Jan Molenaar

Laws: Arm the Police

Michael Laws says it is time to arm the police and also?dispels?some myths around the recent incident in Dargaville:

Every time?a police officer is brutally attacked in this country – be they shot, stabbed or beaten – the NZ Police Association representing frontline staff provides the Pavlovian response. Arm the police, they ritually demand.

In turn this provokes the equally Pavlovian response of the police hierarchy, the government of the day and numerous academics: No. Their collective rationale is that the police, and the public, will be in greater danger if our frontline against the ferals and the nutters have Glocks strapped to their waists.

This week, Justice (and former police) Minister Judith Collins led the charge. The police already have liberalised gun regulations, she argued. They can take arms to any incident deemed likely.

Which rather misses the point. Police have no idea how any situation might escalate or de-escalate when they receive that initial call. The ones in which they are injured or killed, tend to start from some mundane pretext. Incidents are generally deemed not likely – and then all hell breaks loose, as it did in Dargaville this week or in the driveway of Napier drug dealer Jan Molenaar in 2009.

I don;t think it is good enough that the pistols and rifles are in lock boxes in police cars…when things escalate they?escalate?far faster than a police officer can run back to his car and unlock a box.

Liberal pantywaists have been arguing with me all week that arming the Police would have meant that an officer would be dead rather than shot at with his own taser. Michael Laws knows the real facts around that…armed Police get a much politer response from people than those unarmed or considered unarmed…the crims obviously consider Tasers to be no threat at all:

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A Minister who gets it

I watched Police Minister Judith Collins on Q+A yesterday and she demonstrated that she actually gets firearms issues. I suspect she may well have or has firearms herself. The interview also showed up the lack of understanding of our media when it comes to gun control.

GUYON Thanks Minister for joining us we appreciate your time.? Can we start with the issue of guns?? Last month a man was found guilty of murder having killed an undercover policeman with an airgun back in 2008.? That has led for calls to bring airguns under the licensing regime especially the powerful airguns.? Are you proposing to do that?

JUDITH COLLINS ? Police & Corrections Minister

Oh yes, only in relation to the high powered airguns.? So we’re not talking about the BB guns that I was brought up with on the farm, and that many people have in their homes.? We’re talking about the very high-powered pre-charged airguns, like the one that was used to kill Don Wilkinson.

GUYON And so what will happen to those guns?? If you we’re buying one of those now you need a firearms license under the changes that you’re proposing?

JUDITH Yes it’s actually to bring them in line with the power that they actually have the damage they can do, so that someone who wanted to buy them would need to have a firearms license, and I think that?s a very sensible move.

GUYON How many guns are we talking about here, I mean is this a significant change for the people who use these guns for recreational purposes?

JUDITH Well what we’ve been told is that these sorts of guns have become the criminal’s gun choice, because they’re so easily obtainable, and they’re very very powerful.? But it will mean that some people for instance like people who do Olympic target shooting, that they will need to get a gun license, or they?ll need to do their shooting at a gun club which most of them would do anyway.? Those aren’t the people, what we’re very keen to make sure is that our hunters and our farmers and the people who do target practise that they’re not criminalised, and they’re not the criminals.? This is very much focused on making sure that the right people can get access to these guns.

This is an important point the minister makes here. Any changes must not criminalise law-abiding shooters.

GUYON How will this happen, and when will it happen?

JUDITH Well what we’ve looked at is actually bringing in an amendment to the Arms Order from 1984, and we can do that relatively quickly, we can do it before the end of this year. ?That would actually mean that we could basically classify these guns as being treated like other guns.? So as I say it’s only these very high powered airguns, not the CO2 fuelled ones, not the brake action ones that we grew up with, but it’s very much these ones.

GUYON Do you have a rough idea of how many guns that might mean, how many sales?

JUDITH Yes, the Police tell me it’s really about 30 to 50. something round that. There’s not that many of them, they’re very expensive now, about two and a half thousand dollars, and they’re not the sort of gun that people would go and buy because they want to go and do some rabbit shooting.

So we aren’t talking about a lot of air-rifles here. Bear in mind these are pretty expensive, but then drug dealers do have access to a lot of money. By requiring the presentation of a licence it will mean at least there is a record of who bought what, and when.

GUYON More broadly are you looking at restricting the access or the use of guns more broadly in the civilian population?? Will you have a crackdown as such on gun laws?

JUDITH I think our gun laws are actually pretty sensible, and we can see it from the homicide rates from guns, is that we have already a very good licensing system for users of firearms.? So I don?t think there needs to be a crackdown as such, but I think what we do need to be doing is making sure, and the Police are starting this and continuing with it, is making sure that when people don?t renew their firearms licenses, that they make sure that the guns are disposed of, that people don?t have guns lying round their homes that they don?t need.? Because unfortunately criminals burgle places and they get those guns and they use them.

GUYON So there aren’t other major legislative changes that you are looking at to restrict gun use?

JUDITH Well there certainly is.? We’re looking at the internet sales of guns. Because you know a few years ago we didn?t have guns sold on the internet, but nowadays it’s very easy to buy guns on the internet, and it’s very difficult for the people who are selling them to check that someone’s actually got a real license.? So there’s some work that?s being done around that and the Police will be coming back with some discussions on it.

GUYON Yeah I think we’ve got some pictures of the sorts of guns that you can actually buy on the internet nowadays.? You can look over at the monitor there you can probably see some of those guns.? I mean you can buy some pretty serious weaponry on the internet.? Are you saying that we shouldn?t be able to buy guns at all on the internet now?

JUDITH No, but I am saying that in seven of the eight Australia jurisdictions they?ve got a method of actually having a licensed dealer having to sight the firearms license, for instance, or an Arms Officer from the Police.? That?s the sort of thing that we’re looking at, to make sure that these weapons are being properly sold to people who have licenses.

GUYON Alright, so let’s look at the practical effect of that.? Say I bought a gun similar to what we just saw there, I would have to front up in person with the license, with an authority?? Is that what you’re saying?

JUDITH Well that sort of thing, and I think that makes sense.? I mean we don?t want to criminalise or make it more difficult for people who are hunters and shooters and law abiding people.? But it is important to note that when criminals get hold of these guns they do it for a purpose, which is often to kill, or to protect their methamphetamine hoard.? So those are the sorts of things that we’re looking at.

I am pleased to see the Minister using existing provisions to enforce the law. Internet Sales are easy to deal with, they could be handled in a way similar to all B (Pistol) endorsement purchases. The buyer must obtain a permit to procure from the Police and then present that document to the seller together with their licence. Existing laws cater for this easily, it just requires extending the permit to procure processes internet sales. Again the minister re-iterates that she doesn’t want to criminalise existing gun owners.

GUYON Why not register all firearms?? I mean we register the owners but not the firearms which means that Police have no idea how many guns a person has, and someone like Jan Molenaar had 18 guns on him.? When the Police are walking into a home they have no idea how many guns the person in that place has.

JUDITH Well I don?t think that the Police would have known even if guns were registered; that man didn?t have a firearms license for a start.? The fact is, is that criminals don?t license things.? They are the ones we’re worried about.

This is a classic example of mis-information on the part of Guyon Espiner. It is well established that Jan Molenaar was a criminal, that he wasn’t licenced and that he had managed to obtain large numbers of firearms. He was a criminal, he doesn’t follow laws, and it meant nothing to him that in order to own some of those firearms he needed an E endorsement. No matter how tough gun laws are people like Jan Molenaar will still have access to guns. Registering firearms also doesn’t work. The logisitcal nightmare of doing so hasn’t worked anywhere in the world. Our gun laws are actually very good, and the incident of gun related crime are small, and almost certainly do not involve licenced firearms users.

It is refreshing to have a Minister who understands the rights and responsibilities of being a gun owner and who doesn’t seem to want to trample those rights in some knee-jerk public response to a single incident. Imagine if our other Minister acted with such integrity rather than just grandstanding for headlines.

Speaking of grandstanding I see, predictably Keith Locke is looking for tougher laws, clearly missing the point that criminals don’t care how tough laws are, they simply ignore them. Plughead Cosgrove has also jumped on the band-wagon, but he may as well because he usually cops a right kicking when he tries to oppose anything Judith Collins says.

Sensible gun laws that don’t curtail the rights of New Zealanders to enjoy shooting as a sport are what we have, they just need to be enforced. but put it in perspective. Hundreds die on our roads every year and we don’t have calls for vehicles to be banned. Banning guns isn’t the answer and the Judith Collins knows this, banning criminals is the answer, and Judith Collins for sure knows that. Gun owning New Zealanders should be thankful we have a Police and Corrections Minister with a spine.

Yet another victim to Silly First Name Syndrome

When will our country learn?

We have learned of yet another victim of Silly First Name Syndrome. The toll rises daily.

An Auckland student has appeared in court charged with assaulting an elderly van driver who died in hospital this afternoon.

78-year-old Te Atatu grandfather Jasmatbhai Patel was allegedly beaten following a minor crash on Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, about 7.50am yesterday.

Mr Patel received critical injuries and was put into an induced coma at Auckland Hospital.

Bio O’Brien, 27, appeared in court briefly today and was charged shortly after news came through of Mr Patel’s death.

No, not the victim, the killer. The victim’s name is probably not silly in India. The killer however does have a Silly First Name and so this tragedy could have been avoided.

Silly First Name seems to be claiming many more victims, as a public service to my loyal readers might I suggest tthat you dis-engage from any contact with people suffering from Silly First Name Syndrome.