Regardless on what side of the political spectrum you fall on; be it left wing, right wing or anywhere in between, most people view the right to feel safe as one of the most basic of human rights.
The United Nations General Assembly (or the UN for short) created a Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the 10th of December 1948 which stipulated the 30 basic fundamentals of Human Rights. Whilst at the time of it’s creation, the document was not legally binding on any country, it set the basis for the formation of the International Bill of Rights which was ratified by the UN and has become the recognised standard for human rights across the world. Article 3 of that document states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Essentially stating that every person that lives on this planet has a right to their own life, a right to freedom and a right to feel safe.
As much as everyone should do their utmost best to abide by these rules that govern how we act as a society, the harsh reality is that there exist people in said society that will attempt to rob you of those rights. As long as there are human beings there will always be those that exist among us that will wish us ill intentions. There is a multi-million dollar industry that teaches self-defence in all manner of martial arts, but despite the differences in the discipline of martial art they all mostly revolve around the same basic principal – to remove yourself from a potentially dangerous situation as quickly and as swiftly as possible. All of these self defence techniques vary in complexity and difficulty but regardless of their differences they all share the same fundamental flaw… which is that they must be taught and practiced extensively in order to be used competently in a real life dangerous situation.
Most people at some time in their lives will at least attend one type of a self defence seminar or class, but the vast majority fail to continue on with the learning of the techniques in order to be able to use the techniques they learn in a real-world scenario. Even those that do continue on with learning a martial art run the risk that, in an actual dangerous situation the aggressor may be better trained than themselves or may even possibly be armed. So this means that, even amongst those that do train some sort of martial art there are still major flaws in their overall self-defence strategy as a whole.
An incredibly simple solution to this is to employ less than lethal weapons to bolster their chances of avoiding dire consequences of a dangerous situation. Around the world there exist many different types of less than lethal weaponry that are carried by people to help protect their basic human rights of life, liberty and safety. Possibly the most simple and effective of these products would be what is commonly referred to as “pepper spray”. An aerosol canister containing an irritant (usually the same chemical that is present in chilli to give it the “spicy” feel to it) forms the basis of most “pepper sprays”. Almost anyone that is exposed to the irritant in these aerosol canisters will find it almost immediately difficult to see and breathe. This situation provides the ideal situation for someone getting attacked to flee to safety without placing themselves in too much danger (which can be possible by engaging an attacker with martial arts tactics).
The irritants in most commercial pepper spray’s pose no real long-term danger or risks to anyone exposed to them and the majority of the effects will wear off within an hour of exposure, leaving plenty of time for the victim to flee to safety. These benefits are the reason that our police force uses pepper spray as one of their first lines of defence against someone posing a threat. The fact that these sprays pose little long-term danger to an aggressor in a confrontation, coupled with the fact that they are simple to use and require next to no training on how to use them begs the question as to why they are considered illegal in almost all Australian States and Territories (besides WA). A sensible conversation needs to be had surrounding the general public being able to have access to this incredibly effective form of self defence. A phone call to the police may be beneficial in some situations, usually a violent confrontation will be well and truly over (and the victim left suffering the consequences) by the time those officers arrive