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From The Editor | What A Croc!

From The Editor | What A Croc!

Most A1F Daily readers are aware of the Australian government’s concerted efforts to make life harder for the country’s gun owners—up to and including confiscation and destruction of hundreds of thousands of firearms several years back.

But don’t think the gun-ban mentality isn’t still rampant Down Under, even when dealing with seemingly harmless “weapons.”

Which brings up the recent report that the Townsville Crocodiles of the National Basketball League have been forced to surrender the team’s homemade t-shirt cannon to police. For more than a decade, the air-powered piece of PVC pipe has been used to delight crowds by shooting t-shirts to adoring fans in the stands.

That era has come to an end, thanks to seeming government overreach.

“The ballistics unit informed the venue that essentially it was a category B weapon and it needed to be handed in, otherwise people in possession of it would be prosecuted,” general manager Rob Honan told the Brisbane Times. “It was bewildering, but it is what it is. But it makes it harder for people to have fun.”Who would have ever thought we would have a leading presidential candidate from any party openly praising mass confiscation and destruction of privately owned firearms?  

Queensland Police Service said in a statement that investigation determined the t-shirt launcher to be a “Category B Weapon.”

“A recent determination has been received from the QPS ballistics section that they are category B weapon,” the statement read. “Category B weapons need to be licensed and registered, having established a genuine need for possession. Weapons of any category can only be manufactured by a licensed armorer.”

According to the Times report, the determination puts the homemade launcher in the same category as single-shot center-fire rifles, double-barrel center-fire rifles, repeating-center fire rifles, break-action shotguns and center-fire rifle combinations.

The Crocs’ GM Robert Honan summed up the incident with a touch of melancholy.

“There is no mechanism that engaged the crowd as much as the t-shirt launcher, which is almost a foundation piece of game-day entertainment,” he said.

While the situation with the t-shirt gun seems silly, we should never forget the travesty that was foisted upon Australia’s peaceable gun owners in the name of crime control. In 1996-97, after a mass murder in Australia, licensed gun owners were forced to give up their registered pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns and semi-automatic rifles for government destruction. Every model of pump-action and semi-automatic shotgun. Every model of semi-automatic rifle. Seized. Chopped. Burned and melted. In all, more than 650,000 guns were confiscated and destroyed.

That’s a fate that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is happy to consider for law-abiding American gun owners. When questioned at a campaign stop about whether the United States could use a similar program to Australia’s, Clinton answered, “I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how it would work, but certainly your example is worth looking at.” 

The statement should prompt any American who values freedom to do everything in his or her power to make sure a pro-gun candidate is elected this fall. Who would have ever thought we would have a leading presidential candidate from any party openly praising mass confiscation and destruction of privately owned firearms?  

Talk about a croc!

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