Effective gun control is twofold issue
Kerre McIvor says gun control efforts in New Zealand have failed because shooting incidents have been reported (“Gun control reforms have not worked”, December 6).
It is important to distinguish two aspects of gun control — having an effective register and control system, and banning assault and military-style rifles.
In Australia, a register was introduced before a ban on assault and military-style rifles (following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre).
Their register and tightened gun control seems to have had an effect in reducing the number of armed robberies (but not homicides or suicides) over the last 30 years. Since their weapons ban there have been no mass shootings since the Port Arthur event.
By contrast, New Zealand does not as yet have an effective firearms register and control system, and without a ban on assault and military-style weapons we have experienced two mass shootings over the last 30 years (Aramoana and Christchurch).
Let’s hope that in due course we can mirror the Australian example with effective gun control in both these areas.
Peter Davis, University of Auckland
Landlords deduct mortgage interest from their income because they pay tax on the rent they receive. If Brian Taylor (Letters, December 6) wants fairness by having the same benefit for homeowners, then, to be fair, homeowners will have to pay tax on the imputed rental value of their home.
Russell Blake, Farm Cove
Time for action
It is time for action from this government instead of committees and consultants.
If we need congestion charges, why wait five years? Bright line test to increase to 20 years. Tax ghost houses to force them into use. Start the move of Auckland Port. Remove tax for the first $10,000 to encourage working, not more benefits. Import hundreds of pre-fab houses. No more fossil-fuel cars to be imported after 2030. Compulsory purchase of banked land. Increase in rego for big gas guzzlers. No dole for fit people who won’t pick fruit.
Vince West, Milford
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