Earlier in the week, Queensland Police had a whinge about why they didn’t have self-loading semi-auto rifles:
“Queensland police should carry a rifle in every squad car, with every officer trained in how to use them, a senior officer has argued. Police headquarters would not rule out the sizeable increase in weaponry but criminologist and former cop Terry Goldsworthy warned it was uncalled for.
But Senior Sergeant Tony Collins, officer-in-charge at Brisbane’s Moorooka police station, said the policy change was essential to keep up with a changing world.
“There are members of the senior executive who are opposed to rifles and rifle training for no reason other than that it is their personal opinion,” he wrote, in the latest Queensland Police Union journal. “Get over it. Times are changing more quickly than they think.
“Training with rifles needs to be more comprehensive and more than just a marksman course; it needs to be built into recruit training.” The Metropolitan South Region union representative said the proposed shift was not sparked by any individual incident but about “getting ahead of the game”.
His comments came in the wake of two police shootings in Queensland, which allegedly involved knife-wielding offenders, and shortly after a mass shooting at a high school in Florida. Liam Scorsese was killed at Wakerley at the weekend while 16-year-old Jai Hunt survived his shooting at Springfield following a fight with his father, after which both were charged.
Senior Sergeant Collins said the presence of a rifle would not have made those situations any more or less dangerous but argued it could help in situations were criminals were armed with high-powered weaponry, such as the shooting of Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte.”
The article also goes on to show the AIC’s own stats that doesn’t justify the upgrade.
This comes after both NSW and Victoria Police have rolled out similar to their officers. And let’s not forget NZ Police carry an AR in their patrol cars but are mostly not armed with handguns. Although Chris Cahill wants to take both off of NZ firearm owners.
Firstly, just who are you outgunned against? This is basically another overt omission of failure of Australia’s “world class” gun laws. You can’t hold up our gun laws as some kind of magical protector and then cry poor that the crims are better armed than you.
Sure, the death of S/C Brett Forte was incredibly tragic, but considering the laws didn’t prevent Rick Maddison from acquiring a full-auto then this has far more bearing on the debate than just arming up the Police. How long before one of these rifles goes missing? We’ve already seen QPOL’s record with that after an R4 went walkabout and more recently a Glock went missing.
It’s also concerning to see the rank hypocrisy of the Police saying they need semi-auto rifles, but if the public want or need them then they’re just “the next mass shooter in waiting.” No thanks, a government pay cheque and a uniform is not a good enough argument to justify this. If a member of the public can meet a similar standard, then what is the big deal?
How about Police become more proficient at what they already have before giving them bigger toys? The current requirements for Police in terms of hand gun proficiency are quite frankly a joke and they even admitted that Cat H licence holders have more experience than they do.
Finally, if the situation is that dire that Police need them then what about the rest of us? Reminder that the first responder to any violent crime is the victim, not the Police. The fact that Australian Police, more so at the Command and Commissioner level than rank and file, continue to stand in the way of the public having access to appropriate self-defence tools does not send a consistent nor reasonable message. Calling 000 and waiting 20 minutes is not a good enough anymore.
We’ve previously been supportive of Victoria Police taking their firearms home in the wake of Victoria’s crime wave but their recent treatment of firearm owners sends a different message.
If Police want greater access to semi-auto rifles, then it’s only fair to give that same access to already licenced shooters. Otherwise, it’s purely a double standard.
I can’t wait to see Ian Stewart’s excuse on this while at the same time continuing to disarm Queensland Farmers.