You’d have to have been hiding under a rock not to have noticed the recent hysterical and irrational comments by those who hate our recreation and wish to strip us of our freedoms to own firearms despite our approval as a fit and proper person in the eyes of the police, in the wake of the Oregon murders and Parramatta terrorist attack. Some members of the media, select politicians and of course the anti-gun brigade (though I am reluctant to actually call them a ‘brigade’ because their numbers are so few) have issued misleading and divisive comments, none of which is based on fact or evidence and almost all are based on fear-mongering.
Gun Control Australia’s chairperson Samantha Lee, for instance, has called for the striking out of junior firearm permits after a 15-year-old terrorist in New South Wales gained access to an illegal revolver and then shot and killed a police worker. How this makes sense to anyone, we just don’t know and we shake our heads in disbelief. When Ms Lee appeared on television in early October and said that criminal checks are no longer carried out to obtain a licence, nor are there 28-day waiting periods to obtain a licence or firearm, we took to the media ourselves to publicise her half-truths and barefaced lies.
The ignorance of some of the media on firearms and firearms ownership is becoming more and more apparent. The journalists either don’t know or choose not to question outrageous claims, such as Ms Lee’s declaration that ‘anyone can obtain a firearm’. In the context of legal firearms, as we all know, any applicant for a firearms licence must pass a criminal background check and be proven to be a fit and proper person, and then must conform to strict firearms security regulations once they do own a firearm.
Greens anti-gun advocate David Shoebridge at least showed his party’s true colors when he said no-one should own or have access to a firearm unless it is part of their profession. Personally, I think he was holding back here, as the Greens are not even in favour of police officers or security personnel possessing firearms.
Federal Labor appears to have jumped on the bandwagon too, with Acting Shadow Minister for Justice Graham Perrett calling for the immediate banning of the five-shot Adler A110 lever-action shotgun, despite its conforming with current licensing regulations. He went so far as to say that the shotgun is illegal and is based on ‘new technology’, not that of 130-year-old mechanics.
To put it bluntly, there is a lot going on at the moment and the SSAA at national and state and territory levels is busy countering the misinformation and continues to meet with government and bureaucrats responsible for the state and national laws that affect us. It is a peculiarity of our society that when an illegal firearm is used in a crime, such as that in the Sydney siege or Parramatta police shooting, there are calls to ban legal firearms. It is important to remember that the first terrorist attack on Australian police happened in Melbourne not that long ago, with the young perpetrator using a knife.
While we will continue to aggressively correct the facts and ensure that our Australian lifestyle and recreations are not adversely affected by kneejerk reactions, we encourage all members, when they read anti-gun claptrap or see or hear the same on radio or television, to contact those stations or write on their Facebook pages to let them know that their facts are wrong or that they have only hosted an anti-gun point of view and have failed to speak to the opposite point of view to create a fair and balanced story.
For further information and updates on our political action, please check the various SSAA National and state and territory websites and Facebook pages.