Speak up!

Air Gunner - - Your Letters -

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.

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