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I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

So Close and Yet So Far from Correct

According to BBC News, England’s most senior police officer has said:

People should be entitled to use any force necessary to defend themselves against burglars

Here are some more good quotes:

Met commissioner Sir John Stevens said householders should be presumed to have acted legally, even if a burglar dies, unless there is contrary evidence.

My own view is that people should be allowed to use what force is necessary and they should be allowed to do so without any risk of prosecution.

The only problem here, is apparently "any force necessary" doesn't include the most effective defensive tools for stopping a dangerous attacker:

"I'm not talking about guns but people being allowed to defend themselves and use whatever is necessary to defend themselves against someone who may well be armed with a knife."

I don't get this! So it would be hypothetically ok to whack a knife wielding home intruder with a baseball bat, carve him up with a chainsaw or use "whatever is necessary", as long as you don't use the one tool that maximizes your chances of stopping the intruder without being harmed yourself?!? Why?

A firearm is the great equalizer in terms of forceful defense. An 80 year old lady in a wheel chair can learn to use an appropriate firearm effectively and will have a great chance of defending herself against a knife wielding intruder. A 6 foot tall 200 pound muscular man unskilled in the use of improvised weapons is likely to be killed by a murderous smaller and weaker home intruder if that intruder is skilled with and armed with their preferred weapon.

The attacker gets the advantage of deciding when to attack, where to enter from and which weapon(s) to bring (even if it is illegal, chances are the home invader won't be the law abiding type). The average homeowner doesn't have the time or inclination to spend 10+ hours each week studying martial arts to defend against all possible types of attackers. (Even if they did, they probably would still lose against a gun wielding attacker.) If the average sane and responsible homeowner spent 2-3 hours per month safely practicing with a firearm, they would become an incredibly formidable defender, no matter if they are small, weak or even slightly handicapped

It's really a shame. This Englishman was on the right track with stacking the deck in favor of the defending homeowners. It's too bad he had to sell the housholders short by specifically excluding firearms as reasonable home defense tools in a situation serious enough that "any force necessary" is supposedly the standard for saving their lives and the lives of their family members.

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