This is an open letter to Dennie Warren.
As we have discussed by phone, I couldn’t agree with you more in principle.
However, there are other very important issues to consider while addressing the Penal Code in respect to the carrying of what are now classed as ‘offensive weapons’ for the purpose of self-protection.
One of those major issues is training and certification in the proper use of these self-protection tools.
A recent amusing case reported of a police officer pepper spraying himself during an arrest comes to mind but in a serious way, as police officers are trained and certified to use pepper spray and other tools and still this accident happened.
My point is that an approach to change the Penal Code and add a self-protection clause to the Constitution are matters that need to be addressed holistically, with the co-operation and support of the political, law-enforcement and social services community of the Cayman Islands.
My organisation, along with other martial arts schools, have been involved with training seminars for the community since at least 2000 and up until 2006, when I conducted my last self-defence training seminar programme at Kings Sports Center that was sold out, well-attended and supported with a domestic violence lecture from the Family Support Unit of the RCIPS and that 10-week seminar programme only touched the surface of what is available here on-island in terms of training/certification expertise.
Self-defence tools in the hands of untrained people are a danger to the defender more than any deterrent to the attacker.
Please address this issue of the changes of the law with all the relevant parties and put a thorough proposal together for review by the community and
I can almost guarantee that you will get results.
As reprehensible as the killing of Mrs. Scott-Roberts has been, and we have all worked with her at one level and time or another, a knee-jerk reaction and vigilante approach to self-protection will do more harm than good to her work and memory.
I remember her from an excellent self-defence seminar that was hosted by the Professional and Business Women’s Organization on behalf of the Women’s Resource Center in 2003 and she was not a person easily forgotten.
More of such events will definitely give your cause a higher profile and more support in the community.
We, in the martial arts community are here for the support and welfare of the community’s safety at large.
Do not hesitate to call on us for assistance and advice.