Tuesday, 11 November 2008

New Chief. Same anti gun attitudes.

Obama's Plan for Your Guns
After being given an airing on a nationally broadcast radio show, Gun Talk, the official web site of the new administration in the U.S. swiftly removed their manifesto of intent after the site was inundated with hits from aggrieved second amendment supporters. However, in a lesson that should be learnt by all who post on the web, once there, it is there forever, archived. After much searching the page that was removed has been found...Click Here to view (scroll down to the "Crime and Law Enforcement" section). Go take a look at what they don't want 80 million plus people to know.

As usual the law abiding members of society are being penalised for the anti-social and illegal activities of a minority. So what does the mew administration intend to do.

1. As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade.

This amendment passed to stop the bogus law suits against firearms makers and importers across the U.S. Sold to the masses as a tool to solve crime, legitimate crime fighting agencies already have access to this information. If repealed, the information would be available to attorneys enabling them to file law suits. This means a gun maker would be liable for the acts of a criminal. Put another way, a car maker could be sued by someone that a drunk driver ran over.

2. Obama and Biden also favours commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them.

Gun owners also support the ideal of keeping guns out of the hands of children and criminals. But rather than demonise guns to children gun owners work through a system of education and correct usage and handling. Keeping guns and for that matter any lethal items away from criminals is an unobtainable goal, as they are criminals and therefore do not obey the law. With over 20,000 gun laws in the U.S when a criminal gets a gun they break quite a lot of laws.

3. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof.

There is no gun show loophole. At a gun show if you are a dealer the laws have to be observed by all Federal Firearms Dealers. There is no law that prevents an individual from selling a gun to a friend or family member. There are many apocryphal tales of police witnessing the sale of firearms in parking lots outside of an event. This raises the question that, if this is true, why don’t the police arrest the people concerned. Could this be that no crime has been committed or are the police just failing in their work?

4. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent; as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

The 1994 Clinton gun ban was and has been shown to be bogus. Given an inordinate amount of hype and publicity by the media it addressed a problem that according to the F.B.I records did not exist. With the sunset of the ban in 2004 records show no increase in incidents in the use of the weapons banned than before it was introduced. Once again the bill will be put forward as a bill to stop machine guns but it was never about machine guns. The guns banned had aesthetic additions such as a folding stock or a bayonet lug to name but two. Rest assured when the new bill is put forward there will be many more restrictions than in the old bill.

Why should I worry, I live in the U.K? Well in this ever shrinking world ideas put forward by the president in the states can have far reaching effects. His intent to support restrictions on constitutional rights will be difficult to implement through normal democratic procedures. The President elect will either force through his will by passing an executive order or more worryingly put the weight of the U.S. behind groups such as IANSA and push through U.N resolutions and sign treaties which will have the same effect. These treaties over-ride any constitution that a country may have and become part of international law which this current U.K government would embrace whole heartedly.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Who do you think is looking after your rights?

So who do you think is looking after the welfare of shooters in the United Kingdom? From the results of my survey it would appear that nobody is. In an on-line poll an amazing 89% of responders felt that firearms arms enthusiasts, of whatever discipline, where not represented by any of the leading organisations that purport to have shooters and firearms owner’s interests at heart. That 89% was, as a figure 5390 voters. That is nearly as many votes as the NRA of GB quotes as its membership (last figure available 5,500, source: NRA Journal)

Less than 10% of respondents felt that the current organisations such as the NRA, BASC, SAGBNI etc where doing a fine job for shooters and enthusiasts.

On the bright side there seems to be a healthy mistrust of politicians and the like. For all the rhetoric espoused by those in power, responders felt that their firearms where at risk of being taken away for politically expedient reasons despite assurances, from all political party’s that shooting was a legitimate past-time.

There was also hope from the final question on members of the public owning, possessing and using firearms. This question is used by many in America and returns in the vast majority of polls conducted a figure around 3%. Therefore in my poll a return of only 2% is encouraging.

So what conclusions can we draw from this poll? As with all polls, it is only indicative but from all of those who bothered to take part there is a clear feeling that despite what the many and varied organisations, associations and groups do, they lean towards self protectionism. The sacrifice of a group for the betterment of the whole. Pistol shooters where the first to be surrendered but even before that the use of semi-auto shotguns with capacities of more than 3 rounds and many historic rifle shooters had their firearms removed or vandalised to comply with more stringent regulations. There was no unity, no support for other shooters. Quite the opposite in fact, the majority where prepared to allow these in roads into our freedoms as long as they were left alone. Don’t get me wrong the work that all these groups do individually does help, it’s better than nothing at all. But all the time shooters are divided by the type of shooting that they undertake they will never be able to put forward a unified single front. This poll with an overwhelming majority has shown that shooters would like an organisation that represents all firearms enthusiasts, from the person who plinks at a tin can with an air pistol to those who may go big game hunting and all the disciplines in between. If you have own a firearm you should be a member of this group.

Politicians are fickle; they go where they believe the votes to be. If you are trying to persuade them that you are worth taking seriously, think about this. You are a member of parliament, you are approached by the NRA of GB with regard to a piece of legislation aimed at removing all firearms with a calibre over .50 of an inch. With just over 5,500 members spread over the whole country you are not likely to feel that this group poses a threat to you or your party if they all decide to vote against you in an election. Now consider the same question but with a single unified organisation representing all firearms owners as described. With around 1.5 million certificates held in the UK plus some 5 million air rifles and pistols, what do you think you might do now? And just in case you are thinking that no-one would introduce such an idea. The .50 of an inch restriction on firearms appears most years in America in this form before their elected officials. There is no stipulation as to the type of firearm, just calibres of .50 of an inch or more. Just how big is your shotguns bore/calibre?

Please bear these thoughts in mind whilst you read the results of my poll and the next time you read in the press about some piece of legislation that will affect a shooters sport, your sport.

Q. Do legitimate firearms owners need an association whose objectives are the pursuance and protection of their rights and firearms issues?

A1/ Yes. We need an organisation that deals solely with shooters rights and firearms issues.
Result: 89.09% votes: 5,390

A2/ No. BASC, Countryside Alliance, Sportsman’s Assoc., etc all do fine.
Result: 7.27% votes: 440

A3/ Who cares the government would not take my guns away, they've said so.
Result: 1.82% votes: 110

A4/ People who own and use guns have no rights
Result: 1.82% votes: 110

Saturday, 23 February 2008

What is in a name?

Well it depends on your viewpoint. As the old axiom goes “one mans freedom fighter is another’s terrorist”. Moreover, the same applies to all the organisations that have members, who individually would not be heard but as a group can at least have a say. You can tell a lot about the press and mass media just by the way that a group is described. Take the “League Against Cruel Sports” they have an uncomfortable relationship with the media. The media will often describe L.A.C.S as an animal rights group, which they are. This changes when the news reported involves animals but the human element has been acting illegally. Then the group become “activists”. The R.S.P.C.A. (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) however does not suffer from this problem. It is always the soft, warm and welcoming animal welfare group. The one thing that the press and media will never do is describe any of these societies, organisations or groups, as is a “lobbyist”.

How different that is when the media, if it can be bothered, contacts the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Countryside Alliance, British Shooting Sports Council or others. These groups are nearly always described lobbyists. For example, “Mr J Smith from the lobby group BASC (apologies to any Mr Smith who may work at BASC) is here to tell us …”
So why a lobbyist? Well it is all to do with perception. Any group or organisation that puts forward a view that is considered incorrect is called a lobbyist. Being a “lobbyist” portrays the groups as politically active. Whilst the likes of the R.S.P.C.A and I.A.N.S.A etc are fervently political in everything, they do. They are considered correct in the greater social scheme. Therefore, they are afforded softer, less aggressive titles.

When all is said and done, any group or organisation has to marshal its argument and put forward its case. How does it do this? By lobbying. However, not just by trying to force politicians to support their aims, but by engaging with the masses. The easiest way to do this is through the mass media, which, if they get behind a cause will portray it and its members as in the most positive light possible.

There is however an exception to this, a civil rights organisation that was set up 1871 which included within its charter an undertaking to protect the civil rights of its countrymen and women. To uphold the freedoms granted these compatriots by virtue of a constitution drawn up nearly 100 years earlier. This organisation is the oldest civil rights group in its country and has 4,000,000 plus members. What is this organisation? I hear you say, the National Rifle Association of America. The worlds press demonises the NRA as the lobby group of all lobby groups. It has, so far, successfully managed to help promote its agenda and protect not only its member’s rights but also the rights of all American gun owners. It has spawned numerous other groups, which specialise in specific areas of shooting and gun rights. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

Therefore, in answer to the question “What is in a name” I think the answer is nothing. Lobbyist, petitioner, supplicant, activist, campaigner, the list goes on they are just words. It is beholden upon you as an individual to decide by a group’s action what that group is and what it stands for. Nevertheless, remember these emotive words are powerful and in the hands of the mass media, can destroy your way of life if they perceive it as not correct.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Crime involving guns up 4%

The home office released its crime figures today and “Gun crime” rose by 4% (see previous article). The BBC news gave this item second billing but in its keenness to show just how bad crime is, involving guns it used a typical media trick. The first shot was of an AK47 type rifle, it then proceeded to show a display of handguns.
Let us start with the first shot. The AK47 type of rifle along with many other types of semi automatic (one squeeze of the trigger one shot then release to fire again) firearms were banned in the late 80’s. Those items not banned were reduced in capacity to one in the breech and two in the magazine. Handguns were banned in 1997 in all their form including competition handguns. This has meant that all of the British pistol shooting team must train abroad. So no longer is it the best that will represent the UK in competition but the richest. That is not to say that they are not good shots but there is every possibility that an Olympic competitor cannot rise to the top because they are not given the opportunity. This example alone is against all that is held sacred by the Olympic charter.
The second point of issue is that the weapons displayed and shown have all been made illegal to own or possess in the UK. Many collectors and shooting enthusiast, being the law abiding people that they are, handed in these firearms when requested. They were sold a story of a safer society because they no longer owned these guns. Yet now we see 20 and 11years later that the law abiding were not the problem. With over 200 crimes committed each day involving a firearm, I would have at a guess not a single licensed one amongst them.
By virtue of being in possession of a license, a firearms owner of whatever type is in the top 1% of law-abiding members of society. Many have never had a parking ticket or a speeding fine. To put this in some kind of perspective those that certify the firearms owner only fall in amongst the top 5% of people unlikely to commit an offence. Yet time after time when the politicians look at what to do about the rising crime figures more and more punitive measures are taken out against the honest and law abiding, whilst those that commit the many crimes listed are given a sympathetic ear. The new laws, which will come in light of these new figures, will do nothing to solve, reduce or protect anyone from the criminals who undertake these actions.
If as an individual, you do nothing you can expect to loose your guns a piece at a time. The thin end of the wedge was 20 years ago and every little tap knocks it in a bit further. With over 1.5million licenses in the UK, the biggest shooting organisation BASC is at the last count running at 125,000 members less than 10% of shooters. If you take out all those members who do not shoot the figure is even more depressing. The NRA (UK) is proud to boast nearly 6,000 members; NSRA and CPSA are equally as low. There are a small minority of individuals who are doing their best to help keep shooting alive in the UK. What are you doing? As they say in the states “while we’re pulling your riding in the wagon”. So find an organisation that addresses your sporting needs and join today and then if you can either take up another shooting discipline or take a friend shooting.
Link to BBC story.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

There is no such thing as "Gun Crime".

There is no such thing as gun crime! This cannot be true, I hear about it on the radio, read about it in the press, and see it on the T.V news reports. In fact, gun crime is all about me in the media. Well, yes, it is and no, it is not. A gun is an inanimate object and therefore is not capable of doing anything, except possibly rust. Crime is crime, the addition of any object, gun, knife, baseball bat, hammer, you get the picture, is an irrelevance. You will be intimidated by some thug with any of the previously mentioned items and end up equally as badly injured or dead. What the mass media, with the blessing of governments past and present is doing is trying to tell you that one type of crime is worse than another type of crime.
If you speak to people who have been mugged, violently assaulted, had their house broken into or car stolen, they all have the same feelings, feelings of being violated and fear for their safety. In the case of house breaking, they are statistically unlikely to be in the house at the time. Nevertheless, by identifying a crime as a "gun crime" or "knife crime", politicians are able to distract your attention. Whilst they pass ever increasing restrictive laws on the overwhelming majority of the public, who will pass their lives by without ever having contact with the police. These laws are a placebo to make you think that the government is on the ball and doing all it can to protect the public at large. Crimes involving firearms are a very small percentage of crime overall less than 2%. The firearms used by these criminals are traded illegally and the weapon of choice is a handgun made illegal to all law-abiding members of society in 1997. Legislation that is more recent has made the possession of, no, not a knife but a bladed or pointed instrument an offence without just cause or reason. This can cause you a great deal of trouble if like me you have carried a knife all your life, well from the age of six, every day. You will now need a reason.
All theses laws that have been railroaded through the legal system have yet to protect or save one individual. Laws are the guidelines that society lives by. In the mean time, the crime rate rises and politicians strain for ways to restrict further our abilities of responsibility and self-reliance in the name of making us safer, without addressing the underlying problem caused by an exceedingly small minority element in society.
Therefore, the next time you catch the evening news or pick up a paper and the headline is “gun crime”, “knife crime” or perhaps, one day “baseball bat crime” on the rise. Take the time to think, of all the laws passed in recent years what has been the result upon (a) the public at large and (b) criminals. As a law-abiding member of society, your freedoms have been curtailed for your liberty all in the name of “your safety” to be protected by the state. As a criminal, well, it’s business as usual.

Monday, 21 January 2008

British Shooting sold out.

Lord Coe, mercurial on the track has been equally mercurial in his adoption of a political mantra when questioned about the legacy to the shooting sports. Lord Coe dismissed accusations that no lasting legacy would be left.
"I don't accept that," he told the BBC in an interview.
"We are four-and-a-half years away from the opening ceremony, and we have teams making sure we do scope out a proper legacy.
"I'm determined to leave a legacy in every sport. An important part of that is not simply bricks and mortar; it is about being able to say that more people got engaged in sport. "Sometimes governing bodies of sports overlook that."
Coe added that his team had come under pressure from the International Olympic Committee to site venues closer to the capital.
"Back in early 2004 the IOC were quite critical about how far some of our venues were from London.
"We looked at Bisley for shooting and decided we wanted to bring the sport closer into London.
"These are sports that need accessibility. They're great sports, they have returned a large chunk of our medals, and it is important they are understood and shared by a larger group of young people."
If all this were true, why is Weymouth considered close enough to London but not Bisley? After all, there is plenty of room around the Isle of Dogs and in the estuary around the Thames inlet. Weymouth will be receiving over £200 million pounds from various pots to bring it up to standard for the Olympics. If as Lord Coe says it “is not simply bricks and mortar” then once the sailing is finished I assume that all the new sailing clubs and the infra structure will be removed and the site returned to its former glory. I think not.
This is all posturing on he part of the various committees to say that we are doing what we can so that we can get the Olympics but we are not truly worried about living up to the charter or providing a lasting legacy for sports that we do not think are politically correct. All this despite the fact that in recent Olympic, commonwealth and world championships Team G.B would have looked remarkably silly without the efforts of our shooting teams. Teams which include the various other shooting disciplines that do not even get a mention such as pistol, rifle, small bore and air-pistol. By reporting upon just the clay shooting the other disciplines are once again marginalised. Divide and conquer.
So if you think £25million as of today (previous price £18million) for a shooting complex to built in the middle of London for less than two weeks and torn down and replaced with football pitches is good value, you will by the looks of it get your way.
For a full report follow the link to the BBC web site.
Weymouth & Portland 2012 Olympics

Friday, 18 January 2008

Are you aware?

Since the begining of this year there have been a number of articles in the local press up and down the country regardring the ownership of shotgun and firearms licences by under 18's. This is all brought to you under the freedom of information act by local jounalists who see a way into the national press. In their biased and un-even (of stories to date) reports these local hacks pull no punches, using all the emotive links they can to past and current tradgedies. They are aided and abetted by the local anti gun groups. Now credit where it's due the last article did have a response from the B.A.S.C who rightly affirms that whilst there is no law against a minor being in possession of a certificate, they must be accopnaied by an adult over the age of 21. They are neither allowed to own or purchase a firearm or ammunition.

Unfortunatley what gets overlooked is the fact that these youngsters and their families have subjected themselves to a police background check, undergone interviews and been assessed on their suitability to be resposible individuals. The family that partakes in any group activity is on balance a more caring family. They are able to communicate with their children, they are aware of where their children are and as far as shooting and the young are concerned they build a bond that lasts a lifetime. The youngsters learn discipline and responsibility, two words frowned on in these modern times, but essential life skills in modern society that seem to be lacking in so many.

So what can I do? Well if you read an article such as these then you shold write to the editor of the paper. Always be polite, identify the area you wish to complain about and stick to the point. You never know you may well see you letter in print. In addition talk to your friends who shoot, ask them if they have read the article, tell them what you have done and encourage them to do the same.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

What's it all about?

What is the National Shooters Association? Well, it is a free association where all shooters can convene to learn about other shooters and their likes and dislikes. It is not here to try to poach you from an organisation that you already belong to, but perhaps give you cause for thought about others in the shooting sports in areas that you may not participate. As an example with over 1.5 million shotgun and firearms licences in the U.K why do less than 50,000 signatures appear on petitions to give back pistols to those who shoot or would like to shoot pistol. After all, it is an Olympic sport, part of the Olympic credo is the best sportsmen, and women should compete, not just those that can afford to travel to Europe to participate in competition. And yet when I talk to clay pigeon shooters, as an example, they are either unaware that such a petition exists or they pass it off by saying that they don’t compete or would not be interested in competing in such events should pistol shooting be re-introduced. There are many other instances where this happens. This has to stop. The best example I can think of, of rivalry between similar groups, is the British armed forces. A soldier, airman or seaman in a discussion would never let another unit in their own branch of the armed services get the better of them but when the time comes, no matter what they all pull together, uniting as a single entity to overcome the problem.
As gun owners we have for to long been our own worst enemy. This has played into the hands of those who would deny us the ability to pursue our chosen sport. For this reason, the word “Shooter” has been chosen. Apart from the fact that the N.R.A already exists both here and in the U.S., the U.K. N.R.A has been in the past a blinkered organisation. Nevertheless, it, as with other shooting organisations is looking after its members for better or worse. All we require is that you are by the definition of the law of the land “legal” and we welcome all members of all associations and disciplines. From plinking in the back garden to Olympic trap and skeet, pistol shooting to antique collecting. If you have a gun of any description and are legally allowed to possess it, you are in.
With luck I will post links to all sorts of organisations web sites, these may include some that would see all our sports stopped overnight. We must be aware of the lengths that groups will go to and the propaganda they will use against us. We will endeavour to place items of news and interest about shooting and firearms ownership in all its varied forms.
Let me know if there is anything you would like to know about or if you feel that your particular field of shooting is not being covered, drop me a line. I will do what I can and with your help, we may well be able to help, keep all the shooting sports a live for future generations.