ON AIR: Overnight Talk

12AM - 5AM

Barry Soper: 20 years too late we're banning semi-automatic weapons

Author
Barry Soper,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 6:17AM
The courts would do us all a favour conducting the trial of Brenton Tarrant behind closed doors, only allowing publicity for the victim impact statements.
The courts would do us all a favour conducting the trial of Brenton Tarrant behind closed doors, only allowing publicity for the victim impact statements.

COMMENT:

The oxygen for the accused gunman who mowed down 50 innocent worshippers in the Christchurch mosques is publicity for his loony cause.

The best way to deny him that is to ignore the cause, it's not worth talking about anyway.

He surrendered without incident and now plans to represent himself in court for good reason. He wants a platform, he said as much in his rambling manifesto, saying he wanted to survive to further spread his ideals and to deplete resources from the state by his imprisonment.

Well hopefully he'll end up getting neither.

The courts would do us all a favour conducting the trial of Brenton Tarrant behind closed doors, only allowing publicity for the victim impact statements.

And talks are underway that could prevent this 28-year-old being a drain on our resources. He could be deported to Australia to could serve the rest of his life behind bars.

Let's hope both these avenues are followed and are achieved to starve this man of what he craves.

Many questions remain unanswered and only time will give us a clearer impression of how that ghastly day unfolded, beginning with an email received by the Prime Minister's office and around 30 other recipients.

It was headlined "On the attack in New Zealand today" telling the reader that the sender was the person who carried it out and pointing them to links to find out why.

The email was sent to Parliamentary security which within two minutes had alerted the police.

One of the links pointed to the killer's manifesto, and on page 11, the targets were identified. Police said they arrived at the mosque six minutes after the shooting began. So from the time they received the email until they arrived at the scene it was 13 minutes.

The time it would have taken to establish whether the threat was real, not just another nutter's rave (and they get plenty of them), people more expert in reactions of this sort than me say it was pretty much on the mark, if not ahead of it.

If onlys are too easy to postulate on and there are plenty of them here, not the least that if the politicians took action when they had the opportunity more than 20 years ago on semi-automatic weapons, would we today be talking about slaughter on this scale? That's debatable.

But what isn't is it's taken this horrible event to finally force them into action and that's a pity.

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