Friday, January 15, 2010

Nothing Is As It Seems

This story in The Guardian shows how journalists anxious to run a good story and people with their own agenda can plant blatant untruths in the public's consciousness. I smelt a rat when I first read that Ms.Klass had been advised against brandishing a knife in her own home, since the words "in a public place" are usually to be found in any weapon-related charges. Unfortunately this story, that appears to have been a cunning bit of PR, will have embedded itself in the popular culture, just like the don't-shovel-snow business that we talked about a few posts ago. The fact is that you have nothing to fear if you tackle an intruder in your own home, provided that you don't go wildly over the top, just as you have nothing to fear if you make an honest attempt to clear up snow. As Jon commented yesterday:-
There is no reported case in which a householder has been held liable in the circumstances described.
Just going back to Ms. Klass, wouldn't any jury (even if it got that far) find that it would be perfectly understandable for a lone woman to pick up a knife if faced by a couple of burly young men?

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