By Benjamin Gaul:
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 wields it over his head 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.
You pick up the telephone and call police, even though 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 render them utterly impotent.
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 with 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 the burglars, a serious crime in your country. 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 only 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 isn’t fiction. This case actually happened –exactly as described–in England, just over a decade ago.
On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk, England, in fear for his life inside his own home, killed one burglar and wounded a second.
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.
In April, 2000, he was convicted of a series of Felonies, and is now serving a life term.
During the years in which the British Government incrementally took away most of its Subject’s gun rights, the notion that a Subject 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.
“Lying in wait” rules in England have come to mean that even a pocketknife, a pair of scissors or a walking stick on your person, if used against a rapist, a mugger or any kind attacker, constitutes “criminally aggressive intent” on your behalf. Defending yourself in any manner is considered “taking the law into your own hands.”
The Second Amendment was written into the American Constitution for the exact purpose of stopping that particular type of insanity from ever reaching our shores.
Armed people are “citizens;” disarmed people are “subjects.” Which of those titles would YOU like to live under?