Monday, August 13, 2007

Animal rights violence and the right of self-defense

Yesterday, I commented on a couple of articles about two researchers who have been victims of AR criminal activity once already, and have had threats of further violence directed at them. I got to thinking about the kind of psychological trauma that these people and their families are being subjected to by the extremist AR criminal element. How does one in this situation get a little more sense of personal security and peace of mind while under ongoing threats from such criminals? Sure, they can have security stepped up at their home and place of work, as well as increased law enforcement presence as well. But even the best security measures are not always perfect, and often law enforcement can only show up AFTER one has been victimized by criminals. Enter the Second Amendment to the Constitution of The United States, a fundamental part of The Bill of Rights. In my view, anyone who is being harassed or threatened by AR criminals, or any criminal for that matter, ought to lawfully exercise their right "to keep and bear arms". I think a law-abiding citizen in such an unfortunate position needs to purchase a firearm and get good training in how to use it properly. If legal in their area, they should also seek a concealed carry permit. Self-defense of one's person and one's family is a fundamental legal and moral right. One of the articles I commented on yesterday said that "a possibly messy and tragic showdown is brewing". I hope that is not the case. Being pro-active about one's own self-defense, in my view, can be crucial in preventing one from becoming a tragic victim of society's thugs. It is time to use that right.


padraig said...

Grizz, the AR's who do this kind of thing are hoping for some kind of overreaction. For example, the English hunter who tried to grab the camera away from an AR activist filming their hunt. Once you react, they can claim YOU are the thug.

Their basic tactics are intimidation and (usually) minor property damage, but they're very careful not to step over certain lines. Their guidelines include:
1) don't make physical contact,
2) move off private property if told they are trespassing,
3) be on good behavior when police or videotapers show up.

My advice to folks being protested is, videotape, videotape, videotape. I wish I had an answer for middle-of-the-night spray paint attacks. Folks who have not been subjected to this sort of thing have no idea how stressful it is to step out of one's house in the morning and see that your privacy has been invaded.

Kudos to the folks in Oregon for making their harassment public; rest assured that AR's will target them even more for standing up to the bullying.

Grizzly Bear said...

Hi Padraig
I certainly hear what you are saying. I thought long and hard about whether I should do a post about self-defense and the Second Amendment. I thought about the fact that some pro-AR blogger might get a hold of it and try to spin it as if I'm the own advocating violence. To most readers, however, I think that it should be pretty clear that I am not advocating violence at all. I don't think that I am advocating anything that is radical or outside of the mainstream ( although I recognize that gun rights is a touchy subject among some people ). I am simply advocating that people exercise their legal right to defend themselves if they are threatened. I'm all for videotaping, surveillance, and the like, but given the increase in how inflammatory the rhetoric from Vlasak and his ilk continues to get, I just don't think it's enough. A video camera cannot save you if your life is actually threatened. I agree with you on the tactics that have been used by AR criminals up to this point. But I also think that Vlasak and his disciples are upping the ante. Sadly, I think that it is only a matter of time until one of these nutjobs does Vlasak's bidding. We may have to agree to disagree, but I think it only makes sense that when one is facing things like threats of fire bombings, which in my book certainly is a threat to kill or seriously injure, that that person take measures to protect their safety and the safety of their family.

Anonymous said...

While I'd agree that any scientist, or research advocate, who is threatened by AR extremists has the right to self defence I agree with Padraig that carrying weapons is unlikely to help. In most cases AR extremists either make sure that they don't cross the legal line if it's a protest outside somebodies house or make sure they're not detected if they are engaging in vandalism or fire bombing. I'g agree with Padraig's suggestion that videotaping (possibly through hidden security cameras) is the best policy, that and if possible discussing with police how they should respond if they get a call from you in the middle of the night.

Self defence is at best a sticking plaster, from chats I've had with people who have been targeted by AR extremists tone thing that they find very distressing is the feeling that they've been abandoned by colleagues and community to face the thugs alone. So rather than encouraging those threatened to carry guns I suggest that we do more to encourage supporters of science to hold public rallies in support of threatened researchers, to show the extremists that they are the ones who are isolated. It worked in Oxford and it can work in Oregon (or LA).