Thursday, December 09, 2004

Self Defense: A British Primer

Big Hat tip to one of my favorites: The Belmont Club for this article on how to defend yourself in Great Britain.

Just Really Really pathetic.

How does a nation with the history of the UK come up with such a poor understanding of people's rights. If the burglar is the one to start the scenario which leads to violence, how can they not be held responsible for the results? If I pummel an intruder and I'm not the most bloodied, how does that make me the villain? I'm just baffled.

From Dr. Stephen's article:

When individuals are confronted by intruders there are some actions they should follow. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity.

Active Passivity? What the hell is that? Actively do nothing?

This isn't a new philosophy though. The USA has had groups and individuals that have preached passivity for many years. Some have specific religious grounds for it, while others just think it is the best way to be. Unfortunately, when you require that people act passively, is when you force their necks to the knife. For every pacifist there are ten barbarians that want you cattle and land. [Or your DVD player and PC.]

I still find it hard to understand the rise of Pacifism after the world wars. The lesson there should have been that force is proper when quelling unjustifiable violence. You can always wander around about various causes for the initialization of the violence, but I think if you look at it from the view of the attacked, you are in the proper vantage.

Back to defense. The USA in the past decade has pretty much stopped the back slide of pacifism for self defense. Most states no longer require the duck and cover attitude when you're being attacked or robbed. I think this in many ways comes from the acknowledgement that the established constable's can't defend anyone and in general are only there to clean up and punish the perpetrators. There is just far to much land to cover and far too few police to cover it all. The costs required to ensure defensive police protection would not only be prohibitive, but would also place the USA in a police state that no citizen would tolerate.

I won't venture into the gun rights argument.

[Though personally I fully support the personal right to carry firearms for self protection.]

This whole realm of 'no individual right to defense' is seen on much larger contexts as well. The UN [Annan] condemnation of the Iraq war and the actions of the USA essentially states that we DON'T have the right to pre-emptively protect ourselves. The recent five points that approve the use of force are also a bit overwhelming.

  • Seriousness of threat: Is the treat serious enough to justify the use of force.
  • Proper purpose: Is the primary purpose of the proposed use of force to halt or avert the threat.
  • Last resort: Has every non-military option been explored and exhausted.
  • Proportional means: Is the force proposed the minimum necessary to meet the threat?
  • Balance of consequences: Is it clear that the consequences of action will not be worse than the consequences of inaction?

Source for the bullets is the print version of the magazine "The Economist"

The original statements of Article 51 are well stated here:

From what I've read in several Blogs and in the MSM it still looks like the use of force must be approved by the security council, irrespective of the need. If you can't convince them, then you can't act. Sounds like they're saying I have to call 911 and get permission to shoot a violent attacker while he's breaking down my door. Permission is polite, and if there is time we should speak with the world about it. But if its really imminent, we must act.

The UN does bother me. [And just about everyone is some way.] There is no method to get anything done in a timely manner. Always some representative that drags there feet or must get permission from home. Not the way to run security. And the best way to get dead. After the fiasco with the Iraq WMD resolutions its a wonder that anything can get finished in the UN.
Do we really want to rely on the UN for our saftey?

No comments: