Shooters v. Shooters: Our Own Worst Enemies

Gun ownership has been expanding in Australia as well as here. Enough that there’s starting to be movement to loosen their gun laws. This has gun control groups in Australia concerned. But that’s not all who’s concerned. Michelle Sandstrom represents Pistol Shooting Queensland, which has Olympic shooters as members:

MICHELLE SANDSTROM, PISTOL SHOOTING QUEENSLAND: I was concerned when I saw the panel. We don’t really see that there’s a great need to make it easier to own a firearm in our discipline and in our sport category.

PETER McCUTCHEON: Michelle Sandstrom is the President of Pistol Shooting Queensland, a competition focussed sporting group which has Olympians as members. While some in the firearm community complain about undergoing a policeman checks before even joining a club like this, Michelle Sandstrom isn’t fussed.


PETER McCUTCHEON: So red tape isn’t always necessarily bad?

MICHELLE SANDSTROM: No it’s not always bad at all; it can actually work in your favour to be honest.

Just like it worked in favor of Olympic shooters in Britain, who now can’t legally train in their own country? Is Ms. Sandstrom sure she’s not another mass shooting away from having to train in New Zealand? This group sounds to me like it’s filled with people who want to feel like a privileged elite, and view the regulations as a means to keep undesirable riffraff out of their sport. You’ll find the same attitude here too, but in general, one of the keys to our success here in the US has come about by enforcing a strict orthodoxy on those who claim to be part of the community.

Most of these organizations are dependent on people joining and donating money to support them. If this had been USA Shooting, you’d see calls for boycotts. You’d see people refusing to give them money or support. They’d be ostracized from the greater shooting community. We’d also, no doubt, have many Olympic shooters condemning the organization for that position, and who would apply pressure within. In short, we’d circle the wagons and eradicate the cancer, not all the dissimilar to what we did with Smith & Wesson back when they cut a deal with the Clinton Administration, or more recently with Recoil Magazine. If Aussies really want this to keep going forward, the first thing you need to do is put pressure on organizations like Pistol Shooting Queensland to get in line.

9 thoughts on “Shooters v. Shooters: Our Own Worst Enemies”

  1. Thankfully, the equivalent organization (AHSA) in the United States is one that has fooled almost nobody.

  2. Given that they say they have world class competitive marksman, “undesirable riffraff” could well include “people who might one day shoot better than me”….

  3. You are a nobody until the government loves ya.

    In the UK the shooters are extremely proud of their firearms licenses. They show them off like Americans show off guns. In America you do not exist until you are on television, in Europe you do not exist until you have some form of government-issued license or permission slip. It is the culture. Same in Australia and New Zealand.

    As well, you have the barrier to entry which increases her status. Just like Americans and machine guns. Without the barrier to entry and restraint of trade that the machine gun freeze creates, a machine gun owner is not as special as is with the freeze.

    As Freud said, it is NOT about sex, it IS about status.

    In combatting gun regulations you are fighting an urge stronger and more primal than sex–the urge to sit on the throne and be exalted over the common folk. (I am somebody. See my official government paper saying this?)

  4. Dude, don’t even get me started. I live in New Zealand, which isn’t nearly as bad as Australia, but is really more like California (roughly).

    In the US, the old gun-culture “1.0” is the “Fudds.” But here and in Oz, the “old” gun culture is sportsmen and hunters who are convinced that the gun laws will never touch “their” thing, so they say shit like this.

    If you ask me, it’s the same kind of culture that got the UK into trouble. People get scared of losing their own personal guns after some antis do a blood dance, so they voluntarily opt for a restriction instead of outright bans. It’s just hard for them to see the big picture.

    1. In the US, the old gun-culture “1.0″ is the “Fudds.” But here and in Oz, the “old” gun culture is sportsmen and hunters who are convinced that the gun laws will never touch “their” thing, so they say shit like this.


      That’s what a “Fudd” is.

  5. I can only hope they’ll get kicked in the ass and start shaking off the Stockholm Syndrome soon.

  6. As soon as “Sporting Purposes” becomes the sole reason for owning guns, your ability to own guns goes right out the window.

    Guns do indeed carry a certain risk with them (as do cars, power tools, and household cleaners), and if the “only reason” for owning them is going out and having a good time, the ability for those who don’t ever shoot to work to mitigate that risk into oblivion becomes fairly easy and rational.

    They’re talking about Olympic shooting with lasers now. I’ve seen Action Pistol competitions with airsoft in the UK….and they sell game meat at the grocery store.

    Meanwhile, if you want a house built within a reasonable time, we need power tools. If you want your bathroom to be reasonably free from dangerous bacteria, toxic chemicals are a must. If you want to conduct important business around your state and across state line we need personal cars.

    Same goes for self defense. There is a risk associated with me owning guns, but when the use for those guns could be saving my life, and the lives of my family, that risk becomes as reasonable as the others.

  7. OZ gunnie here.

    There is a certain amount of “I am the only one in this room qualified to handle this gun” running through the Pistol Australia affiliates, with predictable results.
    A club run by the former New South Wales state association treasurer Jan Ryan left a nutter unsupervised with a gun.
    To defend her club she tried to throw the association and all the other shooters in the state under the bus, undermining a relaxation of the gun laws that took us eight years to achieve. The laws stayed the same, her club was found to have been in violation of them and lost its firearms license.

    Ms Sandstrom is probably doing some preemptive ass covering against the same thing happening to her group.

    As a former IPSC state Secretary I’m much more relaxed about who should own guns – pretty much everyone. :) I was in a Sci-Fi & Fantasy bookshop today, ordering Larry Corriea’s latest when I noticed a young druid type, complete with pentagram necklace. He was discussing his armband made out of dewat 7.62 & link. I introduced myself and quickly informed him as to where he could shoot and how to get a license, much to his pleasure and surprise.
    I’ve been a member of the rather loose and unofficial OZ gun lobby off and on for 15 years. Engaging that young man and his lady friends was as important as my meetings with state and federal ministers. I’ve gone from an active run and gunner and political rebel to being an old fudd, hunting rabbits in my comfy old clothes. We have to recruit the next generation of rebels to carry the argument forward.

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