Saturday, 26 October 2019

Could the #righttoknow campaign be doomed to fail: Testing gun laws might be the test case.

21 Oct 2019 - In a rare move of solidarity, the media consortium launched the #righttoknow campaign by placing an advertisement on the front page of their newspapers - redacting text in what appeared to be news articles.

This radical decisive action was taken after recent events that drew the conclusion - information was being held back by government and when we, as journalists, are ready to publish, we are in many situations gagged. 

Frustration on the part of the media is that the government often wouldn't answer questions via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests on the grounds it would compromise "national security".  In many cases, there did not appear to be a legitimate national security concern.  

The raiding of ABC journalist
Annika Smethurst's home after reporting on a government plan to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time was seen as an attack on press freedom in Australia. 

Then there is the East Timor spying revelations that resulted in charges against 'Witness K' for speaking to the media and lawyer Bernard Collaery defending the whistleblower for breaching the intelligence act.  The case is not over, however Four Corners recently investigated and produced "Secrets, spies and trials: national security vs the public's right to know".

Did you know... "Australia is the only democracy in the world that does not protect free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press through a Bill of Rights or a Charter"

When journalists promote their own self-advocacy, we have a right to be suspicious.  Even the finest Australian journalists are guilty of falling into the trap of providing their own uninformed opinions, narrative or off-the-cuff flippant parting comment designed to surmise how you should interpret their article or program. Publishing sloppy work does not lend to their credibility, especially when they're playing their games on the political establishment sometimes delving into the dangerous terrain of gutter-journalism.  They often sacrifice the importance of quality journalism to publish a headline for a deadline.  If journalists are serious about working toward press freedom and securing their industry into the future, they should radically rethink their business model.  Journalists can start by refusing to give fanatical minorities the vast quantity of airtime that they do, engage in more comprehensive research exploring all angles of the issue and most importantly remain impartial. 

I don't consider myself to be a fanatical minority.  I represent about 4% of the Australian demographic or about 1 million people as a licensed firearms owner.  As a licensed firearms owner, I have seen persistent unjustified attacks on the firearms community from journalists and Gun Control Australia. 

I require firearms for my farm, now sold, and I also use them in target shooting competitions. The firearms community and I believe there are many issues with the National Firearms Agreement (NFA). There are many anomalies and unnecessary complexities that need reform. Unfortunately, whenever there is a call for reform, the Gun Control Lobby accuse us of wanting to water-down the firearms regulations. The Gun Control Lobby is an example of a fringe minority that I was referring to earlier.  They comprise of only a handful of people. Most vocal proponents are Adjunct Associate Professor Philip Alpers and Samantha Lee.  They frequently spread disinformation to the media and to the Greens to perpetuate lies for cheap media headlines.  In turn the Greens use these articles to support their anti-gun political agenda.

It is now time to put a stop to all this nonsense by challenging the unsubstantiated emotive fearmongering that is perpetuated by a few people, yet spreads like a cancer.
The goal of this article is to challenge journalists to question the status-quo, by writing an informative investigative piece into how the firearms community have been demonised for over 20 years.  This test will prove to demonstrate if journalists still have the ethics and integrity to justify the case that they are entitled to press freedoms and the #righttoknow.
For over 23 years' we have heard journalists tout about the good work John Howard has done implementing NFA in 1996. Without fail, every year there are many articles published on the anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre to remind us how great John Howard was. Over that period, we became so lost in our own self-indulgence by accepting this narrative that we have forgone even considering the thought of challenging or even reviewing the effectiveness of the NFA.  It's easier to simply accept it was the right thing to do at the time.  We allowed Howard and the media to tug on the heart strings of Australians that ultimately made the case for implementing a knee-jerk policy driven purely by emotion.  Unfortunately, laws make terrible memorials.

The law of propaganda that is often attributed to Joseph Goebbels states:

"Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth"

There is a whole psychological science between confirmation bias, which you can read a little bit about in the article "how liars create the 'illusion of truth'".

So put aside your confirmation biases for a moment and toy with the idea that maybe we have all been fed a lie. Put aside your personal views on guns, the idea that you are in danger because people have guns or any other biases or bigoted views you might have about farmers, hunters, sporting shooters, collectors, theatrical armourers etc.

For this exercise, i'd like you to read the following questions and conduct your own research. Be careful of misinformation by confining your research to credible sources. run by associate professor Philip Alpers is not a credible source.

1) Why does the Australian Institute of Criminology show no vast change of firearm homicide over the period before and after the 1996 gun buy back and why does the graph show firearm homicide was always trending down - most likely due to improved economic prosperity? 

2) Of all the images we have seen of dump trucks containing firearms from the buyback, why is it impossible to spot an AR-15, the rifle used by Martin Bryant?

Some theories are that Australians have held on to them, sold them onto the black market or cased them in grease and buried them in PVC piping somewhere.  Without more research into this, we will never know. 
3) Why do we have a belief that we could or have banned firearms, when they are rudimentary in design and are routinely manufactured to be sold on the black-market, as this one example provides? I'm sure you can find many more examples when you look. You might even want to search "guns made in prison".
4) Why does The University of Sydney condone Adjuct Associate Professor - Philip Alpers accepting funds from 'Gun Control Australia' to write an article in their favour to push a political agenda? 

Why does the university condone Mr Alpers tarnishing their name as an educational institution by allowing him to make false claims in The Conversation citing his own website and own research that doesn't reference any official data? Why is Mr Alpers writing for the Sydney Morning Herald?  Is he a researcher or a tabloid journalist?

Mr Alpers often cites his own website as a reference in his articles. The website cites his own data and there is rarely a reference to an official source.  In one example, Alpers cites his own spreadsheet that contains a reference that cites the very same spreadsheet in a circular loop style of referencing.  

"While it would be a mammoth task to catalog all of Mr Alper’s errors, but we hope this selection from just 2 pages printed by him, will suffice to put the reader on their guard. Never assume any summary of information by Mr. Alpers is what it at first appears. Remember that these questions will have been “spin doctored” (phrased and rephrased many time to get the desired answer, which very often is not the implicit one, or indeed, the one later summarized)."  - Link

Why do the Australian Greens use researchers like Mr Alpers to push their anti-firearm agenda? Should question marks now be raised of the Greens integrity in relation to their other policies because they might too reference pseudo scientific research? 

5) To measure the effectiveness of the 1996 buyback, why is it that the Federal and State Governments do not release data via Freedom of Information (FOI) detailing how many and what type of semi-automatic firearms were relinquished to each state at the time? Is it because it would be a political embarrassment to Howard that so few prohibited firearms were handed in? 

6) Why will the State Governments not provide data as to how many safe storage inspections they routinely conduct on approximately 1 million licensed firearms owners nationally, so that we may assess the cost of this exercise on the police services, keeping in mind there is no evidence that licensed firearms owners have not been compliant with the regulations? Surely we'd prefer those police boots on the ground to act as a deterrence in crime hot-spots or to investigate crime previously committed?

7) What is the cost to the tax payer to maintain firearms registries and where is the evidence there is a public safety benefit of this service above and beyond licensing and safe storage requirements?

8) How did Man Haron Monis obtain a pump-action shotgun, a prohibited shot-gun that was supposed to be handed in during the 1996 buyback?  If our gun laws made us so safe - noting the buyback alone cost $500m why did it seem to largely net granddads rusty old guns as evidenced by photographs taken during the buyback? 

9) Why is it contingent on an ordinary Australian to conduct their own investigative journalism and publish a blog and use twitter to promote it, without resources or pay, to challenge the nations firearms laws and the media narrative?  Why are the crumbling media empires crying wolf that their industry is dying because they're now having to compete with bloggers like me?  Bloggers that ask the questions the journalists are either too inept, afraid or refuse to ask.

With the #righttoknow campaign appearing to be a last ditch attempt to secure press freedom in Australia, perhaps my
questions might challenge journalists enough to spark an epiphany.  An epiphany that if you persistently continue down your current path, your industry is likely to self-destruct, especially since it is becoming easier for individuals to use the internet to conduct their own research, write articles and publish to an audience that has lost faith in the integrity of the mainstream media.  

I challenge you with this mandate... Show us
you can be trusted with the responsibility of conducting a comprehensive investigative piece questioning the tangible benefits of the NFA and the gun buyback.  Please do this in the interests of 1,000,000 Australians that are licensed firearms owners who use firearms responsibly and in the interests of all Australians that pay an inordinate amount of tax to fund the firearms registries and compliance activities. Take back control of your destiny and remember to always employ your code of ethics now and into the future.

The business model for the media to achieve the highest ratings and advertising revenue.
Dr Hennessey Hayes – School of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Griffith University

The media tend to:
  • report crimes that have occurred recently rather than some time in the past.  Present information about crime as isolated events rather than include information about broader social and/or historical contexts


The media tend to:

  • ·        focus on the most unusual and dramatic crime events
  • ·        treat rare and unusual crimes as common everyday events
  • ·        use dramatic and provocative language in crime reporting for impact


·        Well known victims and offenders are more likely to be reported than unknown victims and offenders.


Crimes are often reported in the simplest of terms so that crime stories are accessible to the widest range of readers.

  • ·        Often times fewer details regarding criminal events are included
  • ·        Information about broader social contexts and historical trends often is omitted


·        Media tend to focus on sexual crimes or sexual violence for impact


Media report on criminal events in ways that can be understood.

  • ·        Focus is on criminal and crime types that are readily known to people. 
    • Street crimes and violence

  • ·        Focus less on more complex crimes such as 
    • Complex business fraud and white collar offending
    •  Internet crime

Structured access

The media tend to:

  • ·        Verify the information they report about crimes through a limited range of sources.

o   The media tend to rely on official sources, such as police, government officials and other “crime experts” for information about crime and criminals

o   Rely less on agency administrative data and official agency reports


Similar to immediacy
  • Focus is on telling new crime stories rather than retelling old crime stories
    • This focus on new criminal events can give the impression that crime is on the rise 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Elephant Hunting - Is it ethical and is it conservation?

Glenn McGrath - posing with a dead elephant he had shot.


Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath has copped a media bashing recently over an elephant safari hunt he participated in nearly 7 years ago in 2008.

Glenn grew up in Dubbo, NSW and has been a keen hunter most of his life.  When his wife Jane was diagnosed with cancer, she bought him a rifle so that he could follow his dream to one day go on an African safari hunt.

In interviews with the SSAA (Sporting Shooters Association of Australia) Glenn has been quoted as saying:
"I'm keen to get into trophy hunting, no animal in particular, but a big safari in Africa would be great. I'd prefer to do the safari on foot, like they did in the old days and just take the camp with you, not driving around in 4WDs. That to me would be perfect. It's not about the quantity of trophies; although quality is important, it's not everything. Just being out there in that environment would be amazing"
Glenn also set-up the McGrath Foundation in 2005 to improve breast cancer awareness.

His wife Jane passed away from complications relating to her cancer in 2008.

The furor

Immediately after the release of the news that our great cricket legend, and Order of Australia medal recipient Glenn, had shot an elephant on safari in Africa, Twitter went abuzz with usual outrage and vitriolic commentary on the issue. Many berating the cricketer and others suggesting they'd refuse to support the McGrath foundation any longer.

Within hours, Glenn released an apology on Twitter, stating the following.......

None of that mattered though.  The vitriol continued unabated, with the Human Headline (Derryn Hinch) chiming in to voice his disgust and disbelief that Glenn could do such a thing.  He didn't accept Glenn's apology and even threw the boot in further by using his sick wife as an excuse. Watch the video here...  

On the same day Hinch released his video, Australian cricketer Brett Lee was also implicated in the hunting scandal. But in this instance the disgust was not over an elephant, but over a deer they had legally shot.

An animal that is perfectly legal to hunt in Australia with a valid gun licence and permit.


There are three things I intend to explore during my investigation surrounding the chain of events.
  1. Is Glenn McGrath genuinely sorry about his Elephant hunting safari.
  2. Can hunting exotic African wildlife be considered conservation and is it ethical.
  3. Was the social media backlash warranted. 

Is Glenn sorry?

This is a man who grew up in regional Australia. Has hunted most of his life and has always dreamed of going on an African safari hunt. He also has been quoted as saying some of his best friends are hunters.

If Glenn always dreamed about going an safari, one would think he would have done the research first. After all, he did seek out the permits and one of the better locations to hunt Elephants - Zimbabwe. He would have learned at school that Elephants were endangered and that there was an international ban on the ivory that took effect. He had hunting friends that he would have discussed the safari with. None of them talked him out of it.

Note: Elephants are not endangered, but we'll get to that later. 

I suspect Glenn knew exactly what he was getting in to and that his limp excuse to use the traumatic time of Jane's illness, as an excuse, was nothing but a desperate attempt to get the media off his back before the situation escalated. 

I can't say I blame him. But in his haste to get the twitterati off his back, he merely fueled the fire that was already raging. 

Conclusion: I don't believe Glenn is sorry. In fact I think he would have loved to have taken those tusks home.

Is it conservation and is it ethical?

Before we can answer that question, we need to put it into context and look at it from a scientific point of view.


Lets first examine the word exotic. What is exotic? Broadly speaking something exotic is of foreign origin. By definition, something exotic is not majestic, spiritual, endangered or whatever else you might believe it to mean. 

Australia has been blessed by having some of the cutest fauna in the world. Our Kangaroos are exotic to foreigners - but some of those foreigners believe that our Kangaroos are endangered, majestic and / or even spiritual in some way.  Many are unaware that we eat them, let alone farm the meat and export it. They would be horrified if they found out. 

The Japanese eat horses. The Koreans eat dogs. Many Australians would be disgusted at the thought of knowing those this is the case in other parts of the world.

Well guess what, in Africa, it might not surprise you that they eat elephants. And one can't deny, there is a lot of meat on an elephant.  If every life is precious, it kind of makes sense that getting more bang for your buck or more steak for your kill, would have to be more ethical - providing the practice is sustainable of course. 

Conservation vs Preservation

Many people are confused about what the word 'Conservation' actually means.  Many wildlife groups purport to be 'conservationists', but in reality they are 'Preservationists'.

Conservationists believe resources can be managed with a sustainable outcome.

Preservationists want to protect anything and everything in nature from human interference. 

One methodology is realistic, the other is idealistic.

Preservation can work if there is a management plan to ensure there is no human interference. The problem with the preservation model in Africa, is that there are lots of people, there are lots of hungry people, there are lots of poachers and there are many conflicts occurring. And most importantly of all, there is not nearly enough funding going around to preserve the areas we want to preserve for future generations. 

So we're left with the conservation model and the challenge of creating an incentive for the local people of Africa to protect their species.  


From a business model perspective, lets consider African wildlife a resource and develop a management and marketing plan. 

The market being the trophy hunter and the management plan being the funding of local rangers to protect their resources from poachers and ensure plenty of breeding stock available to create a sustainable business model.

Does conservation hunting work?

Yes.  Conservation hunting has been in place in many parts of the world for decades. And in these areas, animal numbers are flourishing despite being previously either vulnerable or endangered.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) manages the 'Red List' of every known species across the world.  It is the only credible international source to learn the true status of the threat level of a species. 

At the time I wrote this blog, the African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) was considered "Vulnerable" 

However... if we delve into the population section of the report, it reads...
"Although elephant populations may at present be declining in parts of their range, major populations in Eastern and Southern Africa, accounting for over two thirds of all known elephants on the continent, have been surveyed,and are currently increasing at an average annual rate of 4.0% per annum (Blanc et al. 2005, 2007). As a result, more than 15,000 elephants are estimated to have been recruited into the population in 2006 and, if current rates of increase continue, the number of elephants born in these populations between 2005 and 2010 will be larger than the currently estimated total number of elephants in Central and West Africa combined. In other words, the magnitude of ongoing increases in Southern and Eastern Africa are likely to outweigh the magnitude of any likely declines in the other two regions."
Most, if not all, legal hunting opportunities are available in Eastern and Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe. That is where Glenn experienced his trophy hunt.

The status of a species is an overall world-wide status. If you delve into the full report, it will provide a breakdown of the threat level by country. In Zimbabwe, elephants are rated as 'Least Concern'.

To hunt an elephant, the licence will cost in the range of $30,000 - $50,000.  This money goes to the Government, the hunting guide and the National Parks agency.

After the kill is made, word travels quickly to the local villagers, who then participate in the process of dividing up the resource to share with their local communities. No part of the animal is wasted. 

Considerations - is hunting elephants ethical? 

The value the hunter brings to the local community. Money, education and experience.

Wildlife is sustainably managed and therefore protected from unethical poachers. Without blinking, a poachers will cut off a rhinos horn, an elephants tusks, a tigers penis and leave the carcass to rot. He will shoot as many animals as he can, with no Government oversight to understand population levels.

The meat is used to feed the community and it's always a huge celebration.

If you're a vegan or a vegetarian and believe killing animals is murder, then it will never feel ethical to you. However, I do encourage you to watch the 60 minutes video linked below to learn what happens to a species when it is managed under the preservation model.

Was the backlash against Glenn warranted

Well that's up to you to decide. I have provided more information on conservation hunting below.

Columnist Nicolle Flint of the Adelaide Advertiser put it best in her article when she said:
"we seem set to remain a nation where informed debate is rarer than an endangered rhino"
But here is my personal observation of what I have learned about the various demographics on twitter...

There are four types...
  1. The educated and willing to be further educated.
  2. The trolls
  3. The Twitterati
  4. The outraged.  
If you've read this far, congratulations, you're most likely in category 1. This group is exceptionally rare. Either that or they don't easily engage with strangers on social media.


Trolls are there just to bait celebrities, politicians or any other little fish that swim in their path. It's the whole tall-poppy syndrome with a bit of "I was bullied at school, so i'll bully online" thrown in. Best to block this type of plankton without a second thought.


Twitterati are the arm-chair experts with thousands of followers. They know just enough to be dangerous and believe the number of their followers equates to their IQ.  They are not interested in facts or science - irrespective how plainly you provide them with any evidence.  They are usually wanna-be comedians and take pride in scoring cheap points. You'll find most of their twitter remarks published on ABC Q&A.  They are by far the most dangerous and annoying group of people. Their cocky satirical remarks appeal to the simpletons, misleading the vulnerable in society who then usually end up voting for the Greens. They will also do whatever it takes to get more followers in order to become more influential on social media. It's all a game to them.

Update: The morning after I posted my blog, I began to seek out disparaging comments against Glenn McGrath. It wasn't long before I came across this gem from Nikhil Parekh.  I linked him my blog and within 3 mins I had received a response. Check out his arrogant reply in the image on the left.

I got curious, so I decided to investigate further. It turns out Nikhil Parekh is an 'Internet Marketer', self proclaimed 'World Class Public Speaker' and currently mentors thousands of people.

He has over 100,000 followers on twitter and has been the director of his own company 'New Edition International' for over 16 years.

Wow - sounds impressive doesn't it!!

The problem is, his company doesn't appear to have a valid working web address, nor a physical address for that matter, however you can find his PO Box by looking up true local.

His résumé is also very impressive. Check it out here...

I can't help but worry, when Nikhil tweets to his 100,000 followers, how many are listening to his drivel. Maybe Hardy wines feels threatened and is considering pulling their sponsorship as he had suggested in another twitter comment to the company.

One thing is for sure. The twitterati are nothing but a toxic poison in our society.  Narcissists like Nikhil, need to be called out.

Why don't you send him a twitter message, telling him how you feel about his antics?


The outraged are usually those with a Vitamin B12 deficiency. They've never been outside a large city, they own one to several cats and love to watch the x-factor. The following graph best illustrates how they think and operate.

More info...
Learn how some African animals that are extinct in the wild are thriving on ranches in Texas, thanks to conservation hunting. It also explains how the animal charities you might donate to will later be responsible for their extinction  -> 60 Minutes report on Conservation Hunting

A panel of experts (University of NSW professors) on the ABC Big Ideas program provide an in-depth analysis of wildlife management -> They shoot lions don't they? 

Scientific study examining the undesired conservation outcomes when wildlife trade bans are implemented -> Wildlife trade bans study

Side notes

'Conservation Hunting' is not 'Canned Hunting' - I do not condone canned hunting and believe it should be outlawed where possible. You can help ban this practice by never visiting a zoo or park that allows both trophy hunting as well as viewing exotic animals behind a wire net. 

The Greens are 'Preservationists' - which is why nobody with at least half a brain would vote for them.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Cooking the perfect steak - Guns In Australia style.

Whilst we usually prefer to bash politicians and the media on the Guns In Australia blog, what we don't often talk about is enjoying the "fruits", or should I say "meats", of our labour.

Cooking the perfect steak is an art rarely mastered by individuals over a lifetime. So what I plan to do is share some of the secrets i've learned over the last 30 years, getting you closer to cooking the perfect steak.

Some of my tips are a little unconventional, like stomping on your steak with your boot to tenderise it first, but I invite you to try them and provide feedback.

I should start by saying all red meat should be cooked medium rare or medium at the most. If you like your steak burnt to a crisp and refuse to change your ways, well, you're only missing out and should probably walk away now.

I'm going to talk about cooking beef primarily, but these principles can be applied to venison, kangaroo, lamb as well as any other red meat.

Selecting the right cut

If you're barbecuing chuck steak, round steak, a shoulder cut because that is all you can afford or you're hunting isn't up to scratch, you probably want to try hunting on a cattle farmers land. Try to scope out a nice young beef calf and take it down with a clean head shot. You might want to get out of there quick smart if you don't have their permission to take out the calf or permission to hunt on their land.

The best cuts, in my opinion, in the following order, are the eye fillet, rib fillet, scotch fillet, t-bone, and then maybe rump. I'm not really a fan of porterhouse or sirloin, but that could be just because I haven't prepared those cuts for a steak lately.

Aging your meat

If you're buying meat from a butcher, buy a whole cut that is cryovaced and buy a cryovac kit to seal the bag after you have cut off the few steaks you plan to eat that day. Cryovac is essentially a sealed plastic bag that cuts off all the oxygen to the meat, so it doesn't go rancid, but allows the enzymes in the cut to continue to break down the meat for a more tender enjoyable eating experience.

Your local hunting and camping stores should sell these kits.

There is a lot of debate about how long you should age your meat and it varies depending on who you talk to between 1-6 weeks.

I like to age for at least 2 weeks, but find 3 weeks ideal if you're planing a BBQ and want to impress your guests. If you're just cooking for yourself or family, 2 weeks is fine. You can cut a few slices, seal the bag, rinse and repeat for another 3 weeks safely. 5 weeks is probably the maximum length i'd keep a cut in the fridge.

Preparing your steak

Get the meat out of the fridge a good 3 hours before you plan to cook it in order to bring it to room temperature.  The warmer the meat and the slower you cook it, puts less stress on the cut, savours the juices for a tender enjoyable meal.

Buy a salt grinder and season both sides of the steak with freshly ground sea salt. Rub the salt into the steak.

Bath your steak in a good quality light olive oil.  Olive oil burns at a lower temp than canola or vegetable oil, so if you use olive oil, be sure to keep the temp down low. If your oil is smoking, it's far too hot and you'll taint the flavour of your steak.

Cover your meat while it's coming to room temp.

Cooking your steak

Unless you really want buckets of smokey flavour, the grill is not the right spot to on your BBQ to cook your steak. The grill cannot sear the steak quick enough either. But there is nothing wrong with cranking it up, just before your steak is ready, to include those aesthetic grill marks.

You want to cook your steak on the plate. Get the plate reasonably hot to start with, but turn it down or even off to bring the temperature right down the moment you put your steak on.  Using the tongs, move the steak around for a good minute to stop it sticking.  Turn it over and do the same to sear it properly and to lock in the flavours.

Your steak should be ever so gently sizzling away.

How long you cook it for on each side really depends on the thickness and the cut. As a general rule, the more lean your meat, the less cooking time, particularly with fillet cuts of roo or venison.
Cooking times is not something I can teach you, but over time you should learn how well your steak is cooked by pressing it gently with tongs.  Don't cut into your steak while it's cooking to check. You'll drain all the juices out and it will go dry and taste like cardboard.

You don't roast steak, so if your BBQ has a fancy hood on it, don't close it just because it's there and might seem cool to do so.

Resting your steak

Many chefs will tell you that you should rest your steak for half the time it is cooked. That is great advice if you like a cold steak.  The less you stress your steak and the slower you cook it, on a lower temp, the less time you will need to rest it. I find an average of 5 mins for a reasonably thick steak is sufficient.

Seasoning your steak 

Beef - Freshly cracked pepper 
Lamb - Lemon pepper seasoning rubbed into the meat prior to cooking. Salt not required. 
Venison - No seasoning
Roo - No seasoning or freshly cracked pepper


Disclaimer: My blog assumes the only time it's acceptable to stomp on your steak is after copious amounts of tequila, surrounded by mates who you are trying to impress with your bogan tendencies. It also assumes you understand firearms regs and that poaching cattle is illegal.

Now for some light comedy - LANGUAGE WARNING!!!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Handgun theft in Australia - Where are the guns really coming from?

The Greens recently commissioned a Senate inquiry to investigate the ability to eliminate gun violence in Australia. The inquiry included three full days of hearings from subject matter experts, with the final hearing held in Canberra on the 31st of October 2014. Submissions were heard from NSW Police, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian Crime Commission, Customs and Border Protection, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, Pistol Australia, Crimtrac, Attorney General's Department, the International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting, Armament Research Services and the Crime Prevention Research Center.... to name just a few. 

You can expect a lot of media focus on the inquiry now that the hearings are complete. The Chair of the inquiry, Senator Penny Wright, is due to submit the final report to parliament in the coming months. Stay tuned for that gem...

Despite the hype, that did not stop "The Project" from jumping on the bandwagon and hashing together another sloppy, amateur, fear-mongering diatribe of a story on the night the final hearing closed.  The cast, "Where's Wally Aly" and "Carrie Bimbo Bickmore" were quick to pounce, parroting the Greens Senator's belief that almost all firearms on the black market are stolen from licensed firearms owners. 

Victoria Police gave evidence that of the 48,000 registered handguns in the State, only 6 were stolen in the previous year. When you consider the Australian Institute of Criminology estimate conservatively there are at least 10,000 illicit firearms on the black market, the numbers just don't add up to support the claims made by 'The Project'.

Did the researchers of the program actually attend the inquiry? Did they watch it online? Did they read the Senate submissions made to the inquiry? The answer is obviously 'NO'! Yet the executives that run the sloppy operation at Channel Ten still remain perplexed as to why viewers are tuning out whilst their station is slowly going broke. When will they admit they are completely out of touch with the broader community?

On the flip side, shooting sports have seen massive growth as Australian's are becoming more educated about firearms, refusing to buy into the fear that the mainstream media attempts to shovel down their throats for the perceived belief it might result in ratings.

But back to the topic.... surely any single cell amoeba, bored enough to tune in, would have been smart enough to know that only the theft of firearms from legitimate firearms owners would be reported to police. Why would a criminal report a stolen firearm? Of course illegal gun theft is never reported to the police, and thus never recorded in their statistical reports. When it comes to the illegal importation of firearms, how could the Police or Customs possibly know how many are entering the country illegally? They cannot possibly know what they don't know! Just because more firearms are reported stolen than Customs are able to intercept doesn't automatically draw the conclusion that most illicit firearms were stolen from lawful firearms owners.

I don't expect you to blindly agree with my opinion, but I do encourage you to watch a snippet of the senate inquiry that actually addresses these very points.  

On a side note, the entire premise of the Senate inquiry is completely flawed. Does any rational human being really believe it's possible to eliminate gun violence?  The United Kingdom banned semi-automatic handguns in 1997.  Despite this, the Home Office reported in 2010-2011, 3105 offences related to handguns. 

As a society, we need to learn to live with guns. You too can learn to live with them by either joining a gun club and following Guns in Australia on twitter and facebook... or you could relax your level of fear in the knowledge that firearms crime is relatively low in Australia.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Who is Michelle Fernando?

Michelle Fernando is the sister of the schizophrenic and mentally ill woman Shamin Fernando, who was responsible for the murder of their father using a pistol stolen from a gun club on August 22, 2010.

Since the tragedy occurred, Michelle has been on a crusade to tighten what she believes is a loophole, known as 6B, in our gun laws. Michelle believes it was this change to our firearms laws that enabled Shamin to steal a firearm from a Sydney pistol club prior to shooting her father to death that very same day.

The problem with Michelle's crusade is that it was not 6B that enabled Shamin to handle a firearm unsupervised and for her to later steal it.

Shamin had managed to complete her extensive probationary pistol training and compete in her first club competition prior these events unfolding. On the day of the shooting of Vincent Fernando, the club loaned Shamin a handgun, but at no point did they verify that her Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL) was issued by NSW police, certifying her to use a handgun in competition unsupervised.

The pistol club failed in their duty of care and the instructors responsible were punished by the law.

More on that later....

Despite this, Michelle sadly remains unequivocally in denial about these obvious facts and blames the Shooters and Fishers Party for a legislative change that was necessary to allow new shooters to try the sport before they commit to the lengthy and costly process of applying for a handgun licence - a provision that is currently afforded to citizens of every State and Territory in Australia.

In addition, Michelle fails to take personal responsibility for knowing her sister Shamin was attending pistol clubs, knowing she was a schizophrenic and knowing she may have been conspiring to kill their father. A video of the circumstances, in Michelle's own words, has been included here.

So what is 6B?

6B was enacted in 2008 by NSW parliament. The legal definition states that it is an.....
"Exemption for unlicensed persons shooting on approved ranges and for persons undertaking firearms safety training courses under direct supervision of a licensed instructor"
Prior to this change to the Act, it was illegal to allow unlicensed individuals to try shooting and obtain instruction while their handgun licence application and background checks were processed by NSW police - a process "mandated by legislation" takes a minimum of 6 months.

Under the 6B provision, a new member would need to show suitable identification and complete a P650 form prior to being able to receive hands-on instruction on how to handle a handgun safely.

Mental Illness and the P650 form.

At the core of the concerns of the Fernando family is part 6B of the firearms legislation. The legislation requires that a P650 form be completed by new pistol club members, declaring whether or not they suffer from a mental illness.

The Fernando's argue that nobody checks these answers and that anyone could simply lie in order to obtain access to a handgun. They seemly fail to acknowledge that access to a handgun is permitted only under direct supervision of a licensed instructor.  See the section below for the definition of direct supervision.

The reality is police do not have access to private patient records to even know if an individual makes a false declaration. Only if an individual is known to police, in relation to an incident they've attended, will they have the ability to deem whether or not the individual is a fit and proper persons to handle firearms.

So whilst the form seems to serve little purpose, surprisingly many with a mental illness are honest in their answers. Baring in mind that gun owners are not immune from common mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, but importantly manage it appropriately.

It's also important to note many qualified mental health professionals vehemently opposed mandatory mental health checks being included in the 1996 National Firearms legislation. I suspect they disagreed with the Governments approach for various reasons. Something I hope to explore in a future blog.

What we should be talking about with one another is mental health (the root cause of the tragedy), in order to get a better understanding and education about the illness. One would think it common sense if you knew someone with schizophrenia was plotting to kill their estranged father, as well as attending gun clubs, some personal responsibility is expected of you to at alert authorities of their intentions and movements.

We live in a community and have a duty of care to one another to speak up if we suspect something bad might happen, regardless what it might be.

Forms, legislation, processes and the humans who bring all these together will never be perfect. Blaming those rather than ourselves for a lack of common sense and inaction is poor way of dealing with a loss moving forward. It's very sad and unfortunate the Fernando family are oblivious of this.

Do other states have this same 6B provision?

Yes - When the 1996 National Firearms Agreement was enacted, each state had a responsibility to pass their own firearms legislation in order to comply with the Federal agreement. NSW was the only state that did not include this exemption to their State legislation, significantly disadvantaging new members who wanted to try out the sport.  As an example, in Victoria, the exemption can be found in item 4 of SCHEDULE 3 of the Act - it states:
"A person who is of or over the age of 18 years, and who is receiving instruction in the use of a general category handgun by or under the immediate supervision of the holder of a general category handgun licence; and (b) for the purposes of obtaining a general category handgun licence for a reason set out in section 15(1)— and who has not received any such instruction on more than nine previous occasions."
So how did Shamin manage to steal a handgun?

All clubs have firearms that are specifically used for new probationary members to train with. After usually 3 months practical training under direct supervision and passing a theory test, a handgun safety certificate is issued by the club to the new member. The club also approve the applicants membership and provide a stamped approval form that the member then sends to NSW police to finalise the processing of their Probationary Pistol Licence (PPL). After their PPL has been issued by NSW police, they can then legally borrow handguns for local club matches.

"Before a new member can borrow a handgun for use to compete in a club match "unsupervised", the club has a responsibility to sight their PPL before issuing them a firearm for loan in the match."
The handgun is returned after match completion.

It's also important to note that club members are very vigilant with regard to new members. Competitors are alerted in advance of new members joining competition and tend to supervise them somewhat indirectly.

Unfortunately, the new members instructor nor the armorer who provided the handgun to Shamin verified that she had her PPL. They simply failed this simple check - leading to unimaginable consequences for the Fernando family.

Direct Supervision

Putting human error aside for a moment... There's no question that the Fernando's are clearly in denial about the circumstances surrounding their tragedy and the definition of the legislation that is currently in place.

Michelle's petition ridiculously asserts that anyone can simply get a gun from a gun club. She states:
"a 2008 change to the firearms act makes it legal for clubs to give guns to unlicensed shooters."
The reality is until the individual is issued with a probationary pistol licence from NSW police, they must always be under direct supervision.

The definition of direct supervision can be found on the NSW police website. It clearly states:
"Direct supervision must not exceed a ratio of one unlicensed person to one licensed supervisor. 
The licensed supervisor must be present at the firing line and not leave whilst shooting activities are being undertaken by the unlicensed person. 
The licensed supervisor must be able to immediately render assistance to the unlicensed person, if required. 
The licensed supervisor must personally convey the firearm and ammunition to be used by the unlicensed person from its place of storage to the firing line. 
The licensed supervisor must personally convey the firearm and ammunition from the firing line to the place of storage upon the conclusion of shooting activities."
So who was at fault?

The instructors failed to comply with the law and were subsequently charged. They attended court and were both found guilty for failure to comply with the Firearms Act. They also had their firearms licences cancelled and were significantly fined for the breach.

I highly doubt there isn't a single instructor across Australia that is not aware of the Shamin Fernando case.

After this event, I'm confident meticulous care, to a pedantic and extraordinary level, is taken to ensure the safety of individuals, the safety of the public and compliance with the law.


I do encourage you to write to the Fernando's explaining how 6B had nothing to do with the events that unfolded.  I'd add that this was an unfortunate "one off" incident that occurred due to a calamity of errors that could have been easily avoided had the instructors or the Fernando family been just a little more diligent.

I'd also write to media who are exploiting the Fernando's tragedy for cheap ratings. Their rhetoric does nothing but feed the denial of the Fernando's and further perpetuates their fanciful belief as to what led to the tragic circumstances that transpired.

To make matters worse, Gun Control Australia have callously used Michelle Fernando as the poster girl for their new facebook campaign. They and the Australian Greens (John Kaye et al) are also not exempt from my criticisms.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

The Trial

Read the case law transcript of the trial here.....

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Crime Control - Australia following Americas mistakes since 1968.

If you happened to watch Channel Nine News last night, 30 July 2013, you would have witnessed a flustered NSW Police Commissioner and Police Minister seemingly exhausted of ideas on how to tackle Sydney's growing spate of gun violence.

Repeating the same tired line "People must report illegal guns", they continue to ignore the root cause of gun crime or why witnesses are too scared to come forward.

For decades many Australian journalists have perpetuated the simplistic ideology that stricter gun control laws will solve gun crime, whilst ignoring the mountain of evidence demonstrating no connection between lawful firearms use and organised crime.

Despite our streets being awash with firearms, many continue to hail John Howard's tremendous success, passing what are arguably known around the world as the most comprehensive and draconian firearms laws in the OECD.  Some commentators will go as far as saying we need stronger laws to combat gun crime.  But short of installing airport style security at the exit point of every home and entry point of every public place, we need to face the reality that criminals do not obey the law, and that we will never stop the evil acts of every mad man.

In response to the Channel Nine news report, Miranda Divine from the Daily Telegraph wrote a blog warning "We are facing an explosion of gang violence to rival Los Angeles 30 years ago".  It was a well researched article, exposing many truths about gun violence in Western Sydney, but it did not draw on the parallels between Australia and America and why we are facing this explosion in gun crime.

I'll draw comparisons later between our two countries, how we are inadvertently creating a much larger problem for society, and what we need to do to reverse this trend.

But first, some background........ 

One of the biggest challenges we face in the debate about guns is the ideology people have that we can ban guns, fix our border controls or implement more laws to solve gun crime.

When you look at the border protection issue, it is absolutely farcical to believe we have the money or resources to check all the freight that comes into Australia.  We cannot stop the tonnes of drugs flowing into this country, so what makes anyone seriously believe we can stop a few metal parts shipped with other metal parts.  At least a dog can be trained to detect drugs, but it's impossible to train a dog to detect metal or plastic parts.

It's also well known that we have corruption in both our police force and border security.  Whatever controls we put in place, however much money we spend, we will never plug the holes.  No police force around the world ever has and no police force ever will.

The sad reality is, we need to learn how to live with guns in society.  Guns were invented in the 13th century and are rudimentary in design.  It's bizarre to believe they could not possibly be made at home using blueprints readily available from the internet.  The authorities know this, but they won't change their stubborn approach to the problem until we change our attitude as a society.  Accepting the status-quo is not working.

how to make a 9mm submachine gun at home from a book you can buy online.
how a jeweler made up to 100 MAC 10 9mm submachine guns.
how to make a zip gun watching a video online.
about illegal manufacture in Australia as an example. 
about the new technology of plastic printers.
about how firearms were imported from Tennesse in engine parts.
about our leaky postal service.
how to buy firearms online illegally from a US exporter. 
about CNC machines owned by many factories and home owners. 
what happens to firearms after handed in during an amnesty. 
about incompetence of our Customs officials.

By far the most emotive anti-gun argument is the issue of massacres.  Massacres are not preventable, but we can employ smart measures to mitigate the risk of experiencing a massacre and mitigate against the number of fatalities and casualties.  The do-gooders, with their idealistic views, still have the absurd view that deranged people and criminals obey the law.  They keep pushing for more and more laws, ironically making it even easier for a mad man to inflict more carnage.  

In 1990, the President of the United States introduced "The Gun-Free School Zones Act".  Quite possibly the worst gun legislation introduced by any country ever!  The legislation was nothing but an advertisement for madmen, advising where the easy targets were.  If they wanted to inflict the most carnage possible, a school would be the best place to do it.  Since the legislation was introduced, school massacres have increased five fold.  The NRA have lobbied hard against this legislation and to repeal it, but the mainstream media refuses to listen to their arguments or air the words "Gun Free Zone" in any press release.  Instead, the media continues to verbal the NRA by suggesting "Their solution is we need more guns.  They are just a self-interested lobby group interested in selling more guns".

Across many states, authorities refused to enforce the "Gun Free School Zones Act".  Some state legislatures even passed their own laws, allowing teachers who are trained to conceal and carry to carry a gun in school.  There have been no mass shootings in schools where teachers are allowed to conceal and carry.  I'll talk more about conceal and carry later.

Australia is not immune to another gun massacre and many are of the view that we have just been lucky.  The Australian-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee recognises this by recently releasing the Australian Government guide to surviving a mass shooting.

Bad people do bad things
Say the name Roger Dean and most people wouldn't know who you're talking about.  It was only late last year, November 2012, when he pleaded guilty to arson for the Quakers Hill nursing home fire, killing 11 people and badly burning 8 others.

Today, as I write this blog, I learned to discover Roger was convicted to life in prison without parole. 

Roger chose to use a box of matches to massacre 11 people instead of a gun, so it begs the question, why is he is not as revered by the media as Martin Bryant?  Marilyn Manson summed up the media culture well when he spoke about the cycle of fear and consumption in Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine.  I disagree with many of Michael's views, but that one interview is worth consideration. 

It's no secret the media thrives on fear for ratings.  If it bleeds, it leads.  If there is a gun, even better!  But by far the best ratings and sales can be made glorifying killers such as the Boston Bomber when they put him on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine.  

The techniques the media uses for its own self-gratification cost lives and will continue to cost lives if we don't have a fair debate about gun ownership and gun crime.  We should pass laws to stop giving killers rock star status.  I'd rather we never knew their names or saw their faces.  However, this is an unrealistic ask in a world with the internet, so I'm not going to push it.

Read more about Australia's mass murder arsonists. 

Gun ownership in Australia
Many Australians are of the belief that since the 1996 gun buyback, all guns are now illegal.  These people are surprised to hear that nearly 800,000 Australians have been issued a firearms license for any number of genuine reasons.  Australians legally own approximately 3.2 million registered firearms - firearms that include shotguns, rifles, semi-automatic handguns, revolvers and air guns.

The demographic consists of primary producers, sporting shooters, recreational hunters, professional vertebrate pest controllers, theatrical armorers and collectors.

Primary producers, professional shooters and some clay target shooters also have licenses to own semi-automatic shotguns and rifles.

Gun buyback 1996 - Australia
In 1996, the Australian tax payer funded half a billion dollars for the gun buyback of semi-automatic longarms.  Broadly speaking, the legislation included a raft of other measures, including stricter licensing and safe storage laws, as well as the registration of firearms.

The on-going cost to manage our firearms registries is estimated at approximately $70 million per year, but it is difficult to measure the additional cost burden on the police force and border protection agencies who also have an administrative responsibility to process paperwork for the registry.

The police force is required to conduct routine safe storage inspections of firearms owned by licensed individuals.  The cost to conduct inspections across 800,000 homes would no doubt be significant.  Then there is the opportunity cost to the community when police are conducting these inspections, rather than patrolling crime hot spots. 

The plan

Information from the Firearms Association of Australia suggests that prior to announcing the buyback of semi-automatic long-arms, the State Police Ministers were told at the May 10th, 1996 meeting that...

“No reliable figures of total numbers of firearms in Australia are available.  Estimates for all firearms vary from 3.5 million… to over 10 million. Best estimates of the number of military-style semi-automatics suggest around 350,000 throughout Australia. Best estimates for other semi-automatic, self-loading (sic) or pump action longarms suggest around 3,000,000.”

"The Attorney-General’s Department estimated that 3.35 million firearms would become prohibited."

The buyback resulted in 640,381 firearms being turned into police.  The buyback yielded such embarrassing results for the government, with only the State of Victoria willing to release official figures as to what was handed in.

Of the 192,940 firearms handed in by Victorians, only 6,420 were classed as "Prohibited" firearms.  These consist of automatic and semi-automatic centrefire rifles.

Pump-action shotguns and semi-automatic shotguns (limited to a five shot capacity) as well as semi-automatic rimfire rifles are still available, but restricted to those with a genuine need.

At best guess, 21,308 prohibited firearms were handed in nationally, well short of the best estimate of 350,000 thought to be in circulation.

Most in the firearms community believe a significant proportion of firearms handed in were inherited from deceased estates - grandpa's old shotgun or rifle.  The buyback was also a great opportunity for firearms owners to get almost as-new prices for old firearms, allowing them to upgrade to a new firearm for little cost. 

Even the gun prohibitionists acknowledge that the buyback was a failure.  Gun Control Australia’s John Crook says “It may be that we have to start this buy-back again because it is estimated there are still approximately 300,000 prohibited weapons to be brought in”.

Statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology show no evidence the gun buyback and gun laws of 1996 had any effect on the homicide rate.

John Howard is very tricky with his words when selling the 1996 gun laws as a success.  He never talks about overall homicide rates, but rather how gun homicide has fallen.


In 2008, the Melbourne Institute released a working paper on "The Australian Firearms Buyback and Its Effect on Gun Deaths".

The working paper concluded: "Although gun buybacks appear to be a logical and sensible policy that helps to placate the public’s fears, the evidence so far suggests that in the Australian context, the high expenditure incurred to fund the 1996 gun buyback has not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearm deaths."

John R. Lott JR Ph.D is regarded as the foremost world expert in crime rates in relation to gun control measures being introduced.  He has had over 90 articles published in various journals around the world. In 2012 he analysed the growing trend of violent crime since the 1996 gun control laws were enacted and concluded less guns translates to more violent crime.

Read the Harvard research paper that says....

"..the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra.  To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world."

Firearms Registry
On April 2012, Canada abolished their firearms registry citing it a complete failure and waste of public funds.  The police chiefs argued there have been tens of thousands of searches of the registry and that it was an important tool to help prevent and solve gun crime.  When asked to supply records of the searches to the committee tasked to review the firearms registry, there was no evidence the searches could be linked to gun crime.  The searches merely related to gun owners making licensing inquires.  Watch this important video to learn the arguments that supported it be abolished.

Despite Canada abolishing their registry, our Labor Government have committed to buying the intellectual property of the system.

Gun Control tricks of the trade
Gun control advocates are poorly educated on the various types and functions of firearms, ignore crime data and often make up their own evidence.

They "ALWAYS" conveniently ignore the following facts:
1) We have porous borders. 
2) Firearms are registered by serial numbers to owners. 
3) Firearms are randomly and routinely inspected by law enforcement. 
4) Ballistics checks enable the ability to track firearms back to crime scenes.
5) No evidence exists to suggest licensed firearms owners provide the criminal underworld with firearms.

American gun culture
Another furphy Gun Control advocates like to peddle is "We don't want an American gun culture".

You might be led to believe that we have a lot of guns, but to put the 3.2 million registered firearms we own into perspective, the small arms survey ranks Australia as 42 in gun ownership per capita

We are well behind Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Canada, Austria, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Greece, Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic in terms of gun ownership.  Yet our crime levels far exceed most of these countries.

We would need to increase our gun ownership six-fold and import over 20 million more firearms to rival America on 
per capita gun ownership.

Seeding firearms to criminals
For decades, the media and politicians have drawn a connection between gun violence and the sporting shooting community, asserting that our great Olympic shooters or hard working farmers have been seeding the criminal element with firearms.

The notion that an individual, who has passed federal criminal police checks and background checks into character, would risk jail to earn a quick buck by providing firearms to criminals is simply ludicrous.  

But despite the absurdity, the NSW Police Commissioner, desperate to make a dent in gun crime, introduced the Ammunition Control Legislation in 2012, to track sales of ammunition.  This legislation was simply more red tape and more administration for police to manage.  The spirit of the legislation assumes a licensed shooter would risk jail time to make a small profit.     

Firearms theft 

Gun control advocates such as "Samantha Lee" have again ignored all the evidence, claiming "theft was the main source of black-market firearms, along with rogue arms dealers selling them under the counter."

Customs and the Firearms Registry keep track of all firearms legally entering the country.  Serial numbers are tracked and firearms dealers are routinely audited.  Firearms may only be purchased with a firearms licence. Details of the transaction are recorded from the importer through to the dealer and then to the owner.  The transaction is processed by Australian Customs and the Firearms Registry throughout its lifecycle, using the Permit To Acquire (PTA) and Customs B709 paperwork process.  The physical transfer of a firearm from importer to buyer often involve delays of approximately 3 months.   

What Samantha is notably silent about is the revelation the NSW Police dumped the firearms registry database into an excel spreadsheet, before loading it onto their intranet for access to all sworn officers and thousands of civilians.  The security breach lasted for 18 months, without any audit trail as to who may have copied the information to sell to organised crime groups.  The police continue to deny the data fell into the wrong hands, but are at a loss to explain why there has been a spate of gun thefts across NSW.

Growing gun violence
For decades, the media and politicians have drawn a simplistic connection between gun ownership and gun violence.  Politicians are faced with thousands of proposals and policies throughout their term in office.  It is naive to think they actually read the detail behind the comprehensive policy proposals.  They would much rather support the two page, easy-to-read, gun control policy that says "Gun Control = Crime Control"

American politicians have made the same mistake with dire consequences.  It has taken the United States decades to reverse the "Gun Control" culture that started in 1968 after the assassination of John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.  Lyndon Johnson enacted knee-jerk legislation through the Gun Control Act of 1968, with the very view that strict gun laws would prevent gun crime.  The 2nd amendment right to bear arms was infringed, escalating violent crime by 200% over only a few short years.

The next logical step was harsher penalties for criminals, followed by mandatory sentencing and the three strikes and you're out rule.

America was so tough on its criminals that it wasn't long before its prisons were filled to capacity.  America built more prisons and even tent prisons, creating a breeding ground for criminal gangs to network and host crime schools.

Criminal records made it almost impossible to find a decent job, and the inability to live on the minimum wage has resulted in more criminals becoming recidivists.

It wasn't until nearly two decades later, in 1987, that Florida introduced Conceal and Carry permits.  These permits, issued by the local Sheriff, allow citizens to legally carry a concealed firearm, after obtaining a federal background check and undergoing comprehensive firearms training and training on obligations on the use of deadly force.

Quoting a conceal and carry page.... 'Anti-gun folks were horrified. Obviously concealed carry would turn Florida into another Dodge City. Blood would flow in the streets. Fender-benders would turn into firefights.

The fight was tough, but the Unified Sportsmen of Florida succeeded. The dire predictions? A year later, the President of the police chiefs association, who had opposed the bill, was asked if he had kept track of all the problems the law caused. "There aren't any," he said.'

Over the next 25 years, almost every state across America has adopted Conceal and Carry permit laws, significantly reducing the contact crime victimisation rate and putting the United States nearly on par with Australia, but both above the OECD statistical median.

Crime rates halved and it is estimated over 500,000 home invasions are prevented each year and over 2,000,000 violent crimes averted.  In the case that a firearms is drawn, the firearm is only discharged once in every thousand incidents.

American law enforcement has been so impressed by the laws that they have responded overwhelmingly to reject firearms restriction, including magazine capacity restrictions, semi-automatic AR-15s (commonly referred to by the media as assault weapons).  Many Sheriffs have written to President Obama advising that whatever Federal firearms laws he plans to introduce, neither he nor his deputies will enforce them.   

Gun deaths in America
Many might be justifiably afraid of conceal and carry laws in Australia, citing statistics that America has 11,000 gun deaths (excluding suicide) each year.  This might be true, but they also need to recognise that America has 14 times the population of Australia and that 8,900 of those deaths are gang homicide related.

So to put gun deaths in America into perspective, we will subtract 8,900 from 11,000 and divide by 14. The final total is a far more palatable equivalent of 150, which is not far off the Australian gun homicide rate.

Since 1993, gun deaths in America have halved.  This has been widely attributed to conceal and carry laws.

Illinois is one of the last states to introduce conceal and carry legislation, passed on the 9th of July 2013. The gun homicide rate in Chicago, Illinois is currently at 15.2 per 100,000.  


The media love to cherry pick statistics. Recently the courier mail wrote a great article exposing how much gun violence we have in Australia, but when comparing Australia to America, they inflated their figures to 10.3 deaths per 100,000 disregarding the fact roughly 65% of those deaths are suicide related.  Since 1996 gun laws were introduced, there is no evidence in the Australian context overall suicide rates had fallen.

John Howard is very tricky with his words when selling the 1996 gun laws as a success.  He never talks about overall suicide rates, but rather how gun suicide has fallen.

Root Cause
The root cause of growing gun violence in America from 1968, and in Australia since the draconian 1996 laws were introduced, can be broken into six categories.  We need to stop wasting money controlling our law abiding citizens, but rather trust them and redirect this investment into better education, mental health, drug education and closing the gap on poverty.  

The dangerous rhetoric by some media continues to indoctrinate Australians to lobby politicians to introduce further gun control measures.  Celebrating and glorifying mass murderers only puts ideas into the heads of those already deranged.  The media preempted the Port Arthur massacre with a scary story about guns just prior to the shooting. Coincidence?

You'll hear much about the Zimmerman case in both the American and Australian media.  A young black boy was gunned down in cold blood by a blood thirsty white man.  The trial by media in this particular case is overwhelming evidence the media brazenly lies for ratings.  If you've been led to believe an innocent young boy was gunned down, you may wish to watch this short clip exposing the truth.  The entire trial is also online on youtube, so judge for yourself.  

Socio-economic circumstances

There is a direct correlation between the growing socio-economic divide and an increased demand for drugs. Those fighting poverty and homelessness are likely to join criminal gangs and peddle drugs in order to survive.  We need to fix that divide by offering better opportunities and education to our young people. 


More cultures equate to a larger number of gangs, exponentially increasing turf wars and gun violence.  We need to be cognisant that multiculturalism, coupled with a socio-economic divide, will exacerbate gang wars. More gangs = more competition.

Self-defence rights

Our inalienable civil liberty.  We must have the legal right to defend ourselves.  Criminals will be far more brazen in attacking a law abiding citizen knowing they're almost certainly guaranteed to be disarmed  - 'BY LAW'.

Police Mantra
A systemic belief that the police should be the only ones to have guns and that citizens with guns are a danger.  This creates a cultural divide between the police and the community, hindering investigations into crime.  Police need to learn from US cops who have overwhelmingly accepted 'APPROVED' lawful citizens carrying firearms.

State Budgets

Despite no evidence of any public safety benefit, we continue to waste millions of dollars managing a firearms registry bureaucracy.  These much needed funds must be redirected to police and border control intelligence work to further put the pressure on organised crime.

Australia making the mistakes of America
With gun crime (drive by shootings) exploding in Western Sydney, police continue to remain defiant that harsher penalties will deter criminals from carrying or using firearms.

Mandatory Sentencing.
Mandatory sentencing is usually the first tool in the crime kit bag promoted by police to influence politicians to pass legislation guaranteeing lengthy prison terms for those who commit gun crime.  The public are mostly supportive of these measures, but have little understanding of the consequences.

Crime School.
More criminals sent to jail results in more prisons and ultimately larger crime schools.  Prisons are education centres for criminals to build crime networks, collaborate on opportunities and run crime syndicates from the inside.  They're also used as opportunities to recruit petty criminals to participate in more serious criminal behavior after they have been released.

3 Strikes and you're out.
Mandatory sentencing has a positive short term effect on reducing crime, but as these criminals are released back into society, we see a trend of increasing crime, more brazen and more violent criminal activity.  Law makers in the US were then forced to introduced "3 strikes and you're out" legislation, effectively jailing violent repeat offenders indefinitely.  Again putting more strain on the prison system and increasing the size of the crime school.  

Under-cover operations.

There have been few cases where police have successfully managed to infiltrate organised crime groups by placing under-cover operatives inside to gather evidence in order to charge and convict the leaders of these gangs.  The success of under-cover operations has been limited as well as expensive.

Initiation killings.
Crime gangs are weary of under-cover operatives infiltrating organised crime groups, so gangs have forced new recruits to commit initiation killings - random killings in order to prove their legitimacy as a gang affiliate. 

Moving forward
America have recognised the ever increasing number of innocent victims as a result of their policies. This has put pressure on law makers to support self defence laws known as conceal and carry laws across almost the entire US.  A policy Australia should consider adopting to stem the tide of ever increasing (gun) violence.

Some short videos to sum it all up - All are a MUST WATCH 

What you can do...
800,000 law abiding firearms owners handle guns safely every day.  So don't be a victim of the media or politicians that plug an alternative agenda.

1) Don't be the next Jill Meagher. RIP.
2) Don't let Australia make the same mistakes America did.
3) Fight for your civil right to defend yourself.
4) Vote for a party that is firearms friendly.
5) Join a gun club today.
6) Shoot safe and have fun.