Seems we haven’t learned from Jill Meagher, Masa Vutkovic and the rest.
The tragic murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne has sparked vigorous discussion on a number of issues.
However among all the virtue signalling, hashtags, self-righteous teleprompter readers like Lisa Wilkinson going on vacuous rants and Daniel Andrews’ subsequent blame of everyone with an XY chromosome for one person’s actions, there was not one discussion of self-defence.
I couldn’t think of a more textbook case of the need for self-defence reform in Australia than the murder of Eurydice Dixon. A woman walking home late at night by herself, set upon by a sociopathic individual much larger and stronger who then raped and murdered her – all the while on her phone. The same phone we’re told to use in an emergency. A great lot of good that did her.
As we’ve stated many times before, the legal right to self-defence is absolutely meaningless without access to the means. Australian self-defence laws and it’s justice system are generally victim hostile and criminal friendly. Under the current state and federal laws, Ms Dixon could not even carry a pepper spray or taser, let alone a licenced sub-compact firearm, to protect herself with should she need to use it.
That’s right, not even a pepper spray. WA is the only exception to this rule but even then the law surrounding it’s use is not exactly victim-friendly.
And don’t go talking about wasp spray, it doesn’t work.
In short, you cannot make preparation for a self-defence encounter in this country. Sure, if attacked you can do what you have to do but ultimately you’re expected to improvise against an assailant who has come prepared for the worst. The right to self-defence means absolutely nothing in practical terms to the weaker, infirm, elderly, disabled, women and the rest when they can’t realistically even the score in some way.
This is exactly what David Dunstan found out from NSW Police, where legally he had to wait for the knife-wielding home invader on his property at 2am to attack him first before he could do anything. And he still ended up with his unloaded firearms confiscated and was only saved by mass public outrage.
Now what exactly could Eurydice have done? Nothing. So where’s the “call the Police” crowd?
As predicted Victoria Police came out with their usual inane “just wait for us to get there too late” schtick. “Have your phone and be situationally aware” was the best they could offer.
Now in fairness to them, they do have a point. Self-defence is 90% situational awareness and 10% technique – any self-defence instructor of any persuasion that is worth their salt, would agree with that. Arming yourself alone without some form of training of mindset and technique can be ineffective. However, it’s far better to be armed with something rather than nothing which is exactly the predicament Ms Dixon, like every other Australian who isn’t a criminal (that can access anything anyway) found herself in – a legally enforced victim.
It’s incredibly rich of Victoria Police Command and every other Police Command in Australia, who have supported disarmament of the public at absolutely every turn the past 22 years if not longer, to come out and say “just wait for us even though we can’t save you anyway.”
But that hypocritical attitude is nothing surprising from Australian Police Commissioners who continue to arm up with the rifles they say the public can’t be trusted with because apparently the public safety situation is so bad, while at the same time telling you to carry a mobile phone for the same scenario.
Further, Police carry for their protection not yours and all you are doing in an emergency by calling them is delaying the arrival of lethal or non-lethal force. Either way, a gun or other force is coming to your defence so why increase your risk and give the bad guy the advantage of time, space and preparation?
Did Eurydice Dixon go through those terrifying final moments thinking “Gee, I’m glad that I didn’t have anything to defend myself with as I could’ve been pepper sprayed as well as raped and killed.”
No, but judging by the logic of some of the more emotionally inclined commenters who spout the usual ultracrepidarian nonsense, that it’s better to be a victim of crime than be prepared for it, this seems to be the default perspective.
Sam Harris wrote an excellent essay years ago on this and while I don’t agree on everything he says, he is on point.
Put simply, if you don’t wish to defend yourself and want to leave that responsibility up to someone else, then that is your choice. You have absolutely no business telling others, who are prepared to lawfully do what is necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones in an emergency, that they can’t purely because you have decided to defer the same responsibility to someone else.
It’s unfortunate that so many Australians have decided to take the route of, quite frankly, cowardice when it comes to this issue but that is a by-product of the 22 years plus of deliberate social engineering towards firearms and everything self-defence related.
Case in point being the portrayal of firearms in the US and completely overlooking the daily defensive use of firearms massively outweighing their misuse, and the fact they are also used by women as an effective defence against rape and violence.
Tragedies like Ms Dixon, Jill Meagher and Masa Vutkovic are unfortunately going to keep happening. We live in an imperfect universe where evil exists and you can’t legislate against murderous sociopaths. You can have all the meaningless rants, white ribbons and hashtags you want but these are essentially all copouts that don’t add anything or deal with the central issue – protection of life.
Nothing will change in Australia until you allow individuals to exercise the basic right of self-defence in an effective manner, that also won’t have them second guessing when they have to defend themselves the second time in court.
Sure, Australia does enjoy lower crime rates than other countries but we are far from perfect and it still is no excuse for denying someone their basic right to live should violence show up in their lives. And sure, harsher sentences for criminals and reforming the justice system are also important steps but they mean absolutely nothing in the here and now when your life is on the line.
Self-defence has to be part of the solution. Protection of one’s life is not a privilege awarded to you by government – it is a right.
A right that everyone, not just women, should be able to exercise appropriately.