The Prime Minister has defended proposed shoot-to-kill laws, saying that in the heightened security environment the shoot-to-kill policy would only be used in situations where police freak out. “The world changed on September 11,” Howard said. “Before then I would have needed a good reason to pass draconian legislation like this.”
Mr Howard said that the laws are essential for making Australia safer. “The power to kill civilians is vital in the fight against those who threaten civilian safety,” he said. “We simply can’t afford to be soft on things that have an outside chance of being terror.”
However, the laws have proven unpopular with the public – registering low approval amongst women, the young, and an incredible 0% approval from Brazilians who enjoy walking along the street in parkas, minding their own business and not being shot in the head.
State Premiers have also cast doubts upon the laws’ effectiveness, pointing to the continued presence of terror in Victoria, despite the Victorian Police’s use of unofficial shoot-to-kill laws for years.
Opposition Leader Kim Beazley initially opposed the new laws, instead advocating for a “shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-to-kill” policy. But when internal polling revealed that voters perceive him as soft on terror, Mr Beazley immediately caved in to the government’s wishes, and is now advocating for police to be given the power to shoot-to-kill terror suspects twice.
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