Twenty five years ago a group of shooters banded together to form the aptly named ‘Shooters Rights’ Association. I had the pleasure of being one of them. It was 1992 and the shooting sports were under serious threat from a Police service that needed to distract from its errors and save face.
An Arms Amendment Bill loomed and the association did a truly extraordinary job of mobilizing shooters to action. This was before social media and still resulted in what I believe is the largest ever number of submissions to a proposed bill in New Zealand history.
This massive opposition limited the damage and made our politicians suddenly very aware that WE were very aware. Also that we were then voting accordingly.
There was later a name change to ‘The Sporting Shooters Association’ – to match similar Australian and English groups. But there was no change in the ‘Zero compromise with stupidity’ attitude.
SSANZ have lobbied accordingly. Tackling threats and correcting misreporting from a host of areas over these twenty five years. Also countering ignorance from regional and district councils. Anywhere that shooters rights were under threat – they were there.
All with volunteer labor.
The faces have changed over the years but not the dedication to the preservation of shooters rights in New Zealand. The group was once seen by some gun clubs as holding an extreme position. That changed quickly as more and more attacks on shooters came. As the ‘Special relationships’ that they thought they had with our authorities proved to be an illusion.
Then suddenly everyone was asking for membership forms to hand out at their club.
Good on you guys. Here is to the next twenty five.
Please consider joining here: http://sportingshooters.nz/
From memory it was the only time that Paul Holmes had to apologize on live TV for being a biased tool. After this finding from the Broadcasting Complaints Authority:
He didn’t seem happy.