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View Diary: An aristocratic gundog – the English Setter (29 comments)

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  •  If you think THIS isn't PC.. (8+ / 0-)

    ...wait until I get to the Gordon Setter ! :)

    'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

    by shortfinals on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:06:03 AM PST

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    •  Youre the person to ask (5+ / 0-)

      The British people have some kind of relationship with guns which is now being loudly debated in other places. I'm not asking you for any political statement, just wondering what your experience with guns was growing up, what the average Brit knows.
      Not trying to put you on the spot, just trying to gain perspective. Say as much or little as you want.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:13:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Difficult to summarise, since there are MANY. (7+ / 0-)

        ...experiences, AND it is all bound up with CLASS.

        Looking back over the 20 century (and yes, I was born in the first half of it) the average member of the working class never even SAW a gun, unless they 'joined the colours'. Despite the fact that you could walk (prior to WW1) into a number of high street stores and buy, say, a C96 Broom-handle Mauser (as young Winston Churchill did, and used it in the last British cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman), the simple fact was you could not AFFORD a gun!

        Shotguns were, and are, a working tool on a UK farm. Much more than that, a fine Holland & Holland 12 bore indicates class, money and power! You were a landowner, owned massive acreages of grouse moor, woods full of pheasants and meadows where hares ran. SO, access to guns was restricted by both class and money.

        Rifles? Unless you were a rich aristocrat in Scotland and could hunt the red deer - no need of them (save for HIGHLY organised, and class-ridden shooting competitions at places such as Bisley)

        The criminals? They had a few guns, but they were not common.

        Why this indifference? Britain is an OLD country, there is NO wild frontier, or large open spaces. The last wolf in Scotland was killed in the 17th century, and the last brown bear even earlier. There are NO big cats. So..a tamed land, with settled boundaries, and no disputes..and had been for a THOUSAND years.

        I have direct experience with (and decent ratings on) the Enfield L1A1 SLR 7.62mm rifle, the 9mm Browning L9A1 automatic pistol and a slew of other weapons...I think you can guess how I got that!

        I know guns, have used guns, and have laid them down, because I no longer need that kind of firepower. This AGAIN is a typically British reaction.

        We have had our Sandy Hook - see Dunblane, Scotland (also the appalling incident at Hungerford, when I was living at Swindon). These occured in what was basically, an 'unarmed' nation with LIMITED access to both long guns and hand weapons.

        After these tragedies, the Government of the day decided NOT to make it easier to get weapons (armed guards in schools, etc) but to swing the pendulum the other way - mostly REMOVE weapons from a society where they were not common, anyway.

        Basically, it worked. This is because the average Brit only sees a weapon when he/she goes to an airport!

        It would NOT work in a country where there are as many guns as people, nor where there are wild places, nor where there is not a strong CLASS/wealth barrier to obtaining guns, nor where the criminals (prior to the rise of drug gangs) are not armed (neither are most of the Police)

        I am sorry, if I have gone on rather a long while, but I thought it important to show the differences between the society in  a 'young & big' country, versus that in a 'small & old' one!

        'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

        by shortfinals on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:14:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks a lot (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shortfinals, KenBee, Joy of Fishes

          I respect your views, just wanted to get your opinion

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:25:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problem! It is a VERY complex.. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, Joy of Fishes, exlrrp

            ....situation. Each country has their own - peculiar - set of problems, with their own solution. What works in Australia doesn't work in the U.K., what works in the U.K. doesn't work in the U.S.A.

            It is strange how much is determined by geography and biology - not politics (wide open spaces, predators in the food chain, etc)

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:40:22 PM PST

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            •  I grew up with guns in the house (3+ / 0-)

              My father had several, including an M1 Carbine, a .45 Model 1911, a Luger and a P38 that he'd gotten in WWII. (I have these now) He was an infantry  officer, ultimately a company commander, in europe, coming in right after the Bttle of the Bulge.
              A Texan, guns just caame naturally to him. We never were allowed o go into his gun cabinet. he showd us basic gun safety and taught us how. Later, when I Was in the Boy Scouts, we learned more about gun safety nd got more prcctice.
              I would say this was not untypical for a boy of my generation---almost everybody I knew's dad was in the service.  I always knew I'd be a soldier, it was Rites of PAssage in America when I was growing up.
              While in the Army for 3 years, 1 year in Vietnam I was exposed to w whole variety of guns. Later in the lrrps, I was exposed to a variety of exotic guns---you'll know what it is and I believe this is historic:  may be the only photo of a Vietnam GI you'll ever see holding one.
              I'm not going to tell you what we used it for, but we did use it.
              I'm sure you can tell there's a wide variety of opinion on guns and the military here.  American go the whole spectrum from Guns are Great to Absolutely not.
              I personally am quite cynical about the 2d Amendment---think its an anachronism and probably not the best thing for America. But it is there and while its there, I take advantage of it.  No sense letteing the conservatives be theones with all the gunss, say I.
              I'm collecting WWI bolt action rifles, just got an SMLE in great condition.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:04:42 PM PST

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              •  Know exactly what it'll never need .. (0+ / 0-)

                ...eardefenders on the range, just MASSES of 9mm. I've shot its twin...not saying where.....Kosmail coming!

                Hope you got either a British or Australian SMLE, although likely you picked up a Savage-built. More details in the Kosmail



                'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

                by shortfinals on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:03:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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