USE OF GUNS IN SPORT

1/9/99
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Most gun control advocates, knowing that a large number of U.S. citizens use guns for sport, publicly claim that they have no problem with people using guns for sport.  But they claim that many types of guns have no value for sport.  In other words, they accept use of gun for sport only as they wish to define sport.  And, given their way, they would eventually allow use of only pea-shooter guns and shotguns only at gun clubs, and only if the guns and ammo are stored only in vaults under armed guards at those gun clubs.  Think they would never go that far?  They have in some of the countries they hold up as models in the gun control debate.

Gun controllers and the public generally think of sport shooting as shooting at a bulls-eye target a few feet away with a gun that makes a little pop when it is fired.  The way they see it, sport shooting could as well be done with BB guns or pelet guns.  Many don't even think of skeet with shotguns, but would acknowledge it if reminded of it.  There are many that won't accept hunting as sport because they look at animals as being people.

Part of the concept of sport is that the activity should involve some degree of difficulty or challenge.  Some hunters, for example, purposely choose to use a handgun for hunting because it is more difficult than using a rifle.  Gun owners often get that challenge by shooting in competition with others or by using guns that are more difficult to shoot accurately, which means (for one thing) larger caliber.

Some of the challenge for some is figuring out how to make a given type of gun shoot as accurately as possible, and personally making the ammunition so that it will be (for example) very closely identical from one cartridge to the next.  Challenge is obtained for some by shooting at long range or in timed events.  In one olympic event, for example, challenge is enhanced by requiring the contestants to shoot after they have exercised vigorously (making aiming more difficult).

People who have a gun for protecting their fellow citizens and themselves know that practice with that gun can mean the difference between life and death of innocent people in the event that they ever have to use the gun for protection.  They also know that they have to think ahead of time about different situations they may find themselves in when that need for protection arises, and that it is much better to actually practice in realistic situations (just as police must).  So, many of them participate in a shooting sport that includes this tactical realism.

So, bureaucrats and others who have never investigated the actual value of various types of shooting (and have usually never shot a gun) are entirely unqualified to say some particular type of gun has no value for sport.

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