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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Escape from London

by Paul Jacob

New Yorkers are in for a treat, especially those who are fans of the old prime-time soap, "Dynasty." Joan Collins, who played temptress Alexis Carrington, is leaving London for the Big Apple.

Why? Crime. She's tired of the muggers. She can't walk even the few blocks to her hairdresser without fear.

New York City used to play host to muggers and murderers. Thankfully, some law and order has been restored in recent years. London now hosts the crime cauldron.

One reason: it's illegal to defend yourself vigorously against assailants. If a home invader crashes into your flat while you're placidly reading "Hamlet," you face two dangers: first from the home invader; second from the government . . . if you use "excessive force" in self-defense.

So you know the Englishman's soliloquy: "To defend myself or not to defend myself, that is the question."

Lawyer Hal Colebatch tells of a shopkeeper, Richard Barnes, who "hit a teenage thief. The thief had previously thrown a punch at him. Mr. Barnes was arrested, tried before a jury, and eventually acquitted after a three-day trial. . . ."

Hurray for the acquittal. But why is a clear case of self-defense considered even potentially worthy of prosecution?

That's London for you, suffering a self-imposed fate that New York seems finally to have sloughed off.

So remember, England, as you watch Joan Collins sail away: crime shouldn't pay; defense should.

Common Sense is published by Americans for Limited Government. Their website can be visited at

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