Sometimes the media just cannot help themselves particularly when it involves lawful firearms owners.
Just last week the Sydney south-eastern local paper, The Southern Courier, posted a story with only some of the facts, which led to local greenies thinking they would have untramelled access to the danger trace backdrop of the ANZAC Rifle Range at Malabar. It could be roughly equated with Neville Chamberlain waving around a piece of paper, saying he had “peace in our time” with Herr Hitler, just prior to the Nazis taking back the Sudentenland and invading Poland.
The significant difference in the Malabar Headland situation was that the media wasn’t misled by anybody from the Government or the NSW Rifle Association to believe that their had their unrestricted green nirvana at Malabar, despite the rifle range licensees having guaranteed shooting rights for seven days a week if they want to.
Currently, it is so expensive to secure the site to shoot on one Saturday a week, that increased usage for less comparative numbers on a daily basis would be crippling. This is largely due to the habitual unchallenged trespass by locals onto Commonwealth Property, which they believe, despite the law, is theirs to play on, litter, graffiti and vandalise as they see fit.
So the local paper suddenly became inundated with calls from elated locals and they realised they may have a problem. You see, the condition of the handover of the eastern portion of the headland (the danger zone) to the NSW Government as a national park was that the licensees (shooters) must not be impeded in their activities by the declaration and subsequent use of of the park. OOPS! Nirvana had to be put on hold, possibly for many years. But a scintilla of basic research by the Courier could have avoided this.
To turn their rapidly souring sow’s ear story into a silk purse, the Courier had to explain those conditions in the latest issue – geez it must have stuck in their craws – to their now crestfallen greenie readers. But in doing so, they had to run a damning headline and subtext that blames shooters for this situation and then explain the actual access right situation as it now and always has existed.
If the local greenies, druggies, criminals and illegal motorcycle riders had not been tearing down the fences, defacing warning signs and trespassing for years, unmolested by the local constabulary, then this may not have been such an issue. Their sense of entitlement and indignation, fuelled by the local rag and local Labor politicians is staggering to any right-minded analyst. The shooters have played it straight from the start of their harrassment by this mob and the status quo will continue, I fear.
In the meantime the greenies can go and suck on a sour persimmons and abide by the decision of the Supreme Court. And lets just wait and see the outrage from those hard done by’s in the Courier’s letters page next week.