As we wait to hear back from the Law and Order committee investigating the criminal misuse of firearms in New Zealand, it suddenly occurred to us that we could be missing something obvious.

So far the narrative being pushed by those seeking total gun registration is that something must be done to counter the sudden influx of firearms finding their way into the hands of criminals.

But what if that is completely the wrong question?

Are guns REALLY suddenly more available to criminals?

Is THAT the cause of Police supposedly encountering them more often?

Or are the latest breed of criminals simply more confident in stealing them?

More confident in keeping them for use?

More confident in using them for crime?

There are very small number of hard core criminals. Gangs and organized crime. They have always been there. They have always had access to guns. We know this because they have always used them in crime. So why are they presenting as a greater issue now?

There could be other variables at play. Perhaps there are simply more serious criminals today than there were a decade ago. Or new gangs entering the country and territorial security is becoming an issue. Or weapons have become status symbols.

Any one of these factors should take the spotlight off the WAY criminals may acquire guns and put it on WHY they suddenly think that it is an option to possess and use them.

God knows that a lot more coverage is given by the media to the guns getting stolen than to the PITIFUL sentence being handed down to the gang member who is finally caught for that most serious of offending.

If that changed then the public may start to question the registration sales pitch – as we now are.

Have we been sold a bill of goods on the urgent necessity to tackle this apparent scourge of gun crime?

Is the real issue simply our pathetic courts?

In the end – It really doesn’t matter whether there are more guns in criminal hands or more criminal willingness to use what was always there as an option. The cure is the same. Harsh, mandatory, no parole prison sentences for armed offending.