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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #1
kps
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Your right to defend yourself and property.

There's been a few high profile cases recently where individuals protecting themselves, their property or both, ended up being charged unfairly by the state. How do you feel about these basic rights and are they being quashed by the state?

Here's a great article by George Jonas that inspired this post and says it better than I ever could:

Quote:
George Jonas: The state’s protection racket

George Jonas Feb 7, 2012 – 8:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Feb 6, 2012 5:26 PM ET

When defending their monopoly to defend us, the authorities often shoot themselves in the foot. In Saturday’s National Post, Rex Murphy recalled the case of a shopkeeper in Toronto’s Chinatown who was charged with kidnapping for nabbing a shoplifter and holding him for the police. The story had a happy ending: The lawmen looked as foolish in court as they deserved to look, and the shopkeeper was acquitted.

Undaunted, though, the authorities press on. Currently, prosecutors are making fools of themselves over a citizen named Ian Thomson, whose warning shots scared away three men trying to firebomb his farm house near Port Colborne, Ont. He fired in the air; the assailants fled, and no one was hurt except the feelings of the authorities.

The householder, a licensed gun owner and firearms instructor, broke no law. Still, miffed by a citizen’s display of self-reliance, the wounded minions of the state hauled him into court for — guess what? — the unsafe storage of firearms.

There’s a Kafkesque provision in the Criminal Code that makes it unlawful for gun owners to store their ammunition in the same hemisphere as their weapons — certainly not close enough for a gun to be of any but decorative use. The mere fact Mr. Thomson had time to fire indicated to the prosecutor he must have broken the law. Anyone who obeys, couldn’t have. Gotcha!

After counsels’ submissions, the judge adjourned till the summer. Evidently, he needed a few months to figure out just how much of an ass the law really is — a luxury not available to Mr. Thomson, who would have had to decide the same thing in seconds while being firebombed.

The authorities are having a fit every time crime victims defend themselves — but why? It wins them no kudos. The citizens they haul into court are usually acquitted. Yet something in our law enforcement elites creates the urge to re-enact the Charge of the Light Brigade, blundering into a barrage every time laid down by Lorne Gunter and other eminent editorialists. What is it, I wonder?

If the concern is safety — not just the cops’ own, but the public’s — obliging citizens to arm themselves might achieve more than attempting to disarm them. In 1996, the University of Chicago released a nationwide survey examining the impact of gun laws on crime over a period of eight years. Between 1988-1996, U.S. state laws permitting private citizens to carry concealed handguns multiplied from nine to 31. The study found that in states where people could carry, homicide went down by 8.5%, rape by 5% and aggravated assault by 7%.

The reduction wasn’t due to victims whipping out six-shooters, the study found, but mainly to general deterrence, i.e., perpetrator-awareness of crime-targets being potentially armed. No surprise here; criminals aren’t necessarily suicidal or crazy, and it’s no wonder if one out of 20 rapists doesn’t want to take a chance on being shot.

Just as crime has no single cause, it has no single solution. A gun in every purse isn’t like a chicken in every pot or a car in every garage. Still, there’s increasing evidence that when some people arm themselves, not as a substitute for law and order, but as an extension of it, all people benefit. Why stop them?

What makes law enforcement officials uneasy when citizens do anything beyond dialling 911? Is it perhaps the state trying to sweep under the carpet its inability to protect individuals?

You bet; a citizen defending himself or his property telegraphs the limitation of state power. This not only irks officials but scares them. The police don’t want to go the way of the Post Office.

Self-defence as a concept erodes the foundation of the interventionist state. Only a monopoly on coercion assures the supremacy of the public official over the private citizen, the regulator over the regulated, the tax collector over the taxpayer. But without a monopoly on protection, government’s monopoly on coercion becomes endangered. Civilians carrying guns reveal the authorities for the paper tigers they are. This, ultimately, is what worries officials. In places where people “carry’ and regard their homes as their castles, meter maids may need body armour, with Census Bureau officials having to prepare papers about the advantages of switching from cars to tanks.

Mr. Thomson ran afoul of a doctrine dominant in interventionist societies. It holds that anything for which the state has no solution, is insoluble. If the government can’t put a cop outside every farm house targeted by arsonists, burn, baby, burn. Citizens can’t take the law into their own hands just because the authorities have run out of remedies.

Luckily there’s a better view. It’s that the law is in the hands of citizens in free societies. Citizens delegate the powers of law enforcement to the police, not the other way around. Whatever a cop could legitimately do to prevent Mr. Thomson’s farm house from being firebombed, Mr. Thomson can do himself. And if he does, the state must pin a medal on Mr. Thomson instead of mobilizing gowned minions and martinets to obfuscate him into oblivion.

National Post
George Jonas: The state’s protection racket | Full Comment | National Post

Always Remember: When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #2
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kps: Sadly, many Canadians are perfectly willing to let the police be their sole protection, and because of that want to refuse others the right to defend themselves. By eliminating possible examples of others defending themselves successfully, they lower the bar on what might be expected of them to defend their families and property. They'd rather cluck at the cops and allow a spouse or child to be harmed, then countenance the possession of a firearm.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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It's worse than that. Even the use of pepper spray (Bear spray, dog spray) when used in self defence is illegal and charges will be laid. Civilian versions of Tazers for defence? Not a chance. Severe criminal charges if you're caught with one of those devices.

Yet the cops can use all those indiscriminately, go figure. Citizens OTOH are neutered when it comes to defending themselves should the need arise.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
By eliminating possible examples of others defending themselves successfully, they lower the bar on what might be expected of them to defend their families and property. They'd rather cluck at the cops and allow a spouse or child to be harmed, then countenance the possession of a firearm.
The fly in the ointment of that superficial analysis is that for every example of a citizen successfully protecting themselves by using a gun, there are 10 accidental shootings, suicides, or examples of domestic violence using those guns.

While everyone thinks they're the exception, and they wouldn't shoot themselves accidentally while cleaning the damn thing (or on purpose while in a depressive drunken fit over something that, in the sober light of dawn, isn't such a big deal), it turns out that these tragedies are far more common outcomes of private gun ownership than the heroic individualist successfully protecting himself and his property.

Thus, from the point of view of public policy, the fewer guns we have in society the better.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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You think that's bad.. How about the cases where crook breaks your window to get in the house, cuts himself on said glass, sues home owner because it's their glass.. AND WINS!!

My dad Left the RCMP 10 years ago after 26 years, because he was tired of how corrupt and pathetic our legal system has become
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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When the first reaction is to grab something as common as a baseball bat to investigate "a noise" it signals an offensive "state of mind."

The law in Canada is written based upon the notion of meeting escalating danger with escalating force.

Seems there is a concerted effort to import the notion, from the Excited States, of the rugged frontier man's notion of aggressively attacking a situation with pre-emptive strikes. This is, in my opinion, simple minded and an over the top proposition.

I should imagine, the maximum protection of stuff, resonates with the materialistic amongst us.

I will not wish you any luck with this campaign of importing foreign ideas.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #7
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I have to agree with BigDL.. But i was never one for violence.. And I'll be the first to admit, of someone broke into my house, I'd be scared shitless (and I'm 6'5 320lbs).. Yes, I'd want to keep my family safe, but I'd do it by hiding us all in the attic
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDL View Post
I will not wish you any luck with this campaign of importing foreign ideas.
Good grief, man has been protecting himself, his family, his companions and his possessions, from predators (including other humans), since he appeared on this earth. He has always used weapons of one kind or another, be it clubs or spears or arrows or firearms to do that as technology improved.

There is nothing 'imported' about it, least of all from your pathetic paranoia with the U.S.A.'s version of allowing citizens to protect themselves, guaranteed under law.

A pre-emptive attack has long served man as a survival of the fittest, like it or not.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Just so those who who don't know you should read the firearms act and learn what are the laws in terms of own a gun and how it is stored in house. Just so you know if someone breaks into a house you would never have enough time to go get a gun it would be too late.

hear noise
go get hidden keys (you might have to pass criminal on the way there)
go unlock safe
unlock gun
unlock ammo safe (you cannot by law keep gun and ammo locked together)
then load gun

already to late.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisburke View Post
I have to agree with BigDL.. But i was never one for violence.. And I'll be the first to admit, of someone broke into my house, I'd be scared shitless (and I'm 6'5 320lbs).. Yes, I'd want to keep my family safe, but I'd do it by hiding us all in the attic
is that you in your avatar. and I agree with you
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