Thursday, 31 July 2014

Power is control.

Well there are two things that have me jumping up and down at present, but whilst the subject matter is different, the reason is the same, the people with the power are the ones who decide, or control, what we say or are told.

In the first instance the good old BBC interviewed Olympic champion shooter, Peter Wilson, for their flagship countryside and rural affairs program, Countryfile, and according to him, his views were misrepresented in the final edit which was transmitted. To read his comments take this link to ShootingUK.

In the second instance, the power lay in the hands of those in charge of Facebook. A 19 year old from the U.S.A, Kendall Jones, went with her parents on safari to Africa, and whilst there she shot and killed a number of legally hunted, licensed game animals. Being a member of the technology generation, she wanted to share pictures of her trophies with friends and family. Now, we all know there are a small number of vociferous anti-hunting and shooting individuals around the world. This small but very active group lobbied, (yes that's right lobbied, see my previous article on this subject) Facebook to have the pictures, that they deemed offensive removed by the owners and operators of Facebook, which they duly did, bowing to this pressure.

This same group of self-righteous, anti-hunting individuals set up a Facebook page calling for anything from rape, up to the murder of Kendall Jones, and the members of her family. The response of Kendall and her family has been to contact Facebook and try to get this insidious web page removed. The last information we have pertaining to this story is that the Facebook Management are looking in to it. It would appear that Facebook do not have a problem with individuals or groups inciting possible murder, but do appear to show the same tolerance of a young woman taking part in a legal and licensed hunt.

The upshot is that those who are in control of the press, control what we read, or their own version of what they wish for you and me to read. These same individuals or groups will also set themselves up to be arbiters of what is right or wrong despite what the law s of the land may be.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Guns on T.V.

Whilst there are a few days left of the Commonwealth Games, the shooting sports so far have fared poorly in the coverage assigned to them over the period to date, this combined with little or no notice that an event would be televised, has left many looking on the inter-net to watch the stages and finals. This is in marked contrast to many of the other sports being covered which have been shown, then repeated on a number of occasions. You may almost think that the media in control of this event does not want the Nation to see people shooting in an organised, controlled, and positive way.
But just in case there are some people out there who may have watched the skeet, air rifle target, 50metre pistol, prone rifle and 3 position rifle shooting to name but a few, and thought "well that is well organised event with responsible people using years of practice and training to achieve sporting success for their respective country. Perhaps I have been misinformed about shooting and those who participate in the sport." Well just in case there are some people out there who have thought like that, channel4 has an antidote, already receiving more air time in the form of trailers (personal opinion, I was looking for the sports coverage without luck. I was not looking for the trailers but have seen them on a number of occasions.) They are pushing their latest expose on guns and firearms ownership. I have contacted channel 4 for a transcript of the programme along with sources they have used to obtain their information, at this time I have not received a reply from them.
From the information they have placed upon their web site, it would appear to be yet another out pouring of misinformation and anti-(fill in the group) propaganda. A brief synopsis of the programme can be found HERE. I would not be surprised to find contributions to the program from the likes of Michael Moore, Michael Bloomberg, the Brady campaign, and many other anti gun individuals and groups.
We will have to wait until 10p.m on the 31/07/2014, on channel4 to view the programme, but do not expect to see shooting, guns and gun owners portrayed as "normal". I have no doubt from the information currently to hand that this will be yet another snow job, using smoke and mirrors, to make all legitimate shooters appear to be dangerous, and irresponsible. Of course I could be wrong!!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Vote in BBC Countryfile poll on shooting.

Vote in BBC Countryfile poll on shooting
Following BBC Countryfile's report last Sunday into The Value of Shooting - the most extensive research ever carried out into the economic, environmental and social contribution of shooting to the UK - the programme's website is carrying a poll which asks:
Click on the heading link above to visit the poll. Take careful note of how the question is worded and vote Yes to endorse the shooting industry's positive impact on wildlife.
If you missed Countryfile last Sunday you can catch up on BBC iPlayer here until next Sunday:
You can find more details on the Value of Shooting report on the BASC

Monday, 7 July 2014

More media ignorance

It's bad enough that the media is ignorant on shooting and the shooting sports as a whole, and it would appear that every time they, the media, open their collective mouths they put their foot in it. This does not however prevent them taking the moral high ground, and being judge, jury, and executioner.

In yet another case of lazy journalism, a term used in its loosest sense, the American mass media has again jumped on a band wagon in an effort to not only demonise shooting but also a 19 year old student. What heinous crime had this student committed, well she, along with her parents, spent their money on a trip to Africa to go on safari. When the student returned home, or maybe beforehand, I do not know for sure, she posted pictures on her Facebook page. Facebok after receiving complaints from anti-hunting and animal rights groups, removed most of the pictures from this student Facebook page, without her permission.

Rather than the media being concerned at the abuse of freedom of speech, a right they wield every time they are accused of a legal infraction, they used the opportunity to push their anti-hunting stance. In area where the media, on the whole, refuses to be educated, they reported that endangered animals and wildlife were shot. This was and is wholly inaccurate. A link, for as long as it works, to an item on this issue in more detail can be found HERE.

From the perspective of those involved in conservation and management of nature and wildlife, there are certain truths that have to be addressed. The countries where these legal hunts occur receive large amounts of financial income from wealthy hunters around the world.
These countries are all too often too poor to provide financial resources to help protect, monitor, and track these animals, or to provide medical assistance were possible. The income from these legitimate hunters is also used to help finance the authorities who try to protect the wildlife from poachers, [animal rights groups often identify these people as illegal hunters, one assumes so that word hunter becomes synonymous with the word illegal] an immensely costly undertaking, which has to be maintained all year round.

The hunter also aids and assists with the necessary cull of animals in order to keep the breeding stock healthy, and to remove the sick and elderly animals in an effort to prevent undue suffering. These actions could be undertaken by the state, but in the countries where health care for human population is almost non-existent, the state could ill afford to underwrite such an expense. In the cases where there is meat fit for consumption by the local peoples, this hunting supplies an additional source of protein in the form of the meat from the animals, little if anything is ever thrown away.

In wealthier countries where hunting is undertaken, the hunter also provides a vast amount of financial assistance in the protection and conservation of the respective countries wildlife, for it is an inconvenient truth that hunters and conservationism go hand in hand. The hunter does not want to obliterate either their chosen game or its habitat, it's beholden upon them to ensure that there is game and habitat for tomorrow, and in the years to come. Whilst these countries may have the finances available, they more often than not, do not have the will to undertake such house-keeping activities; preferring to support the mass urban populace, who have little if any understanding of the management requirements to keep this green and pleasant land a viable place for food production, and for nature to exist.

The animal-rights and anti-hunting groups are conspicuous by their absence when it comes to assisting in these areas, preferring to attack the obvious target in an effort to get as much coverage and exposure for their group as possible. In recent months there have been high profile instances where animal rights/anti-hunting groups have fallen at the Public Relations fence. In the UK, the R.S.P.C.A has lost income and support from the public all because of its attitude to promoting prosecutions of either groups or individuals, rather than on protecting animals.

In the U.S, Dallas Safari Club held an auction to hunt a rhino, this was a legal hunt, with all necessary paperwork and authorities well aware of the situation, and once again the animal to be culled was identified. If the hunt was not successful no other animal would be culled, then undoubtedly, another auction would be held, raising more money for the wildlife protection body. The D.S.C auction raised in the region of $600.000 on this one item. The animal welfare group's response to this was to contact lawyers in an effort to prevent either the hunt or the importation of the subsequent trophy. The cost of this legal action, well there are no figures available at present, but from similar types of actions undertaken by these groups it will be in the area of $500,000 - $750,000.

So all the time there are people like Kendall Jones and her family, prepared to pay large sums of money to undertake what the state cannot, there will be wildlife for hunters with either a rifle or a camera to shoot all across the African continent. Closer to home, small game shooting from Lands' end to john O'Groats, will continue to subsidise the state, in every effort to keep the countryside we know and love a pleasant place to be.