This is how the government dealt with the Gordon Riots in London a couple of hundred years ago: (Unlikely that those are rubber bullets...)
"The army was called out on 7 June and given orders to fire upon groups of four or more who refused to disperse. About 285 people were shot dead, with another 200 wounded. Around 450 of the rioters were arrested. Of those arrested, about twenty or thirty were later tried and executed."
Obviously this would never be acceptable in todays society on the face of it, but what about important targets in London? Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, MI6, Ministry of Defence, Parliament, Bank of England, if there was a concerted and coordinated effort by rioters to attack those buildings in a fashion we saw in the riots last summer, then given that those places are already, in normal circumstances, under armed police protection, then surely there would be justification to open fire?
It's a difficult one, because if the rioters were just intent of causing destruction and posed no threat to anyones life, clearly death is not a fair penalty. I'm not one who believes in the "looters will be shot" American gung ho punishment because I believe only murder (or terrorism) can deserve the death penalty, but yet if you had hoards of people attempting to access those sites surely the police would have no option? They're not just going to sit by and let them waltz into Downing Street or Buckingham Place are they, but then scores would die, it'd resemble the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.
Thankfully the mob of thugs we saw last summer didn't have the intelligence to contemplate anything like this and were more interesting in pilfering odd trainers from sports shops, but any protest in Central London could rapidly descend into a situation like this. Would the police be justified in killing unarmed protesters?
While i don't condone the gunning down of people en masse, the Gordon Riots were a different kettle of fish as the riots were basically anti-Catholic pogroms, with Parliamentarians directly attacked and many peoples homes burned to the ground.
The Peterloo Massacre would be a more relevant example as that was a peaceful protest with political aims of greater democracy.
Nooooo, not at all, it would justify another reason for more people to come out and it will cause civil issues.....this is not Bahrain where their country is run by a 'Monarch' who does as he pleases....this country is democratic, if such a thing were to happen we would fall through a hole. Which this country shouldn't at all.
Does a owner of a knife have the right to stab someone who is causing damage to their property? What about a gun owner and someone causing damage to their property/house (with no intent on killing them and establishes that)? I believe the answer is yes.
Hence, it follows that if rioters are damaging those kind of property than after attempts to stop their rioting they should be shot although with rubber bullets because their less lethal and kinda effective at stopping the rioting, failing that with normal guns. With some of those buildings e.g. MI6 or Bank of England, more force should be used considering their nature and the sensitive information they posses.
Lethal force should never be used by police, except to prevent imminent loss of life. In other words, if the rioters were killing/seriously injuring or about to kill or seriously injure, then lethal force is justified (the role of the police being to provide self-defence for those incapable of doing so). Firing on unarmed protesters is wrong, firing on an armed mob is not, though should be done with care to avoid non-combatant casualties.
Riots, however, tend to fall into two main categories: those of criminality and desperation. The London riots were a good example of criminality style rioting, with looting and vandalism as priorities, and little open clashing with police, with many preferring to flee from any police that arrived in force.
Contrast that with the remarkably underpublicised Greek riots, in which protesters held ground against large numbers of riot police, driving them back with petrol bombs, molotov cocktails and thrown bricks. These riots are the more dangerous kind, those born out of desperation at an economic situation which has lead to many facing starvation, and a simultaneous disenfranchisement of all Greeks with the appointment of an EU sponsored unelected president. The combination of adverse conditions and no legitimate means of expressing their disapproval of the Government forced them to direct action, regardless of personal danger, which is the situation in which the riots turn from damaging to dangerous.
Last edited by chrisawhitmore; 03-05-2012 at 22:09.
As much as I wish to see those causing havoc and distress for many families and businesses, including the attempted murder of people by setting fire to their homes, shot dead, I'd be satisfied by rubber bullets and water cannons.
It depends entirely on the individual circumstances. If it is to prevent serious harm or the loss of life of innocent people then i would have no problem with it whatsoever. Likewise i have little problem with a frightened shopkeeper or homeowner shooting or stabbing dead any looters that are trying to break into their property.
Depends. If it is general rioting then no. However if the rioters are trying to break into buildings and pose a direct threat to say the nations security or the lives of the people inside then I think they would have the right to shoot but only as very much a last resort and after people have died.
The only time I can see sense in killing someone is to prevent them from killing someone else, (for example if they have bomb strapped to their chest or they have a gun pointing at someone.) Even then it should be a last resort. I don't believe in executing people for their crimes once they are no longer a threat to society, that's what prison is for.
So in this case, absolutely not. Ending lives for damaged property? Avin a larfff son...
depends on how violent they are being. breaking property, no. if there are mobs attacking people though, it may be necessary, although as a last resort. rubber bullets, tear gas and things should be used first. I wonder if they will ever use those pain projector things I read about...