mardi 3 juin 2014

Gun Laws and protecting your property in France

We did not ought to have to protect ourselves. We have been asking this question all week. My husband is angry, after recent events and I am glad he did not find the tractor that very afternoon when he went out. We asked the mayor what we could do to protect ourselves. We don't have any guns. My husband cannot get a hunting license as the test is all in French and they say he is not allowed an interpreter. There is also a written exam about hunting regulations French style, and a course you are supposed to attend for 6 weeks. If this is all true, I am checking it now as it would be this farmer's family and friends who would be doing the tests and issuing the license, so I would imagine they would make it hard for anyone they did not want to join the hunt. In the UK you do not have to hunt to be eligible to have guns. You can belong to a shooting club that shoots inside, or just a collector of antique guns. And definitely in the UK and in Germany I think, it is the police that issue all firearms licenses, and they ask for medical reports. And certainly no one who is mentally unstable is allowed to own a gun but I know nothing about the tests for that. In the UK, the police are not so worried about legally owned guns, but by all the illegal guns being sneaked into the country, some by soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, or Iraq, but mostly illegally from other sources. It is not illegal to own a replica gun and there are thousands of these 'legally' imported every year, the crime is when these replicas are taken to illegal metal workers who then return these guns to a working state. Of course here is a steady market of imports legal or not from eastern Europe, especially Serbia, Bosnia etc whee there has been recent conflict. Next will be Ukraine I suppose, but they are using all they can keep in their own country at the moment, the traffic is reversed. No one we have asked could tell us how you could protect yourself from anyone arriving with a gun? In UK we have "reasonable force" you can use reasonable force against a burglar, but not shoot him. There have been some very stupid court cases where the criminals have sued the victims when they have been injured while committing a crime. And not always injured by the victim. There have been one or two criminals who have successfully sued because they have fallen climbing into a property and managed to say the wall or something was dangerous!! Or the dog protecting the family bit the intruder and the criminal won a case against them and the dog was destroyed!! Our big dog is so imprinted on me and close to me, I think he would attack if I was being attacked. That is exactly what we wanted in a dog. You can see how he naturally protects, he stays close to the end wall of the mill and as people approach he barks and makes eye contact with them, backing up all the time so that he is between me and the visitor. Until I tell him it's OK and usually give the visitor a kiss. After people have visited a few times he just barks a few times and sits down on the doorstep. For some reason Our dog dislikes our trouble making neighbour, The cow farmer, and continues to bark at him, and we let him because it rattles The man! He sneaks around our property at about 7 am. I can tell the dog to stop, and if I walk towards the house and say "viens ici" (come here) he follows immediately and I can shut him inside. So I don't see how the mayor can say someone says our dog is not in control. It can only be The cow farmer or the vine grower. The dog barks at The vine grower's weedkiller tractor and machine. He is a big, imposing dog and when he stares and barks he is frightening. But the other day when my husband and I were both having a siesta, he let our tenant, a massive man, arrive and walk up to the house, open the door and put a bag of egg boxes inside for us, but then he knows him well. But I would guess he would not let The cow farmer do the same!! I love my dog to bits but we did get him as a guard dog and if he takes a bullet for us then unfortunately so be it, sounds callous but I would rather still have Dave of course if I had to choose. I hope all I have written never comes true but defending yourself and your property is no easy thing in Europe and particularly in this part of wild France where arguments have always been settled quickly and violently for hundreds of years.

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