Tolerance– The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.
Respect– due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.
Liberty-the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behaviour or political views.
In the UK we are often told that as a nation we hold these values in high esteem and are encouraged to apply them everywhere in every walk of life. Indeed they are very laudable principles and I am sure as firearms enthusiasts they are principles many of us live by, an attitude of “live and let live” or a desire to simply enjoy life, enjoy your interests and leave everyone else alone and in turn be left alone.
We are especially taught to have tolerance for other faiths and religions, political beliefs and ideas even if we don’t agree with them. We are equally and rightfully taught not to tar everyone with the same brush when extreme people act in the name of something or someone.
We are also taught to respect other people, regardless of race, colour, creed, sexuality. To roughly paraphrase Dr Martin Luther King people should be judged on the content of their characters and their actions not necessarily on any of the above. Something I totally agree with.
Finally we are led to believe that we live in a nation where people are free to enjoy their life choices and pursue their personal goals and dreams.
But ask yourself one question as a gun owner are these principles applied to you or your community?
The answer is no and they have not been for many decades now.
How many politicians or activists who pay lip service to these principles will apply them fairly and include ourselves?
Almost none and this my friends is the hypocrisy in the UK
Tolerance– many people dislike firearms which is fine although it is often through ignorance that they fear them. However many others display openly ignorance and aggressive opinions about firearms whilst showing no knowledge about the subject matter but calling for tougher controls or bans.
How many times do you hear the words “If you want to own guns so much move to America?” How is this any different from racists who demand people of different cultures “Go live somewhere else”
The simple answer it isn’t and if that is the attitude of anyone reading this then have a good look at yourself. If you were tolerant you simply don’t do something if you don’t like it. You do not force your flawed opinions onto others.
Respect-Where is the respect for our opinions or life choices? Where is the respect for our rights to enjoy shooting sports and firearms ownership peacefully?
We are constantly belittled; Anti-Gunners will often resort to personal insults to shooters rather than attacking the argument. People gloat over suicides and accidents of firearms owners or hunters. People make vile comments wishing serious illness on shooters and hunters. We are called names, mocked and face repeated calls from the ignorant or bigoted to have our freedoms and pass times removed from us by force.
How can anyone take the moral high ground with such an attitude that inclusive of the aforementioned often includes threats of actual violence against firearms enthusiasts?
Liberty- Do Firearms owners enjoy liberty without overly restrictive and often downright draconian laws or impositions?
We certainly do not; we have faced consistent attacks because of the actions of insane individuals, failures of authorities and criminal’s actions. We are not allowed to own pistols or self-loading rifles because of these failures.
We face harassment and restriction every day with ever more authoritarian steps taken to restrict firearms ownership or impose further conditions or costs upon us. Even when there has been no issue from the legal gun owning community the hysteria around crime and terrorism is often used as a backhanded method to introduce further restrictions upon ourselves.
We need to jump through costly hoops just to be able to participate in our hobby or sports, some sports are even banned in the UK. What other sportsperson must do this?
We are held to a higher standard of behaviour than other people and face having our property seized for even the most minor infraction that doesn’t even involve a firearm. For example get into a punch up you may likely lose your firearms licence but if you are that much of a danger why are you allowed to keep your driver’s licence? Why not seize the knife block in your kitchen?
We are often scared to speak out for fear of “rocking the boat” and hoping that “they will go easy on us if we keep our mouths shut”
How many times do politicians say they support law abiding firearms enthusiasts but then turn round and vote for further restrictions on a section of society that is on average much more law abiding than the average citizen or even police officer?
Who else faces such threats? Why is this acceptable towards us but it would not even be considered towards any other minority group?
Do you have these opinions? If so ask yourself “do I know any gun owners?”, ask yourself “do I really know much about this subject?” or do you just go with what you are told to believe without bothering to think?
Finally ask yourself how you would feel to be in a position where people do not understand your perspective and call you horrendous names. How would you feel to live in a world where you are nervous about speaking about your freedoms and you live in wait of the next batch of arbitrary restrictions placed upon your liberty that add no value to public safety but is simple whitewash exploiting the aforementioned ignorance and prejudice?
This ladies and gentlemen is the Hypocrisy in the UK and if anything shouldn’t be tolerated it is this, and I for one would like to see all the so called human rights and civil liberties group stand up for us……