"And that's how ya clean a deer!"

Snap Shots

SFP slams Howard; FGA Carnival entries open; Humane Society’s alleged corruption goes to court; guns banned, but gun problem is acute; prior warnings about Aurora shooter; UN Arms Trade Treaty dead; eating meat.

SFP slams Howard

The Shooters and Fishers Party has slammed former PM John Howard over his opinion piece in the SMH this week. “Mr Howard implies he singlehandedly turned around a massive problem but one simple fact throws his grandstanding into doubt,” the SFP says on its website. “In the 10 years before he rammed through his gun-law changes, homicide by firearms in Australia (per population) had dropped by around 50%; in the 10 years after, it had dropped by slightly more than 50% again.” It said Howard’s arguments were simplistic and added nothing to the gun-law debate in Australia.

FGA Carnival entries open

Entries are open for the Field and Game Australia National Carnival, to be held on 3-4 November. With almost 500 shotgunners expected to compete for $58,000 worth of prizes, it’s rightly being billed as Australia’s premier simulated field shooting event. All levels of skill and experience are welcome, with classes for everyone from juniors to veterans. The carnival will be held near Seymour, Victoria. Check the FGA website for entry details.

Humane Society’s alleged corruption goes to court

The Humane Society of the US, which has become widely regarded as little more than a radical, spiteful and litigious animal rights group, is copping a dose of its own medicine. After HSUS and other groups won a lawsuit against the owners of Ringling Brothers Circus in the US over the treatment of elephants, defence lawyers filed a countersuit. Without getting into legal detail, we can say it leaves HSUS open to charges of racketeering, obstruction of justice, malicious prosecution, money laundering and bribery. A class action may also result, and the outcome could bankrupt the HSUS.

Guns banned, but gun problem is ‘acute’

England has created such a harsh environment for gun owners that even some of its Olympians have to live and train overseas, and handguns are basically banned. Despite this, the police officer who recently took over the Liverpool area says his force faces a “very acute problem” with shootings. He blames crime gangs, and the children they’ve recruited, for a “high number of firearms discharges” as gangs fight with each other. A man was killed last month in one of the shootings. Gun crime escalated in Britain since the bans.

Prior warnings about Aurora shooter

While many news reports have focused on how the Aurora killer, James Holmes, obtained his weapons legally in the US, it has now been revealed his psychiatrist had warned the university Holmes attended that he was a danger, but no action was taken and police were not notified. Reports says Holmes had also mailed detailed plans of his attack before it occurred but the mail was not opened until three days after the shooting. Meanwhile, guns sales are up after the massacre of 12 people and public opinion, despite much anti-gun publicity, appears to be as strongly in favour of current guns laws as it was before Holmes opened fire in a theatre.

UN Arms Trade Treaty dead?

It appears the United Nations has failed to reach agreement to the draft of its Arms Trade Treaty, which would regulate the trade of military and civilian firearms around the globe. A major conference has been unable to sort out the ‘draft language’ needed before the ATT advances further. The US National Rifle Association is claiming some credit for the breakdown of talks on the treaty, after rallying strong opposition from the US Senate to “any international treaty that included civilian arms”. The NRA says the UN’s “refusal to remove civilian arms from the treaty was one major issue that led to the breakdown in negotiations. The US delegation made it clear that they could not move forward with the language as it had been drafted.” The treaty’s proponents are expected to keep pushing for it but may have to reconsider their approach.

Show and tell

Finally, we liked this cartoon circulating on the internet, which is captioned, “And that’s how ya clean a deer!” It struck a chord, popping up on the screen just after I’d finished talking to a friend who’d spent Tuesday with his three kids, all under six, watching a cow being killed and butchered in a paddock. The kids were fascinated and excited, and happily ate the tongue for dinner that night. In contrast, the neighbours where the butchering was going on were apparently “cowering and terrified” in their house, unwilling to face the realities of our omnivorous existence. Much of society really is becoming too detached from life, isn’t it?




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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.