Saturday, December 16, 2006

Conclusions of Australian Gun Law Report disputed

Below is a press release from CLASS -- the Coalition of Law Abiding Sporting Shooters (Australia) -- dated December 14, 2006. It refers to a research report that was also criticized on this blog on 15th.

The results of a recently released report into Gun Law Reform in Australia since 1996, prepared by Philip Alpers and Simon Chapman and published in Journal of Injury Prevention, have been vigorously disputed by a pro-gun activist group, whose membership includes Doctors, academics and researchers. President of CLASS Action, Peter Whelan summarised the complaints:

"When Prime Minister John Howard forced through his Gun Control Laws, he admitted, "I can't guarantee that these laws will prevent another mass murder." For the Prime Minister and others, to now claim otherwise in retrospect is the height of audacity and arrogance", commented Whelan.

Since 1996, there have been several mass murders, such as the Childers backpackers' fire, the Snow Town murders and several cases where parents killed their children and themselves, by car exhaust." "The fact that those mass murders were not carried out with a firearm, makes them no less a tragedy, but this report ignores such events", explained Whelan. "To credit the 1996 Gun Laws with a drop in death by firearm is to blatantly ignore all the other influencing factors, which have occurred in Australia, during the past ten years!"

Whelan referred to a report issued by the Australian Institute of Criminology, (Facts and Figures 2005) which highlighted that Serious Assaults have been increasing at 6% per year, since 1995, which was FIVE TIMES the population increase! A.I.C report no. 46, Homicide Monitoring, stressed that advances in emergency medical care had helped serious assault victims who would otherwise have died. Whelan explained that, "To claim that the gun laws saved those lives, is an insult to those in the Medical Profession, who work so hard to efficiently save the lives of victims of crime." "Furthermore, the OECD report 2005, found that Australia ranked number one among developed countries, in crime victimisation.

Australia now has an estimated 200,000 private security guards, most armed with handguns, on patrol at our railway stations, clubs and shopping centres. The report makes no reference to the effectiveness of those armed guards, on having reduced the likelihood of mass murders."

Other conclusions referred to in the report are also in error, claimed Whelan. "To say that taking a semi-automatic (multiple shot) firearm from someone intent on suicide, will somehow stop that person committing suicide, is bordering on stupidity! Firstly, suicide with a firearm involves a single shot! Secondly, a depressed, suicidal person will find another method, be it rope or car exhaust, if a firearm isn't available.

The many reports of suicides, following the 1996/97 buy back, as gun owners witnessed their family heirlooms, or favourite shotgun crushed, are confirmed in the figures contained in the Alpers and Chapman report. Whelan explained, "Non-firearm suicide rates increased dramatically, in the years 1997 and 1998. The rate per 100,000 pop. had been around 10.00, but in those two years it increased to 12.91 and 13.09! We would expect that those who supported the gun crushing program would spare a thought for the families of those who died so needlessly after having been accused of being criminals." "If the $One Billion wasted on gun crushing had been spent on improvements in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention programs, the Australian Community would have been a lot better off", claimed Whelan.

CLASS Action, along with other shooting groups, also disagree with the reference contained in the report to "removal of 700,000 guns", which were destroyed during the buy back. "Most gun owners who had to hand in an old banned, semi-automatic rabbit rifle, or fox gun, received over-valued amounts in payment. They simply used that money to buy a new gun and in many cases bought two or three new guns, so they could continue to enjoy their sport." explained Whelan.


On 7th I posted the following report:

Bullets stop drunken attack: "Police said that the fatal shooting of an Indiana County, Pa., man early Sunday in Accident apparently was the result of self-defense. Lt. J.D. Murphy of the Garrett Bureau of Investigation said that 29-year-old David Wayne Lancaster of Saltsburg died at Garrett Memorial Hospital in Oakland after he was shot three times with a .22-caliber handgun fired by Norris Rush, 52. The shooting occurred at 4:31 a.m. in the kitchen of the Rush residence on Friendsville Road after Lancaster grabbed a butcher knife and inflicted a deep wound to Rush's hand. Rush then discharged the handgun at close range, striking the victim in the stomach and chest. Rush reportedly declined medical treatment at the scene. Police said Billie Jo Zimmerman was also present at the time of the shooting and that all three people appeared to be "extremely intoxicated." Lancaster, Rush and Zimmerman were said to be friends. Zimmerman was not injured. Police said there was no record of prior domestic complaints at the Rush residence. Maryland State Police responded to the scene and following preliminary investigation, the case was forwarded to GBI.

A new report on the same matter is as follows:

"The recent shooting death of David Wayne Lancaster, 29, Saltsburg, Pa., is still under investigation, and has not been ruled self-defense as previously reported. Police responded to a residence on Accident Friendsville Road Dec. 3 for a domestic-related shooting. Further investigation revealed that Lancaster had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. He was transported by Northern Rescue Squad to Garrett County Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:31 a.m. His body was transported to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for an autopsy. According to police, witnesses have been interviewed, and the investigation is continuing. "I am satisfied this investigation is being handled by trained, experienced police officers," said Lisa Thayer Welch, state's attorney for Garrett County. "When all evidence has been collected and reviewed, appropriate action will be taken. The analysis of forensic evidence can take weeks so it is premature for any conclusions to be made."

Arizona man shot after entering wrong house: "A Mesa man is recovering this morning after he entered the wrong house while drunk and was shot by an Ahwatukee homeowner, police said. The 34-year-old man, whose name was not released by police, began pounding on the homeowner's door at 3:15 a.m. in the 4100 block of East La Puente Avenue near 48th Street and Elliot Road, causing the homeowner to wake up, police said. The homeowner, armed with a handgun, opened his front door and two men, who had been drinking heavily, pushed their way into the house, police said. The homeowner ordered them out, but they refused and began to physically fight, police said. During the fight the gun accidentally [Well ....] went off and shot the man in the abdomen and arm, police said. The man and his 38-year-old friend were looking for his wife's house, police said. After police arrived one of the men told them it "was a big misunderstanding," police said. No charges have been filed against the homeowner, but police are submitting a report for possible trespassing charges against the victim, police said. The victim is in stable condition, police said."


Anonymous said...

You should update your information because you would find out that it is no longer viewed as self defense. Norris Rush has been charged with first degree murder. You might even consider removing the articles from your blog because they no longer support your cause but against it. After all it seems that David Wayne Lancaster was shot outside and then dragged into the kitchen to support Rush's claim of self defense. Most of the information can be found on the Cumberland Times News website.

Anonymous said...

I am the paralegal who works for the attorney representing the family of VICTIM David Lancaster. As someone already pointed out to you in November of 2007, you need to check your sources. The Sheriff's brother-in-law has been arrested and charged with the murder of David Lancaster. Please update your site accordingly. For your convenience, I have included the links to the newspaper articles that you can post as a retraction.

Garrett Man Shot Multiple Times, Dies

Fatal Domestic Incident Act of Self Defense

Concert Will Benefit Shooting Victim’s Family

Shooting Victim’s Mother Requests Evidence in Case be Preserved

Mother Has Questions About Son’s Shooting

Sheriff: State’s Attorney Must Make the Call

Garrett Man Charged With Murder

10/15 Garrett Murder Suspect Released

Questions Persist in Garrett County Slaying

Oakland Man to be Tried in Circuit Court

Perhaps Sheriff’s Office Resignations are in Order

November 1, 2007 Letter to the Editor (7th letter down on the page)

Mother Seeks Case Access in Garrett Shooting

Questions Remain in Murder Case

‘Tainted Situation’

Sheriff Finally Breaks Silence

Garrett Resident Proclaims Innocence

Rush Pleads Not Guilty to Second-Degree Murder