Friday, March 11, 2011

Abrogating Responsibility

Saw this in comments at an anti-gun blog.

I had never heard the term "hue & cry" used in this context before.

"By the statute of Winchester, 13 Edw. I cc. 1 and 4, (1285) it was provided that anyone, either a constable or a private citizen, who witnessed a crime shall make hue and cry, and that the hue and cry must be kept up against the fleeing criminal from town to town and from county to county, until the felon is apprehended and delivered to the sheriff. All able-bodied men, upon hearing the shouts, were obliged to assist in the pursuit of the criminal, which makes it comparable to the posse comitatus. It was moreover provided that a hundred that failed to give pursuit on the hue and cry would become liable in case of any theft or robbery. Those who raised a hue and cry falsely were themselves guilty of a crime."

How far we have fallen as a civilized society. Now in the UK people have to summon "the authorities" for tasks so simple as using a fire extinguisher. It's interesting that not only were able bodied men expected to assist in pursuing criminals, they were actually held liable if they failed to do so.

Now? Now the attitude of many in the general public is "not my problem" or "not my responsibility." We have abrogated all responsibility unto the police who, paradoxically, have no legal obligation to protect any of us. Where has that attitude gotten us? Oh, only instances like that of Kitty Genovese.

1 comment:

Linoge said...

I know of the phrase as a historical curiosity, but I certainly cannot fault anyone for not being so informed, given that the concept is completely foreign to our culture at the moment. More the shame, especially considering that the gun grabbers want only to further aggrivate the situation...