French Attack, British Cite Pirates’ “Human Rights”

Read this New York Times post. Here are the highlights:

ON April 11, French commandos went in with guns blazing and captured a gang of pirates who days earlier had hijacked a luxury cruise ship, the Ponant, and held the crew for ransom. This was the French solution to a crime wave that has threatened international shipping off Somalia; those of us who have been on the business end of a pirate’s gun can only applaud their action.

The British government on the other hand, to the incredulity of many in the maritime industry, has taken a curiously pathetic approach to piracy. While the French were flying six of the captured pirates to Paris to face trial, the British Foreign Office issued a directive to the once vaunted Royal Navy not to detain any pirates, because doing so could violate their human rights. British warships patrolling the pirate-infested waters off Somalia were advised that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain and that those who were returned to Somalia faced beheading for murder or a hand chopped off for theft under Islamic law.

The British attitude has come a long way since the days when pirates were chained to pilings at Wapping and left there until the tidal water of the Thames ebbed and flowed over the bodies three times. So much for Britannia ruling the waves.

This Volokh Conspiracy post led me to the Times piece. They also have a link to some related items.

This is just an example of gun control on a larger scale. Most ports do not allow guns or other weapons and most ships don’t have any good ways to defend themselves. One American ship referenced in the Times piece used some sonic weapon that drove off pirates, but they still ended up with a unexploded RPG embedded in a stateroom. Banning weapons isn’t working, and worrying about the pirates “human rights” certainly isn’t working. Let the cruise ships and oil tankers sink a few dozen pirate ships and see what happens.

A related point is the view often expressed about the second amendment: “I understand my dad’s bird gun, but who needs a ______?” The blank is filled in with anything from handgun to “assault weapon” to bazooka to whatever. Take your yacht out of sight of land a number of places to the south or east of us and see what you might “need” when a boat approaches, full of angry men shooting full-auto rifles and RPGs in your direction.

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