Friday, March 22, 2019

Good on David Seymour...

... who isn't afraid to say:

"You do not defy terrorism and defend our democracy by throwing out democratic procedure such as parliamentary scrutiny and the public's right to submit in full, at the first sign of trouble...
"We're missing out on the opportunity to make better laws and have more details come to light about how we can do better..." 
"But we're also, symbolically, allowing the terrorist to achieve his goal and dishonouring the victims by changing New Zealand away from a place that has a sober law-making process with parliamentary scrutiny and public input, and rushing things through at the first sign of trouble.
"I don't think that's a good way to respond."
Neither do I.

A balance needs to be struck between emotion and reason. Unfortunately, though understandably, the balance is tipped too heavily towards the former right now.

A small voice also nags away at the back of my mind that would-be terrorists will only see this ban as a challenge not in the sense of a hurdle, but a provocation.

But even if this particular passage of law is the correct and popular action, will the next be? What about privacy and hate speech laws? Do we want controversial and wide-ranging legislation enacted in haste with minimal debate?

Immense caution is required about the precedent being set.


Mark Wahlberg said...

I think it was back in 1983 when National's Ben Couch introduced his members bill to Parliament which changed the way ownership of firearms were recorded and regardless of the public debate on the issue, they stuffed it up. New Zealand now has a major population of crazy people and a steady supply of sophisticated military styled weaponry and the two extremes through mutual attraction are starting to find each other and get it on. I suggest The Government is simply drawing a line in the sand from which point the discussion can start again.

Watching events unfold via the media I was reminded of the day the Twin Towers in New York were attacked. Disasters are big news and i noted within an hour of the shooting taking place, Christchurch was swarming with heavily armed police officers sporting military style weapons and giving the appearance of a paramilitary organisation one step away from enacting martial law. Within three hours there were armed police on the streets of most major cities in New Zealand. In light of past police performances involving felons and guns and with testosterone levels probably going through the roof on the day, I'm surprised more people weren't shot.

I remember a couple of years ago going to my local video shop to return an overdue disc when a police detective arrived to return one of his own. I pointed to the Glock Pistol on his hip and asked if "that was appropriate?" I was promptly told to "fuck off." I'm not often lost for words, but...............

The Veteran said...

Not sure I agree with Mark re the police and to suggest their reaction was only one step away from martial law is OTT rhetoric. But Seymour is right re the necessity for a measured response ... act in haste and repent at leisure and all of that. It applies equally to the demands to curb hate speech so called remembering that one persons hate speech in another persons free speech ... so unless the 'speech' actually advocates violence then we need to think very carefully before seeking to shut it down. Far better the authors of nonsense are exposed and ridiculed for their nonsense.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay, the Veteran suggests my comments re "Paramilitary Police and Martial Law' were "OTT rhetoric", while I myself thought they were borderline  hyperbole and used to highlight, that which I foolishly thought  was obvious. My comments are in no way meant as a denial of the superb effort and result shown by the NZ police on a that day of infamy, which will blight New Zealand's history forever. But if there was ever a positive reason to sell the idea of  NZ Police  carrying  firearms 24/7, that  fateful Friday in Christchurch is it. .In light of what has happened,and whether or not it is the correct thing to do, it would be hard to argue against a decision in favour.

It was only a dozen years ago when almost 300 members of New Zealand's "paramilitary Police" besieged the small  settlement of Ruatoki in the Urewra Country in search of  suspected home grown terrorists.  The black clad members of the sinister Tactical Police Unit terrorised old people,women and children and discovered not terrorists, but a dysfunctional  bunch of truculent natives instead.  While this exercise produced a great deal of negative publicity for the police and very questionable gains. it would be naive to think  the event didn't  provide a  valuable tactical training experience for everybody concerned with control and containment of large numbers of the general public.
Some might argue the events of 15Oct 2007 in Ruatoki were a practical example of "martial law" in action.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Now is the time for expression of all opinion. Personally when I react to a comment as 'OTT' I immediately reflect on why, and whether I am too complacent. Having taught a refugee from a country where the 'para-military' was corrupt and a lethal threat to the citizenry, and the 'revolutionary army' presented greater security, though maybe not much, I'm quite suggestible.