Sunday, July 3, 2011

In the Firing Line

This morning I shared the following exchange with Greens MLC David Shoebridge:

The tweet linked to his blogpost on the topic.  

The blogpost seems to be more about shining a light on the Coalition's relationship with the Shooters and Fishers Party.

This is looking more and more like a concerted strategy by the Greens and Labor - in truth, it is something they should have been doing a long time before the election.  The fact that the Coalition sits on the same side of the political spectrum to the Shooters and Fishers as well as the Christian Democrats would have been a great way to fill the policy vacuum that O'Farrell cultivated in the lead-up to the vote.

The ad in question is this:

The associated blurb clearly does use language that leaves a bit to be desired:

But writing bad copy is not a crime.

Shoebridge's blogpost calls for two changes:
  • "laws to prohibit these advertisements" and
  • "stop easy access to guns"
The claim that these advertisements should be stopped is more than a little confusing.  It doesn't refer to some gun tragedy, nor does it make false claims - all it does is suggest that firing a gun is fun and then (perhaps) glamourises the sport a bit.

Whether you agree or disagree with the sport, it is a legal activity. No doubt the participants enjoy the sport and have fun doing it - if not, no doubt the sport would not exist.

Now, I am as anti-gun as the next guy.  I don't own a gun and (as far as I know) I don't know anybody who does.  I would be horrified if there was a sudden proliferation of guns in the home or (even worse) concealed guns being carried around, as is so common in the US.

If the Shooters and Fishers were to start pushing for expanded rights to carry a concealed weapon you'd be hearing all about it on this blog.

But this brings me to Shoebridge's second claim - this is an ad for gun use at a range.  Shooting at paper targets, using a gun that you cannot remove from the centre.

The post from Shoebridge appears to have been motivated by a Daily Telegraph article he came across while munching on his cornflakes this morning.  I usually try not to read any comments on news articles for fear of getting a headache from all the stupid, but a few of the comments to this story make some sense:

The last comment is (I can't believe I'm saying this about a comment on a news website) a particularly astute one.

A lot of people want to race their cars.  We don't want them doing it on the street at night, so we make that illegal but then allow Eastern Creek Raceway to run "Car Track Days" where people can go and drive fast.

A lot of people want to box as a sport.  We don't want them meeting in a basement to flog each other, so we have the sport of boxing, with all the associated regulation and medical supervision.

People are going to want to give shooting a gun a try, whether it is legal or not.  Far better they do that at a licensed gun range, with instructors and safety gear rather than on a mate's farm where anything could happen. 

To suggest that to allow them to do so is somehow fostering a destructive gun culture is, in my view, an overreaction.

No comments:

Post a Comment