Blog: ‘Mate, I’ve been doing this for years!’

First of all, thanks to the vast majority of hunters across the country that have had a safe and enjoyable hunting season thus far. Secondly, thank you to those who have taken the time to refresh themselves on the Firearms Safety Code this year.

The New Zealand hunting community is a passionate group of highly driven individuals and the vast majority of you are acutely aware of the consequences of misinformation and complacency while handling firearms. It’s been especially encouraging reading the comments on a recent series of videos the Mountain Safety Council (MSC) produced in partnership with Big Game Hunting New Zealand. The videos were designed to be watched in series, and break down the various points in the Firearms Safety Code. The overwhelming response was “Great videos guys, have shared. Good to keep this safety message in the media”.

What is particularly interesting is that the comments seemed to be coming from all ages, and all walks of life. Are we coming to a point where sticking up for safety is OK? Or have we been there for a while?

What’s clear is that the consequences of misusing firearms are ever present. A hunting community where it’s OK to speak up if you see something that isn’t right is surely the sort of culture we need to continually foster and strive towards?

Familiarity becomes experience, which can turn into complacency. For some, this can then become arrogance. You’ll be able to spot this from an overwhelming “She’ll be right” attitude which when confronted can become defensive and might respond with “What’s your problem mate, I’ve been doing this for years!”

Parallels have been drawn between firearm use and driving a vehicle. Both are highly technical activities. Both have ‘road rules’ that are drilled into newbies, for good reason. Both also have an ability to lull an experienced user into believing they are increasingly immune to danger. Unfortunately, both also have the potential to be lethal for the participant, and the bystander alike.

The consequences are real, and they are significant.

The MSC will continually advocate for having these kinds of tough conversations. We are encouraging an adventurous, fulfilling and safe hunt, one that ensures you and your mates make it home to your families.

Mike Daisley

CEO Mountain Safety Council

www.mountainsafety.org.nz

#MakeItHomeNZ

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