Seasoned shooters may have noted a hint of irony in this year’s Australia Day honours, with an ardent opponent of the shooting sports and private firearms ownership awarded alongside two Olympic Gold medallists who excelled in shooting.
Rebecca Peters was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her advice to legislators during the 1996 gun laws and buy-backs, along with her work for the anti-gun advocacy group, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). Many members may recall that Ms Peters not only rejects the use of self-loading firearms and all handguns, but she is also opposed to shooting as a sport in any form.
In a widely televised debate with the NRA’s Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, Ms Peters expressed that he should have to take up a new sport. Along with the NRA, the SSAA and the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA) have always actively countered the views of Ms Peters and IANSA.
Ironically, our two 2016 Rio Olympic Games champions Catherine Skinner and Chloe Esposito were awarded the Order of Australia (OAM) for their shooting prowess. Catherine won gold in the women’s Trap event, while Chloe is Australia’s first gold medallist in the Modern Pentathlon.
The SSAA congratulates both Catherine and Chloe on their well-deserved awards, along with the many SSAA members who received awards for their contributions to the shooting sports as part of local Australia Day celebrations.