Sydney journos have whipped themselves into a frenzy over the recent spate of shootings in Sydney, mostly confined to the city's West and South-West.
We have had front pages, large colour spreads and the usual proliferation of online articles.
|From this ABC report|
|From this Daily Terror report|
What's all the more unnerving are suggestions that innocent parties are being targeted.
Having said that, any suggestion that the residents of a home shot are entirely innocent should be taken with a grain of salt.
The residents are hardly likely to say to the police "Well, yeah, there is that guy I owe $100 000 for that bulk purchase of ecstasy I made, so yeah, maybe that was who it was."
Same goes for speculation that the shooters got the wrong house. Some crims are stupid, no doubt, but few are as bumbling as we've seen in many movies, and crims aren't generally in the business of shooting up homes for fun.
That's not to say I'm certain that every victim is actually a drug dealer - there is no way I could know that. It's also not to say the public's fears are entirely unfounded. I'm just suggesting that if you're not involved in crime, the chance of having your house shot up is pretty miniscule.
The fact that the people being shot at are not so pure is reflected in the unwillingness of many victims to give statements to police.
|From this 9News story|
Of course not. If ever there was a case of an opposition trying to blame a government for something that is beyond their control, this is it.
Labor knows that they can't say "You should have X or Y before now" because whatever it is that they want to allege the Coalition should have done, Labor didn't do it either. So better to just criticise and try to make a fuss.
Having said that, the government is in fact doing something, or at least thinking about it.
|From this 9News story|
People who have been arrested have a right to silence. Except in very particular circumstances, that right is pretty universal. You don't have to talk to police if you don't want to.
The fact that these victims don't want to talk to police is almost certainly because they have something to hide. They shouldn't be forced to give a statement to police about it.
If police want to investigate the victims on the assumption that "If bikies are shooting up their place, they must have something to hide" then they are free to do so. But to force people to give a statement would seem to be a step too far.
In any event - if your husband is a drug dealer, your place is shot up and police then force you to give a statement, are you going to tell police all you know? Of course not - you'll lie, which means the police will at best get nothing useful,. but at worst will get set off on wild goose chases.
The last thing I want to write about is this press release from Nathan Rees, Shadow Police Minister.
He also wants O'Farrell to "outlaw bikie gangs." How, exactly, does he propose that be done? What kind of law would permit that? If Rees offering a serious alternative, or is he just criticising with no reasonable alternative?
There's no doubt that it is an opposition's just to criticise, highlight flaws and (in a perfect world) try and push a government towards better solutions.
But Labor's approach here is to simply try and blame the Coalition for something outside their control, and then suggest that Something Must Be Done without offering any sensible basis for doing so.
I'll leave the final word to @PrestonTowers.