Paul Papalia, Minister of Police for Western Australia, is under intense fire for releasing maps which identify the addresses of licensed gun owners.[i]
The maps, generated by Papalia’s office as part of a gun law reform marketing campaign, were dutifully published by press outlets across Australia, immediately putting the safety and security of 89,000 families at risk.
If the point was to keep criminals from stealing legally-owned guns, Minister of Police Paul Papalia completely missed his intended target.
The scale of the maps released make it child’s play to locate licensee homes. One media outlet was able to identify the exact locations of 50 firearms owners within hours.[ii]
“We have been inundated,” said Paul Fitzgerald, President of Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA, “with members who are deeply concerned about the breach of their privacy and the potential ramifications of identifying where licensed firearm owners live.”[iii]
“The release of the location data shows a blatant disregard for the sporting and recreational shooting community and has caused significant distress for responsible gun owners,” Fitzgerald said.
Despite Fitzgerald’s demand for a public apology, Police Minister Paul Papalia instead offered the usual politically-motivated tropes.
“It’s more onerous to get a boat captain skipper certificate than it is to get a firearms license,” said Papalia.[iv]
“A Gun Owner On Every Street” screamed one headline, as though licensed firearm owners, not violent criminals, are a threat to public safety.
“A lot of farmers, particularly livestock, would own up to a dozen [firearms]. You only need one to be a threat to yourself or someone else,” said Western Australia Farmers CEO Trevor Whittington.[v]
“You’ve got to think that with 350,000 firearms in the community, some of them, many of them probably are lying around just waiting to be stolen by criminals,” said Papalia.
It’s the same hate-filled rhetoric peddled by Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.
Almost unreported is the fact that Trudeau’s Liberal dog and pony show consistently ignores repeat Firearm Prohibition Order violators, and they also reduced the penalties for criminals who use and smuggle illegal guns, a fact all but unreported in the legacy media.
Around the world, licensed firearm owners are convenient scapegoats for governments who refuse to address criminal violence in any meaningful way.
Western Australia’s gun owners are just the latest to find their heads on the chopping block.
“It’s dangerous [releasing the maps],” said one veteran West Australia police officer. “I’m actually worried now. I think it’s very likely someone’s going to get their house broken into as a result of that.”
When (not if) that happens, will Minister of Police Paul Papalia take responsibility for causing this threat to public safety?
If Paul Papalia is as devoid of integrity as Justin Trudeau, Bill Blair and Marco Mendicino, and that appears to be the case, then the answer is NO.
One possible remedy is the upcoming Australian elections. Perhaps our Australian friends can do what Canadians have so far refused to do: vote the bastards out.[vi]