The Game Council did a roaring trade at the SHOT Expo

Matho’s blog: A SHOT across the Greens’ bows


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The weekend’s SHOT Expo was a resounding success, almost certainly breaking its previous attendance record, according to the SSAA (NSW).

The butchering and caping demos went over well, the Game Council did a roaring trade with people who wanted licenses to hunt on public land, and there was a reasonable amount of new product around.

We’ll fill you in on the details in a story tomorrow and meanwhile have a laugh at some comedy.

Renowned anti-gun Green David Shoebridge was jumping up and down with indignation over the SHOT Expo. I love the headline he whacked on his media release: “O’Farrell government joins with merchants of death to promote guns, hunting and shooting”.

That was his version of SHOT Expo and he was definitely sticking to it. He even tried to link Australian sporting shooters with Gaddafi’s regime, but you’d expect such cheap insults from him. He continued his barrage against the Game Council.

“It is just astounding that the NSW government’s hunting body, the Game Council, is using taxpayers [sic] dollars to co-sponsor a pro-guns event with weapons manufacturers,” he said. I’m not making this up!

Apart from the fact that the Game Council’s independently assessed public benefit analysis shows it makes money, does Shoebridge expect it to have no interest in a hunting event? That’d be like the primary industries department not sponsoring the Royal Easter Show.

Ah, but the reality is irrelevant to the Greens and, as Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Borsak told people at the SHOT Expo, the Greens are apoplectic because they’ve been given their first proper kick in the teeth in years.

The Greens hate the fact that they lost the battle over hunting in NSW national parks. They truly hate it.

Don’t underestimate this win by the Shooters and Fishers. The Greens haven’t been pushed backwards like this for, well, ever. They’re used to conquering new ground and moving on to the next victory, but their blitzkrieg of bans and lockouts is rapidly running out of puff. They’re being forced into rearguard action to defend their conquests.

You can bet the Greens will get nastier and nastier as they lose more ground. And lose ground they will. I can’t wait to see the wind taken out of their sails every time we prove them wrong in their predictions of doom, too.

The attendance at SHOT Expo demonstrates once again that shooting and hunting are growing in popularity. The wonderful irony is the more Shoebridge and his cronies crow about us, the more people sign up for shooting and hunting licences. Any publicity is good publicity.

However, I do wonder whether the publicity is doing Shoebridge any good. To anyone with half a brain, it’s obvious he is barking too loudly at shadows. And when it comes to those without half a brain, well, he’s only preaching to his converted anyway.


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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.

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