This from the ongoing Tasmanian Firearm Inquiry:
“A group of medical professionals has argued a relaxation of Tasmanian gun laws will result in weakening government action plans on family violence and suicide.
Medics for Gun Control on Monday appeared at the lower house’s inquiry into the government’s planned firearms reforms and said more guns in the community would result in more devastating domestic violence incidences and could drive up suicide numbers. Group spokesman Phill Pullinger said there was no practical way for a general practictioner or medical professional to report concerns on the mental state of people licensed hold guns.
“Mental health is such a strong part of both of these incidences,” he said.
“There is still a large number of deaths in Australia from gun-related violence. It’s not just the people who are killed; it’s the family, friends and communities that are impacted.
“We’ve been fortunate in the improvement to safety that has occurred through the National Firearms Agreement but there is still a very real risk.”
Dr Pullinger said guns laws needed to be strengthened not weakened.”
Firstly, hanging and poisoning are by far the methods of choice for intentional self-harm and the suicide rate in Australia reached a record high last year with it’s overall trend upwards:
So in other words, the laws are as tight as they are now and the suicide rate is through the roof. Pullinger’s fixation on the means without addressing the cause is completely antithetical to his chosen profession.
You might also notice that the anti-firearm crowd have been trying the domestic violence angle recently. We all remember the unhinged rant in The Age from a University of Melbourne lecturer a month or so ago, as well as the NSWFAR stuff-up regarding John Edwards.
According to the ABS data for 2017:
“In 2017, there were 126 victims recorded of FDV-related Homicide and related offences. The majority (83%) of FDV-related Homicides occurred at a residential location (105 victims). Almost two-thirds (65%) involved the use of a weapon (82 victims), most commonly a knife (40 victims).
Persons aged 45 years and over accounted for the highest proportion (49%) of victims of FDV-related Homicide in 2017 (62 victims). Females comprised over half (57%) of all FDV-related Homicide victims (72 victims), whereas males accounted for the majority (69%) of total Homicide victims recorded in Australia over the same period. (Tables 2 and 23)”
So there you have it, knives kill more people than any other method of homicide in a domestic violence setting and males make up the majority of homicide victims in Australia.
It already is the law that an active AVO/IVO will see you disqualified from owning firearms. We saw the blame shifting from NSW Police during the John Edwards incident. This can also a double-edged sword, as there have been cases of bitter divorcees making false domestic violence claims to get their partner’s firearms seized. Further, blaming the means just minimalises the victim and gives an excuse for poor behaviour of the perpetrator.
As for Pullinger’s idea about reporting, the AMA even conceded that it was a futile exercise:
Furthermore, it’s completely hypocritical of Pullinger to suggest this when just a few days ago doctors were in uproar about the same mandatory reporting standards being applied to them.
Pull the other one, Phil. You get your voice in the debate but as you and the rest of your organisation consistently show, you have no idea what you’re talking about and are essentially just a more sophisticated version of the “think of the children” crowd. Relying on your profession as your first and only argument is a lazy tactic that adds nothing to the debate.
It’s this continued arrogance of some in the medical profession, which is plagued with it’s own problems, is what puts people right off. Treat illnesses and injury and go away.
But what else do you expect from a profession that markets itself as “your life specialist.” Going to do my taxes, raise my kids and plan my retirement as well?
The Inquiry continues.