Thursday 19 April 2012

The SMH and more Green astro-turfing

The SMH ran a piece yesterday by Samantha Lee, the co-chairwoman of the National Coalition for Gun Control. It featured all the usual emotional triggers that these sorts of pieces are famed for:

  • Spree killer - Martin Bryant - tick
  • Columbine massacre - tick
  • "military-style" (because anything to do with the military is bad and dangerous) - tick
  • "high powered" - tick (can anyone point me at a "low powered" handgun that is useful?)
At the same time, our favourite Green MP, David Shoebridge, put out a press release along the same lines. He got a lot of comments - and sooked up after 2 days and closed them.

Try this for yourself - do a Google search for "National Coalition for Gun Control". I did - and I couldn't find any contact details or a website. I did find this entry on Wikipedia though:

The NCGC has no public contact details and does not solicit public membership and may in fact not have any members at all.

The NCGC has been described as consisting of two people and a fax machine - I guess two people can be a coalition. It has also been described as having been "created to serve the ego of... Lee Rhiannon" - a Green.

Instead of inventing front organisations like this, why don't the Greens have the spine to simply come out and make their arguments in public? I know full well why they use a grandly titled organisation like the NCGC - the words "National" and "Coalition" suggests that this organisation has thousands or tens of thousands of members across the country, when nothing could be further from the truth. It is an attempt to create the appearance of a groundswell of public opinion where no such thing exists. 

I'll leave you with some stuff to read:

The first is a short pamphlet on trends in firearm theft in NSW. It's from the beautifully named WISH - Women in Shooting and Hunting. I think you can guess where they're coming from. The graph below is from their pamphlet.

The second is a Crime and Justice bulletin on firearms and violent crime in NSW 1995-2005. Sure, it's out of date, but it provides some useful context about "gun crime". I find it interesting that in 2005, more people were murdered by someone without a weapon (unless you class fists as a weapon) than with a firearm. And of course "firearms" includes rifles, shotguns and pistols.

Here's a third bit of reading. The killjoys at the NCGC also want to ban paintball in Australia. 

And there was me thinking that painball was just hellishly good fun. I've never thought for a minute that it is a "legitimisation of the American gun culture". These Greentards really need to get out more.

This Roland Browne character keeps his fax machine busy. Here he is writing to the Attorney General, angling for a spot on a committee:

This is a bit rich, coming from a bloke that makes it damned near impossible to join his organisation.

Hang on, after trawling through the AG site, I did find a link to NCGC. Here it is.

Well, that was kind of disappointing. I guess their organisation isn't big enough to include a webmaster.

I just keep digging stuff up. The NCGC suggested I visit the Australian Institute of Criminology, so I did. I found this interesting graph. Again, it finishes in 2006-07, but it's interesting to see that if someone wants to kill someone else, they'll probably find a way to do it.

"There has been a pronounced change in the type of weapons used in homicide since monitoring began. Firearm use has declined by more than half since 1989-90 as a proportion of homicide methods, and there has been an upward trend in the use of knives and sharp instruments, which in 2006-07 accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims."

That's enough for one night. I don't mind that the NCGC and the Greens are working hand in glove - I just wish they'd be open about it when they write an opinion piece for Fairfax. It's the secrecy and hidden agendas and relationships that annoys me most of all.

1 comment:

duncan said...

That's certainly some spade you've got there!

Mr Browne appears to be a Hobart Lawyer: