October 11, 2005

You Can't Practice (It's the Law!)

Is this for real? This report out of the UK is speculating that Britain's gun control laws might be relaxed just a little bit prior to the 2012 Olympics. Apparently, under current UK law, handguns are outlawed in Britain, even for licensed sport shooting. That means that would-be Olympic pistol shooters have to train in Switzerland.


ken said...

Is that really so bad? As a big proponent of strict gun laws, I don't think the UK is too out of line here. Clearly thay must not have too large of a pistol sport-shooting history and community. And people travel outside their home country to train all the time. Remember that Jamaican bobsled team?

Amateur said...

I assume that handguns are outlawed because they have very few legitimate uses, as British society defines that term. However, I am fairly certain that handguns are not completely and absolutely banned. I suspect that law-enforcement and military personnel can still carry handguns for specific purposes. Isn't pistol sport-shooting another legitimate use?

That's not to say that you would repeal the handgun law, just that you would lay out a very specific exemption for pistols that comply with ISSF rules, and within facilities that comply with strict regulations regarding storage and use of the weapons and ammunition.

As for athletes travelling to train, you are right, this happens all the time, and athletes should be free to pursue their sporting dreams where they want to. But that's not what's happening in this case. Britain's pistol shooters are not free to choose to train in Britain, and the reason is cultural, not practical. For that reason I don't think the Jamaican bobsled team is a good analogy.

Let's see if we can think of another athlete who has been forced to train outside her home country because of cultural pressures. How about Hassiba Boulmerka?

OK, I said that just to get you revved up, ken. It's a desperate bid for more comments. Let's discuss the hypothesis that British pistol shooters are an oppressed minority whos civil rights are being abused.