For immediate release 14 July 2004
SSAA says calls for more gun laws ignores the real problem
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia Inc. said today that recent calls by the New South Wales Greens and the Coalition For Gun Control for an overhaul of the state’s gun laws in the wake of the recent murder-suicide in Gresford, was grossly opportunistic and ignored the real mental health issues underpinning suicide.
SSAA spokesperson Roy Smith, said that what was needed were not more gun laws, but a review of the state’s mental health services and the way in which people with psychological problems are dealt with. Mr Smith went on to say “It’s obvious that whether or not this person had access to firearms would have made little difference to the outcome. The fact is he stabbed his wife, suffocated his children and only then misused a firearm to harm himself. If he hadn't had access to the gun it’s quite likely that he would have used some other means.”
Mr Smith described those calling for a review of the state’s firearm laws as misguided. “Unfortunately, these types of incidents encourage certain groups out of the woodwork. These then attempt to hitch their particular agenda to the tragedy and in so doing they divert attention away from the real issue, which in this case is mental health. The question is how did someone become so despondent that they’d be prepared to murder their entire family without anyone picking up on the situation? Trying to introduce spurious arguments about gun-control is both misguided and unhelpful.”