NSW "under the gun"


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wizard of oz
August 27, 2006, 12:16 AM
From today's "Sunday Telegraph"
http://www.news.com.au/sundaytelegraph/story/0,22049,20264419-5001021,00.html

Under the gun
By Marnie O'Neill

August 27, 2006 12:00

GUNS are being drawn on average at least once a day to rob, threaten, maim or kill people in NSW.

Numbers compiled by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and NSW Police revealed more than 300 instances of gun crime across the State since January 1.

This year, guns have been used in robberies, carjackings, muggings, kidnappings, assaults, murders and drive-by shootings - the most recent when 35 bullets were fired into a Sydney nightclub last week.

"We have been calling for semi-automatic handguns to be banned completely for the past 12 months,'' National Coalition for Gun Control chair Samantha Lee said.

"Handguns are easy to use in drive-by shootings because they can be fired with one hand and are easy to conceal.

"No politician is brave enough to call for a ban because they worry about losing votes, yet they are quite happy to ban things like certain firecrackers.''

Opposition Leader Peter Debnam last week accused the Government of becoming slack about gun seizures.

Statistics obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal police have seized only 11 handguns and 12 long arms this year.

But Police Minister Carl Scully said overall gun crime had fallen in the past five years and 6000 guns had been taken off the streets between 2000 and 20005.

"No level of gun crime is acceptable,'' Mr Scully said.

"That's why this Government has ensured NSW has Australia's toughest gun laws.

"We have introduced tough firearms laws and increased police resources to tackle the unlawful possession and use of firearms. And it's working.''

Statistics show the number of assaults with a gun has been rising slowly but steadily for the past two years.

A total of 263 gun-related assaults were recorded between April, 2005 and March this year, compared with 235 cases during the corresponding period the previous year.

There was also a jump in overall assaults, from 70,468 between April, 2004 and March, 2005 to 71,255 in the corresponding 2005-06 period.

After a "statistical anomaly'' last January, when 21 people were murdered, the NSW homicide rate has remained steady.

So far this year, 60 people have been killed at the hands of another, about 10 per cent of them with a gun. This compares with 69 for the whole of 2004 and 80 for 2005.

Mr Debnam blamed a lack of police for the continuing problem of gun crime.

The Coalition would reinstate the 650 officers and abolish Labor's softly-softly police strategies, Mr Debnam said.

"We need to target gun crime. The penalty is 14 years for having an unlicensed weapon, but no one ever gets that,'' he said.

But Ms Lee said tougher sentences for gun crime "are not going to stop people shooting one another''.

"The people who are using them most, in particular handguns, are 17- to 25-year-olds, and they tend not to think about the consequences.''

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tellner
August 27, 2006, 03:09 AM
"No level of <fill in the blank> is acceptable."

Yonder madness lies. "Zero tolerance", "Just one life", "The One Percent Doctrine" and the rest of that stupid reality-defining crowd mean that you will bankrupt yourself financially, politically and morally without actually making yourself better off. That's why they call it diminishing returns.

Sheesh.

El Tejon
August 27, 2006, 11:41 AM
Only a moral and virtueous people may be free. The corrupt need many masters.

Benjamin Franklin

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