Facebook is certainly a useful place to get topics of discussion or indeed find groups dedicated to topics for discussion, and a question was asked by a shooter I’m quite fond of that got me thinking.
I’m paraphrasing here but it was essentially asking if you should as an FAC holder report suspicious behaviour of other license holders to police, if social media posts should be reported if they seem unusual and if it is any of our business at all.
Now this topic is one that always starts good debate and it is one of a delicate nature.
From speaking with groups of FEOs from up and down the UK I have got very many different takes on this conundrum, so I answered the question as best I could from the point of view of UK FEOs.
I was advised that if you see someone acting suspiciously, training for close combat, talking about violence or revenge, seeming unhinged or angry etc that it’s probably a good indication that you should report concerns.
Now this raised a few eyebrows when I put this across as I’m a very outspoken Libertarian and shooting advocate and the issue was raised about practical shooting and how it appears to some like close combat training.
I for one don’t think practical shooting is anything of the sort, it’s a legitimate sport, a very good day out and let’s be honest here, if you used the same techniques you do in practical and tried to translate it to a gun fight you wouldn’t last very long.
However, while practical is a sport and one of the fastest growing disciplines of shooting if you see someone that doesn’t partake in the discipline mag dumping at close range human shaped targets at a range while talking about killing someone, revenge or wiping out (insert group here) then I’d go out on a limb here and say it might be an indication something isn’t right.
Thomas Hamilton after all was seen doing just that repeatedly, yet even after reports to police he was allowed to keep his FAC and we know how that went. His reputation as a Paedo and generally untrustworthy nature was enough to send him over the edge.
The killer in Christchurch was seen doing the same.
Needless to say I have nothing against anyone mag dumping at the range, hell it’s one of life’s great pleasures if you get the chance.
Needless to say I fully support practical and indeed all forms of shooting.
And again I’m not saying any FAC holder should be policing other people’s social media and waiting to report anyone and everyone that disagrees with them on something.
What I’m saying is use your common sense, and if you really, really think someone is gearing up for something that will cost life then raise your concerns.
Otherwise mind your own.
The UK media is already trying to demonise practical shooting so we really don’t need more fuel on the fire from FAC holders. In fact I’ve already written a piece on just that which you can find here.
A topic that will become more prevalent in the coming years will be social media and people with “wrong think” being allowed firearms. You can already see it beginning with the quite unjust treatment of my friend Callum from English Shooting and the willingness of others to turn the knife.
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