Recently, documents regarding the renewal of my permission to own/use a firearm, according to the laws of our country, arrived.
Fair enough — absolutely, I have been so qualified since before JFK was assassinated.
I believe in this law, but I can't quite understand why an index of weapon-to-registered-owner does not seem part of the plan, a lack that makes the notion of certified ownership pointless.
I have an antique "Damascus Twist" barrel ladies' side-by-side shotgun that I have never fired.
A full wood .303, symbolic of my various ancestors' action in various conflicts from the Boer War (sorry, SA friends) until Korea that I have fired once — to make sure it could still make a noise.
Then I have a .22 as an oft-used but essentially ineffectual substitute for 1080.
For this, I am required to pay $120. Failure to pay on time could lead to prosecution, confiscation and lord knows what else.
In the meantime, a large number of unregistered owners seem able to happily move a very considerable arsenal of unaccounted-for weapons (including, I understand, fully automatic stuff) around the country as suits their "business" requirements.
$120 for a data entry person to open my file, check my licence number, click on "Paid" and possibly "Enter". That's it — one minute's worth of that person's hourly rate — let's be generous and say $10. For what?
The "good guys" are being milked again.
Two possible solutions next edition.
What are the chances that the person or persons forecasting our weather 20 years from now could be employed forecasting for tomorrow or the next week or so?
I fully support your editorial call for an impartial media and the support such a media should receive from the authorities and public of any free and democratic country.
Part of the problem is how to know whether media outlets are impartial.
You wrote, "In this era of fake news websites, the ill-informed opinions and chatter of Facebook, and vested interests seeking to undermine the democratic process, it is important to value mainstream media…" Yet when we look at the US, for example, it is often the "mainstream media" who are responsible for the fake news. In the past couple of years it has become clear that the bias always present in media outlets has now become the lens through which many of them report, or avoid reporting, the news.
US President Donald Trump has been a decisive factor in this. He is described as "polarising" and has certainly been so for much of the US mainstream media who were blatantly campaigning for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. The videos on YouTube of media commentators and presenters having a "melt-down" as their candidate lost are both hilarious and very telling.
The mainstream media attack Trump for everything he does wrong, everything he does, and even some things he does not do.
When Trump does something good they either find something about it to attack him over, or they ignore it. For example, as Trump and his administration did a pretty good job of supporting the local authorities and people during the Hurricane Harvey disaster, the number one story in the New York Times was an attack on First Lady Melania Trump for the shoes she was wearing.
Another example is CNN's story about Trump overfeeding fish in Japan as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "looked on in horror", leading to a twitter and internet meltdown as people attacked Trump for insensitivity and "murdering" the "beloved" koi. CNN's cropping and editing of the video to hide that Abe did it first and Trump followed his lead were soon shown up by the original footage.
This is blatant dishonesty by one of the giants of the mainstream media.
Unfortunately most media dishonesty is more subtle and less easily proved.
K A BENFELL