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University of California v. Animal Liberation Front:

The University of California Regents is suing several animal rights organizations in response to protests and harassment of researchers. Such legal tactics works for the Regents before, but internet organizing may make things more difficult.

The regents hope to win a permanent injunction similar to one granted against Last Chance for Animals in 1989. But some experts note that the regents now are battling more violent, Internet-savvy foes who thrive in online communities, post faculty "targets" on Web sites and upload how-to guides for their attacks.

"The reality is that, unlike in the past, where movements really relied on interpersonal communication and gatherings to ferment this radicalization, all this is happening online now," according to Oren Segal, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism in New York. "The ability for people to learn about the movement and how to carry out attacks on behalf of it are easier than it's ever been because of the Internet."

Indeed, a temporary restraining order -- prohibiting harassment and posting of faculty members' personal information on the Internet -- was granted Feb. 21 by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. But three days later, six masked protesters reportedly disrupted a child's birthday party at the home of a University of California at Santa Cruz researcher and confronted her husband at the door, hitting him on the hand.

It is unclear whether the protesters are connected to those named in UC's lawsuit.

Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
One troubling aspect to the "animal rights" terrorism is that universities tend to be among the most supportive environments for this kind of thing. It isn't just the students. My impression is that what would have been, at most, in 1960 a peaceful attempt by crazy old ladies hybridized with Weather Underground and similar New Left ideas because so many faculty are were terrorists back then (for example, the faculty couple that Obama had to get permission from to run for Illinois legislature), or who sympathized with New Left bombers.
3.11.2008 11:54am
therut:
These groups have alot of sympathy from others on the kooky left. The old phrase "You reap what you sow" comes to mind. Bo Hoooo.
3.11.2008 11:57am
DangerMouse:
You can't fight terrorism with a lawsuit. Maybe the universities will eventually learn that. In the meantime, they reap what they sow.
3.11.2008 11:59am
Elliot123 (mail):
You don't bring an injunction to a gunfight.
3.11.2008 12:05pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
In the meantime, they reap what they sow.

I can just imagine the kind of responses I would get if I used this kind of language to refer to our coddling of Saudi Arabia and the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan and tied it to our current problems with Islamic terrorism.
3.11.2008 12:12pm
John (mail):
J.F. Thomas--you'd probably get a lot of agreement.
3.11.2008 12:14pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Probably a few complaints that it was an oversimplication of things, but I can't see it as a particularly outrageous statement.
3.11.2008 12:19pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
six masked protesters reportedly disrupted a child's birthday party at the home of a University of California at Santa Cruz researcher and confronted her husband at the door, hitting him on the hand.

A few incidents ended with one of these should serve to cool the passions. I don't know why more persons who are known terrorist targets don't deploy same.
3.11.2008 12:43pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
Duncan Frissell:

I was about to make a comment on the same subject, except mine would be to point out that if this were happening in Texas instead of California you'd be in a much better position legally if you shot the bastards.

I am curious, what are the laws like in different states regarding "duty to retreat" and "castle doctrine" and the like - How much force are you allowed to use when a masked, hostile stranger reuses to get off your property.
3.11.2008 1:24pm
Sigivald (mail):
I'm going to pile on the "if California was a decent state, those masked trespassers committing battery/assault would likeley be dead" bandwagon.

The current state of things there is no way to re-enforce civil society; when a group of masked men attacks you at your door the proper and civilized response is deadly force.
3.11.2008 1:36pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
The current state of things there is no way to re-enforce civil society; when a group of masked men attacks you at your door the proper and civilized response is deadly force.

I see, it is the mark of a civilized society when a minor battery escalates to homicide.

Good to know.

And you wonder why I am against CCW.
3.11.2008 1:57pm
whit:
kind of irrelevant since you don't need a CCW to protect your HOME with a firearm

hth
3.11.2008 2:06pm
Adam J:
Sigivald - "the proper and civilized response is deadly force." I can see that; hit on the hand = death. Obviously if the idiots got shot it would be their own fault- but how on earth can you claim its civilized to kill them? Maybe you would feel more at home in China- where they tend to deal with crime &punishment as seriously as you seem to.
3.11.2008 2:07pm
AnonLawStudent:

And you wonder why I am against CCW


And if you knew what you were talking about (rather than reciting fanatical anti-gun tripe), you would know that CCW has nothing to do with having a gun in the home. In the home, one's rights are close to - if not actually - absolute. Query this: if multiple masked intruders come into a home full of children, why should the parent/owner be required to "see what happens" before he responds?
3.11.2008 2:09pm
John (mail):
Can't we argue that the animal rights lunatics are estopped to assert that very violent reactions are unfair?
3.11.2008 2:18pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Good one, John.
Can't we argue that the animal rights lunatics are estopped to assert that very violent reactions are unfair?
3.11.2008 2:22pm
treebeard (mail):
Was this the Judean People's Front, or the People's Front of Judea?
3.11.2008 2:27pm
Kazinski:
They should issue the targeted professors either a taser or a shotgun loaded with bean bag rounds. Or maybe they could just use a one of the old pressurized tank fire extinguishers so the can open the front door and soak the idiots down. But make no mistake these "protestors" are using terror tactics to intimidate lawful citizens pursuing lawful activities, whatever force necessary to deter them should be used.
3.11.2008 2:41pm
Nathan_M (mail):

And if you knew what you were talking about (rather than reciting fanatical anti-gun tripe), you would know that CCW has nothing to do with having a gun in the home.

But the fewer places people can carry guns, the less likely the original poster will get a chance to demonstrate his civilized nature.
3.11.2008 2:44pm
whit:
and if you have any evidence that CCW holders are anything less than extremely law abiding, and rarely use their firearms recklessl,y let me know

the facts are incontrovertible. also, in 20 yrs of law enforcement i've never had a problem with anybody having a CCW and gun,and that includes dozens of shooting incidents i've been to (and involved in).

CCW holders use great judgment, and shoot less innocents PER shooting than cops do. (iow, lower rate of innocents hurt by stray bullets)
3.11.2008 2:49pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
if multiple masked intruders come into a home full of children, why should the parent/owner be required to "see what happens" before he responds?

Well, that is not the facts presented--the masked men were at the door and apparently hit or touched the man on the hand. It would be quite a different situation if they had actually forced their way into the house. Even then I would say that deadly force might (and I really should bold might) not be justified.
3.11.2008 2:54pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
and if you have any evidence that CCW holders are anything less than extremely law abiding, and rarely use their firearms recklessl,y let me know

I'm sorry Whit, but if Sigivald, who apparently thinks shoot a tresspasser dead (even if there was a minor battery involved) is being proper and civilized, I don't want him walking the streets carrying a gun. If someone tapped him on the shoulder to ask for directions he apparently feels that "battery" would justify a bullet between the eyes.
3.11.2008 3:02pm
zooba:
J.F. Thomas: That is dumb. How is the innocent person supposed to know that the group of masked attackers are only trying to do a simple battery v. raping and killing their whole family. It shouldn't be a homicide because it should be justified.
3.11.2008 3:05pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Poetic justice would involve loosing some Rottweilers on the animal rights terrorists.

Nick
3.11.2008 3:11pm
More importantly...:
As distasteful as I find his overall willingness to rule others' lives based on his personal preferences, I'm going to go ahead and agree with J.F. that (based on the admittedly scant information available) the use of deadly force against a group of people on the front porch would probably not be justified. This is assuming they weren't obviously armed, and that the touch to the hand was the result of some sort of argument in which the homeowner engaged, rather than simply answering the door with a 12 ga. and a simple directive to decamp or be shot.

However, whenever anyone (much less a group of masked individuals) forces their way into your home while you're present, I think it's hard to argue that you're not justified in killing them on the spot if you feel they're a threat. And most of us would feel threatened by a group of masked individuals forcing their way past us and through the front door.
3.11.2008 3:18pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
It shouldn't be a homicide because it should be justified.

Well first off it is homicide whether it is justified or not.

But of course the standard in most places (except maybe Texas and Louisiana--where you can shoot Japanese exchange students on your lawn just because they don't understand English) is that of whether a reasonable person had a reasonable belief that his life was threatened or he was in danger of serious bodily harm (and before you jump all over me and tell me that you have a right to defend your property, I realize that, but don't nitpick, we are talking about a simple case of trespass, with no breaking and entering, and minor battery here). Generally, the rule is that you can't use more than the amount of force than is necessary and reasonable to stop the attack. Shooting someone because they touch or slap your hand or refuse to get off your property is not generally considered justified.

Sigivald's concept of enforcing social norms and polite behavior through the use of deadly force is actually the antithesis of proper and civilized behavior.
3.11.2008 3:25pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"It would be quite a different situation if they had actually forced their way into the house. Even then I would say that deadly force might (and I really should bold might) not be justified."

At what point would it be justified?
3.11.2008 3:26pm
AnonLawStudent:

that is not the facts presented--the masked men were at the door and apparently hit or touched the man on the hand.


JFT, ladies and gentlement, once again having trouble with the facts. A quick google search produced this link to the story. The man in question was not "touched" on the hand - he was struck by an unidentfied object. Why don't we try an experiment: you come to the door, hold out your hand, and we can have a masked college student strike it with an "unknown object" of his choosing.

Your argument suffers from a far more significant philosophical defect. When one goes outside of the law and inflicts harm on another, he - as against his victim's defenses - forfeits the protection that the law provides. This maxim is at its apogee in the victim's home. Or do you purport to have a unique insight into the definition of "civilized"?
3.11.2008 3:28pm
pete (mail) (www):
From the story linked to by anonlawstudent:


She also said she refused to move from her Westside Santa Cruz home, where police say six masked intruders banged on her door and tried to forcefully enter.

"I'm going to keep on keeping on," she said. "It's my home."

The researcher said one of the assailants struck her husband on the hand with an unknown object after he confronted them on the front porch, but he is OK. She said her two children, 2 and 8, who were home at the time, are "terrified" but OK.

Sunday's attack was the latest in several incidents of vandalism and threats targeting faculty at UCSC's biomedical research labs, where the university says mice, rats, fruit flies, worms and microorganisms are used by scientists to study cancer and other disease - not for testing of cosmetics or drugs. UCSC administrators, who did not make the previous incidents widely known until Monday, said no dogs, cats, birds or other vertebrates are used in research.

The researcher disclosed Tuesday that, during the past several weeks, threatening animal rights messages have been written in chalk on the sidewalk in front of her home and the homes of several colleagues. But she said activists have never confronted her personally before Sunday to discuss her work.


So after a series of threats and vandalism against her and her work, a gang of masked thugs assaults her husband and tries to break into her house possibly to kill her and her family. But it would not be civilized for her to shoot them? This is not some random person knocking on her door, this is a criminal consipiracy of people willing to use force and threats to intimidate her and her children.

Shooting them would be completely justified and civilized behavior.
3.11.2008 3:39pm
Cornellian (mail):
Ever since "The Life of Brian" I can't help but find it hilarious whenever I see an organization with the word "Front" in the title.
3.11.2008 3:43pm
DG:
In my view, the minute these people force their way into someone's home, its open season. The act of invading someone's occupied house is pretty extreme and not a normal form of either protests or criminality (most criminals avoid occupied homes). Animal rights extremists have used serious violence in the past.

JF Thomas: I hope you are happy that you have been a successful troll. Clearly, the Saudi Arabia comment didnt work, as everyone agreed with you. Then, you roll out the CCW comment. Do you even realize that this is trollish behavior?

When you are disappointed that people agree with you and that an argument does not occur, you are a troll.
3.11.2008 3:44pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
So after a series of threats and vandalism against her and her work, a gang of masked thugs assaults her husband and tries to break into her house possibly to kill her and her family. But it would not be civilized for her to shoot them?

Where in the article does it say they tried to break into the house or kill anyone? The article says they banged on the door--that is different than trying to break into the house.

I am not disputing that if the facts were as you presented, deadly force might be justified. But don't try and make the facts fit a call for unjustified and completely uncivilized behavior.
3.11.2008 3:48pm
Houston Lawyer:
If a masked group of men shows up at my door to try to terrorize my child's birthday party, someone is going to get shot. That is the proper and civilized response. Showing up on someone's property in masks is a tactic used by the KKK. I would vote to acquit anyone who shoots a Klan member who shows up on his property in a Klan outfit. These guys deserve no better treatment.
3.11.2008 3:48pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
When you are disappointed that people agree with you and that an argument does not occur, you are a troll.

No, Sigivald's comment that the proper and civilized response to trespassing and simple battery was deadly force was the trolling. You have spent the rest of the thread trying to defend and indefensible statement.
3.11.2008 3:52pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
Houston Lawyer -

There are quite a few Southern states in which the "demonstrating with masks" thing would be a criminal act in and of itself due to laws passed specifically to combat the KKK.

I am astounded at the people who think it "uncivilized" that the victims of masked terrorists explicitly or implicitly threatening them with bodily harm should be allowed to threaten bodily harm in self-defense.
3.11.2008 3:56pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Oh yeah, and the husband chased the protesters down the street to their car and took down the license number. Sounds like he really feared for his life.

Thanks for pointing me to the article
3.11.2008 3:58pm
pete (mail) (www):
JF Thomas asks


Where in the article does it say they tried to break into the house or kill anyone?


Right here:


She also said she refused to move from her Westside Santa Cruz home, where police say six masked intruders banged on her door and tried to forcefully enter.


Did you even bother to read the article? Your tone is very condescending for someone too lazy to even read the facts in a fairly short news article. Here is the link again.

According to the story the police say they were trying to break into the home. IF the reporter got their facts wrong or the police are wrong fine, but do not accuse me of trying to fit facts in to justify an argulment when the article clearly states the police thought this was an attempted break in.
3.11.2008 4:00pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
I am astounded at the people who think it "uncivilized" that the victims of masked terrorists explicitly or implicitly threatening them with bodily harm should be allowed to threaten bodily harm in self-defense.

Read the original comment, that is not what was said at all. Sigivald advocated responding to a minor battery with deadly force.
3.11.2008 4:00pm
John (mail):
I've decided to keep a hungry polar bear inside my front door to greet animal rights activists. Very hungry.
3.11.2008 4:05pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
According to the story the police say they were trying to break into the home.

Read the article more carefully. Although there is a claim they tried to break in, there is no evidence that they tried to force their way in. In fact, the story doesn't quite add up. They were pounding on the door trying to break in, yet the husband went out on the porch and confronted them. If they were trying to break in why didn't they just force the door in when the husband unlocked it? Then after he had been brutally beaten on the hand, he chased these dangerous home invaders down the street to their car. He must be one big scary dude.
3.11.2008 4:07pm
K Parker (mail):
I sincerely hope this isn't violating the DNFTT principle...

Adam J., J. F., and another others:

No, a hit on the hand isn't necessarily "serious bodily injury". However, I the state has a strong interest in maintaining the ability of ordinary citizens to be free of the risk of assault, especially in their own homes. Among other reasons the state (i.e. all of us in the aggregate) should care about this is that if people don't feel such security, then pretty soon the whole social compact falls apart.

I would further claim that part of maintaining that ability is to not second-guess people's self-defense actions at home with the bogus standard of perfect hindsight. If the citizen has to actually receive a possibly-disabling blow in his own home before self-defense is legal, then far too many of us (rightly, in my view) will conclude the social compact is a worthless bargain. I would also point out that state law pretty much agrees with this point of view, as evidenced both by a reliance on the reasonable-man standard, and by giving a much higher presumption in favor of self-defense actions taken at home vs out in public.

And just to further back up what Whit said, CA's laws regarding self-defense per se aren't so bad. In addition, open carry of a loaded handgun is legal in rural, unincorporated areas. It's the may-issue CCW situation, plus the highly-restrictive way it's implemented by most of the big-city LE executives that's the real problem there.
3.11.2008 4:08pm
whit:
animal activists tend to be all stringy and kind of gamy. too much patchouli oil, tempeh and sprouts

might need some tenderizin' first before the bear will eat it.

even though polar bears ARE the most predatory animals on earth
3.11.2008 4:10pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
Read the original comment

I just did.

Sigivald advocated responding to a minor battery by a group people wearing masks with deadly force.

The "group of people wearing masks" part is a rather important bit of context. It's the difference between "overreacting to an annoying neighbor" and "defending one's self from terrorists."

And is throwing stuff at people really only "minor" battery?

Your insistance on ignoring this important bit of context has the practical effect of asking terrorists' victims to use the amount of force apppropriate to a minor dispute, when in fact they're having their lives threatened. This gives a great advantage to the terrorists. Why do you want that?
3.11.2008 4:12pm
Adam J:
K Parker - whooo, don't lump me in with J.F. Thomas- I'm a self defense advocate. I certainly think if the intruders were shot it would have been the protestors fault &would be justified, home invasions frequently don't end as benignly as that one. I was just appalled by the statement that the "civilized response" was shooting them- the protestors were presumably just young stupid kids, who fortunately will have time to grow up and eventually hopefully learn the error of their ways- as a society I think we are far better off that they weren't shot.
3.11.2008 4:15pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Your insistance on ignoring this important bit of context has the practical effect of asking terrorists' victims to use the amount of force apppropriate to a minor dispute, when in fact they're having their lives threatened.

Again, nowhere was there any evidence of anyone's lives being threatened. Heck, the woman's husband chased these guys off his property and down the street. Throwing the word "terrorist" out and equating these guys with AQ or even the KKK is ridiculous. These groups do not have a history of violence against people.

When this thread starts out blaming the victims and then quickly switches to fantasies about blasting away at some misguided and annoying protesters on your lawn, proper and civilized is not what I would call it.
3.11.2008 4:31pm
K Parker (mail):
J.F.,
the husband chased the protesters down the street to their car and took down the license number
Dude, that was after they had left their property, and were no longer threatening to force their way into the house.

This is not to say that the husband's behavior was advisable. In the spirit of the after-action review (where the point is not to criticize what happened but rather learn for next time) I would say:

1. If masked people appear anywhere on your property, first make sure you are armed; you have no idea what their intents may be, but no reasonable person would assume it's a friendly visit.

2. If you and yours are already inside your house, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE. Instead make sure doors and windows are locked as securely as possible. Being inside provides you protection against most types of non-firearm assault, and concealment if not cover against bullets (depending on the specific firearm and the type of construction.)

3. Call 911 and report the invaders.

More to follow after lunch; anyone else feel free to add on or revise here...
3.11.2008 4:36pm
pete (mail) (www):
<blockquote>
Read the article more carefully. Although there is a claim they tried to break in, there is no evidence that they tried to force their way in.
</blockquote>

Moving the goalposts. You asked where in the article does it say they tried to break in. I pointed out exactly where the article said that. As there is no videotape of the event, yes there is no "evidence" of them trying to break in. Heck its even possible that the homeowners are making this all up as one person in the article claimed. But the police seem to think otherwise according to the reporter.

You are being willfully obtuse in your defense of these thugs. Any reasonable person who has been receiving annonymous threats from a group with a known history of criminal activity who sees a group of masked thugs banging on their front door trying to get in has a good reason to fear for their life and is perfectly justified in using deadly force to protect their lives and family.

I am glad the kdis didn't get shot, because we should avoid shooting people when possible, but had they been shot I would have no sympathy for them and lots of sympathy for the home owner they terrorized into shooting them.
3.11.2008 4:40pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
1. If masked people appear anywhere on your property, first make sure you are armed; you have no idea what their intents may be, but no reasonable person would assume it's a friendly visit.

I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your house on Halloween. You must have a pile of dead bodies in front of the door. All those masked people banging on the door demanding treats and threatening vandalism if you don't comply.
3.11.2008 4:42pm
Just a thought:
I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your house on Halloween.

Red herring. We're talking about a reasonable person standard. Masked kids knocking on your door on Halloween = not reasonable to fear for your safety. Masked angry adults attempting to force entry = reasonable to fear for your safety.
3.11.2008 4:57pm
elscorcho (mail):
1. If masked people appear anywhere on your property, first make sure you are armed; you have no idea what their intents may be, but no reasonable person would assume it's a friendly visit.

I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your house on Halloween. You must have a pile of dead bodies in front of the door. All those masked people banging on the door demanding treats and threatening vandalism if you don't comply.

I almost was sympathetic with your point of view until this comment. You lose and are a troll. FYI look up the word context.
3.11.2008 5:01pm
K Parker (mail):
Cool. J.F. proves he's a troll, so I'll go back to just ignoring him.

The rest of us, on the other hand, appear to be having a fruitful discussion.
3.11.2008 5:02pm
GEORGE LARSON (mail):
Couldn't the university employ its computer scientists to crack the networks of these terrorists and reveal the information to the authorities or just make the information public? Wouldn't it be great to see anti-animal rights demonstrators picketing these homes?
3.11.2008 5:06pm
Dan Weber (www):

When this thread starts out blaming the victims


Wait, wait. Who was the victim?
3.11.2008 5:06pm
WHOI Jacket:
elschoro.

Really, leveling a shotgun at masked individuals trying to break into my house would logically dictate shoot trick-or-treaters?

Talk about warped logic...
3.11.2008 5:11pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
We're talking about a reasonable person standard.

And a reasonable person would realize I was kidding--of course I knew (or at least I hope) K. meant "except for Halloween".

But let's think about this reasonable person standard. These groups have no history of violence against people. Even the graffitti in the neighborhood apparently consisted of chalked graffitti on the sidewalks and street. The husband went out on the porch to confront the protesters and then even pursue them down the street. The evidence, in spite of the claims that they tried to forcibly enter the house--which seems to contradict the rest of the story--and the battery with an unidentified object, that apparently didn't hurt the husband at all, is that a reasonable person could not justify the use of deadly force.

Contrary to K.'s hyper-paranoid response to dealing with any and all masked persons who show up on her lawn, it sounds like the husband acted reasonably and responsibly. He went outside and told the protesters to get the hell off his property, and even had the presence of mind to chase them down the street and get their license number.

Sometimes you people just crack me up. You must be afraid of your own damn shadows.
3.11.2008 5:14pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Wait, wait. Who was the victim?

The university. The very first comments were "you reap what you sow". Apparently this is all the university's fault for being full of a bunch of pansy-assed liberals.
3.11.2008 5:17pm
LongCat:

I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your house on Halloween. You must have a pile of dead bodies in front of the door. All those masked people banging on the door demanding treats and threatening vandalism if you don't comply.


Wow, ignoring the point of the hypo to avoid the topic. Your professors must have loved your recitation. Beyond that, you don't really seem to grasp that, at the time of the incident, the homeowner had no way of knowing that the angry masked thugs were only planning on hitting his hand and running away. That's the whole point of self defense being reasonable under the circumstances.
3.11.2008 5:18pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
Just for the record (since I'm sure *someone* is going to use this as an excuse to lambast liberals in general) my impression is that even most of the crazy liberal berkeley groups who approve of stupid shit like tree sitting disapprove of what these animal protestors are doing, including those who have some sympathy with their cause.

Anyway the appropriate response is not deadly force but response in kind. If someone else was suficently non-lazy so as to organize it I'd happily show up at 4am at these protestors houses or otherwise help harrass them in the same manner they have been harrassing others.
3.11.2008 5:28pm
Smokey:
J.F. Thomas:
Sometimes you people just crack me up. You must be afraid of your own damn shadows.
JFT is projecting. That statement is pure psychological projection of JFT's own internalized feelings - from someone who routinely criticizes the military, but who was previously forced to admit that he refused to serve.
3.11.2008 5:47pm
Kazinski:
JF,
Take the exact facts of the conduct and run this hypothetical, say a group of Klansmen showed on the doorstep of a black homeowner, banging aggressively on the front door, trying to intimidate the residents into forgoing their right to vote.

And don't say it's different because Klansmen have a history of violent tactics, or that voting is more sacrosanct that scientific research into a lifesaving medical treatments. You can find more violent acts in the last 10 years from environmental zealots than you can from the Klan, see here and here. And those are just the violent terrorist acts within 10 miles of where I live.
3.11.2008 5:53pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
from someone who routinely criticizes the military, but who was previously forced to admit that he refused to serve.

When have I criticized the military (as opposed to the situations this incompetent administration has placed it in)? As for refusing to serve. True, I have not served in the military. But last I checked we have an all-volunteer military. Choosing not to volunteer is not the same as refusing to serve.
3.11.2008 5:56pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
These groups have no history of violence against people.

So far it's just floodings, arson, bombings, and htreats of personal harm against targets, spouses and children, with nobody actually killed yet. Kinda like the Weather Underground prior to 3/6/1970.

If I was one of the AR terrorists' targets, I wouldn't want to bet *my* life that *they* haven't yet gotten to that point too.

And I'm gonna be nasty bastard and disagree with Adam J.'s 3:15. I think the world would be a better place if Bill Ayers had been in that Greenwhich Village apartment too.
3.11.2008 6:02pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
And don't say it's different because Klansmen have a history of violent tactics

And why not? These groups have no history of violence against people. And in fact they specifically renounce the use of violence (but obviously not property crime). That is the important and critical distinction. The Klan and other white supremacist groups have a long and continuing history of violence and advocate the use of violence. Some of the more extreme ones look forward to the race war they see as inevitable.
3.11.2008 6:02pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Apparently this is all the university's fault for being full of a bunch of pansy-assed liberals."

Do pansy-assed liberals protect their children from masked intruders? If so, how do they determine they are justified in doing so?
3.11.2008 6:09pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Do pansy-assed liberals protect their children from masked intruders? If so, how do they determine they are justified in doing so?

This professor's husband certainly did. He chased them off. Didn't grab a gun and cower in the corner (as K. Parker would have us do) or shoot them all dead to make society more "proper and civilized".
3.11.2008 6:13pm
emsl (mail):
Ok, I have no particular axe to grind here. As it turns out, I don't have gun in my house and I am not trying to find either some karmic balance or justification for or against owning guns. That having been said, if a group of masked adults came onto my porch, tried to get in my house, terrified my children, and hit me on my hand, I would be mighty upset. Does that mean I am totally in favor of mowing them down? No, but at the same time, I don't dismiss their actions as merry pranks. What seems to be missing from the analysis here is how close this type of activity comes to provoking a real fatal response. There is less and less room for error, and either a homeowner will feel sufficiently threatened to shoot, or the mob mentality will cause the activists to go too far, and it works out badly for everyone. Take a lesser response -- I answer the door in those circumstances and I happen to have a Louisville slugger nearby. I might very well use something that is not inherently deadly force, but which can kill or permanently cripple.

To the extent I have a point other than saying it is not black or white for either side, it is that this behavior should be profoundly condemned and I see precious little of that from the animal rights activists who purport to be non-violent.
3.11.2008 6:21pm
SenatorX (mail):
If I looked out the window and saw one masked person on my property let alone multiple I think I would indeed go get my shotgun. I would also have the wife call the police. I can't imagine opening the door and giving them a chance to mob me though, that father was taking a risk I wouldn't have. If someone tried to force their way in before the police came I would shoot them. Better I go to jail over some B.S. than my family gets raped and killed.
3.11.2008 6:37pm
GG (mail):
It is amusing to contemplate what I would do if animal rights protesters showed up at my door in a similar manner, but I would not have to use one of my (ten) shotguns to scare them away. My two labrador retrievers, who are gentle to those who know them but bark like rabid beasts at anyone who comes to the door. What would an animal rights protester do if attacked by a dog? Assert his right to self defense?

GG
3.11.2008 6:41pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"This professor's husband certainly did. He chased them off. Didn't grab a gun and cower in the corner (as K. Parker would have us do) or shoot them all dead to make society more "proper and civilized"."

Good for him. But, what I want to know is how pansy-assed liberals determine if they are justified in protecting their chldren from masked intruders. The article didn't tell us how to make the decision. How does a PAL determine if lethal force is justified? Does the PAL ever find it justified? How does he determine the level of his nuanced response to a non-lethal attack against a 4-year-old? Can he ever use preemptive force? What if he is not sure of the intruder's intent, and the intruder refuses to to participate in an impromptu workshop? What does he do if his low-brow neighbor grabs a baseball bat from his pick-up and comes rushing to his kids' aid? How does he prevent the neighbor from inflicting harm on the intruder? What if the intruder is wearing Berkenstocks?
3.11.2008 6:59pm
Fub:
J. F. Thomas wrote at 3.11.2008 5:02pm:
These groups have no history of violence against people. And in fact they specifically renounce the use of violence (but obviously not property crime).
Right.

They renounce violence.

Got it.
3.11.2008 8:29pm
ruralcounsel (mail) (www):
JFT clearly lives in a different world than the one I'm familiar with, so I suppose I shouldn't judge his responses too harshly.

In my world, after I endured days/weeks of threats, large groups of masked adults on non-Halloween nights appearing on my property might not even make it out of their vehicle before they had some appropriate firearm pointed in their direction and some rather sharp questions asked of them. They certainly wouldn't have allowed to exit the vehicle or approach the house until they had ID'd themselves.

If I or the dogs hadn't noticed them before they got to the front door, chances are good that the door wouldn't have opened unless I had a handgun of a caliber with a number "4" in it in hand, chambered, cocked, and unlocked. The "animal rights folks" should count themselves very lucky. Very.

And frankly, I consider that to be a highly civilized response. How we have come to associate pacifism with civility, with today's society, is beyond my comprehension. That seems to just give license to some rather dispicable behavior by those willing to take advantage of it.

On public property, I'm all for a different standard of tolerance and benefit of the doubt. Once you step onto my property, your rights are highly attenuated.

Many others ahead of me seem to hold views consistent with my own, which I find heartwarming. So I just thought I'd register my concurrence.
3.12.2008 10:10am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
J. F. Thomas asks "If they were trying to break in why didn't they just force the door in when the husband unlocked it?"

That seems a remarkably naive question. The obvious answer is that they didn't want choose to kill anyone, because they did not wish to die themselves or be jailed for long terms. Instead, they chose to inflict the maximum amount of terror they could without going over a line where even J. F. Thomas would not be willing to follow them. In short, I suspect that they planned to go as far as they did, and no further.

Such people are sick creeps, and need to be stopped. Granted that they've put the scientist in the position where shooting them is not (quite) justifiable, what should she have done? I imagine the best thing would be to use a big dog to force them to remove their masks for photographs. Do Americans have a legal right to force trespassers to unmask? Perhaps not, but I can easily picture a homeowner explaining to intruders that his Rottweiler gets really nervous around masked people or people who run from him, so they just might want to take their masks off quick and stick around until the police arrive. There's nothing like a growling Rottweiler tugging at a leash to concentrate one's mind. Well, nothing but a firearm, but the dog seems more useful in ambiguous situations like this one.
3.12.2008 7:33pm