The usual suspects are calling for tighter gun control law after the Kawerau shooting.
Between the Media party and politicians pushing agendas it is hard to get to the salient facts.
While the Kawerau siege ended peacefully, the alleged shooting of four police officers has raised the issue of whether cops need better access to firearms, as well as questions about New Zealand’s gun culture. Can anything be done to stop similar situations?
Who raised the issue? The Media party? Police? What gun culture?
This is just sensationalism by the Media party.
As alleged Kawerau gunman Rhys Warren was taken into policy custody, after an armed siege following the shooting of four police officers, it didn’t take long for relief over the lack of fatalities to develop into scrutiny of how the incident occurred. The Kawerau siege is the fifth police shooting in the last decade, and has raised some familiar questions without straightforward answers.
Do our police need guns on them at all times? Why are more criminals getting access to, and using, firearms? And what can be done to stop a similar shooting occurring?
The last major change to police firearms access came in 2012, when police were given access to a lock-box of firearms in every frontline car.
That decision followed two high-profile cases of police shootings: the Napier siege in 2009, when Jan Molenaar killed one police officer and seriously injured two others, and a 2010 Christchurch shooting where two police officers were injured and police dog Gage killed.
The Kawerau siege is not an ideal example for those pushing for easier police access to guns: the police shot were not unwitting constables taken by surprise, but members of the elite Armed Offenders Squad, sporting extensive training and body armour which saved their lives.
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