Hi fellow shooter and firearms enthusiast. It has been a while since I last put pen to paper, metaphorically speaking. Domestically things have been quite quiet and on the world stage things have also been sluggish but you can rest assured that hose who would deny us our sport have not been sitting idly by. In a surprising move by domestic politicians an Early Day Motion (E.D.M) has been proposed by M.P. David Taylor (please note that I do not give his party, as those who wish to prevent shooting in any form represent all political parties) which has the support of 65 members across the House or put another way 10% of Parliament. The surprise is not the motion itself but the timing. With an election due at some time in the next year this E.D.M is aimed squarely at the urban voting populace. With less than 5% of the population living and working in a rural environment, making attacks on the country way of life and working practices is seen as a vote winner in the towns and cities across the country by some politicians. To read the motion and see if your M.P. is has signed up CLICK HERE.
The incumbent government has stated that shooting is safe in their hands. This is the same government that removed pistols from the law abiding only to see crimes involving those very firearms proliferate on the streets of our towns and cities to a level that was unheard of prior to the legislation. With over 3,000 new laws implemented since the current government come to power, some of which relate to the legitimate ownership of firearms and their use, the rider, the government decides if your sport is to continue, is as true now as when it was I wrote it 10 years ago.
If you want to continue to enjoy your sport there are some things you can do.
Firstly, decide what is important to you. Prioritise your thoughts when the election comes around. Despite having many political parties their approach to the issues that effect the country as a whole are by and large similar with the exception of the incumbent, they will continue with whatever policy they have implemented during their term in office as to change direction would be to admit they were wrong, unheard of.
Secondly, become informed. Do not take my word for it, go out and find out for yourself. There are many sources of information available to you. If possible try to find sources that have no agenda with the subject matter for example; “sugar is not bad for teeth” scientist's report. That sounds like we may have worried about loosing teeth for nothing, however closer inspection reveals that the scientist’s report was sponsored by a sugar producer and a leading tooth paste manufacturer. In the real world groups like IANSA, LACS and others commission reports and then twist the details to put across their agenda.
Thirdly, if you have taken the time to undertake the first two, make sure you belong to an organisation that is active in the promotion of a positive message for shooting in all its guises. There are those that would happily see some forms of shooting stopped for a quiet life and a political guarantee that their sport was allowed to continue. This attitude is ill-conceived at best, as once lost, it is inevitable that the lost discipline will be gone from these shores forever.
Fourthly, become a voter and if necessary vote on this one issue. I do, shooting is not my complete life but a significant part of it. It gives me the incentive to travel and the opportunity to meet people. It helps keep the countryside that I love and cherish in a condition conducive to promoting growth and sustainability.
In the next election of those chosen to govern this country, let them know that you shoot and that you VOTE.