Submitted by Jordan on 1/17/05 at 7:26 PM. ( )

By Robert A. Waters
April 7, 2003

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 useless. 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 choir boys. 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 the burglars.

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 shotguns.

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 h! e
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 sidearms 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.

Sound familiar?


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let me

This response submitted by Michael sestak on 1/17/05 at 7:50 PM. ( )

beat everyone else to it and say it first...
"it can't happen here"
our government likes us to much to take away our guns. (smile)

Punishing the good

This response submitted by Laurie on 1/18/05 at 5:24 AM. ( )

I've read and fully agree with the comments made. Unfortunatley the law has made good carefull citizens hand over hand guns (who shot at registered clubs) but yet our criminal gangs still go around shooting each other on a daily basis, so all they have done is drive the gun culture underground. In the UK, we allowed to use "reasonable force" to protect ourselves but only in the case of self defense. Mr. Martin unfortunatley shot the theives as they ran away from his house but in his defence he had been tomented by thieves for along time. It is reasonable for me to strike an intruder if he is threatening me or my family and restrain them until the police arrive but I can't give them a beating by law - however, as an ex-SAS seargent said to me "It's not the crime, it's getting caught". So, for meit is deny everything and make the police prove me in the wrong.

Our laws for protection against intruders is sadly out dated and needs updating to be inkeeping with the current climate.

Kindest regards

Try the 3 "S" policy

This response submitted by b bishop/ Republican on 1/18/05 at 2:23 PM. ( )

Shoot , Shovel , Shut up !

Tell me , who would ever miss the criminal ?

his attorney

This response submitted by Michael sestak on 1/18/05 at 7:50 PM. ( )

thats who..:)

Maybe he should....

This response submitted by Bradlee on 1/19/05 at 10:51 AM. ( )

have dragged them here where gun control is being able to hit your target . I wasn't aware that any civilian in England could own a fire arm . I even have a few friends there and when they came over here to visit they freaked out at my guns . Interesting article . Bradlee

UK gun laws

This response submitted by Laurie on 1/20/05 at 4:21 AM. ( )


UK residents are able to own their own rifles and shotguns. The UK basically have two different licenses one for a shot gun and another for a live round rifle. The police do stringent checks on how they are stored and your doctor must sign the form off. Some people own semi-automatic weapons but they can only be used in gun clubs.

The UK law on shooting in the UK is very strange and has intersting quirks from the last 200 years.

Kindest regards

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