OPINION

The biggest advantage the Government had to justify their gun buyback policy was the alleged Christchurch shooter had a licence and had obtained his heinous weapons legally.

If there was no licence, would we be buying firearms back? Most likely not.

So one part in their three-pronged response can, at least in part, be justified.

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If someone wants to kill people, and wants to use legally sourced automatic weapons, has the government made that harder? Yes, they have.

But that's about as good as it gets, unless you want to argue that we have tidied up, to a degree, the shambles of a system we run. That system involves having far too many high-powered weapons that, really, if we were honest, weren't ever actually needed.

The bloke who does some fencing at my place and does pest control on the side had a chat to me last weekend. Did he need his weapon? Not really. Could he still do his job with something else? Yes, he could. So in that sense we are really no worse off.

But like the social media response - which you will note has achieved exactly nothing - this will not stop these acts.

The great failing in the ideology is the inability to accept a simple truth: Most people who commit crime operate outside the law.

At the end of this buyback, no matter how many guns gets handed in, and how many hundreds of millions of dollars get handed out, we will still have no idea how many weren't handed in, how many potential criminals are still out there, and what the likelihood of those two dots at some point getting joined are.

The minister said he expected the police to crack down to seek out those remaining illegal weapons. As opposed to what? What they're supposed to be doing already? Are they not already cracking down? If not, why not?

And that really is the folly of his argument. All they've done is ask good, decent, law-abiding people to do us all a favour and rid us, to some degree, of high-powered weaponry. It's a show of empathy or unity, given we don't, and stats show this, by and large kill people with these weapons.

Yes, we have lots of guns, but we don't use them for ill or terror and never have, most likely never will.

Which only leaves us with the third prong of the response, security. And in that to me where the real story lies.

If we really wanted to learn from this, it wasn't in what was on social media, it's not in honest people selling back guns, but it will be in the lack of red flags around a person who was missed by security.

The question are how badly missed? How obviously missed? And then, why?