30.11.07

Guns are designed to kill and usually do.

The story I first noticed in the Newtownards Chronicle and also on the BBC
Peace bird shooting MLA condemned
A Northern Ireland Assembly member has come under fire after returning from a holiday shooting doves in South America.
leaves me wondering if I should contact Jim Shannon about concerns I have about, what might be termed, gun sport. Since moving to the outskirts of Greyabbey over six years ago I've witnessed children, accompanied by members of a shooting club of some sort, shooting wildfowl. I've heard a couple of gunshots which coincided with me seeing a couple of dead hounds thrown into the back of a pick-up.I've seen dogs carrying live birds in their mouths over to the shooters who then clobber the birds to death.
With the recent case of
Fergus Cleary being fined only £5,000 for shooting a five-year-old boy in the head at a school playground near Enniskillen it has made me question. Not only question the judges decision in that case, but to look at what the rules and regulations are regarding these gunmen. How safe are the general public in areas close to where these 'shoots' are carried out. I didn't want to contact the PSNI to ask them as I'm sure lots of them are involved in this type of activity and that I wouldn't like to be accused of wasting police time. So I contacted the Health and Safety Executive.
A guy from the Health and Safety Executive sent me copies of the information they have available for gamekeepers and using guns...
Employers and people who ‘conduct an undertaking’ involving the use of guns have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to take all reasonably practicable measures so that no-one is put at risk. In this sense an ‘undertaking’ does not necessarily need to involve employment or commercial gain. The duty may extend to a wide range of individuals, including farm staff, gamekeepers, beaters, pickers-up, drivers, guests, volunteers and members of the public.
Articles on the leaflet included advice about...
  • What the law says about guns
  • Training and supervision
  • Before you use a gun
  • Passing a gun to a companion
  • Using a gun
  • Carrying guns
  • Obstacles and difficult terrain
  • Ammunition
  • Storage
  • Shooting
  • Organised events
  • Vehicles
  • Hearing protection
  • Clay pigeon shooting
It was reassuring to read...
Remember above all else:
Guns are designed to kill and usually do -
SO NEVER POINT ONE AT ANOTHER PERSON
As most of the shoots are normally on Saturdays I wonder are those that are involved aware that, as the leaflet advises...
You need good judgement and reactions - that means being calm and your senses not dulled by fatigue, alcohol or drugs.
Do the relevant authorities ever check that these gunmen's senses haven't been dulled by alcohol? I wonder are gun licenses even checked. What concerned me the most was reading, what the guy from the Health and Safety Executive quoted to me on the phone...
Remember shotgun pellets can travel 300 metres and a bullet from a deer rifle 4 km.
I've been within 4 km of a shoot and don't tend to wear bullet proof clothing, but keeping my fingers crossed seems to have worked so far.

What would you advise?

3 comments:

potdoll said...

stay in bed

Old Knudsen said...

I wouldn't worry about shotgun pellets too much at that range and I doubt they use powerful rifles for birds. On private land they can shoot (with permission) what they want.

A bullet tumbles the further it goes and at 4km it would leave a very large hole in a person, sleep tight.

CyberScribe said...

OK then, I'll stay in bed and keep my windies shut :-)