Peter Matthews some years ago at an IPSC Pistol Range before he was disabled
CBS News in the United States conducted a new poll that shows, “nearly two-thirds of Americans support stricter laws on gun sales” yet it has been their constitutional right to buy, own, and bear arms under the Second Amendment since 1791. Gun lobbyists in the US are making a commotion in the media after another mass shooting in Las Vegas, citing, “It’s deadliest ever” where 48 people were shot dead and 851 were left injured. Quite obviously, US gun owners are against stricter gun laws – for good reason! Some cite Australia as a “model” for American gun law reform, but let me tell you, Australian gun laws are not the holy grail for gun control. Far from it! Let’s have a look at how Australian gun laws came into effect and what basic human rights have been affected as a result.
What most people don’t realize is the Port Arthur Massacre that led to Australian gun laws was preceded by the Australian Government signing the UN Convention of Universal Disarmament. In 1980, a UN group of alleged government experts on disarmament were formed to report on Universal Disarmament, which became the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC). In 1993, the UNDC adopted guidelines and recommendations for regional approaches to disarmament, including small arms in the hands of ordinary free citizens like you and I. Yes, our countries signed a Unilateral Agreement to disarm their citizens three years before the Port Arthur Massacre occurred.
Now this is a major concern to me being a historian, because I have read what preceded World War II, such as the disarmament of ordinary citizens across Europe. In part 3 of Hilter’s Table Talk, it records Adolf Hitler making the following assertions in 1942:
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police.
Essentially Hitler believed that the first step to conquering a nation is disarming their citizens, so that they have no power to fight back. Hitler with the backing of the German military quite effectively carried out genocide after disarming European citizens of their weapons. As Hitler stated, throughout history it has been proven that if you can convince ordinary citizens to give up their arms, you can easily conquer the nation.
Many scholars have long identified the connection between tyrants or tyrannical oligarchic groups and disarmament, particularly the ancient Grecians, Egyptians, Carthaginians and Assyrians. The famous 4th century BC Greek philosopher, Aristotle, taught how “those who control the weapons also control whether a constitution will survive or not”. The question in my mind is: in the long term, will Australia survive an invasion having disarmed its citizens? We might have won the battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917, but what about a disarmed, inexperienced and rather apathetic post-modern Australia?
The disarmament of Australia is an interesting story that could fill volumes, so I will touch on a couple of notable points.
Disarmament of Australia
I think the statement of our Deputy Prime Minister at the time, Tim Fischer, summed up what really happened when he made a statement in May 1996 at Alice Springs in front of a group of professional shooters. He is reported to have said, ‘If we don’t get it right this time (implementation of gun laws), then next time there is a massacre, and there will be, then they’ll take all our guns off us’. On that day, did Tim Fischer let the cat out of the bag? Who is ‘they’ that he spoke of that would ‘take our guns off us’. Coming from the Deputy Prime Minister, it certainly was not our own government. Then who was it? Was it the USA or the United Nations?
The day Martin Bryant was to be sentenced in Hobart, after being coerced to plead guilty, President Clinton was here in Australia addressing the Australian Parliament in Canberra. We all know how often American Presidents come to Australia – it has only happened twice in the history of Australia, where another Head of State has addressed Australian Parliament! President Clinton spoke for about 30 minutes about war, sacrifice, peace, freedom, trade, gun control, and Australia’s role in setting an example by implementing gun laws!!! A YouTube video of this speech is available online. After watching this video, I am convinced that Clinton was here to ensure that Australia implemented national firearm legislation in compliance with the UN Convention of Disarmament.
Let’s examine the catalyst by which the UN and the US pushed Australia into implementing gun laws.
Police alleged that Martin Bryant’s desire for attention led him to kill thirty-five people, injuring twenty-three more at the Port Arthur site on 28 April 1996, based upon a hearsay evidence by a neighbour who said Bryant had told him, ‘I’ll do something that will make everyone remember me’. Interestingly, Tasmanian police relied upon this hearsay evidence, which is normally disregarded in the court. The fact is: Martin Bryant never went to trial, which is a constitutional and legal right of any defendant.
Bryant was intellectually impaired with an IQ of 66, yet he was accused of using a semi-auto AR-15 with tactical military precision, supposedly firing seventeen shots from the hip, killing twelve people and wounding ten others, all in less than fifteen seconds. Then, the shooter allegedly walked to the other side of the street and fired twelve more shots, killing eight people and wounding five more. Precision executions were carried out by a single shot to the head instinctively fired from the hip with astounding combat accuracy, allegedly by Bryant who was intellectually impaired with no experience with guns.
As an experienced sporting and occupational shooter, I could not do what Martin Bryant was accused of doing. I have spent years in IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) training by running through an obstacle course of props, whilst rapid firing towards paper targets and steel plates as they move suddenly, dropping in and out of sight, just as the military are trained. Incredible feats of shooting skill are perfected at warp speed – it is really about strategy – when to reload, when to move, where to shoot from, how fast to shoot, and where the targets will be when the projectile reaches the target location. It takes many years for combat professionals to be able to do what Martin Bryant was accused of. It is absolutely impossible for an intellectually impaired person who has never fired a gun to carry out these executions. This massacre was without any doubt carried out by a highly trained combat professional.
Interestingly, police didn’t obtain any forensic evidence either. They ignored numerous witnesses who established Martin Bryant was not the shooter. Upon exiting the Seascape B&B, Bryant yelled, ‘don’t shoot, I am the hostage’. That should have given investigators some indication that he wasn’t the shooter. It certainly suggested they should have investigated. But they simply didn’t!
My belief is that Martin Bryant did not have the intellectual capacity or the military background to carry out these executions with tactical precision. I firmly believe he was a patsy used by the UN and or the US to bring in a raft of changes that impinge upon the rights of ordinary law-abiding Australian Citizens. For example, every police department in Australia now brandishes the Martin Bryant case as evidence when charges are laid in relation to firearms. Police demonize law-abiding gun owners as gun-wielding nutcases, when many of them are extremely honourable, upright men who are merely doing their job by protecting their stock (farm animals) against feral predators.
On 6 August 2011, I shot and killed a feral dog that attacked a group of calves, killing one heifer calf, on my family’s cattle grazing property near Stanthorpe. I shot the dog after it attacked us on a quad bike, when we came out to see what the commotion was. I still have a scar on my leg from where the dog bit me just above my ankle. Yet a feral neighbour phoned his mate, a local police office, claiming I shot the dog on the road in front of his son.
The gruelling ordeal cost me $100,000 in legal costs, my health, my reputation, and my businesses. It is amazing what people will believe in the media. Police depicted me as a gun-crazed lunatic, when nothing could be further from the truth. Over two years later, the matter proceeded to the District Court and the boy admitted he was never there, the father admitted he let the dog off the chain to wander the streets, and the police officer admitted, “I must have got it wrong”. The Judge ordered the jury to be set down as there was no evidence by which I could have done what I was accused of. Judge Ryrie said:
I just want to say, I have also looked at, for the purpose of the decision, all of the evidence of the father, as well as the police officers, and there was nothing in there that lended support to the submissions that were made by Mr Needham (Crown Prosecutor) to assist the crown in showing that there may well be some evidence the jury could act upon. Simply, the evidence didn’t come up to proof. I particularly want to make it clear that it’s not a case that no case is made out simply because the evidence is not clear, or it’s inconsistent, or it may be weak, that’s not the position. There has got to be no evidence at all. And I’m satisfied there isn’t any. It’s for those reasons I grant the application.
What a travesty! People make up lies to make others think they are hard done by, and in the process, police defame me in the media. The morning after I heard their tirade of rubbish on television, I had a cardiac arrest and stroke while talking to my lawyer to the phone. Almost seven years later, I am disabled and can never work again. I lost my multi-award winning building company, private certification business, my luxury award winning 4.5 star apartment motel, and my satisfying position as a Tribunal Referee for the Queensland Government – all because the police believed a lie and carried the charges all the way through to the court, when they knew I was not guilty of any offence. What is worse, in Australia, there is no right to sue the police for wrongly charging me for crimes I did not commit.
After I was acquitted, my solicitors had to make a further submission to the Weapons Licensing Branch of Queensland Police Service in relation to my appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) about my suspended weapons licences. In reply to my original application for a stay of execution, Senior Sergeant Alfred Thomas Cavanagh filed a thirty-seven page submission with a considerable eight page affidavit exhibiting case law from around the country, starting with the first point as a background to his decision the suspend my firearms licences:
Following the Port Arthur massacre on the 28th April 1996 all States and Territories endorsed the National Uniform Firearms agreement.
I read this statement with surprise and disdain. For police to have formulated a massive thirty-seven page document containing legal cases starting with Martin Bryant, I knew they were lining me up for something sinister. To spend that amount of money with their legal team (possibly even barristers) to prepare such a document, they revealed how serious they really were. This is because around the time of my case, the government were talking about implementing further changes to the weapons laws. Parts of the United Kingdom were looking at restricting the maximum calibre of centrefire rifles to .308, rather than below .50 in Australia. Dare I suggest, this might be part of their next roll out of weapons licensing changes here in Australia. Might this be why the Weapons Licensing Branch were pushing so hard to convict me? Were they lining me up as their next patsy?
This is an absolute travesty, but I am not alone – there are hundreds of innocent victims who have had their lives ruined by gun legislation and corrupt police. Cavanagh cited a number of cases in his thirty-seven page submission. He outlined how he came to his decision to suspend my licences by stating:
‘I considered and determined the application with the requirements of the Act and subsequently determine that the applicant had:
(a) been charged with an offence; and
(b) that it was not in the public interest for the applicant to hold a weapons licence.’
He noted particularly that I was a licensed builder from 1991, a licensed private certifier since 2003, a developer, and a tribunal referee of the Queensland Building and Development Tribunals. He seemed to have done considerable research on me. So much so that he cited the case of Ball v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Services  NSWADT153 who was also a builder.
Not only was Ball a builder, but also a farmer who used his firearms for eradication of feral animals, and at his local gun club. He was even the club’s Firearms Safety Awareness Officer. In 2002 while renovating his home, he had placed the firearm in an unlocked walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom. He was away from the property for a couple of days. Upon his return, he discovered that an intruder had broken into the premises via the back window and removed his firearm. The firearm was the only item taken even though there was a large quantity of tools in the room. This would suggest that it might have been someone who knew it was there – a subcontractor maybe? It was a single incident that was not likely to ever be repeated.
Ball was an exemplary character yet the decision was:
While over a year has passed since the one-off incident occurred, I cannot as yet be satisfied that sufficient time has passed since that incident for the public to be comfortable with Mr. Ball holding a firearms licence. It follows in my view that the correct and preferable decision is to revoke Mr. Ball’s firearms licence. Accordingly I affirm the Commissioner’s decision.
Using the matter in reference to my case, Cavanagh wrote:
I noted from the matter of Ball v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Services  NSWADT153 where the learned member found that in all aspect of his life Ball was a fit and proper person, however due to a single firearms offence, notwithstanding he had been a licence holder for 30 years with an otherwise unblemished record, he was still not a fit and proper person in the public interest to hold a firearms licence.
Using the above case Cavanagh summed up by asserting:
I considered in all the circumstances, given the nature of the offence alleged to have been committed by the applicant that it was in the public interest to suspend the licences held by the applicant until such time as the criminal matters had been determined by the courts.
I did end up getting my licence back, along with my guns, but most of them had to be sold, along with all of my assets, to pay for my legal costs. What a travesty that should never have happened. The financial cost ran into the millions with the loss of my businesses and loss of income from the age of 46 until retirement, but the greatest loss was my health. I am now living with family because I cannot look after myself. These are the long-term effects of gun laws in this country: honest hardworking people are falsely accused, defamed, and dragged through the courts without a shred of evidence. Lives are being destroyed. That is why I titled this article, “Once Upon A Time, We Had Freedom…” for our rights were removed without a thought of what consequences might follow on from gun law reforms in Australia. We have these anti-gun lobbyists foaming at the mouth, spewing out their narrow minded twaddle, and governments listen to them, because they are the loudest protesters. ‘What about our kids?’ they cry. I say, ‘what about our freedom that has been lost forever?’
Have they even considered the ramifications, if per say, that a military Islamist commander rose to power in Indonesia? There are around 265 Million people in Indonesia. We are outnumbered 10:1 and our Australian military wouldn’t stand a chance if they decided to invade, especially since we are now practically disarmed, bar a few sporting shooters, who would soon be overcome. What have we done? We have laid down our arms and allowed the United Nations to disarm us. Even with American troops on Australian soil, we don’t stand a chance. We all know what radical Islamists would do – our heads would end up on spikes as infidels! If not Indonesia, it will be China, who outnumber us over 50:1. If the USA follow Australia in disarming its citizens, then I suggest the beginning of the end is at hand. World War III will come quickly if the USA are disarmed. China, Russia, or North Korean are likely to take advantage and attack.
I say to my friends in America, stand up for your rights now, before you are disarmed. Both ancient and modern history has proven that disarming its citizens is the first step towards their own downfall. One day historians will look back and curse John Howard for disarming Australian citizens. Stand up for your freedom, before it is too late!
© 2018 Dr Peter D Matthews. All rights reserved.