Here is an opinion piece that was offered to all the major papers as a response to the Law and Order committee report.
The Kiwi Gun Blog were stunned that there were no takers….
Stunned we say!
So here for your interest, is ‘The case against’.
Feel free to send this to non shooting friends who are undecided.
How to End Gun Crime in New Zealand
Criminals possess and use illegal firearms in New Zealand for three reasons. They have a desire for them. They have the money to act on that desire. They have no fear of acting on that desire. That’s it. That is all you need to know to both understand the problem and to fix it. Anything else is white noise.
Let’s look at the first reason. It itself has three aspects. Criminals first desire guns because they are totems of power. An FBI profiler would make a lecture of what really amounts to “Look! I’m cool like the gangsters in the rap videos”. Never doubt how base and pathetic these thugs can be.
The second desirable attribute of a firearm for a criminal is that it allows them to impose their will on others. To make them fearful of testifying or to understand the penalty for non-payment of an invented debt.
The third criminal benefit to owing a gun is the ability to defend your drug territory against a psychopath like you. The illegal drug business brings in millions of dollors. Millions. If you own a slice of that gangster dream then you had better be able to defend it.
The next cause of criminals using guns is that they can afford to act on their desire for them. Only recently our gangs were found to be hiding away millions of dollors in assets, under fake identities. They had literally piles of cash.
Drugs are banned in every nation on earth. Drugs are available in every nation on earth. Because supply will meet demand. As surely as nature abhors a vacuum. If a criminal can pay for the gun they desire – it will be supplied. This is a proven truth. In any time, in any nation.
That brings us to the final cause of New Zealand’s criminals possessing guns. They have no fear of acting on their desire to own one. On the contrary – they are rewarded for it. If you are caught with a pile of illegal drugs then our judges will discount your sentence if you can “Help get some guns off the street”.
Let’s examine three recent cases to remove all doubt of where the real problem here can be found. Firstly a man is sentenced to his fifty fifth prison term. Not conviction – but prison term. This latest is for being found with a stolen, sawn off shotgun. Kept for crime.
The judge comments that the offender has been convicted of the same thing in the past, on two occasions. He will still only serve around a year in jail.
Another man provided guns to a gang and staged a burglary to cover his despicable actions. By the time the judge handed down his sentence it was known that one of his guns had shot at cops. Another had shot a cop. Another had taken a life. Others were found in the hands of our worst gangsters. He also only spent around a year in prison.
Another man was just found to have a stockpile of illegal arms, with his marijuana grow room. He had sawn off shotguns and pistols with no sights – close range assassination tools. He had an Ak47 type weapon with loaded magazines but no stock. So it could be concealed but not aimed and was now suitable only for a drive by murder. His penalty – home detention.
Similar examples are many and they are consistent enough to send a message. It has been heard. As it stands now our criminals have no fear of stealing guns. No fear of providing guns to criminals. No fear of possessing illegal guns. No fear of using guns in crime. Why would they?
So the only aspect of the trinity responsible for gun crime that we can effect – Instilling fear to act on the criminal’s desire to use guns – we have chosen not to.
Sure there are other areas of concern. Police have given gun licences to criminals with fifty three previous serious convictions in Australia – because they don’t data match. Our courts have found that being in a gang is not a reason to lose that gun licence.
Criminals have been caught simply making their own gun licences. Police keep no records of our guns that are reported stolen. The current police registration system is known to be inaccurate but they have never done an audit – ever. But these are all really more symptoms than cause of our ills.
I have personally been seeking an increase in the penalties for gun crime in New Zealand for over twenty five years. Yet every successive Arms Amendment Bill ignores the obvious. The low hanging fruit. Why there is no political will here just bewilders New Zealand’s gun owners. It would seem a popular cause.
Yet the Law and Order committee is about to report back with their new recommendations on tackling the criminal use of guns. It won’t include an increase in penalties.
In their fifty seven point submission to this body, the Police Union did not mention punishing criminals once in nineteen pages. Offering only a wish list of new penalties for the lawful and raising their concerns that shooters were winning court cases against the Police abuse of the existing laws.
The quarter of a million shooters in New Zealand have now had enough. A gutsful. They have banned Police from ranges. They will soon vote. Because the focus must change. We are now demanding fixed, mandatory, non-parole sentences for those who terrorise us with arms.
It is a disgrace that successive governments have failed to do the obvious for so long. Yet they insist on punishing the lawful, with new laws, in the hopes of effecting those who live outside of it. Madness.