In the dying days of the Federal Election campaign, an irresponsible anti-gun group has shown its true colors by using a Port Arthur murders survivor as a political pawn in a shameless money-grabbing and pot-stirring exercise.
Gun Control Australia’s (GCA) latest campaign sees a vulnerable Walter Mikac unashamedly used as its misled mouthpiece to spread misinformation about a 100-year-old style firearm, while attempting to make its legal importation and ownership by licensed shooters an election issue.
In another show of blatant opportunism, the group is deliberately using the name ‘Gun Control Party’ on its donations page, despite not being a registered political party with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and not running any candidates. The group is also not a registered charity. It remains unclear how donations will be spent, with the option to easily donate up to $2500 on its fundraising page.
The questionably timed ‘8 ROUNDS 8 SECONDS’ ad itself that appears in News Corp publications comes after GCA spokesman and lawyer Roland Browne told a National Policing Summit earlier this month that gun control laws should be based on emotion. The SSAA-LA, along with other moderate groups, is of the widely held view that policies should be based on evidence and facts rather than emotion, an idea that appears to be lost on an agent of the law himself. Furthermore, we have time and time again reminded Mr Browne and his cohorts that there is no evidence of lever-action shotguns having been used in crime in Australia since federation. Lever-action shotguns demonstrate no threat to public safety.
It is also entirely inappropriate and disrespectful of GCA to advise Mr Mikac that allowing the legal importation of the Adler A110 would somehow result in deaths and therefore see Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan as having ‘blood on his hands’. This kind of emotional rhetoric devoid of evidence and targeting a federal government minister has no place in mature debate and is nothing more than pot-stirring for political purposes.
The facts speak for themselves: Record numbers attended the SSAA SHOT Expo in Sydney at the weekend, firearm licences are at the highest number ever recorded and SSAA membership is increasing by the month. This clearly demonstrates that the shooting sports are alive and well in Australia, despite the efforts of vocal minority groups blinded by emotion.
With more than one million shooters and law-abiding firearm owners across Australia, our vote on Saturday will be used to support parties and candidates who back our continued pursuit of a legitimate, safe, fun and all-abilities recreation. Candidates and parties who base their policies on facts and evidence instead of emotion and quasi-science will be rewarded come July 2, while those who play politics and march to the beat of an emotion-charged drum will not be tolerated by the licensed firearm owning community. Shooters will be heard.