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Friday, 8 April 2011

Without The Tools Of Our Trade We Cease To Exist.

I wrote the following article following a spate of government bans on weapons & gunpowder (proposed). Here I am concentrating on sports & living history, but this is equally important to campers and bushcrafters. Without our tools we cannot function as we do, we cannot practice our crafts. This is a plea on behalf of those of us who use knives, axes, bows, tomahawks, guns, etc for the general public to understand who and what we are, and our need to lead our chosen lifestyle. Without your help we will aventually lose, and once we have lost we will never regain our rights to ownership, our rights to live as we please.

More Publicity Needed.

Knee jerk reactions by the government in response to injuries & death involving sporting tools/weapons appears to be standard procedure & the whole thing is getting ridiculous. The banning of certain guns, a proposal to ban sporting black powder, tomahawks need a permit in Victoria, crossbows are on the dangerous weapons list in NSW, & now crossbows are banned in West Australia. Knives can no longer be carried for camping purposes in public areas. Pocket knives can no longer be carried in public areas. Even Catapults are banned! At one time flintlock muzzle-loading guns enjoyed the freedom of registration & licence in NSW. Which I thought was a good move, I mean who would bother holding up a bank these days with a flintlock, let alone use one to exterminate one’s family. I thought of it as throwing us some crumbs, & it made sense. But it was not to last, now flintlocks are all bundled in together with modern firearms which does not make any sense, nor do I consider it fair.

Sports cars are not banned despite the road toll, & I can see why. But can you imagine the government banning golf clubs if there was a spate of bashings with this implement? If a serial killer started smothering people with football bladders would they ban footballs? Just about anything can be used to kill or injure someone if you use your imagination.

The sporting community, living historians, historical trekkers, historical reenactors, hunters, we all need our tools of choice to be able to enjoy our pastime/hobbies/lifestyles. It simply does not make sense to keep banning things at our expense, & it just confirms what I have always thought, that these government bodies simply don’t give a dam. They play to the ordinary citizen who knows absolutely nothing of what we do & who we are. These people simply cannot see what it is that we like so much about sporting shooting, camping, living history & a host of other interests that involve the use of these banned tools.

I have been promoting living history in all it’s forms for over 20 years now, but in recent years, with the closure of some magazines, and newspapers no longer giving free space to groups & clubs except for event advertising, it is getting harder to find a way of promoting ourselves, to let the public know who we are and what we do. To explain to them how important our forms of recreation are to us. They, like the government, simply do not see the big picture; no one is treading on their toes so they are all right “Jack”. Or as we say in Australia, “she’ll be right mate”.

But she won’t be all right mate. We are talking about our right to seek a better life, our right to enjoyment & fun, and yes if that means to the expense of some poor chap who happens to get killed with a compound bow, then so be it. We cannot be held responsible for all the nutters out there who want to kill people, nor should we be held responsible because some kid gets hold of a gun, tomahawk, bow, crossbow, spear, javelin, boomerang or anything else & accidently kills or injures someone. It is NOT our fault. No matter what they ban, there will always be something that someone will use for some activity that with misuse will cause injury or death.

I fully realise that I am probably preaching to the converted here, but where else is there left to us to make a public statement like this? If this gets through to just one person who never thought of this before, then perhaps that perspective will spread to others. Simply put we are not bad people, some may think us strange, but we are not evil and therefore do not deserve to be ignored the way we are, not considered in the slightest when it comes to restrictions concerning sporting tools & weapons. We have already lost our right to self-defence using these tools, it is totally left to the discretion of the courts whether or not you become a criminal defending your own life, or have your guns etc taken from you for ever because you used these implements to defend your family. Even police officers have lost their jobs & their families because they shot & killed someone defending their lives in the course of their duties. We need some common sense here; we need the government to stop pandering to grieving families calling for a ban on this & that. Ask a gun owner who has just lost a family member in an accidental shooting if he would like to see guns banned. We know that it is not the gun; it is the person using that gun. Take our guns, swords, knives, bows, crossbows, catapults & everything else off us & we the good guys will be the only ones without them, the bad guys will always find a way of getting them because they are NOT law abiding citizens! They don’t need a licence, they don’t need permission.

Accidents will happen, but accidents can be brought to a minimum through proper instruction. Teach your child how to be safe, teach them not to play silly buggers with a crossbow. Teach them not to point guns or bows at people and to always point them in a safe direction. Failure to do so makes you just as guilty as the child making that “mistake”.

Scenes like these, and the people in them will cease to exist if the government continues with its knee jerk reactions of banning tools & weapons, to say nothing of the loss of jobs.

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