More shock horror
Shooting’s ‘favourite ambassador’ has found yet another way to turn positive facts into negative news... Adam Smith finds the BBC up to its old tricks again
In a startling exhibition of highly paid and award-winning journalism, which sent a shockwave of horror and revulsion through the population, the BBC has recently been able to reveal that more than 300 under-13s not only have legal access to guns but hold certificates issued by the police enabling them to do so. Yes, that’s real guns, the same sort that simply touching would make any decent, sensitive person come out in hives and require urgent counselling.
It’s not really investigative news of course, not in the accepted sense anyway, because it’s common knowledge available to anyone who might want to look. But it is true, so that makes it significant.
Naturally, the story was initially published in The Guardian – since little or nothing that’s presented as news by the BBC doesn’t start life within those least read pages of the big national newspaper with the smallest circulation in the UK – but Auntie’s there to make sure the audience goes well beyond those few thousand sales, many of them to north London’s liberal elite, including the BBC which spends £2,500 of your licence money every week helping to prop the title up. Anyway, back to the news.
Apparently, we are told, well over 3,000 under-18s possess Firearms Certificates (sic) and of these, 327 are 13 years old or younger, with the highest concentration of such potential terrorists to be found in Devon and Cornwall. The Beeb being the Beeb, they don’t appear to make any distinction between FAC and SGC, but that’s of minor significance when you live in Islington and each and every gun is a vile, menacing and unforgiveable accident waiting to happen. And in the hands of children, too.
I know, it takes you aback, doesn’t it? But thank heavens the BBC is there to keep us informed, both nationally and on local TV together with their associated text pages, of the dire and imminent threat to national stability,
‘Why not be positive and point out that giving some children the privilege of owning a shotgun or a rifle can be immensely good for their character?’
coupled with damage to immature minds beyond calculation.
Of course, the question we would tend to ask is: why? Why make an apparently alarmist issue from such an easily confirmed fact? Why not be positive and point out that giving some children the privilege of owning a shotgun or a rifle can be immensely good for their character, and, above all, their sense of responsibility? Why not make clear that such children learn patience and respect, that their awareness of safety both for themselves and especially for others is heightened to a far greater degree than it would be in practically any other sport? Or that, since any of these children younger than 15 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times when using their gun, the lessons are seen to be learned. By law.
You might have thought that something providing such tangible benefits among the young would be hailed as a prime example of a mature society, a society where it is possible and permissible for its youngest members to be trained and trusted to handle what are potentially dangerous tools (in the wrong hands) but are in fact handled with confidence and respect by the right hands. Plus, at the same time these youngsters are being taught improved hand-eye coordination, reflexes, reaction times, stamina and fitness. Sounds like common sense to us, of course, but then outside of The Guardian’s brainwashed readership we would not expect it to be an issue.
So, why does the BBC choose to make it one? Because children legally owning and using guns doesn’t suit the agenda. They should be watching cBeebies, glued to Facebook, texting Jeremy Corbyn, following Emmerdale and Eastenders – doing all the right, healthy kiddy things.
Shooting is just a toffs’ murderous pastime. The only purpose of a gun is to kill wildlife – as that popular Countryfile hero Tom Heap, whose knowledge of the countryside puts him firmly in a class of his own, put it so succinctly while waving a side-by-side at the camera.
End of story. Next fake-news report please!
Something entirely different…
On a more relaxed and rewarding note, I was thinking the other day about some of those little one-off events that keepers tend to experience, simply by being out and about at all hours and, above all, being quiet in the process. Although, just to confuse the issue, this one happened right out in the open, on the main drive in front of the Big House. I was walking past the house and I recall seeing a dabchick – a Little Grebe – pottering along on its stumpy little grebe-y legs in the middle of the road. I thought it must be a young one, but its bill was dark and it was fully coloured in chestnut, tans and blue-greys, so it was really quite grown up. It was obviously not old enough to have developed a fear of humans though, because I simply picked him up. I know he was a him because the female is much plainer, almost dowdy, but don’t blame me for the lack of equality. Anyway, as I say, I picked him up and the little bird sat in the palm of my hand like a mini cottage loaf with a beak, which he used to dib – or should that be ‘dab’ – away at my fingertips. Not spitefully or aggressively, just in a sort of ‘what if I tap on this?’ sort of way. Quite fascinating.
How he got there was a mystery. He’d probably flown, of course, but he must have been a couple of hundred yards from the moat around the Big House which – like any well-dug moat – has steep and sheer sides. I didn’t know enough about Little Grebe’s abilities on the wing, although if it was anything like his walking style you could see why he was a water bird. That still didn’t explain why he should choose to be walking in the middle of a hot, dry road, some way from water.
Whatever, by continuing my walk, with LG continuing to batter in an entirely friendly way at my fingertips, I would reach two lakes a couple of fields away in just a few minutes. Either of these would prove easier to relaunch his career, and once there I could give him the choice of the deep and shaded carp lake, or the open and shallow Top Pond dug for skating back in 18-somethingor-other.
Reaching the larger water first, LG made his choice by giving a little wriggle. Up ‘til then he had sat perfectly happily in the palm of my hand, simply content to live up to his name by dabbing away for a good five or more minutes. He even had the good grace to spend all that time without leaving a small deposit, which was thoughtful of him.
So I crouched down by the water’s edge, put my hand on the ground, opened my fingers and he wobbled away into the water without a backward glance. Swimming vigorously for a few yards, he plopped out of sight, re-emerging – as any self-respecting dabchick would – a minute or so later and many yards away from where I stood, watching.
I can remember every moment of that little bit of communing with nature – though it was almost 40 years ago – but these things can happen when you live, quietly, in the country.
Read the articles online: www.bbc.co.uk/news/ uk-40519674 www.theguardian.com/ uk-news/2016/jul/01/ hundreds-of-under-13s-inengland-and-wales-haveshotgun-permits ‘I picked him up and the little bird sat in the palm of my hand like a mini cottage loaf with a beak, which he used to dib away at my fingertips’
Youngsters under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult when shooting
Shooting sports encourage responsibility, coordination and awareness of others
Being out in the countryside is a sure-fire way to encounter interesting wildlife