Consuming guns; social interaction and motives of Australian sporting shooters

Document Type



VDM Verlag Dr. Muller

Place of Publication

Saarbrucken Germany


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




MacCarthy, M. (2009). Consuming Guns; Social Interaction and Motives of Australian Sporting Shooters. Saabrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller. original book available here


What is the nature of firearm ownership and gun club activity in Australia? This book explores cultural aspects of consumer behaviour in Australian target shooting clubs. It is the culmination of nine years ethnographic research. Three themes are explored; firstly, the intrapersonal relationships between shooters and guns, secondly, the interpersonal relationships between members of the shooting fraternity, and thirdly the perceptions and attitudes of shooters vis-à-vis the larger community. Analysis of the data not only confirmed the intuitive expectation that shooters love their guns, but revealed a rich extended web of meaning and possibilities afforded by firearm possession and usage. The inexorable evolution against shooting as a valued and legitimate recreational pastime is also documented along with the implications of this on fraternity attitudes. While shooters are well aware they are becoming more anachronistic and alienated over time they are largely powerless to influence this process, which in turn does not bode well for the future of the sport.

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