COMMENT: You know I like Stuart Nash. We get him on my Newstalk ZB programme every Wednesday after Annette King retired because we literally went through the entire Labour Party list - and he stood out as the most, normal ,sensible and untainted one of the lot.
But on the gun buyback issue he's in trouble and sadly he's stepped over the line by suggesting National is ignoring the plight of gun violence victims by not carrying on with the support they offered in the initial days after the Christchurch mosque shootings.
The mistake Nash makes (and in reality I doubt it is a mistake, it's more likely a cynical political move designed to score points as opposed to anything else) is that the gun buyback wasn't invented because of what you would call traditional gun violence. It was started as a direct response to a type of event we had never seen in this country.
And in that lies a real fault. The gun buyback will not prevent such an event happening again. Because, as has been laid out for all to see, the people adhering to the gun buyback aren't terrorists, vigilantes, or mass murders. They are regular every day New Zealanders who happen to own a gun.
And the gun violence Nash talks of doesn't actually largely exist in this country. People getting shot because someone else set out to shoot them is extremely rare, always has been. We are statistically not a violent gun society, which if you think about it, makes the gun buyback scheme even more pointless.
And these new rules that Nash is lining up involve licence times being shortened, gun clubs being registered, and doctors being involved in mental health areas - none of which is going to stop a radicalised person going crazy.
If they had argued 'look, time for a tidy up, time for a gun register, time for a few more restrictive rules' then that's fine. But they didn't, they took Christchurch and looked desperately in the days after for some sort of tangible emotive response.
'What is it we could do, to make it look like we are on top of this, to make it look like we know what the answer is?'
The Christchurch Call was one, but I think we have all concluded what a farce that's turned out to be (no matter what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says). And now the gun buyback, which numerically is now in real trouble. The third was the security review where the real potential answer lies, as I have said many times.
But National is now looking at these gun laws with a practical, and I am sure a political eye. You should only ever promote or support sensible, practical, logical legislation, and this is not. Not under the guise in which it was sold.
And by opposing it, they make the Government work harder to explain it, argue it, and convince us they are right.
So that's why Stuart Nash is worried and attacking the opposition. He knows he's got his work cut out for him. This is no longer a response to a tragedy, it's potential law with a lot of holes in it.