Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baby steps

The British government is slowly coming around, finally, to the novel idea that their citizens should be able to defend themselves against robbers and thugs without being automatically prosecuted for doing so.

"Under new laws police and prosecutors will have to assess a person’s actions based on the person’s situation "as they saw it at the time” even if in hindsight it could be seen as unreasonable.
For example, homeowners would be able stab or shoot a burglar if confronted or tackle them and use force to detain them until police arrive. Muggers could be legally punched and beaten in the street or have their own weapons used against them."

This is a remarkable turnaround on the part of Justice Secretary Jack Straw, as he and other Labour party leaders have been adamantly against such policies for years. Why the sudden change of heart?

Not because of any altruistic feelings towards his subjects, unfortunately. It seems that Mr. Straw himself has been plagued by a recent rash of muggings in his own posh neighborhood:

"He is understood to have decided new laws were necessary after he was involved in four "have-a go’’ incidents, which included chasing and restraining muggers near his south London home."

Once again, my theory that the "authorities" can be dead set against liberties and freedoms for the peasantry until their own elitist necks are threatened seems to hold true.

The article also mentions the new national guidelines for British police response times that we commented on the other day. It confirms that the police administration has set response time goals of three hours for an emergency situation, and up to three days for a non-emergency police contact, such as reporting a burglary. Goals, mind you, not guarantees. The odds are that one is still going to be on their own for quite some time in an emergency over there. How nice of the muckety-mucks to finally let the average person do something about the situation themselves, instead of forcing them to submit meekly to an attacker.

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