There is no simple answer when it comes to public safety. During the past six months, more than one million licensed firearm owners have been drawn in by selective, sensationalist media reports and certain politicians who think further restrictions will somehow be a quick fix to address public safety concerns. The theory goes that penalising the licensed firearm owner will somehow stop outlaw bikie groups and drug dealers attacking each other, or prevent the actions of bitter and extreme religious-driven terrorists.
Even the conservative side of government and public servants responded to the 2014 terrorist attack in Sydney’s Martin Place by suggesting the fast-tracking of a national firearm registry integration system, even though the firearm used in the incident would never have been on the system.
So, along with the blame falling on the licensed owner, we see the continual dissipation of personal responsibility. We, as a society, cannot expect the police and laws to prevent us from any or all mischief. In most cases, it may be the actions of a person who is well known with a systematic breakdown of checks and balances; in this case, it is to be agreed with Prime Minister Tony Abbott that our own disposition to give the benefit of the doubt should be questioned.
Port Arthur madman Martin Bryant had a long and sad history of antisocial behaviour and plain illegal activity. The man who enacted the Childers Palace Backpackers murders using only a packet of matches was well known to be criminally and mentally ill. The horrific case of the Cairns mother murdering her eight children and niece with a knife was also known to authorities. Terrorist Man Haron Monis was well known to both the media and police authorities, was out on...