Shooting of any description is seen as a contentious practice by many segments of Australian society. The anti-gun lobby aside, gun-club membership and firearm ownership is now considered a semi-deviant activity. Over the last 100 years this once passé sport has gradually and inexorably evolved into a niche cloistered fraternity, seemingly at odds and at the whim of the wider community. The usual sporting club pastiche; of communitas, shared ritual, special language and unique behavior is further magnified by a sense of Greek tragedy. The bewildered protagonists struggle to maintain their sport under the suspicious and watchful eye of a seemingly uncaring antagonist. Senior shooters bemoan the possibility their beloved sport is fading away, facilitated by declining numbers and changing Australian cultural values. Older shooters inevitably retire, but they are not being replaced by fresh young faces. Is this a portent of the future?
|Keywords:||Shooting, Guns, Gun-Clubs, Culture, Australia|
Lecturer, School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia
Professor and Program Director, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA