The shooting community can be a strange place sometimes and to be honest it’s what makes it interesting, but sometimes – just sometimes things happen that shouldn’t, and today shown me once more how true that statement is.
A shooting organisation exists to do one thing, and that’s fight for shooting….. Right?
That’s a logical assessment I’m sure you would agree, you could say it aloud in any part of the community and the phrase wouldn’t be met with scorn.
It’s a given an org that’s paid to protect what it is you hold dear, shooting itself, would not approach their breathern with malice or for purposes of intimidation.
Well, I don’t believe that.
And a good friend of mine and fellow member of the O.R.C Tom Foster has shown me a series of events that I find not only disturbing but shocking from an established and trusted shooting organisation.
I feel in all earnest an apology at the very least from BASC should be paramount, however I will show you the convo provided to me by Tom.
So this is the post in question, quite a normal one at first glance, a job advertisement from a member of BASC and Director of Northern England no less Duncan Thomas.
Now let it be said that I’m not against BASC nor do I have any issues with the directors involved (I can probably say that’s not mutual), I just have a gauge for what I think is fair and right and I take offense when liberty is infringed.
Duncan does good work with BASC, especially online and I give credit where it is due, as an activist he does good work with the things BASC wants to focus on.
But, I’m not going to sit here and just blow sunshine up BASC’s ass either, there has been a lot of ground lost in shooting recently as well as gains for countrysport.
MARS rifles and Lever Release for example, the magazine Tax in NI, the lead shot debacle, the loss of cover for members…… It’s not all been proactive or positive – and that’s just the truth recently in regards to UK legislation.
But I digress.
This is what happened next,
A fair enough exchange at first glance, Tom is evidently frustrated with the organisation as an NI shooter and Duncan reacted in a calm manner. So what could possibly go wrong?
The convo devolved into Tom being challenged in the comments by some “fan boys” and after a few mutual insults that was where Tom left it – Until his phone started ringing.
Tom made it to the phone but it cut off due to bad reception, but when it rang once again it went to voicemail.
A voicemail from the BASC NI Director wanting to chat with Tom over his comments which Tom has said to me left him feeling uncomfortable in the tone.
Tom you see hasn’t been a member of the organisation for a while now so they must have kept his data and accessed it in an attempt to harrass him for critism of BASC on a public forum.
This isn’t OK and Tom has informed me he is taking it further and has released a statement via YouTube.
But more sinister than that was at 23.30hrs Tom’s notification tone came from his iPhone, Duncan had left another reply.
This appeared threatening to Tom and I can’t disagree that it also feels like harassment to me. The 2 directors obviously had a back and forth with one taking the step of actually ringing Tom for a comment online that wasn’t praise.
Think that over.
Late at night, hours from their exchange and with the BASC NIs director ringing Tom’s private number in between, with what was a message which unsettled Tom is not a good look, and Tom is determined to find out how and why his information was accessed for this purpose.
While the thread has now been deleted Tom had already taken the screen shots and had sent them to me.
Yes I made a meme, I know I shouldn’t joke but I make memes, it’s what I do.
The situation is ongoing and I’m sure BASC will want to reach out to Tom or at the very least clarify why it was deemed appropriate or even necessary to ring a member of the public over a comment online on a number he didn’t want them using.
Or why the Northern England director felt it appropriate to reply at 11.30 at night with what confirms to be an indication that the events had been orchestrated, but for what purpose if not to send a message?
This all raises questions that may be uncomfortable for the organisation to answer and I’m assured Tom Foster is taking this further, I have no doubt whatsoever he will as he is a man of his word.