The Metropolitan [London] Police have issued guidelines to UK residents regarding the use of “reasonable force” against rioters, looters and other ruffians. And here they are: “Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. You are not expected to make fine judgements over the level of force you use in the heat of the moment. So long as you only do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment that would be the strongest evidence of you acting lawfully and in self-defence . . .

This is still the case if you use something to hand as a weapon. As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence. If you are in your own home or business and in fear for yourself or others, you do not have to wait to be attacked before using reasonable force for protection.

Just don’t use a gun. Which would be, if you think about it, a really effective way to stop rioters. A point that seems to have evaded Matt Gurney of Canada’s nationalpost.com. According to Matt, this is how we do it:

One of the more interesting stories that came out of the recent chaos across the pond was the tale of a posh restaurant’s wait staff arming themselves with makeshift weapons and protecting their customers. Diners at The Ledbury had their meal interrupted when a group of rioters smashed their way in, armed with bats and assorted weapons. They ordered the patrons onto the floor and demanded their wallets, cellphones and wedding rings.

That’s when the restaurant’s staff began their counter-attack. Equipped with rolling pins and frying pans, they challenged the rioters, who quickly fled. The waiters then went on to really earn their tips — they broke out the champagne and whiskey to help calm the nerves of their rattled guests, and had them take cover in the wine cellar when the mob again came close to the establishment.

The response of The Ledbury’s staff was heroic, and appropriate. Rioters are cowardly, and rely on superior numbers and intimidate to bully their victims into submission. When presented with an actual challenge — imagine that, someone standing up to us! — they retreated.

No doubt millions of Britons have spent the last week fantasizing about their chance to get a little justice in on the thugs defiling their country. And according to Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police force for Greater London, doing so, in certain circumstances, is entirely within the law.

Uh no, Matt. Read the Met’s advice carefully. The Old Bill isn’t suggesting that the average Brit “get their own back” on rioters. They’re telling them they have the right to use force to defend themselves.

Of course, the Met’s just blowing smoke, overwhelmed as they were/are by the scale and scope of the rioting. There are plenty of cases where UK residents were prosecuted for doing exactly what the Met is authorizing. But revenge is not in play here. Except in Matt’s mind.

Meanwhile, the British Nanny state has responded to the rioting as we predicted: consolidating their power. British PM Cameron reckons Her Majesty’s government reserves the right to pull the plug on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, not to mention blacking-out Blackberrys, if they deem it in the best interests of public safety. CNN:

British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he’s found some culprits to blame in the recent riots that have rocked London and other cities — Facebook and Twitter.

Saying the “free flow of information” can sometimes be a problem, Cameron’s government has summoned those two social-networking sites, as well as Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the violent outbreaks.

And people think gun rights advocates are scary people?

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20 Responses to UK Police to Subjects: “Do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment”

  1. Of course not. Use of a gun is NOT reasonable force under any circumstances. You might kill someone!

    /sarc off

  2. 9/11 and Katrina were the two nails in the coffin of any serious push for gun control in the United States. Those two events taught a lot of people that the government – even with their best intentions – simply cannot be there to protect you. Even in two of the most wildly predicted events in American history. Between 9/11 and Katrina, a lot of Americans who never would have considered owning a firearm came to the conclusion that keeping one around in case the fecal matter hit the air mover would be a solid idea.

    The London Riots may have the ability to act as a similar event in the zeitgeist that is the UK. The subjects gave up their arms under the notion that well funded, trained and managed policing would take care of them. Over the proceeding decade, that has proven not to be the case. Aside from murder, every other category of crime (when accounted for on a per-capita basis) is higher in the UK than it is in the United States. Even the famously wussy English are disheartened to hear stories of good citizens being prosecuted by the Crown for defending themselves (in fact, didn’t David Cameron come out not a month ago and declare that they would stop so vigorously prosecuting folks who acted in self defense?)

    The London Riots come at a time when the UK population’s confidence in their police and government is at an all time low. Persistent crime, the obnoxious petty criminality of the chav class, the Murdoch shenanigans, massive budget cuts and now three solid nights of burn-the-town rioting. Eventually, the people of the UK will stand up and demand not just the rights, but the means to defend themselves. It is now clear as a bell that the police can no longer perform that function.

    • I am a bit troubled by the “wussy” and worse name calling of the Brits. I have played many games of rugby in England, and I have not met many effeminate Englishmen. One prop from Wadebridge, Tiny (a man with a 19 inch neck), and I discussed, over many pints, guns and gun culture after our match. We never came close to agreeing on the need or desire for guns, but I can state with confidence that Tiny did not expect local authorities to keep him and his family safe–he just truly believed that a proliferation of firearms would not make his society safer.

  3. “Equipped with rolling pins and frying pans, they challenged the rioters”

    You go, girls! And don’t forget to give them a mighty smack on their arses with your purses.

    I’m sure a bunch of sous chefs scared away a vicious mob by brandishing a sauce pot and a wire whisk. Is Matt completely stupid, or does he think his readers are?

    • You’ve never seen, much less worked, a commercial kitchen in your life have you? You think the guys who worked the line, do the prep, wash the dishes, etc. are wimps?

      Front staff may be rather civilized, and some of the top kitchen staff may seem decent normal types, but all the rest are more than a little rough around the edges.

      Unless you think hard work, and long and late hours in a fast paced high stress environment for marginal pay attracts milquetoast types.

      If there was any editorial license I suspect it was that ‘knives’ was replaced with ‘rolling pin.’ And if it were me coming out of that kitchen I’d be carrying a stockpot filled with hot oil from the deep fryer and have a boning knife tucked in my belt.

  4. And, even in this case, the people threatened (the customers) were supine cowards, completely unable to protect themselves, and had to rely on others (working class types) to provide for their defense.

    Sounds like socialist tripe to me.

  5. These people thought those silly bobbies would protect them, but they can’t even protect themselves let alone the citizens. If you refuse to help yourself then don’t cry when you get your head beaten to a pulp. These people are showing us all how good lil sheep behave, and the big bad wolves are having a field day dealing with these fools.

  6. That must be the British “dry” sense of humor that I’ve heard so much about. Irony and disingenuity also seem to be a strong suit of theirs.

  7. Looking at the body language in the photo, has anyone considered whom one might shoot or shoot at first, if push came to shove? The far right and the middle guys. Look at the foot positions of everyone. Most are standing flat, but far right and middle have one heel up, as if ready to move. And then maybe the posturing guy on the far left. (I’m assuming my scoped Marlin 60, hopefully from concealment, and maybe with subsonics.

  8. And any Brit who believes they won’t be prosecuted for the use of “reasonable force” to defend themselves must also believe in the Easter Bunny and probably the Great Pumpkin. British prosecutors and courts have a 30-year history of releasing violent criminals and prosecuting any honest subject who dares to defend him/herself against said scum. Look up the case of Tony Martin, a British farmer who got seven years in prison for shooting (with a shotgun) two thugs (only killed one, unfortunately) who broke into his home and assaulted him. The surviving thug actually got to comment on whether or not Martin was paroled.

    Speculation for British readers who find themselves in a similar situation: What do you suppose would have happened to Martin if he had killed both intruders, wrapped them in blue tarps, cleaned up the blood and hauled the bodies into the woods? If the police arrested him, he might have (hypothetically) claimed that he was buying drugs from them, they tried to cheat him, and he became enraged and shot both of them. Given the way Brithish courts treat their drug criminals, he would have gotten a maximum of 6 months and a disability pension. As an honest subject who was defending himself, the British “justice system” had to make an example of him – as a means of discouraging other victims from fighting back.

    Hey, a nation of subservient sheep is a lot easier to control than a nation of armed, self-reliant citizens. Just ask our “progressive” Democrats.

  9. I’m sorry but Tony Martin is no poster boy for the RTKBA.
    1) He was (is) a nutter. That’s how he got the murder conviction overturned to manslaughter.
    2) Both weapons he used were held illegally. We could debate why they were illegal with no arguement from me, but the fact is he was a criminal .
    3) Both men were shot, one killed, while fleeing the premises. In the US a defence team might argue they were off to get their chums if it was an urban environment, a little harder when it’s out in the middle of nowhere.
    There is no denying the horrid state of affairs that left him helpless and forgotten by the Police. I’d rather remember Gary Newlove, beaten to death in front of his wife and young family for remonstrating with vandals than Mr Martin when discussing civil rights, or lack of, in the UK.

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