Recent events have certainly polarised the firearms community in New Zealand. Many firearms licence holders are now hungry for information to help them make an informed decision in the upcoming election. We’ve included in this edition a collection of people’s views on the election and how and why they’re voting a certain way. These opinion pieces accompany our online release of the responses to a questionnaire sent to the main political parties detailing their policies on key topics to the firearms community. Democracy is something I believe strongly in. Your ability to vote how you wish is important; however, this election is so crucial, we believe we need to share our opinions freely to give everyone the information they need to enable a wise, informed decision – one which safeguards our way of life.
I feel that those who don’t understand hunting don’t comprehend the huge positive impact it has in our lives, our family’s lives, on our mental health and overall fitness and well-being. I’m a 14-year military veteran who uses hunting and the outdoors to regulate my mental health and it’s been life-changing and lifesaving for many of us.
Although there’s never been a gun lobby in NZ, despite the media throwing around that horrible term with all its negative connotations, I believe there soon will be – albeit in a more Kiwi framework far removed from the horrid term ‘gun lobby’. I envisage our largest organisations working together under a unified group to speak on our behalf, fight our battles and unite us when required. These organisations already do work together on many issues; I believe it’s time to make it official. So out of all the negativity of recent times, I see this inevitable development as a positive.
On a wider note, this is not just about firearms and game animals – this is about a governmental mentality that believes it can destroy people’s livelihoods by excessive culling of tahr without conducting an economic impact study as to the effects on the industry. It’s about a government who disregards our rights and introduces unjust laws that don’t target the people they’re supposed to. This election is a battle for those who value freedom and the right to conduct our pastimes without undue government regulation and overreach.
Stay safe and shoot straight!