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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Twelve years in the US, and the Osbornes had it good and were relatively safe. Two months back in the UK, and they got jacked...

Reward for lost rocks as Osbournes face reality
The Times
November 25, 2004
OZZY Osbourne declared Los Angeles safer than rural Buckinghamshire in southern England yesterday as he announced a pound stg. 100,000 ($237,700) reward for his wife's stolen jewellery.
Some interesting excerpts...
The former Black Sabbath star added: "We could have been mugged, shot or murdered in America. We have been over here a couple of months and all this has happened. It does not give me a great reflection about the state of crime in this country. I am very disappointed."

In the end, it was his wife who slipped up: "I'm sure a lot of people will look at us and say, 'Well, they have got more, they can buy it again, there's more serious things happening in the world, who really gives a damn?'.

"But the thing is, we worked for everything. I came from Brixton (in London), Ozzy came from not a very nice part of Birmingham and everything we have got we have worked our arses off for.
And, most interesting was this comment. I'm not familiar with Australian press, so I'm not sure if this was meant to be snarky or not... (emphasis mine)
Earlier, a police press officer reminded journalists to be sensitive to the fact the Osbournes had suffered a terrifying ordeal. She might have spared a thought for the burglar who threw himself 9m out of a window to escape the stark-naked wild man of rock: Ozzy once bit the head off a bat live on stage and snorted a line of ants after mistaking them for cocaine.
The reason I'm not sure is because the BBC ran this story online and that's where I read about comparisons between Ozzy's case and that of one Tony Martin, a man convicted of murder after shooting a teenager attempting to burgle his farmhouse. It seems that the restrictions on self-defense/defense of property more stringent than here in the US.

And, I've never really understood why. Ok, I understand no one wants a pitched gun battle in the streets because of an attempted mugging. I understand no one wants some poor sod who thinks he's Charles Bronson looking up the person who took his wallet, and in a fit of repressed rage, shoot the mugger, his family and his dog.

What I truly don't understand is the expectation that it's MY responsibility to consider things like "reasonable force" when I'm in the midst of a struggle to defend my person, others in my home or, let's be honest, my property. If I attempt to stop a burglar doing everything in his or her power to thwart me, why should I have to be the one checking my reactions and thinking to myself, "Nope, can't kick here. Can't stab there."? If you're in my face in my home, and I don't want you there, and I've got a knife, there are six spots that my training has taught me to target. And, I'm supposed to check that for your dumb, criminal @$$?

The only, and I mean the ONLY valid argument I've found (and it's a stretch, at that) against easing up on property-defense restrictions is that criminals who would otherwise prioritize getting your stuff and getting out with as little confrontation as possible might resort to "search and destroy" tactics upon entering your home. I suppose it's better that than take the risk of confronting a Dirty Harry wannabe. Because thieves are going to steal, regardless. Up the ante, and you'll invariably find some criminals who are more than willing to call.

Hey, if you want my wallet on the street, I'll probably let you have it. But, stay out of my house.