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The Gun Club

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, March 11th, 2016 - 172 comments
Categories: capitalism, crime, Deep stuff, drugs, labour, police - Tags: , , , , ,

Following on from the Kawerau seige, Labour has called for an inquiry into the hidden and illegal gun market. Spokesperson Stuart Nash says that the time is right for an independent look into gun culture in NZ,  a discussion which he says needs to go beyond a “purely law and order perspective”.

Part time PM John Key reckons there’s nothing to see here, move on, oh look, there’s something shiny over there.

Nash is correct that we need to look at how criminals are getting hold of weapons. And we need to recognise that that further arming the police is not the answer.

This is a supply and demand issue. Any inquiry should look at ways of cutting the supply, for sure. But the also inquiry needs to identify why there is the demand for weapons in the first place. Particularly, we need to know why criminals are arming themselves.

It appears that the Kawerau seige followed on from a routine Police anti-cannabis cultivation operation. Presumably, the gun or guns were a deterrent to anyone thinking of raiding the crop, be that law enforcement or just other crims trying to rip the dope off.

To be blunt, if cannabis was not illegal in NZ, then these four police officers would not have been shot. If it was legal to possess and grow marijuana, then there would not be police operations of this nature and the criminal gangs who currently profit from drug dealing would find their customer base thinning considerably. So why aren’t we legalising marijuana?

The experience in the Netherlands, Portugal and some US states is that decriminalisation and the treatment of drug use as a health issue, not a legal matter, leads to less use overall and much, much less criminality.

So, by all means look at the black market in guns. But lets also address the wider problem that we have of criminalising a large minority of kiwis for using what is a mostly harmless intoxicant, and forcing smokers to peripherally interact with gangs and in turn, making those criminals think it’s sensible to protect their sources of profit with firearms.

If we free the weed, we can free up our police to catch real criminals and we can strike a blow against both gun culture and gang culture at the same time. So what’s stopping us?

 

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172 comments on “The Gun Club ”

  1. weka 1

    There’s a table in that Labour press release that isn’t link or referenced in any way and appears incomplete. It’s supposed to detail reasons for confiscation, which seems important to this discussion.

  2. Chuck 2

    Personal cannabis use should be legal, a couple of plants out the back no problem. As for calls for an inquiry into the illegal gun market, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out the gangs and underworld bring in the military style weapons hidden in containers etc. The reason is also clear, to defend and attack against rival gangs as tens if not hundreds of millions dollars is at stake in the NZ drug industry. Its nothing to do with a “gun culture” its simply bad people (mostly gangs) who can access guns by either illegally importing or stealing from law abiding (licensed) gun owners.

    • TC 2.1

      National will not upset their tobacco and alcohol contributors by entertaining any decriminalisation actions.

      Shonky will always have another opinion on this matter regardless of the globally available data that it reduces crime and increases tax revenue.

  3. heather 3

    I agree there needs to be a complete overhaul of the gun rules in New Zealand.
    I think a very close look needs to be taken by someone of the huge gun sales that are held in Auckland, and I am sure elsewhere. I am horrified by the advertising that is posted in our letterbox and the page adverts in the newspaper advertising these gun sales.
    If cannabis was available and was not a criminal offence we would see a great change in the hours of police time given to trying to find it growing, the guns that are needed to protect it and maybe the police could give some more time to solving the outstanding number of unsolved burlaries in New Zealand.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      Theres nothing wrong with the gun rules in NZ there is, however, something very wrong with the drug laws

      • weka 3.1.1

        “huge gun sales” gives us a clue. Why does NZ this?

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          It doesn’t matter if they’re big gun sales or small gun sales just so long as the rules and laws are followed

          I think worrying about gun sales is a red herring

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            The bigger the sale the more guns in circulation and the more that are going to end up being used criminally. I have no problem with people having guns for legitimate reasons, but weapons trading should be much more tightly regulated. Allowing it to be part of the free market is insane.

            • Grindlebottom 3.1.1.1.1.1

              We don’t want to end up like the US thanks. Too many guns in private hands is going to mean more shootings. People losing their rags and using the bloody things.

              • Colonial Viper

                Bullshit. You don’t understand NZ and firearms at all. People like you are going to fuck this up by trying to fire up a new moral crusade.

                • weka

                  You don’t think too many guns in private hands would a be a problem in NZ? Why not?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You really want to fire up a new moral crusade for the Left and this is really what you want to pick?

                    • Grindlebottom

                      What are you on about? There’s no moral crusade here. Just an opinion that more guns in private hands will probably mean more shootings. I’m not a fan of encouraging lots of people to buy arms and I’d prefer all firearms to be registered rather than owners. There’s fuck all people being killed with guns in NZ because there’s fuck all people owning them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re wrong on so many counts its ridiculous.

                      Everyone knows that guns don’t kill people, people do.

                    • Macro

                      IMHO both need to be registered. That is every firearm and its whereabouts – and every firearm owner. I’ve owned a firearm under both regimes – ie when every firearm was registered, and when every owner had a firearms license.
                      Thus there is a registry of every firearm in the country, and only those permitted to use them for sporting, hunting, etc.
                      Obviously there are illegal firearms traded on a black market, there is little that can be done about that apart from undercover and vigilance by police. The use of those firearms can be reduced however with appropriate policing methods, and I agree with the suggestion in the post that the shooting at Kawarau would never have occurred if the growing of Cannabis for personal use was not illegal.

                    • weka

                      “You really want to fire up a new moral crusade for the Left and this is really what you want to pick?”

                      No, I don’t. Fuck off CV and stop making shit up about my politics and those of other people here.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      weka, gun control was originally used to take guns off communists, socialists and unionists, as well as native peoples. Probably a good idea given your attitude.

                    • weka

                      +1 Macro.

                      Grindlebottom, CV is going off on one, don’t expect much in the way of actual debate. He’s spraying his shit around the site again this evening.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      Oh ok, thanks weka. I hadn’t noticed. Must have a look around. Quite like it when he goes off sometimes. Maybe he should eat something.

                    • weka

                      I don’t enjoy it, seen him trash too many conversations. I’m also not that keen on his blatant bigotry either.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fuck it weka, you get to call me a bigot, tell me I am spraying shit around, and then get to pretend that you’re being all good and dandy?

                      Give me a break from your self-righteousness why don’t you.

                      Grindlebottom: good call. Having a few choc thins and a nice cuppa. Feeling better for it too 🙂

                    • Sacha

                      Weka should not be the focus of your ire.

                      Try Nash or whoever sanctioned him to make this an issue. Presume Labour’s caucus, leader, party managers, political advisors, ‘strategist’, comms manager and others were involved. If not, why not?

                    • The lost sheep

                      ‘He’s spraying his shit around the site again this evening.’
                      This, from someone who earlier in the day tried to create a causative linkage between the murder of 2 defenseless Worker Grandmothers and neo-liberal politics?

                      But Guns? Do we have an issue? It’s not like we are Venezuela or anything….
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

                    • weka

                      “Fuck it weka, you get to call me a bigot, tell me I am spraying shit around, and then get to pretend that you’re being all good and dandy?”

                      I’m not pretending I’m all good and dandy, that’s you making incorrect assumptions, again. I’m pointing out you are being a bigot (happy to say how if you want to know, but not wasting my brain when you so obviously aren’t interested in anything other than destroying) and that you’re not actually debating anything here, you’re just dumping a whole bunch of shit without any attempt to make a decent argument.

                      “Give me a break from your self-righteousness why don’t you.”

                      I’ll stop giving you shit when you stop behaving like one. Your behaviour tonight is unbelievable and I’m sick of it.

                    • weka

                      “Weka should not be the focus of your ire.”

                      Thanks Sacha, and neither should anyone else he is targeting here.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      I think you should give it a bit more time for the biscuits to work….

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Seriously weka, keep calling me names from your high horse, who cares what you are sick of.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      This is what happens when you expect biscuits to do a pizza’s job.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah, noted for future reference…

                    • weka

                      “Seriously weka, keep calling me names from your high horse, who cares what you are sick of.”

                      I do. And I know other people who do too. I will keep calling you on the crappy stuff and encouraging you to comment in the intelligent way that contributes well to the place instead. I don’t mind you beefing off about Labour or whatever at times, everyone does that, but I’m not going to accept you doing wholesale negativity that sucks whole threads in its wake and misrepresents what people think.

                  • Sacha

                    more guns in private hands

                    James says it’s cool cos the phrase ‘private hands’ makes him moist.

                • James

                  CV – Hate to say it – agree with you 1000%.

                  Sad thing is – I knew as soon as it happened that this would be the squalk from some people.

                  And Grindlebottom – as sor fuck all people owning guns – NZ has the 22nd highest rate of gun ownership in the world.

                  • Grindlebottom

                    How many of those are multiple guns owned by the same licence holder James? And how many of them are rural?

              • Richard McGrath

                Can you cite evidence for your assertion? In the U.S. a few years ago, John Lott found that liberalising gun laws reduced rates of violent crime. That doesn’t mean everyone has to own a gun, but if they are allowed to, it discourages people from going on shooting sprees. Such sprees tend to occur where the shooter knows the civilian population have been disarmed.

      • DoublePlusGood 3.1.2

        People are allowed guns. Very, very few people actually need guns. This discrepancy is worth considering changes in the rules for.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          If Labour head down this track it will find itself in over its head very quickly.

        • Richard McGrath 3.1.2.2

          So if you don’t need something you shouldn’t have it? Very, very few people actually need swimming pools.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.2.1

            Or a car with an engine over 1800cc.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.2

            How many swimming pool murders and suicides per year in NZ?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.2.2.1

              How many swimming pool deaths a year, weka, is the question you meant to ask.

              And how does it compare to gun deaths in NZ.

              Hmmmm, so how does it compare, weka?

              Also, you switched the basis of the argument away from “need”. Why did you do that?

              • weka

                I asked the right question. For a reason. People are willing to accept passive death risk far more than intentional. Which is why we drive big cars despite them causing deaths. If those deaths were intentional we would be calling for more regulation of big cars.

                “Also, you switched the basis of the argument away from “need”. Why did you do that?”

                No I didn’t. It’s still a valid argument. Bet you don’t know what I think about it though. Likewise, bet you don’t know where I stand on gun control. You’re a bigot CV.

        • James 3.1.2.3

          Need is not an essential qualifier. I want a gun, because I enjoy target shooting – its a hobbie.

          Love to see a government try to take that away from people.

          • weka 3.1.2.3.1

            Do you think there should be an upper limit of the number of hobby guns someone can own?

            I don’t have a problem with limited hobby ownership, and if it’s your hobby you can argue need for ownership. Type of firearm should be better regulated too.

            • chris73 3.1.2.3.1.1

              Well I for one don’t think there should be a limit because, not to be flippant, one person can only accurately fire one weapon at a time…unless you’re this guy of course

              http://www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/movieposters/9400/p9400_p_v8_aa.jpg

              But seriously the problem i would have with this is who decides the limit and what is the purpose of the limit?

              If you’re a responsible gun owner (and the stats back it up I’m guessing) then it doesn’t matter if you own 1, 10 or 100 firearms because you’ve proven yourself to be capable of owning and looking after them

              Now if you wanted to increase sentencing for crimes involving firearms or make it easier to confiscate firearms if the owners show themselves to be incapable of looking after them then I wouldn’t have a problem with that either (Andrew Hore springs to mind)

              Basically I feel the laws we have now are working well and any more that are implemented (especially knee-jerk reactions) now will only target people that’re already following the laws and will have no effect on the criminals

              • weka

                We do seem to have an increasing problem though.

                Why do you object to registering each firearm as well as the owner?

                I guess I’m making the argument that the more guns there are in circulation the more that are available for criminal use. Am happy to be proven wrong on that eg if stats show that most guns used by criminals are smuggled in from overseas.

                • chris73

                  It is increasing but I don’t think focusing on (I hate to say it because it sounds like the NRA) law-abiding firearms owners is the way to go

                  I really do believe that decriminalizing dak would go a long way to combating this problem

                  The issues i have with registering firearms are:

                  1. The cost and record keeping would, I imagine, be quite considerable not too mention how much time it would take the police to run it

                  2. Again it goes back to law-abiding citizens and crims, the crims won’t register their weapons and will just steal, buy stolen firearms or just import them (illegally of course)

                  Also I’m not comfortable with the government knowing what weapons i have, a new government may decide to ban all firearms and a list of weapons would be quite handy for them to have if they ever wanted to start confiscating them…

                  My argument would be that making it harder for people to legally own firearms won’t stop criminals owing firearms and that decriminalizing dak and thereby cutting into crims profits would be a more effective solution

                  • weka

                    Ok, you’ve just said that you will be willing to break the law if necessary to keep your guns, so I think that renders the rest of your argument unsound.

                    • chris73

                      I think that english comprehension isn’t your strong suit, please point out where I said I’d break the law to keep my guns

                    • weka

                      You said,

                      Also I’m not comfortable with the government knowing what weapons i have, a new government may decide to ban all firearms and a list of weapons would be quite handy for them to have if they ever wanted to start confiscating them…

                      I took that to mean if the govt banned all firearms you would try and hide yours. Was I wrong? If you wouldn’t try and keep some, why is it a problem if the govt has a list of them?

                    • chris73

                      I took that to mean if the govt banned all firearms you would try and hide yours.

                      – You assumed

                      Was I wrong?

                      – Yes

                      If you wouldn’t try and keep some, why is it a problem if the govt has a list of them?

                      – If the government has a list of weapons and the government confiscate my weapons then at the very least my property has been taken away and you don’t see any problems with that?

                      or the government decides I’m now dangerous because I’m on a list that says I’m armed and you don’t see any problems with that?

                    • weka

                      Ok, just to be clear, if guns were banned in NZ you would hand yours in?

                      – If the government has a list of weapons and the government confiscate my weapons then at the very least my property has been taken away and you don’t see any problems with that?

                      It’s not without precedent. For instance the govt currently uses the Public Works Act to force people to sell them their land. It also confiscated land from Māori with the Foreshore and Seabed Act. So yeah, I see problems. But I don’t see how the govt having a list of what firearms you have figures into that. It’s like saying that property owners shouldn’t have title in case the govt confiscates their land. If you are willing to hand over your guns were such a law passed, then why is the govt having a list a problem exactly?

                      or the government decides I’m now dangerous because I’m on a list that says I’m armed and you don’t see any problems with that?

                      That’s a different thing. Again not without precedent. I think what you have said in public on this thread means you are probably already on the radar of the authorities with regards to firearms. Not hugely, but if the govt gets repressive they already know where to find you.

                    • chris73

                      The thing is in NZ we have a high gun ownership and low gun deaths and I believe a lot of that is because of the laws that have been set up so I don’t see any reason to change those laws

                      I also haven’t seen any reasonable argument from anyone on here as to why the laws should be changed besides some vague notions that people “shouldn’t” have firearms

                      Never has been more true when its said if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

                    • weka

                      We have too many illegal firearms in NZ, why is that?

          • te reo putake 3.1.2.3.2

            “Need is not an essential qualifier. ”

            Er, yes it is. Need comes before want. Gun culture is about wants, not needs.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

      • Richard McGrath 3.1.3

        Agree 100% there, PR. The main issue here is drug prohibition and the violation of individual freedom it represents.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1

          /facepalm

          Answer this question: Does anybody else have the right to affect you without your say so?

          • Richard McGrath 3.1.3.1.1

            /facepalm

            No-one has the right to initiate force against me (or anyone else); if I can prove harm, I have a case for whoever harmed me to put things right.

            A person cannot live without affecting others – we don’t live on this planet completely isolated from everybody else.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1.1.1

              I didn’t say force, I said affect. There’s a very good reason for that which is, as you point out, that nobody can do anything without affecting others. This gives others veto right on everything you do. This means that we don’t actually have “individual freedom”.

              Now, asking everybody if you can do something before you do it is impractical and so we have rules, regulations and tradition about what we can and can’t do without asking.

              I do agree that our drug laws don’t work and that they need a major overhaul. But it’s not a question of simply getting rid of prohibition.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4

        Theres nothing wrong with the gun rules in NZ

        Of course there is. Neither we nor our politicians are perfect and thus the gun and all other laws aren’t perfect and so do need to be looked at and overhauled in line with new knowledge.

  4. Anno1701 4

    back in the mid 90s there was a large importation of military grade small arms into this country by organized criminals from out side NZ , they figured NZ was a good potential market as the rest of the world was pretty much saturated with this kind of weaponry buy this point

    A few months later there was an “all-gang” summit called and it was decided to get rid of these weapons before serious carnage broke out

    They were sealed into 40gallons drums with concrete and dropped by a fishing trawler into the sea of the coast of Invercargill

    The Police were advised the guns were being moved and where they were going , “word on the street” is the Law was so happy about what was happening they provided an undercover escort in case the load was mistakenly intercepted by any local plod en-route

    • reason 4.1

      ^^^^ what a load of fantasy shit Anon1701 …………………. did you read it in a Wishart magazine or something.

      The big BOOM of guns entering the black market was after the Government changed the laws in response to David Gray and the Aramoana shootings.

      Hundreds of thousands of licensed gun owners did not renew under the more strict, stringent and expensive firearms license rules. …………. and as their guns themselves were not registered or otherwise kept track of no one has a clue where they all went ( the vast majority were sold legally to licensed gun owners of course ).

      Cannabis prohibition is a political Cult built on lies and embraced by our legal system ……… whose time is drawing to an end.

      Shame about all the damage they have and still are causing ……….

      • Anno1701 4.1.1

        “^^^^ what a load of fantasy shit Anon1701… did you read it in a Wishart magazine or something.”

        settle down sweetheart

        i was told by someone who was on the boat

        • reason 4.1.1.1

          “settle down sweetheart

          i was told by someone who was on the boat”

          gee I guess that makes it true then ……………. was it David Icke and were shape shifting reptiles also present?.

    • Sacha 4.2

      That’s a great story. Imagine if their ancestors had been as smart about who wins when gangs/tribes take foreign guns and fight amongst themselves?

  5. Andre 5

    Just out of curiosity, imagine the our authorities had never heard of cannabis prior to the Psychoactive Substances 2013, and hadn’t specifically banned it. Would cannabis have met the requirements for legal sale? After all, hundreds of millions, if not billions of willing human subjects have used it with very little credible evidence of substantial harm to users.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    I would take a similar but stronger position on this than TRP.

    Chasing down gun laws is a complete red herring for liberal lefties to get all excited about. NZ gun laws and NZ gun culture work very well.

    Taking marijuana out of the purvue of criminals is where the big game for societal change is.

    As well as replacing it with legal, productive, economic alternatives in the regions so that people can continue to earn a solid income.

    One more thing which hasn’t been mentioned so far: all attempts to routinely arm or militarise our police must be resisted.

    • weka 6.1

      “NZ gun laws and NZ gun culture work very well.”

      But it is changing. And there isn’t one gun culture in NZ, there are multiple ones. Can you name them?

      I’d like to know if there is any evidence that shows the number of gun violence incidents in NZ related to cannabis alone.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Name the gun cultures in NZ? Why are you asking absurd questions?

        You want to start a Lefty hunt for these bad subcultures in NZ now?

        You think that the Left can deal with these bad subcultures by passing new laws?

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          “You want to start a Lefty hunt for these bad subcultures in NZ now?”

          No I don’t. Where did you get that from? Get off your high horse CV and try and make some politically based debate instead of slurs.

          • Muttonbird 6.1.1.1.1

            The ‘thoughtful comment’ from CV which Ropata referenced in today’s daily review is part of CV’s general view on ‘lefties’ as he puts it.

            CV, in that ‘thoughtful comment’ explains why he thinks Chinese do not engage in politics. A part of his explanation is that Chinese was…

            Further, for a lot of “Asians”, politics is not some benign harmless thing you turn off when the news comes on. Without putting too fine a point on it, leaders get deposed, shit gets blown up, billion dollar nepotism is common, family members are placed incommunicado under Internal Security Acts, helicopters crash in mysterious circumstances, journalists end up floating in the gutter, and you’re lucky if your so-called body guards aren’t the ones to pull the trigger on you one day.

            I haven’t been here long but I think CV’s crusade against ‘lefties’ is a product of being kicked out of the Dunedin Labour Party branch. I think a grudge is being held by CV which would be consistent with his explanation of the attitude of Chinese towards politics.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ve only just read that thread, and probably need to reread it as there is a lot in there, but on the face of it I don’t see what you mean. The bit you quote, I took him to be referring to Asian immigrants, not NZ Chinese (of which is he one), so I don’t see how it applies.

              Here’s the thread for those that haven’t seen it. It’s a good read.

              “The greatest polling error in primary history”

              • Muttonbird

                I referenced the comment in response to your call to CV to engage in political debate instead of slurs.

                It made me think of Ropata’s reference to the ‘thoughtful comment’ by CV in which he explained that Asians don’t do politics because of the inherent corruption and flat out nepotism in the politics and daily business life that they are used to.

                • weka

                  Are you saying that CV is akin to an Asian immigrant who comes from a country that is corrput?

                  • Muttonbird

                    No. I referenced his post and I’ll ask you not project what I’m saying in future.

                    CV in his ‘thoughtful comment’ detailed why he thinks Asians (Chinese) don’t engage in politics. He said they tend to be self employed and use their own in family labour and the connections they can trust because their wider experience is one of nepotism and corruption at higher government levels.

                    Let’s be honest here. Chinese people don’t enjoy democracy in any way shape or form and verily are persecuted for agitating for such so no wonder they shy away from politics when the relocate to NZ.

                    Those relocating just want to use the gains they have made from a country with weak labour laws and poor social justice to maximise their situation in NZ.

                    You can say CV comes from a country which is corrupt if you like.

                    • weka

                      I’m not projecting, I’m trying to guess because I honestly don’t know what you are getting at here.

                      CV, afaik, is a Kiwi. I don’t understand why you are comparing him to an Asian immigrant.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.2

              I haven’t been here long but I think CV’s crusade against ‘lefties’ is a product of being kicked out of the Dunedin Labour Party branch.

              Kicked out was I?

              Link or explanation, please.

              The post I wrote at the time was very clear: all the officers of the branch resigned and the branch I was a member of voted to go into recess; I decision I also voted for.

              Please explain to me where you got “kicked out” from that.

              Unless you meant that we kicked out the Labour Party from our personal lives, which might be a bit more accurate.

              • Muttonbird

                There’s bad blood there. That is plain to see. Also plain to see is the effect it has had upon your vision when talking about the Labour party in particular and ‘lefties’ in general.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh there’s definitely bad blood, that’s not in question.

                  The post I read at the time also detailed out why our branch officers quit their posts. Off the top of my head:

                  Mushy stance on the TPP, mushy stance on the Right to Fire, badly judged Chinese sounding last names gambit, voting for NAT social welfare legislation, voting for NAT spying and anti-terrorism legislation, etc.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Meh.

                    Nationally, the TPP debate is mushy because of the secrecy, condescension, and partisanship imposed by the National Government negotiators.

                    The Labour Party has always been for the right of workers and have forced a government policy reversal on zero hours just this week.

                    The Chinese names was a call for foreign buyers information because your beloved National Party government refused to collect such information. Now it does, thanks Phil Twyford.

                    Not sure what you mean about ‘voting for NAT social welfare legislation’, and ‘voting for NAT spying and anti-terrorism legislation, etc’. You appear to have fallen into generalities at that point.

                    • weka

                      Labour voted for bene bashing and the GCSB legislation put up by National.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I didn’t mean that the debate on the TPP is mushy, I mean that Labour is totally mushy on the TPP.

                      Secret agreement which is against the long term interests of NZers.

                      Not that difficult or unclear a political position to maintain is it?

                      But that might put big transnational corporates like Big Pharma etc. off side and they might not want dinner with you.

                    • Muttonbird

                      What bene-bashing?

                      As for the GCSB/SIS laws, I don’t have an issue monitoring gang, drug, and terror activities in NZ but I do have an issue with sitting governments like this one using taxpayer funded spy and police resources to discredit the opposition, critical journalism, and Kiwis subject to foreign civil cases.

                    • weka

                      You can look up the welfare legislation. It’s been talked about a bit on ts.

                    • Muttonbird

                      That’s lazy weka. Please reference where the Labour party have bashed beneficiaries rather than just saying look it up.

                    • weka

                      it’s not laziness it’s that I’m not here to do your homework for you.

              • pat

                a question CV…I assume (though one never should, or so Im told) you are a NZer (chinese heritage) of many generations….that being so, what is the basis of your connection/knowledge of recent Chinese immigrants?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I have a Chinese last name.

                  • pat

                    lol…or a Chinese sounding one. It was a genuine inquiry…I have an Irish surname but that fact gives me no insight into why or how any Irish immigrants may vote.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’ve met a few Irish in my time. The ones who were politically inclined…can talk for hours about the politics of their countrymen. If there are sufficient drinks available to water the tongue…

                    • pat

                      it would appear its not only the Irish who kiss the Blarney

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          “Name the gun cultures in NZ? Why are you asking absurd questions?”

          You said,

          “NZ gun laws and NZ gun culture work very well.”

          You appeared to be speaking authoritatively. I want to know if you actually know much abotu gun use in NZ, who uses them, why etc i.e. do you know what gun cultures are?

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.3

          @CV

          Here my proposed deal on this. There are only three legitimate reasons to own any sort of gun.

          1. You are a collector.

          You own them for their intrinsic value, not to use them. In this case there is no reason for any gun in your collection to be in working condition, nor should you ever own ammunition.

          All ‘collectables’ are registered and ownership tracked by a National Association that you pay a substantial fee to belong to. Anything not on the register cannot be bought or sold legally, and can be destroyed by the Police.

          2. You are a target shooter.

          In this case you will belong to an official shooting club that has access to a range. Your guns will be registered and any ownership changes tracked by the club, and all your ammunition will be issued by the club for use on a range only. If you cease to be a member in good standing, you surrender your weapon to the club.

          3. You are a bona-fide hunter or farmer.

          You will be a member of Federated Farmers or one of the recognised Hunting Associations. In this case the current rules around Police registration, secure storage and separation of ammunition will apply stringently.

          You will attend regular association meetings, and a safety course at least once every five years. Your equipment and storage will be inspected regularly. Gun owners pay for the cost.

          There are absolutely NO other ‘kiwi cultural’ scenarios that have any legitimacy whatsoever.

          The legal position on gun ownership must be perfectly clear that it is a privilege not a right. Any breach of the rules is an automatic suspension of that right with no compensation. Exactly the same as say … a drivers license.

          Any possession or use of a weapon outside these clear boundaries will be an automatic presumption of guilt in the context of any criminal charges arising, and maximum sentencing will be the indicated direction to the Courts.

          That’s the real New Zealand ‘gun culture’ for you CV. And most safe, competent and responsible gun owners would largely agree with me.

          • weka 6.1.1.3.1

            I agree with pretty much all of that, very good summation.

            This not so much though,

            “You will be a member of Federated Farmers or one of the recognised Hunting Associations.”

            There are plenty of farmers who don’t belong to FF and shouldn’t be required to. Having a wider range of associations to belong to might solve the issue, but it’s not a good idea to mix FF, who are a lobby group with huge influence on the govt nationally and local bodies and who are basically politically amoral, and gun control. Think NZ’s version of the NRA.

            Many poor people rely on hunting to supplement their diets. It’s not ok to penalise them via fees, and it’s probably not safe either as it will encourage illegal ownership and trade.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.3.1.1

              I agree my proposals above could stand for some refinement. They were meant as a broad expression of intent.

              Conventionally we’ve relied on the State to define and enforce a ‘social license’ to own and use guns. But I do see a much expanded and more effective role for community based organisations. My sense is that if you are a member in good standing of a recognised association this is the most effective way of creating strong, safe and clear expectations around gun use.

              In my experience, if your out regularly bagging a decent amount of wild game for the family, this adds up to a substantial monetary value over the course of a year. Most good hunters finish up with too much at times and a bit of of cash often changes hands with their mates. A few hundred bucks a years in costs is not that big a hurdle. Not if your legit.

              • weka

                My sense is that if you are a member in good standing of a recognised association this is the most effective way of creating strong, safe and clear expectations around gun use.

                How would you see say Tūhoe fitting into that?

                In my experience, if your out regularly bagging a decent amount of wild game for the family, this adds up to a substantial monetary value over the course of a year. Most good hunters finish up with too much and a bit of of cash quite likely changes hands with their mates. A few hundred bucks a years in costs is not that big a hurdle. Not if your legit.

                You’re suggesting that hunters sell meat illegally to cover the increased costs of owning firearms?

                I’m not in favour of laws being written with that kind of rationale (or policy). Nor am I in favour of laws being written that give privilege to people with resources. The people you are talking about are not poor.

                • RedLogix

                  How would you see say Tūhoe fitting into that?

                  If Tuhoe want to operate outside of the current national law, then I guess it’s up to them to say so and work through the consequences. Or if they want to write their own laws and rules around gun use, or abolish them altogether, then as a white male Pakeha I guess I have to remain silent. It’s the sort of thing I’m not allowed to have an opinion on these days.

                  You’re suggesting that hunters sell meat illegally to cover the increased costs of owning firearms?

                  Well you were suggesting that poor hunters might choose to illegally own their firearms to avoid paying some pretty modest fees in the context of the value that their hunting produces.

                  Which do imagine is of more concern, a bit of low level under the table meat trading that has always gone on (done it myself) … or tolerating slack enforcement of gun laws? I know which lane I pick.

                  • weka

                    I’m not suggesting any of those things about Tūhoe. I’m suggesting that if we want to write laws that are inclusive we need to make them work for a broad range of people and I’m not sure that some of your suggestions do that.

                    Well you were suggesting that poor hunters might choose to illegally own their firearms to avoid paying some pretty modest fees in the context of the value that their hunting produces.

                    Yes, but I’m not suggesting we write laws in such a way that accomodates and encourages that. We should write laws that enable people to obey them.

                    Not sure what you mean by modest fees. It’s already pricey to get a licence. If we add on fees for gun registration and various reinspections/tests over time, that puts it out of affordability for some people. I think that will create problems.

              • Colonial Viper

                RL: you believe that those 3 steps you proposed being implemented would have prevented those police officers from being shot?

                I’m not so sure about that.

                I am however 100% sure those officers would not have been shot if cannabis was legalised.

                Perhaps that latter measure would be both more direct, and more effective, at ensuring police safety.

                • RedLogix

                  You know way better than to leap from the general to the specific like that 🙂

                  I would argue that more political effort to constrain gun ownership and use would on balance reduce the probability of people, including police, from being shot. Whether or not it prevents any given incident from happening is a different question that neither you nor I have an answer to.

                  But on the other hand I do accept that legalising cannabis would have in this case have completely changed odds for the better.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A party in power has a certain amount of political capital it can burn doing unpopular stuff.

                    It’s very rare that a government gets an opportunity to make a big change which will net gain it political capital.

                    From the political calculus point of view a Left Govt trying to knuckle down on gun owners is going to cost it big time. Whereas sorting out the legalisation of cannabis, with appropriate processes and controls, is going to gift it big time.

                    So as a lefty political party, which should avenue should they raise to media prominence?

                    Labour has picked one and I reckon its the wrong one.

                    • weka

                      FWIW, I think Labour were wrong on this too (although possibly for different reasons).

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s very rare that a government gets an opportunity to make a big change which will net gain it political capital.

                      I’ll not quibble with that in principle. But at the same time much of the rest of the world looks on the slow train crash which is the gun-culture in the USA with unmitigated horror and bafflement.

                      There is your net political gain.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And in what way is our gun culture, gun rules, and gun deaths similar to the USA?

                      It’s not really at all, is it. We are way ahead of the game, by a country mile.

                • Gabby

                  Do you think the legalisation of cannabis would lead growers to stop using land that doesn’t belong to them? If not, do you think police would turn a blind eye to that?

                • Lucy

                  The latest lot would not but most of the cops getting shot when dealing with P suppliers, are you suggesting this should be legalised too? If guns were registered like they used to be we would have an idea of how many were legitimately in the country.

          • chris73 6.1.1.3.2

            1. You are a collector.

            You own them for their intrinsic value, not to use them. In this case there is no reason for any gun in your collection to be in working condition, nor should you ever own ammunition.

            All ‘collectables’ are registered and ownership tracked by a National Association that you pay a substantial fee to belong to. Anything not on the register cannot be bought or sold legally, and can be destroyed by the Police.

            – I disagree with this, part of the fun in collecting is using what you’re collecting (for some people that is), would you expect someone who collects of cars to not drive them so why would you expect someone who collects firearms to not fire them

            – I don’t believe that setting up an association will achieve anything as its not legally acquired firearms that’re causing the problem and you can’t buy firearms without a licence anyway

            2. You are a target shooter.

            In this case you will belong to an official shooting club that has access to a range. Your guns will be registered and any ownership changes tracked by the club, and all your ammunition will be issued by the club for use on a range only. If you cease to be a member in good standing, you surrender your weapon to the club.

            – To get a pistol licence you need to be a member of a pistol club anyway but why foist responsibility for registration onto a club (which are mostly run by volunteers) when there isn’t that much of a major issue?

            – and as for having your ammo issued by the club, good luck with that…theres a lot of different ammunition out there because everyone has their preferences and what about the reloaders, what do they do?

            3. You are a bona-fide hunter or farmer.

            You will be a member of Federated Farmers or one of the recognised Hunting Associations. In this case the current rules around Police registration, secure storage and separation of ammunition will apply stringently.

            You will attend regular association meetings, and a safety course at least once every five years. Your equipment and storage will be inspected regularly. Gun owners pay for the cost.

            – Gun owners will pay for the cost, its not the gun owners that follow the rules that’re the problem, its the criminals breaking the laws so why are you wanting gun owners to have more of their rights taken away, penalties forced on them and pay more money?

            The legal position of gun ownership must be perfectly clear that it is a privilege not a right. Any breach of the rules is an automatic suspension of that right with no compensation. Exactly the same as say … a drivers license.

            – We know its a privilege (well most of us do) thats why we in NZ have one of the highest rates of gun ownership (22nd in the world)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

            but have one of the lower gun deaths by firearm totals

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

            Don’t mess with a good thing, we have a good balance between rights and responsibilities

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.3.2.1

              Nope … the current balance is sliding towards tolerating more and more gun ownership without much in the way of legitimacy.

              I could have proposed a much more draconian regime that simply stated – no guns at all. Like we don’t for instance allow people to collect deadly snakes or piles of enriched uranium because they think it’s ‘fun’.

              My view is that in a civilised society, guns have a very narrow legitimacy. I argue that if you want to partake in owning one, there will be a significant hurdle to leap over … and very real constraints.

              New Zealand is still a small country. With a bit of political and social will, we could quite readily eliminate illegal and criminal gun ownership. A classic carrot and stick approach would work quite readily.

              • chris73

                Nope … the current balance is sliding towards tolerating more and more gun ownership without much in the way of legitimacy.

                – Thats not true at all, the current licencing rules came in after the Aromoana massacre and since the gun deaths in NZ are running at:

                New Zealand 1.07 per 100 000 and thats broken down into:

                0.18 (2013) attributed to homicide
                0.84 (2011) attributed to suicide
                0.05 (2010) unintentional

                I’d say the current laws are doing very well

                I could have proposed a much more draconian regime that simply stated – no guns at all. Like we don’t for instance allow people to collect deadly snakes or piles of enriched uranium because they think it’s ‘fun’.

                – No we don’t however comparing deadly snakes and enriched uranium to firearms is a very long bow to draw

                The fact is that in a civilised society, guns have a very narrow legitimacy. I argue that if you want to partake in owning one, there will be a significant hurdle to leap over … and very real constraints.

                – You say they have a narrow legitimacy, I say that for hunters, collectors, target shooters, pest control workers and farmers its not very narrow at all

                – There are already hurdles in place if you want to own firearms and, again, harking back to the low cause of death by firearms I’d say they’re working well

                New Zealand is still a small country. With a bit of political and social will, we could quite readily eliminate illegal and criminal gun ownership. A classic carrot and stick approach would work quite readily.

                – No you can’t unless you want to instigate policies like these guys who were also into gun control:

                In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

                In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

                Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, leaving a populace unable to defend itself against the Gestapo and SS. Hundreds of thousands died as a result.

                China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

                Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

                Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. The total dead are said to be 2-3 million

                Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, 1-2 million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

                Although lets be fair those numbers are merely estimates because who really keeps count

                • Colonial Viper

                  Some days a group of activists wants to make it easier for people to kill themselves. Some days those same activists want to make it harder for people to kill themselves. It’s all over the map.

                • RedLogix

                  No we don’t however comparing deadly snakes and enriched uranium to firearms is a very long bow to draw

                  They’re all very dangerous when misused and often kill people. As a society we place strict rules around snakes and uranium because in NZ we simply do not accept them in any shape or form. And if guns were invented tomorrow, we’d not tolerate them either.

                  Christ on a bike … do you really imagine a population can defend itself against the modern state?

                  If really you want to get into an arms race with the military you’ll ultimately need some big bazookas buddy. I guess a few of them in the back shed would have real bragging rights 🙂

                  • chris73

                    They’re all very dangerous when misused and often kill people

                    Theres a lot of things that could be applied to as well:

                    https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/nz-mortality-statistics-1950-2009-provisional.pdf

                    an easier chart to read:

                    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/02/what_kiwis_die_of.html

                    However death by firearm is extremely low

                    • RedLogix

                      Take another look.

                      We spend billions on a health system that is designed to minimise early or avoidable death to disease.

                      We strongly legislate public, transport and workplace environments to minimise death or injury to avoidable accident.

                      Our legal system counts homicide among the worst of crimes.

                      Our efforts to placate disease, accident and malice can be uneven, sometimes misdirected even … but nonetheless as a society we direct huge resource to this endeavour.

                      But guns are different. Death by guns are entirely 100% preventable, and they bring very little in the way of positive benefit to society, outside of perhaps agricultural and animal control purposes. Their risk-benefit trade-off is awful.

                    • weka

                      “Death by guns are entirely 100% preventable,”

                      That’s not quite true. For some of those deaths people would use a different weapon (or tool in the case of suicide) if a gun wasn’t available.

                      The ones that are completely preventable are the accidental death ones.

                      “and they bring very little in the way of positive benefit to society, outside of perhaps agricultural and animal control purposes. Their risk-benefit trade-off is awful.”

                      Lots of people love hunting and do it for the love of it. That brings benefit. I think target shooting is similar. I don’t know where the risk/benefit trade off should be, but I’d favour some better regulating to prevent it from getting worse rather than assuming it’s already too bad.

                    • RedLogix

                      You should not mis-interpret what I am saying to mean that I’m anti-gun. I’ve spent more time with hunters and target shooters than you probably imagine.

                      I do know which end of one to point.

                      A close friend spent decades as a professional pest controller putting more rounds through his rifle in a year than few other people manage in a lifetime.

                      Close relatives of mine live on a busy gun range.

                      I understand their legitimate uses.

                      But equally I’m bloody clear on the boundaries as well. Especially the kind of gung-ho boof-headed attitudes you can see in c73’s ideas.

                    • chris73

                      But equally I’m bloody clear on the boundaries as well. Especially the kind of gung-ho boof-headed attitudes you can see in c73’s ideas.

                      – Give me an example of my so-called boof-headed attitude

                • Interesting incidental correlations, chris73.

                  Here’s a summing up of the evidence from some Harvard guy:

                  Scientific studies have consistently found that places with more guns have more violent deaths, both homicides and suicides. Women and children are more likely to die if there’s a gun in the house. The more guns in an area, the higher the local suicide rates. “Generally, if you live in a civilized society, more guns mean more death,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. “There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime. None at all.”

                  Elsewhere in the same link:

                  Despite the ubiquitous presence of “good guys” with guns, countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.

                  Indeed, even as some Americans propose expanding our gun culture into elementary schools, some Latin American cities are trying to rein in theirs. Bogotá’s new mayor, Gustavo Petro, has forbidden residents to carry weapons on streets, in cars or in any public space since last February, and the murder rate has dropped 50 percent to a 27-year low. He said, “Guns are not a defense, they are a risk.”

                  “If you’re living in a ‘Mad Max’ world, where criminals have free rein and there’s no government to stop them, then I’d want to be armed,” said Dr. Hemenway of Harvard. “But we’re not in that circumstance. We’re a developed, stable country.” [Referring to the US]

                  • And, chris73, you’re inviting an illogical inference: ‘Authoritarian governments introduce gun controls prior to slaughtering their citizens therefore any government that introduces gun control is increasing the risk of their citizenry being slaughtered.’

                    It ain’t necessarily so.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.4

          Name the gun cultures in NZ? Why are you asking absurd questions?

          Not really absurd at all – need to know what we’re addressing before we know how to address it.

          And off the top of my head there’s the gun cultures of:

          1. Farmers
          2. Sportspeople
          3. Collectors
          4. Police
          5. Criminals
          6. Enthusiasts

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.4.1

            Well you can more or less conflate enthusiasts and police together. They’re both primarily interested in target shooting in controlled situations. They both typically train on the same ranges, and both are very safety and control conscious as a rule.

            And this group often has a fair bit of overlap with collectors. Especially people into vintage guns, and the like. And if collectors are into firing their weapons it’s almost always in a club context on a controlled range of some sort. There’s often a fair overlap with archers and bow hunters as well.

            And farmers and sports hunters both operate in back country settings where the target is always animals. Only a problem when they mis-identify their target. Which sadly happens a bit too often.

            Criminals are actually a much easier proposition than most people imagine. All it takes is a sustained message from the Police that any whiff of illegal weapon ownership, threat or use will get the ton of bricks treatment. Over time the crims have the option of either engaging in an arms race with the cops, which tends to be Darwinian in its outcomes, or they smarten up and get rid of them.

          • Don't worry. Be happy 6.1.1.4.2

            And the gun cultures of the Armed Forces…territorials as well as regular…..cops seem to get off on guns as well.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.4.2.1

              Well another way of looking at it is that Police and the Services are more or less the professional version of the amateurs enjoying a Saturday afternoon banging away at the local range.

              Often both police and enthusiasts will share the same facilities. What they both have in common is a strong safety and control culture that does not tolerate untrained idiots who put lives in danger.

              Indeed if you’ve ever watched a SWAT team training, the level of discipline and skill is impressive.

              • Colonial Viper

                and its mindblowing to consider that they operate at a big performance step below operators like the NZSAS.

    • “One more thing which hasn’t been mentioned so far: all attempts to routinely arm or militarise our police must be resisted.”

      That’s part of Nash’s point. He called for an inquiry that didn’t have a “purely law and order perspective”. I reinforced that in the post, too. The answer isn’t more guns.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Why is this coming from Nash?

      • miravox 6.2.2

        The other thing that I’m wondering about is if gun sellers are attempting to grow their business with increased presence on-line, and in the community. I’m not suggesting in illegality – just that weapons are in the same socially undesirable category and cigarettes, alcohol, gambling etc and so promotion of the product should be heavily regulated.

        Has regulation of promotion/advertising kept up with gun shows, billboards, on-line sales etc.? Maybe this should be included in any inquiry into illegal gun use and culture (or possibly more appropriately acculturation).

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          I’m wondering if we can get some journalists to try ordering some guns online.

          • miravox 6.2.2.1.1

            Heh! Nah – been done 🙂

            Is that still ongoing, or sorted now?

            I was thinking more about whether there was increasing demand for guns, not the legality of a sale.

        • chris73 6.2.2.2

          Why are firearms in the same category as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling etc?

          • miravox 6.2.2.2.1

            Dangerous in the wrong hands and associated with social harm, ‘health’ consequences and criminality if used incorrectly. NO, I’m not suggesting here that guns should be banned. No, I’m not anti-hunting, target shooting or collecting.

            However, I do believe they should be thoughtful purchases, and marketing and advertising should reflect this. You may have a different view and that’s fine – all the more reason for this to be part of an inquiry, if that’s what is being called for. Sort out the issues.

          • weka 6.2.2.2.2

            They’re all potentially dangerous.

            • chris73 6.2.2.2.2.1

              Name me something that isn’t potentially dangerous

              • weka

                Most things. You’re not that stupid chris.

                • chris73

                  Most things are potentially dangerous depending on how you use them

                  • weka

                    Theoretically true but not relevant to the point that was being made.

                    • chris73

                      Well yes it, food wasn’t mentioned yet thats probably the biggest killer out there, I didn’t see motor vehicles anywhere, I’m betting (and it’d be a pretty safe bet) that knives are used to kill more people in NZ then firearms

                      So why demonize something thats not only safe but something you have to get a licence for

                    • weka

                      No-one is demonising firearms. We’re having a conversation about risk assessment and the public good. We also have that conversation about drugs, alcohol, gambling and yes, food and cars and regulate accordingly.

    • vto 6.3

      True mr viper true, about taking crims out of one great big silliness.. namely marijuana …

      However I don’t think it will solve any criminal problem because the gangs and the like will simply crop (pun pun) up somewhere else. This is what they do. Decriminalising marijuana will distort the criminal raising of incomes by gangs to another activity.

      It may provide some criminal easing around the edges by local losers who make some extra pocket money, but they will also crop (pun again) up elsewhere..

      Which of the two above would the local Kawerau chap belong to? The gang? Or the local loser?

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        Yes the gangs will try and raise revenue from other illegal sources, but there is little out there which can replace the $$$$$ from the massive volume of marijuana grown and used in this country.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      all attempts to routinely arm or militarise our police must be resisted.

      QFT

  7. maui 7

    Not too worried about the guns, I don’t see how you could ever keep them out of criminal hands anyway. What about focusing instead on reducing criminal activity with a new economic model that doesn’t drive thousands of people into poverty like the current one does.

  8. adam 8

    Prohibition is just making the gangs rich.

    The police are the poor suckers on the front line fighting a war on drugs that can not be won.

    Just in case you missed it folks – the war on drugs has been going on since Ronald Reagan. No wait… Nixon and that was in 1971.

    So Incredible failure.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Just in case you missed it folks – the war on drugs has been going on since Ronald Reagan. No wait… Nixon and that was in 1971.

      Since Al Capone actually. First the alcohol and, once prohibition ended, the police needed something else harmless to beat upon to keep the high budgets rolling in.

  9. vto 9

    I always liked bazookas because of their name. Can you buy them in NZ?

  10. Wainwright 10

    Hear hear.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    If we free the weed, we can free up our police to catch real criminals and we can strike a blow against both gun culture and gang culture at the same time. So what’s stopping us?

    What’s stopping us seems to be a fundamental inability of our governing body to accept that marijuana shouldn’t have been made illegal in the first place. Regulated like cigarettes and alcohol would have been a much better idea and it’s safer than both of those.

    And then think of the good we could do developing medicines from that freely available weed.

    • sabine 11.1

      @draco t bastard

      And then think of the good we could do developing medicines from that freely available weed.

      …… but there is no profit in freely available.

      but other then that, yes, I firmly believe that making week legal, or tolerated as in the Netherlands would be a vote winner. alas, it seems that the collective body of politicians regardless of colour and affiliation has no spine, not guts, nor anything when it comes to advocating that the evil weed might be a good cash crop if legal.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    I think the sudden interest in guns is MPs trying to pretend they’re doing something. Scaremongering to justify increased police and surveillance powers perhaps. But of course police should be working more on guns and burglary, and less on traffic and marijuana. VTO, a bazooka may be required to get the benefits of marijuana law reform through Peter Dunne’s thick skull.

  13. Jay 13

    Excellent and very well-written article.

    Nz will eventually follow the example of the US if the model works there, which it sounds like it is.

    If England jumps on board too, then it will certainly just be a matter of time.

    I was 100% in favour of legalizing all drugs before the synthetic cannabis debacle and the trouble caused by it being legal, but my gut tells me this had more to do with cannabis still being illegal. I now agree though with seeing how it works out in the states before we rush into it.

    I don’t want to see cannabis smoked openly on the streets, but if I had to vote on it tomorrow I’d say legalise all drugs, make the harder ones available on prescription, and thereby suck billions out of the gang’s economy.

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