In the February issue, your editorial touched on those of us who are somewhat secretive about our shooting hobby. You were of the opinion that we should stop hiding what we do and proudly ‘come out of the airgun shooting closet’. In essence, I’m in accord with you, but I am aware that the general public often holds us airgunners in quite a low regard, and with some apprehension and negativity, so I’m still wary about advertising my interest in airgun shooting.
I’m 67, a retired general manager and ex- council member - hardly the CV of a potential airgun ‘hooligan’. I live in a small village in quite a rural area where a lot of game shooting takes place, and the sight of Barbour and Hunter clad, shotgun- carrying individuals is commonplace and creates nary a stare within the community, but I can confidently predict that any villager encountering a camouflaged character toting a big-scoped air rifle would not be accepted with the same equanimity!
Now, I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but before placing my subscription for Air Gunner, I checked that it would be delivered to me in an opaque wrapper. Our local postman once told me that he knew what every villager’s hobbies were, just by the magazines that he put through their letterboxes - hence my checking that my airgun mag. would arrive under plain cover. It seems bizarre to take the kind of precautions you would if you were ordering pornography through the post. I have no such reservations about the magazine subscriptions for my other two hobbies, photography and guitars, and I really don’t know what it would take to change my ‘scaredy- cat’ ways, but I do wonder if anyone else acts in a similar fashion? Stephen Hello Stephen, I’m glad my words struck a chord with you. We have every right to proud of what we do. Try talking to a few of your more broad- minded friends about shooting because you may well be surprised at how interested they are. My wife and I feed our guests game at every opportunity and I promise there’s no better way of getting them on our side. Ed.