SPLINTERED WINGS MAKE A BIRD GROUNDED.
Shooting in the UK has been under attack for many decades now by many sides, the culmination of this has been that as a group shooters are extremely splintered and have formed into many sub sections of differing interests. While this seemed like a good way of protecting different disciplines in the past the reality has been very different. Go to any online shooting group and you can see this in action, a younger demographic (this isn’t exclusive of course) that are more internet savvy generally are more outspoken and have a natural inclination to want to promote their passion to the masses.
They have no shame of their sport, actively try to get new people shooting and indeed focus on getting more freedom back, on the other hand you have those who are only too willing to throw others under the bus to protect their own interests – be it semi autos, handguns or more recently simply demonizing firearms for their appearance in order to placate a baying mob of under informed members of the public who are whipped into hysteria by a media with little regard for facts. I myself have fallen fowl of the latter for stating my pro shooting opinion in “pro shooting” groups inhabited by Fudds only interested in protecting their own disciplines, I was banned for being too “confrontational” they don’t like you to speak up or to “rock the boat”.
Far better to remain silent like they did 20 or 30 years ago and just give up “black rifles” so as the mob dies down and leaves bolt action or shotguns alone…………they forget of course that they will never leave you alone. Fear of the unknown is our biggest enemy and it’s our job as shooters to lift the veil for those that know little or nothing about shooting. It’s our job to counter the narrative, to bring new people shooting, to promote the sport and to ensure its survival for generations to come. But how can we do this when there are those in the community actively working against this, that silence the voices willing to be heard, that censor opinion and thought, that work against others in clubs or institutions?
Even some of our so called “shooting personalities” actively denigrate parts of our sport to save their own hides or to ensure further instances of the media contacting them for more paychecks. The beauty of the internet is that you can make a difference as an individual, you can counter the propaganda, correct the mistruths, promote your passion, educate others on firearms and most importantly get more people shooting. Bring your friends and family, if someone at work shows an interest educate them, get more people shooting, applying for licenses.
Double our numbers, then triple, then quadruple……….the more that shoot the more the cancer recedes. If you are in a group silencing others for wrong think then leave, do not give them power. Together as a whole the shooting community can be a strong force but splintered we are weak. You can make the difference but you need to stand up, make your voice heard and so no to fudding in the community. Regardless of age or discipline you need to take a stand.