The debate over the safety of women in Australia continues in the wake of Eurydice Dixon’s death. However, self-defence continues to be absent in the debate, in favour of more government reviews and empty rhetoric.
It’s not surprising when you cast your mind back to 2014:
“A PREGNANT Rivervale woman has been fined for owning pepper spray she said she was carrying to protect herself.
The penalty has reignited calls for laws on the substance to made be clearer. Pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum spray, can be purchased over the counter at convenience and army supply stores in WA for as little as $36 for 10g cans.
It’s legal to sell the controlled weapon, but illegal to possess it unless you have a “reasonable excuse”.
The Rivervale woman, Taiwanese-born Yushan Luo, was fined $500 earlier this month for carrying a canister of pepper spray in her handbag along with a taser disguised as a mobile phone. The migrant’s lawyer told the court the weapons were given to her by her boyfriend after the home she was sharing with a flatmate was burgled. Magistrate Felicity Zempilas told Ms Luo she understood “why you were carrying them”, but said the weapons “can be dangerous”.
Pepper spray is illegal in most Australian states but can be carried in WA if a person has “reasonable grounds” to believe they may need to use it in “lawful defence.” A 2002 Supreme Court decision said it could be carried for self-defence. Tasers are illegal.
“It was plainly intended that women carrying sprays when they go out in the evening, or older and frailer members of the community carrying them in situations where they felt themselves to be in danger, would not be committing an offence under the legislation,” Justice Christine Wheeler said.
But police said the law “does not allow the carrying of OC spray for defence purposes”.
Shadow Attorney-General John Quigley said the Weapons Act should be amended. “Parliament should offer further clarification to the legislation,” he said.
Former Perth resident Samantha Andrew said she carried pepper spray on her 4am walk to work from Victoria Park to the Hyatt in the Perth CBD. Ms Andrew, whose partner worked fly-in, fly-out, said a male friend bought her the spray after she had a run-in with a “creepy” man on the Causeway Bridge.
“I would rather be charged with carrying pepper spray than end up dead in a ditch,” she said.
One store owner told The Sunday Times that customers of all ages and backgrounds came in to buy pepper spray.”
There you have it, a pregnant woman being charged and fined for carrying a pepper spray after being the victim of a burglary. All this virtue signalling over the safety of women and we’re punishing them for taking pro-active steps to secure their own safety in public.
The cultural resistance in Australia to defending one’s life seems to be ingrained but that’s what 22 years of brute force social engineering will do.
So what are the so-called solutions being put forward?
There’s this from Loony Lisa:
Oh good, more CCTV. Get bashed/robbed/killed on camera as opposed to not.
Lisa Neville still being gainfully employed is one of the great mysteries of life.
On the good news front, Jeff Bourman MLC has declared his intention to file a motion to allow people to carry pepper spray for self-defence in the Victorian Legislative Council this week:
Great work again from SFFP. There’s absolutely no reason that non-lethal self-defence items should be restricted to law abiding citizens wishing to protect themselves against the worst-case scenario.
The argument that “bad people may get their hands on it so we should restrict it for everybody” is collectivist nonsense. The people that you wish to disarm already have access to this and worse. Why put yourself at a disadvantage against an assailant who has come prepared for an attack?
Despite WA’s grey area of law regarding pepper spray, it is still available and there isn’t a random outbreak of spraying – lest you be charged, of course.
Self-defence is a right, not a privilege bestowed onto you by morally inept, free from consequence bureaucrats and if that right is to be effectively practiced then the legal means must be made available.
Because there is no need for more candlelit vigils on what could have been possibly prevented and will likely happen again if the current trajectory is followed.