I had lunch with a friend a few days ago, and we were talking about the issues of gun control and the attacks on hunting by various groups and individuals.
He pointed out that the anti-groups ask for the moon and settle for something less, while we try to defend the status quo. By doing so, we lose our rights, bit by bit and piece by piece.
He argued that we need a different mindset. We have to go to the table with the intent of of getting more and not just maintaining what we tentatively have. We need to push the limits of the government bureaucrats and the politicians.
We may not convince them to give us what we are asking for, but we may – not right now, but somewhere down the road – realize other concessions.
The key is that we don’t go in once, get rejected and then quit. The object is to keep coming back to the table to make our case.
Thus we should be pushing for the right to hunt with a handgun.
We should be demanding that transport permits for restricted and prohibited firearms be part and parcel of the firearms licence.
We should be demanding the right to carry a handgun in the backcountry for protection, rather than being forced to pack the weight of a long-gun.
How about making them take some of those firearms off their arbitrary prohibited list rather than worrying about which guns they will next add to the list.
We should make them justify the existence of the pointless and stupid laws that are currently on the books.
Why is a shotgun with a 16 inch barrel from the factory legal, while a shotgun whose barrel has been cut back to 16 inches is illegal?
Why are noise suppressors illegal? Wouldn’t their use make eminent sense in noise sensitive areas?
We need to demand more hunting and angling opportunity for resident hunters and anglers. There is room for more opportunity – we are just not being allowed to access it.
The problem is that too many of our organizations don’t want to take the hard line. Hell, they don’t want to take the semi-hard line.
But the animal rights, the anti-gun and the anti-hunting groups have no qualms about pushing their agendas and they haven’t been disenfranchised. In fact, they have identified people within governments who, if not favourable to their views, are not willing to stand up against them.
It seems that no-one else seems to have any problem pushing their agendas. Just us.
But the blame for our weak bargaining position doesn’t lie solely with our organizations. Every gun owner, hunter and angler needs to become educated about the issues and get personally involved at some level, whether it be letting their organization know what they expect from them, communicating their concerns to politicians and government staff or informing the public of the issues. Some people are there now, but not enough.
To be overly dramatic: We either fight or die.