An open letter to New Zealand
New Zealand is at a critical cross-roads. The ‘tail has been wagging the dog’ for far too long and the balance needs to be redressed with some urgency 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 common sense and worldly experience. Furthermore, our MMP system allows the appointment of MP’s 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 their seemingly incessant demands and statements that simply 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 to Parliament. This bill is, without doubt, the most unconstitutional, undemocratic, repressive and dictatorial attempt at legislation ever considered in this country. This bill reflects the aims of a very small group of people (probably less than ten) within the Police, Government, and ‘academia’ who are hell-bent on a fanatical crusade to remove all firearms from private ownership. At the same time, these people are actively advocating the routine arming of the NZ Police with semi-automatic 9mm pistols and 5.56mm (.223) AR15 rifles. This small group of zealots seems to have no qualms regarding the Police use of extreme ‘Gestapo like’ tactics in enforcing their objectives upon the 250,000 law-abiding licensed firearms owners of New Zealand. Clearly, this group seeks a divided nation of obedient, unarmed ‘serfs’, ruled by a small ‘elite’ hiding behind a wall of well-armed thugs masquerading as the NZ Police.
This small group is presenting this charade to the public of New Zealand 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 prominent examples of deliberate attacks on innocent people (Gray and Tarrant) but both of these have been perpetrated by people who were permitted to obtain, and retain, firearms licences despite warning signs that should have been acted upon by the Police, as required by the law of the day. It should also be noted that both these psychopaths deliberately set out to break the law. Legislation that blames the equipment, vilifies and penalises a large and innocent sector of the law-abiding community, is nothing more than a dishonest ‘smoke and mirrors’ attempt to hide the true facts and failings of a government department, a tactic reminiscent of Europe in the 1930’s. The small number of criminals who illegally possess firearms are also of no significant threat to the public, and generally confine their misuse of them to ‘tribal-like’ disputes between rival gangs and drug dealers. Ironically, it seems that it is the Police themselves who pose the largest threat from firearms to public safety with deaths and injuries to innocent bystanders and damage to property, a threat that is only going to increase as the Police resort to general arming. I do not wish to denigrate the daily efforts of our front-line Police, but put the blame firmly at the door of Police National Headquarters where the insufficient funding, and consequent inadequate training, has been the cause of the many firearms ‘incidents’ by Police staff. One training day per year (or less in some cases) with very limited ammunition is not a safe grounding for the public carriage of loaded firearms. Having personally witnessed the poor level of marksmanship and safe firearms handling by members of the Police on several occasions, I have grave fears for public safety if the general arming of the Police occurs.
Historically, firearms have been an integral part of New Zealand society since the first settlers, whalers and sealers arrived here in in the early 1800’s. 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 and healthy 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 proud 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 complete 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 Bill of Rights Act contains the basic rights that we all enjoy and take for granted, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of 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 distinct lack of opposition to the first 2019 Arms Amendment Act, and the complete lack of understanding of the ramifications of what has already been foolishly rushed through without consultation, has been widely noted by the voting public, including a large number of non-shooting citizens. Indeed, the first round of legislation is not only misunderstood by the public but also the general Police, and, notably, the Minister of Police himself! I have seen letters by him that prove he either does not fully comprehend the law, or chooses to misrepresent the truth to a fellow MP. Our members of Parliament need to consider their future and act only in the interests of democracy, not mindlessly following misguided policies.
Make no mistake! Do not be swayed by the Government claims that this bill is for ‘public safety’ as the contents of it do nothing other than infringe the rights of the people, and do not address the criminal misuse of firearms. The NZ Public are not, and never have 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 and freedom in New Zealand, would be to allow this bill to proceed into law. The alternative will prove to be disastrous!
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 lies, misinformation and pure propaganda. The real facts need to be seen and understood before it is too late!
I stand ready to debate, and expand upon, my comments above with politicians and news media in a public forum at any time.
Rodney M Woods