The Shooters Journal in 2001 (Vol 3, Issue 6, Special Election Issue) carried the following profile of new Labor leader Kevin Rudd.
SSAA members, particularly those in Queensland, will be aware that the Belmont range in suburban Brisbane is one of the biggest and most diverse in the country. The range hosts facilities for more than ten shooting organisations. It is also slap bang in the middle of Kevin Rudd’s federal electorate of Grifﬁth.
Kevin makes no apologies for being a long-standing supporter of shooters’ rights. He has participated in a number of celebrity events at the Belmont range throughout the years, along with former South Australian ALP Senator John Quirk, who serves as a patron for a number of shooting organisations.
Kevin also ofﬁcially opened the 2000 International Metallic Silhouette Shooting Championships hosted by SSAA in Brisbane, which attracted some 190 participants from 16 countries around the world. He is also a patron of the Australian Shooting Games held at Belmont and is a regular presenter of awards at the ‘Queens Prize’ – one of the premier shooting competitions in Queensland.
Apart from all that, every now and then Kevin ﬁnds the time to improve his clay target skills. Asked about his prowess with a shotgun, Kevin simply replies, “I’ve got a very, very, very long way to go. Michael Diamond can rest easy for quite a while yet.”
Rudd’s predecessor, Kim Beazley, was known to have a soft spot for shooters as well. He was heard once to have said he felt distinctly uncomfortable about what was done to them in 1996.
Is it possible that the election of a Labor government might end the torment of shooters by the federal government?