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Northland Farmer ‘Right’ to Defend Himself

Northland Farmer ‘Right’ to Defend Himself

Act MP Stephen Franks' defence of Northland farmer Paul McIntyre drew cautious support from Libertarianz Leader Russell Watkins, who said today he is "encouraged to see ACT beginning to understand what it means to advocate the rights of the individual, and of self-defence to boot." Watkins went on to say that Mr. McIntyre acted completely within his rights, and the "criminal scum he defended himself against got his just deserts."

"If we are to uphold the right to life," says Watkins, "then we must uphold the right of an individual to defend his life and that of his loved ones, and of their property. To do otherwise is simply farcical," he says. Watkins remained concerned however that Stephen Franks still apparently views self-defence as less of a ‘right’ than as something people are granted by permission of the state; in Franks’ press statement, points out Watkins, he refers to the "law of self-defence" rather than the "right to self-defence". "These are two very different things," says Watkins, "about which I am sure Mr Franks is only too aware."

Watkins also has some questions regarding some apparent inconsistencies between Mr Franks’ statement and the relevant ACT Party policies:

"If ACT does indeed advocate an individual’s right to self-defence, then presumably as a consequence of that they must support an adult individual’s right to possess the means of self-defence, i.e. guns. Does the ACT Party therefore support the legalisation of all firearms’ ownership for peaceful adults, including for semi-automatics, automatics and handguns? And if not, why not?

"Would they then, in the interests of clarity, support a revision to the Bill of Rights upholding the right to self-defence and the right to the means thereof? And if not, why not?

"Given that individuals have the right to self-defence and are often not at home when attacked i.e. not near their firearms, does the ACT Party support the right of adult individuals to carry and conceal firearms for self-defence? And if not, why not?

"Given that individuals have the right to self-defence and therefore need no permission from the state to own a firearm, does the ACT Party intend to remove all licensing requirements for peaceful individuals, including the present ‘requirement’ that licence applicants renounce any intention to use their weapons in self-defence? And if not, why not?"

Watkins concludes "It would certainly be a great day for liberty if ACT did advocate the inalienable right to life and the concomitant right to self-defence But do they really? Over to you Stephen..."

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