Imagine being awakened in the dead of night in your house, the same house that had been broken into several times before, the last only three months prior when thousands of dollars worth of your antique furniture had been taken. You strain to listen, trying to figure out what woke you and praying that it is not the burglars who had visited you earlier. But soon your fears are realized and you know that what woke you actually was intruders in your home.
At this point, what all goes through your mind? Are they here thinking that I am not home and they can help themselves to my things again? Do they know I am home and they just don’t care? Do they plan on harming me? The list of questions could go on and on.
After the questions race through your head, you reach down beside your bed, you have made a decision to not be a victim tonight. That tonight you will protect yourself and your property from this scum who has taken it upon themselves to enter your home uninvited. Actually this was the same decision you had made when you placed the loaded shotgun beside your bed, the one you were now reaching for.
As you reach for your shotgun, you can hear the footsteps getting closer, they are heading toward your bedroom. You then jack a shell into the guns chamber, open your bedroom door and make out the shadows of two men, two intruders in your home. As one of them raises his hand, holding what appears to be a crowbar, to strike you, you pull the trigger. The single shotgun blast knocks both intruders on the floor. One of the intruders lets out a scream and his body jolt somewhat. The second one crawls out the front door of your home, the home he had just entered uninvited. You pick up the phone to call the police, it is now that you realize that you are in trouble.
Are you in trouble because you just shot two intruders, one of which is probably dead? No, this is not what is going through your head at this time. What is going through your head is the fact that the country you live in has outlawed or banned most guns and the very few that are not banned have such restrictions on them that most people don’t even bother with them. You had decided not to register your shotgun, making it illegal to possess.
Law enforcement arrives on the scene along with paramedics and you are soon informed that the burglar left in your home is indeed dead. You are soon arrested for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm. You are handcuffed, read your rights and hauled off in a cop car to be finger-printed and formally charged. Your attorney meets you where you are being held and tell you that you do not need to worry, that your case will probably be reduced to a manslaughter case and you will only be facing ten to twelve years, seven years with good behavior.
As if the previous night was not bad enough, the next morning your story is already loose in the media. But somewhere the actual crime, the home invasion with intent to steal your goods and quite possible commit bodily harm on yourself is pushed to the side. The story instead is the fact that you had an illegal gun and chose to shoot and kill with it. It almost turns the whole situation completely backwards, like you are some sort of vigilante who was waiting to take the law into his own hands and the two intruders were totally innocent, with just a few words toward the end of the article stating that authorities did acknowledge that both of the “victims” had a history of arrests.
Several months later your trial date arrives. Your charges have not been reduced and the District Attorney shows the puts your neighbors on the stand, the ones that you had told that you would be prepared for the next break in after your last one. This bit of information, along with other information such as you being critical of the local law enforcement, is used against you during your trial. You are even portrayed as a mean and vengeful person. With this information, the jury has decided against you and you are convicted of all the charges, including First Degree Murder. The judge overseeing the case follows right along and sentences you to life in prison.
Could this really happen? Sadly the answer is yes. Actually it has happened. A farmer in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, England is living this tragedy. His nightmare began on August 20,1999 when he was awoken to intruders in his house. This farmer had been the victim of crimes on his property for years and the law enforcement seemed unable to stop it. With this in mind, the farmer made the decision to arm himself with protecting his property and his person the reason even though England has strong Firearm Acts in place.
These Firearm Acts are:
The Pistol Act of 1903 states that pistols can only be sold to individuals with a license.
The Firearm Act of 1920 states that all firearms but shotguns can only be sold to individuals with a license.
The Firearm Acts of 1953 and 1968 banned carrying firearms by private citizens.
The Firearm Acts of 1988 mandated the registration of shotguns and banned other firearms.
The Firearm Acts of 1997 required all handgun owners to relinquish their handguns to the local authorities and the gun owners who did not relinquish their handguns were paid a visit by authorities and informed of the 10 year prison sentence they faced if they did not give up their handguns.
How did the authorities know who had not turned in their guns? Registration and licensing. Sound familiar America?