[In response to: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/dont-take-gun-laws-for-granted/news-story/d3ad108e3715880f7fe27eda5d0aceee]
So, ICYMI Alannah & Madeline Foundation Chairman John Bertrand used his board members’ influence at The Herald Sun today to have a swipe at us. We’ve provided our rebuttal here.
“WE urgently need to hear from the quiet majority on gun control in this country — otherwise we risk descending into divisive rhetoric like the US.”
I would ask the “quiet majority” what they think of being routinely lied to by organisations like yourselves about firearms in this country, how they feel about the feral pest problem spiralling out of control, how they feel about paying more for their food because farmers can’t get the tools they need to protect their livelihood, people being essentially defenceless in their own homes while their MP’s strut around with tax payer funded armed security, etc. Let’s start with that.
Secondly, the “quiet majority” currently have much more pressing things on their plate like decreasing incomes and increasing unemployment, unaffordable real estate, erosions of their freedoms, unstable security environment, etc than a massacre that none of them had anything to do with 20 years ago because of illegally acquired firearms.
The US, where they protect their freedoms? We’re not the US and it is intellectually dishonest to compare us to such. “Divisive rhetoric” – so your alternative is one view only and no dissenting views? Sounds like fascism to me. Mike Baird says hello.
“As I stood at a candlelight vigil in Federation Square last week”
How many people actually attended? The tight shots in your article suggest there weren’t many.
“Rather than retreat into grief, Walter took action and helped steer this country towards a safer future with fewer guns.”
He was pressured into forming the charity by Howard et al. Retreat into grief? With respect, he’s been playing the same card for 20 years with a political objective in mind. We have more guns than ever before now in this country and god knows how many illegal ones. But please continue.
“Walter is proving that someone can lose their entire family to gun-related violence but still find a measured and considered voice when debating gun control”
The same guy that got on fellow Alannah and Madeline Foundation board member Neil Mitchell’s program and admitted he knew nothing about firearms but compared the Adler to a semi-automatic? “Measured and considered”, right.
“I do not believe the majority of Australians want to see weaker restrictions on firearm ownership, and was heartened to hear our Prime Minister speak so eloquently at the Port Arthur commemoration service on his government’s resolve to ensure Australia’s gun laws remain strong.”
Again, you don’t speak for the majority of Australians. No one’s advocating to throw open the flood gates, we just want laws that actually make sense, are reasonable and are inclusive of the primary stakeholders – LAFO’s. The NFA is not this in any way, shape or form.
As for Malcolm Turnbull, aside from your description of his speech being a pure and utter wank, another guy that has tax payer funded armed security and owns firearms himself telling others about gun control, is hypocrisy in:extremis. And he’s just cost himself 1 million+ shooters votes. Well done, Malcolm.
“So it’s no surprise to me that in the past three weeks more than 18,000 people, including former prime minister Julia Gillard, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett, Jeremy Jones, Caroline Jones, Ann Sherry, Melissa Doyle and Andrew Gaze, have all signed the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s online petition: “Keep Australia safe from gun violence”.”
18,000 signatures (barely more than half your facebook likes) vs 1 million and growing firearm owners. Your move. And a whole host of ‘celebrities’ that have no business in the debate either. So what? We don’t care what ‘celebrities’ think.
“But just as social media messages have helped mobilise support for the foundation’s work to keep Australians safe from violence, it has also given pro-gun campaigners the ability to organise their supporters across Australia.”
How dare they stand up for themselves! So in essence, you’re upset because of the advent of the internet and the social media platform, which has not only lent its voice to firearm owners but just about every other cause/group/person out there (that was not around in 1996), giving the public an alternative to the singular anti-gun view you’ve been espousing for the last 20 years? But it’s ok if you use social media to do the same? Opposition, I believe it’s called. It’s a free country so grow up and deal with it.
See what is embarrassing for you Mr Bertrand is that your ‘organisation’ has a plethora of prominent media, corporate and public figures on your board, which you have used at will to stand on the graves of the Port Arthur victims, shout “gun control” and lie consistently about the Adler shotgun. But although this fight is not over you’ve been completely owned by informed, passionate and educated grass roots firearm owners who can see this for what it is, have come armed with the truth and destroyed your petulant propaganda onslaught of the last few weeks which the public can see. And you’re not happy about it.
Well, that generally happens when you rely on lies to prove your point, shout down the opposition and discriminate against a subsection of the populace for 20 years. All you’ve done is hurt your brand and done irreparable damage to your ‘charity’. So you made your own bed.
“when signatories to our petition have offered messages of support to Port Arthur survivors and victims’ families on our Facebook page this month, they have become unwitting victims of abuse and harassment from pro-gun enthusiasts.”
Please prove this. Perhaps you’d like to provide examples of this? LAFO’s are heavily screened and can lose their licence by sneezing so I sincerely doubt they are doing this. Or is this just authoritarian code for ‘dissenting views’? It’s hard for you to substantiate any of this because you keep deleting any comments you don’t like off of your Facebook page. And let’s not get started on the threats of violence from the anti-gun crowd.
“But what is of greater concern is that the common sense and voices of reason of everyday Australians are missing from this important conversation”
LOL! You mean like firearm owners? And you’re playing the victim, really? Perhaps you’d like to read David Leyonhjelm – Liberal Democrats Senator NSW‘s article from last week on this.
“In the decade prior to Port Arthur, Australia experienced 11 mass shootings. Since then, there has not been a single mass shooting and the gun-murder rate has almost halved.”
All of this has been debunked ad nauseum. We won’t waste time on this. Oh, by the way how’s NZ doing?
“In stark contrast, in the US, 31 per cent of households own one or more guns, there are a reported 91 gun-related deaths every single day and there are frequent mass shootings.”
Ok, you want keep to playing this card? 2/3rds are suicides. Most of the homicides are gang/drug violence in 5 major cities and in gun free zones. African Americans sadly commit 56% of the homicides and have the lowest median incomes in the US. Since 1991, the US per capita homicide rate has decreased 49% to it’s lowest point since 1957. In that time, 170 million new firearms have been added to circulation and the amount of concealed carry states has now tripled to 39. Correlation doesn’t equal causation like it doesn’t here either. By comparison, roughly 300,000 Americans die every year because of preventable obesity but yeh, let’s grab those guns shall we?
“Our state, territory and Commonwealth governments showed great leadership in changing gun laws in 1996 — let’s ask them to be strong again in 2016.”
John Howard famously blackmailed the states into accepting what they didn’t want, especially Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia, by threatening to withhold federal funding. Much like Malcolm Turnbull did with public schools and hospitals the other week. But keep peddling that fantasy.
“We simply can’t afford to take our world-leading gun laws for granted. Every single one of us must let the government know we feel safer without guns.”
Did you consult victims of home invasion, violent crime or attempted murder on how they feel safer being disarmed? Guess the Apex Gang, most of Western Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast et al didn’t get the memo.
“That you think it’s grossly irresponsible that four states have removed the 28-day cooling-off period, recommended in the 1996 Agreement, for buying a second or third firearm, and that dangerous firearms like the new modified Adler A110 shotgun are not welcome in Australia without appropriate restrictions.”
And clearly none of it is a concern as backed up by the Senate Inquiry last year, go read it. And really, you’re still carrying on about the Adler? How did the vote in Tasmania go? 21-3 I believe?
“Let’s make sure that gun safety is not just another trending social media issue that inflames public opinion for a few weeks and then goes away.We must find ways to discuss complex and contested social issues without resorting to abusive and threatening language. Let’s talk about it sensibly and with respect for each other. After all, it is the right of every child in this country to grow up in a safe and secure world.”
It’s also the right of parents to protect their children from violence.
This whole article is the same old generic appeal to emotion schtick that’s been thrown at us triple time since March this year. And it completely reeks of the same old soft authoritarian emotional blackmail techniques. The most laughable part is Bertrand calling for ‘respectful debate’ when they’ve done nothing but scream at or silence us for 20 years. Or the fact that Alannah and Madeline have a whole financial and political infrastructure dedicated to pushing for gun control while masquerading as a charity. Would they feel comfortable making their charities’ financial records public so we can see if organisations such as Gun Control Australia are tipping money into their coffers?
You did your country proud winning the America’s Cup and we and other Australians salute you for it.
But we wouldn’t dare pontificate on sailing Mr Bertrand nor will we ever. It’s not our business. But if you want to involve yourself in our business and on a topic you clearly know nothing about, don’t worry, I and a million other Australians will be there to put you back in your place.
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