Australian Commentary (31)

Will Good Ever Come From this Evil?

Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted (Habakkuk 1:4).

A great deal of hand-wringing is taking place in Australia, now that the coffee-shop shootings in Sydney have taken place, and innocent people have died.

Should the gun-man have been arrested and gaoled before now, and not left out on bail?

Should the police have entered the premises earlier, and not tried to negotiate?

Should the community reach out to Muslims more?

But these and other questions are really red-herrings. Why?

The vast majority of public debate fails to face the overriding issue: law-abiding people in the Australian community are unable to buy and own firearms for self-protection. This means that they will continue to be vulnerable to attack by criminals.

Let’s look at the circumstance from Sydney. When the siege began, Police were called and raced to the scene, but couldn’t enter the premises where the gunman with a sawn-off shotgun was holding hostages.

The man with a violent past wanted publicity. He got it. But he always held this advantage in the building. He had a gun, and no one else did. So, his word was law. His hostages were powerless. Even with dozens of police outside the shop, they could do little, except negotiate.

So, the Prime Minister wants an enquiry.

The Prime Minister said his review would focus on why Monis was granted refugee status and citizenship and how he was able to access the welfare system. It would also look into what information ­intelligence agencies had on Monis, his interactions with the justice system, his access to firearms and whether or not measures such as control orders might have prevented the Lindt cafe tragedy.[1]

What does this tell us? Our legislators have failed us. They have consistently and stubbornly refused to entertain the notion that law-abiding people should be allowed to defend themselves; they should be allowed to fight back against criminals.

Why is this?

It goes back to John Howard. Despite his professed conservatism, Howard had an aversion to guns. “I hate guns,” he said. Well, the former PM was entitled to his opinion. But his 1996 legislation reflected his personal hatred of firearms, and his abject failure to understand the liberty of the individual in a free country, which our forebears died for. 90% of our political leaders today share his views.

Here is the rub: what if the manager of the Lindt coffee ship had a pistol under the counter, ready to deploy? He would have been able to confront the gunman, ending the crisis immediately. Or if a coffee drinker had a gun in her hand-bag? Today, the power lies with criminals, not the law-abiding members of the community. But this fact remains the same:

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

What will happen in Australia? Until the hopelessly restrictive gun legislation is thrown out, we’ll continue to be vulnerable to violent attacks, and innocent people will die.

Einstein was right:

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

There will come a time when the electorate says, “We’ve had enough of this. Don’t tell me to just suck it up, roll over and put up with murder and mayhem in the streets. We want to do something about it.”

Our legislators need to hear from their constituents. They need to be told in a firm manner:

I want to be able to get a weapon-whatever I want. I want to be able to have it in my home, my business, or anywhere I want it, to protect myself and others against criminals. I want you to change the law.

[1] “Sydney Siege: World Unites Against Terror,” ‘The Australian,’ 18/12/2014.