Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: When that awful thing happens

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  • Rich Lock,

    But he did spend six years as a frontline policeman.

    Yeah, but Grant's seen Die Hard, like, six times . And he's got a copy of Beverly Hills Cop that his big brother pirated for him from a mate. The audio's not very good though, so it's a bit difficult to hear what they're saying. Judge Reinhold is really really funny in it though!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    In response to this incident a lot of people are calling for gun laws to be reviewed (including on this thread). This happens every time there is a significant incident such as this one. But I wonder how useful a review would be. If we accept that people in society should have a right to have guns in some circumstances, we also have to accept that on occasion guns will fall into the wrong hands.

    I don't see any easy legislative fix. We can tamper with gun laws if it will make people feel like something is being done. But unless we ban all guns (and I'm not advocating that) we'll always have people with guns shooting other people.

    I don't like to criticise the police, but in hindsight they should perhaps have devoted more resources to finding out what happened to the guns held by people who didn't register when the gun laws were changed in the 1990s. I wonder if it's too late to do this now. This is a potential example of where enforcing the existing laws might be a better option than rushing to pass new ones.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    >quote>Sure, I just can't get my head around why a guy who lives half a century suddenly unleashes that rage.I would have thought age would have bought some control but of course I'm going off limited information.It's just bloody sad.</quote>

    Age does not confer wisdom or restraint. There are so many examples of this around at the moment just take your pick.
    In some people thru life a disconnect can occur and fester over many years.
    Us humans have become experts at pretending, or is that civilisation.

    I dread to think it but there are a lot of people who suffer from similar problems as Jay Molenaar or Molenburg as some of those really clever on air wits are calling him.
    Individuation has become virtually an enemy of the collectivism that dictates how we all live together as populations grow. It is just going to get worse. Is it purely a numerical thing and should be treated as such, a certain percentage of the population will go off the rails, and will be dealt with accordingly.
    Or can people who show signs of a growing disconnect be coaxed back to something like normalcy. Well in NZ at present it is the former, which I find sadder.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1219 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    Scotty .................. never mind the tone of my post. The message which still seems to be Unthinkable to most in this thread is that our drug laws ( or cannabis laws in this instance ) have gone a long way towards the actions that jan moeller took, the persecution complex he had and the anger which obviously burned within him.

    IF he was a dealer/grower then his arsenal was most likely collected for the home invasion/rip off situation which happen ALL TO OFTEN in the black market drug scene.

    It is very common for gang prospects ( and especially the mongrel mob ones ) to be given the task of stealing/standing over cannabis dealers. ..................... and for a long time in NZ the police had a 'look the other way ' response to home invasions against 'drug dealers', in other words the police encouraged home invasions against certain sectors of society ..........

    Jan Moeller "flash reacted" to the presence of police in HIS home and it most certainly was related to the cannabis bust they were conducting against him.

    We have yet to see the scale of Jans cannabis business but if he had a grow in his garage then under our cannabis laws he stood to have his house confiscated.

    How do people know in this thread that the police doing their routine 'lets fuck up the life of a cannabis dealer/grower' were not gloating at him and letting him know he was in a heap of shit and would have his house taken of him ?????. How does anyone know the cops were not acting like arseholes ?????

    How do people know that Jan had not been dabbling with cannabis for years and so had been viewing the police amongst his enemys for years and years.

    Once more I say that those who are not releating what happened in Napier with our drug laws are the ones who are divorced from reality.

    Also earlier in this thread Russell said that Jan shot the police "in cold blood" , I disagree, he did it in red hot enraged blood. He did not coldly climb a watch tower and start killing people.

    This was a prohibition crime, prohibition made the man, created the scene and gave us this result.

    ……………. And I wont pretend otherwise

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    But would it stop it from happening in future?

    That's the chief benefit - allowing proper policing of whether those whose licenses lapse or are disqualified have disposed of all their toys.

    Of course it won't stop it happening in future. At least one of the firearms used by Molenaar is already a restricted weapon, requiring registration, tougher-than-usual security, and a thorough vetting by the police before the appropriate endorsement will be permitted. Clearly that didn't do a thing to stop what happened, despite being everything that the pro-registry crowd want. What would a future registry achieve that the present system couldn't? Other than to waste gobs of taxpayer money so that Alpers can finally STFU and the pollies can point to how they're "getting tough on crime".

    All the firearms law in the world won't stop someone who's determined to keep hold of restricted weapons. Criminals, by definition, break the law. I know that may be a shocking concept to you, it certainly seems to have escaped quite a large cross-section of society, but it's how it is. Registries only work to police people who have good intent. They provide nothing useful against a person who wants to acquire a firearm for nefarious purposes, and in that lies the reason for them being a total waste of money.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Have you guys never dealt with simple concepts before?

    The police are not armed. They could never have achieved what I believe should have happened. The Armed Offenders Squad is trained and policy should reflect that training.

    The AOS are well-equipped, but contrary to what's in the movies, their bulletproof garments don't just allow them to creep up under fire, with military-grade bullets fired from close range bouncing off them like Iron Man.

    Molenaar had powerful weapons, was rather good at using them, and was also quite good at concealing himself. Alas, not as keen to obligingly reveal his position as your 'commonsense' fantasy requires.

    You've only really offered one idea in all your posts on this thread - that the AOS needed to man up and shoot the guy (so simple!) rather than getting into a PC criminal-coddling lather about it. You really, really want this to be true, even to the point of handwaving away actual police officers' knowledge about the best way to handle these incidents.

    Suggest you exercise some real common sense and recognise your own ignorance on this subject, rather than inflicting said ignorance again and again on the rest of us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1558 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    Well, despite the vitriol directed at Grant, it seems that the police did shoot at, and hit, the gunman on Thursday when they had an opportunity.

    A police officer fires the two shots at where he is believed to be standing and hits him. Molenaar retreats inside and there is a temporary lull in the shooting. Later in the day he tells police officers and family he was hit, but refuses to say where or the extent of the wound.

    It may be that they didn't get another chance for a clear targetting shot, which would preclude a 'ground assault' type of attack, but they were clearly interested in bringing a quick end to the siege.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    O'Connor's busy demonstrating still more blatant disregard for the facts, in this gem.

    Police Association president Greg O'Connor told Radio NZ he hoped the Napier shootings would show those opposed to Taser use that police did need more tools at their disposal.

    A Taser wouldn't have made the slightest bit of difference, because they would never be used against someone carrying a firearm. In fact, one could interpret that wee flash of genius as a call to purchase some APCs for the cops.

    From the same article, though, Key is spouting some sense that will, hopefully, stick:

    "I think there is genuine concern about the widespread retainment of arms on an unregistered basis by New Zealanders, but whether it is possible to control that situation is difficult," said Mr Key.

    He said most of those with unregistered firearms were in breach of existing laws and it was difficult to see what more could be achieved.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sure, I just can't get my head around why a guy who lives half a century suddenly unleashes that rage.

    Roid Rage has examples of ths sort of behaviour. Jus' Sayin'

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6198 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    A S - military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and handguns
    http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/1997/review-of-firearms-control/

    And yes I'm talking a total ban in private hands.

    It does look like a total systemic failure by successive govts and Police to follow up on their responsibility and of course the de-registar has proved itself a total failure.

    Alpers on RNZ said Aussie halved there death by gun stats & 20% of Waikato Gun 'Collectors' had ilegal weapons - unregistard MSSAs & handguns.

    The following speaker still considered unlicensed gun owners to be lazy rather than law breakers, oh dear.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Well, despite the vitriol directed at Grant, it seems that the police did shoot at, and hit, the gunman on Thursday when they had an opportunity.

    I might have been immoderate in my choice of words, but I think this actually weakens Grant's case rather than strengthens it. Seems like the police took an opportunity to end the siege, and then acted entirely reasonably to preserve everyone's safety when it didn't pan out.

    Which suggests that they're, y'know, professionals, and not action heroes somehow held back by PC lily-livered authorities a la Die Hard?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1558 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The police tend to self-isolate from communities. How many of you have a cop in your circle of friends, or expect to meet one at a party?

    Every day when I was a kid :)

    He hadn't exploded before that .He was an angry man , who had far too many weapons and snapped due to policing methods that let's face it fuck off a lot of peolpe off.

    Policing methods involved three unarmed police officers turning up to his house and being let in by his partner to search for drugs with a warrant. I don't think they kicked in the door. Let's keep it real, the guy snapped, as far as we know he wasn't pushed into it at all.

    Sorry but if it was legalised only one would have been there waiting for Jan, to return home from walking the dog. Holmwood ( excuse my memory on spelling his name) was only getting a bit of noxious weed, havin' a cuppa tea, chatting to the girlfriend.

    That doesn't necessarily mean that this incident wouldn't have happened another time. Apparently it was police being at his house which triggered the shooting, they might have come to his house for an entirely different reason.

    The trigger point isn't drug laws, it's a person who has a cache of firearms and starts firing at police officers under any circumstances. Take away the drug laws, you still have an unstable person with guns. That's the concern.

    I see no reason to place the right to life of a criminal firing upon police and public over the slim chance that Constable Snee might have benefited from medical treatment.

    Good to see that you've skipped the whole 'court of law', 'jury of peers', 'defend yourself against accused crimes', and appointed the police as executioners. I'm amused by the yawning gap between those people who thought that a military LAV shouldn't be used to retrieve the body, and your thoughts that we should kill the shooter to allow us to retrieve the body.

    There's no reason for the police to risk their lives by getting into a gun battle with a guy when they can wait it out for a couple of days and try and resolve it another way. Once the threat is contained, the risks of such a policy are minimal.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6174 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    Which suggests that they're, y'know, professionals, and not action heroes somehow held back by PC lily-livered authorities a la Die Hard?

    Agreed.

    As for the 'drug laws caused it' approach, consider the likely reaction of Molenaar if a police officer turned up at his door asking him if he had any guns on the premises.

    I can't see that his reaction to a search warrent for firearms would be any 'better' than a search warrant for drugs

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Poole,

    Not to mention the innumerous other drug busts carried out in New Zealand every year, many for operations considerably larger than Molenaar's, where the cultivators and sellers somehow manage to restrain themselves from just unloading on the police.

    The position that the only reason an officer was killed is because of our harsh drug laws is frankly insulting to all concerned. Jan Molenaar did the killing, nothing else.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And yes I'm talking a total ban in private hands.

    Because, like, banning firearms is just so effective at keeping them away from those who would use them with nefarious intent. Like Jan Molenaar, for example, who as the proud holder of a well-expired firearms licence shouldn't have possessed any of the weapons he used against the police.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    A S - military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and handguns
    http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/1997/review-of-firearms-control/

    And yes I'm talking a total ban in private hands.

    The Thorpe report represented best thinking in 1997. The steps it recommended have not worked elsewhere.

    The Canadian registry has been abandoned as unworkable after wasting a $billion or so on it.

    The Aussie ban, has by many estimates driven between 400,000 and 600,000 semi-auto rifles underground, and not into the crusher as the aussies had intended.

    If we have similar levels of ownership to these two countries, do we want to waste that much money on something that doesn't work, or drive that many rifles into the hands of those who don't bother with legal niceties?

    I just don't see any point in wasting huge amounts of money and effort on grandstanding, when they could be put to much better use elsewhere (mental health services, more community policing, better rehab services, better support for men with anger issues etc.)

    I just want to point out, again, that our current laws in this area are by world standards outstanding, depsite anything Mr Alpers says to the contrary.

    Nothing he suggests will do anything that impacts on the actions of those who are determined to break the law regardless.

    Also worth noting, the stats he cites in Aussie should be considered in their wider context, the rates had been trending down over time before the ban anyway, making his assertions a little harder to swallow in terms of the direct causation he implies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    NZ native, you said:

    Also earlier in this thread Russell said that Jan shot the police "in cold blood" , I disagree, he did it in red hot enraged blood. He did not coldly climb a watch tower and start killing people.

    This was a prohibition crime, prohibition made the man, created the scene and gave us this result.

    ……………. And I wont pretend otherwise

    That's ridiculous. The guy flipped and started shooting people, and you want to blame drug laws? The man was armed to the teeth and would probably have snapped over something eventually. The police raid was probably just the match that lit the explosion. It probably wasn't the fuel.

    And as for the "red hot enraged blood" comment, how do you explain the fact that the siege lasted days, he was shooting at other houses, and he left boobytraps throughout his house?

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I just want to point out, again, that our current laws in this area are by world standards outstanding, depsite anything Mr Alpers says to the contrary.

    Precisely. I'm pretty sure I've seen comments from senior police officers from other countries that amount to "Your laws are sane and workable. How do we convince our elected masters to give us something similar?"

    Gun crime involving discharged rounds is very, very unusual in this country. The laws aren't manifestly inadequate. Nobody can point to anything that a law change would've achieved to keep Molenaar from assembling his arsenal, short of random raids of any house to ensure that there are no illegal firearms. Plenty of people knew he had firearms and wasn't licensed, and not one of them told the police. He was already breaking the law, many times over. A new law wouldn't have suddenly made him think "Oh, shit, I'd better surrender my guns," and it wouldn't have suddenly made his collection illegal. It was already illegal!

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I might have been immoderate in my choice of words, but I think this actually weakens Grant's case rather than strengthens it.

    I tried to make this point upthread. When they had a shot at Molenaar, they took it. What they didn't do was just blaze away when they didn't have a target.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18881 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    What they didn't do was just blaze away when they didn't have a target.

    And that seems to be Grant's problem. That they didn't do that was, if I understand him correctly, an unnecessary level of molly-coddling of Molenaar's safety.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Well, despite the vitriol directed at Grant, it seems that the police did shoot at, and hit, the gunman on Thursday when they had an opportunity.

    The 'correctness' or otherwise of Grants views is entirely beside the point.

    Vitriol is being directed at him because:

    1) It is painfully and embarrasingly obvious that he has zero knowledge of painstakingly thought-out police procedures, the easily available equipment and resources, what that equipment is capable of, and what the policemen/women using that equipment are capable of.*

    2) At the time he started posting (last Friday afternoon), it was painfully and embarrasingly obvious that he had zero knowledge of the relevant facts on the ground. Several key points, such as the one you refer to, have only come out several days afterwards.

    3) Despite 1) and 2) above, this hasn't stopped him jibbering on like a P'd-up monkey about what the police 'should' or 'shouldn't' have done. He has also dismissed out of hand the direct and first-hand experience of people who do know about these things.

    Armchair warrior-fantasists living in cloud-cuckoo land with the sky faries, who inflict their opinions on those of us who are more or less engaged with the reality-based community, get on my tits.

    *I claim no great knowledge of any of these things for myself. But I'm not the one criticising the job the police are doing.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I don't think they kicked in the door. Let's keep it real, the guy snapped, as far as we know he wasn't pushed into it at all.

    But as you just said that is a tactic they deploy, and being on the receiving end of exactly that ( and having to repair the door afterwards, when they got it wrong) can lead to resentment of the police.

    come to his house for an entirely different reason.

    The trigger point isn't drug laws, it's a person who has a cache of firearms and starts firing at police officers under any circumstances. Take away the drug laws, you still have an unstable person with guns. That's the concern.

    Well, one wouldn't know that to be so Kyle.I have to agree with nz native about prohibition laws.They didn't seem to work in the States and many police died as a consequence of them.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6198 posts Report Reply

  • Shay Lambert,

    The police tend to self-isolate from communities. How many of you have a cop in your circle of friends, or expect to meet one at a party?

    Members of both my family and my wife's extended family are current or former police. One of the former said something interesting to me once. He said it wore him down, going to work and dealing with people every day who hated him.

    Incidentally, he maintained a wide and varied circle of friends - some of who were recreational users. His only request was that they didn't smoke when he was in the room.

    I dare say it's just a fact of policing, that you spend most of your day dealing with drunk, drugged, anti-social and sometimes downright dangerous people who aren't happy with anyone telling them what they can and can't do. And that, I imagine, would change your opinion of people in general, making you less inclined to venture outside the comfort of your own peer group.

    A lot of this is (like I said before) down to laws like drug prohibition not being accepted by large numbers of people.

    It would be a gross oversimplification of broad social and cultural changes over the past few decades to say that drug prohibition was the reason police are becoming more isolated from the community.

    Police are a reflection of the community as much as anything else, and like any other group, some a good, some are bad and most are somewhere in between. The only difference being most people who are bad at their jobs don't get to break out the pepper spray and long baton.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    ...never mind the tone of my post.

    It wasn't just the tone, buddy, it was also the content.

    How do people know in this thread that the police doing their routine 'lets fuck up the life of a cannabis dealer/grower' were not gloating at him and letting him know he was in a heap of shit and would have his house taken of him ?????. How does anyone know the cops were not acting like arseholes ?????

    Yes, that must it: The cops, and the civilian he shot, and all the other people he shot at, were acting like arseholes. Seriously, your baseless, moronic speculation is not helping your case.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1154 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Utter mischaracterisations and over-reactions to the most banal of comments?

    I agree that your comments are banal, Grant.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1154 posts Report Reply

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