INDEPENDENT NEWS

Senseless Firearm Knee-jerk Reaction to Dunedin Tragedy

Published: Mon 20 Jan 2014 10:18 AM
Senseless Firearm Knee-jerk Reaction to Dunedin Tragedy
The knee-jerk call by anti-firearm lobbyists to toughen firearm laws following the tragic murder-suicide in Dunedin is totally misplaced and ignores reality says the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust.
Trust spokesman Laurie Collins of Westport said New Zealand’s firearm laws where the fitness of firearms owners is registered has been widely praised as practical and realistic.
“A gun registry will not prevent one death or one crime. The tragedy underlines that the killings were the result of a mental health issue,” said Mr Collins.
Mr Collins pointed out that Canada in endeavouring to register every firearm, abandoned the exercise after spending several billion dollars when foolish politicians who proposed and supported it ran out of excuses for it’s monumental failure and were voted out of office – in disgrace.
“There is no reason to repeat the same sort of stupidity here in NZ. It was a massive financial white elephant that bled a huge amount of money out of the Canadian economy and achieved nothing,” he said.
Mr Collins said the murder of the children was a terrible tragedy, as was the failing of both the judicial system and the mental health system who allowed the situation to reach the tragic point it did.
“And also the failing ultimately of the police, who despite probably numerous opportunities to intervene, are now tasked with ‘investigating’ how these events unfolded. It is hoped the police investigation will not focus on absolving themselves of any liability in the matter, and then to apportion the blame elsewhere.”
Research in New Zealand showed firearms were involved in a low minority of murders. The vast majority of murders involved a variety of weapons ranging from knives to baseball bats and boots and fists.
The mentally unwell father was not a licensed firearm owner.
“How he obtained a firearm illegally is a matter for the police to explain,” said Mr Collins. “However, ultimately this is not a ‘firearms issue’, but a tragedy involving the systemic failings of the Justice Department, mental health ‘professionals’ and the police themselves who failed to protect the victims in this case. A number of other household items used as a weapon could have still resulted in the same unfortunate outcome for the victims.”
ends

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