NSW Nationals’ leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro took to 2GB earlier in the week in “defence” of David Dunstan. Barilaro stated he travelled to Albury to meet with Dunstan in person, more than likely only after we asked the question of why the Nationals weren’t doing anything about it last week.
The Border Mail reports:
“Mr Barilaro said police had done the right thing and had only been following the law.
But he said the laws around people defending their home would need to be looked at. He stopped short of promising changes, but said the grey areas in the legislation needed to be examined.
Mr Barilaro said he had spoken to the farmer and would take the information back to the government and Attorney General.”
So, the usual weak, lily-livered rubbish that we’ve come to expect from the Nationals’. It’s also good to see John had time to pose for a photo-op and show that it’s not all about him and the upcoming by-elections.
David was kind enough to let us know of his situation on our previous article and posted the following on our Facebook page:
We’re all glad that he and his family are ok. But he shouldn’t have to defend himself twice and he should not be where he is right now.
With regard to David’s response, we respectfully disagree with David on two points.
Firstly, it is about guns AND self defence. The very fact that David is being punished while the gentleman who defended himself with a hockey stick did not suffer the same fate clearly highlights this. David’s unloaded firearm was essentially nothing more than a hockey stick with a bit of metal on it. Why the double standard from NSW Police? Because it’s not just guns and self-defence – it’s also politics.
Secondly, it points out as clear as day the many problems with our insanely stupid gun laws. David’s incident shows huge flaws, in particular with storage, self-defence not being a ‘genuine reason’ and non-licence holders handling firearms.
Now, the sticking point to come out of this is that allegedly David’s wife was involved in accessing the firearm safe. However, we don’t know all the details so we won’t speculate and only David and his wife know exactly what happened.
Even if this is true and is all that has happened, it is ridiculous that it is even up for debate. David and his wife took the most logical and reasonable steps to protect themselves and their kids on their property. What is the difference between a person holding a firearms licence supervising a non-licence holder trying shooting, and this alleged scenario? None.
And at the very least, an emergency scenario such as this one should have an exemption and common sense discretion from the Police should kick in here. But remember, John Barilaro said Police were “just doing their job”. Rightio.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party prior to the last NSW election included a policy platform of a firearm for home protection as a genuine reason. Many people, including the more authoritarian inclined, disagreed with it. Where are those same detractors now? More than likely on the side of David? You bet.
This entire situation could have been defused with a 5 minute phone call between Barilaro, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and Police Minister Troy Grant. It appears to us that this entire situation is more about political pressure from above than it is terrible judgment from NSW Police. This entire situation has been created politically and therefore, it needs to be solved politically.
We 100% respect David’s right to support John Barilaro and the Nationals, that is his democratic right.
However, we would simply ask anyone to question why would they believe the Nationals on this scenario? They voted for Adler recategorization. They voted for the new NSW Firearm Regulations and opposed all of SFFP’s amendments against the regulations. And guess what one of those regulations was? The power of the NSW Police Commissioner to cancel a firearms licence if he thought it was going to be used for the purpose of self-defence. Why would the Nationals’ now about face? I don’t know, Cootamundra and Murray anybody?
Most importantly, if the Nationals’ had actually done their job for the last 21 years as the self-appointed party of firearm owners and stood up for firearm owners instead of consistently rolling over on command, we would not even be in this situation.
So, John Barilaro the message is pretty clear: enough with the pointless lip service as no-one believes you. Show some leadership, give this man his firearms back, apologise, be the bigger man and move on.
Overwhelming public opinion is against you and NSW Police on this matter and every passing minute the Nationals’ keep playing this pointless game you hand more and more votes to the SFFP.