With unity, we can be powerful

Sebastian Ziccone is a former President of the SSAA (Vic),  the CFCV’s first president, and is very well known with Victoria’s shooting community.

He recently returned to a senior role within the CFCV as our spokesperson – and we’re genuinely excited to see him back in the spotlight as we head towards this months’ state election.

There’s little doubt that as a general statement, shooters know that they’ve got a political problem and that the result of this year’s state election could be quite important to whether they are able to go shooting in 2019.

What they may be less sure of is what they can do about it.

The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria is putting out a number of articles and infographics which will help shooters know who to vote for at this month’s state election.   I’d encourage you to check it out at firearmscouncil.org.au.

Looking beyond the election

However the political problems we have are significant and entrenched.  The environment we’re in is toxic, but can be overcome.

In order to do that, we need to think beyond this year’s state election.  Getting the shooting sports into a better political position won’t happen within one election cycle, but at least two or three.

Focussing on policy

The CFCV was created in 2002 in response to the Federal Government’s response to the Monash University shooting, in the form of more restrictions on handgun use.  However the reason it formed wasn’t because of handguns, but the longer term fight over firearm policy.

We had already suffered from John Howard’s rampages in 1996 and again in 2002.  The fight could have been about the ability of juniors to go shooting, storage requirements or something else, but it just happened to be about handguns.

It has to stop.

The fight needs to come from within our shooting organisations

Victoria has, as far as we can determine, 34 shooting organisations covering a wide range of activities, mostly hunting, target shooting and gun collecting.

Some focus on local and club level competitions while others offer pathways to international competitions.

While they understandably want to be left alone and not get involved in politics, the reality is that politics is interested in them. Some organisations have already suffered significant losses and it is only a matter of time before others do.

The need for unity

One thing which all shooting organisations and shooters have in common is an interest in firearms policy.

If we can agree on the fact we’ve got a problem which needs to be fixed, then we’re on the same page.

While we can argue about the detail of what we want from government, I would suggest that having a bigger say in firearms policy and better engagement with government should be high on the list.

That’s why unity is important

With unity, we can be powerful.

That means we can stop the attacks and cheap political point scoring which is aimed at us, and get on with encouraging both major political parties to look at the shooting community in a vastly different way than they have in the past.

Without unity, we risk becoming a collection of groups who will never pull in the same direction.

An excellent example of lack of unity has been the most recent Wentworth by-election in which the Liberal held “safe” seat was dramatically taken from them.  It was noted by the Prime Minister that the cause was disunity with the Coalition.  Shooters and shooting organisations are generally considered soft targets by governments (either state or federal) because we are by and large law-abiding members of the community.  The lack of unity within our own community is seen as an advantage which both sides of politics are prepared to exploit.

A united voice on firearms policy from the shooting community will give all but the most rabid anti-gun fanatics pause for more considered approach to firearms policy and legislation.

That’s why we need to help each other.

What you can do

If you’re part of a shooting organisation which is not part of the CFCV and agree that our firearms policy environment is broken, why not drop us a line to day for a chat?

If you’re not a member of a shooting organisation but want to stay on top of what’s happening with this election and beyond, then follow us on Facebook or jump onto our email list by clicking here.

That way you’ll stay on top of what your industry is doing for you.

  1. Good article Sebastian and right on all accounts. With numbers of members comes strength and influence.
    Well done!

  2. spot on, at the pistol buyback, I had conversations with shotgunners who felt it was not their problem.

  3. Thanks for that Sebastian. I wish we had a CFCNSW.

  4. I am encouraged by Sebastian comments, yes we are all concerned about the image which we seem to have been clobbered with by quite a few Pollies, we are just normal people who like to hunt and shot targets. SSAA 94093 & VAPA 7267

  5. The only thing that politicians really worry about is numbers and how . The larger the numbers of members of the shooting organisations the more they will be listened to especially during the lead up to an election whether Federal or State. The problem I see is that a lot of different shooting groups/organisations are inwardly focused and do not think very much about shooters as an overall group. Imagine if all shooters of all associations joined one large organisation such as SSAA the total number would be staggering. This would allow SSAA to increase its fighting fund and give it the clout that shooters need to promote the interests of all shooters. Shooters could still have membership of their parent organisations to promote their own interests but by being members of SSAA could also have the added support of being a member of a large national organisation that has an increased national political influence. Time to think of the greater good.

  6. This is the best bit of news Victorian shooters have had in a long time.

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