Saturday, 18 August 2012

Worth Killing For?


How far would you go to defend your property? Stab a person several times blinding them in one eye, shoot someone in the legs, attack them with a bat or hockey stick or even go as far as to kill them? These are just some of the varied lengths that homeowners have gone to in order to defend their property. Some homeowners, rightly or wrongly, have even had legal action taken against them by the burglar due to the injuries they received whilst carrying out their unlawful activities. Cruel twist some may say! 

How about if your handbag or jewelry was grabbed from you in the street by a robber, or your car was being 'jacked/stolen' by a thief right in front of you. How far would you go to defend your goods? Some people have chased down the thief and given them a good beating. Others have been killed by their own car wheels whilst struggling to get back what was rightfully theirs. 

I know how hard we have all worked to buy the things we want in life. 

Why should we tolerate a stranger stealthily sneaking through our homes during the midnight hours freely taking what doesn't belong to them? 
Why should we be in fear of our lives and scared to death knowing a trespasser is in our house? After all, if we don't attack them then they may attack us. Burglars don't come round to sit and have a chat, they don't knock the door and leave if you are out. They have one job to do and that is to take your goods. 

Some people even go to the extreme length of keeping a gun in their house for that 'special occasion'.

On the other hand, if we catch them red-handed, why attack?
Isn't it more dangerous to attack, leaving them no choice but to get physical in order to defend themselves? 
After all, we pay hard-earned tax money for a police force to deal with this. Is it really wise to try and do a D.I.Y. job instead of leaving it to the professionals?
Isn't it better to have some security measures such as an alarm etc. and make sure you keep your mobile phone within reach at all times?


What are your views on how the law should respond to this issue?
Do you think those that attack people in their own home deserve to be prosecuted?
What if the person is attacked from behind by the homeowner whilst they are in the process of leaving with the goods?
What if the person is already captured and no longer a threat and still the homeowner goes on beating them into a pulp. Can it be justified?

These are the nitty-gritty situations that occur everyday in the real world.

I would be delighted to hear your answers or viewpoints to any or all of these questions.

25 comments:

  1. For me personally, nothing I own is worth the possibility of losing my life over. That being said, if someone was attacking me, I would fight like hell. I once had a man try to break into my house while I was there and it was terrifying. I scared him away before he got in, mostly by shouting at him. Of course, he was never caught. Friends of mine were critical of me, saying I should have taken the fireplace poker and smashed his hand as he was reaching through the broken glass in the door, trying to undo the lock. Here in the US, I would have risked prosecution for doing something like that...his whole body would have needed to be inside my house. Since that incident, I've always had an alarm. Now, I have a husband who knows Krav Maga, and could kill someone with his bare hands, if the situation arose :-)

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    1. Thank goodness he didn't get in, what a scary scenario! I actually thought that anyone who trespasses on your property ( inside or outside of your land) in the US could be shot etc and it would be justified, so you've given me a bit of education here. Let's hope that your husband never has to use Krav Maga in the future. I guess it is some form of self defence, as I've not heard of it before.

      Thanks Kris.

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  2. If someone is risking their life to take something of mine, then I'd probably risk my life to stop them. In the end, by doing the acts they are doing, they themselves are opening themselves up to bodily harm.

    Sure, there are rules. Don't kill them or harm them until they are in your house. Don't kill or harm them until you are harmed first. If someone hits you, you have a legal right to use excessive force to protect yourself.

    Personally I believe what I just said SHOULD be true beyond a shadow of a doubt. As soon as someone causes you harm, they give up all legal rights they had at that point. But that's not the case in some places. *shrug* Its a crazy world we live in to have such protections for someone trying to harm you, but it is what it is. All I know is, someone breaks into my house, and they get past the door, they are going to die, and if someone connects a punch on me, at any time, they will be lucky to survive me defending myself.

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    1. Thanks for being honest. Just to clarify Dan, would you be happy to take someone's life because they took something belonging to you? even if it was just a TV / DVD player etc?

      I understand the fear if someone enters your home and if you feel you are going to be harmed but what if confronted and they don't seek to harm you? For example they are on their way out after having taken something?

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    2. I probably wouldn't take their life if they didn't threaten mine, but that was just a thing about the first question, I would go and take it back or sue.

      No the other questions, if they are still in the house, but on the way out, and didn't mean to harm me, it wouldn't matter, they are harming me by being in my home. They are harming my peace of mind, and my security. I would make sure they weren't attacked from behind, but they would be attacked.

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  3. I do not know who are the designers of this oddly made laws, I do not know if this concept of "human rights" comes from a long time ago or if they are the output of some new age mind.

    The truth is, criminals enjoy the protection of the law while perpetrating the felony until the situation for the victim is unreasonable defined as in danger, hurt, or the felons are already in the house and in position to defend themselves which put the victim in inferiority of conditions since it is more than probable that the attack is carried out by an experienced perp, better equipped to fight and with a high probability to be under the influence of drugs and has nothing to lose.

    In the end, this situation leave most honest people in the impervious situation of trying to defend their most valuable possession (life), losing all their property, and praying that the thieves have enough neurons working in their heads as not to hurt or kill them, since if they take retaliation and hurt or kill the felons, they risk to end in prison . As you see this is the major oxymoron in existence, especially if you are not religious and do not know who to pray to.

    I've seen enough instances of these unjust situation where the fate of the neighbours that defended their property and physical integrity were left to the good, or not so good predisposition of the judge, or the excellence of the solicitors defending them.

    Summarizing, I do not know what I would do in a critical situation, it will depend on my hormones at the moment, the disposition of my entire body and the degree of madness the action against me awake in my mind. I am not too easy of mind with this thought, but I cannot find any other alternative.

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    1. I get what you say here Untony. It is a fine balance. When my front door was being kicked in by a perpetrator whilst I was in bed in the middle of the night naked, my flight n fight response kicked in. I rang the police instantly and screamed/shouted at the crazed man who kept kicking the door. I was fortunate that the lock did not give in at the time.
      Within a few minutes I had to make some very quick decisions as to what I would do if this man gained entry BUT thankfully the police arrived within minutes and managed to catch him otherwise the end result may have been different.

      It's hard to say exactly what one would do because sometimes you can react in a very different way when the situation does happen.

      Some years ago, I heard a sound coming from the street out of my open bathroom window. Some people by the window were discussing putting their hand through. Because the window was only ajar and the glass was frosted they could not see me in the bathroom. I debated getting a knife and stabbing the person through the hand as I became fearful that they were about to enter our home, but the people went away before anything took place. The next day, a couple of my partners friends from work, said that they had passed by our home and was intending to play a prank on us. I could have stabbed someone innocent. Whatever people might say about it being his fault I would still have felt awful and been guilty of a criminal offence.

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  4. I've never been in such a position, though when the time comes I'd probably let them go. Nothing I own is worth possibly getting killed for. That's what I've always been taught.

    Well, I'd probably call the cops. If they catch them then good, if not, then whatever, the thief might have really needed the money. And yeah, I'm saying that so I'd feel better, like when I accidentally lose something.

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    1. Thanks William. I would say that was a very sober way of looking at things.

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  5. I don't know much about law in other countries, but in Germany self-defence is allowed, of course, but you are not allowed to overdo it. For example if someone attacks you, you can knock him down, but when he already is defenceless, you are not allowed to continue beating him. I think that it is good that way, because there must be rules against arbitrary law. But of course in reality things are often different... There are a lot of cases where people get in jail, just because they tried to defence themselves or their families.

    To answer your questions: I can't imagine killing someone and I think I would definitely let a thief escape with my stuff instead of endangering my life. Well, I am a very peacable person anyway, I can't even imagine hitting someone. The only situation I can imagine to even shoot someone is to defend a child. Well, maybe in every situation where someone's life is in danger.
    But I think it is always hard to predict your reactions to such a situation until you really experience it.

    Anyway, very interesting blog!

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    1. Kleopatra, Yes, I see your point about self-defence and how it can easily get out of hand in reality. I think we all try to predict our actions based on our characters but I do know that in the past I have said I would react one way in a dangerous situation and then when I unfortunately and literally found myself in danger, I reacted in the complete opposite way. I was not able to do all the things I wanted to do due to fear.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  6. I have never had a real encounter. I happened upon someone in my backyard one night, and when we heard me coming out the door of my storage building he ran for dear life.

    Generally speaking, material things are not worth risking my life for. I do have a security system in my home that I can leave on when no one will be home as somewhat a deterrent. To me, the most important thing is my safety and the lives of my family members. If I am in such a situation that our lives are threatened, I would do whatever I can to defend my family. I would not be as diligent about personal property--though I would try to minimize losses by encouraging the intruder to leave my premises.

    The Bible says "thou shalt not steal," and "thou shalt not kill." The intent of these laws are that one would respect the life and the property of others. Accordingly, I feel that when a criminal goes against these laws and attempts to steal from others or to do others harm, such a person deserves whatever happens to him or her.

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    1. Frank, thank you for your balanced and candid comment. If you don't mind I'd like your take on a hot topic that has been circulating for a while now. I only ask this as you have quoted the bible as a guide. In the new testament Jesus teaches his followers to respond to a physical attack by "turning the other cheek". How can this be reconciled with self defence?
      As usual, I always say to readers that they don't have to answer. Thanks so much for your comment as always.

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  7. I'd like to think I'd be super cool and invite them in, make them a cup of tea and offer them anything in the house, they obviously need it more than me. But honestly, I'd probably stab them.

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    1. Maybe we should all make them a cup of tea and have a chat and find out why they are robbing us. But just think, if you went for a knife of some sort, that might trigger them to really go for you and make matters worse, especially if they are on drugs etc.. The burglar most probably has much more adrenalin going through his/her body and may react quicker and stronger. I don't know, just a guess.
      Thank you so much for your comment Louie.

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  8. Best thing to do when you are being robbed is just to give everything away to avoid being stabbed or beaten to death. There are a lot of cases where the victims fought the robbers that ended up them being shot or killed. Money can be earned if taken but not your life.

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    1. Well said, and thanks for your comment Brent.

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  9. I think all this robbery,stabbing,chasing, burglary thing is Alien to me....I sometimes think I live in an other dimension when I think how many nights we slept with the key in the main door lock or open windows while the house is deserted and how many I left my car open, windows down, wallet on the passenger seat while window open for like ...overnight..... well In case i encounter such thing I think I let it go or perhaps shout HELP!! or just freeze....

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    1. All I can say, is that you must live in one of the safest places I've ever heard of. I can't imagine not locking my front door, even when I am home. I even advise people who visit me not to leave property on display in their cars just in case the car gets broken into, so I'm amazed at what you have said.

      At least you have a plan to let it go, or shout for help if you found yourself in a bad situation. I hope that you never experience it though. Thanks Hotei.

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    2. I think its the advantage of living in a very small country...every one knows every one and every one is putting the nose in everyone else's business !! we do have crimes...but we call it micro crime..

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  10. There is no fail-safe way to protect yourself against being the victim of a crime. However, there are a number of measures you can take to significantly lower your risk. Above all, it is important that you stay aware of your surroundings and avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

    None the less... In a civilized society, people are supposed to settle their differences with words or through the legal system. What if words aren’t enough and the police aren’t around? When should your kid duke it out? Very, very rarely in my opinion. Give the criminal any possession they want. Make it easy and quick for them to take it and go. Your possessions are just things and you don’t know how desperate or cold hearted the criminal is. You just never know how far the other person will go. If someone threatens your personal safety or invades your personal space, the best strategy is for you to back away and then get away. Protecting your pride is not one of the things worth dying for. It’s time to leave. No amount of money or valuables is worth risking one's life for.

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    1. I mentioned that no amount of money, valuables or any material possessions are worth risking one's life for. But those that matter to me... loved ones... damn straight I would defend them at all costs. I would put myself in danger if it meant I could save someone I cared deeply for. I'm not afraid to be hurt or to die, it will happen eventually, no one lives this life forever. I would rather risk my life and take my chances than do nothing for them and wished that I had. To sit by and do nothing in silence, oh man, the guilt would consume me.

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  11. Yes, this is a very valid point. I think that when it comes to your loved ones, most people would do anything to protect them, especially if children are involved.

    I also could not imagine doing nothing and then having to live with the guilt for the rest of my life. Thank you so much Daily Dose of Musings for both your comments here.

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  12. No material good is worth risking anyone's life for. Even if your family was in the house I think there is a greater chance of the intruder getting physical (and hurting you family) if you attempt to hurt them. Get an alarm system; the police will be there in no time and no one needs to get hurt.

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