Sun 23 Nov, 2008 08:21 pm
You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door.
Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers.
At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.
With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your
shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door
and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows.
One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder
brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The
blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man
crawls to the front door and lurches outside. As you pick up the
telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.
In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few
That are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them
Yours was never registered. Police arrive and inform you that the
second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal
Possession of a Firearm. When you talk to your attorney, he tells you
not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.
"What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask.
"Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing.
"Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."
The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper.
Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men
you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find
an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article,
authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.
But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve
to Die." The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into
Robin Hood-type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The
national media picks it up, then the international media. The
surviving burglar has become a folk hero.
Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll
probably win. The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized
several times in the past and that you've been critical of local
police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last
break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time.
The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for
A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced,
as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your
anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint
a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the
jury to convict you of all charges.
The judge sentences you to life in prison.
This case really happened.
On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England,
killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and
is now serving a life term.
How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once
great British Empire ?
It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly
reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that
handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license.
The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but
all firearms except shotguns.
Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any
weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all
Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after
the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed Man
with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone
he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.
The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of
"gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all
privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)
Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used
a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public
For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as
mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which
to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week,
the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on
all handguns. The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the
fate of the few sidearm still owned by private citizens.
During the years in which the British government incrementally
took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed
self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to
grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that
self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun.
Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the
real criminals were released.
Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted
as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."
All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and
several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs
who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of
antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.
When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns
were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects,
most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with
ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged
that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens
How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been
registered and licensed. Kinda like cars.
That story is really too bad.
"....while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside...."
That was his first mistake.
cj as usual got most of that wrong. He's been diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder. The jury was specifically told he could be charged with manslaughter if they thought he didn't intend to kill. The jury didn't buy that. He didn't get life, he got 10 years, reduced to 5, and he served two-thirds of that. He's been out since 2003. He also was and is a loon. He'd been convicted himself of several crimes involving guns and apparently had Aryan fascist sympathies (is that why cj likes him?). Not exactly the innocent cj portrays him. Norfolk, wher he lives, is a rural area and you can have licensed arms there. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/apr/20/tonymartin.ukcrime2
se also the article on him in wikipedia
Ceej is often guilty of going for the story rather than the facts. I heard this story several years ago and only when it became clear that the homeowner had several gun priors did I consider the fact that he wasnt packed tightly .
Ceej is a protector of our 2 Amendment rights and, as such, he should recognize that England doesnt have a similar Bill of Rights. In the US, , where 2A IS and issue, several of these stories have ended otherwise and the homeowners have walked away from prosecution under their homeowners defense rights of their states Constitution.
It does make a good story though, too bad Ceej gets things from only one source and he doesnt question anything he believes in.