It is right the Ferries have been exonerated
The arrest of Andy and Tracey Ferrie last week reopened a national debate about the lengths people are permitted to go to in order to defend themselves and their property.
Having spoken out strongly in their defence as their MP, I was very pleased at the news that they will not face prosecution.
They have been entirely exonerated and can walk away with their heads held high, knowing they acted proportionately, reasonably and within the law.
I have been inundated with messages, not just from constituents, in favour of the stance I took in their defence after their arrest.
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This was a straightforward case of a couple being awoken in the middle of the night by broken glass and unwelcome intruders.
We must have all asked ourselves last week "How would I react?".
Certainly with fear, but also with instinctive self-defence.
This is how Mr Ferrie responded but, crucially, he shot to warn, not to maim.
The message that we must send out bold and underlined is that it is the burglars who are the criminals, not the victims.
A burglar makes an active choice to break the law; the victim is the unwilling target.
I do not, however, subscribe to the view that a burglar, in breaking the law, puts himself entirely outside its protection.
It would clearly be wrong to deliberately shoot to kill, for example, or to act disproportionately.
Equally, a loaded gun under the pillow, kept expressly for the purposes of self-defence, is not an acceptable option.
We have extremely tough gun laws in this country, and rightly so.
I would not want to see us be like the United States, where laws permitting concealed weapons to be carried have had no effect on reducing the levels of gun crime.
Indeed, quite the opposite. Vigilantism is never the answer, no matter what the circumstances.
Yet these caveats do not apply to the case of Mr and Mrs Ferrie.
The police are satisfied that this was not a calculated or over-the-top response.
Indeed, we shouldn't forget that this is actually a case of the law working.
The only negative aspect is of course that they both had to go through three days of uncertainty and deep anxiety before the investigations were completed, for which they have my total sympathy.
The most important aspect, from my point of view when I learned of their arrest, was that their case should be resolved swiftly and not drag on.
That is why I entered the debate at a national level and I am glad that this, and the media scrutiny surrounding the story, helped exert pressure on the police not to dawdle.
In November, we will be electing, for the first time, police and crime commissioners (PCC) to oversee the running of the local force.
In my view, Rutland has the best candidate in the country in Sir Clive Loader, who understands discipline from his time as an Air Chief Marshal in the RAF and also when and where to use a weapon.
PCCs will be a strong voice for local opinion in cases like this and Sir Clive is a great asset for Rutland.
In the meantime, I hope Mr and Mrs Ferrie will in time be able to put their ordeal behind them, and that they will be comforted by the knowledge their records remain rightly spotless.