Gun vigilance

A massive cache of illegal guns and ammunition hidden in secret rooms in a property near a quiet Hills town is a disturbing and frightening discovery.
While the alleged owner’s motives – or the way he obtained the weapons – are not yet known, the huge number and serious nature of the unregistered firearms found suggest it’s not just a matter of idle carelessness or oversight.
Police are not painting the matter as a terrorism issue but, as we are frequently reminded by the regular happenings in the US, horrific crimes are not only purpertrated by radicalised fanatics or foreign fighters.
Devastating damage can be done by people who live unseen – hidden in plain sight – because they look and behave on the surface just like regular community members … until they snap.
It only takes one idiot with a gun to irreversibly destroy dozens of lives.
The recent events in Brukunga should serve as a warning of what could be lurking within any community and act as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance.
Everyone has a role to play in keeping the community safe.
While the police should be commended for the roles they play to keep our community safe – sometimes at the risk of their own lives – a degree of responsibility also falls upon the broader community.
While firearm owners need to remember that their ability to own guns is a privilege that carries heavy responsibility, the Brukunga case also demonstrates the importance of reporting suspicious behavior or illegal activity to authorities.
The US – which has suffered through more than 250 mass shootings already this year (four people killed or injured in an incident, excluding the shooter) – is a perfect example of how a country awash with guns is not safer than one with heavy gun restrictions.
The statistics show widespread gun availability does not provide better protection.
The Australian Government should be commended for its strict stance on guns and immediate action in the wake of our nation’s worst gun tragedy 23 years ago.
The freedoms enshrined in the United States’ second amendment – and all of its deadly consequences – is one American trend Australia should never seek to follow.