At the risk of sounding like a trigger happy maniac, I’m putting it out there.
I love guns.
Don’t leave hate, hear me out.
Guns take me back to when I was a little girl. Not joking.
Back before the gun laws were in place, well before the tragedy of the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996… In the very early 1980s, my father had guns. They were stored upright in the back of his wardrobe, behind the 1970s winter coats he couldn’t part with.
As kids, we’d sneak a peek sometimes. We’d show our friends when our parents were chatting over coffee. Although my dad stored his guns as safely as possible for the era, bolts removed and ammunition elsewhere, we knew never to touch them. We would only look.
In the mid-1980s I recall my brother spending hours on a year 8 assignment about his new rifle. A Benelli I think. He loved that gun. He stood on the front verandah while the 8mm camera whirred, engaging and disengaging the bolt and reading his speech off butcher’s paper, passionately explaining every feature of that gun.
Self-guided education can be so powerful.
It’s no wonder that boy became an excellent educator himself – a teacher of visual arts, mainly photography and his students are engrossed in learning as he incorporates his love of the Australian bush into his lessons. He also became the most passionate hunter I will ever know.
I wish I could see that little film again and show his sons.
When my dad bought that Benelli rifle, guns featured more prominently in our home. A carpenter by trade, he crafted a beautiful wooden gun cabinet and mounted it front and centre on our living room wall. The living room. It was locked up but ironically it had a front glass panel…
They say you end up with partners who remind you of your father or brothers, so it’s no surprise that I also married a mad keen hunter and gun enthusiast. They usually find something to talk about.
My father handed in his firearms in the first major amnesty and my brother followed suit – bidding farewell to his much loved semi-automatic rifles among others. Between them, all of their remaining rifles are locked away in safes, as per the requirements of NSW law.
The world has changed. My kids won’t get to show their friends shotguns in the back of the wardrobe.
Hunting and gun sports have received a bad wrap recently. It goes without saying that in the wrong hands, any weapon can be lethal. There is nothing worse than turning on the news and seeing yet another tragedy involving guns, unfold. With this, I have personal experience.
Yes. It is very sad to see people interfere with our State Forests. Shooters, motocyclists, campers, 4WD enthusiasts, bush walkers and conservationists are some of the people who make this list. To my knowledge however, shooters are the only group in this list of users who register, obtain a license and book in to use our State Forests. Despite the bureaucracy, these same registered, licensed, shooters are blamed most loudly, for leaving their foot print.
So where does it leave responsible registered hunters? The ones who operate in accordance with the law and dare I say, more importantly, in line with unwritten hunting etiquette. Where does it leave the experienced hunters who shoot, not just for the sake of shooting, but for honourable reasons. For conservation. Yes it’s a blood sport but the men I know hunt for good reasons.
Without delving into this argument further, it’s another blog post, a series of blog posts, I understand that we all have different opinions. But before forming your opinion, I urge you to do your own research. So many people get on the media bandwagon where nature or killing animals is concerned – they miss the whole other side to the argument.
And there are many sides to this argument.
But the point title of my post is Why I Love Guns. I went off on a tangent and I haven’t told you yet.
So why I love guns is this. For one whole long weekend over Easter My man disappears deep into the Australian scrub, with enough food and water to last a year. I am left behind to do WHATEVER I WANT for an entire weekend. Nails at Nhung, lazy shopping, dinner with a friend, an extra glass of wine, cheese on toast for dinner.
You get me?
My Man usually emerges come Sunday or Monday, masculinity rejuvenated, bubbling over with stories of the one that got away and photographs of the one that didn’t. Soon, in a few more years, Mr currently 4, will be joining his dad on these expeditions.
Until then, My Man will continue to captivate our son with his stories and instill in him the responsibility that gun ownership brings.
Hopefully we’re raising another generation of responsible hunters.
Hopefully there will be more blissful weekends.