Theory vs Reality


March 11, 2004, 11:24 PM
OK, as spelled out in the thread about Australia being further down the road, New Zealand has more restrictive gun laws than the US. Here nobody carries guns concealed or not ..... not even our cops!!! IIRC New Zealand and the UK are the only police forces who do not carry firearms on their person. Some of our cops carry them in trunk of some patrol cars.

Gun ownership is a privilege in this country, not a right, and as such responsible gun owners must do a few things to maintain the privilege of owning firearms. We have to store them securely, we have to handle them safely, we may not under any circumstances use them for self defense. Failure to do these things risks imprisonment and large fines and waiving the privilege of owning or operating guns in the future ..... in theory. I'll illustrate reality with a real life story.

My wife and I popped around to a friend's place ... I was helping the friend work on his car. My wife and friends wife went out to get food and on the way stopped in to our place to pick up our two border collie dogs with the intention of taking them back to our friends place while we were there.

When the 2 ladies arrived in the driveway an obviously agitated woman was standing at our front fence. My wife got out of the car and approached the woman asking her what was wrong. When my wife was about 10 yards away she realised that the "stick" the woman was holding was actually a rifle. The woman was yelling about barking dogs .... dogs barking all day, all night and that she'd had enough and was going to shoot the f***ing things. My wife, cool as a cucumber, realised the seriousness of the situation but tried to calm her down and to explain rationally about her problem. My wife tried to reason with her and tell her that she couldn't just go around shooting dogs on other people's property and was she sure it was these dogs that were the problem, had she tried to solve the problem any other way, etc. The woman continued to rant, brandished the rifle, threatened to shoot the dogs and threatened to shoot my wife. The disturbed woman made a few more threats, waved the rifle a bit more and walked off across the road and down a driveway.

My wife immediately went inside and somewhat unsure as to what she should do phoned me and asked me if I thought she should call the cops. Of course I was shocked, and my reply contained a few words, but leaving out the unsavoury ones amounted to "yes".

An armed police response (including helicopter) followed. 4 or 5 armed units arrived, identified their target, gathered information from the neighbours, secured a perimeter, closed in and got the woman and her partner to surrender peacefully. No shots fired. Hours of interviews and paperwork later we were left by the cops with the assurance that we were perfectly safe, they had confiscated all firearms on the property (that they could find) and she wouldn't be making bail till the next day at the earliest.

My wife and I were more than a little shaken and somewhat apprehensive about possible retaliation by this lunatic woman. The armed response took approximately 75 minutes from the 111 call (its not 911 in this country) to the surrender. There were no officers on site untill approximately 25 minutes after the call apart from the helicopter which arrived about 10 minutes after the call.

Turns out the woman and her partner were having a hard time in their relationship, she'd been drinking, she'd decided to take out her frustrations on something and decided our dogs barked enough to be a nuisance (though all our other neighbours never hear our dogs bark much at all). She had grabbed an air rifle (thankfully) and decided to threaten the dogs .... she had been at the fence for 10 minutes before my wife had turned up.

We were told that she was in serious trouble and that she was certainly facing prison time, hefty fines, all manner of strife. The sgt on the scene told me personally that he considered it an extremely serious situation, mitigated only by the fact that it was an air rifle and that she had not actually pointed the rifle at my wife, although she had threatened to shoot her. He assured me that they were seriously not amused about the alcohol and firearm mix, the threats of violence and the irrational and unwarranted behaviour by the perp. I was warned by the cops not to even consider preparing any of my firearms for home or personal defense and that should any problems arise we should leave it all up to them or face charges ourselves.

In the weeks after the incident, my wife made a few follow up calls to the local cops and our neighbours. It turns out the loopey lady with the gun had no record or convictions and showed real remorse so they have put her on a "diversion programme". This means she escapes any threat of prison time, but she does have to do 120 hours of community service, write a letter of apology and pay a fine of up to $5000. As the lady is unable to work and on a sickness benefit I will be paying her fine as a taxpayer. We don't get to see any of that fine money at all ... presumably it gets wasted in the court system somewhere. I also get to pay for her community service because somebody (public servant) has to adminster the system and supervise her while she carries out her sentence. We haven't seen any evidence of a letter of apology to date.

We are left with a serious feeling of uneasiness .... this woman has been evicted because of her wee episode, she is having to do community service because of it, she knows where we live and that our dogs are always locked up in a run when we're not home. No doubt she is seriously unhappy about the people who called the cops on her. I no longer feel secure in my home, but I'm not allowed to comfort myself with a loaded shotgun by my bed, nor am I allowed to point it at anyone even if they break into my home and threaten me or mine. I have to rely on the 25 minute response time of our police force to defend my wife and I and our dogs and property. I have to play by the rules or lose my toys, but others break the rules and get a slap on the wrist.

Something just ain't right!!


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March 11, 2004, 11:31 PM
In America, we created a solution to our problems when we had no power of our own.

It was called Revolution.


PS. I honestly feel for you, I hope the situation gets better there.


March 12, 2004, 12:32 AM
An old saying seems particularly appropriate:

It is better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six.

(Translation for Non-Yanks: It is better to be judged by a jury of twelve in a courtroom trial, rather than carried in a coffin by six pallbearers at your own funeral)

March 12, 2004, 12:35 AM
It's all kinda sickening really.

IIRC Japan doesn't let LEO carry either. I'm sure there are a whole host of other nations with the same policy.

March 12, 2004, 12:46 AM
Kinda weird.

Spinner, advance apologies if the follow comment might seem harsh.

But, of all the ex-British colonies, including the UK itself, the United States is the only one that still has an armed populace. Brits don't have it since Dunblane. Canada, nope. Australia, nope. India, nope. Did I miss any other ex-British colonies?

March 12, 2004, 12:51 AM
An old saying seems particularly appropriate:

It is better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six.

(Translation for Non-Yanks: It is better to be judged by a jury of twelve in a courtroom trial, rather than carried in a coffin by six pallbearers at your own funeral)

Don't forget "Call for a cop, call for a pizza, see who shows up first".

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
March 12, 2004, 01:30 AM
Frohickey, you missed Singapore, Hong Kong, Belize (British Honduras), Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. None have any 'legally' armed populace, but it seems like all the cretins in Jamaica have a cheap gat. Outside of Nassau it looks the same, too.

...but you're quite correct...none of the former British colonies, territories, possessions, and protectorates has the provision for individuals to freely ( and legally) arm themselves.


March 12, 2004, 04:23 AM
...but you're quite correct...none of the former British colonies, territories, possessions, and protectorates has the provision for individuals to freely ( and legally) arm themselves.What do you expect from people that worship an old battle-axe who couldn't hold down a job as a washroom attendant, much less run a retrograde empire. :rolleyes:

I really feel bad for you Spinner. You have a beautiful country that is populated with people who consider helplessness to be a virtue. Some day in the not too distant future, some really bad folks are going to invade your little country, and no one there will be able to stop them. Kind of like the moas vs. the Maoris. Only this time it will be the Kiwis that go extinct.

:scrutiny: :banghead: :(

March 12, 2004, 05:13 AM
What do you expect from people that worship an old battle-axe who couldn't hold down a job as a washroom attendant, much less run a retrograde empire.

Come on now, let's not turn this into a bash-Britain thing. I haven't met any Britons who "worship" the Queen and scads of them who positively despise the monarchy. Remember Jonny Rotten?

Matthew Courtney
March 12, 2004, 06:36 AM
Let's not forget that the British tried to disarm the American colonials on April 19, 1775 at a place called Lexington Green. The colonials who didn't fight when their taxes were raised, who didn't even fight when their brothers were massacred in Boston, finally fought when the British tried to disarm them.

The British learned a lesson from that, as should every generation of Americans.

March 12, 2004, 09:40 AM
The BVI is also devoid of any type of legally owned firearm as well.


March 12, 2004, 09:55 AM
But if she does come back, she'll have to do so unarmed, correct?

I mean Enn Zedd gun ownership is a priviledge, not a right... right?

March 12, 2004, 10:03 AM
Ok guys...maybe its because I am a hick...maybe its because I sniff glue for a living...BUT did he say that you CANT use a weapon for self defense?? WTH:cuss:

March 12, 2004, 11:57 AM
Gun ownership is a privilege in this country, not a right I have to take issue with this. It IS a right, it simply isn't respected in the Commonwealth (or very many other places, either:mad: )

Mark Tyson
March 12, 2004, 12:02 PM
Area you still allowed to own "assault weapons" over there? I believe your government calls the military style semi-automatics or some such.

March 14, 2004, 03:28 PM
In New Zealand:

Military styled semi-automatic weapons (defined as having flash hiders, bayonet lugs, free pistol grips, folding stocks and/or magazine capacity greater than 5 for centrefire and greater than 10 for rimfire calibres) can be owned, but you have to obtain a special category of licence, show a need for it and satisfy stricter storage criteria.

To own a handgun you have to have been an active member in a pistol club for at least 6 months and you must maintain that membership and activity. You have to apply to the police to purchase each individual handgun that you wish to purchase.

To own submachine guns, fully automatic weapons, etc you need to have a collectors licence with tighter controls on storage etc.

I'm not sure that anybody would want to invade and take over NZ .... strategically we're not actually that useful. We have limited fuel resources, we're physically isolated, we're a pastoral based economy ...... scenery really has no military value. I suppose if you wanted to set up a remote prison colony ......


Black Snowman
March 14, 2004, 04:56 PM
For the record the very concept that you cannot defend yourself is completely offensive to me. If they say you can't defend yourself then they are obligated to provide that defense. An armed guard 24/365.25 Protecting ones life and the lives of those they care for is a fundimental human trait no matter where you think we came from. If you're a creationist it's God given, if you're a scientist it's geneticly encoded and if you're a tyrant, it's a threat that must be controlled.

As you well know foreign invaders aren't all you have to protect yourself from but they are still a threat. Natural resources and strategic location are only reasons for a good size nation to invade, but it just takes one power-hungry madman to simply decided you're an easy target to add to his realm or to ransack and piliage for fun and profit.

It's happened plenty of times in the past on various scales. It has become quite rare in a world of fast and easy global communications. Retribution from fellow nations joined in treaty come to avenge (aid is kind of a misnomer since they're always too late to do that). But Saddam did stupider things and got away with it for quite a while.

Here's to hoping it doesn't and if it does, at least not before the populace can arm themselves properly. Fighting urban warfare for a foriegn army is bad enough, but if the populace is armed, it's a near impossiblity.

March 14, 2004, 07:34 PM
Good Lord. You need to emigrate or start a revolution. I'd say the situation has become intolerable. [/shakes head in confusion]

another okie
March 16, 2004, 06:07 PM
South Africa is a former British colony, and it is not that difficult to own firearms there.

Matthew Courtney
March 16, 2004, 07:11 PM
South Africa is a former British colony, and it is not that difficult to own firearms there.

At best, the above quote is merely incorrect. South Africa was a Dutch colony that was seized by the British in 1806. Attempts by the British to colonize were a failure and the Brits have never constituted a majority of Europeans there.

another okie
March 21, 2004, 04:22 PM
There is nothing incorrect in what I said. South Africa was seized by the British. It then became a British colony. English and Dutch were the official languages. Why are you arguing about such a simple factual matter, which anyone can look up for themselves in five minutes?

If you are just reluctant to give up the point that no former British colonies seem to have much in the way of gun rights, substitute "The United States of America" for South Africa in my post, since the United States is also a former British colony.

Matthew Courtney
March 21, 2004, 04:27 PM
You are wrong again. Most of the United States was never a British colony. Only a small part was. You should take a remedial history class.

Britain had administrative control of South Africa for a time but did not colonize it.

Andrew Rothman
March 22, 2004, 09:28 AM
Regardless of who owned it when, South Africa has been squeezing and squeezing firearm ownership for several years; it is getting harder and harder to legally own or carry a firearm.

As I understand it, the post-Apartheid government has been pretty socialist, and has made only token efforts to resist the attacks on white farmer/landowners by criminal gangs.

At, John Farnam wrote:"Unintentional Consequences" of Gun Control Legislation:

From an LEO friend in Capetown:Two of our officers responded to a domestic violence call last week.At the scene, they affected an arrest. As the suspect was being loaded into our van, an onlooker dashed out of the crowd and opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle, hitting one officer in the head. As the officer dropped to the ground, and accomplice of the shooter rushed forward and stole the downed officer's duty weapon (G17). Both the shooter and the accomplice disappeared into the crowd. No arrests have been made. Our officer was DOA. This is the most recent of a series of similar episodes.

Antigun legislation here has severely restricted the number of guns a person can own. The government has openly stated that their ultimate goal is to eliminate the private ownership of guns altogether, so we fully expect additional restrictions to follow.

The monetary exchange rate here makes anything imported from a foreign country with a strong currency (USA, Germany) prohibitively expensive. To make matters worse, our domestic gun industry is all but dead. Thus, rich people own Glocks. Everyone else owns cheap junk imported from Eastern Europe and South America. In fact, Glocks in particular have become extremely valuable since the latest round of legislation went into effect.

An 'unintended consequence' is that our police, as we see above, are now being hunted down and murdered solely in an effort to acquire their Glock pistols. The murders steal nothing else. They don't even take the officers' wallets. To address this troubling issue, it is now being suggested by politicians that police Glocks be replaced with cheaper pistols!

This is what happens when preposterous gun restrictions have the effect of making guns far more valuable than they were when they were more easily obtained. It is a lesson we all need to take to heart. It is happening in South Africa right now, and my friends there are having to deal with it. American police should note this well when they are told the only they should have guns.

Here is an excerpt of a speech by a government gun-grabber at :Firearms are almost without exception at the centre of all instances
involving serious violence in South Africa.

...a legal firearm owner, without any special needs for
a large number of firearms, will be allowed -
to licence a handgun or a shotgun for purposes of self-defence, and in
circumstances where such a firearm would not provide sufficient
protection, [in whose judgement? - Matt] he or she will also be allowed a semi-automatic rifle or
shotgun for self-defence.

Furthermore, the legal firearm owner will be allowed to use any hunting
or sports-shooting firearms licensed to him or her (that is up to three
additional firearms for occasional hunters or sports-shooters) for

That would give him or her a more than adequate choice of firearms to
use for self-defence in terms of this Bill. This fact demonstrates
conclusively that the Bill will ensure that legal gun owners are
empowered to arm themselves properly against any onslaught of criminal
elements. There are accordingly no grounds for any concern that the Bill
might disarm honest


In view of the fact that licensed firearms provide a pool of firearms
that may be stolen or otherwise acquired illegally by criminals, it is
necessary to restrict the number of these firearms by licensing only
those firearms for which a legitimate need exists.

Although the Bill does not restrict the number of firearms which may be
acquired by businesses which use firearms as tools of their trade, or by
dedicated hunters, dedicated sports persons and firearm collectors, the
test for the acquisition of every licence is the existence of a real
need for that firearm.

Persons who do not comply with the requirements of the Bill to fall
within one of these categories, will normally not be allowed to acquire
more than four firearms - of which a maximum of two may be handguns.



Lone Star
March 22, 2004, 10:23 AM
What Britain took over in 1806 in South Africa was only the Cape Colony.
Natal and the "Boer"/Afrikaaner republics were yet to be settled by whites.

The former Union of South Africa (founded 1912) and the Republic that followed respected firearms ownership, but was not truly British-ruled, although a member of the Commonwealth until, I believe, 1960. After, the apartheid laws compelled severing the Commonwealth association.

When apartheid rule ended, so did white government, and as it has been elsewhere in Africa, the black government has restricted gun ownership, and it will get worse.

Rhodesia allowed private guns until it became black -ruled Zimbabwe. Now life there is tougher in all respects.

Kenya banned hunting in 1977 and confiscated most guns. But this was done by the black government. The country had been independent of British rule since 1960 or 1962; I forget which.

Most Third World countries have limited or banned private guns, and the UN is largely made up of these nations, which do not have the American concept of freedom. Britain has done real damage through its example, but not all gun-unfriendly countries have had British influence, by any means. While the African countries were still British colonies, whites were allowed guns. But that was also then true in the UK...socialist dictatorship creeps ever further along. But it was the Labour Party that banned UK ownership of so many types of guns, not the Royals. Indeed, Prince Phillip spoke out against the handgun ban, for which the leftist media crucified him.

Lone Star

March 22, 2004, 11:11 AM
"I suppose if you wanted to set up a remote prison colony ......"

Even then they picked Australia, didn't they? :)


March 22, 2004, 04:35 PM
Spinner, somehow I thought your post was going to have the punchline of "Son, in theory your mom and sister are virtuous, but in reality we're living with a couple of whores." All in all, I wasn't all that wrong...

March 22, 2004, 05:10 PM
You know, while my wife was on the phone talking to the cops, giving them information on the lay of the land, the location of the offender's house, directing helicopters, etc all I could think of was a tag line from one THR member ....

A gun in the hand is worth more than a cop on the phone.

I think you dribbled a bibful there, mate!


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