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Niti in Sanskrit means policy/strategy/vision. This blog hosts my political views, along with news and commentary. This blog has moved here.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Don't you dare to defend yourself?

Here's a great article on how right to self-defence has been progressively taken away from English citizens .

When, last Christmas, thousands of Radio 4's Today listeners called for legislation authorising them to protect their homes by any means necessary, the proposal was immediately denounced as a "ludicrous, brutal, unworkable, blood-stained piece of legislation".


The authorities instead advice people to retreat when attacked at home. They are not supposed to keep any weapons to protect themselves. Is it any wonder that violent crimes such burglary have been growing steadily in England? In fact, most of the burglaries happen when somebody is at home as burglars know that they cannot defend themselves. Heck, the police have been prosecuting homeowners for defending their property and person. People jailed for defending their home against burglars are not easily released for fear that they might harm burglars:

Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for killing one burglar and wounding another, was denied parole because he posed a danger to other burglars. "It cannot possibly be suggested," the government lawyers argued, "that members of the public cease to be so whilst committing criminal offences" adding, "society can not possibly condone their (unlawful) murder or injury".


To make matters ridiculous, police even prosecute public for defending themselves using imitation weapons:

In recent years governments have even felt it necessary to prevent the public from defending themselves with imitation weapons. In 1994 an English home-owner, armed with a toy gun, managed to detain two burglars who had broken into his house while he called the police. When the officers arrived, they arrested the home-owner for using an imitation gun to threaten or intimidate. In a similar incident the following year, when an elderly woman fired a toy cap pistol to drive off a group of youths who were threatening her, she was arrested for putting someone in fear. Now the police are pressing Parliament to make imitation guns illegal.


In US by contrast, strong right to self-defense is ensured. This results in low rate of burglaries and violent crimes.


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