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Olympic Protest?
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Bonzomatic



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Location: North Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Olympic Protest? Reply with quote

Does any one know if any sort of public protest has been discussed or is in the planning stages in order that U.K shooters can demonstrate what a debacle the pistol shooting events will be?

Talk was made of this several years ago whilst mounting a Gentlemanly and dignified protest at The Commonwealth Games at Bisley. Prince Andrew stopped and talked to the protesters outside Bisley Camp much to the annoyance of local plod and his personal detective!!
Our shooting organisations appear to be all "old boy network" furnishing their own interests and telling us to write to our MP's...we all know that is a total waste of a stamp.

I would like to see that smug little grin wiped off Coe's face when a true ex British Pistol shooter tells the World Media how the draconian government(s) have reacted to a once legitimate, well regulated and peace full sport.

A major peacefull protest would certainly stretch the resources of the Constabulary and hopefully several thousand shooters would certainly attract media attention.
What say you?
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JonathanL
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Joined: 02 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made my views on this subject known on here for ages.

Protests do not work; petitions do not work; the shooting organisations do not work; whining on internet discussion boards does not work.

The only thing that can possibly work is more shooters! If we have more shooters - many more shooters - then everything else is quite irrelevant. Politicians will do anything which means they don't loose their seat. If voting to ban pistol shooting meant that the politician in question would have lost his seat then he wouldn't have voted for it. Obviously there are exceptions but they are very few and far between.

J.
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cybershooters
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Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the only two things that work are more shooters and people actually writing to and seeing their MPs. If you learn nothing else from 1997, learn that.

However I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a few people with placards at an Olympic venue or two, however the police planning for the Olympics is pretty intense, don't be surprised if a detective from NCIS drops by to question you if you plan something like this. Make absolutely certain you check with the Met before trying it, they are not taking the Olympics security lightly.

It might start a conversation about the subject, the problem is that the shooting organisations have somewhat undermined it by pushing for section 5 authority for Olympic competitors which has been granted.

I'm not one of these "if I can't have it they shouldn't either" people (because the more people who have it, the more likely everyone else is to get it), I just thought that wasn't the correct strategy to pursue, I thought pushing for a national pistol training centre in NI made more sense because it would have a lasting legacy that the Olympic shooting venues won't, but who am I at the end of the day.

So... who wants to do it and when and where?
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JonathanL
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cybershooters wrote:
Well, the only two things that work are more shooters and people actually writing to and seeing their MPs.


I take the point but the bottom line is that if ther MP in question thinks he will lose his seat then he won't vote for it. Lots of people see their MP's about stuff all the time but it doesn't necessarily mean they won't vote for him.

If an MP has a majority of say 1,000 and there are 2,000 pistol shooters in his constituency then he's going to loose his seat if he votes to ban pistol shooting. Simple as that. This is an MP who isn't going to vote to ban pistol shooting!

J.
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Paddy



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonathanL wrote:
cybershooters wrote:
Well, the only two things that work are more shooters and people actually writing to and seeing their MPs.


I take the point but the bottom line is that if ther MP in question thinks he will lose his seat then he won't vote for it. Lots of people see their MP's about stuff all the time but it doesn't necessarily mean they won't vote for him.

If an MP has a majority of say 1,000 and there are 2,000 pistol shooters in his constituency then he's going to loose his seat if he votes to ban pistol shooting. Simple as that. This is an MP who isn't going to vote to ban pistol shooting!

J.


Yes, but he will probably have 3 or 4 thousand dole scroungers, single mothers and ignorant Sun readers who can be conned in to supporting him with the promise of more handouts.
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JonathanL
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddy wrote:
JonathanL wrote:
cybershooters wrote:
Well, the only two things that work are more shooters and people actually writing to and seeing their MPs.


I take the point but the bottom line is that if ther MP in question thinks he will lose his seat then he won't vote for it. Lots of people see their MP's about stuff all the time but it doesn't necessarily mean they won't vote for him.

If an MP has a majority of say 1,000 and there are 2,000 pistol shooters in his constituency then he's going to loose his seat if he votes to ban pistol shooting. Simple as that. This is an MP who isn't going to vote to ban pistol shooting!

J.


Yes, but he will probably have 3 or 4 thousand dole scroungers, single mothers and ignorant Sun readers who can be conned in to supporting him with the promise of more handouts.


It was only a very simple example I gave. It's how the electoral system works. If an MP is elected with a particular majority and there is another community of voters which amount to his majority plus some more then said politician starts worrying. 'tis the way it has always been. Besides, if that's the case then why didn't he get them last time round?

Yes, it's not quite that simple but its how it works in general. Some MP's may even be prepared to risk their seat on a point of principle but they are very few and far between.

The point that I have made several times regarding the Cumbria thing is that we have seen no proposals to restrict double barrel shotguns. None what-so-ever, nor will we. The main reason being, of course, that lots and lots of people use them and politicians would start loosing their seats if they tried to. Had there been the same number people who owned them as owned pistols or semi-auto rifles then they would have been banned by now and we all know that. It's noticable that the "If it saves only one life it will be worth it" argument seems not to have made an appearance this time round because even if it did (which it won't) politicians will always put their jobs above public safety anyway.

J.
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Paddy



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My remarks were intended to be a little tongue in cheek Smile

I said much the same after Hilsborough "will an MP with a majority of only 2-3,000 dare to criticise the "holy game" when his local premiership ground has a capacity of 30,000?"

My constituency only had a turnout of 65% at the last election which is frightening...

We would be lucky to have 20-30 shooters in a constituency these days, if we could raise 2,000 votes, we would probably be in a position where we wouldn't need to.
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JonathanL
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paddy wrote:
My remarks were intended to be a little tongue in cheek Smile

I said much the same after Hilsborough "will an MP with a majority of only 2-3,000 dare to criticise the "holy game" when his local premiership ground has a capacity of 30,000?"

My constituency only had a turnout of 65% at the last election which is frightening...

We would be lucky to have 20-30 shooters in a constituency these days, if we could raise 2,000 votes, we would probably be in a position where we wouldn't need to.


You'd be surprised how many shooters there are out there. There are 138,728 FAC's and 574,946 SGC's on issue in England and Wales (as of 31st March 2009). There are 573 constituencies which means there are 242 FAC holders and 1,003 SGC holders on average in each one. Obviously it will vary depending on the type of area (rural ones will have more) but Even the City of London force (which covers a tiny area with a miniscule resident population) has 7 FAC's and 31 SGC's on issue.

I think the perception is that there are fewer than there are because shooters don't usually congregate in large groups - target shooters largely only see other target shooters and the same with game shooters with the added factor that they probably only come into contact with a few mates they shoot with. Yes, there is a cross-over but not a lot. The other thing is that shooters don't usually publicise the fact.

I can think of about 6 shooting clubs in these parts and total membership cant be more than about 600'ish and there will be considerable over spill where people are members of more than 1 so at best that will be around 500 people. However, my force area has over 3,500 FAC's on issue so where are all these other FAC holders? Yes, some will be issued to vets, a few will be other obscure reasons such as Brococks and such like but it still leaves a lot of "missing" FAC holders. There are over 9,000 SGC's here abouts as well which is a pretty significant figure.
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Carrot Cruncher



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vast majority of FAC's are issued to quatty shooters, who by and large don't have the slightest interest in pistols.
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JonathanL
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carrot Cruncher wrote:
The vast majority of FAC's are issued to quatty shooters, who by and large don't have the slightest interest in pistols.


I know but it's not just about pistols in isolation. It's about the bigger picture of politicians banning or restricting things. In fact, what you say proves my point very well. There are loads of quarry shooters which is why nothing much is going to happen from a legislative point of view. There are loads and loads of shotgunners which is why shotguns are not going to be banned or restricted. I'll concede that at most they might go to FAC style controls but I think that even that is unlikely. There isn't really any way of wording the law so that the Derek Bird's of this world can be treated differently from the Lord Muck's (and politicians) who feel they have a god-given right to own a pair of Purdey's that they may never use which means that it's not going to happen.

Bottom line remains that the more shooters there are (especially FAC holders) then the more likely it is that pistol shooting will be returned in some fashion or other. Realistically, I personally can't see it happening but we really don't have anything to lose in trying. There are loads and loads of existing FAC holders who could be encouraged to join HO approved clubs. It isn't just wishfull thinking because I've managed to get a few to join mine and they thoroughly enjoy it - we had a chap on Saturday who joined as a result of his mate being a member who was also a quarry shooter for years and years. In fact, I think the new members from ther deer stalking and bunny busting community are among the most regular attenders as they absolutrely love it due to being able to do a lot more shooting than they otherwise would and get to chat to fellow shooters. I'd have to check the records but I think these guys were the only ones who turned up to every single shoot we had apart from one because it clashed with a game fair.

It's also woth mentioning that all thequarry shooters we've had join have, or are, getting their ammunition holdings significantly increased due to the additional shooting they're doing - which is a very good thing!

J.
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cybershooters
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonathanL wrote:
because shooters don't usually congregate in large groups


Actually my experience is more the other way around, shooters think there are more shooters than there are because they congregate at competitions or game fairs. No-one ever believes me when I say there are only about 2,000 FAC holders who have authority for section 1 shotguns, because they only ever see other shooters who have them at UKPSA events.

There's always this "the other person will do it" attitude or as Tim Wander puts it, there's nothing that shooters like to do more than go off into a corner and moan to each other.

The reality is that 75% of shooters who hold a certificate only own one or two shotguns or a .22 rifle for pest control. Frankly politicians will never touch them as you've already pointed out. Or that is the perception among those shooters, more accurately.

"No-one makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he can only do a little." - Edmund Burke.
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Bonzomatic



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the replies. One thing is certainly clear...MP's are a waste of time and space and certainly have no interest in pistol shooting or The Firearms Acts etc. The dedicated amongst us know that they are only interested in their expenses and will not rock the boat for fear of losing out .

It would be a superb show of solidarity if we could muster the many hundreds of shooters that attended the London March back in 1997 to protest at the Olympics. This event is the last chance we have of persuding the masses. A token dozen or so people with placards will do nothing, it has to be big and it has to be organised. From what I can make of it the various shooting organisations have their own agendas, and playing at test cases in the Crown Court. What all that has achieved so far is beyond me. Despite various postings on other shooting sites by various organisations, tea and tiffin has been had at the Home Office but in essence nothing whatsoever has changed regarding our sport, so why don't we as (ex) shooters start to do something about it?
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JonathanL
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bonzomatic wrote:
Many thanks for the replies. One thing is certainly clear...MP's are a waste of time and space and certainly have no interest in pistol shooting or The Firearms Acts etc. The dedicated amongst us know that they are only interested in their expenses and will not rock the boat for fear of losing out .

It would be a superb show of solidarity if we could muster the many hundreds of shooters that attended the London March back in 1997 to protest at the Olympics. This event is the last chance we have of persuding the masses. A token dozen or so people with placards will do nothing, it has to be big and it has to be organised.
From what I can make of it the various shooting organisations have their own agendas, and playing at test cases in the Crown Court. What all that has achieved so far is beyond me. Despite various postings on other shooting sites by various organisations, tea and tiffin has been had at the Home Office but in essence nothing whatsoever has changed regarding our sport, so why don't we as (ex) shooters start to do something about it?


It wouldn't matter how many people we could muster. However many it would be it would amount to mo more than a distraction. At worst we'd just be seen as a bunch of spoil-sports whining rather than actually doing anything to help ourselves.

You ask why we don't do something about it. I've told you what we should do - recruit more shooters. It's not something that is even particularly difficult and doesn't actually cost anything. That is the only thing which will have any effect at all. When it gets to the point an MP starts to worry that a particular section of society is able to influence whether he/she keeps their job or not you'll be amazed how accomodating said MP can be to your requests. As someone has already pointed out on this thread; when an MP with a majority of a few thousand has a football ground in his constituency which holds ten times that then it's not very likely that he'll be pushing an anti-football stance. How many anti-hunt MP's represent constituencies with lots of pro-hunting voters? There is no reason why the same cannot be true of shooting.

J.
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cybershooters
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's more of a "feel better" thing, i.e. it probably won't achieve anything but it you don't do it you'll never know. Like I said, long experience teaches me that contact with MPs directly is the only thing that sways them, a protest of any size will be difficult to organise with the security arrangements that are being put in place.

It's easy to criticise, really from a practical level it requires someone in London to sort out the logistics with the Met and then it's a case of getting everyone to show up. I'm more than happy to help publicise it.

I have to admit I'd certainly feel better doing it even if it achieves nothing.

Who organised the last one, I can't remember it's been so long, I seem to remember Mike Yardley and Albie Fox were involved?
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Bonzomatic



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it was Mike Yardley, and from memory the support of the new founded SAGBNI.

It would be nice if this was organised at club level, the same as we did back in 98. I cannot see why a mass protest on the same lines as we did last time would not make heads turn and make people listen.

I was talking to two of my work mates about shooting after the shock gasp horror headlines last week re the age of SGC's being issued.

One of my colleauges had been connected with the Constabulary for 20 odd years, but what totally astounded me was that neither of them knew that Pistol shooting had been banned in this Country!!!! The conversation continued at lunch time when others joined us, and again to my utter amazement no one knew that pistol shooting was banned.

I wonder if this is general, the Public have just lost interest or totally forgotten...then pherhaps we should give them a reminder.....
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