If you had the displeasure of tuning into the ABC last night, former Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Tim Fischer along with Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, were on the program to talk firearms.
Fischer has been doing the media rounds the past week, trying to alleviate his own relevance deprivation syndrome, by calling for more firearms laws and continuing to single out the NRA in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. Fischer’s appearance was also deliberately timed to coincide with the NSW by-elections where he failed to admit that the letter he and John Howard co-signed, and was handed out illegally at the weekend, was purely designed to win said by-elections that the Nationals were petrified of losing and he subsequently ducked and dived questions about the massive swing against the Nationals.
On target, SSAA NSW representative Diana Melham asked a good question about the statistical failure of the NFA which Fischer brushed aside as “lies and damned lies”.
Well Tim, that’s not what the University of Melbourne found, not what the British Journal of Criminology found or even the notoriously anti-firearm University of Sydney’s Simon Chapman and Philip Alpers found in 2016.
The only “lies and damn lies” are coming from the ex-Deputy Prime Minister.
Fischer also was happy to spruik the NFA as if it was an actual agreement but failed to mention it took financial blackmail of states by withholding federal funding, most notably Queensland and South Australia, to get passed and is not legally binding anyway. Fischer’s statement about “I’ll be damned if we have semi-automatics and automatics in the streets and towns of this county” was also a joke. There’s already plenty of those here legally and also on the street Tim, Rick Maddison didn’t have any problems and neither did Man Monis or the Ingleburn shooter.
What also stood out was Fischer’s statement toward Melham “Do we want to import the poisonous rhetoric of the NRA? I don’t think even you want to do that.” From our perspective, that seemed 100% like a not so thinly veiled threat toward the shooting community and certain shooting organisations.
You would have thought given Fischer’s obsession with the NRA (in reality just a civil rights organisation and the oldest one in the USA) that an NRA member ran away with his wife. This is the same guy who called for a “travel boycott” to the USA in 2014 after the shooting death of Australian baseball player.
Credit where credit is due, Bridget McKenzie did point to the New Zealand and Canadian models of firearm laws as superior examples. However, this was interspliced with the usual unprofessionalism from Tony Jones interrupting and trying for another gotcha moment, when he continually pressed McKenzie to admit that she didn’t want the National Firearm Agreement rolled back.
Right on cue, the Nationals sell out gun owners again. If McKenzie wanted to bring the Nationals back to relevance, the correct answer would have been something along the lines of “No, the NFA was never an agreement or an actual law to begin with, nor is it legally binding or evidence based, so the states should start ignoring it as they are free to or adopt a better model such as New Zealand.”
We do acknowledge the good individual work Senator McKenzie did outnumbered on the panel, however, it looks like the Coalition party line won out again and the rural SFFP vote is going to go up. Especially considering the fact that the SFFP have long had a bill in NSW for stronger punishments for gun crime which Labor, Liberal and the Nats have all opposed.
Further, it is a complete lie by Fischer to suggest that the SFFP have wanted “US-style firearm laws” when their own party policy says otherwise and the United States doesn’t have uniform gun laws.
Anne Aly and Jimmy Barnes, who seems like he’s been taking “8 shots in 8 seconds” cues from David Shoebridge, offered the same old uninformed platitudes and the token left leaning American who claims to speak for all Americans on firearms without knowing anything, Lydia Khalil, offered the same old rhetoric as well.
Finally, there was the obviously planted question from a Greens associate in the audience, in regards to the recent Sam Lee/David Shoebridge drive to have gun limits placed on people purchasing firearms in NSW. Totally not obvious.
Kudos to @chuckstone who did get the following tweet on screen. Censors must have made a mistake:
Overall, none of this was really surprising at all from the ABC and what did you really expect with the Las Vegas shooting cow still being milked, but no real questions about the event’s ever changing official story actually being asked by the Australian media?
As for Tim Fischer, he needs to take his six-figure tax payer funded pension and return back to obscurity. It seems the guilt from selling out his constituency and his country repeatedly continues to cloud his judgment.
Or perhaps it’s all the “NRA’s” fault, right Tim?