Monday 17 January 2011

An Armed Society Is A Polite Society

When Thomas Baker was confronted by two youths while out on a late night run he decided to defend himself.
And being Florida, rather than the UK or anywhere in Europe, he not only had the desire, he had the means:
Having been punched in the face and fearing his attacker was armed he pulled out a handgun from his pocket and shot dead the teenager who had hit him.
Ooooh, bet he’s in trouble now!

As the gun debate rages afresh across America in the wake of the Tuscon massacre, prosecutors in Florida have ruled Baker should not face any charges, even though 18-year-old Carlos Musteller did not have a weapon.

Citing the state's 'stand your ground' law they ruled the 28-year-old was entitled to protect himself.
Imagine that! Entitled to defend his person and property, not just be prey for the street scum, and hope that there was a police officer in shouting distance to come to his aid (hollow laugh)…

Of course, while the state may take no action, there’s always a parasite to help out other parasites:
Mr Suarex said that the victim's family are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Baker.

And while they do not dispute that Baker feared his attacker had a gun they are angry at the number of shots fired.
'I know that he thought my brother had a gun,' said Dianela Gonzalez, Mustelier's sister.

'But I mean, it was eight shots fired. How do you shoot someone eight times in self-defence? That makes no sense.'
How someone thinks they can help themselves to someone else’s money or property makes no sense either...

And ‘how many shots is too many’ is a question answered by ‘until I no longer feel the attacker poses a threat’.


nbc said...

How do you shoot someone eight times in self-defence?

There were only eight rounds in his weapon.

Good drills.

Quiet_Man said...

Amazing, if anything Thomas Baker should pursue a counter claim against Carlos Musteller's family for allowing that little shit out to attack him, plus the price of the bullets too.
This should be laughed out of court, be interesting to see if it is.

Anonymous said...

can i recommend this 'snopes' verified tale?

Julia said...

Typical whinging Cuban criminal scum.
There's nothing left to steal in Cuba so Castro let them move to Florida.
Once in Florida they were helped by corrupt Cuban politicians who want their votes and bribes.

Deport them all now!

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Jesus Quintana from "The Big Lebowski" if I had been in the same position I would have pulled the trigger until it went 'click'.

Malcolm Stevas said...

Full marks to Mr Baker for standing his ground, and to a judicial environment in which he was free to do so. There are too many examples of the opposite happening in the UK to mention, but it's an established fact that the theoretical right to self defence here is gross hypocrisy, a wicked lie: without possessing adequate means to defend oneself in the face of a violent assault, the average citizen here (untrained in martial arts, very likely older and less fit than the assailant) either runs the risk of serious injury or death, or has to try and run away. The Establishment's argument is that we have traded away our former right to go armed, in exchange for being protected by the police - a social contract. This "contract" is a revolting lie: the police do not have, in law, any responsibility to protect an individual, and of greatest importance, there is no way they can do so anyway. If assaulted by criminals, you're on your own - fight back, injure or kill an assailant, and you end up in court on exactly the same basis - no ifs, buts, qualifications, special legal status - as the nastiest career criminal. It is then a matter of luck whether you get away with it (albeit having suffered extreme distress, expense, damage to one's career etc) or get slung in the pokey.
Funny, this. Before this country had any significant controls on gun ownership (pre-1920), an awful lot more people owned guns - and gun crime was at very low levels indeed, proportionately far lower than it is today.
But the Establishment doesn't like the peasantry having guns, except under officious bureaucratic conditions that do not include self-defence as a "good reason" for owning them. I mean, if ordinary decent folk were able to look after themselves more effectively, who knows what might happen.

PT said...

While I applaud Mr Baker's action, and while I admit I do not know the full circumstances, I do feel that his action is open to criticism. If his weapon held 8 rounds, why did he shoot only one assailant?

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

He was free to carry an equaliser and allowed to defend himself. I bet he was scared.

Was it a good idea to let himself run out of ammunition while there was a chance the other youth might be a threat?

Dr Evil said...

What is annoying is that under the Bill of Rights we have the right to bear arms. However an assault rifle, even if limited to semi auto only, is rather large to take out jogging and of course displayed in public is a no no. But hand guns exceopting for single shot and black powder are banned. We are hamstrung and only the bad guys have fully functional handguns guns now.

blackdog said...

As an ex instructor, I was fascinated to read this one. The number of shots fired and description leads me to the conclusion that Baker was wielding a .45 ACP, with 7 rounds, and one in the breech. So he would have emptied the handgun in his defence. He was 'cocked and locked' then, in anticipation of trouble, and so he was entitled.

Whether he needed to be quite so profligate, is matter for him. In a situation, such as this we none of us know how we might react, but self preservation, is a strong emotion, especially with the adrenalin, pumped up.

Prior to the 1968 Act, ownership of a firearm, was in fact a right most in the UK could enjoy, but it was traded away until the most recent tranche of Law that now holds sway was enacted, making it illegal for anyone to posess a handgun, except of course the servants of the state, or criminals. Since then we have seen a surge of shootings and proliferation of illegal guns. Because the Police even, can no longer posess guns privately, this has led to situation whereby training is regimented to 'range days' and the consequent loss of both accurracy and competence that I find disturbing.

Despite my leftward leanings, I believe that an armed populace, adequately trained, would be an enormous deterent, to armed criminals, rogues and miscreants. The state however, would never allow this, as we might then be a force to be reckoned with, outwith the ballot box. Nice idea though.

Malcolm Stevas said...

Blackdog, your surmise about Baker's using a .45 makes sense but if he really was armed with a 1911 (I owned a few of those myself, pre-1997...) he should have able to put down the assailant with 2-3 rounds at most, assuming a decent bullet.
Don't understand your reference to the 1968 Act - key point there was putting shotguns on registration.
Re the police, not many were members of gun clubs anyway (one or two i know said their superiors disapproved) and when we shot against police teams they were never very impressive...
BTW there are 7-8-9 round revolvers chambered for e.g. .22WMR so that's another possibility for Baker's choice of weapon.

Anonymouslemming said...

Hmm - I'm getting conflicting messages here... Weren't you just saying Nutters With Shotguns … should be 'put down at birth'


Oldrightie said...

A measured response in my opinion!

David Gillies said...

Shoot until it goes 'click' seems fairly sensible. And the eight rounds is highly suggestive of a Colt 1911. I like the higher-cap weapons. One of the nicest pistols I ever used was a GLOCK 21, which was 13+1 rounds of .45ACP. Fit my not particularly large hands perfectly, and had a beautifully smooth trigger action. If I'd had one of those and this dickhead had jumped me, the answer to the question posed by the police (to quote that Private Eye cover of the Gibraltar pest-control shootings) as to why I shot my assailant 14 times would have been, "because I ran out of bullets."

Anonymous said...

At present, the only handguns permitted are muzzle-loading ones, including the muzzle loading revolvers seen in some Westerns (at the time of the Wild West, cartridge weapons were just superceding muzzle-loader percussion cap guns).

So, why not permit the use of this class of guns for self defence purposes in Britain, one per permitted person?

The advantage here is that with a revolver of this type you get just five or six shots, then you have a lengthy reloading process to go through. The power output of these weapons isn't very high and bullets could be limited to expanding types only, which tend to stop in the first person or object they hit, rather than over-penetrate.

So, you get a useful short-range weapon with a very limited rate of fire which police can easily out-gun, thus preserving the status quo but giving private citizens a useful way of limiting what scum can do to them.

Jeff Wood said...

Blackdog may be right about the piece being a 1911, though I have handled 9mms with the same magazine capacity.

I have long had the impression that it takes serious training to maintain fire discipline in one's first gunfight. Even US cops have been known to empty the cylinder/magazine into an irritating perp, and been astonished on hearing the final click.

As long as all the shots hit the goblin then, as nbc remarks, good drills.

Jeff Wood said...

Just read Dan's comment, and of course he is right. However, when I reported for the confiscation of my handguns in 1997 I thought for a moment, then tossed my black powder revolver after the rest of the kit, then my firearms certificate.

The cops had been perfectly polite and correct (the senior one had tried the trigger of my Gold Cup, and whistled at its smoothness) but I made up my mind I would never ask the British Government for permission to keep a firearm.

Mind you Dan, would it be even possible to allow BP revolvers for self-defence, thus admitting the right to self-defence, but deny the use of, say, a shotgun or rifle?

Our masters would go into meltdown over the conundrum.

Malcolm Stevas said...

Dr Dan, you're forgetting long barrelled revolvers identical to the ones we used to own legally, but having long unwieldy barrels that will supposedly deter us from going ape and murdering people.
And I think your suggestion is more than a touch wacky! Either private citizens are free (meaning they're not automatically distrusted by the State) to arm themselves, or not: I'd be ashamed to carry a piece of 19thC weaponry on sufferance from the cops, and uncomfortable having to use it in self defence against a criminal armed with a proper modern weapon. Nah, too weird - just get rid of these nanying politicos who've disarmed us, then tool up with a Commander in .45ACP loaded with Speer 200JHPs...

Intruder said...

I find it touching that we live in a country full of idiots who have no comprehension of 'consequences' and grew up knowing that the law is useless, and some here want to go and arm them. How egalitarian of you...

The state uses force, yes, but it doesn't do so because it has guns. It does so because we are sheep. Giving guns to sheep just means more sheep get killed by other sheep.

Malcolm Stevas said...

Intruder, yours is a recipe for a police state. Some of your "idiots" are armed already, and because of them, and because the agents of the State are armed, I demand equal rights to be armed myself. You might regard yourself as a sheep (or perhaps just woolly minded) - I don't see myself that way.

Jiks said...

Great post, of which I heartily approve.

If only we were allowed to defend ourselves legally here, would save a fortune in hydrofluoric acid ;)

Ian F4 said...

Leaving aside handguns, I cannot see any reason why tasers and such like cannot be made legal for home use in the UK.

Dear Mr Clarke wants less criminals, it would serve to discourage them from committing crime in the first place, and burglary is round about the 10%.

Pavlov's Cat said...

/applause for the Heinlein quote

Jeff Wood said...

Intruder, the idiots are armed already if they want to be.

Those of us commenting here have owned small armouries, sometimes for decades; we have fired tens of thousands of shots among hundreds of others like us; some have carried officially; once, I attended a Pistol Match with about a thousand competitors, the larger proportion carrying, no harm done over a long weekend, except to the wallet.

I have noticed for some time that when our exquisite hostess posts on a firearm-related subject, the comments can become quite learned.

Intruder said...

"the idiots are armed already if they want to be."

Agreed. But read many of Julia's posts and you realise the quality of people that you want armed and able to wave a gun about. Not the criminals, but the ignorant.

"we have fired tens of thousands of shots among hundreds of others like us"

The most dangerous weapon in this country is vehicles and it really doesn't matter how good a driver you are, you can be run over by the other idiots when you are crossing the road.

I'm not against guns, I'm against the idiots having guns.

Intruder said...

"You might regard yourself as a sheep"

If you pay every tax they demand, and allow them to do what they want with it, you are a sheep.

Every so often a sheep is in the news that has stood their ground - like flashing lights to warn about speed cameras - but they get slapped down and the rest of us learn the lesson.

Of course you are not a sheep, you are a free man who chooses to do what he is told.

English Viking said...

Once the decision to draw the weapon has been made, use it. The threat ends when the other guy is dead; not on the floor, not wounded. You would have to be insane to draw a weapon, in those circumstances, with the intention of merely frightening someone, or just injuring them.

Assumptions are being made that he had run out of ammunition. It is possible that his weapon had a capacity of more than eight rounds, especially if it was a low-calibre weapon, which it may well have been if he felt the need to fire eight times.

JuliaM said...

"Good drills."


"...if anything Thomas Baker should pursue a counter claim against Carlos Musteller's family..."

Sadly, that would only serve to further enrich lawyers..

"can i recommend this 'snopes' verified tale?"

Oh yes! :)

"...without possessing adequate means to defend oneself in the face of a violent assault, the average citizen here (untrained in martial arts, very likely older and less fit than the assailant) either runs the risk of serious injury or death..."

True enough. I don't believe we'll ever get the means to do so, though. We don't even have access to the anti-personnel pepper spray commonly found on the continent.

JuliaM said...

"Was it a good idea to let himself run out of ammunition while there was a chance the other youth might be a threat?"

I'm betting the other youth didn't hang around too long! :)

"Hmm - I'm getting conflicting messages here... "

You shouldn't be. :)

"Giving guns to sheep just means more sheep get killed by other sheep."

These weren't sheep - they were coyotes. And society can well afford to lose 'em...

" You would have to be insane to draw a weapon, in those circumstances, with the intention of merely frightening someone, or just injuring them."

Spot on!