Skip to comments.OVER HERE WE CAN DEFEND OUR HOMES
Posted on 08/23/2009 8:35:28 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
This Sunday Telegraph column generated a lot of mail a decade ago, and we've had a lot of requests for it over the years. I regard the "right" to defend one's property not merely as a right but as a moral obligation. Remove it and an awful lot of civic life crumbles in its wake, as it has in Britain:
Let's take a hypothetical situation: I'm up late working on a Sunday Telegraph column at home. I hear a noise downstairs and cautiously investigate. It's a fellow I've never seen before, hunched over my stereo. What do I do? I take my gun and take him out. Okay, okay, for the more "compassionate" among you, let's say I try to hit his shoulder to disable his own firing arm. Unfortunately, I'm not that good a shot and I blow his head off. I instantly regret it, knowing I'm now going to have to repaint the room.
Next, I call the chief of my town's one-man police department - his home number's listed in the book - and invite him round to collect the body. Al's also irked, at having his slumbers disturbed, but he takes a short statement and congratulates me on a job well done. He takes the view that burglary is a potentially life-threatening crime and that it's not for him to second-guess the homeowner's judgment in the heat of the moment. After all, I had a split second to decide whether the stranger in front of me was intending to rape my wife and kill my children or whether he was merely - for the sake of argument - a "lovable rogue" on holiday from, say, the English East Midlands with a profound philosophical commitment to a more socially equitable distribution of my CD collection. But, even in the latter case, my duty is to prevent him accomplishing his task: I am more emotionally attached to my spouse than to my albums (well, most of them), but I have a moral obligation to defend my property. For property, as anarchists have always recognised, is the foundation of civil society.
But the best thing about my hypothetical example is that it's 99.99 per cent certain to stay just that: hypothetical. I live in what, at the last attempt to measure these things, was statistically the most heavily-armed congressional district in the US. And yet we have less crime than almost anywhere on earth: our murder rate is much lower than Britain's and our property crime is virtually insignificant. Anyone want to make a connection? Villains are expert calculators of risk, and the likelihood of walking away uninjured with an $80 television set is too remote. In theory, a small town in New Hampshire ought not to be so very different from, for example, a village in Norfolk, England. But tonight, we'll go to bed with our doors unlocked, and our vehicles unlocked, and all kinds of valuables lying around the yard and the barn, and Norfolk villagers will go to bed walled up behind their laser alarms and window locks. Who would you say feels more secure? In New Hampshire, a citizen's right to defend himself deters crime; in Britain, the state-inflicted impotence of the homeowner actively encourages it. In any society, criminals prey on the weak and vulnerable. It's the peculiar genius of Home Office policy to have ensured that in British society everyone is weak and vulnerable - from Norfolk farmers to Anthea Turner.
Even when you factor in the nutcake jurisdictions with the crackhead mayors and take the US as a whole, the overall crime rate in England and Wales is still over 60 per cent higher, and property crime over twice as high. Between 1973 and 1992, burglary rates in the US fell by half. In Britain, not even the Home Office's disreputable reporting methods (if a burglar steals from 15 different apartments in one building, it counts as a single crime) can conceal the remorseless rise: Britons are now more than twice as likely as Americans to be mugged; two-thirds will have their property broken into at some time in their lives. Even more revealing is the divergent character between UK and US property crime: in America, just over 10 per cent of all burglaries are "hot burglaries" - committed while the owners are present; in Britain, it's 50 per cent. Because of insurance-required alarm systems, the average thief increasingly concludes that it's easier to break in while you're on the premises. Your home-security system may conceivably make your home more safe, but it makes you less so.
What can be done about this? Well, for a start, you could stop talking about fellows who "take the law into their own hands". In a responsible participatory democracy, the law ought to be in our hands. The problem with Britain is that the police force is now one of the most notable surviving examples of a pre-Thatcher, bloated, incompetent, unproductive, over-paid, closed-shop state monopoly. They're about as open to constructive suggestions as Red Robbo. In defiance of her usual instincts, Mrs Thatcher threw money at the problem - so that now Britain has more police per capita than America, on vastly higher rates of pay and significantly lower clear-up rates, and extravagantly endowed with computers, helicopters and more sophisticated electronic surveillance cameras than any other country in the free world. None of these high-tech gadgets seems especially relevant to the perennially low-tech problem of teen yobboes: even the most moronic product of the British education system can work out that, in such a world, he can burgle with impunity.
In April 1997 I attended an election meeting in Warwickshire for John Maples, who has since risen with dizzying speed through what's left of the Tory Party. In Kineton Village Hall that evening the residents were concerned with crime, and it fell to Mr Maples's warm-up act, a lady from Stratford-upon-Avon Rural District Council, to reassure them. She announced that the council was considering installing video cameras on the village green, but that, in the meantime, she had had a word with Warwickshire Constabulary to see about getting them to send another police car through the village every couple of weeks.
What's wrong with this picture? For one thing, there's no logical reason why law enforcement in the village of Kineton should be left to Stratford District Council or Warwickshire Constabulary. In New Hampshire, each town decides on its own policing needs and raises the necessary tax revenues to pay for them: we vote on whether to buy the chief a new patrol car and whether he needs a second officer. Kineton is a prosperous little place that and could certainly afford to hire its own two-man village police department for what would be a barely noticeable increase in the rates: indeed, if they were allowed to opt out of the feeble, ineffectual coverage of the county force and send back the camcorders to Stratford Council, it would be cheaper. But they're not allowed. The control-freak tendencies of all British political parties ensure that the country's remote expensive county and multi-county forces are inviolable.
The Conservatives' big mistake between 1979 and 1997 was an almost wilfully obtuse failure to understand that giving citizens more personal responsibility isn't something that extends just to their income and consumer choices; it also applies to their communities and their policing arrangements. If you have one without the other, you end up with Kineton: a materially prosperous society in which the sense of frustration and impotence is palpable. As things stand, the Tories will lose the next election. If they were shrewd, they might recognise that it's time to complete the revolution - that free-born citizens have the right not just to acquire property but also to defend it.
from The Sunday Telegraph, August 29th 1999
The Brits think Cameras are the answer.
I would rather a cannon than a canon.
This was written by Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the 1700’s:
A martial nobility and stubborn commons, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies, form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against enterprises of an aspiring prince.
It’s still relevant today but GB seems to have forgotten that it was once an armed and free society.
Definite tagline potential!
That is why, in my estimation, the asinine phrase "taking the law into your own hands" is mindless sophistry. In a free democratic-based society, it never left.
OVER HERE WE CAN DEFEND OUR HOMES
Not in NYC!
“Its still relevant today but GB seems to have forgotten that it was once an armed and free society.”
They’ve also been through cycles such as they have now. The difference seems to be the mobility of their population. Many brits have left the country.
My brother just visited and said that in NRA’s magazine this month (Freedom) there was an article stating that citizens are writing in to them about the ATF visiting and requesting serial numbers from their guns. Has anyone heard about this?
Yes - there has been discussion here and on various firearms forums - in Texas and perhaps in other states (either near the Mexican border or in areas from where supposed gun trafficking to Mexico originates), ATF agents have reportedly been visiting FFLs, obtaining names and addresses of firearms purchasers (from form 4473’s kept by the FFLs), and then visiting individual firearms owners demanding to see certain weapons by serial number.
The only difference is now they have cameras everywhere, even the “village green” and the Tories will win the next election
Which is complete crap.
I’ve read of that as being a possible future happening.....not present???
Nothing in rural Kansas. Keep us posted!
I hadn’t seen the discussions on here regarding that. I’ll need to visit NRA’s site.
That is outrageous. I hope someone is standing firm and saying ‘no’ if it truly is happening.
Thank you for your response.
“Has anyone heard about this?...”
Read the same. Not anywhere near the border where I’m at but rest assured if any Feds show up at the door asking for things such as this they will get a solid “go to Hell” followed up with a “don’t ever come back here without a warrant”.....
My brother said the same thing and that’s my plan as well. You being in TX, you’re closest to the possibility of it happening. If it does I hope you will make a post/thread on it!
We might not have this “right” if people like the one’s who wrote the articles below get hold of our Constitution and change it. The price for freedom is eternal vigilance. Keep up the good fight everyone!