Chelsea King was by all accounts a beautiful, smart, and talented young lady still growing up in San Diego. Tragically, her life full of promise was cut short and the man arrested in connection with this horrible crime is a registered sex offender, released against the advice of a psychiatrist.
This has made think about predominately two questions. First, why is self-defense not a mandatory part of middle school and high school curriculums? There has been a lot of buzz about sex-offender law reform in the wake this tragedy. I fully support harsher punishment for sex-offenders and more stringent restrictions once released. However, I am convinced that this is not enough because the bottom line is that, no matter what the law says, we cannot control the actions of others but we can control what we do about it. That is why it is so important that each and every person on this planet knows how to protect themselves. I think we need to start focusing more on what we can control, which is our actions and our knowledge.
The second question that is currently nagging me is this: Why am I not doing anything to make self-defense mandatory? The answer is that I have no idea but I do know that I am going to change that. We, as a society, need to be proactive about our own safety and the safety of the people we care about. It is time to call on our legislators and tell them what we need to happen to be safe and what we need to prevent senseless tragedies such as what happened to Chelsea. Why was I forced to play kickball and soccer in high school gym class but never once learned how to set a boundary, how to trust my intuition, or how to defend myself if those things didn’t work? It is time to change that.
I am going to start in Oregon, my home state, and I invite everyone to join me.
“Be the change you want to see in this world.” Mahatma Gandhi
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