Monday 27 January 2014


Watchin' the tele tonight I was confronted with yet another story about gun-related violence in Sydney's western suburbs, along with the requisite Greens' demand for a guns prohibition of course. And it occurred to me that as we strive to combat The Greens’ efforts to paint every man/woman Jack/Jill of us as irresponsible homicidal hooligans, so that we might retain our meagre rights as law abiding firearms owners and hunters, we’re apt to wear ourselves out in the process of over-intellectualising the Antis' motivation.

It is easy to demand the prohibition of something one has no stake in, while for most it’s impossible to so much as vaguely entertain the notion of withdrawing the right to own something that we find useful, regardless of how effective its prohibition might promise to be in protecting the most vulnerable members of the community i.e our children.

I will explain what I mean in a moment, but first, let's set the scene....

The Greens and the Antis claim that gun violence is rife and that the solution is prohibition of guns in private ownership. 

They acknowledge that it may be necessary to permit limited gun ownership by people who can demonstrate a “genuine need”, but they maintain such cases are very rare.

They acknowledge that prohibiting the ownership of guns will not have an immediate impact on the criminal misuse of firearms because, as we all know, criminals don’t surrender their guns during amnesties and buyback schemes, but they claim that over time prohibition will have an impact on the underworld’s access to firearms.

The Greens and Antis will grudgingly acknowledge that it is unfortunate that responsible firearms owners should be inconvenienced by this vital prohibition, but their inconvenience is a very small price to pay for an end to gun related violence and accidents in the community.

That’s a fairly simplistic roundup of the Anti’s stance I’ll grant you, but I think it pretty-well sums it. And all of it is easy to say because those saying it don’t own guns, and because they don’t own guns they have absolutely nothing to lose by demanding their prohibition. It really is that simple!

Everything else they go on about is just smoke and mirrors aimed at generating the appearance of a higher moral purpose and a genuine need to ban firearms. It is vital that we understand this if we’re to avoid intellectualising their motivation, and so avoid wasting our time and energy trying to address sundry ignoble furphies.

The same may be said of hunting, which they oppose on all manner of grounds, all of which translate as “we don’t do it, so nor should you!”

Their claims of concern for the excessive cruelty of hunting, declining animal populations and the threat to public safety, are simply furphies aimed at convincing a largely unconcerned public that they shouldn’t like hunting either. 

And let me assure you, the vast majority of the general public would remain unconcerned about hunting - on public lands or anywhere else - were it not for The Greens’ and Anti’s considered, strategic and highly emotional investment-sharing of the issue and the fact that the public, on the whole, also has no direct stake in hunting. 

They have nothing to lose by hunting's abolition, or at least they’ve been convinced they have nothing to lose, and so half the Antis' battle is won.

Now let’s look at another example; one that hasn’t been suggested broadly as a comparison as far as I know, but nonetheless runs the same lines of ‘logic’ that the Greens and Anti’s use to justify firearms prohibition. There is one vital difference, however, and that lies the fact that they have a direct stake in the subject of the proposed prohibition, as has pretty-much everyone else...

I happen to think that child pornography is every bit as wicked and detestable as drive-by shootings and armed robbery. Some may not agree, but I think many would too. Some might say that kiddie porn doesn’t kill people like guns do, but how many suicides owe their motivation to the despair wrought by child exploitation?

So if banning guns is the solution (albeit imperfect) to gun violence, surely banning digital cameras is the solution (albeit imperfect) to child pornography?

Let's face it, few of us actually need a digital camera; we just like to own them for one reason or another, and we could always licence folks who have a 'genuine need' to own them.

Perhaps the kiddie-porn-brokers wouldn’t surrender their digital cameras during the amnesty, but given time those already in the community would wear out, and with no replacements available and with no digital cameras remaining in private ownership to be stolen and/or cannibalised for parts, digital cameras would eventually become quite rare.

It’s a pity that law abiding digital camera owners might be inconvenienced by the prohibition, but hey, what price the safety and dignity of our children in whom rests the future of our entire species?

Anyway, people could always return to good ol’ fashioned fil-um, which is much-much harder to digitize for the net and sundry electronic gadgets with the potential to host kiddie-porn, while still allowing responsible folks to take those wholesome family snaps that have seen us right since Joseph-Nicephore Niepce invented the first negative image back in 1826.

Of course no-one would support such a ridiculous move, least of all The Greens and the Antis, but not because the argument for prohibition lacks any intellectual integrity. It has every big as much as The Greens' and Antis' line on gun prohibition. No, the reason they’d not support it is simply that it would have a negative impact on their would inconvenience them...because they like digital cameras.

Ergo, any suggestion that banning digital cameras will have a serious impact on child exploitation, suddenly becomes ridiculous, perhaps even offensive, not least because implicit in the move to ban them is the suggestion that no-one who currently owns one can be trusted to manage it responsibly.

I believe it is analogies such as this that we must turn to when refuting the 'logic' and ‘fairness’ of the Antis' line on gun prohibition.

We have for too long relied on impotent examples such as, “Well, we may as well ban cars given the annual road toll”, which don't carry weight simply because people are so dependent on cars that they consider them absolutely essential, and so are willing to accept a certain level of carnage as the price of that dependency.

Digital cameras, on the other hand, are anything but essential. In the hands of the majority they are at best a convenience or an amusement that we lived safely and happily without just a decade ago. In the hands of predators, however, they facilitate abuse and exploitation on a growing international scale.

Digital phone cameras travel covertly into every lavatory, shower-block, poolside changing-room, Sunday school, kindergarten and a thousand other places where our children are at their most vulnerable. Surely then, there can be no sound argument for their continued existence in the community....except that we want them and find the suggestion that we might not be trustworthy enough to possess then highly offensive...and so we are willing to accept a certain amount of child carnage so we can continue to indulge our egocentric obsession with posting ‘selfies’ on facebook.

Anyway, I'll get outaya way now....


  1. While you make those comparison you forgot to mention a few things, cameras are not permitted in change rooms (phone cameras are defiantly not to be used), only parents are allowed to take cameras to daycare, etc, and you are not allowed to publish pictures of children with out Prior consent of their parents. So there IS restrictions on cameras, Much the same as many of the restrictions on who can own a rifle, and Oh believe me when I say it is keeping a weapon out of the hands of some that should never be near them (not organized crims, but some who have a bad spell from time to time, and can potentially harm themselves and others during them). While gun crimes haven't dropped in the last 15 or so years, the number of Massacres has stopped completely, and that is because its people that have "mental" problems that are the ones that cause nearly all of these. (Martin Bryant actually went to Tasmania mental health for help 3 months before he did what he did and they were to over loaded to help him) and its more the commercial stations (7, 9 and 10) that are popularizing and playing up to the Green neck's "gun violence" and "Blood sport" propaganda claims, much of which is complete and utter bull, But I think it was only the ABC which made a suggestion as to alternative to combat organized crime, and that's the same way that most large organized criminals are brought down, By Investigating their Finances, How to these organized Criminals fund all their activities?? Very Little money is created by Legitimate means. By investigating this, and using tax evasion, unpaid duties, and illegal imports, It wont be long before their organizations start to fall apart.

    I feel more should be done to promote the benefits of hunting (not just rifles, but bows, dogging, both pigs and foxes, and fishing should be called what it is too, "water hunting") not trying to fight the greens on their terms (as ya know ya cant fight a pig in the mud, he loves it n you will just get dirty)
    A Face book page like "Gourmet Hunters" is a great one to start with, where many different people post pictures and recipes of game, fish, and various other things they have harvested from nature and their gardens. Another would be to show the difference it can make to wayward youths, teaching them the skills that go with hunting as we know hunting is more than just killing an animal, but weeks and sometimes months of preparation can go into a hunt, these are skills that last a life time and can be applied in every day life.

    But most of all, one thing that should always be at the front of our minds when we are rolling in mudd with the Pig.. people Don't remember the best day's TV

    1. Too true. No laws prevent you front carrying a phone camera anywhere. There is simply an etiquette that applies in some areas, which is rarely enforced. And with every smartphone packing a HD video function, making kiddie-porn is as simple as following a shy kid into a public toilet and holding it above his head from the safety of a neighbouring cubicle. Why they even have a reverse (screen view) function for selfies that turns the movie camera into a periscope so they can see the action and focus etc., while also serving to alert the paedophile if the kid looks up. The analogy is sound, that's what makes it such a useful comparison to the "ban guns for the greater public good" mantra.

    2. 1. Only honest people are restricted with guns, any fool with money can get pistols ect from there closest city if you ask the right dregs Canberra has everything. 2. Children carry phones at school and take pics everywhere without checks, including toilets. WAKE UP

  2. Yes, you are "not allowed" to take cameras into various locations, just as you are not allowed to take a gun into a bank or a shopping centre, but the anti's arguments centre on the fact that simple ownership means people have the choice to ignore those conventions and so removing the guns is the answer. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but in most jurisdictions while you may not be "allowed" to take digital cameras (which are in every mobile phone) inside certain 'zones', there is no legislation actually prohibiting the practice. In most cases it is a polite request, not a law and I've never seen a basket full of surrendered phones outside a pre-school. There may be rules around not using your phone camera in some zones, but we all know they're broken from time to time. Nope, best ban mobile phone cameras just to be sure....for the sake of our children.

  3. I think you should focus on broadband. Anything over 56Kb should be regulated. All data transfers tracked. Only people looking at images or videos need it. Trying to view porn would become too frustrating. It would drive them out of their dark caves and into the light of justice! Only those with a 'genuine need' could have broadband.
    Your idea is correct but also immediately obsolete with digital cameras.
    Also I don't think rational people have the ability to rant nonsense and make it sound believable.

    1. It's not an anti-camera rant, Matthew, so I'm not really looking to focus on any one aspect of the risk camera pose. It's simply an analogy that compares to the demand to remove guns from private ownership for the greater public good i.e. if serving the public good were truly The Greens' and the Antis' motivation for wanting guns banned, they would immediately agree that banning digital cameras was likewise beneficial. But they will not move to ban digital camera, regardless of the obvious returns in terms of child welfare, simply because they all own digital cameras and don't want to give them up. They find it so easy to demand that guns are banned, because they don't own them and have nothing to lose.

  4. For arguments sake I would be interested to know the answer to this question "how many suicides owe their motivation to the despair wrought by child exploitation?"
    I'm betting the number would exceed that of guns used crime, especially on a global scale.
    I love the camera argument and think it is probably the best analogy to use. You could even write up a whole list of restrictions for use and type of camera similar to the current firearm legislation, such as cameras need to be a certain size/length etc, no high capacity storage like SD cards, no auto frame advance only manual, only limited size lenses (eg maximum 100mm so no long range shooting), must be safely stored when not in use etc etc etc.
    Great article and excellent argument. Might have to go see my local pollie and get their thoughts :)

  5. Garry, Thanks for a wonderful article. You have put forward an example
    of a really useful argument to throw in the faces of the greens / anti's.
    I will be putting this to my local pollie.

  6. Late to the discussion but ... Let's ban motor vehicles, they kill around 1800 people per annum, injure another 8000 odd, cost the economy about $12 billion; let's ban prescription drugs, blunt instruments (4 X 2 pine, hammers etc so no more building construction), knives (you won't be able to prepare your own meals anymore, but, hey! we'll stop deaths). And so on.

    Gary you are spot on, have you sent it to the "commentators", the news presenters on the tube who love to tut-tut about guns, Barry O'Farrell, et al?

    And please, "anonymous", have the fortitude and courtesy to include your name, you aren't ashamed to be a shooter are you?

  7. Simon
    The media publish images of kids without parental 'permission' every time there is a hot day and it is covered from the beach. When you say there are restrictions on cameras you must mean that you think there are restrictions on their use - not who may by them and the type of camera purchased. I agree with you on keeping the nut-cases from access to firearms has reduced dramatically the opportunity for a mass murder with a firearm. Knowning that i am going to pee off some fellow shooters, i am not sure allowing unrestricted access to $120 SKS rifles to some of the western sydney set would be a wise thing today. The problem is the cultivation of a sub breed of humanity who dont give a toss about this country or those who respect the laws.


Your comments are welcome, and dont forget to recommend this post to a friend.