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"It's at the point where Papakura business owners need to arm themselves"

Late Monday night, Chris Turner was finishing some paperwork and about to lock up, when several men entered his eatery. When he confronted them, they beat him, robbed him, and left him for dead. He is recovering in Middlemore Hospital with serious injuries.

The NZH reports:

A Papakura business owner feared for his life as he was repeatedly beaten with bricks and robbed outside his restaurant.

Red Earth Eatery and Wine Bar co-owner Chris Turner is recovering in Middlemore Hospital with a broken rib and serious facial injuries including a fractured eye socket and multiple deep cuts after being brutally attacked at 11.20pm on Monday night.

His five attackers are believed to be Maori youths, aged between 13 and 18. One of the assailants was arrested after returning to Red Earth the next day, bragged about his crime, and assaulted another staff member before being arrested by police, who were on the scene investigating the crime.

Turner said the business had been fitted with CCTV cameras and he was not sure what else he could have done. "It's at the point where Papakura business owners need to arm themselves," he said.

"I hope they get them. It's really sad because there is a huge amount of really good people in Papakura. I've got some really great customers, some really nice people and then there's this other element that just run around and treat everyone like crap."

While our Crimes Act does guarantee a right to self-defense, the police and subsequent laws have made this practically impossible. You are required to "prove" self defense, so it is a "guilty until proven innocent" situation. Carrying or picking up any item for the purpose of self-defense is considered a felony: "intent to cause bodily harm with a weapon." You may not even protect your own property with force. There have been plenty of cases where those who have attempted to defend themselves or others have had charges placed against them.

The police say "leave it to us," but they are rarely there when you need them. There is a saying, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Coupled with weak penalties and unserious consequences for violent crime, New Zealand's anti self-defense policy acts as an encouragement for criminals and a possible death sentence for victims.

If Chris Turner were to follow his own advice, he'd end up in court and possibly in jail. And that's a tragedy.