This explains a lot.

Shooters love The Greens – NOT

I have distinct memories of my childhood school years, particularly in primary, when the “law of the jungle” was allowed to go pretty much unchecked in the dusty playground at South Coogee Public School.

It was an interesting mix of well-off beachside, less well-off housing commission and ten-pound Pommy immigrant kids and I, like many of my peers, probably realised there was a difference, but we seemed to play together, establishing dominance by physical prowess – fights were common but seldom resulted in more than a bit of a bruising.

Fourth generation Chinese-Australian Greg Mee Lee got us all playing “Samurai” and “Phantom Agents”, which involved a lot of jumping and make-believe star-knife throwing, interspersed with the obligatory katana fencing matches. I don’t recall ever touching each other in those encounters and felt decidedly inferior in my Ninja skills.
I recall not being much at running races, but I was a dab hand at wrestling, rolling around in the grey sand and coming home black with dusty sweat to my long-suffering mother. Ahh! Killer Kowalski and Mario Milano had a lot to answer for in my violent playground education. Funnily enough, I think we mostly turned out alright.

There were exceptions though. They are explained eloquently in this modified “Non Sequitur”cartoon with apologies to the masterful Wiley. There are certain kids in the playground who, without sympathetic adult intervention, hang at the margins and are largely ignored, but who are sometimes shunned by the majority, who can find their place and fit in with the group.

The social skills of the “fringe dwellers” did not develop in that environment and, unless they blossomed in high school adolescence, they must have been destined for a pretty miserable existence. In many cases, these kids were extremely intelligent, sometimes prompting jealousy from their “normal” peers. Interestingly, I observed in later life that a few of these people gravitated into either local government politics or into extreme protest organisations, where I believe they may have taken out their frustrations on the rest of society for just getting on with life and occasionally having some fun, like shooting or fishing.

Those who have not found their social niche however, eg The Greens, are still on the margins philosophically, but the difference is that now they have worked out how to stop being ignored by bending the rest of society to their will. Power is their aphrodisiac.

In some cases, other individuals have taken a step and found an accepting home in target shooting (and other hobbies and sports), an intensely individual and intellectual sport, but one which accepts all ages, backgrounds and abilities. In this milieu they have gained social, non-judgmental acceptance. As a result, their social skills blossom and they can achieve true personal integration in a constructive environment, where its participants just want to be left alone to have some harmless fun and get on with the business of living to their potential.

Marcus O’Dean




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