Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Good News

I read this and had to doublecheck that I wasn't reading some sort of satire page- the British government seems to actually be listening to the demands of the general public on the topic of self-defence in the home. According to new guidelines being issued (the law has not yet actually been changed but the Tories are campaigning for just that) it is perfectly reasonable for a person to attack and even kill a burglar in their home (even using a weapon at hand) so long as you act as you "honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment". This is a pretty remarkable step forward considering our Labour government. Obviously this is an issue with which the Tory party could have stolen some votes come election time. Thank goodness for the opposition.

The Tories are campaigning for the law to be changed so that only "grossly disproportionate" force (as opposed to that vaguest of things "reasonable force") would be prosecuted, a change I would gladly back as I'm sure the Crown Prosecution Service and most judges would not believe that stabbing a burglar with a knife or taking a tomahawk to him would be "necessary in the heat of the moment". Only time will tell if these guidelines are actually giving homeowners back some right to protect themselves or if it's nothing more than a ploy to win votes.

Now, if only the government would read this and understand that the right to defend one's family and home is one thing, but the means to do so is quite another matter entirely. Maybe all is not lost and one day gun culture will begin to mean something other than armed gangs.

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