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A Call to Action: An open letter to New Zealand

By Rodney Woods
  •   24th Nov, 2019 Nov 24, 2019, 12:00 AM
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New Zealand is at a cross-roads. The ‘tail has been wagging the dog’ and the balance needs to be redressed before our Democracy is gone forever. We are suffering under the dictates of a minority Government, a Prime Minister who was not elected to the post by the voting public, and who has not only pronounced socialist views but also displays a profound lack of commonsense and worldly experience.

 

Furthermore, our MMP system allows the appointment of MPs who do not represent any electorate and exist as mere party drones, full of ‘left-field’ ideas and a distinct lack of understanding of the daily lives of NZ citizens. To cap it off, we have the Police stepping outside their normal bounds of law enforcement and actively creating legislation, further compounded by demands and statements that exceed their legal authority. New Zealand is not ready to become a ‘Police State’!

 

I have read the new Arms Amendment bill, Stuart Nash’s so-called ‘second tranche’ of firearms legislation that has just been introduced. This bill is unconstitutional, undemocratic, repressive and dictatorial. It reflects the aims of a very small group of people (probably less than ten) within the Police, Government, and ‘academia’ who are on a crusade to remove all firearms from private ownership.

 

At the same time, these people are advocating the routine arming of the NZ Police with semi-automatic pistols and AR15 rifles. Clearly, this group seeks a divided nation of obedient, unarmed ‘serfs’, ruled by a small ‘elite’ hiding behind a wall of well-armed Police.

 

The group is presenting this charade to the public under the guise of ‘public safety’. The reality is that the public has never been at any risk from the ordinary licensed firearms owners. Sadly, there have been a couple of deliberate attacks on innocent people (Gray and Tarrant) but both these were people who were permitted to obtain firearms licences despite warning signs that should have been acted upon by the Police, as required by law.

 

It should also be noted that both these psychopaths deliberately set out to break the law. Legislation that blames the equipment and penalises a large and innocent sector of the law-abiding community is a dishonest ‘smoke and mirrors’ attempt to hide the failings of a government department, a tactic reminiscent of Europe in the 1930s.

 

"I have read the new Arms Amendment bill, Stuart Nash’s so-called ‘second tranche’ of firearms legislation that has just been introduced. This bill is unconstitutional, undemocratic, repressive and dictatorial. It reflects the aims of a very small group of people (probably less than ten) within the Police, Government, and ‘academia’ who are on a crusade to remove all firearms from private ownership."

 

Ironically, it seems that Police themselves pose the largest threat to public safety. Deaths and injuries from firearms are likely to increase if Police are routinely armed. I do not denigrate our front-line Police, but put the blame on Police National Headquarters where insufficient funding and inadequate training have caused many firearms ‘incidents’ by Police staff. One training day per year with very limited ammunition is not a safe grounding for the public carriage of loaded firearms.

 

Having personally witnessed the poor level of handling and marksmanship by Police on several occasions I have fears for public safety if their general arming occurs.

 

Firearms have been an integral part of New Zealand society since the first settlers, whalers and sealers arrived here in in the early 1800s. They were a tool for harvesting food and providing defence, giving rise to the country’s first organised sport, rifle shooting, which was widely supported by the people and Government.

 

Nowadays, shooting is a popular sport with many Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals to its credit, a food-gathering tool for many, and a necessary part of our agricultural and conservation sectors. The prowess of our armed forces in the international conflicts of the past 120 years is largely due to the shooting heritage of New Zealand.

 

This new bill opens with the statement that the ownership of firearms is a ‘privilege’. Not only is this in opposition to the established practices of the past 200 years of NZ history, it is also a denial of one of the basic rights of NZ citizens as written in the Bill of Rights Act 1688 NZ, a cornerstone of our legislation and democratic system. This Act contains the basic rights we all enjoy and take for granted, such as freedom of speech, religion, and travel, the power to vote, trial by jury, etc. etc. If the Government attempts to negate one of these rights then all are in jeopardy!

 

The lack of opposition to the first 2019 Arms Amendment Act and the lack of understanding of the ramifications of what has been rushed through without consultation, has been widely noted by the public, including a large number of non-shooting citizens. The first round of legislation is not only misunderstood by the public but also by the general Police and their Minister himself! I have seen letters by him that prove he either does not fully comprehend the law, or chooses to misrepresent it.

 

Do not be swayed by the claims that this bill is for ‘public safety’ – it does nothing other than infringe the rights of the people, and does not address the criminal misuse of firearms. The NZ Public have never been in any danger from the 250,000 licenced firearms owners of New Zealand. The greatest danger to the public, and the future of democracy would be to allow this bill to proceed into law.

 

I challenge the news media, politicians, and my fellow Kiwis to examine the claims in this letter with an open mind. For too long we have been subjected to a diet of misinformation and propaganda. The facts need to be seen and understood before it is too late!

 

I stand ready to debate my comments with politicians and news media in a public forum at any time.

 

Rodney M Woods,

Otago

(Abridged: Ed)

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