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In the wake of the New Year's eve's sexual assaults Vienna's police chief Gerhard Pürstl advised women not to go out on the streets at night alone, and said that they should avoid suspicious looking areas. The story doesn't say which areas Vienna's police chief considers to be suspicious, although I would love to hear that. To quote the Game of Thrones, "If you cannot keep the king's peace, perhaps the City Watch should be commanded by someone who can". This is a fair point, and the Green party security spokesman said something along those lines, too. Janos Slynt, the guy in the Game of Thrones to whom those words are addressed, answers something along the lines of "even Aegon the Dragon couldn't keep the king's peace with that budget", which is also a fair point. What's not a fair point is the idea that half of the population should stay inside after dark, or hire bodyguards. During my lifetime I've heard various police officers and politicians suggest that, and I always keep wondering what the hell are they thinking. Even apart from the lack of factual sense in it (because most sexual assaults happen inside, because men are attacked outside more often than women and any such protection measures should be first aimed at them, because in the situations like the New Year in Cologne the presence of men didn't help much - when there are 10 attackers it doesn't matter much whether there is 1 or 2 of you - because most women cannot afford to hire a bodyguard, and because if all the women could in fact afford to hire a bodyguard some of those bodyguards would turn out to be the people that they should be guarding themselves from), do those people actually realize what they are asking? They are not asking for some easy self-protection measure, they are asking for half of the population to either adhere to a curfew or hire bodyguards. I can understand that sometimes the police fail, don't have enough resources, have to many criminals to attend to, etc. But when it's actually the case, it's time to arm the population. A gun is a lot cheaper than a bodyguard, and a lot easier to carry around with you. I don't really think we are quite at that stage yet here in Finland, but if we ever get there, I'd expect the authorities either to put up and keep the peace in the streets, or shut up and start giving out licenses for concealed carrying. Mind you, I vastly prefer the former, but if the authorities can't do it, we need the latter, and not some stupid advice about staying home.
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