What is this sport all about?
The sport of target shooting originated in times of great national danger, when patriotic movements formed rifle clubs so that volunteers in local militia could practice marksmanship. It was soon realised that target shooting was also a relaxing and absorbing sport and hobby.
Firearms began to be developed for the shooting range, as much as for the battlefield.
Detached from its military origins, it was found that intense concentration and self-control were necessary to shoot well. The body’s reactions to excitement, fear, anger and all other emotions tend to spoil the self-control necessary and so the more successful target shooters try to block them out.
It comes as a surprise to newcomers how calm and low-key the whole thing is!
Should young people take part?
Almost from the time that they are aware, our children are exposed to film and TV drama, where guns are used to solve problems. Hardly surprising that they are curious about firearms and see them as “power symbols”. They might imagine that target shooting is like an amusement arcade game but with the real thing!
Then they are brought into a target-shooting club and find that there is a very strict code of conduct. They must learn and live by the safety code, or they are shown the door! Perhaps for the first time in their lives, they must act like an adult and assume safety for the well being of their fellows. Usually they rise to the occasion and take a pride in having equal status with adult members.
They find out how much hard work is required to be a marksman, and how absurd are the antics of the Hollywood heroes.
They either stay in the sport and find that they must maintain an exemplary character to be granted a Firearm Certificate, or having “got curiosity about guns” out of their system, they go and do something else.
We act as an antidote to “Gun culture”!