Letters to the Editor: National gun amnesty

The types of guns handed in with the National Amnesty shows what happens when honest citizens are declared criminals overnight by Politicians with knee-jerk reactions. I would be surprised if criminals handed these guns in, as they would not want to be recognised by Police. So honest people have held on to these semi-automatics since the 1996 gun laws were introduced.

I notice that one of the media-famous Adler shotguns was handed in, even though they are not illegal in the 5 shot version or even the 8 shot version with special license.

Amnesties have their place, but for Police to say these particular firearms are no longer on the street shows a certain amount of fallaciousness. Where on the street were they? If they were on the street, why weren't they captured earlier by Police? There have been twenty one years to find them. So presumably, they were not used on the street, but were held by honest people who were suddenly turned into criminals at the stroke of a pen.

Politicians who called for an extension to the amnesty because of the shootings in Las Vegas made the same old mistake of thinking true criminals would hand in their guns.

By admissions from lawmakers, there are 250,000 longarms and 10,000 handguns illegally held in Australia. There have been numerous State amnesties since 1996, but this figure never seems to go down. These are the guns that are owned by actual criminals who will never hand their guns in. So we can quite truthfully say that John Howards gun laws do not reduce criminal ownership of guns. But State legislators continue to introduce further restrictions on legal firearm owners, NSW and QLD being the latest. For anti-gun groups to glibly say that gun laws are being clawed back is another outright lie which seems to be the way these groups operate. But lawmakers also make the mistake of thinking further restrictions on legal gun owners will reduce crime. It takes a long time for the penny to drop for legislators in Australia, but numerous studies here and in many other countries around the world show that this is simply not true. The huge costs of operating a Firearms Registry and tying up Police time checking up on every legal gun owner could be more effectively directed to actual crime fighting. The Police are reluctant to release figures where the Registry details have been responsible for the arrests of criminals using guns. Their reluctance to provide details indicates that the Registry has very little to do with the arrest of criminals but is designed for the inconvenience of legal gun owners. Canada introduced a Firearms Registry, but it was eventually abandoned as it provided little use to Police, and was considered an unjustified huge cost to taxpayers. New Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is re-introducing the registry since an illegal shooter entered Parliament in October, 2014. However that shooter was a terrorist, so he was not subject to any firearm laws anyway.

Mass murders still occur in Australia, clearly showing John Howards gun laws do not work, and there are other methods apart from guns as well.

Here's a list:

Snowtown massacre May 1999 Snowtown, South Australia a total of 12 bodies were found in acid filled barrels and rainwater tanks.

Childers Palace Backpackers fire 23 June 2000 Childers, Queensland 15, Arson attack, which killed 15 international backpackers.

Monash University massacre Oct. 21 2002 Melbourne, Victoria Australia 2 people dead 5 wounded, Sent to psychiatric hospital. Melbourne, A shooting spree by a student at Monash University

Churchill Fire 7 February 2009 Victoria Arson attack that killed 10 people.

Victoria Fire 9 February 2009 Victoria, Australia 135 people dead, Mass arson. that the fires were in indeed due to arson (and potentially "arsonists") and thus the deaths are a mass murder and fit the definition of massacre.

Lin family massacre 18 July 2009 North Epping, New South Wales 5 Blunt instrument attack which killed 5 members of the Lin family

Hectorville massacre 29 April 2011, South Australia 3 people died, 3 wounded. A shooting that took place on 29 April 2011, in Hectorville, South Australia. It began after a 39-year-old male, shot four people on a neighbouring property (three of whom died), and also wounded two police officers.

Quakers Hill Nursing Home massacre 18 November 2011 Sydney, NSW 11 people Arson attack by a nurse, which killed 11 people

Hunt family massacre 9 September 2014 Lockhart, New South Wales 5 people Murder-suicide shooting spree by Geoff Hunt who killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself .

Wedderburn massacre 22 October 2014, 3 people died. A shooting murder of a neighbour family (Greg Holmes, 48, his mother Mary Lockhart, 75, and her husband Peter Lockhart, 78).

Cairns Children Massacre 19 December 2014, 8 people. (perpetrator) Stabbing attack. 8 children aged 18 months to 15 years killed. Thirty-seven-year-old woman also found injured. The woman was later charged with the murder of the children.

2014 Lindt Cafe Sydney hostage crisis – Two hostages and hostage-taker Man Haron Monis were killed, during a 16-hour siege inside a Lindt cafe in Martin Place, Sydney, with six other people injured. 

Melbourne gangland killings – 36 underworld figures murdered so far in gang related violence between 1998 and 2010.

Port Lincoln Wharf murder–suicide 4 January 2016, South Australia 3 dead, by drowning and shooting.

17 October 2016 Sydney, New South Wales 4 dead by Gassing.

Melbourne car attack 20 January 2017 Melbourne, Victoria 6 people died, 30 wounded Vehicular attack. Dimitrious Gargasoulas drove a Holden Commodore into Bourke St Mall. 

Ian Walmsley

Glen Innes