The federal election has come and gone and, as usual, the shooting sports and hunting came under attack. During the six months leading up to polling day those against our sport made a concerted effort to tarnish law-abiding shooters and convince political parties to turn against us.
Did you know that Gun Control Australia President Samantha Lee was a guest speaker at the Federal Labor Conference just months before the election? Ms Lee made outrageous comments about law-abiding shooters and firearms, including that firearm owners are more likely to be abusing their partners, the Port Arthur massacre murderer was of sound mind and had no previous history with police. She also inferred he held a firearms licence.
She went on to say that a firearms licence, even for a handgun, is very easy to obtain. These falsehoods and disgraceful comments were deliberately designed to turn Labor members and politicians against the shooting fraternity.
The Greens, as expected, further demonised us by criticising basic club funding and played their part in calling for firearms associations such as the SSAA to be banned from having any influence with politicians and federal parliament.
Left-wing activist group GetUp! assisted in funding, along with Gun Control Australia, a series of anti-firearms propaganda papers containing ludicrous comments including that firearm owners changed firearms to suit their outfit worn on any given day and often hid firearms in every room of their house in preparation for a home invasion or the ‘end of days’.
The truth is Gun Control Australia, The Greens, GetUp! and the extreme left-wing of the Labor party have joined forces to form a coalition against the firearms owners of Australia. And there’s more. A former ABC television producer, funded by an overseas media broadcaster, tried to create ‘fake news’ by linking firearms ownership with racism and intolerance. Anti-gunners even used the Christchurch terrorist attack as a playing card to call for further firearm bans and red tape in Australia and again suggested recreational shooters are bigots.
Your SSAA and firearms owners are a snapshot of the Australian community. Shooting and hunting do not judge and participants come in all shapes, sizes, religions, colour and genders. Shooting is arguably among the most inclusive community activities in Australia.
With a new parliament in place, we’ll be fighting to preserve the freedom of all law-abiding shooters and ensure any new legislation does not adversely impact licence holders. The only thing guaranteed to ensure any group’s voice is heard is the strength of their numbers - and we are now within touching distance of being 200,000 members strong. Our members have partners and children, siblings and parents and together we can be a formidable force.
But we need your help to tip the scales in our favour. Our growth depends on you helping us:
- Asking your partner to join the SSAA
- Taking your friends to the range or on a hunting trip
- Showing colleagues that shooting is fun
Simply phone our dedicated membership staff on 02 8805 3900 or visit ssaa.org.au to help us grow and strengthen our voice. For the sake of our recreation we won’t let them silence us. That is our promise to you.