Peace Movement Aotearoa alerts on the new New Zealand Firearm Guidelines, which are on public consultation until Wednesday, 11 April.
The draft New Zealand Firearm Guidelines were developed as a result of the public concern after primary school children practiced disassembling, assembling and firing an assault rifle as part of an army “leadership” road show visit last year. The draft Guidelines are based on advice from the Schools “Health and Safety Sector Reference Group”, including sixteen representatives from organizations involved with firearms, sports shooting and hunting, that have been described as the “gun lobby”. The Group does not include any public health experts.
The draft Guidelines are flawed in a number of respects, including the omission of key information, and appear to be an attempt to legitimize the presence of firearms in schools and to normalise a “gun culture” among students of the sort that has led to tragedies in schools in other countries.
As the Public Health Association’s Chief Executive Officer has said:“The guidelines recognize that “All schools are required to provide a lawful and safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff”, and also recognize that some schools might decide they do not want firearms on the school site under any circumstances. But the guidelines proceed on the assumption that it is quite acceptable for schools to choose to include firearms on the premises for both educational and recreational purposes. And there is no discussion of social or mental health issues associated with guns, children and young people.”
The draft Guidelines blur the distinction between military weapons and firearms used for sports shooting by, for example, outlining scenarios where combat weapons can be taken into schools by the armed forces.
The “When it might be legitimate to allow student involvement with firearms” section in the draft Guidelines begins with an introduction that includes: “There are a range of circumstances where boards might choose to allow firearms onto their premises, or have students involved with firearms outside school premises – such as for careers days, work experience and Anzac Day celebrations”. This section has a table with sixteen scenarios where firearms may be allowed in a school, and comments on each scenario are provided.
Read the complete information: https://www.facebook.com/notes/peace-movement-aotearoa/firearms-in-schools-submission-points/1659608080753221