What a stupid episode this turned out to be. I was a keen pistol shooter back in the sixties and seventies but hung up my guns in the early eighties so the legislation hasn’t affected me.
Back in those days I had a Walther .22 hunting rifle with a 6x scope and a silencer. I also had a Smith&Wesson .357 magnum revolver, a .32 Baby Browning, a Walther .22 pistol, a Walther 9mm PPK and a Desert Eagle .44 magnum pistol. I was glad to give them all up, they were costing me a fortune in bullets, visits to Bisley and other clubs, and membership to one in the City of London. People would mutter their score after each shot. I would mutter “10p, 20p, 30p…”.
But the legislation affected many of my friends and I really feel for them.
Many of us come into the sport for various of reasons. I first came into contact with guns when I was in South Africa.
Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen I used to saddle up a horse and spend the entire weekends in the bush, right up to when I left to come to the Northern Hemisphere! A local farmer gave me a small .32 Czech pistol he “won” in WWII to protect myself. I also had a hunting rifle with which I would shoot small game, and then skin and cook for my meals.
I loved guns, not because of what they could do, but because of the way they were made.
I love any item that has been finely engineered. Because a bullet releases so much power, the weapon has to be made with so much precision, and to me, the end product was this very accurately, engineered precision and therefore, feel, of the weapon.
Anyway, shooting is a respectable hobby and before my reader points out Hungerford and Dunblane let me add that in both cases the problem can be laid well and truly at the local police’s door. Both killers should never have been issued with a firearms certificate as they had previously been found to be unbalanced. It was criminal. The only people who benefited by the deaths were the police and politicians who have wanted shooters to give up their guns for years! The shootings gave them this opportunity. Come to think of it, I wonder if….. No, surely not?
About a quarter to a third of guns were held by people with firearms certificates. The rest were held illegally, by criminals. Now, aprat from the police, 99,9999% of all guns are held by criminals, many of whom own fully automatic weapons including Russian machine pistols and Israeli Uzi’s.
So we now have far more illegal guns held, all over the UK, by criminals. Naturally the government won’t do anything about these, far too difficult! They pay lip-service to trying but…
And, if you want to buy an illegal gun? Easy – go to an East End or South London pub; it is only too easy to pick one up if you make your inquiries subtly.
Finally, there is one country where every male citizen, and many females, between 18 and 65, hold guns. Children learn to shoot at fairs and festivals from the age of twelve. All guns are held at home and not in gun clubs. Murder, in this country, is almost unheard of. The country has never been invaded since they took this stance centuries ago.
No – I am not referring to America! Here’s a clue, this country is in Europe and is very mountainous and they are heavily into the banking business.
Which just goes to prove the point made by shooters. It is people who kill people, not guns. People kill people, with guns, knives, blunt instrument, poison, cars – you name it, and you will find a “human” behind the weapon. And to upset Health ‘n’ Safety, it is possible to kill someone, violently, with a pencil or biro, or even a single page of the Guardian or Telegraph newspaper!
PS – Come back Guy Fawkes, all is forgiven!