Now's not the time to be snoozing while hunting and shooting are under such vociferous attack by antis.

It’s the end of the world and we’re motivated!

Rick Mazza, the Shooters and Fishers Party of WA spokesman, sums it up beautifully: “Unreasoned and senseless restrictions being forced on responsible participants in outdoors activities … have motivated us.”

He was talking in the context of a greenie push to lock up the entire Kimberley coast in a marine park, an outrageously exclusionary concept, but he could have been talking about just about anything to do with hunting and shooting in Australia today.

Only the Victorian and Northern Territory governments show us any love in their support for hunting, although SA isn’t too bad in some ways. None really comes out in support of firearms, though, and everywhere else we’re treated like mangy curs.

Here is some of what’s going on right now:

  • The National Parks Association of NSW has flagged a major campaign dedicated to “protecting biodiversity and the public use of national parks”, and given that they think hunters will be out there blowing away every native animal they see, and trampling the Wollemi pines, there’s a good chance the campaign is aimed against us. They’re even enlisting a new volunteer researcher and another person to bolster their propaganda section.
  • Some anti-hunting campaigners have made it clear they’ll harass hunters when NSW national parks are finally opened to them. As a result, it looks like police will be deployed to prevent confrontations. The Labor opposition has pounced on this, citing the cost to taxpayers and using it to damn hunting in national parks. Apparently, just as shooters are to blame for the theft of their firearms by organised criminals, hunters are to blame for the aggressive and potentially illegal actions of anti-hunting activists.
  • The organiser of HuntFest on the NSW South Coast, Dan Field, has been publicly attacked on Facebook by a rabble opposed to the hunting-themed festival of food and photography. A doctored photo of him has been posted and several appalling comments made. The comments were taken down eventually, but not for way too long as people like Greens councillor Gabriele Harding got on there and basically defended such vilification.

Remember that hunting hasn’t started in NSW national parks and HuntFest hasn’t happened. The antis are like end-of-the-worlders, proclaiming doom, but the world won’t end. People won’t die. Koalas won’t be shot. The antis are too blind to see over the southern border to Victoria’s long tradition of national park hunts. In Harding’s neck of the woods, they’re so caught up in their own hatefulness that they even rounded on archery enthusiasts shooting at targets.

I won’t even bother detailing more about the farce developing over the NSW ammo control bill and how the Firearms Registry is unilaterally imposing new restrictions that are not in line with the legislation. More on that one later…

Back over in the west, Mazza is leading the SFP into the WA election in the face of entrenched “unreasoned and senseless” laws, regulations and attitudes that make his state the worst of the lot for shooters, not far ahead of SA. While there’s all the fuss happening in NSW, severe and unwarranted stifling of shooting is the norm in WA.

I hope he and his SFP do well there and gain the balance of power, but if and when that happens, there’s a long, hard road ahead. It’ll take years and there’ll be a backlash like there is now in NSW as shooters and hunters claw back some legislative sanity.

But if we can succeed in NSW, we can succeed in WA. Other states may follow, but in the meantime all shooters and hunters in NSW and WA need to actively rally behind the cause. If we slack off, we’ll lose, because our opposition, though wrong, is unrelenting.




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.