Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tim Larkin banned from UK

The British Government has the right to exclude non-UK citizens from the UK. Parliament also has the right to establish the laws of self defense as it determines necessary. However, I cannot understand the decision to exclude Tim Larkin from the UK. Larkin argues for escalatory self-defense. He does not argue for crazed rampaging. 

I will give two personal anecdotes here.. In 2010, I worked part time as a door supervisor in a Florida nightclub. In doing this job, I believed that I had the support of the law to do what was necessary to protect myself. I also believe the vast majority of observers would have viewed the actions of our security team as highly professional and proportionate to each situation. While I enjoyed the job in Florida, I would never work security in a UK nightclub. Why? I believe that the UK's self defense law would endanger my ability to protect myself. Further, because English criminal law imposes insufficient deterrence against criminal violence, low/low-medium level violent behavior is common and accepted on towns across the UK on friday/saturday nights out.

I have experienced this dynamic first hand. In January 2011 in Wimbledon, myself and a couple of others attempted to stop a group of men who were attacking a bar owner outside her establishment. From my recollection, out of our group defending the woman; myself, the woman and one other guy were punched in the face by the aggressor group and another good samaritan suffered a broken cheek bone. These offences constitute a 3x simple assault/1x assault occasioning actual bodily harm. In Florida, the offenders would have faced a relatively serious police investigation and if they had been caught and convicted, they would have likely looked at some jail time. In reality, as the crimes occurred in the UK, the crime was deemed so low in priority that the police filed the investigation the very next day! At first appearances, me mentioning this case just seems like bitching about a negative personal experience.. (and maybe it is!), but I also believe that the incident speaks to a broader problem in the UK. This being that the law has helped incubate rather than address, a societal dynamic that tolerates casual unlawful violence. Contrary to the belief of the British Government, what Tim Larkin is actually trying to do is to empower law abiding members of the public to be able to deal with the threat of violence. Violent criminals already have those tools in abundance, Tim Larkin's tutorials are not going to make the UK a more violent place.

A little more detail on self defense.. The Omari Roberts case- combined with the Tony Martins case illustrate how little English law actually appreciates imminence of threat. IE - English law fails to grasp that if someone who has manifested violent intention against you is still in your home or in the locale of you home, that person represents a clear and present danger to your security. The ability to use force in those circumstances should be (but in the UK is not) clear and fully justified. As law abiding residents of the UK, we must all accept these laws, even if  they endanger us unjustly.

It is my opinion that current English law dangerously constrains the natural right of self defense both in terms of action and in terms of perception.

Me working as Bouncer (I don't have permission to show the guest's face!)


  1. The example used at the end (defending your property against intruders) although one that I accept, the specific example was different. The gentleman in question had openly said something to the effect of 'next time they come into my home I'm going to kill them' he then barricaded himself in his loft/bedroom which had a retractable stairway. When his home was burgled he waited, waited some more and then came down from his hide away shooting them on the way out as they were leaving.

    Now, I'm not saying everything he did was utterly and I'm a believer in the idea that if your property is being burgled or you're in danger then you have the right to defend yourself.

    In this example there, it wasn't quite as clear cut as that…


  2. I would echo 'M's comment with regards to Tony Martin.

    I haven't read much about the other case, but the article you link to suggests that the charges were dropped?

    Overall, a balance has to be struck on this issue. The level of public debate surrounding the Tony Martin case at the time gave the issue a good airing, and I cannot recall any recent incidents of a similar nature that have garnered such momentum. Perhaps we don't have too much of a problem?

    I would suggest that Florida is perhaps not a good example of 'best practice' when it comes to self defence laws and public perception. George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin?

    On Larkin, I don't know much about him, but it is possible that the gov't have information that is not in the public domain about him. They don't invoke this particular power very often.