Shooting sports may not be as popular as football or baseball, but they’ve been around for a long, long time. Not just here in the United States, but all over the world. The popularity of these sports is part of why so few countries actually have a real and total gun ban. Sports and hunting are considered ways of life for so many people.
One country with a history of shooting sports is the United Kingdom, believe it or not.
However, it seems the media there is absolutely in an uproar because children have gotten licenses to shoot.
The Gun Control Network said allowing children to use powerful weapons, such as shotguns, is “absurd” and warned that weapon security cannot be guaranteed with youngsters.
But the British Association of Shooting and Conservation says teaching children how to enjoy the benefits of responsible shooting is to be encouraged.
At the end of March, 12 children aged under 18 in Greater Manchester held certificates granting them permission to use shotguns or firearms, according to Home Office data.
They were among 7,114 people in the area permitted to use the weapons.
There is no minimum age to hold a shotgun certificate in England and Wales, but a child must be over 14 to have a firearm certificate.
The figures show 11 shotgun and four firearm certificates, granted by Greater Manchester Police, are held by youngsters aged between 14 and 17 – some of whom could hold both types.
What’s weird is that these are certificates allowing them to use a firearm. It’s not about whether they can walk into a gun store and buy a fully automatic rifle or anything. No, this is basically allowing them to slaughter animals, engage in shooting sports, or kill vermin. That’s it.
It should also be noted that this is one of a number of similar stories tailor for various regions in the UK. In other words, someone got the total number of kids with these certificates and broke them down by region, then fed the numbers to the media. This generally only happens when people think there’s something horrifying about what transpired.
But what exactly is horrifying about kids shooting target clays or punching a bullseye into paper? Absolutely nothing.
Yet the UK has gotten so completely hypersensitive about guns that even uses that should be non-controversial are now controversial, especially if youth are involved.
Meanwhile, summer camps feature gun ranges here in the United States.
While that’s true, though, there are people in the United States who look at youth shooting the exact same way as the UK media apparently does. They’re completely incensed that anyone would dare put a firearm in the hands of a supervised and properly instructed child that they’d love to make it illegal.
Remember all those who want to recreate the UK or Australia’s gun control laws here in the US? A lot of them will also be the people who decry kids being allowed to use a firearm at any time in their lives.
But why is this a problem? After all, if these gun control laws work in the UK, then what’s the harm?
The problem is that kids who grow up shooting tend to become adults who shoot. They’ll fight to keep shooting sports alive, which is where the real problem is.
There’s not much we can do about this in the UK except point and laugh at the hysteria.
What we can do here, though, is take our kids shooting. Saving shooting here is just as important.