This week’s letters! Here’s what locals are saying…

Ring of truth
I THOUGHT David Bell put forth a very well-researched and rational argument against the new police commissioner’s decision to arm our local police with semi-automatic assault rifles (“Armed Response”, Speaker’s Corner, Voice, December 16, 2017), something Karl O’Callaghan knocked back during his tenure .
It brings to mind a favourite story of mine from my 30th birthday celebrations, two days before the decision was announced.
A moderately tasteless “dead celebrities” fancy dress theme was chosen for the occasion, and moving into the small hours of the night, Mark “Chopper” Reid and Tony Soprano had made their way out the front of the set-back warehouse venue on Fitzgerald Street to puff on a rather expensive prop cigar.
According to the WAToday report, “several concerned members of the public”, presumably on their post-midnight stroll, were alarmed by Uncle Chop Chop’s (plastic) pistol tucked into his belt and phoned triple-0.
My first awareness of goings-on was on being summonsed out the front, in my very convincing Chester Bennington get-up, to discuss matters with a couple of well-mannered, good-humoured officers, who after clearing up the misunderstanding and taking some details, were happy to pose for photos with the group.
It was the next morning that I was told by Anna Nicole Smith, who had left minutes earlier, that while waiting for an Uber after helping husband J. Howard Marshall load his wheelchair into their car parked around the corner from the party, they saw an armoured TRG vehicle and two squad cars arrive in apparent readiness for the reported “active shooter” situation, which they had no knowledge of at the time.
After reading of the senseless killing of Daniel Shaver in David’s piece, I can do nothing but think that if we glorified guns and the military as they do in the US, how different a story this may have become.
Scott Gibbings
Charles Street, North Perth

Brayzen treatment
DESPITE the consistent opposition of Australians to the live export of animals to countries where welfare laws are lax or non-existent, the government is currently considering allowing the export of donkeys to China, a trade which has been rejected by many other countries around the world.
A recent exposé by PETA Asia of the Chinese trade in donkeys’ skins—which are boiled down for a traditional “medicine” called ejiao—reveals that tens of thousands of donkeys are kept in filthy and cramped pens, beaten with sticks, and bashed in the head with a sledgehammer.
Workers then slit their throats, while some donkeys continue to breathe and move.
It’s time for the government unequivocally to prohibit this vile trade.
Desmond Bellamy
PETA Australia

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