The handwringing exercise from an assembled group of healthcare professionals protesting proposed changes to the Firearms Act is disappointing for a number of reasons.
A prominent expert in violence studies, Professor Samara McPhedron from Griffith University has estimated that the cost to the Australian taxpayer of the NFA over the last 22 years exceeds $1 billion. A number of studies from researchers working for the Australian Institute of Criminology has stated that the firearm murder and suicide rate was falling well before the 1996 and that the NFA made no difference to the downward trend.
The $1billion that was squandered on creating a minefield of “gotcha” regulations for law abiding citizens to navigate in order to undertake a benign activity could have funded lifesaving medical equipment and training that could have saved perhaps 1000s of lives.
One of the group stated that firearm violence used to claim as many lives as the road toll. I don’t know where he got that idea. The ABS has recorded every firearm murder since 1915 and in only 4 years did the total exceed 100 victims for the year. The latest Homicide Monitoring Program report recorded only 32 firearm murders for 2013/14 or put another way 0.00013% of the population. Research by Jack Dearden and Warwick Jones stated that 94% of gun murders were carried out by unlicensed shooters with an unregistered firearm. If the assembled group dealt with mortality numbers that low per year, they would be out of a job.
I am sure that I am not the only firearm owner who was offended by the implication that we are all murderous psychopaths in waiting that can’t be trusted with silencers and low powered semi auto firearms. We are no more defined by the actions of Martin Bryant any more than they are defined by the actions of Dr Harold Shipman who was found guilty of killing up to 250 patients.
So why do they believe that they have license to attempt to create moral panic by scapegoating moral, well-adjusted law-abiding members of the community.
Carlo Di Falco, SFFP Committee Member Hunter & Target shooter Law abiding citizen