This Could Happen Here

The BFD is a New Zealand newspaper. On January 20, the paper posted an article written by someone who personally experienced the consequences of New Zealand’s gun control law (the Search and Surveillance Act 2012).

The article reports:

On Thursday evening, I was just finishing up dinner with my two oldest kids. My wife was feeling unwell and feeding our four-week-old baby in bed. I had just gotten the icecream out for the kids when the doorbell rang.

I opened the door to see a number of police officers outside. They served me with a search warrant under Section 6 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Half a dozen armed police officers swarmed in the front door (holstered sidearms only) as several more ran around the sides of the house. They later called for more backup as the house was larger than your average state-house drug lab. I got the impression that they’d never had to raid a middle-class suburban house like mine before. Everyone on the property was detained, read their rights, and questioned separately. I opted to call a lawyer who advised me to refuse to answer any questions.

The warrant claimed they had reason to believe I was in possession of a prohibited magazine fitted to a “.22RL lever-action rifle. Blued metal, brown wooden stock.” The officer told me I had posted about it online, which I had—in my public written submission against the Firearms Amendment Act passed last year. That submission was shared on several blogs and social media. I had used the firearm as an example to prove the legislation was not targeting “military-style assault weapons” as the media, prime minister, and her cabinet repeated ad nauseum. The vast majority of firearms affected by the legislation were just like mine.

I thought nothing more of my little example to the select committee. It was no longer in my possession when the police raided my house. They departed empty-handed after turning the place inside out for ninety minutes and left me with my firearms and a visibly shaken wife who broke down in tears. Thankfully, the kids didn’t quite get what was going on—but I realised after that they had gone to bed without icecream.

For anyone like me who does not know a whole lot about guns, the article describes the rifle:

I’ve been vocal about the amnesty being a disaster, and the police were rather open about the failure of the whole process. Maybe if they stopped raiding innocent people’s houses there might have been some more good will? They implied that they’d keep having to raid the houses of people I knew until the firearm turned up. This is for an A-Category firearm, which I have no reason to believe is fitted with a prohibited magazine! Are these the kind of intimidation tactics now the norm in New Zealand? Are we going to accept this in a first-world democracy?

This is for a lever-action .22LR that’s designed to hit paper or be used to hunt bunnies. What happened to going after the “weapons designed to kill people” as the police minister Stuart Nash has claimed?

The implications of this are rather stunning. I took the photo and publicised the details about this firearm as part of the select committee process. This good-faith evidence was used by the police as a justification for their raid. Do we now live in a country where public evidence given to a select committee will be used against you to suit the political purposes of the police?

Anyone who’s publicly talked about or posted a picture of their grandfather’s little .22LR pump/lever action can get raided, as these rifles all had 10+ capacity prior to the draconian new rules. Admitting you had one a year ago is reason enough to warrant a raid on your property today.

I guess the bunnies’ lobby decided to ask the government to confiscate the weapons used against them.

On a serious note, this could easily happen in America and may be happening soon in Virginia.

The Most Peaceful Country In The World

At the top of this blog is a picture taken in the country designated by the Institute for Economics and Peace (calculated according to the Global Peace Index) as the most peaceful country in the world.

Time News Feed posted an article on Monday stating that Iceland in the most peaceful country in the world–followed by Denmark and New Zealand. In reading the article, I wondered about the politics of the organization rating the peacefulness of countries. It seems as if social welfare states ranked higher than countries whose fiscal policies were more conservative.

At any rate, Iceland is a beautiful, peaceful country. I would like to note that the frequency of alcoholism in Iceland has been estimated to be in the range of 3.5-6.3% (statistics from the Icelandic National Health Plan to the Year 2010). In America it is about 6.6 % (2005 statistics from the drugrehab.org).

I guess my problem with reading this was wondering what the definition and criteria for the concept of peace were. Iceland is beautiful. I also wonder if there is a different temperament in people living in extremely cold climates than people living in very warm climates. There is so much that could influence the choice of ‘the most peaceful country in the world’ that is totally subjective that I question the conclusion drawn.

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