Newsletter February 2010
NZ Guns and Hunting March 2010
Why do our violent crime rates keep going up? Could it be our gun laws and the message they send to criminals?
The simplistic belief behind gun control is that the guns of otherwise law-abiding citizens “cause” crime. Thus, fewer guns in a society must mean less crime and, in their simple minded gun free Utopia no guns equals no crime.
Yet from the earliest days of gun control there was good evidence that this simplistic theory was not just wrong but actually a dangerous fundamental mismatch between social theory and criminal reality. Now, after almost a century of ever-tougher gun laws and far fewer legal guns in our society, reality has been conclusively demonstrated. Not only have the promised falls in crime stubbornly failing to materialise but crime-especially violent crime has risen sharply.
Yet, until now, existing social theory has always won out, to the point where the automatic response of a government or police force faced with rising crime (a small part of which will always be gun crime) has been to call for more and tougher gun laws. A knee jerk response that only makes the problem worse.
Our present astronomical violent crime rates and the ability of criminals to operate openly and apparently without fear of their intended victims or the police is not because we have weak gun laws but because of overly restrictive gun laws that have over decades selectively disarmed the law-abiding without deterring the criminal.
Nowhere is this perverse reality of gun control confirmed as clearly as in the USA.
In late December 2009, the FBI issued its preliminary 2009 crime report, showing that the number of murders in the first half of 2009 decreased 10 percent compared to the first half of 2008. If the trend holds for the remainder of 2009, it will be the single greatest one-year decrease in the number of murders since at least 1960, the earliest year for which national data are available through the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Also, the per capita murder rate for 2009 will be 51 percent lower than the all-time high recorded in 1991, and it will be the lowest rate since 1963—a 46-year low. Final figures for 2009 will be released by the FBI next year.
Yet over the same period the number of legally owned guns rose between 1.5 and 2 percent,(by over 4.5 million guns) to an all-time high. For the better part of the last 15 months, firearms, ammunition, and “large” ammunition magazines have been sold in what appear to be record quantities. And, the firearms that were most commonly purchased in 2009 are those that gun control supporters most want to be banned—AR-15s, similar semi-automatic rifles, and handguns designed for defense.
So, when it comes to gun control, we can now say that the science is conclusive!
Restrictive gun control laws do not make law abiding citizens safer, they do not make policing safer, they only makes violent criminals safer with society paying the inevitable price for such stupidity.
It is now impossible to deny that restrictive gun laws increase crime rates while more legal guns result in lower crime rates. From now on, no matter what gun control activists say, no matter what excuses they make, they cannot change documented facts. The facts say over and over again that gun control is a dangerously flawed ideology.
It’s high time our politicians and our police hierarchy stopped believing the myth that gun laws work and start to realise they actually create crime. Then we can finally get laws that work. Laws that don’t selectively disarm the law abiding, that do restrict criminals and that force the police to do their job properly without unduly restricting the rights of the law-abiding majority.
New Zealand IS a dangerous and vulnerable society.
The last decade of Labour government saw a substantial and steady increase in violent crime to levels never before seen in New Zealand. At the same time, violent crime figure comparisons readily available to every reporter in NZ were never put before the public.
These figures (comparing the FBI Uniform Crime Report and the official government publication “Crime in NZ” ) show that the average violent crime rate in the US for 2005 was 469/100,000 while the 2005 NZ rate was well over double that figure at 1180/100,000. Those are of course 2005 figures so our actual violent crime rate now is even higher.
The real issue here is that New Zealand in 2005 was well over twice as violent as the United States. This means ALL OF US have become much less safe through the failure of successive governments to deal seriously and effectively with crime.
The recent brutal murder of Auckland taxi driver Hiren Mohini in Mt Eden certainly shows that taxi drivers as a group are vulnerable to violent crime. But the inevitable calls to have mandatory partitions and cameras fitted to every taxicab miss the point entirely. Of course taxi drivers are vulnerable- but then so are bus drivers, dairy owners, ambulance officers and very many ordinary citizens going about their normal daily routine.
What incidents like the stabbing of Hiren Mohini really show is that violent criminals in NZ now believe they can do what they want and that they have no fear of their victims.
SSANZ believes this is a direct consequence of the current police policy of prosecuting anyone who defends themselves, a policy that not only makes violent criminals safer but also creates a larger than necessary pool of passive victims. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, our police hierarchy continue to argue that their policy of denying citizens effective self defence is somehow crime prevention when in reality it is the opposite.
The real issue that needs to be addressed is not how to just protect taxi drivers, or other "vulnerable groups" but how to (finally) start to protect ALL law-abiding citizens, their families and their property.
Under such circumstances, John Key's "steady as she goes approach" is no longer appropriate and is costing innocent lives.
Major Changes imminent for British Policing.
The recent UK report by Denis O’Connor (the UK’s Chief Inspector of Police) concluded that British policing has “lost its way” amid the “noise and clutter of government targets, initiatives and new laws and that forces have “drifted away” from the core basics of front-line policing and serving the public. He would not get any argument from SSANZ on that score.
It is very interesting to also read that Mr O’Connor is now calling for a return to the ideals defined by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, of which the most important was “the police are the public and the public are the police”. This is something SSANZ believes is long overdue and would be keen to see.
It’s a pity Mr O’Connor cannot be invited to New Zealand to have a look at our police, at the power-police attitudes within our present police hierarchy and at the culturally unacceptable anti gun attitudes found among a significant number of police officers in NZ. Especially, it seems, among those originally from the UK who often appear to have brought the very attitudes Mr O’Conner is now critical of with them to NZ.
New Data Base Security Laws needs to bind Governments and their Agencies too.
A recent item in the NZ Herald (Thursday 21st January 2010) quoted Enrique Salem (head of the world’s largest computer security company, Symantec) as saying that NZ businesses will soon face laws forcing them to disclose any loss of personal information to cyber-criminals.
He said that it was inevitable NZ would follow the US and other jurisdictions that already have laws forcing to reveal when hackers have stolen personal or sensitive information they held electronically, or when it was lost.
He said that spammers and hackers are now better targeting their attacks and as a result traditional methods of on-line protection were becoming less effective.
Our concern is that these days the most sensitive data is held by governments and that the desire of governments and their multiple agencies for more and more personal information increasingly poses a danger to those forced, through legal coercion, to have their details stored in such data bases.
It is therefore vital that Government Departments and agencies are also made to strictly comply with such data-security laws in an open and transparent manner and that governments be made strictly liable for the security and safety of the information they have chosen to collect and store. This must mean the imposition of penalties, compensation for those affected and ongoing protection for those potentially put at risk. (It should be noted that personal information held on a firearms data base has some potential value to criminals or terrorists even decades later yet this is an issue that police hierarchy seem reluctant to even discuss let alone acknowledge.)
But here we immediately hit serious problems. First of all, just who will actually enforce the law and promptly investigate any potential breaches? The last thing we need is another version of the so called “Independent” Police Complaints authority that seems to rubber stamp whatever police do without ever imposing penalties on either individual police officers or on police management.
Secondly and even more importantly, how do we ensure we have an open and transparent audit and investigation process so that no govt dept or agency will have the easy and low risk default option of just keeping quiet about a security breach as though it had never happened?
SSANZ believes a big part of the solution would be to restrict the amount and type of information our various government departments and agencies believe they have a right to collect from law-abiding citizens.
Australian Suicide Inquiry scandal;
Australian Senate Committee breaks long established rules in attempt to suppress inconvenient Mental Health data.
The International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting (WiSH) advised in November 2009 that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee had publicly released a submission made by two WiSH founders to the Inquiry into Suicide in Australia.
The WiSH submission provided examples of serious flaws in the academic peer-review system and the attempted suppression and censorship of research into suicide and suicide prevention.
Initially the full pdf of this submission was published via the Community Affairs References Committee ‘submissions received’ section of the website. It was then made available on the WiSH website - http://www.ic-wish.org/McPhedran%20Baker%20Suicide%20in%20Australia%20Senate%20Submission_Nov%2009.pdf
Subsequently, the submission was removed from the Community Affairs References Committee website, later being replaced with a version that omitted several pages of supporting documentation (Attachments B to E).
Since that time, a number of different accounts have been provided by various different parties about why the submission was removed post-publication and why material has been removed from the submission. None of these accounts appear to align well with the standard Senate procedures outlined at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/wit_sub/bro_one.htm .
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert – Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee – has not seen fit to respond to our queries, or to indicate when our full submission will be returned to the website in its originally published form.
A corrupt and Undemocratic process is unwinding very publically for the Australian anti’s.
This is yet another attempt by mental health activists and the antigun lobby to censor suicide data and manipulate suicide prevention data.
It should be seen for what it really is- a frantic last ditch attempt to keep ordinary Australians believing gun control saves lives, that the current restrictive Australian gun laws are needed and that the half a billion dollars spent by the Howard Government on the gun buyback a decade ago was not money down the drain
Finally, for those within NZ Police rushing to align NZ gun laws with the current repressive Australian gun laws by simply inserting parts of the Australian gun laws into the new Arms Amendment bill No4 we offer a word of caution. If the so called research used to justify these Australian laws turns out to be as dishonest, flawed and corrupt as we believe to be the case, then it will be your credibility on the line when Select committee hearings are finally held.
Last Updated (Sunday, 04 April 2010 23:05)