People in Tasmania who sell and own firearms and who do so responsibly should not have their rights shredded because of a few headlines, a police desire for more power, and because of a shallow debate which does not examine the evidence, according to a story in Tasmania’s Mercury.
As shooters in the island state wait for details of a review into gun laws, anti-gun activists have been grabbing headlines implying there is a problem with firearms, and a series of crimes – mostly drug related – involving illegal firearms has fuelled their agenda.
Gun thefts have also been making the headlines, and were tied by anti-gun campaigner Roland Browne to the fact that Tasmania has the nation’s highest rate of firearm ownership.
“In such a climate of manufactured hysteria one should not make decisions to change the law,” writes Greg Barns in the Mercury before cautioning that laws made in this climate can cause problems.
He attacks Browne’s position and criticises the police media for its “spin on guns and crime”.
“It is important … to unpack statistics, look behind propaganda and media headlines and ask fundamental questions before putting pen to paper to draft more red tape,” Barns says.
“As we know, unless you deal with the underlying factors at play, regulation simply undermines the innocent and creates new opportunities for crime.”
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