The phenomenon of the number of firearm owners increasing substantially in opposition to the Government’s will; why?
The analysis by Associate Prof Philip Alpers is based on various data sets and is valuable information. However, the aspect of why so many people were forming and joining sporting shooters and farmers registering firearms does not appear to be a part of the study?
Perhaps this social psychology question can be answer by Rollo Reece May, who was an American existential psychologist and author of the influential book Love and Will.
May said, “The opposite of courage is not cowardice— it is conformity. After all, even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
Australia is made up of many courageous people and is not inclined to conform to the will of the Government just because they are told to do so or else. The Howard Government after 1996 almost lost an election to the outsider party One Nation; why? Perhaps because there was no public consultation or referendum seeking voluntary compliance. See also: The perspectives of Police, victims of crime, and firearm owners >>
The outcome of the failure to engage the people through consultation and referendum was more people forming clubs to become sporting shooters. In order of magnitude, the number of firearms added to the system is now three times more than what was removed in 1996. If the only objective of the experiment was to reduced firearms than it has been a half a billion-dollar failure. However, there were positive aspects. The tragedy of Port Arthur gave Australia its training wheels for responsible firearm ownership, it resulted in clubs formed and joined and today over a million people enjoy the sport of sporting shooters. The public response to the experiment, extraordinary growth in the sport of sporting shooters and a majority of farmer’s registering firearms.
The live fish swam against the flow of conformity.