Australia: "Handgun concerns resurface after weekend shooting"


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cuchulainn
July 16, 2003, 10:57 PM
from ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp)

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2003/s901943.htmHandgun concerns resurface after weekend shooting

This is a transcript from PM. The program is broadcast around Australia at 5:10pm on Radio National and 6:10pm on ABC Local Radio.

PM - Monday, 14 July , 2003 18:34:00
Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons
TANYA NOLAN: The fatal shooting of a Sydney teenager at a party over the weekend has again focused attention on the use of illegal handguns.

There have been 40 shootings in New South Wales since the state election in March, and according to the Opposition many of those are attributed to illegal handguns and, so it says, the Government has failed the gun control test.

The Federal Government has funded a handgun buy-back scheme in this year's budget, but that obviously doesn't apply to illegal weapons.

Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: In Sydney, the problem of illegal firearms, especially handguns, being used in violent crimes continues. On Saturday night, 18 year-old Khang Vinh Tien was shot and killed at a birthday party in the city's west. A 21 year-old man has since been charged with murder.

Gun control lobby groups say Sydney is particularly affected by handgun crime and blame it largely on gang activity.

John Crook is from Gun Control Australia.

JOHN CROOK: The thing that marks Sydney as different from other capital cities is preponderance of gangs. They seem to be able to exercise some degree of control over certain geographic areas.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Are there more handguns readily available at the moment? Has your research found that?

JOHN CROOK: Our estimate is that there's somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 illegal handguns in Australia. A good proportion of those are probably in the underworld of Sydney.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research is based within the NSW Attorney General's Department.

Jackie Fitzgerald from the Bureau says figures actually show a decrease in violent crimes involving handguns in 2001 to 2002.

JACKIE FITZGERALD: Over that time period we saw a significant decrease in the number of assaults involving handguns, so the number actually fell 36 per cent over that time period, and those assaults would include shooting offences and other types of violent acts committed with handguns.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The New South Wales Police Minister, John Watkins, wasn't available for interview.

A spokesman for the Minister says NSW is leading the way in the fight against illegal guns, saying police seized 2,600 illegal weapons last year. The State Government says it's particularly concerned about Sydney's customs barriers, which it accepts see most of the flow of illegal handguns into the country.

But the State Opposition says the Government is failing the community on the issue of gun control.

Peter Debnam is the Shadow Police Minister.

PETER DEBNAM: We're not talking about guns that may well be in containers on ships coming in the next few years. We're talking about thousands of guns on the streets of NSW, especially in south-west Sydney, and those guns are in the hands of thugs and criminals today. They're the ones we want to focus on.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The NSW Bureau of Crime Research and Statistics says last year the assaults with handguns fell by 36 per cent.

PETER DEBNAM: Look, the Bureau of Stats has actually been saying for a number of years that robbery and armed robbery is a major problem, shooting incidents have been an escalating problem. And we're seeing, even on the figures since the State election, we've seeing more than 40 shootings in New South Wales, many of them in South-West Sydney.

So the biggest problem we've got in relation to illegal handguns is simply the Government's determination to deny the problem.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The problem of illegal handguns continues to dog State governments. They say more of a joint effort is needed with the Federal Government to halt the flow of guns into the country and stop the handgun trade on the black market.

TANYA NOLAN: Hamish Fitzsimmons reporting.

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P95Carry
July 16, 2003, 11:01 PM
Hmmm ..... UK all over again.JOHN CROOK: Our estimate is that there's somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 illegal handguns in Australia. A good proportion of those are probably in the underworld of Sydney. So .. you admit to the BG's having guns and at the same time remove guns from legitimate ownership .... great, just great. So damned logical. Add to that, punishments for anything remotely approaching self defence ...... and what do you have?

A tyranny ..... :(

El Tejon
July 16, 2003, 11:05 PM
P95, not tyranny, just the natural course of democracy.

A Republic for Oz now!

Standing Wolf
July 16, 2003, 11:38 PM
Sounds like tyranny to me.

Orthonym
July 17, 2003, 02:05 AM
Democracy=Tyranny. Yet another case in which the Founders got it right the first time.

fallingblock
July 17, 2003, 04:21 AM
I've been exchanging correspondence with P.M. Howard's 'senior adviser'
Peter Conran since the handgun "buyback" surfaced in November of last year.

In his latest letter of 9 July 03, Mr. Conran leaves no doubt as to the governments position and intent on this matter.

Some of his statements:

"The Council of Australian Governments' agreement on handguns identified further measures which will reduce the circulation of handguns in the community, restrict the availability of small concealable handguns and ensure only legitimate sporting shooters gain access to handguns."

"It is the government's view that people should not have access to guns unless they establish a legitimate need for them. We do not accept that there is a right or a legal precedent for people to be armed. Firearms are potentially dangerous weapons and their misuse can have grave consequences."

"The Prime Minister has led the development of a modern and comprehensive legislative regime to control firearms in Australia."

:what: :barf:

Well, short of Mr. Howard turning up on my doorstep with the Federal Police, I guess they told me what for!:uhoh:

And, for the record...John Crook is a drooling idiot!:D

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