“In modern Australia, no one needs a gun…”

It’s common to hear this phrase in a capital city.  How do you react?

Folks don’t realise there are tens of millions of feral goats, camels, deer, pigs and wild dogs in Queensland starting just outside the greater Brisbane area and for the thousands of kilometres beyond.  There are great swathes of productive land that farmers can’t raise sheep on.  Why?  Because wild dogs can’t be limited and the sheep and their lambs get ripped apart with a cruelty that most urban dwellers can’t even imagine.  This is the number one factor preventing a sizeable sheep industry in Queensland.

“But, guns are already available to stop pests!”

Yes, but there are some big limitations.  Mobs of pigs, goats, etc run in dozens, sometimes hundreds.  How many can you hit in with a bolt-action rifle or lever-action shotgun in the two minutes before they all run off?  Not enough.  Can you have semi-autos?  Not unless you’re ‘a professional pest controller’.  There are, relatively speaking, only a handful of such licenses.

Also, you can put a suppressor on your rifle to keep the noise down under 130 dB so the pests don’t scatter.  That’s right: suppressors are forbidden by the Gun Police in Queensland.  Even Brisbane City Council can’t get one to stop deer causing serious car accidents.

Suppressors (or ‘silencers’) don’t silence firearms.  They just take them from being being as loud as a jet engine and bring them down to as loud as a nail gun – which is still loud enough to damage your hearing without earmuffs.

“But, people don’t need to shoot targets at a range!”

Strictly speaking, that’s right.  Also:

  1. People don’t need to ride motorcycles (and the serious injury and fatality rate per accident is many times higher than for cars),
  2. People don’t need to eat red meat or ice-cream (industries of dangers and risks for supplier and consumer),
  3. People don’t need to climb mountains, surf waves (sharks), play rugby (horrible concussion rate) or sail boats for recreation.

Yet we would never consider banning most of those things outright.  Many of those things are largely or wholly unregulated, in contrast to shooting, which is highly regulated.  With two hundred-thousand licensed shooters in Queensland, shooting is probably a safer sport than any activity listed above.  Also, licensed shooters have no meaningful criminal record.  Many live under the constant dread of groundless and hysterical media campaign resulting in the banning of their sport.

“Why are shooters so cross about restrictions on shooting?”

Two reasons:

  1. Many of the current and proposed restrictions contribute nothing to enhanced public safety – consider COAG’s recent agreement to ban lever-action shotguns over five rounds when such shotguns have been in Australia for over a century, and
  2. The firearms licensing branches of the Police in all States taking the attitude that their job is to quietly maximise the confiscation of firearms – for example from farmers who’ve used them safely for decades (click here).

Combined, these two factors make a lot of shooters and regional voters very cranky.  The compounding regulations and deliberately absurd, malicious administration have been metastasising for twenty years.

Enough is enough.