Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
Please visit the sponsor!
Just over a year ago an attrocity was committed right here in New Zealand.
An idiot with guns shot up a mosque and killed a lot of people.
It was an outrage and something that we must hope will never be repeated.
Indeed, the government's first move was to act, by way of changes to the law, to ensure that it could never happen again. They decided, without any public consultation, that there was no place for semi-automatic centre-fire guns in our society.
As a result, all centre-fire semi-automatic rifles were required to be handed in and ownership of the said firearms became a crime that carries harsh penalties.
Ignore the fact that this was one lone individual who went postal and committed this outrageous act of violence against so many. Let's instead assume that *everyone* who has a semi-auto rifle is a potential mass-murderer.
In some context, such a suggestion would be considered defamatory -- but not when we're living in a world of knee-jerk reactions, apparently.
So let's take a look at just how naive our politicians and lawmakers have been in this case.
Are we all sleeping safer in our beds now that the semi-autos have been stripped from the hands of those who might use them against us?
No, far from it.
In fact, crime involving the use of said firearms seems to have skyrocketed in the wake of this law change.
Firstly we had the murder of a police man and the attempted murder of another during a routine traffic stop. Apparently the gunman fired many shots during the incident, a pretty good indicator that he was using a semi-auto rifle to do so.
We've also recently seen police raiding a number of gang houses and in doing so, seizing numerous AK47s, AR15s and even a full-auto sub-machine gun.
Hang on... what's going on here?
I thought these guns had been banned, rounded up and destroyed by police?
Woah... hold on a minute. Are we only now discovering that criminals have no respect for the law?
Is the dreadful truth that "only the law abiding abide by the laws" now being realised?
Have we yet again seen that the innocent have been punished for the crimes of the guilty in respect to this law change?
Yes, I fear that is indeed the case.
I didn't see queues of gang-members lining up to surrender their semi-auto rifles when the law-change was announced. All I saw were hunters and sporting shooters handing over some of their most treasured possessions under threat of imprisonment if they didn't.
Did this law-change make us all safer by disarming the bad-guys?
Clearly not. All it did was remove yet another freedom from the ranks of the good, honest, hard-working, responsible Kiwis who used to enjoy sports shooting or hunting as a hobby.
But wait... it gets worse!
Now the authorities are planning an expensive gun register so that each and every firearm will need to be identified and logged with the registration authority.
*THIS*, we are told, will fix the problem.
Hmmm... don't we have registration of cars and aren't cars regularly used by criminals and law-breakers to commit crimes?
Oh yeah... this is bound to work... even though Canada had the same idea a few years ago and eventually canceled their gun registration scheme because it cost a fortune and delivered no measurable benefits. Let's not learn *anything* from the mistakes of others shall we? After all, we keep hearing the mantra "guns are bad, guns are bad" being uttered by lobbyists with increasing regularity and we must listen to the ignorant eh?
But waith... it gets EVEN worse!
It turns out that the gunman at the mosque attrocity should never have had a gun license in the first place. He only got one because police failed to vet him properly!
According to the procedures associated with obtaining a firearms license, you must provide independent referees who meet certain qualifications (such as being a spouse or blood-relative). In the case of this guy, the police accepted "two men he only ever met online" as referees -- a woeful violation of their own rules.
But let's not blame those who were *actually* responsible for allowing this guy to get his hands on a cache of semi-automatic rifles -- no. Let's instead effectively blame and penalise the hundreds of thousands of innocent Kiwi gun owners who have *never* been a threat to the public. Let's seize their possessions and forbid them to enjoy their life-long hobby or sport on the naive (or perhaps deliberately misleading) assertion that now we've taken the dangerous guns out of the hands of criminals.
Why are the lunatics running the asylum???
Please visit the sponsor!
Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.