The Deadly Pea Rifle

Sunday Times, Sydney

28 August 1904

City dwellers are no doubt surprised at the number of pea rifle fatalities in the country owing to the weapons being in the bands of juveniles. The explanation is that in rabbit country particularly (and this applies also to districts where 'possum-hunting, etc., is followed for profit) the pea rifle is now regarded as one of the necessaries of the home.

Hundreds of young boys shoot rabbits daily for the market. In all these districts parents and school teachers should instruct the juveniles in the proper use of the weapons - how to avoid accident, and the necessity always for the greatest care in handling such dangerous implements. Of course, there are a few cases where parents are criminally foolish enough to give mere children rifles to play with, just as if they were harmless toys, and others leave loaded guns where the babies may get them.