July 24, 2021
Is pepper spray a good deterrent to those who seek to do bodily harm?
Anybody who uses it should be prepared for it not to incapacitate the target. An attacker can always hold a victim with one hand and punch with another. If they happen to be on powerful drugs, pepper spray could only intensify the desire to do harm.
Users should also know their own tolerance. A person who is severely affected is often incapacitated by being in close proximity. This is one reason why police officers and military recruits are exposed to it. Knowing your reaction can help protect you.
The bottom line is that pepper spray is a roll of the dice in a life or death situation.
Why would a government endorse it’s use among citizens?
In Alberta, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu recently wrote a letter to two federal government ministers to stop hate crimes from occurring. In that letter he made a proposal to amend the criminal code so people could carry and use pepper spray in self defense.
On Wednesday, he tweeted the full letter out, saying “Albertans need to be able to defend themselves.”
My letter to the federal ministers on hate-motivated crimes.
Albertans need to be able to defend themselves. Vulnerable people should be able to feel safe by carrying pepper spray.
And those found guilty need to spend more than 35 days in jail.
We urge them to take action. pic.twitter.com/y4EnP2heq4
— Kaycee Madu (@KayceeMaduYEG) July 21, 2021
Premier Jason Kenney chimed in…
We've seen a terrible spate of violence targeting particularly visible minority individuals.
If, for example, a vulnerable woman can have a small tool to help defend herself from a violent attack, I think that we should absolutely permit that. pic.twitter.com/ZhkiYWz2YQ
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) July 23, 2021
And he looks to be right on board with Kaycee.
I think Minister @KayceeMaduYEG is absolutely right to say that vulnerable people should be able to protect themselves from random assailants.
Do you agree? Vote here 👇https://t.co/G2MTvPVXSX
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) July 23, 2021
In all honesty, the intentions here are in the right place. Minister Madu and the Premier wish to see innocent, law abiding Albertans have the power to defend themselves against violent criminals. The option they propose does point in the right direction.
But is it the most sure fire(pun intended) or best option for protection? If the replies to the above tweet are any indicator, too many Albertans don’t even want to go that far.
Here’s a sample of the mindboggling reasoning in question:
So personal responsibility now extends to arming Albertans with weapons?
— @abunchofmalarkey (@abunchofmalark1) July 23, 2021
NO! That’s simply a version of “a good guy with a gun…” The only result is that bad guys have more access to the weapon – in this case the pepper spray. Who do you think will be more likely to use it? The solution is to create a society where people are safe without weapons.
— Faye West 🇨🇦 (@fayewest66) July 23, 2021
no jason i think we should all walk around with atomic bombs strapped to our backs that will go off without warning if someone infringes or treads upon us in any perceived way
1. catcalls and harassment both excepted if originating from a white guy
— Fleetwood Maciek (@wilted_prose) July 23, 2021
often, weapons are used against the person trying to protect themselves. In addition, provides more readily accessible weapons for criminals.
— Linda, “double vaxxed” Butler Dunn (@butlerdunn) July 23, 2021
Of course we all agree but the proposal is ridiculous. How are you going to make sure that only victims carry pepper spray? You know…assailants will be able to carry it too and turn it into a weapon of attack. Then what? 🤦♀️
— Gillian Petit (@GillianPetit) July 23, 2021
There’s plenty more where those came from.
In the midst of all that madness, a few voices stood out.
This brave soul stood up and injected some sanity into the conversation.
Perhaps it’s more about vulnerable people having the capacity to defend themselves as is their right.
— Bobbi Menard (@BobbiMenard) July 23, 2021
In the course of exercising one’s right to self defense, what is the best tool to use?
Why not just legalize open carry if we want the vulnerable to protect themselves? If you are going to pick a fight with the federal government and upset the opposition, then make it worth while.
— Mr Raible (@scottraible) July 23, 2021
That’s more like it!
Skip the pepper spray.
Whether it be open or concealed carry, a firearm in the hands of a well trained and lawful citizen is a much more fool proof method to stop a criminal attacker in his tracks.
This has been proven on numerous occasions. Good guys with guns not only save their own lives, but they also save others.
Here are some examples:
The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in
April. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.
- April 4, Pikeville, Kentucky: Police said an ongoing property dispute took a violent turn when five neighbors attacked a man and his wife. The confrontation was caught on a surveillance camera, which appears to show three women and two men begin to assault the couple before the homeowner draws a handgun and shoots one attacker in the arm. Police arrested all five of the homeowner’s neighbors, who now face assault charges.
- April 6, Alamogordo, New Mexico: When a man stole a cab from a hotel, the cab company used the car’s GPS system to track the thief’s movements through the rural county. Police said two of the company’s owners used their own truck to chase down the stolen cab, forcing the thief to pull over and run. The owners chased after him with guns drawn, then detained him at gunpoint until police arrived.
- April 7, Jeannette, Pennsylvania: A mother used her firearm to successfully defend her teenage son from another teen, who shot him in the hand during an altercation. Police said the teen fired several rounds at the woman’s son and continued to chase him with a gun as he ran away. The boy’s mother returned fire, hitting the shooter in the thigh and causing him to flee. Police said they arrested him and charged him with attempted homicide.
- April 11, Wilmer, Alabama: A man fatally shot his father after he began assaulting the man’s stepmother. Police said the father was armed with a handgun during the altercation.
- April 12, Alkol, West Virginia: A naked intruder who police say may have been high on drugs broke into a residence around 2 a.m. and was confronted by an armed homeowner. The homeowner fired his shotgun at the intruder, wounding him. The intruder was expected to face burglary charges, police said.
- April 17, Beech Grove, Indiana: A good Samaritan with a firearm came to the aid of a Walmart security officer after a suspected shoplifter threatened the officer with a gun. A man who had a concealed carry permit drew his firearm and shot at the suspect, who fled. Another witness tackled the suspect outside and detained him until police arrived.
- April 18, Lakehead, California: A man on a boating trip with a friend heard gun shots and screaming. Police said someone with a handgun had approached a group of others, used racial slurs, and opened fire, wounding two. One person in the group pointed out the shooter as he walked away; the man and his friend used their own firearms to detain the shooter until police arrived. He was being investigated for hate crimes.
- April 23, Hartsgrove Township, Ohio: A homeowner used his firearm to fend off an armed man who showed up with two others and demanded that the homeowner turn over property. Police said the would-be robber fired first and the homeowner returned fire in self-defense, wounding the robber.
- April 26, Walled Lake, Michigan: Just after midnight, three intruders, armed with a club and a knife and accompanied by dogs, tried to kick in a family’s door while shouting racial slurs and threatening to kill the residents—a mother and her two young sons. One son called 911 as his mother, who is black, retrieved a gun and fired at the intruders through a bedroom window, sending them running. Police said all three were arrested and face hate crime charges. The woman’s husband, at work at the time, told reporters that his wife “did what she had to do” to protect the family.
- April 28, Tucson, Arizona: Police said a woman was physically assaulted by her boyfriend in a bank parking lot but was able to run away and approach a bystander for help. He allowed the woman to get into his vehicle as the boyfriend approached and, in the resulting confrontation, he drew his handgun and fatally shot the boyfriend.
- April 30, Colorado Springs, Colorado: After a man began strangling and threatening to kill her, a woman retrieved a firearm and shot and wounded him. Police said the two knew each other, but did not disclose their relationship to protect the woman’s identity.
Rather than mischaracterizing the facts on shootings as a way to push for more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, the president should share the facts about how often Americans use their firearms in lawful defense of their life, liberty, and property.
We certainly can do more to address underlying factors of shootings in America, especially when it comes to suicide using a firearm. But as the stories above show, ordinary law-abiding Americans have a lot to gain from exercising their constitutional rights.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal.
The list does go on, but would take up countless reams.
Albertans deserve the same right to save lives and property from the violent hand of criminals.
Would that ever happen with weak half measures like the UCP pepper spray pitch?
If that’s as far as the Premier’s government is willing to go, or can go, then there are serious problems which can only be solved by Alberta leaving the wretched confines of confederation.
As a state in the USA, Albertans would be able to meaningfully exercise the fundamental human right to self defense.
Self defense is truly our last line of defense.
It remains a cornerstone amongst a wide swath of Americans who will never bow to the evil designs of those who wish to disarm the nation.
A very large number of Albertans would join in that stance.
Prevailing together in this would be such a sweet victory.
With God’s blessings and guidance, Alberta will trade the fallacy of Canada for the security of the United States.