Be proud of our sport

It is timely to reflect on all the positive aspects of being a sporting shooter and contemplate just how far we have come despite various challenges. This month’s special fold-out front cover on the Australian Shooter is part of a wider campaign to promote sports shooting. Central to this is a documentary-style video featuring real shooters sharing their personal experiences within the sport. Titled ‘This is shooting’, the campaign is a reflection of who we are today and paints a true picture of the nation’s largest group of sports shooters, hunters and licensed firearm owners.

Now is the time to hold our heads high and be proud of our sport, even though it is easy to become dragged down by any negativity associated with our chosen pastime. The fact is that we are partaking in a legitimate activity.

While we will endeavour to promote this video in the public arena, I encourage our social media savvy members to share the video far and wide, particularly with non-shooters, to educate others about our fun, safe and all-inclusive sport.

As we strive to promote the sport to the general public, we also endeavour to educate our politicians and the media about our chosen recreation. Our education initiatives - including the mass mailing of our updated edition of A Journalist’s Guide to the Shooting Sports to media, politicians, universities and libraries late last year - prompted New South Wales Greens politician David Shoebridge to take to Twitter and demonstrate just how uninterested some people are in hearing the truth about our sport. The known anti-gun spokesperson tweeted:

“How nice, the Sporting Shooters gave me their ‘Journalist’s Guide to Firearms’. Guns are all safe and fun they say.”

We as responsible, licensed firearm owners know that firearms are indeed ‘safe and fun’ as long as they are in the right hands. Therefore, we will continue to correct the public record when anything other than the truth is broadcast. Our recently launched department, SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA), has done just that and broke the news that Customs had incorrectly claimed a rise in undetected handgun seizures two years in a row. Our story shows that often official government departments get it wrong and we issued a press release to correct the record on the reality of the situation.

While SSAA-LA is an extension of our current political activities, we hope it will bring our members timely information about political matters affecting our sport. This will well and truly ramp up in the lead-up to the Federal Election.

Another SSAA member benefit is, of course, our affordable firearms insurance. The value of this option can’t be stressed enough and it is one of the only insurance packages that covers your firearms at home, in transit, in the field, at the range and overseas for up to 28 days. For only $25 a year, it is peace of mind that your home and contents insurance may not actually cover and I highly recommend upgrading your SSAA membership to include this fantastic benefit.

This month should also see another member benefit launched, with our SSAA Gun Sales website in its final stages at the time of writing. This will enable members to sell their firearms and accessories online, with listing fees heavily discounted for SSAA members. Stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, please take the time to view our ‘This is shooting’ video and join us in positively promoting our sport across Australia.

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