Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Not long to go now before the next round of elections are upon us. Here at the N.S.A. we're not afraid to put our vote where it will do the most good. We advise that you take care when you vote and do not rely on the mainstream media, either in the printed press, the radio or television, as on the whole our sport is generally misrepresented by all these mediums.
To find out if the candidates in your area are supportive of your sport, why not contact them at Write to them it is a very simple process and takes just a few minutes and you should get a reply within a few days. After all, these candidates are after your vote, and are elected to represent your view; a little thing that so many in recent years seem to have forgotten as they ride the gravy train for all it's worth. The observant amongst you will have noticed that I said "view" and not "views". This is because life is so very complex these days, and right from my very earliest days of being able to vote I had problems trying to find any candidate from any party that thought the same as I did. Not surprising really, and things have got a whole lot more complicated since then. So, I decided to make a list of all the things that were important to me, then went and sought out the information on the candidate's views, on my top ten reasons to vote for someone.
As times have changed, so have some of the things that I consider important, but my core values are the same; one thing that has come in, and slowly over the years worked its way to the top of my list, is a candidate's views on shooting and rural affairs. These two issues form the basis for a candidate to get my vote and to a certain degree they go hand in hand, for most shooting is undertaken in the outdoors, and the outdoors (the countryside) is what we need to protect to continue to shoot.
Over the years successive governments, from all parties, have imposed more and more onerous restrictions on the civilian ownership of firearm's and invariably in the name of safety. This is despite the fact that any sort of injury or fatality is almost unheard of by those within any of the shooting sports, legally possessing such firearms. That is not to say they never happen, they do, but they are so rare that when it does happen the main stream media is all too keen to exploit the situation in an effort to get even more restrictions on ownership. With the removal of handguns for any and all purposes, though here in the U.K they were sporting only, no right to self-defence here, you would be forgiven in thinking that death by hand guns would be zero, and yet the last figures that were available to me showed that there were 39 deaths, and over 150 non-fatal injuries, solely down to hand guns. When you look at the figures for legally held firearms, this figure drops considerably to 15 deaths, with less than 50 non-fatal injuries. But even this figure is misleading, as the government includes in these figures, but without breaking them down, suicides, members of H.M. forces killed or injured whilst not on active duty, and shootings by the police.
With this skewing of figures, shooting and the shooting sports need to have informed politicians at every stage and level of the political process to argue our case to enable us to continue to undertake our chosen sport. The European elections are no different, there are those across Europe that are pushing for stronger regulations, and one or two that advocate that only the army and police forces have firearms. From a shooting perspective there are groups all across Europe that are busy working hard to help protect our sport; but this will count for nothing if the elected officials in the European parliament, or the house of commons will not listen, or enter into a dialogue on the issue.
So in these European elections get out and "Vote Your Sport", then once you have, remember what you did, for the next 2 years are full of elections, local elections, parish elections and finally the general elections, they all need your vote to stay in power. And remember, whoever you vote for, they are there to work for US, and not the other way round.