On Sunday afternoon I was on my way to the farm where I do my shooting and while travelling down the back roads I came across an old Jaguar XJS that had broken down. There was a youngish guy there, maybe about 25ish, I’m hopeless with ages, and dressed very nicely. Because I’m a nice guy I pulled over and asked him what was the problem, seems the back wheels wouldn’t turn, some differential problem, and he needed to contact a friend to give him a pickup. He couldn’t get a signal on his phone and when I checked mine neither could I. Must have been in a dip or something. So I offered him a lift to a local village where there would be a signal and he could call for help.
As I had a large bag in the passenger seat I picked it up so he had somewhere to sit and took it around to the boot to put it in there. When I opened the boot the guys face turned white. He had spotted the air rifle in its rack. I usually cover it but today I hadn’t. He then decided that he would wait as his pal would be driving down there anyway looking for him. Seems he was already late so any time now. I actually laughed, I couldn’t stop myself, and asked if he was sure. He said he was as he walked away so I dived in the car and off I went.
It was an eye opener. He was so frightened at the sight of a .22 air rifle that he would rather wait for another person to come along and help him rather than trust me. Sure, it was a black assault type air rifle, I just like the look of them OK? The whole episode made me think how much our whingey whiney politicians and others have successfully demonised tools that were freely available and acceptable only a few decades ago. It is the same with smoking, drinking is next quickly followed by fat. I actually thought that ordinary people just took these as political ranting and actually were not bothered because they have no interest. It appears that they are scared wimps and we have several generations of scaredy cats. They actually do believe the hype that politicians say, obviously not every part or he wouldn’t have had a fuel guzzler like a 5.3 XJS. He, like most of us, are hypocritical with our own interests and we all have our sacred cows.
It also made me consider that as well as this, and related, sites I need to try an champion some sort of shooting club in the area. I already encourage my friends kids to have a go with the air rifle and I teach the safety lessons before letting them have a go but that isn’t that often or regular. Plus they don’t want to touch icky things. They want everything pre packed and not looking like an animal. Many actually think that lambs in fields and lambs in the local store are two separate things. The fact they have the same name is meaningless. I even read an article on a friends blog where a grown woman told him to stop killing defenceless animals and get his from the supermarkets where no animals were harmed. I read that with my own eyes. No animals were harmed in supermarket food. Unbelievable from an adult. This is our future, ill educated and dumb people guiding kids to the future. I suspect that as the older folk die off there are fewer and fewer who can bring back the self reliant spirit and advise us how to be self sufficient and prepared for anything that comes.
Yet I know that kids are eager for knowledge and want to find things out for themselves. They may squeal when you talk about preparing rabbits but they watch with great interest when it happens and pretty soon will have a go themselves. It’s the teenagers and older, they seem past learning new things and they either have it by then or they are already wrapped in cotton wool depending on their parents and, a bit, by their schooling.
I wonder how well a shooting club would be received in the community and what legal hurdles I would need to go through to set up such a club? I may put an advert in the local rag and see what sort of response I get before I do anything else. Something else for the list. To create a new generation of people who are not scared of guns buy simply see tools. I suspect the insurance costs and bureaucracy would be too much though.
To top it off, on the way home about four hours later I passed him at the same spot, He was still waiting and he waved at me, I’m assuming as a thank you gesture for my earlier act, so I waved back to say no problem as I drove past. He looked so desperate and lonely as it started to go dark but I knew that he would be unhappy with someone me stopping especially as some rabbits and pigeons were in the bag so I kept going. Maybe I’m not really the good Samaritan I could have been. I hope he wasn’t too frightened with all that uncontrolled nature around there.