Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Monday, January 08, 2007

Good News from Blighty for a Change.

I've seen this a couple of places. The TimesOnline is reporting an increase in recreational shooting in England. They're touting it as the new golf, useful for business networking, and (apparently) only for the well-heeled, but note the "and women" line:
Shooting hits spot as networking tool

Richard Woods and John Elliott

Executives and women go for their guns

PUT down those golf clubs and go for your gun: shooting is fast becoming the social networking sport of choice.

A survey of 2,000 companies and 14,000 directors shows that shooting is soaring in popularity. A decade ago, toting a shotgun did not even feature among the most popular recreations listed by company directors. But the survey ranks shooting as the seventh most popular recreation, almost level with gardening.
Oooh! Gardening! Be still my beating heart.
"Though golf remains the directors' favourite recreation, shooting has come from nowhere and continues its rise, despite the current politically correct climate," said Allister Heath, editor of The Business magazine, which conducted the survey.
You say that as though you expect the current "politically correct climate" will change along with global warming.
Nor is shooting's popularity solely down to City bankers blasting off on corporate days out. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) saw its membership rise to 128,000 last year, up from 110,00 in 1996; the number of affiliated syndicates has jumped to 940 from just 370 in 1996.

A recent survey by economic consultants Pacec estimated that 480,000 people now participate in shooting and the sport generates 70,000 jobs. Many of the newcomers are women.

"We have constantly been increasing our membership, it's across the board," said Christopher Graffius of BASC. "It is far more accessible than it was."

It's true, though, that landed gentry and business big hitters still lead the way. The Duke of Northumberland is rated in this month's edition of The Field as "a top contender for Britain's very best all-round game-shot". Michael Spencer, chief executive of the money broker Icap, is also an enthusiast.

Rupert Lowe, the chairman of Southampton FC, is ranked as one of the finest shots in the country. And Marco Pierre White, the celebrity chef, is such an avid "gun", as shooters are known, that he takes out his 12-bore up to four times a week during the season.
Now there's a change. People proud of a "gun culture" across the pond.
But shooting also ranges more widely, partly because farmers have diversified in search of new sources of income.

"Often renting land to a syndicate can be very profitable for them," said Graffius, "so there are more opportunities for syndicates to shoot than in the past."
Economics 101. Until the .gov decides to tax that use exhorbitantly for being "anti-social" or some such.
Others suggest that people have discovered shooting is an easier way to network than golf. "When I play golf, most people go in one direction and I go somewhere else," said Dylan Williams, founder of the Royal Berkshire Shooting School. "The ability to talk to people is negated.

"Whereas here (at the shooting school) you can invite who you want and give them a great day out where they will achieve a great degree of success very quickly.

"People in business say they would shoot even if they weren't very good at it, because of the people they meet."
Or, as one of the guys at my work on a trap & skeet team says, "because it's fun even when you're bad at it."
Baron Phillips, a City PR man and keen gun himself, agrees. "It's become the new networking tool, whether it's old blue bloods or new money.

"In golf, if you're no good it's painfully obvious. In shooting, if you keep missing birds nobody minds, so long as you enjoy the day out in the countryside. There have been stories of groups from American investment banks being sent packing after the first drive of a shoot because they are spending all their time on their mobile or BlackBerry."
Possibly because the Americans over there have become Anglicized?
Others believe the attractions of shooting go beyond the boardroom. Jonathan Young, editor of The Field, said: "It may be down to people moving out to the countryside. Wives join the tennis club and socially they are fixed. Then the boys turn round and say, what are we going to do? And the answer in many areas is shooting."

However, more women are also discovering they like the thrill of firearms. Among them is Caroline Stevens, a divorced mother of two from Hampshire, who took up the sport recently.

"I got hooked when I was on holiday in Ireland and was invited on a woodcock shoot," she said. "It was being up on the open moors, dogs running in the woods, the tension — the whole atmosphere just captured the imagination."

Stevens paid £60 for a one-hour lesson at a clay shooting school — and discovered a lot of other women were also taking up shooting. "They were divorced women and other women with time on their hands, wanting to do something in a mixed atmosphere."
Long, long overdue.
Stevens has since obtained a gun licence and bought a Beretta 12-bore. "I love it," she said.

Campaigners for animal rights are concerned some shoots are so commercial that they have turned into massacres, rather than sport that produces food for the pot. Some 35m birds are reared each year just to be shot.
The animal rights weenies can eat my Birkenstocks. If I owned Birkenstocks.
Snap shots:

People participating in shoots: 480,000

Gamekeepers, beaters, loaders and others directly employed in shooting: 31,000

Jobs supported by shooting: 70,000

Spending on goods and services: £2 billion

A day's shooting for one: £250 upwards

A day's grouse shooting for eight on a top estate: £10,000

A shooting estate in Scotland: £3m upwards

Cost of a gun: a few hundred up to £25,000
They left out the cost and aggravation you have to go through to get a license. And they need to get those prices down!

This reminds me of an earlier report indicating that gun ownership was on the rise in at least one county, only in that case it was rifles, not shotguns. The key excerpt of that piece:
The large increase has alarmed anti-gun charity International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), which called for tighter checks on those seeking permission to possess large numbers of guns.
I hope they choke on this news.

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