Unintended consequence of disarmament


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Bruce in West Oz
June 8, 2004, 03:15 AM
Crocs breach peace in Solomons disarmament
By Ian Llewellyn
June 8, 2004 - 8:27AM

The successful disarmament campaign on the Solomon Islands has a downside - crocodiles are thriving.

Ten months ago the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (Ramsi) landed troops and police to restore order to the strife-torn nation.

One of its highest priorities was reducing the numbers of weapons that were being used by militia and criminals to spread terror among the general population.

Since then 3714 firearms, including many high-powered weapons, have been removed from circulation and 305,962 rounds of ammunition have been seized or handed over.

New Zealand police working in the Solomons told NZPA that the program had been incredibly successful, but now locals both in the capital, Honiara, and the more remote areas have to call in help to deal with crocodiles.

"There has been an increasing number of calls for us to come out and shoot crocodiles that have been hanging around rivers and villages," one officer said.

"It is not part of the job description back home and we don't normally have guns anyway on the job here."

There have been several reports of crocodile attacks from around the country, though locals say it is hard to know whether there has been an increase.

"But without guns, it is hard to get rid of them. They are also getting cunning, coming up close to villages and barking to attract dogs down to eat them up," one villager said.

Ramsi personnel are not immune either. Those staying at the inappropriately named Guadalcanal Beach Resort (GBR) cannot swim at the local beach because of a 5m crocodile that patrols the beach.

"It cruises off the beach in the evening and then comes back in the morning," said one officer.

"There is like a beach patrol tower to warn people, but no one swims there."

The local advice is there is no point killing the crocodile as they are territorial creatures and its death would merely see it replaced by one of the others that live at the nearby Crocodile River.

The head of the New Zealand police contingent, Inspector Graeme Cairns, said the crocodile problem was an unforeseen consequence of the removal of guns.

In recent times there had been four or five people killed in crocodile attacks in the GBR area.

The most recent grisly discovery was after a predatory crocodile was shot, cut open and inside was found the body of a five- or six-year-old girl.

"We are getting an increasing number of calls to deal with crocodiles, which is understandable. You don't want to kill one of those things with anything but a high-powered weapon from a distance," Mr Cairns said.

The requests for help had come from Guadalcanal and not the other islands.

Despite the problem there had been no call from locals to have guns back.

"They are looking at a bill (law) to ban guns entirely from private ownership," he said.

This was due to local anger at the trouble caused by guns during the unrest of the past few years.

"It may be necessary to put a review clause in that, if the crocodile problem does increase," Mr Cairns said.

This was due to local anger at the trouble caused by guns during the unrest of the past few years.

Those damned troublemaking guns!!!! :rolleyes:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/06/08/1086460269103.html

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whm1974
June 8, 2004, 09:40 AM
This was due to local anger at the trouble caused by guns during the unrest of the past few years.

The trouble wasn't cause by the guns, it was cause by the criminals using them.

Bill Meadows

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