Posts Tagged ‘British gun laws’

British Rule: Do your civic duty and get arrested.

November 25, 2009

When I read this story a couple of weeks ago, I was impressed to see how Mother Britain has gone completely to hell.

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for “doing his duty”.

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year’s imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

In a statement read out in court, Mr Clarke said: “I didn’t think for one moment I would be arrested.

“I thought it was my duty to hand it in and get it off the streets.”

It has become increasingly apparent that in Britain justice has become a joke. When the law has been written in such an idiotic fashion that a man doing what he considers is his civic duty – who actually does the right and the intelligent thing -  goes to jail because the wording of the legislation on the books is  written to entrap not to serve the public, then something in the character of the country has been lost.

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a “strict liability” charge – therefore Mr Clarke’s allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

But despite this, Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: “This is a very small case with a very big principle.

“You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

“Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?”

Paul Clarke will be sentenced on December 11.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: “This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

“The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant.

“If this what is considered to be good law or intelligent legislation in Britain then Britain is a good place to avoid.

But then again I don’t know why I should be freshly surprised by this story. This is the same country where a person defending himself against a burglar in his own home goes to jail while the burglar goes free.

The thing is, we can’t afford to be smug because this has taken place in ‘Jolly Old’ and assume that nothing so stupid could ever happen here. Give some of our bureaucrats and politicians half a chance and we too could have even more ridiculous legislation on the books. Although I am sure that if we looked just a little closer we could find much stupidity already sitting in our own legislative books just lurking there to astound us.

Stay alert.

A bit of sanity returned to Britain?

July 18, 2008

Just when I was sure that Britain was completely a lost cause, this article gives one hope.

HOME OWNERS and others acting in self-defence were yesterday given the legal right for the first time to fight back against burglars and muggers free from fear of prosecution.

They will be able to use force against criminals who break into their homes or attack them in the street without worrying that “heat of the moment” misjudgments could land them in court.

Under the new laws, police and prosecutors will have to assess a person’s actions based on their situation “as they saw it at the time” even if in hindsight it might be seen as unreasonable.

Then there was this small concession earlier in the year for olympic class shooters.

The British government relaxed gun laws Tuesday to allow shooting teams to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

Britain banned handguns in 1997 after the massacre of 16 children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland. The law includes a ban on guns for licensed sports, preventing domestic pistol events.

But home secretary Jacqui Smith has invoked special exemptions in England and Wales. A similar exemption allowed pistols to come into Britain for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

“(Smith) has agreed to use her powers under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 to allow a small squad of elite GB Olympic pistol shooters to train in this country ahead of the Olympics in 2012,” Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said in a written parliamentary answer. “Scottish ministers have agreed, in principle, to exercise their powers in a similar manner.”

Well I said it was small. Also only for ‘elite’ shooters. But what the heck, it’s something from a country that seems hell-bent on removing as many citizens rights as possible. It’s amazing how bringing the Olympics into the picture changes the mindset.

But then on a more cynical note, the self-defence provisions may be necessary if the Brit government were to follow through on the leaked report that police would be allowed as long as 3 hours to attend emergency situations and 3 days for other police action.

Guidelines ordering police to respond to emergency calls within three hours and to attend less urgent incidents such as burglaries within three days have been drawn up by the Home Office.

The astonishing proposals were designed as ‘national standards for local policing’ in England and Wales.

They laid down a three-hour target for officers to reach an incident which ‘requires policing intervention’.

And they allowed police to wait a leisurely three days where ‘there is less immediate need’ for their presence.

The leaked draft targets were to be included in the Government’s long-awaited Green Paper on police reform.

But after a barrage of criticism from the Opposition yesterday – which accused the Government of being out of touch with the public – Home Office officials insisted the targets will not appear in the final version of the paper when it is published tomorrow.

The “meet your attacker” plan also apparently drifted away into never-never land once it came in contact with the winds of public outrage,

The apparent disarray follows Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s startling U-turn over proposals to force knife-crime offenders to confront victims in hospitals. That plan was floated and ditched within 24 hours.

Someone somewhere must have written a book on just where Britain took a wrong turn. Can we blame their muddled thinking on breathing EU air?

Or – scary thought – is this the wave of the future?


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