Last week, a farmer called David Dunstan had the fright of his life. He says a knife-wielding, drug-affected teenager started knocking on his back door in the middle of the night.
Mr Dunstan lives on a remote 445ha property in Bungowannah, which is about 18km west of Albury on the NSW-Victorian border.
Frightened for the safety of his wife and three children (aged 9 to 14), he shut the door and returned with an unloaded firearm. His wife, meanwhile called the police.
Thankfully, the sight of the firearm was enough to bring some sense into the teen. Soon after, Mr Dunstan drove the alleged offender down his driveway, where he met up with the arriving police car.
But the story doesn’t end there…
The police returned later that day to seize his three firearms.
They told him that he is only able to arm himself once the intruder attempts to harm him first. They then took his firearms and his licence will now undergo a review.
This whole ordeal raises two very important important questions about self-defence in this country.
Firstly, it highlights the ongoing suspicion between authorities and law-abiding firearm owners. Rather than thank the farmer for having the maturity to deal with a difficult situation in a measured, restrained manner, the police saw this as an opportunity to harass someone who owns guns.
Secondly, it also raises the important subject of self-defence. In this case, the firearm alleviated the situation. It’s hard to think what would have happened if Mr Dunstan did not have a firearm by his side. Yet somehow the idea that someone might want to choose to defend themselves and their family is sufficient reason to take away the means of doing it again.
It’s no surprise that we’re left with the most ridiculous situation where we are theoretically allowed the right of self-defence, but we’re not allowed anything lethal, or non-lethal, with which to defend ourselves. Owning guns, knives, pepper spray, tasers or mace for self-defence is illegal.
We need to make sure the voices of law-abiding firearm owners are heard. Those who refuse to be a victim should be allowed the practical means to protect themselves. The best way to do that is to make sure we gain more representation in State and federal parliaments.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party talking about people having the practical means to defend themselves.