Sydney siege

By my count we are now going to have four inquiries into the Lindt Cafe siege – a coroner’s inquiry, internal incident reviews by the NSW and Commonwealth police and a federal-state review undertaken by the Prime Minister’s department and the NSW Premier’s Department.

The latter will include an an investigation of how gunman Man Haron Monis slipped through state and federal security and legal nets, at his arrival in Australia, the decision to grant him of asylum, permanent residency and citizenship, as well as the social security support he received. I can’t see what social security support has to do with anything. I’m more interested in how he came by a pump-action shotgun.

Greg Barns believes bail laws are already an infringement on our liberty. The possession of personal freedom and the presumption of innocence are important principles in our society. New laws in NSW appear to contain a presumption against bail.

It is inappropriate for us to be second guessing what the magistrates had before them and we tend to be wise after the event about the risk that Monis constituted.

New Matilda details what we know officially. Listening to media reports there is a fair bit we know beyond that, but I’m happy to wait for the official reports.

I’ve yet to get a clear idea of what the gunman’s motivation was. What demands was he making to police, or was he just creating an incident and waiting to be shot one way or another? It’s possibly significant that the cafe was opposite Channel 7. There is a suggestion this morning that he wanted to talk to the Prime Minister. What were we supposed to make of the banner held up to the window?

Lindt1L_0

Rachel Kohn discusses the inadequacy of the lone wolf theory. Monis was bad as well as mad and had a record that should have given concern. It does seem as though Monis may have written off as a harmless fruitcake when he was dropped from the watch list. It has been pointed out that resources to monitor individuals are always limited, so judgements need to be made.

Randa Abdel-Fattah asks whether we take crimes against women seriously enough. I gather here she is referring to the fact that he got bail for being an accessory to his wife’s murder and, separately, 40 sexual assault cases. Others have pointed out the weakness of the prosecution case for accessory to murder, also that both charges can vary from the relatively trivial to the extremely grave, depending on the specifics. We are in no position to know.

Also from Abdel-Fattah:

There is another issue though, too. And that is whether Australian Muslims will be entitled to grieve the deaths of the two hostages and the trauma suffered by the survivors in a way that does not make their empathy and grief contingent on condemning, apologizing and distancing themselves from the gunman.

David Connery reviews security aspects of the case:

While it’s still early to be analysing a situation that’s just concluded with two of our compatriots dead, the Martin Place siege this week shows that Australia’s high-level arrangements for responding to a terrorist attack are largely effective.

Still, we can expect to see a few near-term changes to our counter-terrorism arrangements in areas like public alerts and compensation for victims.

If the attack had occurred overseas, and was declared a terrorist attack, the Commonwealth government would offer compensation payments to victims and their relatives.

There is a need to resolve the long-running negotiations between the Commonwealth and the states over the allocation of dedicated broadband spectrum for emergency services.

The incident highlights how vulnerable we are to a lone actor.

Elsewhere Rachel Jacobs tells how #illridewithyou began.

Yes, I know that #illridewithyou is not enough in itself but I think it indicates how far we’ve come from the general islamophobia that was rife after the Twin Towers event in 2001.

67 thoughts on “Sydney siege”

  1. I’m a bit concerned that the flow of information during the siege was severely constrained. Maybe that was necessary but I thought more info could have been available without prejudice to the matter.

    The other thing, and I may have missed it, but who actually shot the various hostages? In the apparent chaos it would be unsurprising though sad if any of the victims were wounded by friendly fire. But as far as I know there are no remarks about who shot the hostages. That should be declared swiftly post-siege, not left to an inquiry well down the track.

    And for all that, I thought that the whole matter was handled really well, although many questions raised by Brian e.g. bail law.

  2. There may have been scant evidence tying Monis to these crimes and thus leading to his being released on bail. What about his widow though? She allegedly brutally murdered his ex-wife, has praised the actions of terrorists, married Monis in the mistaken belief that she could avoid testifying against him and now allegedly claims to be a terrorist herself. While the entire nation is now obsessed with a man who can no longer hurt anyone, his fruitcake widow is free.

  3. If we’re going to lock up all the fruitcakes I suggest we start with Cory Bernardi, Danny Nalliah and Fred Nile.

  4. All we can be sure of is the act of one criminal will, once more, erode the freedoms of the innocent, law abiding majority.
    The finger of the State will be shoved further up the citizenries freckle and half the population will demand that finger be longer and fatter.
    The other half don’t get a voice anymore.

  5. Geoff H, I think it’s clear that Tori Johnson, the cafe manager, lost his life trying to disarm Monis. There’s been no indication I’ve seen as to how Katrina Dawson died but one would think it would be really easy to tell whether her wounds came from a shotgun or not. Perhaps she had multiple wounds.

    zoot, I’m all for locking up Cory Bernardi!

    It has been clarified that Monis did not have a shooters licence and must have acquired the gun illegally.

  6. It has been clarified that Monis did not have a shooters licence and must have acquired the gun illegally.

    So much for Howards gun laws.
    More people have been killed by nut bags in hospitality venues than in air transport carriages in the last 15 years.
    Particularly followers of a certain religion.

  7. Jumpy I don’t mind Howard’s gun laws. I was advised in Wyoming to be careful because a five year old child can legally carry a concealable weapon. And the guy that told me that was a park ranger who aside from a full arsenal of stuff on his belt, carried a loaded AK47 in his truck where you would normally find a gear lever. When making an enquiry to a person of interest, the first question is “are you carrying a weapon?” The weaponry became standard issue after a number of park rangers were shot. I hope it never come to that in Oz.

  8. The enquiry into the gunman’s receipt of unemployment benefits is obviously a front for cutting USB to all recipients in some way.

  9. Geoff @8

    And yet Wyoming, according to wiki, has one of the lowest gun murder rates in the US.
    California with the most stringent gun laws is way down the list.
    If you were in that cafe, would you have wished you had a concealed firearm ?

  10. Jumpy I reckon it would have suited me just fine on such an occasion. But as a general rule allowing people to be “ready” for a gunman is likely to lower the threshold where gun play becomes a reality and I doubt the public interest is well served.
    As usual policy is invariably flawed in some way, most times the best policy is not available.

    Now today we have the dreadful stabbing of eight Torres Straight children in Cairns. I don’t think that is a message that we should all carry flick knives though.

  11. Interesting table Jumpy. Wyoming comes in low indeed. But maybe that’s because 5 year old murderers have their records sealed? Just kidding.

  12. On the other hand we could always strengthen gun laws so that nobody, including deranged criminals could obtain them.

  13. Now today we have the dreadful stabbing of eight Torres Straight children in Cairns. I don’t think that is a message that we should all carry flick knives though.

    Nor tightening of knife control laws or an outright ban in the public interest.
    (I’m not advocating abolition of ” responsible age laws” btw, a minor should’t have equal rights to adults )

  14. zoot

    On the other hand we could always strengthen gun laws so that nobody, including deranged criminals could obtain them.

    An example where that fantasy exits please.
    Google up buddy.

  15. Posted too soon.
    The other fantasy of everybody walking the streets armed to the teeth doesn’t reduce the incidence of deranged criminals, it increases it (witness the USA).

  16. Derp.
    “doesn’t reduce the incidence of deranged criminals” should read “doesn’t reduce the incidence of deranged criminals killing innocent people”.

  17. As far as I know it doesn’t. Which doesn’t mean it can’t.

    Well, I’m suggesting it can’t when criminal, police and military exist.
    ( I am loving real time conversation/debate here, let’s make it a Friday arvo habit )

  18. zoot

    What scientific data disagrees with me?

    Your link includes suicide ( which one can perform using gravity ) along with homicide.
    This is about harm to others.
    Go again.

  19. Zoot & Jumpy you guys out gun me. Look forward to tomorrow, at dawn I presume, unless high noon is more practical.

  20. Heres is Wikapedia’s world death by gun data. The US total is 10.3 per 100,000 vs 0.86 for Aus. In the case of the US, homicides were 27% of the total vs 13% for Aus.
    The figures suggest that high availability increases gun related suicides and accidental deaths.
    Culture can be important too. For example, I remember one year where the homicides for the Aboriginal community would have been about 40 per 100,000 vs 0 for the white community. The crucial difference was that when the Aborigines fought it usually involved weapons that could kill. The payback obligations in the traditional culture simply made things worse.
    I would suggest that differences between the attitude to fighting with weapons in the US vs Aus is part of the explanation for differences in both gun related killings and gun ownership.
    The other thing that can be important is what is happening in sib-cultures. The Aus figure would be much lower if we took out organized crime related killings.

  21. The weapon used to kill is irrelevant.
    In Australia, knives are used more than guns ( illustrated most tragically comparing Cairns and Sydney events )
    Should we, as zoot suggests,

    On the other hand we could always strengthen gun knife laws so that nobody, including deranged criminals could obtain them.

    or address the ” cultural ” issues around respect for life and freedom and aversion to violence of any kind as ( I’m interpreting ) John to suggest ?

    There are more guns in Australia now than when Howard introduced his rubbish and probably more knives too but the trend of overall murders is down ( that better Geoff, be happier for it ).

    Government mandates do SFA to improve cultures they just get in the way of our natural instinct to improve individually through experience.

  22. Zoot

    Wyoming gun murders in 2010 = 0.9 per 100,000 (according to your link)
    Firearm related homicides in Australia in 2011 = 0.11 per 100,000

    Thats a difference of, what, 2 per million between gun soaked Wyoming and Nanny State Australia ?
    A rounding error easily dismissed by missing person unestablished demise.
    Go again.

  23. “There are more guns in Australia now than when Howard introduced his rubbish and probably more knives too but the trend of overall murders is down ( that better Geoff, be happier for it ).”
    Thanks for the charity Jumpy, I’m usually happy. But where did you get the stats about guns increasing since Howards Law? I would have thought that the difficulty of obtaining legal firearms, and especially concealable weapons would have the net effect of reducing ownership/possession, or at least limiting re-armament. There are many hoops to jump through before you get a green light to own a gun of any type, including a crossbow. When you do get it, there are snap inspections of your storage arrangements – locked steel cabinets, ammo kept elsewhere and nobody else to have access.

  24. Jumpy @30: I was merely making an observation not suggesting a solution. I think we need to know more about the details re who is doing the killing and why before any sensible suggestions can be made.

  25. Geoff

    Thanks for the charity Jumpy, I’m usually happy. But where did you get the stats about guns increasing since Howards Law?

    Ok, 3 sentences 3 answers.
    No charity, just encouraging reassurance.
    Me too 🙂
    Ask the editors of the Silly Morning Herald. ( 11.5 months ago
    ) and ABC ( today ).
    Not quite Murdoch puppets.
    John,

    I think we need to know more about the details re who is doing the killing and why before any sensible suggestions can be made.

    How long have we had and how many “Governments” have tried and failed ?
    If the only ones with gun are law flouters then the law abiding are at their mercy.
    I don’t thing that’s fair.

  26. jumpy @10:

    And yet Wyoming, according to wiki, has one of the lowest gun murder rates in the US.

    When it was demonstrated @22 that the rate in Wyoming (population less than 600,000) is 8 times the rate in Australia (population 23 million), jumpy is quite sanguine because:

    Thats a difference of, what, 2 per million between gun soaked Wyoming and Nanny State Australia ?

    An extra 46 murders a year in Australia would be insignificant – a mere “rounding error”.
    Time to move the goalposts again jumpy.

  27. I know of people who have been killed with screw drivers, scissors and axes. Unlike guns, it is a bit challenging to keep all the potential killing weapons away from all potential killers. Having said that I find guns particularly scary. Most of the other options provide some chance of running away and/or deflecting. Automatic weapons are particularly scary. Howard was right to concentrate on automatic weapons like the ones that made Port Arthur such as killing field.
    Wikappedia data for homicides gave 4.7 per 100,000 for the US, 1.1 for Aus. (Vs 2.8 and 0.1 for homicide by gun.)

  28. John
    Australia has uniform gun law federally, the US laws vary markedly from state to state.
    Chicago used to be one of the worst, getting better now though.
    Crime is getting lower despite crippling economic times.

  29. Just to recap events in Martin Place.
    Monis ( or whatever his name is ) had a gun against the law.
    It was modified against the law.
    The only others with guns ( police ) used them many hours too late.
    3 died instead of 1.
    The deceased were not allowed the right of self defence.

  30. Hardly that simple Jumpy. The early sniper shot that might have killed Monis may have caused an explosion had Monis armed himself in such a way. Many more, maybe everyone would have died.
    Given what they knew of the man a cautious approach was very defensible.

  31. Had we the regulations so beloved by the NRA (and apparently jumpy), everyone in the cafe would have been packing heat, but the deranged crim would probably have had an assault rifle or two.
    Is jumpy seriously asserting less people would have died under those circumstances?

  32. zoot @40

    …. but the deranged crim would probably have had an assault rifle or two.

    Readily available in Sydney right now, under present laws. ( google ” guns seized Sydney “)
    That’s if your a criminal type, unobtainable to we honest folk.

    Oh, and what are we going to do about the knives ?
    More murders with them.
    And better make it good, them criminals are a crafty bunch.

  33. Really zoot ? Sorry about that.
    Please state the question ( as you see it ) and the goal posts will remain right there.

  34. But just remember, according to your sporting analogy, there are goal posts up the other end.
    Ignore them to you detriment if you wish, up to you.

  35. Oh, this,

    Had we the regulations so beloved by the NRA (and apparently jumpy), everyone in the cafe would have been packing heat, but the deranged crim would probably have had an assault rifle or two.
    Is jumpy seriously asserting less people would have died under those circumstances?

    That looked like a question to everyone else about me but i’ll answer for you, Yes.
    Now, your turn.
    ” What do we do about the knives ?

  36. Too right Geoff.
    I believe the width of the desk that separates Abbott and Shorten in Parliament was designed to be just a little bit longer than 2 outstretched arms holding swords.
    It seems the backs of their chairs is a more vulnerable spot.

  37. This is all a problem of time of day and lighting.

    Who goes to lunch with a torch??

    Magpul FMG9 (Folding Machine Gun) featured on Dis…: http://youtu.be/pY2EqFzPzn8

    In the original video of this “torch” a few years ago Magpul stated that this was a “design” exercise and they had absolutely no intention of ever manufacturing the product. Now it is in production.

  38. Reality check Jumpy: What do you think would have happened if someone in the cafe had tried to pull a gun after the nutter had brought out his sawn off shotgun? How many people might have died in the shootout.
    Also ask yourself what would have happened if anyone had a gun in their hand when the cops charged in?
    Real world Jumpy, not a James Bond movie.

  39. John

    What do you think would have happened if someone in the cafe had tried to pull a gun after the nutter had brought out his sawn off shotgun? How many people might have died in the shootout.

    Hopefully just one.
    I personally advocate gun licensing similar to ( the far more lethal ) car licensing with adequate training, perhaps an Learner, green P, Red P and Open classes.

    Also ask yourself what would have happened if anyone had a gun in their hand when the cops charged in?

    All over before the police got there and certainly inside the, what, 12 hours it took police to act.
    Please give honest intelligent people some credit.

    Ask yourself why he chose a cafe full of unarmed people rather than a police station, gun club or army barracks.

    In reality even the thought of a potential victim having a method of self defence is a strong deterrent.

    The criminal element will always have access to guns.
    No laws, no matter how strict, will prevent that.
    Nothing James Bond about it.

  40. Just for the mischief, here’s an “invitation to buy” I received just today. For less than $30 delivered I can get a tactical red laser sight for my firearm, less money than a bottle of Scotch Whiskey. Surely Bond has one of those.

    http://www.ozstock.com.au/14745/Tactical-Red-Laser-Sight-for-Rifles

    In reality even the thought of a potential victim having a method of self defence is a strong deterrent.

    Jumpy that might be the case, but it might also inform the offender that he is at greater risk and as a consequence, he might just start with a grenade as his introduction to the group. The thought might be a deterrent but it may also lead to more summary tactics.

  41. It would appear that jumpy believes John Wayne movies are documentaries.
    Meanwhile in the real world, in Australia 0.86 people of every 100,000 are killed by guns each year. In the home of the brave and land of the open carry the equivalent number is 10.30 per 100,000 (link upstream).
    So if Nanny State Australia followed the example of the US, 2171 more people could be expected to die by gunshot each year.
    Everybody going armed clearly makes everyone less safe. And that’s before we include knives, baseball bats and ride-on lawnmowers or whatever floats your boat.

  42. Geoff @56

    I’m just glad the child wasn’t hurt buy this womans negligence ( bullet in the chamber, safety off, within reach of an 2 y/o )
    Could have been a full, uncapped syringe, open bottle of pills or a knife given the level of neglect she showed and the victim would have been the innocent rather than the criminal*

    (* I say criminal because she broke even Idaho gun laws and ignored all the compulsory training. I’m surprised she didn’t kill herself and all the kids on the car ride to the Walmart, based on the info at hand ** )
    ((** The story smells fishy, yet the principal remains the same))

  43. zoot @55
    If you continue to confuse rates with totals and ignore the multitude of differing gun laws in the US then I can’t help you understand.
    Stay safe.

  44. Jumpy: If you want someone to defend themselves in a siege or other acute threat situation they would need a gun that was easily accessible, a bullet in the chamber (and the safety off?) You can’t have it both ways.

  45. jumpy @58: which states have gun laws as restrictive as Australia’s?
    If the rate of death by gunshot is higher where the laws are less restrictive (as in Wyoming), you cannot argue that loosening our laws will reduce the incidence of death by gunshot in Australia.
    The only thing confused in this discussion is your logic.
    Have a happy new year (seriously!).

  46. jumpy @58: which states have gun laws as restrictive as Australia’s?

    Arguably California and Washington DC.

    If the rate of death by gunshot is higher where the laws are less restrictive (as in Wyoming),

    Yes, by 2ppm as you showed @22

    you cannot argue that loosening our laws will reduce the incidence of death by gunshot in Australia.

    I’m not, I’m arguing howards gun laws made little to no difference to our overall murder rate, gun prevalence in the criminal element ( just enhanced the value of the gun commodity therefore encouraged illegal imports ), that it is impossible to force a gun free culture through legislation and being the innocent being penalised for the acts of others is wrong.

    The only thing confused in this discussion is your logic.

    Ok, perhaps you could shut me up completely by showing me a formula, when applied to any jurisdiction, expressing 1 % increase of gun ownership = x extra deaths.

    Have a happy new year (seriously!).

    And to you and those dear to you Sir.

  47. I’m not, I’m arguing howards gun laws made little to no difference to our overall murder rate, …

    So there’s ‘little to no’ benefit in relaxing them.

  48. So there’s ‘little to no’ benefit in relaxing them.

    Exempt the benefits that flow from liberty, we each place our own value on that.

    (I am more fond of the hippy left philosophy than the fascist left.
    Oh,and I do not, or have ever owned a gun bigger than a .17 air rifle nor have I shot another living creature other than a tree )

  49. Where’s the “tongue in cheek” tag when you need it?
    But to be serious for a moment, my father-in-law served in the Royal Marines and unlike you jumpy has “seen what guns can do to people” (his words). He believes the fewer people who own guns the better.
    I’m not going to disagree with him.

  50. zoot

    unlike you jumpy has “seen what guns can do to people”…

    I’ll take that as a baseless assumed assumption, that is incorrect.
    I’d rather not expand on that.
    I hold no grudge nor harbour vengeful intent, ever.
    Remember the goal posts at the other end ?

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