Two Dead in Sydney: Must be the Guns

Two Dead in Sydney: Must be the Guns

Australia has been a staunch U.S. ally in the war on terror, while at the same time allowing an influx of immigrants from all over the world. Sometimes, that is a bad combination.

Man Haron Monis, an immigrant from Iran who arrived in Australia in 1996, took more than a dozen people hostage in a Sydney coffee shop. When police attacked, two were killed along with Monis, who had posted an ISIS-style black flag in the shop's window.

Among the facts that emerged about Monis were:

  • He favored Persian-style robes and turbans and referred to himself as a "sheik" while conducting endless protests against Australian foreign policy.
  • He was on bail for no fewer than 47 sexual assaults
  • He was sentenced to public service for sending abusive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in the war on terror

  • He had been charged as an accessory to murder in the death of his ex-wife.

Monis was reported to have used a "sawed off shotgun" in his assault, though as we know from incidents where antiques like Gew 98 Mausers from World War I have been described as "assault rifles," press accounts describing guns are notoriously unreliable.

Now, semi-auto shotguns and even pumps have been outlawed in Australia for many years; those lawfully held by civilians were rounded up and shredded by industrial recycling machines with lots of rapturous publicity. So Monis was either using a break-open or bolt-action gun, or one he had illegally (or both).

Given the stringency of Australiaís gun laws, it would be hard to imagine how he could legally own a gun, given his rap sheet.

The main preoccupation of the local authorities was tamping down any anger at the Muslim community at large. This always seems to be their preoccupation, even though I can think of no pogrom committed against Muslims in a Western country after any outrage in recent memory. When the situation is reversed--well, you know the rest.

So if local Muslims are off the hook, who will get the blame? It will be the much-harried Australian gun owner; you can bet your next paycheck on it. If Monis used some 100-year-old hammer double gun, you can just assume there'll be a crusade against "these dangerous antiques that have no place in modern society."

There will be calls to send any W.C. Scotts or Purdeys to the same crushers that claimed the Remington 1100s. There's never an end to it so long as we hold a single BB gun.

"Minority rights" has a very specific meaning these days. It doesn't mean you.

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