back to article NYC granny shoots mugger with .357 Magnum

A wheelchair-bound but hardly defenceless Harlem granny is being sued for $5m after popping a .357 Magnum cap into an alleged mugger, the New York Post reports. Margaret Johnson, 59, described as "a retired city bus driver who has a dislocated hip and a ruptured disc", was sitting in her motorised mobility scooter in September …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. kororas
    Alert

    OK then

    'I'm a peaceful person. I wish that I had killed him. '

    Contradiction detected....

    IT angle missing....

    Shutdown....

  2. Luke
    Paris Hilton

    Magnum Opus

    Hmmm,I wonder if Granny Gunslinger has some connections associated with her Father?

    Seeing that it would be unwise at the moment considering all the attention to further aircondition

    said perp if there is retribution i am sure that she could pick up the phone and have some "friends"

    take "care" of "it"

    Paris,because she takes care of "it"

    (ewww,i cringed writing that Paris line)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Stupid bloke

    I think I'd cut my losses if I was that mugger. No doubt granny knows some friends in high places...

  4. Tony

    "I'm a peaceful person. I wish that I had killed him"

    Ghandi would be so proud.

  5. Rob Crawford

    Landlord

    /me confused !

    How would the landlord be responsible for this ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    darn

    She should of just killed the shit head, then he wouldn't have been able to lie to get out of the situation in the first place. Hopefully she'll go psycho granny on him, kill him, his lawyer and anyone else that gets in her way. I mean why the hell not when you're old, gonna die soon anyhow may aswell take some vermin with you.

  7. Adrian
    Stop

    God Bless America

    Don't you just love that. Firstly he was lucky to get away with a damaged elbow, and not end up dead.

    Now he wants to sue her for $5M. Even if he won, she hasn't got $5M, so let's find someone with deeper pockets, the apartment block owner, who should of course be frisking the tenants for concealed weapons, as you do.

    I just hope this never comes to court.

  8. Jan Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    What is it about gunmakers?

    0.357 inches? Why do they choose such crazy dimensions? Why not 11/16 or 3/8 inch? How is 0.357 better than 0.356, 0.358 or 0.34? Is it the ideal fit in some, easy to specify and drill, bore size?

    Paris, cos she knows what'll fit.

  9. goggyturk

    @ Darn

    Yeah, kill 'em all and let God sort them out!

    This is more like Travis Bickle than Harry Callaghan - cruising the mean streets of NY looking for some skunk pussies to blow away. Is her scooter painted yellow too?

    (PS - as memory serves, Travis had both the .44 and .357...)

  10. Joe
    Black Helicopters

    hmm..

    Her case is weak, since almost every court in the land understands what a reasonable response to a purse-snatching is; and it certainly doesn't include lethal force. If he had been armed, she'd likely be in the clear. It appears, however, that Ms. Margaret Johnson is not as bright as Mr. Darren Johnson.

  11. Joe

    The landlord

    The landlord can reasonably be held accountable, since he is responsible for the safety of anyone who enters into his premises. If he has knowledge of the fact that a person has an unlawful weapon (a concealed weapon permit is not easy to come by in NYC), it is his responsibility to take corrective action. If it can be demonstrated that Mr. Johnson gained access to the premises legally, then the landlord should be concerned.

  12. Pavlovs well trained dog

    reminds me of my mother

    who once threatened a noisy friend of mine with a shotgun loaded with buckshot.

  13. Lionel Baden
    IT Angle

    great story

    but just to annoy miss Bee

    Whats the It angle on this ??

  14. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    If she had killed him...

    then he would not be suing. So she is right, she should have killed him. When you pull a gun on someone then you must be prepared to kill to kill them. When you fire it at some one then you must intend to kill them.

    Guns are not toys, they are very useful tools.

  15. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: great story

    It's not the angle, it's the trajectory.

    Tsk.

  16. lIsRT

    @ comments on "I'm a peaceful person. I wish that I had killed him"

    Maybe she means she wishes she wasn't so peaceful...

    (comparing the elbow shot to the potential one in the head, even though I doubt it was the elbow she was aiming for)

  17. masterpikey

    re: What is it about gunmakers

    its all a throwback from the black powder days. When the U.S. navy wanted to upgrade their .36 muzzle loading revolvers, the obvious option was to use the .38 cartridge (they were easily bored out to accomodate the slightly larger cartridge). As this was put into use it turned out that it was severly under powered, so the .357 mag was introduced (well the .38/44, then eventually the .357 mag). The major thing to remember that the .38 special and the .357 have exactly the same cartridge diamiter, with the .357 mag being longer. We often put .38 special rounds into our .357 revolver with no probs. With the longer cartridge size of course you can pack more powder into the cartridge, meaning that you can have a heavier bullet going a lot faster.

  18. HFoster

    WHAT???!

    Cheeky sod. $5M for nerve damage incurred through his own criminal activity. He should count his lucky stars she only got his elbow.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hoodlum

    >She said of grandpa, immortalised as Bumpy Jonas in the 1971 blaxploitation classic Shaft:

    Or as Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson" in Hoodlum (1997)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119311/

  20. Dave

    Re: Hmm...

    She didn't use lethal force, merely perforated his elbow. I'd say that if you're confined to a wheelchair and someone tries to mug you, a bit of an advantage in the heater department is only fair.

  21. Mike
    IT Angle

    @What is it about gunmakers?

    The .357 is (oddly enough) identical diameter to the .38 and in fact the .38-44 rounds were almost identical to the .357 and you could load early .357 rounds into .38 revolvers (if you didn't mind them blowing up sometimes), conversely .38 rounds are usually fine in .357 revolvers (and are cheaper, give far less kick).

    Which of course still begs the question, why .357? simply the chamber and barrel has to be larger than the round (snug but not to much), the .38 was designed to go through a degree of sheilding (car doors, bullet resistant jackets) and still reliably punch big holes in people, it doesn't need to be bigger, bigger would give you less control, smaller would mean peformance reduction, it's the optimum size to kill people.

    Given granny harry probably knew that the .38/.357 is designed to kill (not wound or scare) she carried it with the express purpose to kill, the opportunity she was given (either a dog kicker or bag snatcher) was used to attempt to kill someone, he might be a bad man but all this teaches anyone is to be worse than the bad guys and that the bad guys should carry guns and shoot first.

    You may get killed by a mugger, because they will shoot first and doesn't want to take the risk of you having a gun, this woman has just made the world a little less safe.

  22. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    Get Some, Grannie!

    >> Her case is weak, since almost every court in the land understands what a reasonable response to a purse-snatching is; and it certainly doesn't include lethal force.

    Guess it is waving at the retreating robber with an umbrella. Some people have more style, it seems.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: What is it about gunmakers?

    Just to confuse you a .38 Special has the same bore as a .357 Magnum. You can use 38 Special rounds in a 357 Magnum but not 357 Magnum in a 38 Special (well you can but your be needing a new hand at least). It is all to do with how they measure the bore. If the diameter was .355 then the round would be a 9mm . Unless of course its a 9mm Marakov in which case the diameter is .365"

  24. Ian Hunter
    Coat

    Guns don't kill people

    rappers do. I seen it on a documentary on BBC2.

  25. Seaweed

    Not a mugger

    You've all missed the point. He was aquitted at trial, so he is not a mugger, just someone who defended himself against an attacking dog. Well, at any rate, that's what the law says; being shot for that gives him the right to sue.

  26. Dazed and Confused

    She's lucky she didn't live in the UK

    If it happened over here she's have been arrested for :

    owning the gun in the first place (must be a terrorist)

    firing it public (definitely a terrorist)

    resisting being mugged (a serious offence now)

    being a law abiding citizen

    The alleged mugger would be due compensation for his injuries and would be able to sue her for hurting his feelings by not handing over all her possessions and letting him beat her up a lot.

  27. Sellotaped to Insanity
    Thumb Up

    What I want to know is ....

    ... will I get one of those on my state pension when I get to that age ....

  28. Steve
    Coat

    Mobility scooter?

    I just have this cartoonesque image of Granny flying backwards out the door in her chair under the recoil from the .357...

    Whatever happened to just keeping a shotgun and a gamekeepers load?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WTF?

    Deron Johnson says he didn't try to mug her, there is insufficient evidence to convict him of having done so. Perhaps he is telling the truth and this Uzi wielding women really is a psychopath, after all she was firing a gun in the street and hit someone at elbow hight! who would she have killed if she had missed? Not all Black men are muggers and not all Grannies a sweet little old ladies, perhaps she shot him in a rage and made up the mugging to avoid doing jail time.

    But according to the Comentards on El Reg she should have killed him! What if it was you who kicked her vicious little dog?

    You are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY not a responsible Gun owner if you are prepared to point a gun at a human being let alone shot at them.

    Regardless of who is telling the truth this women should be locked away for the safety of everyone else.

    Utter psychopath.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    That was brilliant!

    I love you.

  31. Ian Michael Gumby
    Coat

    Just a few things...

    A .38 doesn't have the stopping power of the .357 Magnum. Police used to carry the .38 then the .38 special. One problem of the .38 is that it *didn't* have the stopping power so Police started carrying larger caliber and more powerful rounds. Also Police have a nasty issue of 'over penetration' that they have to worry about. Criminals? Not so much. With today's bullets, you can have more lethality in a lower powered shell. If you want a decent round with stopping power, look at a .40 S&W.

    With respect to the lawsuit... He was acquitted so there is the issue that the story could have happened the way he said it did. (Reasonable doubt). You sue the landlord because he's got the deeper pockets and should have insurance to cover this. 5 Million USD? Because that's probably the limit of his (landlord's) insurance.

    I guess the only IT angle is that a lot of us computer geeks are also gun enthusiasts. I'm the guy who loves to shoot 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag 'bean field' rifles... ;-)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Utter psychopath

    "You are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY not a responsible Gun owner if you are prepared to point a gun at a human being let alone shot at them."

    Did you even bother to read what you were writing? The whole POINT of owning a gun is to point at someone and shoot them! (yes, yes, some people buy them purely for target shooting, or shooting animals of various kinds, but by and large, shooting people is what pistols, at least, are for). A responsible gun owner is one who doesn't shoot random people in the street, but only shoots people in self defence. (Whether shooting a purse snatcher, when, as a disabled OAP, you have no other option except to let him take it, is an interesting debate, but not one I want to get into now...)

    The fact that he was aquitted does not necessarily mean that he wasn't a mugger, it means that the prosecution has failed to find enough evidence to satisfy a jury that he was, beyond reasonable doubt, a mugger. The fact that this was not proved does not prove the opposite fact, that she is an "utter psychopath".

  33. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    be sure

    to check out the linked article for the picture of granny with her UZI, complete with shades and flash-induced Terminator-glow. Picture of the day!

  34. SDDuude
    Alert

    Landlord

    This is the way civil law is applied in the states. If your intended defendant hasn't the means, you go after anyone or anything connected to that person. If it wasn't the landlord it would have been the wheelchair manufacturer. Why? No reason than that's where the money is. Civil attorneys in the states are of the most unethical money grubbing people in all of society besides politicians who generally started as civil attorneys only to move up to unethical, corruption and greed in power.

  35. N Silver badge

    .357 Magnum

    Is very effective when used with a 38 special round.

  36. Peyton

    @Not a mugger

    "He was aquitted at trial, so he is not a mugger"

    The outcome of his criminal trial really doesn't matter - the $5 million is part of a civil suit. I don't know if the "OJ Simpson Trial" made the news in the UK, but it's the same situation - he was acquitted of murder in the criminal trial, but still had to pay restitution to the family of the victims due to the civil trial.

  37. david wilson

    Regarding the landlord

    The incident took place in the street, not in an apartment building.

    Is a landlord supposed to be liable for what his tenants do outside the building?

  38. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    Deron Johnson's history?

    As I understand it from reading other websites:

    1/ The granny had a residence permit which allows the gun to be kept indoors, not carried on the street. Her excuse was she was off for a little target practice at a local range. Maybe, maybe not, but it's a legal reason to be carrying the gun outdoors.

    2/ Mr Deron Johnson has nine previous arrests on his record, but then I'm sure that was never mentioned in court. No doubt a clever lawyer would have made much of Ms Johnson's family history, though.

    3/ The shooting took place outside the building, which is why the local police were on the scene very quickly, which then rasies the question of how Mr Johnson's lawyer expects to sue the landlord. It may simply be because Ms Johnson doesn't have much money, but the Lennox Terrace Apartment Complex company does.

    4/ Most damning of all - Ms Johnson's dog was in her lap at the time, so how it is supposed to have attacked Mr Johnson is questionable. In fact, the only way for a small dog to "attack" Mr Johnson from the granny's lap was if he was leaning over her, like he would be if he was choking her whilst trying to steal her necklace.

    5/ If Mr Johnson was not in contact with the granny, only standing there being attacked by her dog, how come the granny had to go to hospital too for "treatment for injuries" (note, not shock but injuries).

    6/ The NYPD are not pressing charges against the granny, which suggests they don't believe Mr Johnson either.

    Looks to me like Ms Johnson had the misfortune to get a poor prosecutor appointed, whereas Mr Johnson can now use the lure of a big payday to get a bigger and meaner shark like Mr Craig Davidowizt to chase her and the landlord company.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back hanging...

    ...for all the people who are assuming that the peaceful, defenceless old granny is telling the truth and the Shih Tzu kicker is lying. Personally, taking a swipe at a Shih Tzu seems perfectly justifiable to me.

    Anyway, back to the Daily Mail forums with the lot of you.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @lIsRT

    In an interview on tv once, I heard an extremely dodgy Pakistani chap describe the Dragunov SVD he was indulging in a spot of target practice with, as syringe for injecting peace into bad men....... A unique view.

    Problem with this case is of course that it would appear that the guy bringing the suit got off the mugging charge because like many muggers (if of course this is what happened) he ensured he made his move when there were no witnesses. I have no doubt that the law suit would not have existed if chummy had been blown away.

    I had a buddy who served as a contractor on a US ship swinging at anchor off the Lebanon in the eighties. At the time, the locals used to load weapons such as HMGs and RPGs onto Zodiacs and make high speed passes spraying the decks of these ships with gunfire. He heard the briefing for security personnel where the security guys were told that they absolutely should defend the ship, but for gods sake, leave no wounded as the law suits and diplomatic complications would go on for ever.

  41. Tony

    @Taxi driver comments

    'You talkin to me?'

    'You talkin to me?'

    'Seriously - I am asking - The battery is low on my hearing aid.'

  42. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down

    F###ing Lawyers

    That's all I can say.

  43. Mark

    Standard of Proof

    Yes, if he was found innocent of the mugging charges, then he can sue. However, he can be found innocent in criminal court and still be found guilty in civil- The standards of evidence are very different.

    In criminal court, "We are pretty sure he did it" means innocent. In civil, it's guilty. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" and "Preponderance of the Evidence", I beleive are the technical terms. Same reason OJ was innocent in criminal court, but guilty in civil.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    RE: RE: Utter psychopath

    Owning an Uzi, Advocating on the spot death penalty for bag snatchers (elbow hight is a kill shot) and firing a projectile weapon at elbow hight in a NYC street aren't exactly indicators of a well balanced personality.

    But then again....

    If all it takes to be a responsible gun owner is....

    "A responsible gun owner is one who doesn't shoot random people in the street"

    Then perhaps my standards of responsibility are a little higher then yours.

    Thank God I live in a country where guns are illegal, rather then a country where "The whole POINT of owning a gun is to point at someone and shoot them! "

  45. Tom
    Flame

    Granny id being sued because NYC laws are

    almost as f**cked up as UK gun laws. She got mugged, she had the right to shoot him. I'd only advise her to sped a bit more time at the range so she has better shot placement next time.

    Oh, and the landlord is being sued for the same reason. Instead of putting thugs in jail, NYC laws are designed to keep citizens afraid. If they can't do it through direct intimidation, then you intimidate businesses into intimidating people for you.

    Oddly enough, every time they do an unbiased study they always seem to turn up the same result: the more guns and concealed carry permits available, the safer the streets are.

  46. William Boyle

    The Last Gun Moll

    The last of an era! "Gun moll shoots scum in NYC"... ROFLMAO!

  47. Andy Cummings
    Flame

    Eish....

    @Wayland Sothcott - "When you pull a gun on someone then you must be prepared to kill to kill them. When you fire it at some one then you must intend to kill them."

    Not so fast there, son - you're way off-track there. When you draw, you should be *prepared* to shoot if necessary ie. don't draw it in order to wave it around as a threat. Second, it's not legal in any state in the US to "shoot to kill" - you shoot to stop the attack; in other words, while you *may* shoot the guy to stop him (if there's no alternative), you *may not* execute him.

    @Mike - It's all about bullet diameter - it has to be of *some* size or other, so why not .357?

    .38 Special bullet = .357" in diameter

    .357 Mag bullet = .357"

    9mm Parabellum (aka 9mm NATO) bullet = .355"

    .44 Mag = .429"

    .45ACP = .451"

    @Anonymous Coward - "You are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY not a responsible Gun owner if you are prepared to point a gun at a human being let alone shot at them."

    Bollocks.

  48. zig158
    Coat

    My Hero

    I’m suppressed that she has not yet been arrested for having the gall to defend herself and not beg for help from the government.

    Mine is the one with the .44 Magnum.

  49. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I see the "Reiser is Innocent" brigade is out in force again.

    Once again, for the terminally thick (including WTF? AC): The fact that he wasn't prosecuted for mugging does NOT show a lack of evidence, merely that the judge or jury had a reasonable doubt - although I'll give you that the public's ability to tell "reasonable doubt" from "remotely possible in an episode of the Twilight Zone" is getting worse by the day as the Reiser debate proved in spades.

    Once the whole thing moves into the civil courts (as it will) the test becomes preponderance of evidence. This is why someone who gets off a murder charge can be easily prosecuted under the civil rights statutes.

    Since we only have a newspaper (and Murdoch newspaper to boot) report to go on, nothing is known as fact. But I'd lay money on this going the same way as the Bernie Getz fiasco did.

    Pesonally, I think he is a proven recidivist criminal who is lucky to be alive, and she is a loudmouth with an unfortunate family tree, who is probably guilty of contravening the local handgun laws. But I wasn't there and I know only as much as you do.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a pity she didn't kill this bastard

    Let's hope ma still has some connections and that this mugger gets what he deserves.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andy Cummings

    I believe what the original poster meant when he said "You must be prepared to kill them" is that even if there is no alternative (say, they've got weapons, are in the middle of robbing your house, and they start coming after you) but shooting to stop them, and they're in the middle of committing the crime, if they survive being shot, in America they can still sue you for all you've got, because of course criminals shouldn't be injured by the victims defending themselves... and I'm not talking about just this situation, there have been similar incidents before when a criminal sued the victim for being injured in self-defense. Our legal system is seriously screwed up.

  52. XML slave
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Re: great story

    "It's not the angle, it's the trajectory."

    One has to wonder how many men Ms. Bee has had to correct on that point.*wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

    (Sorry for the late comment, different time zone)

    Paris because she knows all about that kind of trajectory.

  53. Don S.

    But ...

    "But according to the Comentards on El Reg she should have killed him! What if it was you who kicked her vicious little dog?"

    According to PETA, reason enough.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Little Nellie

    I'll bet her ideal granny cart would be base on James Bonds "Little Nellie" autogyro, twin forward firing 50Cal machine guns, two sidewinders, rearward firing flame throwers etc

    Black autogyro icon

    No, on second thoughts…

    Paris, she knows the penetrating power of large calibre round.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Made my day

    Granny should have shot him in the head (cheaper all round)

  56. goggyturk
    Happy

    And another thing...

    How the hell did she miss from that distance?

    I would have hated to be a (pain in the ass) innocent bystander during that one!

    Do they have sight tests for gun owners in the US? Do you have to resit your shooting test when you hit 70?

  57. John F***ing Stepp

    As to all that.

    Good ol' Harry actually had a 41.

    (because, eh, like you could tell.)

    A 357 is a pansy ass hand gun folks; pick something that won't allow them to sue you.

    Or be like the French (not the face, not the face) or the British (Pardon me whilst I bend over).

    Come to New York with enough money to keep you alive during a mugging or stay out.

    (have I insulted everyone yet? . . . wait, the Russians; Nah, they have their own problems.)

  58. david wilson

    @As to all that

    >>"have I insulted everyone yet?"

    Oh, is *that* what you were trying to do?

  59. Andy Cummings
    Dead Vulture

    Erm...

    @AC " Owning an Uzi, Advocating on the spot death penalty for bag snatchers (elbow hight is a kill shot) and firing a projectile weapon at elbow hight in a NYC street aren't exactly indicators of a well balanced personality."

    Nothing wrong with owning an inanimate object, Uzi or not, but I tentatively agree that elbow-height might not have been the wisest shot (bystanders, etc) - and only tentatively because we don't *know* what her backstop was.

    "If all it takes to be a responsible gun owner is.... "A responsible gun owner is one who doesn't shoot random people in the street" ... Then perhaps my standards of responsibility are a little higher then yours."

    Hear, hear.

    "Thank God I live in a country where guns are illegal, rather then a country where "The whole POINT of owning a gun is to point at someone and shoot them! "

    And making guns illegal magically made them *poof* disappear from the UK, right? Right? Your naivete is touching - well-intentioned, no doubt, but still touching. Firearms are still legal in the UK - only certain types have been banned. Oh, you didn't know that?

    And yeah, I agree once again - Jamaica sure sucks in that regard because, hey, only the criminals have guns for criminal purposes - the law-abiding may not own one, so.... I wonder why the murder-rate is sky-high? Guns are banned, so it's impossible...

  60. Anthony

    So..

    Guns dont kill people.. grannies do?

    If she sits outside her residence long enough with a small dog and her pocket book in her lap she'll bag herself one at some point.

  61. John B
    Paris Hilton

    No no no no no!

    Stupid woman, using a mag round. Hollow point .38s is where it's at for urban combat. No through and through to hurt bystanders, and a pretty good chance of the perp bleeding out at the scene. No lawsuit then!

    /removes tongue from cheek.

    On the lawsuit front, there are loads of stories* from the 70s in Saudi of HGV drivers knocking down locals, and then reversing over them to reduce the blood money.

    *May contain lies.

    Paris, because she understands through and through.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Andy Cummings

    I know not all Guns are illegal, so it doesn't come as a surprise. I also know that not all Guns will disappear by magic, it seems a little odd that you could imagination a situation in which someone might think that!

    I am however very glad that people who consider on the spot execution for bag snatchers to be acceptable cannot legally obtain a hand gun. Such people are a far greater risk to society then criminals.

    I used to be upset that target shooting was more difficult, then I read the register comments page and now I would consider even more strict gun laws or even being forced to give up the sport altogether to be a price worth paying to restrict access to guns.

    Society offers protection by removing the right to retributive punishment from the individual, I can't legally kill someone who I think has harmed me and likewise someone can't legally kill me because they think that I have harmed to them. The decision to punish or correct belongs to courts and jury's not to individuals such as mugged grannies or enraged motorists (or readers of the Daily Mail).

    I don't even think that the police should be allowed to execute someone on the street, as this is open to mistakes and abuse which frequently happens and is frequently covered up.

    I find it difficult to imagine that she could have known that her "backstop" would have prevented ricochets or pass throws even if it was free from windows doors and other soft materials.

    I suspect that the decision not to prosecute her had a lot to do with the massive corruption in the NYC police force, after all the NYC police can kill people whilst driving drunk on the pavement and walk away unpunished.

    Although the image of Uzi wielding justice dispensing grannies is humorous, people claiming to responsible gun owners suggesting that this is acceptable frights me far more then the prospect of encountering an armed criminal whilst being unarmed.

  63. Andy Cummings

    Hmmm

    First, I don't let the folks on El Reg's Comments page do my thinking for me ;)

    Second, I agree that nobody should be killed for what amounts to a bag-snatching; where I come from, it's always been "as a last resort in the gravest extreme".

    Third, while it's just wonderful that you're prepared to forgo a sport "for the greater good", I believe that it's naive in the extreme to think that criminals will follow suit - I'm more worried about their deliberate misuse of a firearm than your sporting use thereof.

    Fourth - ahhh, crime and punishment. If someone's busy beating my wife to a pulp, I am absolutely not going to let her die first and then patiently wait for a court to render their verdict 3 or 4 years later - nope, I'm going to do whatever is necessary right there and then to save her life, up to and including the shooting of her attacker should he not submit toot-sweet. Every human being has the right to protect themselves - and it's an innate right ie. *not* one "granted" to us by a government, but an innate right.

    Don't confuse the sheepdogs with the wolves simply because we share canine teeth ;)

  64. Glenn Charles
    Flame

    59 year old granny

    I'm 55, you preejudiiiiiced Brits, you. Does that make me gramps? [If you answer that I'll have to find my .44 magnum.]

    --Glenn

  65. david wilson

    @Andy Cummings

    >>"If someone's busy beating my wife to a pulp, I am absolutely not going to let her die first and then patiently wait for a court to render their verdict 3 or 4 years later."

    But nor would people generally opposed to retribution, or in favour of weapon control - most people would just pile in with whatever they had.

    Even where concealed weapon carrying *is* allowed, a great many people who could carry a weapon don't carry one, and that isn't because they don't love their other halves any less than you might do.

    The problem with hypothetical scenarios is that they're often trivially easy to invent, but they don't actually shed much light on an issue, unless they help us think about things that aren't obvious.

    Anecdotes are tricky enough, but hypotheticals can end up being like exaggerated anecdotes about things that didn't actually happen.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Jesus Andy

    What's your wife doing that you don't know about that will motivate some one to be "busy beating my wife to a pulp" and not care that your standing in the same room? dealing drugs? molesting children? polygamy? working in the banking or finance industry? perhaps the asalent thinks you know the full story and are about to finish the job!

    Leave the fantasies of heroic gun use to the dubious talents of Hollywood. What is far more likely to happen is that she'll have an affair, you will get drunk and believe what you are doing is justice, that sort of thing happens all the time. Criminals know that if they kill someone there will be extreme negative consequences to deal with, vigilante fantasists think they will receive nothing but praise and admiration, until the psychosis goes away and there left standing in a silent house surrounded by dead family members. Stop trying to elevate yourself above us sheep, the only person who thinks you are qualified for the job is you.

  67. Pat

    @david wilson

    Quote = "But nor would people generally opposed to retribution, or in favour of weapon control - most people would just pile in with whatever they had."

    David, you seem sincere, but I know from bitter experience that is simply not true, having over the years:

    intervened when someone's life was in danger (sadly they later died from their accidental injuries),

    been threatened with weapons when preventing a young woman being robbed,

    been attacked in the street for not according some violent twat the 'respect' wanted.

    (My attacker was younger and much larger, naturally and I'm short, pudgy, unfit and was at the time on my way to hospital for treatment of a long-term illness - so I'm not going to take any guff from the likes of the 'oh-so-virtuous' AC who seems to think people going about their normal business are 'asking for it'. What a prat!)

    In every case there were many other people around, of various ages, and every time, every single fricking time, they just stood around gormlessly as if they were watching tv.

    And I didn't escape violent injury by being nicey-nice, but by convincing those who threatened me that I wouldn't be the only one to be injured, and by physically resisting the man who attacked me.

    David I know I can offer only anecdotal evidence, but for me they were real heart-in-mouth experiences. So, in time of trouble my approach now is only to aid family, friends or those who will act to defend themselves (regardless of age, sex, race etc - its the attitude that counts). I'm sure the politically-correct ACs will once more be able to pontificate - I just hope that sometime they are directly on the receiving end so they are that the ones that suffer for their uselessness.

    Depending upon the legal system to remove personal involvement from punishing attackers may be worthy of discussion, but clearly even in the UK such a system does not itself actually protect or defend.

  68. Pat

    The IT angle = Binary?

    One or zero, reason or force?

    http://munchkinwrangler.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-gun-is-civilization.html

    I don't necessarily go along with everything this guy says, but I do think he puts forward quite a good argument which is relevant to the situation of a wheelchair-bound elderly woman being attacked by a criminal.

  69. Andy Cummings

    @AC

    Who said "Jesus Andy...Leave the fantasies of heroic gun use to the dubious talents of Hollywood.......Stop trying to elevate yourself above us sheep, the only person who thinks you are qualified for the job is you."

    I'll happily match qualifications with you any time, mate ;)

    I'm ex-military, served as an armed-response officer for a number of years then moved on to executive protection. More recently, I spent a year in Iraq doing PSD work - I have used weapons in the defence of myself and others. My opinions are born of experience, a lot of it bitter - where do you get yours? Television?

  70. Andy Cummings

    @david wilson

    >>> "Even where concealed weapon carrying *is* allowed, a great many people who could carry a weapon don't carry one, and that isn't because they don't love their other halves any less than you might do."

    And that's absolutely fine - I support their freedom of choice to do so. However, where I live I happen to enjoy the freedom to choose as well; our respective choices do not infringe on others' choices - which is the way it should be, IMO.

    I also acknowledge the fact that the police in this country are under no legal obligation to come to the aid of any specific individual (google "Castle Rock vs Gonzalez" or "DeShaney v. Winnebago County" or, most famously, "Warren v. District of Columbia"). So, if the cops are under no legal obligation to help my family in a time of crisis, the responsibility then falls upon me - and it's one which I have no intention of shirking.

    >>>"The problem with hypothetical scenarios is that they're often trivially easy to invent, but they don't actually shed much light on an issue, unless they help us think about things that aren't obvious. Anecdotes are tricky enough, but hypotheticals can end up being like exaggerated anecdotes about things that didn't actually happen."

    I agree totally :)

  71. david wilson

    @Pat

    The comment was about people defending their spouse, not about people intervening generally in altercations between third parties.

    When it comes to situations where a bystander doesn't know the people involved, especially if they didn't witness the start of the trouble, it's often a much trickier decision to pile in and try to stop things, especially for people with no experience in stopping fights.

  72. Andy Bright
    Stop

    Lovely

    Shooting muggers who're running away rather than threatening you isn't really appropriate.

    Seriously, for a nation that very correctly opposes the death penalty it seems somewhat hypocritical to suggest shooting someone in the back for snatching a purse is okay.

    Wheelchair bound and scared makes it ok? Fuck off. No it doesn't.

    Carrying a firearm is fine, self defense against a person that you genuinely believe may cause life threatening injury or death is also fine. Shooting someone in the back after they snatch your purse is not fine. Most states are actually pretty clear about this. Someone points a gun or knife at you, fire away. Someone breaks into your home, assume they're armed and waste the bastard. Someone steals your football and runs away? No you most definitely are not allowed to murder them.

    Just a minute..

    WHAT? HE KICKED THE DOG? Crucify the fucking bastard, cut off his balls and feed his half-dead carcass to sharks the frikkin' lazer beams.

  73. Pat

    @david wilson, 2

    As an isolated or independent post I could regard your comments about 'bystanders to a fight' as reasonable, but someone reading them as you have posted might think they actually relate to the experiences I described above.

    Not wishing to risk being misrepresented, I'd like to make clear that for your comments to relate to my post you would have to:

    - Remove the term altercation, as I described no arguments which could have been defused or aggravated - just imminent physical danger, armed threat in the pursuit of a robbery, and an attack on a much weaker victim;

    - Replace the term 'bystander' with 'viewer' or 'onlooker', or something approaching the comparison I made about people choosing to watch tv;

    - The word 'fights' might be taken as all parties involved being to blame - 'attacks' would be the more accurate word unless you think I am culpable in some way.

    - Remove your phrasing about piling in to stop fights, as if that was the only option. I'm pretty sure I didn't even imply that direct physical action was the only option - shouting a warning or turning up to the coroner's court, calling the police on their mobiles, yelling out that they were witnesses, or even just hanging around to speak to the police as witnesses, well, these would all have been a big improvement over the watch-and-fuck-off in which they indulged themselves.

  74. david wilson

    @Pat

    You took me to task about what I originally said, but what I originally said was relating to a specific hypothetical situation (an attack on someone's spouse) which was quite different to the situations you used as examples to suggest I was wrong or naive.

  75. PT

    It's different in the USA

    A lot of commenters here seem to be under the impression that the USA is like Britain, except with accents and cowboy hats. It isn't. There have been numerous European visitors who made that mistake, challenged a mugger, and went home in a box.

    You're responsible for your own safety over here - armed robbers are the rule, not the exception, and the police never show up until it's all over. I would have shot to kill.

  76. Stratman

    @andy cummins

    " in America they can still sue you for all you've got, because of course criminals shouldn't be injured by the victims defending themselves... and I'm not talking about just this situation, there have been similar incidents before when a criminal sued the victim for being injured in self-defense. "

    In Britain the criminal doesn't need to go to the expense of prosecuting an individual who defends himself. The majesty of the law does it for him. Injure a burglar or mugger and it's far more likely that you, rather than the robber, will end up in the dock. Unless of course you have carried out a full Health and Safety assessment of your proposed method of defence whilst being beaten to a pulp by a drug addict intent on selling your Breitling for the price of a wrap.

  77. david wilson

    @PT

    Wherever people are in the world, it's pretty likely that in a mugging, police will only show up when it's over, unless a mugger is dumb enough to pick a target who's standing in front of a policeman.

    If a mugger is armed, isn't it rather more likely that they'll have their weapon closer to hand than a victim would?

    Since it's not the kind of story that tends to travels over here, how often is it in the US that someone carrying a gun for protection does use it to foil a mugging?

  78. david wilson

    @Stratman

    The only two cases that *immediately* spring to mind of people being prosecuted are where people killed escaping burglars (shot in the back, chased and stabbed in the street), and ended up being found guilty by a jury.

    In practice, you have to have *some* kind of concept of acceptable and excessive force, if only to stop cases of people being beaten or killed more in revenge than in self-defence.

    >>"Injure a burglar or mugger and it's far more likely that you, rather than the robber, will end up in the dock.."

    And your supporting statistics for that claim would be...?

  79. Stratman

    @ david wilson

    "And your supporting statistics for that claim would be...?"

    Heresy Daily Mail articles, obviously ;-)

  80. david wilson

    @Stratman

    So, no actual *evidence* then, just prejudice loosely masquerading as journalism?

  81. Andy Cummings

    @Stratman

    >>>By Stratman Posted Tuesday 7th April 2009 15:37 GMT

    " in America they can still sue you for all you've got, because of course criminals shouldn't be injured by the victims defending themselves... and I'm not talking about just this situation, there have been similar incidents before when a criminal sued the victim for being injured in self-defense. "

    Well, it depends on the specific state; a large number of states have the so-called "Castle Doctrine" law in place, where a defender first and foremost is not obliged to flee their own home (a man's home is his castle, etc) - and second, the criminal may not sue the defender in civil court should that shooting be judged as justifiable self-defense by a criminal court.

    >>>In Britain the criminal doesn't need to go to the expense of prosecuting an individual who defends himself. The majesty of the law does it for him. Injure a burglar or mugger and it's far more likely that you, rather than the robber, will end up in the dock. Unless of course you have carried out a full Health and Safety assessment of your proposed method of defence whilst being beaten to a pulp by a drug addict intent on selling your Breitling for the price of a wrap.

    Yep, the law is an ass that way sometimes.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020