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Whenever pro-gunners suggest that a victim of rape, murder or torture should have been armed, the anti-gunners accuse them of “blaming the victim.” No, the blame for any violent attack rests squarely on the shoulders of the attacker or attackers. Full stop. But providing we’re talking about healthy adults . . .

the responsibility for self-defense lies with each of us. That’s why millions of Americans carry a firearm. And it’s a damn shame that Amazon Canoeist Emma Kelty wasn’t armed during her trip down the Amazon river.

The British headmistress brutally murdered by Amazonian pirates turned down a safe boat ride through one of the most lawless stretches of water in the world, MailOnline has learned.

Emma Kelty was specifically warned about the danger of the river she was about to paddle through but insisted on sticking to her schedule as she was ‘losing time’.

In her last known conversation, the 43-year-old said she felt she had no choice but to carry on in order to complete her 4,000 odyssey from the Amazon source to the sea.

Tragically, her bravery and determination led her straight into the path of cold blooded killers who shot and stabbed her in her tent.

I get that Ms. Kelty was determined to complete her Amazonian mission despite many dangers — everything from animal attack (including insects) to dehydration.

I assume she took precautions against those dangers: insect repellant, water, first aid supplies, maybe even a sat phone. A quick trawl through YouTube uncovered this . . .

Clearly, Ms. Kelty was aware that she faced the prospect of a violent attack. So why did she enter the territory of known murderers without the best possible form of personal defense (outside an armed escort): a gun?

Whatever the reason — personal, legal or PR (her trip was all over social media) — Ms. Kelty paid the price. Which she might have paid anyway, even if she had been armed. But as Ms. Kelty herself might have said, life is about managing risk, not eliminating it. It should have been a defensive gun use.

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  1. Fairly certain that she would have been arrested and imprisoned for possession should she have carried. If I recall, all of those countries, especially Brazil, forbid possesion. It is tragic.

  2. People are not fundamentally decent by nature; nurture plays a huge role. Bad things can happen to you even if you are a good people. And so forth.

    I’m sorry she’s dead, but it’s up to each of us to see the world as it is, not as we would have it. We can work for the latter but only if we survive the former.

    • “… it’s up to each of us to see the world as it is, not as we would have it.”

      Ah, and that is where Progressives go wrong. The refuse to see the world as it is and insist on seeing it as they would have it.

      I have said it here countless times: Progressives operate on altruism, fantasy, and emotion. This woman decided that there should not be nasty human garbage in the world who will attack you. Altruism. And then she decided that she could actually make her trip safely. Fantasy. And she did it all because it feels so good to be on an adventure. And it feels so bad to face reality. Emotion.

    • No, people ARE fundamentally decent at our core. If not we wouldn’t have any civilization. However, people are also fundamentally animals, and some animals prefer to scavenge and cannibalize their own kind. That’s why we have crime. There’s where “seeing the world as it is” is true.

        • They always learn to lie from their parents. Babies begin to make moral decisions as early as nine months.

        • “They always learn to lie from their parents.”

          Untrue. They are able to lie to avoid consequence without ever seeing, hearing, or comprehending true/false. The bizarre concept that humans are morally pure at birth, and continually corrupted ever after by circumstance is unsupportable. There has never been a human baby completely isolated from birth so as to avoid any corrupting influences, a human baby that was inherently “good”. If it were possible, we would have had the example/specimen by now.

      • Perhaps. I would argue, though, that if all the thugs in Chicago, New York, LA, etc. really had hearts of gold, we wouldn’t hear “but he was such a good boy” so often.

        I don’t believe that people are fundamentally evil. Nor do I believe we are fundamentally good. I simply think assuming either is asking for problems.

        • If people were fundamentally good, civilizations would not develop where one person or group could visit disaster upon another. Civilizations represent the fundamental morality of the civilized.

      • Humanity is inherently nothing but humanistic. Selfish, opportunistic, hungry, horny animals. Without the regulations of civilization humans break down back to their feral state like any other animal. Society must be kept in line through religion, economics, and force. Wether you agree or like any of those things isn’t a factor, it’s how the world works.

  3. Well, she was warned. Several times.

    There’s pretty much nothing packing a gun could have done for her.

    After exceeding certain thresholds, stupidity becomes terminal, regardless of hardware or intervention. This is one such case.

    • Agree. This was clearly a Darwin event, more so than most. She went to great lengths to try very hard to do stupid things, refused a helping hand freely offered, and sure enough, won stupid prizes. Given her goals, she probably was not even carrying much of value, was probably killed for $50 and her cell phone.

      • Not the first time and certainly won’t be the last of a “free spirit” woman traveling alone as if no violence will befall her. Perhaps her fate will serve as an example to others….

        • No. No it won’t. Prob feminists infest the Western world

          Darwin (and the world) is a cold hearted SOB girls.

    • Ya’ know, I somehow don’t think our own Liberte’ Austin would have put herself into a situation like this. Nor would the women in my life—several of whom are teachers or school administrators. The difference is that they’re all from Texas, come from Texas families that stretch back generations and were populated with the kind of people who would simply not allow children, male or female, to have the kind of naive worldview on which this poor woman based the “adventure” that ended up killing her. I won’t ask what she was thinking because I know what she was thinking.

    • Yeah the groups down there are armed to the teeth. It’s a place where cartels are at war with pirates. I don’t see any single person being trained and equipped to deal with that. That’s a place where you either zip through in a vehicle escorted by professionals or have a small army, not kayak and camp alone.

  4. It’s a vicious cycle. Violent criminal attack is fairly uncommon, people don’t value their right to bear arms, and scheming or stupid statists seek power and enact victim disarmament laws. Peoples’ disinterest in personal protection is encouraged by the “law” and the criminal element is emboldened because they know their victims will be unarmed.

      • I met someone at the Range at Austin the other day whose son was suspended for fighting. He was punched first. He punched back. Lots of witnesses. He was still suspended.

        If our society takes that kind of attitude towards self-defense our liberty is in peril.

        • Robert that’s been pretty common since I was in Middle school back in the late 90’s. Our rules on fighting then were both participants were suspended a week and had an additional 5 days of in school suspension after returning. Didn’t matter who swung first or who was playing which role in the fight you both pretty much failed that semester since you couldn’t make up any work given during those 10 days of both out of school and in school suspension. Maybe this is why bullying is still such a problem, the victims are “smart” enough to not retaliate and actually fight their aggressors, thus saving their GPA and avoiding disciplinary action, so the aggressors who normally rank education far below being a thug or a “G” continue to prey on their fellow students.

        • If that had happened to my child, I would be SCREAMING at the school administration asking them, “You people are mentally defective if you expect a victim to take a beating without defending themselves!!! Your very existence is a threat to the health and well being of our students. I demand all of your resignations immediately!!!”

        • My sons already know if they get suspended for fighting long as they didn’t throw the first blow, were sticking up for a classmate, or were sticking up for each other (also their sister when she starts school) all will be forgiven and they get to go with me to shoot guns and do all sorts of cool stuff that week long as they listen to momma and finish their chores. I tried the PTA route and it didn’t work too many parents are getting played by their lil monster.

        • When I was in the junior high school during the early 1960’s , another classmate punched me and I punched him back. The teacher sent us to the principal’s office. On the way we apologized to each other and shook hands. The principal gave us a verbal reprimand and we returned to class. Case closed. No law suit ,no police, not even detention.

  5. Unless she had an armored attack kayak armed with automatic weapons, she was going to die. Her death came not from the lack of a pistol to defend herself (even if it would have been a .45), but from her choice to enter into waters that she knew were very dangerous.

    • as my deceased pal once asked upon noticing a jagged opening in a bag of popcorn, “who tore into the pirates booty?”
      there’s jagoffs “down by the river charles” as well. where are they more likely to encounter an armed victim?

  6. Look, she was told not to go to this place because of serious danger but she went anyway and paid for it with her very life.
    Play stupid games & win stupid prizes.

    The dumb Brit probably didn’t believe in self defense anyway.

  7. I bet she thought she was smarter than those offering her a (protected) ride. SOL..I’ll save my sympathy for someone who deserves it…

  8. Yes, Darwin winner (for which we should thank her).

    Yes, that is a cruel and uncaring comment. This woman personified Forrest Gump’s mother’s admonition. There is no excusing, or being sympathetic to someone who simply believes they strike a blow for the greater good by foolishly, needlessly and pointlessly ignoring personal safety in pursuit of adventure.

  9. There’s a reason any expedition going to that area for any reason hires local guides and brings armed security. Sadly this woman ignored all that and paid the ultimate price, however, there really is little a pistol would do when up against roughly 30 armed men. She did send a tweet referencing seeing 30 armed men in boats before she died but so far they’ve only arrested 3.

    • Fitting comparison, both ignored the advice and offers of assistance from people who knew better.

      From Wiki:
      Gallien repeatedly tried to persuade McCandless to defer the trip, at one point offering to detour to Anchorage, and buy him suitable equipment and supplies. However, McCandless ignored Gallien’s persistent warnings and refused his offers of assistance (though McCandless did accept a pair of Wellington boots, two sandwiches, and a packet of corn chips from Gallien). Gallien dropped McCandless off believing McCandless would head back towards the highway within a few days as hunger set in.

  10. I doubt she had a choice. Knowing how restrictive guns are for most people in that neck of the world. However, she put herself in a dangerous place with little or NO law and nothing to defend herself with.

  11. I don’t think it is anything to brag about, but I have nearly zero sympathy for that woman. She put her keeping her schedule ahead of her life and got neither.

  12. Sadly, from what media say, no amount of personal weapons would have saved her. Ambushed in a tent by an armed gang (The Sun’s article notes that “Emma was hit by two gunshots from a .20 calibre sawn-off shotgun while she was resting in a tent on an island.”, BTW. Take that, .9mm Glockists!), no chance.

    And gun laws of the region are not…conductive to carrying proper firearm.

    It should have been solid self-defence strategy. Going solo in wilderness with roaming gangs is as stupid as motorbiking through less-populated parts of Russia and staying for the night in a tent near local watering hole.

    • “no amount of personal weapons would have saved her.”

      Likely true.

      But that just takes us back one step to the “avoid stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places” analysis.

      Here’s a clue – if you can’t identify the person being stupid in a dicey situation, you might want to ask if you’re “that” guy.

  13. Forget pirates for a second. There are all kinds of animal threats in and around the Amazon. Seriously, the Amazon version of whatever specie is usually larger, more venomous, etc. than its counter parts. Tropical rivers are loaded with creepy crawlies that you want to forget.

    Kate Capshaw had it right about going back to Missouri vs. having more “adventures” (although they do have cotton mouths and chiggers there):

  14. I suppose she MIGHT have been able to get a shotgun or hunting rifle, but I doubt she would get local government approval for a handgun in Brazil or elsewhere.

    I’ve been told by Brazilians that ordinary citizens cannot get handguns. Note that criminals have no problems getting handguns and the murder rate in Brazil is several times the US murder rate.

    maybe someone knowledgeable of the area can chime in.


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