Bang Shoot

So go the words of the Beatles song, which is close to my favourite and not because I love guns (which I do) but because it’s a reverse kick at the whole gun thing. Now don’t get me wrong, even though I love guns I am nevertheless appalled at the carnage they enable man to visit on his fellow man and our defenseless animals. It seems to the average punter that the rest of the world is awash with firearms and some would say, “God help us if someone decides to invade!”

Many of us know how to make a pretty serviceable pipe gun (although Canberra is the only place you can get firecrackers to load them), shoot, if you want there’s recipes for nuclear bombs on the internet, of course you need plutonium, but I’m sure that can be purchased on Ebay so who needs a gun if you really want to cause mayhem right?

The old argument is that only farmers need guns to eradicate foxes, feral cats, rabbits, suffering animals etc. (lucky bastards don’t have to rot away in a nursing home like us). Yes, back before they banned firecrackers we did make pipe guns that would blow a ball bearing right through a corrugated iron fence (no wonder they banned fireworks).

Once, in L.A, I wanted to go to a shooting range where you could shoot every gun in the Afghan conflict including 50mm rifles, Desert Eagles, M16s and the ubiquitous AK47 – my personal favourite because of its utalitarian Nazi killing prowess – if only pre WW2 Jews had some of those at their disposal, goodbye holocaust! Sadly my fellow traveller wasn’t into it, so I missed out.

Being a city boy my experience with guns is pretty limited. Friends on a farm in the wheat belt many years ago would go out after dark and from the back of a ute with a spot light we would blaze away at anything that moved (except sheep), although I could never shoot a kangaroo, but I figured that feral animals were a menace to the native species.

There were a couple of close calls with shotguns that almost wrecked my life, not to mention my mate’s lfe who was at the business end when I fired, and a colleague once shot himself in the foot with a .22 which funnily enough (because it missed all his bones and major arteries) created a perfect new lace hole and came out the bottom of his converse sneakers leaving an exit hole you couldn’t even see unless you bent the rubber sole just so.

And then there was the time I first used a 12 gauge shotgun and the owner told me to hold it a little away from my shoulder which naturally resulted in a bad recoil bruise. You have to wonder why idiots like that are allowed to own something so dangerous. In the end it is possible to be a responsible gun owner, however there are so many irresponsible people around it is a fair generalization that guns are better in the hands of the authorities or those that have passed stringent tests to ensure they can be trusted.

Much as I love guns I am kinda glad they are very difficult to get a hold of in Australia and if you really want to shoot them you can go to a shooting range and experience the exhilerating, explosive feeling, the sweet but acrid smell of cordite and the thumping, scary recoil of a range of modern pistols and rifles, which should get it out of your system without you feeling the need to do it in a Telstra call centre (just kidding).

by Nagaho Oel


Teddy Roosevelt kills another innocent creature.

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