The Politics of Guns
Firearms in recent years have become an emotive issue. Historically they have been lawfully used in New Zealand for defence, hunting of game and waterfowl, and competitive sport. However, such is their potential for misuse that Governments have formulated laws by which gun ownership and use is governed.
Inevitably there are occasions where firearms are misused - suicides, murders or even more dramatically, mass shooting, such as Aramoana. Following such events it is natural that those opposed to firearms find it easy to evoke an emotional response from people who are shocked by the personal, family or community horror. Sometimes those opposed to firearms use such incidents as an opportunity to seek to build a wider public campaign to achieve their own goals which are often extremist.
COLFO understands that guns, like motorcars, knives, and fire, can be misused by individuals for criminal profit or aberrant purposes, dependent upon their motives or state of mind. For that reason we strongly support legislation which controls the ownership of firearms and believe that the policing of these laws should be more vigorous and better resourced.
COLFO will debate the issue of gun ownership with people who are prepared to consider the factors that contribute to the misuse of firearms and the means of dealing with such misuse. These include the need for tighter Police control of the criminal element and their use of firearms, and a recognition of the role played in Police shootings or community disasters by people of impaired mental health.
COLFO takes a strong stand against the emotional, misleading or untrue presentation of any arguments propounded by anti-gun activists, and calls for truth, accuracy and balance in the content, presentation and reporting of the issue.