According to Mumbrella, the RSPCA has got duck shooting in its crosshairs, aiming to make a big deal about kids being taught to hunt. No doubt this will get a big thumbs-up from the two or three remaining readers of The Age, the paper in which the RSPCA’s ad ran this weekend, but the Prick wonders if this has really been thought through.
After all, aren’t we all supposed to teach kids where their food comes from? To say nothing of feeding them, where possible, free-range food? Taking one’s children out for a hunt would seem to tick both these boxes, giving the next generation an appreciation not just of nature but the fact that something died to give you dinner so you’d better damn well respect your produce. A duck shot on the wing has probably had a hell of a nicer life than some poor industrially-raised chicken, even one raised in an RSPCA-approved facility. The campaign’s tagline, which asks, “What’s wrong with this picture?” as a towheaded youth stands in a marsh with a shotgun, is hard to answer with anything but, “Nothing at all, so long as the young man is properly trained and supervised.”
It should also be noted that hunters, in the Prick’s limited experience, are among the most responsible gun owners around and they tend to be pretty serious conservationists as well. Only they never get any credit for this because radical green-left politics have pushed this sort of, for lack of a better term, muscular Teddy Roosevelt-style environmentalism beyond the pale, right out there with molesting collies or building nuclear power plants in the Tarkine Rainforest.
UPDATE: What’s wrong with this picture? Tons, according to readers.
“For one, those dickheads at the RSPCA have told the kid to put his finger on the trigger – a terrible safety breach. The finger should always be outside the trigger guard until you are ready to take the shot. Shows how little they know about firearms safety”, writes one commenter.
Adds Kelley Merkel, “Where do I start… The pump-action shotgun should be pointing towards the sky, never horizontally. Ummm, the ducks are behind him! Pump-action shotguns have been banned in Australia for 17 years. He’s holding the gun completely wrong. Finger is on the trigger. Gun is too small for him. He is not shouldering it correctly. His head should be down on the stock and he has no ear or eye protection.”