If we ever needed proof the anti-gun crowd cannot let a tragedy go to waste, the recent triple murder in Wieambilla, Queensland, is certainly it.
Despite it being established that the guns used were unregistered, the shooters unlicensed and the police actually going there to serve a warrant relating to firearms offences — and at least one of the murders committed with a gun and ammunition taken from a shot police officer — we are still seeing Australian Federal Police representatives calling for restrictions on ammunition sales and possession.
We’re also seeing unhelpful media headlines on the issue, out of a desire to “do something” (and further an anti-gun agenda).
Much like the idea of firearms registration itself, ammunition limits sound like a good thing to people who don’t know anything about guns, but it doesn’t stand up to any serious scrutiny or logical thinking.
The simple reality is a single box of 50 cartridges would be enough for the worst mass-shooting death toll Australia has ever seen, but doesn’t even cover the warm-up session for a serious competition shooter who may shoot 1000 rounds a week just to stay at the peak of their abilities.
A brick of 500 rounds of .22 or a slab of 250 shotgun shells is a fun afternoon at the range or knocking over rabbits, not a threat to your neighbour’s safety.
And then there’s the fact that, given what ammo costs here, it’s simply not practical to “buy it cheap and stack it deep” the way our friends in the US can, where ex-military ammunition has traditionally been available for a couple of cents per round and you can even buy a literal steel drum full of 5.56mm or 7.62mm ammo if you want.
Obviously, we are preaching to the choir here. So what can be done to get the message where it needs to be heard?
Shooters Union is already opposing the idea of ammunition limits in high-level meetings with politicians and police representatives, and has been making the case against limits in the media, too.
Make sure you contact your local MP and tell them you are opposed to any and all plans to introduce ammunition limits in your state or at Commonwealth level.
Tell the MP you’re sick of being a scapegoat for other people’s failings or the actions of criminals, and any attempt to punish law-abiding shooters will be revisited upon them at the ballot box — and online and everywhere else we can shout our message.