Friday, June 08, 2007

New Zealand Waking Up to Reality

EDITORIAL: Court ordeal over pistol undeserved A gun shop owner shot a would-be robber who was threatening staff with a machete. The police immediately arrested him. Can't have citizens defend themselves as they might decide to think for themselves generally.
However, the decision by the two JPs to throw out the charge of illegal possession of a pistol against Greg Carvell - they ruled the Crown failed to prove a prima facie case - does reaffirm the right to use reasonable force in self defence. And Mr Carvell's defence would have seemed unimpeachable.
I would say so.

The alternative would be to hand guns over to a criminal. That doesn't sound like a good idea.
The court of public opinion would have come out firmly on the side of Mr Carvell: That shooting an armed robber wanting access to firearms was not only "lawful and proper" but also essential in the interests of public safety, and that while such events need to be tested, the decision to prosecute was petty and unnecessary.
But that is how I view all too many prosecutors - petty if not unnecessary. Concerned with only 1 thing: advancing their careers by appearing to be tough-on-crime, even if they need to ignore the real problems to cultivate that appearance. And any question of Justice is beyond the scope of their thoughts.
Increasingly, the wisdom of repeated advice - that one should always co-operate when threatened - is being questioned. Police should wonder why there is public acclaim each time criminal intent is foiled by successful resistance. If the risk of being caught and penalised can't deter robbers, then individual initiative to crime may be the only useful response that's left.
The "wisdom" (sic) of that advice is always given by men talking about robbers. They never want to discuss what a woman should do if confronted by a rapist. And in any event, there is no guarantee that cooperation will ensure your safety. All too many incidents that feature cooperation end in violence anyway. In short, that advice is wishful thinking, not based on a statistical view of the data.

Self-defense is a human right.

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