The Inexorable Demise of Competition Shooting in Australia

By Martin MacCarthy and Martin O'Neill.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.211-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 631.807KB).

Dr. Martin MacCarthy

Lecturer, School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Martin MacCarthy is a marketing lecturer with the Faculty of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, Perth Australia. Formerly a soldier in the Australian Army Martin gravitated into the safer and more sedate lifestyle of academia. He now teaches and researches mainly in the area of consumer behaviour, with a current focus on Australian firearm ownership. He is author of the book, Consuming Guns; Social Interaction and Motives of Australian Sporting Shooters.

Dr. Martin O'Neill

Professor and Program Director, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA

Dr. O’Neill has played an active role in the day-to-day management activities of the various departments, colleges and universities he has worked for. He has been responsible for the successful development and management of a number of strategic initiatives, working with a wide range of bodies including the US Army, the Alabama State Parks Department and the Western Australian Tourism Bureau. In addition to his current role as Director of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program, he has and continues to be a member of the university committee structure.