Again the Pea Rifle
4 May 1905
At Gundegai a sad fatality occurred when Arthur True, aged 17, was shot dead. In company with Andrew Lynch, aged 15, True went rabbit shooting. Lynch's pea-rifle was accidentally discharged, the bullet lodging in True's heart.
At Mount Blackwood V., Thomas Armstrong, aged 11, son of John Armstrong, of Golden Point, was visitidg an uncle and handling a pea-rifle when it exploded, the bullet going through his stomach, fatally injuring him.
At Mundurama, a young man named Walter Moss shot himself at Grubbepbong, it was purely accidental. Moss, who was engaged grubbing, was, with his mate, about to leave his tent for home, and had a loaded pea rifle in his hand. While waiting for his mate he placed the rifle, down, when it went off. The bullet entered his abdomen and passed upwards. After walking to his tent he collapsed, and died within a few minutes.
A boy named Oscar Wilson, 12 years of age, was sparrow-shooting at Moonbi, when a pea-rifle accidentally went off, and fatally wounded him. Dr. Walley stated that the deceased told him he was sitting down not knowing the gun was loaded, lifted the hammer, which slipped out of his hand. Dr. Walley found during the operation, that the shot had pierced the intestines in 16 places.
As the result of a pea-rifle accidentally going off, a boy named Arthur True was shot dead at Gundagai on Saturday.
These far sad lamentable deaths in growing youth, is one that striker a parents heart. Mothers, smash the pea-rifle! The every week's issue of the Camden news paper portrays the deep heart sufferings of parents, tender children reared in infancy by a mother's love. Bad enough is the gun in experienced husbands; the boy's father. Such is the sad expectance. We speak to human-hearts and suffering parents. Little mere children walk about the streets and farm paddocks with the childish gun, loaded by bullets. What does a child of twelve or over know its danger? Impossible!
The police have no power to stop the mere children for carrying dangerous weapons. Mr. Downes M.P., who is well-known to everyone will, we trust, step in and demand and insist that guns should not be carried unless those holding the gun are licensed so to carry these enemies of deatn and injury to our children. We all feel and know that we are taxed enough. In plain English language the pea-rifle is a curse. Not even the best marksman knows by modern weapons - the rifle - where the bullet finds its billet. Such are facts. No youth should be licensed under 17 years of age. In England it is under 19. Parents mothers and fathers would heartily welcome the day when such an Act was Law.
This article is one written to convey to parents. Common every day facts and with common sense.
One shudders at future fatalities. In plain words we have made our statements and said enough to show the absurdity of parents allowing their future heirs bearing their name to be become a victim of a few shillings, money given to their children for enjoyment, not the enjoyment that gives them permanent, if not, fatal injuries.
We trust that these words will bring parents to their senses and prayers. 'Keep guard, Oh! Lord, over our children.'