Write on: letters to the editor

Issue 

Gun laws

The flip side to the shooting deaths at Strathfield Plaza on August 17 occurred a couple of days later, and a few suburbs away, in Meadowbank. There, a young man went on the rampage with a knife, wounding seven, one quite seriously, but killing no one.

A knife, or even a single shot rifle, is undoubtedly a weapon which can kill, it's just that it's not very effective in the mass murder stakes.

For people to take that first step toward working together in the community, they must first unbolt the front door, and for this reason I believe it is essential that automatic and semi-automatic weapons be banned. Doug Lorimer in his article (GLW #25) points out that the police (the state) will not disarm.

Quite true. But one can then argue with justification that police don't need to be armed, at least not as heavily as they are now.

Doug also says "The democratic right to bear arms can be exercised collectively". I believe the best form of defence for working people against a failing system, is their solidarity, as we have witnessed in Moscow, and the people's ability to get the armed forces of the state to support the people.
Colin Hesse
Marrickville NSW

Gun laws — 2

In response to Doug Lorimer's comment on gun laws (GL #25), whilst we agree that the basis of violence in our society revolves around economic and social factors, this doesn't preclude the benefit of banning guns in present society.

Doug's argument is contradictory in that he states "... there is no fixed relationship between the extent of gun possession and the level of violence in society" and yet admits "... while banning the possession of guns may lessen the number of people killed ...". The legal right to possess firearms doesn't bestow any progressive libertarian benefits to society: the nett result is that more people will die, especially as a result of domestic violence.

In any capitalist society, the police, as an arm of the state, will always have weapons, therefore the general banning of guns will not increase their power in society. If David Gundy had been armed, his chances of survival would not necessarily have been increased.

Again Doug contradicts himself by saying "The present furore over gun laws is a diversion from the real issue — the rising incidence of urban violence in our society" and then "... it is clearly dangerous and undesirable for individuals to keep dangerous weapons in their homes."

The fact is that a frustrated alienated person can kill more people, more quickly with an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle than with a Bowie knife. To argue to the contrary ignores reality.

The ownership of guns will not play a positive role in the campaigns of mass political action that are required to change the structure of present society for the benefit of the majority.
Chris Pickering
Russell Pickering
Stefan Skibicki
Dapto

Gun laws — 3

It is grossly hypocritical of Senator Michael Tate to call for a ban on the importation of military type weapons while the Australian s fair and endeavours to increase its export of military hardware.

If it is immoral to import such weapons surely it is just as immoral to export them?

Even more immoral is that while Senator Tate is spouting off mealy-mouthed moral platitudes in an attempt to disguise his real reasons for such a ban, the Australian Government is prosecuting a Catholic priest, Anthony Gwyther, for carrying out a symbolic act of protest against a B52 bomber at the Darwin airport during the recent Pitch Black military exercises. When one considers the number of innocent human beings murdered by these death machines in Vietnam and the Middle East one must wonder how Senator Tate justifies this double standard of morality at the confessional.
C.M. Friel
Alawa NT

Ain't I a Womyn?

Don't tell me that feminism is over, we're just beginning. Don't tell me I'm being too militant, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Don't tell me womyn have what they need, we don't need you. Watch out boys, this is the Revolution!

Don't batter your lashes and wiggle your leather clad hips — telling me you are liberated. Don't watch his wash-up and appreciate him for "helping" you. Don't listen to his childish whingeing, pat him on the head, treat him like a child. Don't call us radical and dislike the womyn. Don't think that feminists have inconvenienced you — if you can't open a door for yourself ... what have you got? Don't mope about without a man, shake your hair, wave your arms, burn your bra and enjoy! This is freedom!! Watch out girls, this is the Revolution!

Don't lock us away. You can't silence the voice of freedom — the more you kill, the louder we get. Don't trap us with your medicine and religion — ultimately, it is our body. Don't rape and beat us...don't abuse our children ... don't put us in brothels and blame us for AIDS ... don't try boys, this is the Revolution!

You think that we have everything. You think that our mothers and sisters won all in the '60s. Not at all, boys! We don't want to dominate, we don't want to kill, we have no need to be violent. We just want to live, as people without all the rules, regulations and rubbish that follows us around. We want to laugh, read, run and love in freedom. We want to wear flat shoes, eat chocolate, listen to our sisters, laugh with each other without you being paranoid about what we are laughing about. Until the day we can live, without seeking your permission ... watch out boys, this is the Revolution!
Simone Finch
Sydney

Blue Mountains elections

Anyone observing Blue Mountains Mayor, Mr. Ralph Douglas Williams, would say that he cannot have a "conflict of interest" as he only has one interest.

His Council just spent $120,000 prosecuting Ald Peter Quirk for an alleged "conflict of interest". No prosecution was recorded.

Mountains residents want the Mayor to answer the question:

Has Mr. Williams been on the Board of Directors of Ombrane Holdings Pty Ltd, address 1/279 O'Sullivan Rd., Bellevue Hill?

Ombrane Holdings is listed in the National Companies and Securities Commission Document No. 233167, Company No. 460 889-09.

Other directors listed are Jacob Wolfowicz, John Lekkas, Rodrick Link, Glen Morris Horton, Bob Tesoriero, and Ralph Williams.

Land purchases and holdings for company directors in the Blue Mountains, are listed in the document as follows — Wolfowicz (19), Horton (27), Ralph Williams (8).

Will the Mayor answer the question before the council elections on September 14?
Denis Kevans
Wentworth Falls NSW

'Free market'

The suggested move of the Soviet economy towards a "free market" is most disturbing. A market without the impediments of social conscientiousness has never proved itself responsible.

Capitalist is greed, capitalism is competition, capitalism is self-interest. Capitalism does not care! Capitalism eats and eats and eats until there is nothing left. A society left to expand and consume destroys itself. A perfect example can be seen in Taiwan. The market has grown without government environmental control and the ensuant abuse and disregard of their (and our) ecology is absolutely horrendous. They have so degraded and poisoned that island that by the year 2000 it will be uninhabitable.

If the Soviet people are not allowed to pursue a community that can sustain us all beyond the next century, we as a society will not live beyond this next century! Society must care, and must be responsible for all. Only then can we grow beyond our infancy.
Steve Hall
Canberra

Women Hating

We live in a society where the flavour of the month is equal opportunity. The society is one which is dominated by men and therefore works for men and token equality is granted by male-dominated institutions. Basically it is men who decide what privileges women will be entitled to, and they decide in such a manner (whether consciously or subconsciously) to ensure that power is not given away or transferred to women.

Women have been burnt, raped, bashed, denied and moulded by men to ensure the continued existence of patriarchy and hence the continued oppression of women. Women have been treated and classed as incompetent, of a lesser intelligence, denied education, denied voting rights, denied souls, denied equal pay, denied the right to choose their sexuality, denied the right to control their own bodies and experimented upon etc, etc, etc.

It is not a surprise that women are banding together and saying the oppression must stop! The feminist movements of the 1960s and 70s have emerged again and gathered momentum to be, as I understand, the biggest revolution in the world. It is clear to women that women's oppression will not end through the process of reform! The truth is, that women are in exactly the same position they were in twenty, forty, a hundred years ago; they are still defined as the weaker sex and seen as purely sexual and reproductive objects.

Men's society obviously condones the oppression of women by remaining silent on issues linked directly to male power i.e. rape. It is time "genuine" steps were taken urgently to arrest this gynocide before it is to late. Women have the unconditional right to demand this from a male culture before Bush's (man's) New World Order is implemented.
Paul Guthrie
Perth
[Edited for length.]

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