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Gun Amendment Bill fails to Fire

Will our Streets be safer as a result?

by Simon O’Connor

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The first reading of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) (Definition of Significant Criminal Activity) Amendment Bill was recently read and rejected in Parliament. This is what National’s Simon O’Connor had to say about the bill and its ramifications for New Zealander’s. The full bill can be found here. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_115956/tab/digest

SIMON O’CONNOR (National—Tāmaki): What’s fascinating as you listen to the left wing—or the radical far left, off to my left here in the Green Party, who want to defund the police—is that, according to them, there is absolutely no problem with criminals in New Zealand. There are no problems with criminals with guns! And lo and behold, there is definitely no problem with gang members with guns committing crime!

Now, some of us live in the real world, which is where six constituents of mine in Glen Innes were shot at. In Wairoa tonight, gang members unleashed numerous rounds into a house. In my electorate alone, we’ve had 30 ram raids. As my colleague Simeon Brown pointed out, we have got more gang members now than police. In fact, the gangs are recruiting, particularly through Corrections—where’s Kelvin Davis? Where is Kelvin Davis on this, by the way?

There’s no problem according to the left and the far left; it’s all tickety-boo. The problem is—and you can sense it, you can just feel it, if you’re more intuitive in this House. You can just feel the other side knows—they just know—that they should be for this bill. You can absolutely feel it. Because this is a good bill. It’s a simple bill. It’s a simple proposition. That’s illustrated by a couple of ways. We get lectured ad absurdum, ad infinitum, ad boring—probably bad Latin—from the other side of the House. We should always let bills go through the first reading, should always let them go to select committee.

But isn’t it funny, when we’re dealing with crime, gangs, holding people to account, not taking excuses for victims—no, no, Labour and the far left of the Greens: “We’re going to block it.” That’s the first option. The second is, tonight, we’ve heard from one of the other members talking about lived experiences, everything. Well, what is fascinating, to that Labour member: first and foremost, “Lived experience is everything” is one of the weakest, stupidest, irrational arguments possible.

Oh no, sorry, this is my lived experience! Thanks Labour, just want to put that out there—it’s my lived experience; it’s everything according to your colleagues. But I just want to note that the member promoting this bill—to Nicole McKee, thank you. I back her lived experience, as a licensed gun-owner and advocate, more than any member of that Labour caucus and the far left, the radical far left which is the Green Party.

What’s so wonderful about this bill is it does two things at once; there’s a wonderful serendipity. And note: they’re getting so upset on the other side because, you know, again it’s just tweaking them; they know they’re wrong. Cross the House guys; it’ll be good for you. It’ll stretch your legs. It’s great for your coronaries. But the great thing about this bill is it does two things at once. Firstly, it’s a bill which disincentivises having illegal guns. On the other hand—on the other hand—it makes real consequences for those gang members who hold them. It’s so simple. On one hand, don’t own or don’t have an illegal firearm. On the other hand, there’ll be serious consequences if you’re found with one. To the members of the public watching, it’s just so incredibly simple. Unfortunately, your Government—your Government—doesn’t quite understand it.

What makes it even more clear is there’s heckling going on at the moment. But you know what it is? It’s just noises. There’s actually no words being used; it’s just noises. I think that sums up the Labour and the far, extreme left of the Greens perfectly. When it comes to crime, when it comes to protecting people through this piece of legislation, let’s be very clear: the centre right, National and ACT, will vote for this. But tonight, the Labour Party; and the Green Party; and, I suspect, the Māori Party will vote against it. They will vote for the gangs. They will vote for firearms. They will vote against safety. And they know, deep down, they’re wrong.

Simon O’Connor is the Member of Parliament for Tamaki / National Party Spokesperson for Corrections, Customs and Arts, Culture & Heritage and Associate Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs

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elocal Digital Edition – June 2022 (#254)

elocal Digital Edition
June 2022 (#254)

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