Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The police fail again

Ever since he killed 51 people in Christchurch, people have been asking how the hell the Christch mosque shooter managed to get a firearms licence. And now we know the answer: the police just didn't bother checking properly:

The March 15 terrorist was wrongly granted a firearms licence due to a string of police failures, sources have told Stuff.

The terrorist, who pleaded guilty to New Zealand's worst mass shooting in March, was not properly inspected by police vetting staff when he applied for a firearms licence in 2017.

Stuff has been told that, among other errors, police failed to interview a family member as required, instead relying on two men who met the terrorist through an internet chatroom.

The error was overlooked when police granted him the firearms licence, allowing the Australian citizen to stockpile the semi-automatic guns later used to murder 51 people.

This wasn't just a single failure - multiple police officers fucked this up. As for why, its hard to escape the conclusion that they just didn't think it was important - and certainly less important than, say, harassing activists for their political views, or kicking in people's doors over cannabis. But ensuring that those who hold firearms licences is a core preventative measure, a key way of ensuring public safety. It speaks volumes that the police took their eye of that ball, and it really makes you wonder what else they're not paying attention to while they chase protesters and harmless drug users.