...even the hippies that took away the people's right to self-defense are having second thoughts.
Australia’s ban on practical self-defence sets it apart from most other countries. Almost none prohibit non-lethal means of self-defence, while many permit ownership of firearms at home. A few (including most US states) allow the carriage of firearms for self-defence almost anywhere, subject to a permit system.
Australia’s prohibition on practical self-defence is relatively recent, emanating from the 1996 changes in firearms laws that followed the Port Arthur massacre. Not only were many types of firearm prohibited, but Australia embraced an international push to prohibit civilian ownership of firearms for self-defence.
This was driven by several factors. One was a desire to avoid America’s so-called ‘gun culture’. However, this seems to have broadened to include all means of self-defence. Another was a type of religious pacifism, of ‘turning the other cheek’. There was also a type of precautionary approach — average citizens may one day be struck with murderous tendencies. And then there were the perennial claims that resistance is futile and weapons will inevitably be turned against those using them. Underlying all these is the assumption that the government will always be there when we need it. Australians are probably unlikely to embrace the use of guns for self-defence except in special cases (a battered wife dealing with a murderous ex-husband, for example, or within our own homes).
But there is equally no sign that Australians ever agreed to or have accepted being rendered defenceless. In particular, women and the elderly do not believe that relying on the police to arrive in time will keep them safe. If asked, most would unequivocally demand the right to practical self-defence, at least with non-lethal means.
It should never have reached this stage. Only an authoritarian society would treat its people like helpless victims, with the government masquerading as some kind of guardian angel. Free societies have a strong emphasis on individual self-reliance, including responsibility for personal safety.