By Terry Shulze
Although there are many, one of the reasons in Australia that there has never been an in depth analysis of the gun control issue has been the squandering of health funds on gun control. (You didn’t think the levy on Medicare for the gun buyback was a coincidence did you?) I remember the Coalition for Gun Control had a rally in the Domain in Sydney, it must have cost a lot of money with the billboards around Sydney, the advertisements on the TV and radio, the bands, balloons, sound stage, miles of port-a-loos – too bad about the lousy turn out.
Health system resources were used for that rally, even proudly proclaimed on some of the flyers that were handed out. In a bizarre twist, the Friday before, the medical profession had a rally in Macquarie Street (just the other side of the Domain) protesting the closing of two wings at Westmead Hospital. I wonder if these educated fools understand the concept of robbing from Peter to pay Paul – here’s a reality check for the medical profession – if you take money out of the health system for gun control, there will be less money for the health system. Think about it, Doc.
Back in 1988, when the NCV started to rev up to their figures to support the push for gun control, they quickly ran into a brick wall – bam! You see, their terms of reference stated that “It was agreed that it would be necessary to exclude some types of behaviour from the ambit of its enquiries. These include self-inflicted violence, motor vehicle deaths and negligence generally.”
After all, they were supposed to be a committee concerned with violence in the community, not self-inflicted violence like tattooing, body piercing, or suicide. Well, firearm homicide amounted to only approximately 80 people a year. Nobody in the NCV was going to be able to justify spending millions of dollars for a policy that affected so few persons, but more importantly, even if firearms were totally eliminated, the homicides would have probably been committed by other means. As it was, the highest form of homicide was assault – beating, kicking, stomping someone to death, and the next highest was homicide with a knife. Take away the gun and you were still faced with the same intent to kill.
The NCV got around the problem by padding the figures with suicides with a firearm (also accidents, see negligence in terms of reference). If you, the reader, have noted that the inclusion of suicides was completely contrary to the NCV terms of reference, congratulations, you have just connected-another-dot. Whereas, there were only about 80 homicides with a firearm every year, around 450 people chose to end their life with a firearm every year. Easy enough mathematics for the NCV, just adds the two and says that 500 people die every year from firearms. Actually, the NCV didn’t say 500 – they said 700, but what the hell, as long as you’re padding statistics why not add a few more.
To be fraudulently consistent, the NCV omitted the fact that suicides and homicides involving a firearm had been on the decline for years; however, suicides in total had, and still are increasing. Whether the person next door hangs, shoots, gases, or poisons himself is a tragedy, but it doesn’t affect a person’s fear in the community. Violence does, and that is what the NCV lost sight of – if it ever had it in its sights at all. Of course, suicides are still included by the anti-gun crowd, even the Australian Democrats (keep the bastards honest?) still refer to them.
The NCV was set up to provide Australia with the “necessary” gun laws. The authority of the AIC was behind the NCV, but what was the authority behind the AIC? Nothing more than what its letterhead proclaimed “affiliated with the United Nations”. The correspondence I referred to earlier also asked whether the AIC had a MoU with any legitimate criminology group such as Scotland Yard or the FBI – the answer was no. Apparently, the UN was the ultimate, if not the only, authority for the AIC.
The AIC was not the only government organization aware of the agenda of the “disarmament of the people”. In 1992 the Commonwealth Employment Service had this to say in regards to the occupation of “Gunsmith”. After a lengthy description about the necessary skills it ended with,
“Restrictions on gun ownership in the future is likely to impact most upon the demand for this occupation. It is expected that private gun ownership will cease within the next 10 years.”
Stories – the two police officers on the peninsula being directed to the farthest location from the shooting on an anonymous bogus tip at the time of the massacre, time sequences in tendered documents that don’t match the observation of eyewitnesses, Barry Unsworth’s 1988 statement, “there won’t be gun control in Australia, until there is a massacre in Tasmania”.
Yes, conspiracy theories surrounding the Port Arthur tragedy are alive and well. Of course, if I wanted to find out what happened at Port Arthur, I would just read the Coroner’s Report – except there isn’t one. Perhaps a survivor of Port Arthur, Wendy Scurr summed it up best in a letter she wrote, “4 people are killed in an accident on board a Navy ship and there is an enquiry sufficient to lay the matter to rest. 17 people are killed in an Army helicopter accident and there is not one enquiry but two. 35 people are killed at Port Arthur and despite the many requests of other people, who were there, like me, there is no enquiry. Why?”
The laws were ready, they had been sitting on the shelf since 1994, the media was ready, and it had perfected the technique in 1991 after the Strathfield massacre. All that was needed was a suitable massacre, preferably in Tasmania of course. Then we had “Port Arthur”. Wow, what a coincidence. Was that a lucky break for international gun control or what?