(New Zealand) "Gun lobby infiltrating seminar, says MP"


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cuchulainn
February 22, 2006, 08:45 AM
From the New Zealand Herald
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10369463

Gun lobby infiltrating seminar, says MP

22.02.06
By David Eames


Police Minister Annette King has defended a gun-safety conference against claims that it had been infiltrated by the pro-gun lobby.

Ms King was last night to open the three-day seminar in Christchurch, which features guest speakers from around the world.

But Green MP Keith Locke - the party's police spokesman - criticised the choice of speakers at the event, which he said included five anti-gun-control lobbyists.

He said the seminar was a thinly-veiled attempt to allow a "pro-gun ownership" voice to make it opinions known in this country. (cuchulain sez: "heaven forbid!" :rolleyes: )

"How else can you explain that such prominent people ... have been invited here.

"They are using gun safety as a cover ... then they slip in their core message."

Local experts, including criminologist Greg Newbold and suicide researcher Annette Beautrais, are also attending the seminar.

But Ms King said that Mr Locke had got "the wrong end of the stick in his misguided attack" on the speakers and the event.

She said the conference - In the Right Hands? - was "a bringing together of international experts who aim to promote the responsible and safe use of firearms".

"The fact that it is being led by the police, the Mountain Safety Council and the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners gives a very good indication of the objectives, of what the organisers are trying to achieve.

"Participants are looking at the research and exchanging ideas and strategies about firearm safety, about what works well for them.

"I understand one objective is to encourage community participation and buy-in into firearm safety, which I totally endorse," Ms King said.

"The seminar is also open for MPs to go along and listen, and I would suggest that Keith Locke, rather than firing from the lip with his press release, should actually go along and see what it is all about."

The seminar has also been defended by organiser Inspector Joe Green, gun licensing manager at the Office of the Commissioner in Wellington.

"This is a firearms safety seminar, and the focus is on safety ... their contribution to the seminar is in firearm safety."

He said the personal opinions of the speakers were of no consequence to the people attending the seminar.

"We are not interested in what these people's personal opinions are in terms of firearms ... it is the contribution they make to firearms safety."

Mr Green said anyone could make a presentation to the group - so long as the papers were intellectually sound.

"This is a seminar with academic rigour ... it's a public seminar and anyone can present a paper if they apply it to academic scrutiny."

But Mr Locke said Ms King should look into how the seminar was allowed to be sabotaged by pro-gun factions within police, the Mountain Safety Council or the Council of Firearms Owners.

The seminar finishes tomorrow.


Taking aim

Speakers at the conference include:
* Washington firearm industry lobbyist Mark Barnes.
* John R. Lott, the author of a popular book More Guns, Less Crime, who has said carrying concealed handguns in schools would reduce shootings.
* Rick Patterson of the US Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute.
* Colin Greenwood, a former British police officer.
* Gary A. Mauser, who has criticised the effectiveness of Canada's firearms registry.

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LAR-15
February 22, 2006, 04:41 PM
Oh nos! John Lott is speaking :rolleyes:

Peet
February 22, 2006, 05:35 PM
They are using gun safety as a cover ... then they slip in their core message.Ummm... That sounds eerily familiar.

Oddly in this case, it is way more likely to be about slipping in "safety" as the "core message." Way more likely that those other guys that always use "gun safety" as a cover when that is not the core message.

P.

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