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7 January 2015

A smarter approach to tackling gun crime

How can we expect an honest and reasonable debate on firearms laws in Australia when the
likes of The Project, with an audience of millions, ambush and undermine their interviewees like
this. This is just another example of the continual left wing narrative that is followed with no real
empirical or independent justification.
Media outlets like this have a moral responsibility to conduct themselves with integrity and
ensure a balanced and reasonable presentation of ideas. They know they reach millions of
Aussies week in week out and are clearly pandering to the lowest common denominator - fear!
Now although America's laws are a matter for America, Craig DeLuz made a very valid point in
saying this: "Take for example your statistics there in Australia, you've gotten rid of or have a
significant restriction on guns, yet there has been no reduction in violent crime. In fact shortly
after, crime went up and spiked significantly".
To which guest panelist Jennifer Byrne replied with an abrupt: "You've got to be joking, that's
rubbish. We have not had a mass shooting in this country since the gun control laws were
brought in by a conservative Australian Prime Minister".
Firstly, the gun control laws were not "brought" in, they were forced upon the States and
Second, there is no consensus definition on what does or does not constitute a "mass
shooting" in Australia. At current, the Australian Institute of Criminology defines it as an event
with four or more people killed. On this construction the tragic Hunt family murders in 2014
which took the lives of 5 people constitutes a mass shooting.
But what about the Lindt cafe seige, the Parramatta police execution or the Monash University
shooting. Let's not forget Western Sydney gang warfare in recent times either. Are these events
insignificant because they are not technically mass shootings?
Mass shootings represent a very small percentage of an increasing trend in violent crime in
Australia since 1996.
It's a very sad state of affairs where we have to use these tragedies and senseless acts as
statistics to argue our points on the failings of government policy.
Guns can and do kill. They are not toys! They must be treated with the upmost respect and
care. Education and training, particularly amongst our youth, is the key here.
No one wants to stop gun crime more than me, a large reason why I have continually pushed
for mandatory jail sentences for those involved in firearms crimes. People need to know that if
they commit a crime using a firearm, they will go to jail for a long time, not maybe, not
conditional on, they will go to jail.

Criminals don't speak our language, they don't register their guns, and they certainly don't buy
them from an authorized dealer. They understand one thing though: Do the crime, you do the
Needless to say, neither of the major parties nor The Greens have supported me on this in the
past. Alas, I will keep trying.
Australians see what happens on a day to day basis with crime and are beginning to ask, why
are our gun laws failing to keep us safe? Should we accept the word of Government in an
unquestioning way? Perhaps there is another better way?

Robert Borsak MLC

Shooters and Fishers Party
Parliament of New South Wales