If it's gotta be three, can it be these? 3-Gun Match competition, using tactical-style firearms, has become a very popular sport in the US with big prizemoney

Matho’s blog: Anti-gunners prove themselves wrong


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Gun crime is at a 30-year low so we need tougher guns laws to reassure the public. This statement by a senior politician is exactly what is wrong with gun control logic.

Meanwhile, FBI figures from the US show that gun ownership is at very high levels and still growing rapidly yet violent crime is down, and they’ve stated it is not just a short-term trend that can be ignored. The correlation is impossible to gloss over.

The Greens and at least one Australia police minister have demanded a three-gun limit for law-abiding firearm owners, and now the unjustifiable call is coming from Scotland where the man behind it, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, has contradicted himself by spelling out why it is not necessary and how it’s politically motivated.

Here’s the logic. Scotland has fewer gun licences than a decade ago but more guns owned, and MacAskill is worried and wants the power to “better control the number of lethal weapons in society and thereby help to protect and reassure the Scottish public”.

At the same time, he admits, “With recorded offences involving firearms in Scotland already at a 32-year low, [the gun ownership] figures emphasise the importance of a robust licensing scheme. Each one of the firearms included in these statistics belongs to someone who has a legitimate reason for owning it.”

There it is again: more guns, less crime. Of course, I’d be the last to think we could directly compare the Scottish gun/crime ratio with the USA’s, but the fact that they’re so different in nature yet similar in bottom lines speaks volumes.

As the Scottish Countryside Alliance said of their regulatory system, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Scotland doesn’t even have the criminal gang incidents we’ve seen recently in Australia, yet they still want to limit legitimate shooters. Don’t think the Greens and other antis will stop hounding us even if every gun-toting criminal in Australia is locked up.

They’re spreading a campaign of misinformation over hunting in NSW national parks, with Green councillors stirring up councils by implying we’ll be shooting in all sorts of areas we know will be off limits within national parks, such as near boundaries with residential areas or in prominent, high-use picnic areas. It’s all part of stirring up fear so they can later “reassure the public”.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bob Carr is in New York pushing for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, something Australia is strongly supporting. On the face of it, it’s a treaty to control military weapons worldwide, to stop them falling into the hands of the wrong people – dictators, terrorists, etc. But it will also control civilian firearms and potentially limit what may be traded for recreational use.

Carr said the treaty “must cover the widest range of light arms”.

Americans fear it may lead to a ban on their beloved semi-auto rifles like the oh-so-popular AR-15. The AR is basically a semi-auto version of the M16 assault rifle, but it is not an assault rifle as it has no full-auto ability. It’s simply a light, accurate, practical and fun gun.

And crucially, there is no good evidence to suggest semi-automatic rifles increase criminality. But AR-15s looks scary – they’re even known as ‘black guns’ – because they’re similar to military weapons. Not very reassuring for the public, it seems.

We may never get ‘ordinary’ sporting semi-autos back in Australia, let alone be able to own AR-15s, but we can never allow a three-gun limit. MacAskill tells us why.


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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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