractive activities."

Jeremy Vine: "What? Jump up and down?'

Tony McNulty: "Sometimes that may well work."
At least he wasn't advocating curling up into a fetal position. How about grabbing something heavy and beating the sonofabitch into unconsciousness? Would that be excessive?

Edited to add: If you want your blood pressure to spike even further, read up on some other recent outrages carried out by the UK government as chronicled by Irons in the Fire. Read down to the updates. Stow all breakables out of reach first.

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