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Russell Tully (courtesy

“Neville Ngaiterangi Tahere, the Ashburton Work and Income security officer, said he had contact with [Russell] Tully before the shootings,” reports. “He kept a daily log book which included details of Tully being trespassed from the office in early August. On Friday August 29, Tully came in for an appointment in spite of the trespass order . . .

Tahere spoke to him at the door and he asked to speak to the case manager in charge that day. He explained to Tully about the trespass notice. He told Tully the case manager was ringing the police and Tully then left.

On September 1 he took his usual post at the kiosk near the front doors. Just before 10am he saw a man inside the office, but had not seen him come in.

“He had a gun, and he aimed it deliberately and fired a shot.”

He shot at Peggy Noble, and then walked on towards the back of the building where he stopped, turned, and fired another shot with what he thought was a pump-action weapon.

There are times when a target of a violent attack can do nothing to forestal that attack. Specifically, when they’re ambushed. This is not one of those times. Not only could Mr. Russell’s murder spree have been prevented before it occurred — had Mr. Russell been jailed — but during the attack as well. The security guard for one. Other people in the area for another.

Lucy Annabel Waller said the gunman had walked past her, at a distance of less than a metre as she stood waiting behind a customer at the reception desk. He appeared to be staring straight ahead . . .

She said she had gone to the Work and Income office to deliver a document and was waiting in front of the reception desk, when she saw a man in work boots come into the office. She saw he was wearing a black balaclava which was “a bit wonky”, and he was holding a gun beside his leg and it was pointing to the floor.

The man appeared to have blotchy red patches on his neck and hands. He was tall, with quite a skinny build. His skin colour was white. The black gun appeared to be a semi-automatic shotgun, with what appeared to be a cut-down barrel.

“I just froze and stood still,” she said . . .

She said the gunman walked briskly past her, lifted the shotgun and fired it at the receptionist.

The fact that Ms. Waller froze leads one to believe she probably couldn’t or wouldn’t have stopped the gunman if she’d been armed. It’s also true that an armed civilian has no legal obligation to protect innocent life (and thus put themselves in harm’s way). Then again . . . no one was armed in the building. A building with a known threat.

We can debate the morality, legality and efficacy of gun confiscation for people served with any sort of restraining order. One fact remains: being disarmed in the fact of a lethal threat is a bad idea. Anything or anyone that prevents armed self-defense puts people’s lives in danger.

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      • Yes, I think it’s important to understand that in NZ and Australia firearms ownership is about the following:

        1, Hunting
        2, Collecting
        3, Sport.

        The above was not in any order, I really should do a full write up on the mentality of firearms ownership in Australia and New Zealand compared to the US and see if Robert will post it, as a Kiwi/American who also lived and worked in Australia at the time of the 96 ban I think I’m qualified.

        • I’m also Kiwi/American. When you go to get your firearms permit, if the Police think you want it for self defense, they will deny it. The police are adamant that there is no right to self defense. The courts, not so much. And even when people have been cleared in court the police still rant on. Thankfully, they are also opposed to the police using lethal force – lots of cops aren’t armed – and I once saw a police spokeswoman get shredded on national TV. She didn’t know how to explain that it’s justifiable to shoot a man who is attacking police with a machete. At least they aren’t hypocrites.
          Makes me real glad most of our law enforcement in the USA is decentralized and not controlled by Washington DC.

          NZ (and .au and .uk) have a totally different mindset from the USA. In NZ only a small percentage own guns. But they tend to own multiple (and there’s no registry on most kinds of guns, or limits). It’s estimated there’s 800,000 guns for 4,000,000 people. Not too shabby. But very few are semi-auto or hand-guns.

    • Self defense that causes death or grievous bodily harm in defense of one’s self or any third party is illegal in NZ.


      So, if all the following are true:
      (1) Your attacker has a firearm
      (2) Your attacker already shot you once
      (3) Your attacker is actively trying to shoot you again
      (4) Your attacker has stated their intention to kill you
      (5) You use a club to fight off the attacker
      (6) Your blows kill the attacker before the attacker kills you
      Thus the police and courts in Australia and New Zealand consider your actions criminal, will arrest you, and send you to prison for many years? That is absolutely nuts. The day that police and courts are sending good people to prison for righteously defending their lives is the day that good people should send police and the courts to prison.

    • In related news, WTF do Chinese men have against school-children? There’s been another mass-stabbing at a school in china apparently.

  1. “Not only could Mr. Russell’s murder spree have been prevented before it occurred — had Mr. Russell been jailed…”

    Jailed for what? It sounds like his history at this office is that he was a belligerent prick on a previous visit, and they told him he couldn’t come back (the trespass order). Should he have been locked up for that? For how long? And if the answer isn’t “for life”, then how would a short stay in jail have prevented him from shooting the place up when he got out?

    Crazy is out there, and many times it masquerades itself very well. Often there are warning signs, but what’s the threshold on locking someone up just because they’re angry about something? I think a society that respects the individual has to set that bar fairly high, even if it means some nutjobs slip through the cracks and commit violence. Because the alternative is locking up a whole lot of people who haven’t (yet) really done anything wrong, just because somebody thinks they might be trouble, and that doesn’t lead to a good place.

    The best option is to acknowledge that violent psychopaths exist, and allow the citizenry the means to stop them when and if they cross the line from ideation to action. That doesn’t mean you don’t intervene where possible, but if we imprison everybody who acts like an asshole, we’re gonna need a whole lot more prisons.

    • The article mentioned that he had previously erected a “man trap”, consisting of a wire run between two trees. That sounds pretty dangerous and malicious and worthy of being locked up.

      • I got the impression that the “man trap” was all part of the shooting spree – perhaps he set it up to try to catch people running from the building, or to slow police response? It’s not clear from any of the material I’ve found on this case what that was all about, but I haven’t seen anything to indicate that that charge predates the shooting attack.

  2. Self defence is not illegal in Australia but like everywhere you need to be able to show a good reason. Security guard shot armed robber at shopping centre near my place 2 years ago and cleared in about 2 days. Usual from family that he was a “good” person

    Not sure exactly sure about NZ but I think it is the same as Australia where police and some security can have weapon only while on duty.
    Private security can not carry tazer or pepper spray but can have expandable baton and pistol. Shotguns are now restricted to armoured car crew with a lot of cash

    Political correctness and the “rights” of disadvantaged people would stop guard and staff from being armed at most government offices

    • No firearms in NZ for Security officers, armoured car crews can carry handcuffs but that’s it. In Australia I was able to carry a handgun on duty transporting cash but no shotguns the law allows for it but police would never license it, if they did side by side or under and over would be all that was allowed.

  3. im australian. our police have sidearms. new zealand police dont. theres a damn good reason for that. neither country needs them i will always stand by my unzud brothers over a septic tank (yank) and i can tell you without thinking about it…… fuck off. there is no reason in a civilised society for a private citizen to be carrying a gun. thats a retarded seppogolian thing. neither australia ir new zealand is that fucking stupid we believe we need a house full of guns to protect ourselves nor is anything we own (stuff) worth dying over. stuff can be replaced. life cant. keep your yourselves, or be utterly owned by logic.

    • Hello, Mr. Nota. You speak of a “civilized society.” If society were truly “civilized,” you might have a point. To respond directly to your statement, most of us do live in a civilized society, and we treat each other in a civil manner. There is, however, also a parallel society of criminals that is NOT civilized. It is where members of these two societies intersect that those in the civil society might need a firearm to protect themselves.

      Attempting to wish away the criminal society will do no such thing. Removing or restricting the ability of members in the civil society to protect themselves from those in the criminal society will only embolden the criminals and cause more of those interactions between members of those two societies to not go well for the civil member.

      You close out your post by saying “stuff can be replaced. life cant.” [sic] Thank you for very succinctly making our argument. I very much agree with you. Life can’t be replaced. That is why I carry a firearm. To protect and defend that which cannot be replaced; my life, the lives of my family, and possibly the lives of other innocent civil people, caught in that moment of a horrific interaction between the two societies.

    • Well this is one angry Australia and this is what gun owners had to deal with, not all gun owners mind you as some of them agree with this line of thought.

    • noguntard,

      I have not harmed anyone and I do not intend to harm anyone. There is therefore no reason in a civilized society for a private citizen to tell me what I can or cannot own or possess.

      More to the point my firearms do not stop anyone from reasoning or cooperating with me, or going about their business, in any way, shape, or form. The only time that my firearm will affect another person is when someone like YOU threatens me to comply with your demands against my will … because that is NOT civilized.

      If anyone needs to f*** off here, it is you.

      • Yes. The foundation of a civilized society is full and vigorous recognition of self-ownership — the alternative, however nicely masked, is bondage.

        British law continues to implicitly presume that all persons are property of the Crown, not of themselves. Only property is not allowed to make its own judgment about what is required for self-defense and act on that judgment. Civilized people respect the right of every individual to exercise that bit of sovereignty over one’s self.

    • Aussies don’t need guns to massively exterminate native populations, where’s the sport in that?

      This one seems to wish he grew up speaking Japanese. What was it that stopped that again? Oh right, eeeeeevil American gunnnnns

  4. I guess mr nota is just a standard ‘tard then.

    Sadly there is a lot of this mentality down on this side of the planet. Someone above put it well, British and commonwealth people are treated as “subjects”, not as citizens. It shows.

    There are lots of guns in the Southern hemisphere, more than Mr ‘tard could imagine. His neighbours may well have several. Sadly his neighbourhood criminals are extremely well armed. NZ and Australia were frontier societies too, and the hunting and shooting tradition are hard wired into the national psyche. Sadly not so much in the urban latte liberal enclaves.

    It is also sad that mr ‘tard could find the energy to seek out this sight, and to enlighten us with his “wisdom”. I can assure you that not all aussies and kiwis think like this.


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