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.