“Hello Vin, Great article. I did some research (Google) on that death a few years ago and came to the same conclusion. The gumint criminalized him and as a result, he decided to go down shooting. Not one of the articles I read made that obvious connection. I remember that the agent who killed him (justifiable if I recall correctly because Mr. Ansell killed his partner) was genuinely puzzled as to why Mr. A chose not to avoid a police roadblock which he could have done easily. No doubt that he cannot understand the Iraqi resistance or any other resistance to authorities who stomp on basic rights. Keep up the good work. -- R.E.”
... but also some curiously clone-like responses each citing the same government-funded Australian TV “documentary” on Ansell’s death. To wit:
“I agree with you that Rod Ansell’s story deserves further media coverage, but I am sorry to see you repeating the baloney written by Dr. Faria.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am not a gun control advocate. But the accounts I have seen of Ansell’s tragic end clearly show that it had nothing to do with gun control unless you might want an argument for keeping guns out of the hands of drug-crazed people. A believable report on Ansell’s crazed attack, his murder of a police officer, and his subsequent death was presented by the ABC ‘Four Corners’ investigative reporting team and can be found at www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/s55944.htm.
“They interviewed eye witnesses (the people Ansell attacked and who saw him killed) as well as acquaintances and associates of Ansell who tell of his meth-crazed state. I’m amazed that you would waste space on Dr. Faria’s fantasy. ...
“By the way, Australia is not a ‘leftist’ country as Dr. Faria states. The governing party is conservative. Perhaps Dr. Faria is confused by the name of the governing conservative party, the ‘Liberal Party’ (note the capital L). The liberal party (note the lower case l) is called the ‘Australian Labour Party.’
“If you are interested in Australian gun control, you ought to read their (very complicated) laws yourself. You will find that ‘ban’ is too strong a word.” -- (signed) Stan C.
Readers are welcome to wade through the transcript of the Australian broadcast for themselves. In between a lot of talk about Brucellosis and Mimosa and “bitumen” will be found a few persons whose backgrounds and motivations we’re told nothing about, not testifying under oath, saying shots came into their house the night before Ansell died, and they didn’t know at the time who was doing the shooting.
How do they know, now, that it was Ansell? The police told them, presumably.
Perhaps Mr. Ansell did have a screw loose. I don’t know. Certainly no one is advised to get into gun battles with police, unless under the direst provocation.
But I wonder if any other reader or viewer gets the impression that the narrator of this oddly constructed presentation -- from the “Australian Broadcasting Corporation,” an outfit which admits to being “funded almost entirely by direct annual grants from the Australian federal budget” -- will not be found out on the picket lines, protesting in favor of the God-given right to unrestricted gun ownership, anytime soon?
What is clear is that narrator “Peter George” is convinced everything is explained by Ansell’s “darkening moods” and the fact that Northern Australia is “no longer a frontier.” (Could that be code language for “and now these yahoos have to give up their guns,” do you suppose?)
Readers of the transcript will find speculation that Ansell “might have been” smoking “a lot of marijuana” -- though I’ve never seen any reliable information that pot smoking causes folks to become homicidal maniacs.
Meantime, I seem to have missed any documentation of his “meth-crazed state,” which would surely be easy enough to prove from autopsy results.
I don’t know enough about Peter George and how predictably he and his government-paid network parrot a politically correct government line to comment further on this disembodied piece of work. I do know I saw a young woman testify UNDER OATH before a U.S. Senate committee in 1990 that Iraqi troops pulled babies out of the hospital incubators after invading Kuwait -- only to later learn that the testifying “nurse Nayirah” was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington (next-door neighbor to Sen. Edward Kennedy), a young woman who had apparently been home in her palatial Northern Virginia estate during the time in question, not doing volunteer work in any Kuwaiti hospital.
I’ve also watched network TV news specials (in America, at least they PRETEND not to be government apologists) asserting that Christian minister David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers decided to “commit suicide” by burning themselves and their children to death at Mount Carmel, TX, on (what a coincidence!) the same day the FBI and the Delta Force collapsed the church staircases with armored vehicles, injected nerve gas in a flammable suspension, and lit the place up with incendiary grenades, while holding the fire engines miles away.
I feel certain if the Nazis were still in power, we would also be regaled today with mainstream German TV documentaries on how the Jews committed suicide in the concentration camps despite the best efforts of their compassionate guards to stop them.
I haven’t gone to Australia to investigate the Ansell death. I’ve e-mailed Dr. Miguel Faria, whose essay on the topic was cited in my original column, to ask if he has further documentation as to whether and why Ansell may have been worried his guns would be seized (which doesn’t sound at all far-fetched to me; I’ve seen the proudly publicized photos of thousands of seized Australian semi-auto shotguns and hunting rifles being crushed, bent, and destroyed.)
Had many of Mr. Ansell’s guns been banned, or not? Were police at the time confiscating “illegal” guns, or not? If they’d pulled him over and found those rifles in his vehicle, without proper “permits and documentation,” what would have happened? Would they have said, “Oh, that’s all right then -- you can go”?
And if Ansell’s firearms WERE subject to confiscation for failure to “register” them (as has been widely reported) what are the chances our TV narrator “Peter George” would have emphasized that in his report?
I believe we’ll have to rule the link between Ansell’s death and Australia’s accelerating gun control at the time “not proven,” for now -- though I still find it interesting that Mr. Ansell’s highly colorful death has received virtually no international coverage, by a press that’s overwhelmingly opposed to gun rights -- a press that (in contrast) gave us wall-to-wall coverage a few weeks back of a perfectly nice but risk-addicted Australian zookeeper being stung by a fish.
Meantime, I’m certainly glad to hear Australia is not a “leftist” country. No more graduated income tax, no more cradle-to-grave redistributionist social welfare programs and tax-funded old-age pensions, no more socialized medicine, no more government-funded welfare schooling? Congratulations!
I’m also very glad to hear the rumor that certain guns have been “banned” in Australia proves to have been overblown. So the average citizen there can still own a semi-automatic or fully automatic FN-FAL or L1A1 or M-14 or M-1A without any requirement to register them or apply for any special “license” to carry them around in the truck? Mighty glad to hear it ... assuming that’s not just some “meth-crazed fantasy,” mind you.