I had to listen horrified to a 16 minute Radio NZ 'interview' with Philip Alpers - a kiwi now paid to work as the voice of "Gun Banners" in Australia.
Alpers, a long-term lobbyist and self-proclaimed "researcher and forensic consultant" is known for his inaccurate and emotive claims regarding firearms statistics. This morning he offered an imagined "Pacific Consensus on Disarmament" as proof of the peaceful nature of the Pacific Ocean and its nations - "an oasis of hope" - while intermixing his chat with reports of the ongoing gun violence in Papua New Guinea, and its Southern Highlands, - Bougainville, Philippines, Solomon Islands - and Timor Leste, (where New Zealand 'peace-keepers' were posted for many years).
- He somehow overlooked the repeated armed coups in Fiji as further examples of his 'peaceful pacific'.
Alpers stated that the guns and ammunition used in the pacific nation violence are supplied by their police and armed forces - who were themselves supplied with those weapons by the Governments of New Zealand and Australia. (but he wants civilian ownership of firearms banned!).
Alpers claimed that there are "no AK47s" in the Pacific area because " we use the wrong ammunition"
Among other spurious claims made in this radio speech, Alpers said that New Zealand Police are unarmed - (1,771 Glock 9mm pistols and 908 Bushmaster rifles!), that mental health is not an issue in mass shootings in America as "80% to 90% of killers have no mental health issues" and that "alcohol, guns, and maleness" are the causes - as 98% of the mass killers are male.
As reward for his expertise, Alpers has been granted the title of 'adjunct associate professor' at the School of Public Health in Sydney. (He has no health qualification).
It should be noted that Alpers did not attend or obtain any academic qualification from any recognised University until this adjunct (something added). - He is however, founding "director" of Gun Policy.org and director of the Centre for armed Violence Reduction.
You can listen to this "Sunday Morning" interview with Wallace Chapman on the Radio NZ web-site.
P.S. Philip Alpers is said to receive funding from United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. He claims to have no other relevant affiliations.
Alpers is on record as claiming that Australia has no remaining arms industry .. I wonder where the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces F88 Austeyr AUG rifles and F89 Minimi came from then .. er, Lithgow in NSW ? I'm sure that I have visited their display at the Small Arms Factory in Lithgow! - Now 'corporatised' - Australian Defence Industries (ADI) are currently owned by Thales Australia.
Thales F90-2 Rifle.
Alpers, previously a "journalist" in New Zealand - obviously believes "Why spoil a good story with the facts?".