There’s an election coming up in Australia. I haven’t blogged about it because other people are doing a much better job than I ever could. A special plug though, for Tom Vogelgesang, who is running for Senate on a libertarian platform and has the good judgement to run a blog, choose to study computer science at UNSW and live in Maroubra.
However, I will comment on what the two rival candidates for Prime Minister have to say about guns. Prime Minister John Howard (Interview on 2GB 17 Apr 02: listen)
we will find any means we can to further restrict them because I hate guns. I don’t think people should have guns unless they’re police or in the military or in the security industry. There is no earthly reason for people to have … ordinary citizens should not have weapons. We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.”
Mark Latham, Leader of the Opposition (letter to the Shooters Party):
In conjunction with its State colleagues, Labor will work with sporting and recreational shooting organisations to control the criminal use of firearms without adversely affecting legitimate sporting and recreational shooters.
I strongly disagree with Howard and agree with Latham here. I think law-abiding sporting and recreational shooters should be allowed to have guns and banning such ordinary citizens from having weapons is wrong. Howard is also the architect of the 1996 gun ban which I have already said was bad policy. Now I had already decided to support Latham over Howard because of other issues, but it’s still nice to be supporting the party with the better policy on firearms issues. John Tingle, MLC for the Shooters Party writes:
In my opinion, it’s hard to believe we could be any worse off under Latham than we are under Howard, and, because I’m an optimist, I believe from my conversation with him and from the letter, and from frequent contact I had with him in my radio days, that if he becomes the next Prime Minister, a very real and present threat will be lifted from Australia s LAFO’s [Law Abiding Firearm Owners].