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Australian Swimmers' Gun Photo Lands Duo in Hot Water with Olympic Committee

D'Arcy and MonkA pair of Australian swimmers are in it deep after posting a photo of themselves bearing arms at a California shooting range.

According to the Yahoo! Sports blog Fourth-Place Medal, Aussie swimmers Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk have been asked by the Australian Olympic Committee to leave the 2012 Olympics immediately after they finish their events, all because the two posted a photo on Facebook in which they are seen posing with a couple pump-action shotguns and a semi-auto pistol.

Furthermore, the AOC imposed a social media ban on the duo effective July 16, but the two have already gone into digital exile on their on volition.

Can you say "hypocrisy"?

Believe it or not, Australia, the Olympics hosts numerous shooting events, which will be hosted at this year's summer games at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, a royal borough of London. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that the Australian swim team took a team-sanctioned trip to a gun range in 2007.

Despite this, committee members and journalists have condemned the two, apparently for making poor choices.

"They showed poor judgement in posting what we saw as inappropriate photos, in which they appear to be skylarking with guns while in the U.S. last week," said Kevin Neil, CEO of Swimming Australia. "While what the boys did was not illegal, posting the photos on social networks encourages public debate, and that debate can be seen to have a negative impact on the image of the sport and their own image."

Oh yes, encouraging public debate; we can't have any of that, can we?

Yahoo! blogger Chris Chase took a similar approach:

This wasn't a case about gun control or the rights of gun owners. It was about two swimmers making a bad decision. Alcohol and topless bars are legal, too. Should athletes post photos of themselves doing shots at a strip club?

Read that again for emphasis; this guy is actually comparing guns -- equipment in a sanctioned Olympic sport -- to booze and strip clubs. Seriously. Petersen's Hunting editor Mike Schoby had some choice words in response to Chase's choice of words -- none of them were publishable.

In all honesty, we do take issue with the fact that D'Arcy and Monk are exhibiting poor trigger discipline, as the photo doesn't exactly scream "responsible gun owners." But what's equally, if not more, disturbing is the reaction and furor over a pair of athletes making it known that they participate in a perfectly acceptable sport -- even in the eyes of the Olympics.

In 2008, I boycotted the Olympics because of the gross human rights violations by the Chinese government. If the athletic world truly thinks this lowly of the shooting sports, maybe I won't feign interest in track and field again this year.

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