Rebecca Peters reared her head in the Australian media last week on the back of accepting an Order of Australia for her work on gun control.
Peters had taken time off from her work in Guatemela to accept the award. Considering it is ranked 10th worldwide for per capita homicide, seems like she has “work” cut out for her. Surely a National Firearms Agreement will solve that one.
Peters was only outdone in the farcical award stakes just two days later by Gillian Triggs being given an award for freedom of speech. It just goes to show that these institutions have been cheapened beyond redemption and are no longer about contribution to Australia, but rather just blatant politicisation.
The former head of the Coalition for Gun Control, Peters’ took to the ABC in full force. She first appeared on ABC Radio to call for a “national firearms audit” but completely avoided explaining how that would actually work, how much it would cost, how it would account for illegal firearms and what benefit it would have other than for any government bureaucracy to leak data from.
The day of Peters’ appearance on the Drum, 3 people were shot in Keysborough, Victoria and just two days prior a 5 year old child was shot in Sydney. Both of those incidents strangely enough were not mentioned by anyone on the Drum panel.
While wearing her Order of Australia medal to give her apparent credibility, Peters again trotted out the false claim that Australian firearm laws are “being watered down.” Apparently, putting a 7 shot lever action shotgun in the same category as an AR15 is “watering down the agreement.”
Loosely translated, Peters meant to say that her master George Soros and his UN cohort weren’t happy with the National Firearms Agreement Review and want it done again. Further, that aside from one change, spending 18 months on a review that went nowhere, ignored stakeholders and resulted in virtually copying and pasting the previous agreement, is apparently worth doing all over again.
Peters claimed that this alleged watering down was not in the “spirit of the agreement.” What is the “spirit of the agreement?” Was it financially blackmailing Queensland and South Australia into accepting the NFA in 1996 by withholding federal funding until they did? That’s about as “spirited” as The Drum not allowing a pro firearm counter argument on their show to rebut Peters’ claims.
Peters’ claimed that the 28 day wait period on a subsequent firearm purchase for licence holders, should be rigorously enforced and that it was being watered down. The only state to enforce the ‘subsequent 28 day PTA’ law is the epicentre of useless bureaucracy, the ACT (on Cat A/B). Queensland and Tasmania (which currently only has one staff member who works part-time to process Permit to Acquire applications, hence the recent backlog) used to have this policy but then dropped it when it was quickly apparent that it was an impractical mess.
Peters’ suggestions are ludicrous but not surprising. Does she really expect that respective Police forces around Australia have the time, energy and manpower to now conduct audits and investigations of each individual licence holder every time they apply for a new firearm? If we take Victoria as an example, according to the Combined Firearms Council of Victoria we find that as of 2014 there are over 214,000 firearm owners and growing in that state at the rate of 2.4% per annum. If just 10% purchase a new firearm in one year, that’s 21,400 “investigations” that Victoria Police, who are already massively understaffed and dealing with a 10% increase in crime, are expected to perform in addition to their daily duties.
Maths, like her knowledge of gun laws or telling the truth generally, is obviously not Peters’ strong suit. By the way Rebecca, when did we make laws based on feelings? “Spirit” of the agreement, indeed.
The other interesting claim that Peters made was “we still have 170 firearm suicides a year.”
Well digging into our archives, this is what Peters’ said in 1996:
The ABS data shows that a record 3,027 suicides occurred in 2015. The ABS stopped recording the method of suicide in 2009 but going off those statistics as a guide, we see not much has changed and firearm suicides are a small percentage of all suicide:
So, essentially firearm suicide has not changed, remains a small percentage of overall suicides and that the NFA has essentially no bearing on the suicide rate, which has been steadily increasing in recent years:
This is also what Dr Samara McPhedran found in her study on firearm suicide.
Many of those firearm suicides are rural suicides. Ironically, some of these are by farmers pushed to the brink by the feral pest epidemic – a by-product of the ridiculous NFA. So, instead of doing something constructive to assist those in rural areas who may be at greater risk of suicide, Peters just wants to take away one tool of many. Right.
The rate of firearm suicide has essentially not changed, while overall suicide is up. So why did we spend $600 million and a ton of other money on pointless restrictions? To prevent mass stabbings too like this morning in Brisbane?
Further, how are heavy restrictions on semi-automatic firearms of any benefit to preventing suicide in the first place? As we all know, it’s those second and third follow up shots that really make the difference in suicide prevention, much like a banker committing suicide by apparently shooting himself seven times with a nail gun.
As we spoke about last week, the upcoming Queensland election has Ms Peters and her ilk well and truly worried. The One Nation factor, the Katter factor and the fact the Queensland Labor are well and truly on the nose, not just for their earlier transgressions against Primary Producers, is what has them spooked. But probably not as spooked as the “one address with over 300 firearms”.
That was a licenced firearm collector by the way, Rebecca. Lay down with David Shoebridge, get up with fleas.
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