Like all of you, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragedy which unfolded in the
rural Queensland town of Wieambilla on December 12.
You’ve probably also noticed we aren’t proactively making public statements or actively
appearing in the media about the issue, and we want to let you – our members and
supporters – understand why.
The simple reason is there are still a LOT of unanswered questions about – among other
things – exactly what happened, how the murderers obtained the firearms, and whether or
not there were warning signs missed by intelligence agencies.
Between a lack of accurate information and emotions running high over the tragedy, it
simply isn’t responsible or productive to be getting into public debates right now.
Please don’t mistake our relative absence from the media and social media silence for
Unlike talking heads in the media thriving on attention, we are ensuring we have all the
facts before we wade into public arena on this issue, so we are commenting from an
informed, respectful and measured standpoint.
We are monitoring every news story on the tragedy, and assembling facts and data to
address issues we are seeing in them for when it is practical to get involved publicly.
We are responding to media enquiries and have been reiterating what we have said here:
No-one has all the facts, people are understandably emotional about the tragedy, and it
doesn’t help anyone for people to contribute to the discussion without the complete story
You may have noticed the narrative quickly shifting in coverage, too. Certain police
representatives were quick to be calling for changes to mental health elements of firearms
licences, until it turned out none of the murderers had Queensland gun licences – at which
point the talking points shifted to “We need a national firearms registry”. By the time you
read this, the focus may have shifted once again.
We also note there are current and former serving police officers are raising some very
serious questions, such as in this paywalled story in The Courier-Mail where Dr Terry
- Who contacted the NSW police and asked for the missing person inquiry?
- Why were two crews dispatched from different stations for a simple missing person
- What intelligence holdings did the police have and were the young police attending
- Why were four officers with only a few of years’ service between them sent?
- Why was there no senior officer present?
- Why does it appear that the offenders were prepared to attack the police when they
- What motivated these killers to engage in such horrendous actions? :
We share those questions ourselves, and are pleased to see them being raised as they
need to be asked.
In the meantime, please be assured we are not sticking our heads in the sand or hoping
this matter goes away – we are, and will always continue to be, actively standing up for
law-abiding firearms users throughout Australia.
Yours in shooting,
The Shooters Union National Executive