Firearms have become the victim of misplaced hysteria and knee jerk reactions following the tragic Christchurch mosque
shooting by an alleged Australian terrorist says a hunting and environmental body. Laurie Collins of Westport and
spokesman for the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust said over the last decade, firearms had been used in only about 10% of
He was responding to a Fairfax columnist Martin van Beynen who recently wrote that "the vast majority of owners of the
now-prohibited firearms were responsible, law-abiding citizens who contributed to society and had done nothing to
warrant draconian measures designed to prevent them owning particular firearms."
"They purchased their guns legally and believed the law would uphold their responsible ownership. After the shootings,
gun enthusiasts and hobbyists were equated with redneck attitudes and nasty, racist opinions,” wrote Martin van Beynen.
Laurie Collins descrbed Martin van Beynen’s comments as "simply good, practical common sense in contrast to the knee
jerk reactions from politicians and police spokesmen like the strident Chris Cahill.”
He reiterated that homicide statistics of the last decade showed firearms were involved in only one in 10 murders.
"Ninety percent were "other weapons” of which knives were no doubt well represented. Will we have buybacks n knives?” he
Government and non-government politicians, were not treating the causes among which were violence on television, video
games and films and dubious pastimes like paint ball games that really were “pretend killing sprees.”
Society was increasingly mentally ill and politicians and policies were responsible.
"All the cyclical conversations, that go round and round in the same circles, will not make New Zealand a safer place.
Banning of automatic weapons will also not make New Zealand a safer place. What probably would make New Zealand a better
place would be politicians taking a course in democracy, because ignoring democracy will surely not make this country a
better or a safer place,” sad Laurie Collins.
He said the alleged terrorist was not a New Zealander and the irregularities in his obtaining a firearm licence provoked
questions about police competence.