Celebrating 40 years of Sporting Gun
eading an article in the November 1992 issue of Sporting
Gun entitled, “Times they are a-changing” by wildfowler, Eric Begbie, I was particularly struck by a comment he made. He identifies a “mutual disrespect between ‘country yokels’ and ‘townies’” as a threat to our sport. He goes on, “The battle lines seem firmly drawn with country sports being portrayed as being solidly on one side of the divide. In reality, I suspect that many shooting folk (and Sporting Gun readers) live in towns while, from the opposite view, many country dwellers have little appreciation of our sport.”
To set this in context, Begbie is writing about the threat to shooting by commercialisation and other changes that have affected our sport
Rfor good or ill. This polarisation of “townies” and “country folk” is still very much present today and it is unhelpful. By assuming country dwellers know and support our sport is simply wrong. Many of the farmers I grew up with didn’t have a clue about shooting and weren’t always that keen on it. Conversely, I have met people born and raised in towns who have a great appreciation of our sport and the countryside.
I believe that shooting is a sport for all, whether you alive in the town or country and there shouldn’t be a “them and us” attitude. At the end of the day if you shoot, you are a shooter, wherever you live and we should form a united front against those who criticise what we do.