Burglars' Rights on Proto-Earth
Every once in a while I read a news story that makes me believe that I have been plucked from my home on real earth and plunked down in a proto-earth that only superficially resembles my home planet. At Canadian Comment http://www.canadiancomment.blogspot.com/
you can read about an actual debate taking place in the proto-UK on what rights criminals possess when breaking into private homes.
Canadian Comment provided the link to the relevant News Telegraph story in which Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General of the Proto-United Kingdom, is defending the rights of burglars, arguing that criminals also have the right to protection from
violence.(I am not making this up, I swear.)
Lord Goldsmith's intervention came as Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, dismissed fears that giving
homeowners greater freedom when tackling burglars would lead to an "arms race" that would put them in greater danger.
We really could have predicted this, I suppose. We were warned by the left that if George W. Bush terminated the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the no longer existent Soviet Union, that an arms race would break out. Now here it is.
The News Telegraph story goes on:
Last week, Tony Blair told the House of Commons that he would look at strengthening the law and a Tory MP has introduced a private member's bill to do so. Lord Goldsmith, however, appeared to take issue with the Prime Minister's pledge to act. "We must protect victims and law abiding citizens," he said. "But we have to recognise that others have some rights as well. They don't lose all rights because they're engaged in criminal conduct." [emphasis is mine]
One can sympathize with Lord Goldsmith over the sabre rattling of his war mongering Prime Minister. The thought of criminals losing civil rights just because
they're engaged in criminal activity is quite a radical thought for a leftist politician to absorb.
Perhaps I am being hasty. On reflection, Lord Goldsmith may be on to something. Perhaps there ought not to be a left-right ideological split on this matter. In the interests of civil libertarianism, I'm willing to extend certain rights to a burglar, if one decides to break into Castle Mad. I have a wife and kids. Accordingly, I'd grant the right for criminals:
- to run like hell when I discovered your entry. Should you not wish to exercise that right;
- to beg for mercy while I employed all and every means of force at my disposal to prevent further ingress;
- to soil your drawers;
- to know I will expect the worst from you and will defend my family to the death, preferably yours;
- to notice of intentions. I suggest you read my blog on one of your stolen computers. I have served you notice. Here and now;
- to read General Carl von Clausewitz, On War, before breaking into Castle Mad. You should. I have. I recommend Chapter IX "Plan of War when the Destruction of the Enemy is the Object." You will need all the strategic and tactical advantages you can muster.
Dorothy, where are you? I need a ride home to earth.