UK anti-gunners freak over "US-style" gun ranges

UK anti-gunners freak over "US-style" gun ranges
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

In the UK, guns aren’t particularly easy to own. People still do, but they’re restricted and controlled to such a degree that self-defense is difficult at best.

But there are still people in the UK that yearn for their right to keep and bear arms. They’re just too few in number to be politically effective. Yet there are enough to warrant what the media there are terming as “US-style” gun ranges.

And some folks aren’t happy.

Gun control campaigners have blasted the UK government for being “complacent” about the risks posed by new weapons and a rise in US style shooting ranges.

Campaign group Gun Control Network met with Home Office officials last month to discuss the growing craze of practical shooting. It came after a Sunday Mail investigation uncovered a loophole in firearms laws that means some gun clubs don’t fall under the strict licensing requirements.

The Sunday Mail discovered that anyone with a licence for certain types of guns is able to set up so-called “practical shooting” clubs on private land without the need for police, government or local authority permission and licensing.

That is despite members – including those at a Lanarkshire club – using high-powered guns as they move their way around a combat assault course to take out human-shaped targets.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, chair of Gun Control Network, said: “We had a meeting with the Home Office about two major concerns we have.

“One is the emergence of new weapons that have been designed to exploit loopholes in the law that have allowed manufacturers to sell guns that are very dangerous but still legal.

And yet, nowhere in the article is there any mention of there being a link between these ranges and any violent crime.

Funny how that shakes out, isn’t it?

“But Tom, this is in the UK. Why should we are about them getting their knickers in a twist? They forfeited their gun rights ages ago.”

They did. However, this is also the road we might well go down if we’re not careful.

See, there’s absolutely no evidence that these practical gun ranges are hurting anyone. There’s no link to crime or criminal organizations that anyone has found and they’re doing nothing but providing an opportunity for law-abiding citizens to do a bit of shooting.

They’re harmless.

However, they also make anti-gunners uncomfortable. They don’t like that people are able to go and shoot in a dynamic and entertaining way. Possibly because if people become shooters, they might start questioning the gun control on the books there and start calling for a repeal of gun laws.

Even without that, though, these gun ranges represent a problem in their minds, but only because they’re so hoplophobic that they can’t comprehend something that allows people to shoot being allowed to exist.

They want to “other” guns and gun owners. They want them to feel inaccessible and foreign, in part because then people will want to keep them at arm’s length.

These gun ranges represent a threat to that. If people can shoot, they won’t demonize others who do so. That’s scary.

So, they jump up and down with their “how dare you” attitudes and demand action against something that’s hurting no one.

And they wonder why all that tea ended up in the harbor.