Countrymans Diary

Red tape

This time the thoughts are turning towards red tape and why we do not need anymore.


Why licencing, increased regulation, red tape and registration isn’t the solution.

Today I was driving my car to work and I was getting very frustrated at the amount of bad drivers there are on the roads. People who seem to have no awareness of their surroundings or whose minds on other things to the outright incompetent.

It got me thinking about the comparison that is often made between firearms and vehicles.

There are constant calls for tougher gun laws, more restriction, mandatory training courses; more licencing etc. the list goes on and on. We at Firearms- UK are opposed to any further restriction on gun ownership especially as they often tend to be arbitrary.

Let me compare car ownership so we can perhaps see why such excess is not the best way forward and why it is more often than not about generating revenue and increasing costs to individuals than improving public safety.

40 years ago when my father sat his driving test he simply sat a practical test and was asked a few questions before setting off. 20 years later my mother sat her test which now included a theory test. 12 years ago I sat my driving test which included practical, theoretical and hazard perception. I understand now it has even more elements. Also these days’ people do not get as many categories of vehicle on their licence as 40 years ago. You now have to pay money for more tests to get such permissions despite having sat more rigorous tests than previous drivers. (This its self is an interesting example of the divide and conquer technique applied to many Government policies, allow people to keep their privileges and they won’t bother about the restrictions on new drivers)

So I sat thinking about this, we have increased regulation, increased testing, more technology than ever before but these bad drivers still exist and it is likely only down to the awareness and skill of the good drivers that there are not more accidents and incidents.

It is a reflection of how masochistic society has become that we constantly demand more regulation and less freedom and how something must always be done even if it has a negligible effect on improving safety. It always comes down to ways of getting money out of people’s pockets rather than tackling the root causes of problems.

This attitude is why the shooting community should resist any attempts to making any form of training mandatory and regulated by the Government. (Unless perhaps, they are willing to concede rights to us in other areas). The public are often ignorant and have little clue when it comes to firearms in the UK and the legislation and statistics surrounding them but they will be all too happy to call for more ineffective regulation on the law abiding gun owners

However, too often the shooting community in an effort to show how law abiding we are accepts more regulation, more red tape, more costs and to what effect? IT doesn’t improve public safety it simply helps make shooting less desirable for new people coming into the sport.

The responsible people of society should not have to bear the burdens of the actions of the irresponsible and criminals yet it seems that we often do and it is something that we need to stop. We need to highlight this flaw within society and challenge our politicians and the public to focus on making laws that don’t regulate freedom but tackle crime and irresponsibility.

A perfect example is the so called animal welfare charity the RSPCA calling for tougher restrictions on airguns and mandatory training after an airgun was seized from a man who was shooting pigeons. This organisation recently stated that it is illegal to shoot pigeons and all animals are protected and that anyone shooting them without a licence can be prosecuted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  This organisation clearly has an agenda as it failed to mention that pigeon shooting is covered by the general licences and in many cases is perfectly legal.

One can’t help but wonder if there is someone behind the scenes pulling the strings as one organisation calls for restrictions on dubious grounds then others follow suit, using lies and other methods to mislead the public. Why exactly are animal welfare groups focusing so much on restricting gun ownership when they are rarely used in any form of crime? Have they been infiltrated by anti’s or are they being influenced by others to push a common agenda?

With all this in mind he duty falls on us to educate people and fight for individual liberty and responsibility because it seems not enough people value it or are capable of it anymore and when that desire/demand that we should be trusted goes then often a lot of other rights go with it.

 David, FAUK.

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