For any legal shooter paying attention in the UK the government has been giving us even more unwanted focus as of late with the “offensive weapons bill”, a bill designed to stop acid being thrown in people faces….yet imagine my shock that legal firearms have been shoehorned into the discussion, and imagine my further surprise when bans were mentioned.
The bill has shown very plainly that those that make legislation feel they can target shooters with impunity, and they can for one simple reason, many shooters sit on their hands and say nothing too afraid to be noticed.
.50cals, Disabled shooter adapted MARS rifles, air rifles, mini rifle ranges, brass and even semi auto 22s have all been brought up during the OWB process. Time and time again those debating have shown little to no knowledge on the subject they are legislating against. Worryingly the lies and exaggerations have also been thick from “experts”.
Shooting in the UK has been dying for decades however we are seeing something happen that needs to continue, some shooters are becoming more vocal, they are organising a fight back, they are countering the anti shooting propaganda with facts rather than feelings, but one thing can be done that trumps all of the above, take people shooting and lately license applications are increasing.
The formula is very simple, one shooter is all well and good but now imagine that shooter takes a friend to try it first hand. The friend loves it (because as soon as you pull a trigger you get it), they in turn change their perspective and with a bit of luck decide to get their own firearm. Now the number has doubled……but what if that friend now takes a friend shooting, then they take a friend, then they take a friend, and so on and so on………what if we all took someone shooting and they loved it enough to get a firearm?
This is how you change the anti shooting perspective so pervasive in the UK culture, that’s how you counter the brainwashing from an anti legal shooting media, that’s how you stop MPs from constantly stripping even more firearms from the law abiding while ignoring the criminal.
Numbers, shooters are voters, the more shooters there are the more clout at the polling booth we have and in turn the less chance an MP will risk their pay check targeting us.
I’ve brought many people shooting and I’ve changed many minds, the simple act of spending some time with friends doing something I love has made a difference however if we all were on the same page we can stop the cancer that is eating away our freedom to do something as simple as firing a round in a safe environment.
If there’s just one thing you as a shooter can do to help it’s this, make a point of talking about shooting, make an effort to get friends and family on board or curious to try it themselves. With a united front we can reverse the decline of shooting sport and in turn start the process of getting sensible evidence based legislation on firearms rather then knee jerk legislation based on feelings.
We are only as strong as our weakest link and united we are a suit of amour. Split we are just a pretender in tinfoil. It’s time we all made an effort.