Apologies for the lack of anything related to, you know, gardening. At this time of year, there’s not much to relate.
So I’ll rant, instead, about this recent UK court case. If you’ve not heard of it, do take two mins to read the linked article. It’s one of those rank, reflux-inducing stories that make you ashamed to live in these islands.
In no rational, decent society would Mr Woodhouse have faced criminal charges for his actions. I cannot imagine any US state, for instance, deciding to prosecute in these circumstances. In America, it’s likely Mr Woodhouse would have shot, maybe killed, the robbers. And even (especially?) then, no federal prosecutor would dare to press charges.
I have never cared about the pettyfogging legalistic arguments about whether force used against thieves and muggers is ‘proportional’. They are beyond preposterous. Anybody who’s ever been persistently bullied and victimised, or physically assaulted, knows that in such circumstances nobody – not even Socrates himself – carefully weighs the pros and cons, the ‘nice’ rights and wrongs, and emerges from an hour’s internal argument to take a deliberate, careful, ‘safe’ action.
In the heat of the moment, you act on instinct – fight or flight. Your brain is utterly addled with adrenaline and fear/rage. Rational thought isn’t possible. If you perceive that your loved ones are at risk, the adrenaline-addlement is roughly trebled.
It is unreasonable and unrealistic to hold human beings to the standards that British law demands. There is only one rational way to legislate for such circumstances, and it’s a very clear and simple axiom:
If you trespass on other people’s property, with the intention to steal from them or harm them, you abandon your right to life and safety.
In other words: You started it, you take the fucking consequences. No right of appeal.