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David Thompson

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« Congo | Main | Some Guardian Nuance »

August 01, 2010

Comments

SG

"In order to fix us, someone has to be in charge."

Leftism in a nutshell.

David

And oddly enough, it also works the other way around. If you want to be in charge, “fixing” people is a wonderful pretext. And the number of things that might theoretically be “fixed” is practically limitless.

AC1

I'm working on the thought that relative productivity (i.e. pay) is preserved post tax rather than pre-tax and thus punishing those on higher incomes (those with rare skills in demand) tends to reduce the wages on those on lower pay (because those on higher wages can no longer afford to employ them).

Sam

Re "Being Reasonable" –

I bet Marcel Berlins never had to fight off an intruder in the middle of the night. Using "reasonable force" would be the last thing on his mind.

David

Sam,

“Using ‘reasonable force’ would be the last thing on his mind.”

Berlins is keen to signal his disdain for “have-a-go-heroes,” like a good Guardianista should, and he doesn’t seem terribly realistic about the obligations facing a person in the scenario I described.

Our hypothetical homeowner would be obliged to incapacitate the intruder as rapidly as possible - which in practical terms means as forcibly as possible. Most likely with a blow to the head using some suitably solid object. Possibly several blows. If that risks the intruder’s death or permanent injury, so be it. Assuming our startled homeowner isn’t armed or a ninja or equipped with heat vision, fretting about “reasonable force” would be implausible, foolish or simply negligent. Were I in that situation, I doubt I’d risk my own life or the lives of my loved ones just to reduce the likelihood of crippling the intruder. My obligations to my loved ones are pretty obvious. My obligations to the intruder, not so much.

mlrosty

"If that risks the intruder's death or permanent injury, so be it."

Will no-one think of the poor burglar? He has rights, you know! :)

David

“Will no-one think of the poor burglar?”

Well, that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? In the scenario I describe, which is hardly far-fetched, the wellbeing of the burglar wouldn’t exactly be a priority. I realise there are any number of ways that kind of scenario might play out, but the victim has no way of knowing the intruder’s intent and capacity for violence. What if the intruder is sadistic, psychotic or cranked out of his mind on stimulants? It therefore seems wise to assume that the intruder is a mortal threat – to oneself and one’s family. To assume otherwise seems a gamble too far, given the situation. And bearing that in mind, the victim would be obliged wherever possible to disable the intruder very quickly, i.e. very forcefully, and that generally entails a decisive – perhaps crippling, even fatal - blow. Fretting about the wellbeing of the intruder (or any subsequent legal action he may have the gall to take) seems fanciful and potentially disastrous.

Yet this is the apparent preference of Marcel Berlins, who doesn’t like the idea of burglars getting beaten up while terrorising their prey.

jones

Maybe it's because Marcel perceives them to be the most oppressed strata of society and thus in need of our complete understanding not condemnation.?

Much as a caucasian leftist-femi-nazi will thank her rapist for making her understand the pain of the prejudice he has had to endure at the hands of the white man. It's simply not their fault see.....

WTP

Id' say it's more of a "there but for the grace of God go I" situation. The "there" for most people here is the victim. The "there" for Marcel and fellow travelers is the perp. It all makes sense once you get your mind right.

Don't Tread On Me

Enjoyed "Overlords". More like that please.

IanF4

The logical conclusion to meeting a burglar in your house is to kill him outright, then there is only one witness to state how much "reasonable force" was used and what the circumstances were. Unfortunately the burglars have wised up to this and often act in twos and threes, thus able to provide multiple witnesses who escape whilst one of them is blasted with a shotgun in the back.

If the law really wanted to get this resolved, then legalize taser usage in the home, with the added bonus the unsullied thug can be easily apprehended whilst at the scene of the crime.

RickC

I'm reminded of the Richard Pryor anecdote about visiting a prison and talking to the inmates. One inmate admitted that in the process of breaking into and robbing a house he had killed every person in it. Pryor, who was horrified by the nonchalant way the inmate had told his story asked, "Did you have to kill everybody?" The inmate answered, "They was home." Pryor then exclaimed to his audience, "Thank God we got penitentiaries!"

My assumption is that if a guy breaks into my home when he knows people are present then he has something really nasty in mind. My duty to myself and my family is to kill him with whatever is at hand. Luckily, I live in the U.S. and what is at hand is a twelve gauge shotgun, with which I am very handy.

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