Yesterday was (or today is if you’re in the U.S.) Veterans’ Day, the day that marks the end of World War I and is used there to commemorate all those who have served in the military.
Since 2008, more than 60,000 U.S. veterans have taken their own lives. More than half of those deaths — which exceed the U.S. death toll of the Vietnam War — were by firearm.
When soldiers return home from war, many may feel that the worst is over: they made it back alive, and are now free to live lives free of the mortal risks of combat.
The reality, however, is much more complicated and alarming: more U.S. veterans have committed suicide between 2008 and 2017 than died during the entire Vietnam War. According to the defense news website Military.com, these alarming rates were shared earlier this fall in a report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
by Carol Sawyer
Here is a photo of a trailer load of dead creatures collected from Westport North Beach, the beach, by volunteers on Saturday, plus others [in the mosaic].
A notice appeared online yesterday: “On Behalf of DOC from the Buller District Council — There was a predator control operation in the Springs Junction area last weekend and this could have contributed to the problem (of the rats on the beach) Samples are being sent away for testing.”
The dead creatures included a goat, a crayfish, monkfish, octopuses, barracuda, starfish, skates, sole, crabs, and seabirds, as well as over 600 rats. There were also large numbers of Tuatua, still with meat in them, which is unusual. The dead marine life were all bottom feeders.
Trevor Reid knows the Coast well and says that although dead sealife washes up on the beach after a storm, the sheer numbers are very unusual.
I hope someone with no conflict of interest took samples as well as DoC who have apparently taken the crayfish for testing… it is the least likely to have died from 1080 poison as it was undersize and could have been tossed off a fishing boat.
However, although no signage went up for 24 hours, two DoC rangers turned up Saturday afternoon to help the volunteers and used a digger to make a hole in the beach to put all the dead rats in… not a very deep hole I have been told.
Trevor Reid, who took these photos, said he stopped a young guy from fishing. When he arrived at the beach there were freedom campers everywhere and a two-year-old was playing near some of the dead rats. As there were no signs he explained to the tourists, who were horrified.
Ursula Edgington has sent off an OIA request as DoC will try to downplay this.
The trailer photo is the most hard-hitting, but Stuff printed a completely innocuous photo of seagulls standing on the beach [as you would expect them to, being automatically pro-government. —Eds]
Here is last night’s Prime TV News story. Go to 5 minutes 10 secs for the beach story in which DoC are downplaying this situation:
“The Dept of Conservation thinks it’s unlikely the rats were poisoned by 1080 in a recent drop, then washed out of the hills by heavy rain. “I just can’t imagine that the two are connected”, says Mark Davies of DoC.
In this issue
- Feedback on John Granville’s talk last month
- The forthcoming November session – Richard Mansell on “Coastlands: 50 Years in the Making” – Tuesday 19 November
- Brief details of December’s talk from David Hadfield
- Possible sessions for 2020
Thanks to our October speaker, John Granville (see our article here)
The November speaker – Chief Executive of Coastlands: Richard Mansell
50 years ago to the month Coastlands opened its doors to the public. In the early years before Saturday trading was the norm, Coastland was a magnet for weekend shoppers and hundreds would travel by car and train from Wellington.
In the 1970s, it was small by today’s standards of shopping malls and there were shops, businesses and food outlets upstairs as well as down.
However, over the last 50 years there have been numerous makeovers and a massive expansion of food outlets and shops including many national retail chains.
Come along and hear Richard — it should be a very interesting and informative talk about how the Kapiti Coast’s biggest retail complex has evolved over 50 years.
Tuesday 19 November at 7.30 pm
Kapiti Uniting Church
10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach
Enter via the main church door.
Gold coin koha. Thanks
A light supper will be served following the talk.
Final talk of the year — 17 December – David Hadfield on Octavius Hadfield
2020 – shaping up a programme of speakers
- Kapiti’s Changing Coastline (Professor Mark Dickson) – confirmed for Tuesday 31 March
- Gallipoli – Myth and Reality – confirmed for April
- Whareoa Farm (Ann Evans) – confirmed, probably May
- Paraparaumu’s First Retirement Village – Seven Oaks The history of Paraparaumu airport
- The Kapiti Coast Museum (Allan Carley)
- Key figures in Kapiti’s early-mid 19th century history — Wiremu Kingi, Te Rauparaha and Octavius Hadfield
Suggestions for topics and speakers are always very welcome.
–Roger Childs and John Robinson, Coordinators of the Kapiti Historical Society
A week ago, Stewart Hydes wrote the following letter to every New Zealand MP. Carol Sawyer thinks it expresses the feelings of many so asked Stewart for permission to repost it.
“Gidday Member of Parliament,
Yesterday, I spent the day manning a Tent at the Ashburton A&P Show – listening to people, and informing them about the implications of the Arms Legislation Bill. I spoke to many mainly rural men and women – many of whom are not Firearms Licence Holders.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger – An Observation:
It was a real eye-opener to me — how many good, law-abiding, “salt of the earth” people out there appear to have no intention of handing in all of their [now] Prohibited Weapons, in the Gun Buyback. They are not doing so because they want / intend to be lawbreakers. Far from it. Instead, they will hang on to them – in the fervent and they believe legitimate belief that common sense will prevail with the next government – and the law prohibiting them will be revoked. This is especially true for old, historical, collectible and “heirloom” firearms. Once these priceless and irreplaceable firearms are destroyed, they are gone forever. This is also true for many sporting semi-auto’s, as well (some of which have been “in the family” for many decades).
It is an absolute travesty of justice, and the democratic process – knee-jerk reactions by the NZ Parliament of the day have put these good people, in this position.
It appears the New Zealand Parliament and its MPs have been misled in the policy advice they have been given.
I sense these people are resolute – and nothing the government or Police can say will convince them to do otherwise. The government has been unreasonable – and they will reap the consequences.
I urge the New Zealand Government to start being reasonable.
From Wikipedia about the Prohibition:
“While Prohibition did succeed in reducing alcohol consumption, it had two major unintended consequences. First, it contributed greatly to the rise of organized crime. Also, because enforcement was at best spotty, many people flouted the law, leading to a cultural decline in respect for law as such.”
The above photo is from Stewart Hydes, who says:
“It is a picture of a Browning BAR semi-automatic rifle: a classic example of the sort of firearm that should never have been caught in the so-called gun ‘buyback’ net.
In fact, this is the very type of gun purchased in 1969 by a prominent ex-employee (with 45 years service) of the now-defunct Wallaby Board successfully used to double Wallaby tallies previously achieved with bolt-action rifles.
“This type of firearm was manufactured for sporting purposes .. is of no interest to a terrorist / mass-murderer .. and is now wrongly prohibited.
“The analogy I have used is the so-called Gun Buyback is akin to having a Car Buyback that captures priceless Vintage Cars in the net because Vintage Cars might be used as getaway vehicles in a Bank Robbery. I mean, who would use a priceless old Vintage Car as a getaway vehicle?”