TTAG reader James writes:

First let me clear up something about Australia – we can still have guns! Lots of them, and good ones too, just not semi-auto rifles. A travesty, yes, but there are millions of registered (yes, yes…) firearms in Australia. I own two .303 Lee Enfields, a pump action .357mag and a few .22s). We’ve been copping some flak recently for the Aussie swimmers in the US gunstore fiasco. Most polled Australians thought it was a beatup over nothing, and many among us were angry that it has “officially” become “wrong” to be photographed with guns etc. Many interesting op-eds published, most supportive of an individual’s right to have their photo taken if they’re not breaking any laws. SO – now that that’s sorted, this was in theage.com.au today . . .

First, the video [click on link above to watch]. Trigger discipline issues. Forgivable? For argument’s sake, anyway.

Then the picture [above]. Fingers on triggers, guns pointed at the camera. Now this is definitely an “aggressive/threatening” photo, as even in “fun”, the viewer is literally looking down the barrel of the gun(s!). Not a good way to entice positive interest in the shooting sports.

Not to mention the inherent safety issues and ignorance of basic rules. Fingers on the triggers, guns pointed at the camera man (we can only hope he used a remote trigger for the shot).

I’m not suggesting the Chapmans are IGOTD’s, but if the swimmer photo was an outrage, then this one, which is much worse, should really be come down on hard. IMHO.

20 Responses to Australia: Fresh Outrage at Olympic Athletes’ Gun Photos. Or Not.

  1. Is the father’s gun pointed at the camera or reversed and pointed at himself? It looks like an opened cylinder with maybe six rounds loaded or does it? What is his gun?

  2. wtf does that monocle in front of her eye do? how is something like that not cheating? does anyone outside of a competitor take this competition seriously with glasses like that?

    • The glasses are perfectly legal for Olympic-style shooting events. When you shoot thirty thousand of rounds a month or more, squinting is not an option. The blinder covering one eye saves the shooter from a world of hurt. The “glass” is made of the same stuff as your shooting glasses.

      It’s not cheating and everyone takes it seriously once they see how well these people shoot, one handed, unsupported, at 25 and 50 meters, using only iron sights, with a variety of calibers. If you practiced for the next hundred years, the odds are that you wouldn’t even come close.

  3. Sheesh! All much a do of nothing. Seems to me. As always: people are what should be feared not the chosen weapon/target pistol. I’m sure they played well for the camera, with unloaded pistols and all. And camera angles were used while actually shooting. Again the reality is people do the damage with weapons and weapons are tools. Treat weapons with the respect they should be given and relax, they are not going to bite you/us unless you/we do the biting. Sheesh!

  4. Fingers on triggers and pointed at the camera? OMG OMG OMG, flail arms and run in circles!!!

    Photographer’s license! Get over it. It’s a picture, it can’t hurt you. The rule only applies when real things are involved, not pixels.

  5. Brings back memories of my bullseye shooting days. I never got good enough to compete beyond local matches. I was shooting 500 to 1000 rounds a week and often got told I wasn’t dedicated enough. My weapon of choice was a Smith & Wesson model 41 semi-auto, easily the most accurate handgun I will ever own. I didn’t have the $$$$$ for the fancy .22 short competition guns these folks are shooting, but most of us had at minimum, glasses with the non-dominate eye covered. Competition at the Olympic level is like watching a perfect game of baseball where the pitcher strikes out all 27 batters, not much action, but lots of drama, suspense, and scoring targets with teeny tiny groups in the “X” rings.

  6. James,

    As I recall, the official reasoning given by the Australian Olympic committee isn’t that the swimmers did anything wrong, but that posting the picture for others to see would “create a discussion about citizens being allowed to own guns” and they can’t risk people deciding that guns are good, so it’s better to silence any discussion on the issue lest the peasants citizens come to the wrong conclusion.

  7. Robert.

    This was most likely a ‘sanctioned’ photo-op. And the swimmers in California was a ‘free-will’ action of enjoyment. In a country/government that would squash the rights of the people there can be no ‘free will’ activities.

  8. I don’t like people pointing guns at me, why should I be OK with pictures of people pointing guns at me?

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