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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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10 May 1996. Thought for the Week: "Society has long recognised the disruptive action of even casual stealing: systematic stealing by threats of brute force has usually ensured prompt protection action. Yet we find actions, which are considered immoral and inexcusable in a private individual, have become acceptable in governments. The Moral Law has ceased to apply to governments. Governments recognise the laws neither of God nor man; they make their own laws; they are a law unto themselves....Having one set of laws for private individuals and another for government officials is sufficient to disrupt any society...."
James Guthrie, B.Sc., in Our Sham Democracy


by Eric D. Butler
The writer well recalls the chill of horror, which ran through Australian society when the first kidnapping in Australian history took place, not long after the Second World War. Kidnapping had been regarded as so alien to Australians that even hardened criminals expressed horror. But over the intervening years violence of all kinds has developed. Not surprisingly, many elderly people no longer feel safe in their own homes. There have been increasing incidents of the elderly being brutally attacked in their own homes, the motive generally being a search for money.

The Port Arthur massacre, different only in terms of numbers killed from several other mass killings in recent years, is but the latest example of violence in what has increasingly become a sick society. Not surprisingly the event has generated a type of hysteria, which sheds more heat than light on basic causes. Presumably some of the people who have been ringing up and threatening the staff at the hospital at which the suspected killer was being treated for burns, are normally law-abiding people. Did these people want the nursing and medical staff to kill the suspect, or let him die of his wounds?

Fortunately in Australia the civilised Christian based rule of law still prevails, and every suspect of a crime, however serious, is treated as an individual and entitled to a fair trial. The Tasmanian Crown Prosecutor has been rightly scathing of the role of the mass media in the Port Arthur affair. It is appropriate to point out that the media, which heads a campaign which urges more "gun control", is not suggesting that it might be an appropriate time to re-establish capital punishment in Australia. Why?
The Christian tradition stresses that every life is unique and precious. But there is nothing in the Christian tradition, which says that an individual whose life is threatened by a potential killer does not have the right to protect himself by, if necessary, shooting or killing the person threatening him.

Christianity claims to be a religion of realism. The realist knows that after the wave of emotionalism associated with the Port Arthur tragedy, there will be further acts of violence throughout Australia unless there are reversals of the policies which have produced a sick society. Control of any of man's creations, which can kill or maim, can at best have minimal effects if basic causes are ignored. Police expressed their dismay when in spite of all these warnings, there was a sharp increase in road deaths over last Easter. Presumably all cars involved had been registered, and the drivers had licences. With the statistics revealing that the biggest number of fatal accidents is young drivers, the obvious conclusion is that all the legislation in the world will have little effect until there is a greater sense of personal responsibility. But the concept of personal responsibility has been eroded in modern society.

That wise British statesmen Enoch Powell has recently observed that today's younger generation are basically the same as their elders. But the elders have permitted the young to be fed on a cultural diet, which is the basic cause of the social disintegration in society. Assuming that Big Brother John Howard and his fellow politicians permit the elderly to have guns in their homes to defend themselves, as some of them have been doing, this may act as a deterrent against some break-ins, but while the finance economic policies which John Howard favours, continue to result in an underclass of young unemployed, youth violence will continue.

It has been estimated that in recent years, the biggest number of suicides, not all with guns, have been among Australia's rural male youth. Who has been responsible for the type of policies, which have led to hundreds becoming so despairing of the future, with a feeling that they have been failures? The answer is those Federal politicians who have religiously defended the debt financial system while sometimes abusing as "extremist" the League of Rights, which has consistently warned about what was happening and the inevitable destructive consequences.

It is right and proper that Australians should bow their heads in prayer when shocked by a Port Arthur tragedy. But far more than this is needed to avoid further violence. Is it too much to ask Christian leaders to direct their attention to basic causes?


by David Thompson
The horror of the Port Arthur shootings is one of those dreadful crises that, regrettably, is being exploited, not only by the press, but by those who have a political agenda. Some press groups now find themselves the subject of court action for the way the issue has been reported. Further, any suggestion that it is possible to over-react to the Port Arthur killings is depicted as almost an obscenity. The missionary zeal with which some newspapers have embarked upon the anti-gun crusade merely underscores the ideological bias of the press.

In a crisis with emotional undertones it is clear that people will accept centralised controls that they would otherwise find abhorrent. One of those who has more cynically exploited the Tasmanian agony, is N.S.W. Premier Bob Carr. With seriously depleted electoral stocks, and a series of recent political blunders behind him, Carr was one of the first to identify the perfect political opportunities arising from the slaughter. He moved immediately to capitalise on this by stage-managing the attempt to hand over N.S.W's. responsibilities for firearms regulation to the Commonwealth. The pious demands for similar action by the other States was an attempt to wring every drop of political mileage from the issue.

It is underlined by the fact that Carr's much-trumpeted legislation is not legislation at all. This is merely a Bill before the N.S.W. Parliament, and it has gone almost unnoticed that there has been no attempt to have Carr's anti-gun legislation even debated by the Legislative Council, which was not even sitting. Perhaps Jeffrey Kennett's scathing criticism of Carr as Pontius Pilate, washing his hands of responsibility, was fully justified.

The truth is that Carr does not really want the Legislative Council to debate this legislation, for two reasons. First, he would be offering a perfect platform for the Shooters' Party M.L.C., Mr. John Tingle. The moderate, able and articulate Tingle has been responding to the anti-gun hysteria very effectively when he has the chance.
Second, there is almost no chance that the Carr bill would pass the Legislative Council, where the Government depends upon minority groups like Call to Australia and the Shooters' Party to pass its legislation. The Niles have indicated that they would not support handing additional powers to Canberra unless all other States were likely to do so.


The self-righteous moralising about the "red-neck gun lobby" is the height of hypocrisy. In a system of representative government, every group with a special interest has every right - even a duty - to seek political representation. The same people who yesterday insisted that the Green Senators who hold the balance of power in the Senate had the right to demand green concessions in the budget, or similar legislation, are today baying for the blood of people like Shooters' Party M.L.C. Mr. John Tingle.
Such people are not complaining about the Aboriginal lobby seeking to influence governments, even though they are an even smaller interest group than shooters.

Right around the nation, the centralists are taking the opportunity to centralise further State powers in Canberra. Some interesting political bedfellows are emerging, such as the Carr and Howard administrations. Irrespective of party label, the impulse to hand powers to Canberra is a centralist, Fabian proposal, and should be identified as such.

Problems can rarely be solved by centralising power; this usually intensifies the problem. One of the great ironies is that the passionate demands for rigid nationwide firearms legislation will not address the problem. What is the problem? Sometimes a person kills one or more others. A ban on semi-automatic rifles and a nationwide firearms register cannot prevent this. In fact, according to Dr. Adam Graycar, Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology, guns are not the primary choice of murder weapons. Over one third of murders are committed with a "sharp instrument" (knife, etc.) and at least another third of murders are committed with a "blunt instrument".

About a quarter of murders are committed with the use of firearms. Some of those are committed by licensed shooters, and as is alleged to be the case in Port Arthur, some offenders are not licensed. Indeed, New Zealand research reveals that the majority of "massacres" in New Zealand are committed by licensed firearm owners. Licensing shooters does not help.


The principal criminologist at the Institute, Dr. Sat Mukherjee (presumably of Indian background), argues that distinct cultural factors may also be at work here. He refers to British reserve, and wonders at its influence in reducing violence. Japan has a low crime rate, and Mukherjee argues that the country's homogenous culture, with its disciplined codes of behaviour and political emphasis on full employment, have played a role in minimising violence.

He contrasts this (Weekend Australian, 4/5/96) with the U.S. where multiculturalism generates many complex social tensions inflamed by easy access to weapons. It is impossible to ignore reports that the alleged Port Arthur gunman muttered something about foreign tourists before beginning to shoot.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the Tasmanian shooting is that it could easily have been prevented. Even without the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the alleged gunman was known to mental health authorities and to police. Press reports indicate that the accused was of very unstable mental background, and quite incapable of handling his own affairs.
Under the Mental Health Act, the Tasmanian Department of Health and Community Services applied to the Supreme Court to intervene. On April 22nd, 1994, the Court ordered a trustee company to take over the administration of Bryant's assets, lest he squander his fortune. Doctors from Health and Community Services found him to be suffering from schizophrenia and a personality disorder, and would need continuing medical treatment.


Bryant had a very disturbed childhood, being expelled from several primary schools, set fire to a local hospital, was banned by a bus company for abusing passengers, and had an air rifle confiscated by police. His own parents had referred Bryant to Health and Community Services almost a decade ago when they felt they could no longer control him. It would appear almost certain that Bryant was taking medication for psychiatric disturbances, and herein lies a serious unreported cause of extreme violence.

It is well known that illicit drugs - even marijuana - alter human behaviour, and usually for the worse. But what about prescription drugs? Some prescriptions specify that a patient should not even drive while taking them. Some of the most dangerous prescription drugs are given to psychiatric patients.

Studies in the United States show that psychiatric drugs have a mind-altering, violence-inducing effect. One of Australia's most violent crimes was committed by Frank Vitkovic on December 8th, 1987, who shot and killed 13 people in the Melbourne G.P.O. before committing suicide. He had been prescribed the anti-depressant Ativan, and according to the Mims Drug Compendium, one of the side effects is "rage". Many other cases have been reported.

In 1990 a Sydney magistrate was shot dead by a son who had been on psychiatric drugs for many years. In the U.S. in 1981 John Hinkley took several Valium tablets two hours before attempting to murder President Reagan. Many, many other cases are known, but seldom reported, and almost never given the significance that they merit, which would result in a challenge to the major drug companies of much greater severity than the challenge to gun laws.

It was reported (Sun-Herald, 5/5/96) that on the occasion of the apparent suicide of Bryant's father, Maurice, in 1993, police located a strip of Serapax nearby, with 18 tablets missing. There is every reason to suspect that the Port Arthur tragedy owes at least as much to mind-bending drugs as it does to availability of firearms.


Shooters' Party M.L.C. John Tingle, who supports the banning of military-style assault weapons, does not support a national gun register. This will not solve the problem. Tingle's view is that the governments should rather seek the social and psychological causes of massacres. It is ironic that the same lobby that is calling for the banning of guns, and blaming the Tasmanian massacre on the Shooters' Party, has threatened John Tingle with death. Tingle now has a 24-hour-a-day armed guard to preserve his own life.

When it was suggested that if only one other person at Port Arthur on Sunday, April 28th, had a weapon, the gunman could have been stopped, reaction from the anti-gun lobby was scathing. But it is always ignored that in Switzerland, where every able-bodied man is required by law to have a military-style firearm in his home, and know how to use it, the crime rate is almost the lowest in the world.


A quick, centralist legislative response at the height of emotional fervour about the Tasmanian massacre, is a dangerous response. It will certainly not solve the problem, but may give the illusion of having done so. It is quite likely that we shall then subside, with collective, self-righteous relief, at having "fixed" the gun problem. Will the next major massacre jolt us out of complacency? As Dr. Robert White, Melbourne University criminologist says, "Compared with 20 years ago, the world is much more violent and my own view is that it's going to get worse."

The only possible answer begins in every Australian home. As well as using the T.V. "off" button, we need to be teaching our children the values upon which Western civilisation was built. This is essentially and specifically Christian. But it is more than a legalistic "thou shalt not kill". It is a culture of love that begins in the family, and grows through the Church - the body of Christ - until it permeates even the most unfortunate families, and surrounds them with a genuine care that could see that a young man has a problem, and help him with it, before he helps himself to firearms in a drug-induced haze.


The first imperative about the firearms debate is to insist that those who disagree with the politically correct "line" that banning guns will fix the problem, should feel free to say so. This is what representative government is all about. Apart from this, Christians in particular in our view, have a responsibility to tell the truth, because the truth is that a band-aid ban on guns won't solve the problem. We have a responsibility to say so.

Constitutionally, of course, the gun issue is a State issue. The man who campaigned on decentralising power and States' rights, Mr. John Howard, should now be reminded of it. There is no solution to this issue by centralising it further, in Canberra.
In our view there are three steps to be taken:
1) Write to your Federal M.P. and as many Senators as possible. They should read their Constitutions - keep out of State affairs.
2) Write to State M.P's. - not ignoring the Legislative Council in all States except Queensland. This is a State responsibility, shared by some Territories. But the needs of the A.C.T. are obviously vastly different from the needs of the Northern Territory, or remote areas of Queensland or W.A. The States must have legislation appropriate to their needs.
3) Write to the press, warning of the dangers of banning guns, and assuming that the problem is "fixed".


Do the politicians and some city-bound critics understand what they are saying? For example, banning "high-powered semi-automatics" to avert future disaster is misleading. As WA. Police Minister Mr. Wiese, who represents a wheat belt electorate, points out, many semi-automatics were not "high powered" and did not cause the same amount of "enormous damage" as other weapons. "I wonder whether the Prime Minister was aware of that when he made his statements," Wiese asked Parliament.
Pump action shotguns are far more intimidating, especially at close range. By banning "semi-automatics" and insisting on rigid requirements for a gun licence many are deprived of even simple needs such as security. It should be pointed out that several elderly people (one in Adelaide and one in Brisbane) shot intruders in an effort to protect themselves, and were never charged. Are such people to be left defenceless?

Even if firearms are regarded as a problem, further centralisation in Canberra, and the keeping of a "national register" will not help. If anything, the States should be devolving their powers to be administered at local government level. If local government was responsible for licensing shooters, the possibility of consulting local police, doctors and community health services, would give a much better picture of who might be a firearms risk. Regulations could be much better adapted for local conditions, whether in rural shires or city councils. Local knowledge, if acted upon, might have prevented the Tasmanian killings, and perhaps assisted the accused to find appropriate help. It is sheer insanity to suggest that a bureaucrat in Canberra can be trusted to assess the needs or mental or emotional stability of a Kimberley cattleman.

Other Influences
Serious questions should be asked about the effects of mind-altering psychiatric drugs. Previous mass murderers have suffered under the influence of such potent drugs. How extensive is the problem? Do the drugs make unstable people even more unstable? In the introduction to The Encyclopedia of Modern Murder Colin Wilson wrote: "We call a crime motiveless if it seems to do no one any good. Before 1960, such crimes were rare, and the few that occurred belonged to the end of the decade…"

The first of the major tranquillisers was introduced in 1954, according to a report by the Citizens' Committee on Human Rights (201 Castlereagh Street, Sydney), with a host of others quickly following. The documented emergence of "motiveless crime" can be traced to just a few years after the introduction of these mind-altering drugs. Further information on their effects is an urgent requirement.


"The Australian Jewish News" of April 26th reports on how Jewish pressure on American publishers St. Martin's Press prevented the publication of David Irving's work on "The Goebbels Diaries". 'The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee were among the organisations which wrote to the publisher." It is this type of breathtaking totalitarian arrogance, which creates anti-Jewish feeling. If Zionist Jewish organisations set themselves up as censors concerning what publishers may publish and what people may read, they should not be surprised that large numbers of freedom loving people deeply resent this type of behaviour. Irving's historical work on Goebels will be published irrespective of what the totalitarians say. The English edition of the Irving book will, we are assured, be available in Australia shortly.


In a recent media release, John R. Siddons, Deputy President of Society for Balanced Trade, provides the following revealing information about Australia's tariff policies:
Car imports have doubled rather than rising by 15 percent as the Industry Commission forecast when they started reducing tariffs to the car industry. During the same period, 'imports less exports' have risen from $4 billion to $4.3 billion annually, plus a $1.5 billion loss in interest and dividends. Computer models that produced these enormous miscalculations for the Industry Commission are still attracting headlines. It makes depressing reading.

The taxpayers are meeting the costs of these so-called expert economic think tanks, which have a track record of being so erroneous. The latest claim from the Economic Planning Commission was that we could expect an increase in gross domestic product of 15 percent by the year 2020 through a further reduction in farms, but the punch line not made clear in the headline is it will take 15 years for the benefits of tariff cuts to accrue - and who'll remember then? They based their amazing prediction on the performance of Finland, a small nation within the OECD. What relationship this has to Australia, isolated within the Asian community, is hard to imagine.

Tariffs in Australia have already fallen from 40 percent in 1968-69 to 19 percent in 1987-88 and are still being reduced. What benefits have occurred to Australia over this nearly 30-year period? Manufacturing's share of gross domestic product has fallen from 24 percent to 14 percent. We are now asked to believe that by further attacking the 14 percent of manufacturing that is left - mainly the car industry - we will get a 15 percent gain in G.D.P. in 24 years' time. Asia has achieved growth in G.D.P. without tariff reduction but this is ignored by the Government experts in their complicated arithmetical models.


A few thought-provoking letters have appeared in the press, through the mass hysteria. The following is a selection

From "The Australian ", 2/5/96
"I cannot see any useful purpose being served by banning the ownership of firearms. "Such a ban would be as useless as, say, banning babies because some pedophiles may be tempted, or banning cars because some drivers may drive irrationally and kill someone. To consider all gun owners as possible mass murderers is ridiculous. We should be addressing the laws that allow early release of criminals from prison, when they only repeat the crime in a lot of cases. It is because our laws are so lax that there is no deterrent to crime."
John Tiplady, Jamboree Heights, Qld.

"Why didn't any civilian fight back at Port Arthur? Was it because no civilian had access to a rifle? Or what?"
H.T. O'Bryen, Toowoomba, Qld.

"We feel great compassion for those shot and wounded at Port Arthur. They were utterly defenceless. They were defenceless because Australians are discouraged from carrying firearms of their own. Just one person at that dreadful scene, armed himself, could have arrested the carnage."
Geoffrey Shemington, Balwyn, Vic.

"Please, please, please, Mr. Howard. You head a conservative government, it's time for conservatism. When you wrap up the gun law revision meeting on May 10, set another date to consider the ban of violent movies, TV shows, video and computer games. Violence begets violence. Some people can't distinguish between reality and fantasy. The death of beauty is a six-year-old behind a tree waiting to be picked off by a Rambo-style gunman."
Sally McKenzie, Ashgrove, Qld.

From "The Australian", 4/5/96
"Port Arthur has followed Dunblane too closely to be a coincidence. The orgy of journalistic ghoulism after Dunblane was probably a necessary contributing factor to our own tragedy. And the tasteless reporting of Port Arthur has set the scene for the next."
R.N. England, Cranbrook, Qld.

"The only thing more sickening than the slaughter in Port Arthur was the journalists crawling over the tragedy with mawkish pride, as though perhaps, Australia had won some kind of ghoulish Olympics and had truly come of age."
K.T. Kilvington, Coolum Beach, Qld.

One of the few levelheaded and considered "opinion" pieces published since the Port Arthur shootings was by Tasmanian novelist James McQueen. In "The Sun-Herald" (5/5/96), McQueen wrote:
"Does it happen because guns are available? This is the simplistic view, and thus not entirely to be trusted. The Strathfield killer used a knife as well as a gun. Military style firearms? A killer could cause more havoc with a shotgun. And making laws is easier than enforcing them. The introduction of firearm licences in Tasmania has been a dismal failure, with no more than about a third of gun owners even applying for one. How much more difficult would it be to register a multitude of individual firearms?
"No rational person would object to sensible gun laws; but we would be deluding ourselves if we believed they are the answer to indiscriminate killings. As my friend, a senior policeman said the day after Port Arthur, 'A gun didn't kill all those people, a human being did'.
"I have lived most of my adult life within reach of a firearm. For me, as for most rural gun owners, there is neither romance nor fascination with a gun. It is a tool, and no more glamorous than a chainsaw or a socket wrench. It is not the object, I think, but the perception of the object that is important.
"Could it be that most of the fault lies, not in the weapons then, but in ourselves, in the kind of society which we have created? A society in which violence is portrayed in most popular entertainments as the first, rather than the last, resort? A society, which glamorises violence in the person of an Arnold Schwarzenegger or a Bruce Willis? A society in which death is too often seen, not as a natural, even mystical part of the process of life, but as a kind of penalty in some mad video game?...."

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159