An elderly couple were hiding in their bedroom after two home invaders entered their home in a winery in Perth, Australia. On entering the house the invaders bashed down the door of the bedroom belonging to 77 year-old, Eugenio Valenti and his incapacitated wife. Mr Valenti warned them not to enter. They ignored his warning and entered anyway. So a struggle ensued in which one of the home invaders was shot in the stomach. Mr Valenti, himself, was injured and his gun was taken away from him. The pair of thieves ran off with Mr Valenti’s gun. When one injured home invader presented himself at a hospital for treatment, he was arrested.
Now there is discussion about whether Mr Valenti should be charged with using “unreasonable force”.
That was a punchline if ever I heard one. It’s not bad enough that your home should be invaded by scum and that your life and that of your frail wife’s should be threatened. But now we have to be subjected to stupid, stupid legal debate about how much force is reasonable and whether you have the right to live in peace and safety in your own home.
It’s times like these that I wish we were more like the Americans. Whilst I believe that the presence of weapons could be dangerous in a home, especially where children can play with them, in my opinion too much effort is wasted on defending the rights of criminals.
Should Mr Valenti have offered the two scumbags a cup of tea and a cookie and counselled them about being naughty boys? Should Mr Valenti have permitted them to attack him and his wife? Should Mr Valenti have asked them nicely to stick around until the cops came, that’s if it were not infringing on their civil liberties, that is?
Well, to be truthful, even the police believe that Mr Valenti will not be charged.
So far, though, we only have Mr Valenti’s version of the incident and that is why there will be an investigation, as there should be.
But the incident raises the perennial question of how far can you go to protect yourself when you or your home are being attacked?
I have always been perplexed by the concept of reasonable force. It is very difficult to write a prescription for reasonable force. Surely, every incident is different and one man’s idea of reasonable force might be to bash the attacker with a cricket bat while another’s might be some sort of wrestling hold.
Surely the physical and mental prowess of the victim should be taken into consideration. And under duress how can a victim analyse exactly how much force is reasonable? It seems to me that panic and fear of being hurt should come into the equation and it’s very difficult to be analytical when someone is coming towards you with a weapon or without a weapon with the intention of harming you.
These questions are only debated when someone has defended himself and the bleeding hearts come out with their sympathy for the perpetrator. He was drunk, drugged, depressed and besides, his mother didn’t love him. Well, why should she? What is there to love?
How about the victim of the attack? He or she may very well become depressed after the attack and here I am referring to the poor sportsman, Simon Cowley, who had his face and life smashed by one of our would-be sports heroes, Nick D’Arcy. D’Arcy had the hide to excuse his violence by explaining that he goes on alcoholic binges from time to time and therefore he is not responsible.
Poor baby! To think that someone forces him to drink to excess, presumably by holding his gob open and pouring the alcohol down his throat, over and over again.
His victim, Simon Cowley, has had his face pinned together with all sorts of metal and will never again be the same person. Parts of his face still have no feeling and he says he cannot relax because he is afraid of being attacked again.
Apparently, D’Arcy regrets his violent attack and has said “sorry”. If I were a criminal, I too, would shed crocodile tears if they would keep me out of jail. We are yet to hear what slap on the hand D’Arcy will receive for his attack.
Until we as a society stop making excuses for criminal behaviour such as home invasions and assaults, we will inevitably be telling criminals and their legal defence teams that it’s ok to bash, rob and maim innocent people.
And may it please Your Worships, don’t keep giving criminals community service as a punishment. They have forfeited all their rights to be in our community when they decided that they would attack us.