So the latest media storm is over the idea that under tens can have a shotgun license, in one of the reports it even being reported that one was issued to a seven year old.
What depravity! What stupidity! What NONSENSE!
Yet again we see public opinion being formed through BAD and LAZY journalism.
Sure it is an attention grabbing headline and yes, I would agree that on reading it you could be forgiven for an outburst of moral outrage. But STOP. Wait. Think.
The gun licensing authority in this country is not run by morons, it is not run by Sarah Palin-esque ‘guns at any cost’ politicos. It is run by peoples who’s professional livelihoods depend on sound judgements.
The press and most politicians however represent an urban mindset that is almost wholly out-of-touch with rural life.
While it would indeed be stupid to hand out gun licenses with primary school milk (yes it still does exist no matter what the Milliband brothers have told you) there may be certain cases where an under-10 could legitimately be a gun user.
In farming communities the family business is a lifestyle not a job, often the children of farming families take on responsibilities within the farm life at a very young age. There may be some criteria in that alone that would allow a child access to aa shot gun in the right circumstances, with the supervision of a responsible adult.
Obviously no-one is suggesting a gun should be there for a seven year old to have access to like his or her fischer-price toys, but with the right supervision there may be a case for supervised use of guns in these circumstances.
Another area wonderfully ignored by the journos is the sporting arena. In 1997 when Tony Blair’s new government bought in the ban on Handguns they systematically eradicated an international sport at which Britain excelled. Of course guns need control, but lazy legislation has meant legitimate gun ownership by careful, responsible people has been banned. If there is a knee-jerk reaction in terms of legislation with regard to these articles we could see the same thing happen to our Clay-pigeon sportsmen and women. After all it is proven that to excel in most sports one usually has to start at a young age, shooting is no exception.
I guess my response to these reports is that we should not take them at face value. Yes, the eye-grabbing headlines sound menacing, but please oh Great British consumer of news – lets not take them at face value.