The same NSW Police that disarmed David Dunstan after defending his family from an ice junkie, spent some tax payer funds with this PR blitz today:
Military-style assault rifles have become the latest weapon against terror and organised crime, with specialist police now trained to use the semi-automatic weapons “in the most difficult situations” across the state.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced on Monday that 47 officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad had been issued with the Colt M4 carbines and the squad’s other 50 members would be trained by the middle of next year.
Nice to see Turncoat Troy Grant at the announcement – the same guy that rolled over to reclassify the Adler into Category D but has no qualms giving NSW Police Category D rifles (no Adlers?). This is also rich coming from NSW Police, who have continually dodged our questions as to whether firearm self-defence is legal in NSW.
Apart from the usual rampant dickheadedness from the Australian mainstream press about “assault rifles”, this move is not isolated with just about every Police jurisdiction in Australia following suit. Victoria Police announced this a couple of months ago as did Queensland.
WA Police will arm 100 more Perth officers with semiautomatic assault rifles to boost the frontline response to so-called “active shooter” attacks.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the decision was not prompted by any new threat or intelligence but, with Australia’s terrorism threat level at “probable” since 2014, the risk of an attack in WA was real.
Perth? Yes Perth, which has never seen a terrorist event, unless you count watching the Dockers play. Seriously, the last major incident Perth saw was perhaps in ’93 when Gary Hayes stole an APC from Irwin Barracks and rammed it into several Police stations. Other than that, why?
And in the NT:
“The Northern Territory’s Police Commissioner has revealed plans to send a unit of camouflaged, specialised police with military-grade assault weapons to patrol Darwin and Alice Springs at night.
The Territory Response Group (TRG) is part of the Australian Government’s national counter-terrorism taskforce. Commissioner Reece Kershaw said deploying the TRG was necessary to allay community concerns during the Christmas period, when crime was known to spike.
He said youth offenders were responsible for around 50 per cent of property break-ins, and the TRG would have equipment, such as night vision goggles, to monitor people “acting suspiciously”.
Deploying the TRG for break-ins? Really? Well that’s going to get real expensive, real quick.
Now before you go accusing us of being anti-Police, we recently tabled a petition in Victorian Parliament with thanks to Daniel Young of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, for all VicPol officers to be able to take their firearms home after an officer was stabbed in the head in a targeted home invasion. This was on the proviso that members of the public be given access to non-lethal self-defence tools to protect themselves against Victoria’s crime wave.
That being said, one can’t help but notice how there is an implicit double standard. The public don’t need semi-auto rifles but the Police need them. Need is apparently fine, as long as it is the state needing them and not it’s citizens. We’ve talked about how much of an authoritarian strawman argument “need” is at length before. They’re also apparently semi-auto rifles when the Police want them, but “assault rifles” when the public want them.
The questions about this move have to be asked: What does the training consist of? How often, what standard and how strongly enforced are the recertifications? What is the cost to the public? To be brutally honest, Police firearm standards are nowhere near as good as the public are told they are. They even admit it. It’s a skill and just like any skill if you don’t practice it’s no good, simple. Two weeks at the academy and one or two requalification shoots a year is not sufficient and from the report it appears the M4 training, in NSW anyway, is on par with this.
Another Hornsby anyone?
The questions must also be asked of how do we know these won’t be lost or stolen? The recent revelation that NSW Police left a Glock in a car, left another one in a backpack in McDonald’s, QPOL has a Glock and another magazine missing as well as losing a Remington R4 a couple of years ago. WA Police losing a few rifles and then trying to shift the blame onto every firearm owner in the state also springs to mind. And VicPol lost over 200 guns back in 2010.
In implicit terms, this rollout of semi-auto rifles are an admission of the failure of our firearm laws and incredible mismanagement of our borders by senior bureaucrats in Canberra.
Day after day, the narrative is spun that our Tough Gun Laws™ are so good we don’t need to be armed, yet here we have the Police demanding semi-auto rifles because apparently the security situation has deteriorated. As we and other commentators have said before, there is also a serious problem with our immigration program. St Kilda last Thursday night just the latest example.
This move is also creating further distrust between the public and Police. If Police and respective governments are going to continually send the message of further disarmament of the Australian public but demanding further firepower for themselves, then it is nothing short of a damning hypocrisy and blatant authoritarianism.
Aforementioned reasons aside, let’s also call a spade a spade: this is also little to do with public safety and a lot to do with an increasing authoritarian overtone creeping into Australian life. Australia has always suffered from convict mentality that allows things like this to happen but it appears the wardens at the prison are now going over the top.
Something about trading liberty for security that has previously been warned about.
The argument has inadvertently also been made for concealed carry. If the public safety situation is so bad that Police apparently need to tool up, what does that mean for the public that can’t even own a pepper spray and that are dragged through court should they dare protect themselves?
We’re not against Police having the tools for the job – we’re against them keeping the same tools out of reach of the public for reasons they also claim they need them for. Police can have all the firepower in the world, the reality is they’re still going to be too late when it kicks off.
Police and government officials have no more right to the tools necessary to defend themselves with than any law abiding member of the public does.
If the Australian government had any balls, it would follow the Czech Republic’s lead and allow vetted citizens to carry firearms for self-defence and shoot terrorists themselves.
An armed citizenry is valuable in the fight against terrorism and violent crime.
Ask Stephen Willeford about that sometime.