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Fire away

My quick scan of this morning’s headlines saw one jump out and bite me. It read ‘Under 10s cleared to use shotguns’. I blinked, and checked the date, but no, April Fool’s still a week away. So I investigated and it’s true. Thirteen children under the age of ten have been given shotgun certificates in the UK within the past three years; the youngest of these children was seven years old. It seems that there is no minimum age in law for applying for a shotgun certificate. The decision on approval is taken by ‘a senior police officer’. The story went on to carry all the usual propaganda in justification. Someone called Steve Bloomfield, the spokesman for the UK’s equivalent of the National Rifle Association, claimed that ‘age doesn’t decide it at all.’ I would like to think that every one of these licensed  mini-shooters comes from a stable responsible family, as Mr Bloomfield seems to claim, but I find myself wondering about the stability and responsibility of any parent who would put a shotgun into the hands of a seven year old.

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