Hunters abysmal record in Victoria – Brumby disgraced by concessions to gun lobby
Victorians pay a high price for having a hunting fraternity – Over the last two and a half decades, one dies every three years as a result of poor training. In the last couple of months two people have died as a result of sheer hunting incompetence.
These tragedies have a disastrous effect on families and the local community.
This emphasizes the fact that there is such disgracefully poor training of shooters right throughout Australia.
In Victoria, in May 2008, in a blatant attempt to win the gun vote, the Brumby government set up the Firearms Safety Foundation to oversee the training of shooters. But it appears to be controlled by shooting interests and has not made any worthwhile steps to increase the length and intellectual depth of the brief, childish training program.
It therefore seems to us that the Brumby government is accountable for the completely irresponsible Shooters Licence long gun training program, where everyone who sits the test, passes the test. No wonder that exam records of pass and fail are no longer kept. No wonder shooters are careless.
Let’s look at the shocking record that hunters have in Victoria.
In the Victorian high country, about two and half decades ago, a deer hunter died when his friend’s centrefire rifle, strapped to his backpack, fired when an overhanging branch triggered the cocked weapon.
Since then, three others have died in deer hunting incidents in Victoria. One of these occurred at Warburton a decade ago when a careless hunter fired at a moving object which happened to be a local resident walking his dog.
Fox and rabbit hunting incidents alone have claimed at least another four lives in this 25 year period.
Within the last few years, a teenage boy died near Hamilton while fox hunting with his father and brothers; sometime after, a teenage boy died near Keilor while hunting with family members. In October 2010, near Horsham, 49 year old father Robert McGennisken, died when a family member accidentally fired shotgun pellets through the roof of his utility; and this month near Myrtleford, while they were hunting rabbits, a 16 year old boy died when accidentally fired on by one of his friends.
A hunting death every three years is too high a price to pay, Mr Brumby. It’s time to get rid of your pro-gun Firearm Safety Foundation, based around a gun club, and have a responsibly designed six month TAFE training course with genuine written examinations. It’s time to train shooters properly by setting standards that ensure shooter and public safety.