Getting Rid of the Bad Guys

Georgina (‘Vivi') Leimonis is dead.

You might not be from Toronto, but you've probably heard the story by now. She was senselessly murdered by a shotgun-toting scum while eating dessert with a friend at a trendy mid-town restaurant. The beautiful 23 year old, who was soon to be married, had absolutely no chance to defend herself. Nobody in that part of town expected such a crime could happen there. But security cameras saw it all go down.

While one thug remained outside the restaurant the night of April 5 th , three accomplices entered, ready to take on the thirty or so patrons inside. Two of the thugs herded most of the staff and patrons to the back, and the third man remained close to the front, producing a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun.

Witnesses reported some of the patrons balked at giving up their possessions. One man was beaten, and it became increasingly clear the robbers were quickly losing control. The gunman, pointing his shotgun at the ceiling shouted threats. “Don't f___ with me, man. Don't f___ with me!” Then leveling his gun, he fired indiscriminately into the crowd, hitting Leimonis in the chest. She died some three hours later in hospital.

Following the murder, the public outcry for justice was deafening. Newspaper headlines demanded everything from stiffer gun control to banning guns altogether. “Bring back the death penalty!” was the cry of the day.

Clearly random violence of this nature is on the increase. Young people with more bravado than brains, and more guns than sense are committing these heinous crimes, often for no other reason than ‘kicks'. What self-defense technique can be applied to this kind of attack?

Personally I fell off the fence with regard to the death penalty years ago. I'm all for it. Take someone's life, with the exception obviously being a life and death self-defense situation, and you lose yours. Simple!

I'm also for life imprisonment. Not 25 years, out in 15. I mean LIFE. Do the crime, say goodbye to the outside world forever. Simple!

How about the Young Offenders Act? If this wasn't a colossal blunder on someone's part, I don't know what was. There are gangs of youths committing everything from car theft to drug and gun dealing. These young criminals know if they get caught, very little punishment, if any, will be forthcoming. This Act should be abolished or at least revamped, with the input of some of the victims of young-offender crime. Simple!

On the issue of gun control, I'm all for it. Controlling guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens has always proven, statistically, to improve safety, so what's the problem? Banning guns for responsible, law-abiding citizens, as the federal justice minister recently recommended – now that I have a problem with.

Guns in the hands of the bad guys are the problem here. Or should I say it's the bad guys who are the problem, period. Guns or knives or whatever – a weapon is a weapon is a weapon in the hands of a bad guy. Control the bad guy, and you control the weapon. Simple!

But what about us, as self-defense enthusiasts, what can we do? Write, fax or call your legislators. Let them know in no uncertain terms how you feel about the issues at the forefront of your news day. Do you favor the death penalty? Are you for changes to the Young Offenders Act? How about our penal system that seems more like a revolving door? This folks, is the root of self-defense. Eliminate the problem, and eliminate the fear. Simple!

All this directly relates to our personal training. We race to class after a light dinner, get dressed in our neatly-pressed uniforms and go into the training hall to be drilled through various punches, kicks, flips and falls, and we think we're doing something about self-defense. Well what exactly is it you're learning to defend yourself against? Could it be the bad guys?

Till next time, keep the attitude…

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