A commenter on my earlier post on John “I hate guns” Howard wondered: “If Latham wins, will the public generally credit this issue?” Some shooters have a plan to try to make it an issue:

You Can Send John Howard And Canberra A Message From NSW Shooters
  • Stop victimising sporting shooters
  • Crime control, not gun control
  • Stop confiscations and buybacks
  • Restore our rights

In this election the Coalition of Law Abiding Sporting Shooters is standing candidates under the Outdoor Recreation Party banner to send a message to Canberra about gun laws. All candidates are sporting shooters standing on a pro-shooting platform. A vote for the Outdoor Recreation Party, in this election, is a vote for shooters rights.

In the Senate (Upper House): Vote 1 Outdoor Recreation Party above the line. Preferences will help to keep out a Green.

In the House of Representatives (Lower House): Vote 1 Outdoor Recreation Party in Eden-Monaro, Greenway, Page and Dobell, and then put Labor ahead of the Liberals and Nationals, Democrats and Greens. Preferences directed this way will help to drive a wedge between the parties and break down their anti-gun bias.

Will their plan work? Well, I don’t think they’ll get that much support in the urban seats, but in Eden-Monaro and Page they have a chance of getting a decent number of votes. You can bet that the major parties will be looking very closely at where those preferences go. Both seats are very marginal so even a couple of percent of the vote could make the difference. If they do cost Howard two seats, it will certainly discourage what plans he may have for further gun bans, even if he wins the election.

Comments

  1. #1 mark
    September 27, 2004

    In urban seats, they might well drive people into the arms of Howard.

  2. #2 ChrisPer
    September 27, 2004

    Absolutely. And if it does, fine; but we should realise that the media have through the last few years avoided mentioning Howard’s gun control efforts because it might raise approval and spoil the ‘Bush Lied, Howard Lied’ theme.

    I am a member of CLASS.

    The Outdoors Recreation Party candidacies took me by surprise, as we had just heard that the Shooters’ Party had been de-registered for failing to field a candidate in the last four years. They had – but only one, John Tingle in the last NSW election.

    A balance of power situation is unlikely. The benefit will be strictly to make the Liberals pay for their ethical betrayal – leading the New Class slander of ordinary decent people on the basis of our hobby. They are little better than the nuts who got innocent teachers and carers jailed with their false child abuse claims through the last decade.

    Labor, if they got in with our help, could be far worse to shooters because they are in the grip of chardonnay set ideologies. But we have the Hawke-Keating years as proof: the difference in practice between the parties is negligible. What matters these days are a few ‘marker issues’, where the media facilitate moral status displays. Race, terrorism, gender, guns… only terrorism really divides Australia’s main parties.

  3. #3 ChrisPer
    September 27, 2004

    Sorry about the unhinged rant. I intend to try and work out how to do paragraphs on this site, and then find the HTML tag for rationality ON… ;-)

  4. #4 Yobbo
    September 27, 2004

    I doubt Howard has any further plans for gun control. His previous law-changes were simply another example of his real ideology-populism. After Port Arthur there was an outcry and he heard it and acted.

    At this point in time, gun control is no not an issue in Australia, and so I doubt Howard would go to any effort to make it one in the future unless he has to.

  5. #5 Tim Lambert
    September 27, 2004

    I wouldn’t count on it, Yobbo. The stuff in 1996 went beyond what just doing something popular required. I thought he was making ambit proposals but he got everything he asked for.

    He said, quite clearly “I don’t think people should have guns”. Now that he’s dropped any pretence of being in favour of small government, if he gets re-elected he’s going to be looking for some big thing he can leave as a legacy. Could well be a big round of further gun controls. Who’s going to say “no” to him. Who’s even going to tell him that it’s a bad idea?

  6. #6 mark
    September 28, 2004

    Evil librul meeja doing their best to bring down Howard, Chris? I don’t buy it.

    My own position on gun control in Aus is undecided. On the one hand, unlike America (and despite NRA propaganda), firearms are not really popular in Australia and it’s possible, with tight controls, to keep the country safer than it would be without. On the other hand, there are people who enjoy shooting for sport — and hunting is, after all, part of our heritage. They shouldn’t be denied the chance to play sport because of anti-gun hysteria.

    But at the end of the day, as Sam said, Howard’s gun controls rode a wave of populism through the Senate and into law. These restrictions were very popular, and, rightly or wrongly, the reason nobody in the three majorish parties has said “no! Your plans are wrong!” is because a pro-gun position, at least one as strong as in the US (as opposed to what Latham’s saying, which sounds sensible) would be political suicide for anyone seriously contemplating running on that position and forming a government thereafter.

  7. #7 ChrisPer
    September 28, 2004

    Mark,

    So the reason no-one has said “No! Your plans are wrong!” is ‘political suicide’ not ‘objective fact’.

    Like most ordinary Australians, most shooters support controls that give benefits. It is very clear that shooter licenses, harmonised state laws and safe storage would be expected to have real benefits. It is not clear that the destruction of all those sporting .22s and shotguns in the State Gun Thefts had any benefits except political.

    After all this time and money, where is the benefit/cost research? The AIC has gone very quiet – can’t think why!

    But one thing shooters can be convinced of is John Howard’s bad faith. The handgun confiscations after the Monash University murders were set up so that about 50,000 guns would be taken. The arbitrary cutoffs of calibre and barrel length were adjusted to get the headline number right, and clearly were not intended to have utilitarian benefits. The arbitrary rules brought in did not focus on the proximate causes, a failure in the Victorian police licensing system and educational qualification rorting by fee-paying students; they were designed to attack legitimate shooters and only legitimate shooters.

    If I am wrong on this, please show me where!

  8. #8 mark
    September 28, 2004

    Where did I say you were wrong on this, Chris? You’re a bit more emotive than I would be, but that’s all.

    I just said your position isn’t the most popular one in Australia — an assertion you don’t dispute. Oh, and that your librul meeja fantasy is nonsense. But you wouldn’t be the only one to fall for that and still have otherwise sensible ideas.

  9. #9 ChrisPer
    September 28, 2004

    Yes, sucked in by the evil Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy on the media bias question… too bad for me.

    I remember saying to someone, “I read Noam Chomsky, whining about media bias; I read Susan Faludi, whining about media bias; and I write, whining about media bias. Are you getting a picture?” So any kind of activist is going to think mainstream media is biased, because their interests diverge from the media as a whole.

    Mark, sorry when I asked to be shown my error I was referring to my statement about the Handgun Buyback being politically targeted rather than utilitarian. I assumed this would be contentious.

  10. #10 Roughneck Jase
    October 4, 2004

    I agree with what mark said about why the other major political parties, in particular the ALP, haven’t directly challenged the Coalition’s gun laws is because it would be suicidal to the either of the parties on the ground that it would only drive voters to back John Howard and his stupid gun laws even more.

    What John Howard, the Coalition Federal Government, the anti-gun movement, and the media did back in 1996 after Port Arthur and in 2002 after the Monash University shootings is a prime example of “moral panic” by playing on the emotions of a grieving and shocked community so that they can pass the bans without any strong opposition because anybody who opposes the bans would be classified as a deviant or a threat to the community.

    In many ways, the aftermaths of both Port Arthur and Monash University as well as the introduction of the 1996 and 2002 gun laws are a prime example of bad government and bad democracy because the views of the majority were based on emotion instead of reason, rational thought, and logic. To be short, the so-called “majority” of Australians who backed the laws were acting in the same manner as a lynch mob.

    IMHO, I personally think that those people who backed the bans on semi-auto rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump-action shotguns, large-calibre handguns, and short-barrel handguns in 1996 and 2002 to be intolerant bigots and/or mindless fools in their support for the bans as well as their attitudes towards nearly a million Australian men and women regardless of their race, colour, creed, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, where they live etc on the grounds that they were potential mass-murderers or potential criminals all because they legally own a firearm or a couple of firearms that are considered “politically incorrect” or inappropriate in the eyes of the powers that be in Canberra.

    In regards to John Howard having more plans for more gun laws, he definately does and he is more than willing to exploit another tragic mass-shooting and the emotions of the Australian community once again. He did it again back in 2002 in the aftermath of Monash University and he is willing to do that again. If anybody bothered to take a look at the amount of time that John Howard spent as PM before Port Arthur and saw how he handled the issue in the aftermath of Port Arthur, it is clear that he was willing to exploit Port Arthur and use his gun laws to gain cheap votes and score cheap political points.

    Also, it is definately clear that John Howard is trying to build a legacy for himself to rival his idol, Robert Menzies. We seriously need to get rid of John Howard and the Coalition post haste because they have really screwed up the country ever since they took office in 1996.

    From the looks of things, I would rather take my chances wioth Mark Latham and the ALP on the issue of guns than with John Howard and the Coalition because JWH and the Coalition were the same bastards who introduced the bans in the first place.

    I hope that one day licenced, law-abiding, recreational firearm owners can be able to legally own semi-auto rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump-action shotguns, large-calibre handguns, and short-barrel handguns in Australia again. Until then, I choose to fight and get the community’s support against the 1996 and 2002 gun bans via the “grassroots”/”bottom-up” approach because it is the only way of getting the gun debate in favour of the pro-gun camp.

    P.S. G’day ChrisPer! How’s it going?

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