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Excessive Force?


oresome

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Alan Duncan, a former Cabinet Minister, has said householders should not be prosecuted for defending their homes after a couple were arrested following the shooting of two suspected burglars.

Whilst I have some sympathy with the householders as it is claimed they had suffered several thefts, I cannot condone their action unless they were being physically threatened and felt their lives were in danger.

The only way to establish if the use of a gun was appropriate is in a court and politics should be left out of it.

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Forum Editor

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White Truck Man

I don't think anyone has suggested you should sit quietly by while someone robs you.

You have a perfect right to protect your property, but your response must be in proportion to the threat. I certainly made that clear in my earlier post. It's this question of a response appropriate to the level of threat which is being discussed here, not your right to act when threatened.

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daz60

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FE uses the phrase "common sense"...well common sense dictates that the burglar should realise after a number of cases highlighted in the press that the occupant/s of their intended target may react rather than submit to their act of terrorism.

I am sure that as illiterate as they may seem at least one person known to them is able to read the comic known as the sun..aka soft porn news.

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Pine Man

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Every time one of these threads pop up my blood runs cold.

Sane, level headed, members of this forum seem to loose their senses.

Correct me if I've got this wrong but the majority of you, it appears, having found burglars in your home, and you happen to have lawful possession of a shotgun for example, would have no compunction in opening fire on them merely because they were there stealing your property and regardless of whether or not they represented a serious threat to your person.

Absolutely unbelievable.

Judge, jury and executioner!

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morddwyd

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"would have no compunction in opening fire on them merely because they were there stealing your property "

I think, but I won't know unless and until I face that situation, that that would be my reaction. On the other hand I might be cowering on the floor screaming for mercy. No-one, except possibly namtas, can possibly know how they would react.

Fear and adrenalin have unpredictable effects.

"even fire a warning shot in the air."

That, like "Aim for the legs", is the stuff of "Boy's Own Paper", except as a volley by a disciplined force!

If you're going to shoot, shoot, and shoot to stop. To do that you aim for the biggest and steadiest target, the chest or back as the case may be (no, I'm not advocating shooting in the back, but if you have decided to stop them, stop them.).

From time to time there is a lot of fuss about a "shoot to kill" policy.

Any sensible person always shoots to kill. That's why you shoot.

If you want to aim for the legs or disable then use a baton round.

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Quickbeam

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There must be a happy medium between the extreme of armed defence acceptability in the US and the extreme of non-acceptabilty in Britain.

As long as we appear to be concerning ourselves more with the human rights of the wrongdoer before the human rights of the innocent bystander, these extreme opinions will keep surfacing.

I'm more towards the American extreme from halfway, about 60%ish.

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namtas

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The solution we see put forward is “only use reasonable force”, the question then becomes what is reasonable force, are we all for instance expected to stand by and wait to be attacked, unsure what weapons the intruder has. You are faced with a pre meditated intrusion by someone who has come prepared to expect resistance, in some cases armed with a firearms perhaps loaded, but you have no way of knowing what you are facing and then you are expected to only use reasonable force? . What might my words be “ should I ask would you mind leaving now I want to sleep” If I lived in the ideal world where everyone was honest fair minded and level headed, free from drugs and with a caring compassionate attitude, then yes I would be more than happy to conform to your model, sadly that is not our world , sadly there are people out there who are prepared without a thought to throw a brick into a crowd, who would without a moment’s thought point and fire a gun, who are prepared to maim and injure to get what they think they are justified to for free. I ask you have you never looked at the damaged bloodied faces of the elderly, attacked just for being in the safety of their own home and suffered torture because some drug addict needed cash for his or her next fix. I am sorry but I fear that you are living a delusion , the world that we live in is a far cry from the ideal world we all would prefer and to date being weak in dealing with the problem has not resolve it.

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oresome

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Householders are not a breed apart. Some will exhibit violent traits, just as some burglars do.

Unless we apply some test of what is appropriate in the circumstances, we run the risk of declining into lawlessness with thuggery on both sides.

I agree that is impossible to predict how one would react in extreme circumstances.

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Bing.alau

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WTM. My feelings exactly.

FE. What they are entitled to do doesn't matter then? They are not entitled to enter someone else's house. But have done so uninvited. I think what happens to them thereafter depends on the reaction of the householder.

I don't happen to have a gun on the premises, but I certainly wouldn't allow some thicko to help himself to my property and just watch it happen. The reason it happens is because too many people allow it to happen. Judges with lenient sentences, policemen with the wrong attitude, (my opinion). I've met some poor policemen in my time, and householders who do not resist and let them get away with it.

It happened to me in the pub I managed, five brothers (big hulks all over six feet tall and built like brick outhouses) demanded free ale. I was on my own at the time too and thought "Ah,well! here is where I get my comeuppance". So I told them that the only way they would get free ale from me was for me to be lying dead on the floor. They conferred among themselves for about three minutes during which my heart was pumping like mad. But then they turned and said "O.K. we will get free ale at the next pub down the road", and left. I called the police and left it with them, but heard later that the pub along the road had indeed served them free ale for a few hours. Obviously the police had not reacted to my phone call as well.

(By the way the beer in the pub was not my property but I still felt responsible for it). So different people do re-act differently of course and maybe another day I may have re-acted differently too, but one does not know how it will be. It is a spur of the moment thing.

I've just realised I could write a book on the things that happen in pubs... Maybe I will give that a go.

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john bunyan

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I think that household burglary is slightly different to other crime, in the sense that " home is ones castle" is somehow inbred, and one hears tales of burglars not just stealing but also being violent to obtain safe combinations etc. In theory, reasonable force is a good concept, ie you can use a slightly higher level to resist a threat. However if you wake up in the night to find several (possibly violent) intruders in your hose, there is no time to consider these things in a logical sequence, so on balance I favour WTM's views. In the USA, of course, there would be no question of being arrested if a case such as this occurred.

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lotvic

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FE "I don't think anyone has suggested you should sit quietly by while someone robs you"

alan14 says just that - see post Yesterday at 9:58PM

"I feel that if I just let any intruders help themselves, everything will be fine, 99.9 times out of 100 burglars are just looking for stuff to sell for drugs"

Personally, I'm quite happy to let the court decide if my actions - whatever they may be - were reasonable in the circumstances.

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