News

Debate on gun control laws in danger of going too far

THERE is always debate when it comes to gun control legislation.

The State Government is bringing in mandatory prison sentences for anyone found to be possessing, supplying or trafficking in illegal weapons - with the sentences ranging from 12 months to five years.

Sure enough, both sides of the gun control debate have come out in force, arguing their points of public safety v individual rights 'til they turn blue in the face.

You might think someone who received an air rifle as an infant for an outback christening present would be on the pro-guns side of the debate (of course it was many years before I was allowed to actually use that air rifle).

You'd be wrong.

I have always enjoyed hunting, and firing a rifle well is a great exercise in concentration, accuracy and nerve.

But a strict level of gun control is a good thing.

Only an imbecile who should be kept as far away as possible from any sort of firearm at all would argue that guns are not inherently dangerous.

Of course guns are dangerous - they are one of the most dangerous products a person can possess, and therefore it is only right that they should be extremely difficult to possess.

That said, there is something about these latest gun laws that rankles.

Last week, the Queensland Police Service and Crime Stoppers issued a joint press release, in which Queensland residents were actively encouraged to inform on their neighbours if they happened to own an unregistered fire-arm.

It's important to note this was not a call just for people to dob in someone they knew had a collection of fully automatic assault weapons in their garage or the like - this was about any firearm at all, if it happened to be unregistered.

There are two problems with this.

Firstly, having spent much time reporting in court, I am certain that after these laws are introduced there will be several people across the state who will find themselves with a mandatory 12 month prison sentence who do not deserve it.

Farmers who register all their guns but just forgot about that spare .410 they keep handy for snakes, or people who have Grand-dad's old .303 from the war and didn't think to register it because they're pretty sure the rusted old thing doesn't even work, or other like examples.

Secondly, the idea of people in authority encouraging residents to inform on their neighbours to be jailed on a mandatory sentence for a seemingly minor offence just turns the stomach.

It is not a normal Crime Stoppers activity, like someone calling to report they know a face released to the public in a photo related to an ongoing criminal investigation.

It is Orwellian, and has no place in our society.

Gun ownership should be and is tightly controlled in this state - but that control is in danger of going too far.

Topics:  editorial, gun control, legislation, opinion, state government



Maryborough will soon officially be an RV Friendly Town

Maryborough will soon be an RV Friendly Town.

Soon Maryborough will officially be an RV Friendly Town.

How a selfie with a shark landed a man behind bars

The man appeared in court via video link from prison.

Time is almost up for second advisor appointed to council

The council's second advisor will leave the Fraser Coast today.

The advisor was appointed earlier this year.

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'