THERE has been a debate on the bravery of burglars.
Judge Peter Bowers of Teesside Crown Court described a housebreaker in the dock as "courageous". His judgeship said he himself would not have the nerve to go a-burgling. Prime Minister David Cameron disagreed, saying burglars are cowards.
On the whole, I have to agree with Judge Bowers. Especially since it seems burglars are likely to be shot while in pursuit of their unlawful business.
That is the other debate. Is it OK to shoot an intruder who has entered your house with malice aforethought? I think it is. As long as the shooting is done in a caring manner and in an effort to encourage the offender to give up a life of crime.
Health, safety, and hygiene factors should obviously be taken into consideration. Wear a set of shooting-range ear muffs. Try, if possible, to lay down some plastic sheeting to avoid blood-spatter on carpets and soft furnishings.
A gun with quality night-sight will be a worthwhile investment. Regular SWAT team practice for all the family is recommended.
Be careful to avoid friendly fire. Pistol-packing women should make sure the figure stumbling about in the dark is a burglar and not the husband returning home late from the pub.
Apprehended intruders should be offered reasonable options. They will not be shot if they stay perfectly still until police arrive. Instead of a bullet, would they prefer to be knocked senseless with a mashie niblick? If gunfire is to be inevitable, where would the burglar like the flesh wound to be located?
On no account should the householder appear to enjoy the experience. Do not at any time say: "Well, punk, do you feel lucky?" Before you shoot, try to get the burglar to sign an admission of guilt.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.