Editors gave it both barrels

Givin’ It Both Barrels

I’d become well-and-truly sick of the local anti-gun crowd.

It had been building up for some time. There had been a lot of recent negative letters to the Southern Courier from the anti-gunners in the local government areas around the ANZAC Rifle Range Malabar, probably spurred on by the public knowledge that the NSW Rifle Association had recently been granted a 50-year lease on the range (like a red rag to a bull). Here is the first letters page from late September.

Initial spray by letter writers
Initial spray by letter writers

The irrational bile directed at law abiding target shooters was building as the whingers built up a dodgy rationale that held that the “Malabar Headland” had to be given back to “the people”. Now the range has been in continual use (bar six weeks a few years back) since the 1880s, when these whingers’ grandparents may have been pups or non-existent and at that time, the surrounding thousands of acres were sandhills, swamps and a tent and shack or two. That didn’t stop these malcontents and ne’er-do-wells screaming to evict legitimate sportsmen and women from the only large-scale fullbore shooting facility in the state. As is often the case with lefties, social “progressives” and others that we can lump together as “antis”, they don’t let the facts get in the way of a noisy appeal to the emotions of the uninformed.

Have a look at Larry Vincent’s gem below. You see Larry has doorknocked every house in the Eastern Suburbs and 100% of that 100% surveyed want the shooters gone. I ask you, “What fairyland planet does Larry live on?”

Larry Vincent's letter in the Southern Courier
Larry Vincent’s letter in the Southern Courier

Terry rumble was obviously out to lunch when Larry called. Now by this stage, I was feeling a bit helpless and overwhelmed that the Courier was not posting up more pro-shooter letters. In fact I had held our end up pretty well for a few years, getting my letters published but without vital facts (possibly purposely omitted by an anti editor) I had outlined. As a “journo”, I should have known that would happen. Anyway, the very next week Ross Crawford came up with this gem of victimhood, appealing to all that’s right and holy that anything but shooters should occupy that land.

Ross Crawford's whinge

By this stage I really had the irrits and Ross (who neglected to include drug pushers and takers, illegal motorcycle riders and the mentally deranged on his list) pushed me to wield my pen, so in concert with Richard Broniman of Chifley (hey, the eviction survey missed another one) I put my case. This time I asked the editor, Sean, to publish my letter in full and bless his socks, he did. Here they are.

O'Dean's reply
O’Dean’s reply

When he undertook to do so, I offered for him to come and try shootimng with my club as our guest. He has not yet responded.

Now I would like to think that wherever legitimate shooting or hunting interests are challenged in local government areas or small towns that shooters en-masse get writing or go and see decision makers to let them know how valuable target ranges and legitimate local hunting are to the area’s economy, participants’ general health, the enviromnment and society in general.

So please, pick up pen and paper (sorry the keyboard) or make an appointment.And when scurrilous lies are being thrown around as fact, challenge them and correct them. A little sarcasm does not hurt either, when it is well directed. Give it to ’em both barrels!

Adios muchachos

Yosemite Sam Both Barrels




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Marcus O'Dean


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