Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sport shooting in schools

My main post today is a professional one on another blog, Ships, knowledge & management short term ism.

You will see that it deals with issues that I have dealt with many times on this blog. I do get frustrated at what I see as the short term ism of so many modern management approaches. Often very simple things that can be done to improve performance are ignored because they are seen as unimportant.

Anyway, I wanted to make a brief comment today on shooting in schools. Not massacres, but shooting as a sport.

My old school TAS (The Armidale School) has just won the NSW GPS shooting convincingly after taking out all three competitions, despite cold, wet and windy conditions at the Hornsby Rifle Range. Our sister school NEGS (New England Girls School) sent an eight member team to Sydney for the Fiona Reynolds All Schools Shooting competition. The girls then shot with the boys at the GPS competition, although their scores could not be counted since the GPS is a boys competition.Shooting

The photo is an earlier one of the NEGS girls in training a few years ago.

I had not realised that the NEGS team was the only girls' school sport shooting team in Australia, nor had I realised that gun control regulations effectively prevented most schools from offering shooting as a sport.

I discovered the last because of newspaper stories (I cannot give a link) that in NSW the Government under pressure from the Hunters and Fishers Party is considering easing restrictions to allow more schools to offer shooting as a sport.

I grew up in a world in which shooting was common. This was also a world in which there were shooting accidents, but no massacres or indeed much violence of any type involving firearms. That came later. Hand guns were tightly controlled, but rifles were common. As a small school, shooting was one competitive sport area where TAS could match the bigger Sydney schools. Most of the country kids could shoot.

Looking at the responses to the proposed changes to NSW regulations made me realise yet once more how out of touch I am. While I have done some hunting many years ago, I don't actually like it at a personal level. I don't like killing things for sport. However, I don't object to others doing it, especially where feral animals are involved.

I really can't understand the almost pathological objection to the private use of firearms. I guess its another area where I'm out of touch with the dominant urban middle class group.

We live in a world where, I stand to be corrected on this, the police actually shoot more people now than are killed in shooting accidents. We live in a world where we are constantly demanding more police, tougher regulation, new controls, in the name of community protection. This is also a world in which police stations have become the biggest buildings in some communities. As a mark of change, in NSW in 1924 there was just one CID officer outside of Sydney.

Yet in all this, many of us object to changes to regulations that will allow more schools to offer shooting as a sport. I find this confusing.


This post beat the ABC's NSW Stateline program by twenty four hours. The story is now on-line. It shows the NEGS and TAS shooting teams that I was talking about shooting at the GPS competition at Hornsby. The heads of both schools were interviewed, as was a Greens MP.


Anonymous said...

I used to go with my older brother; shoot to eat sort of stuff. Best fun ever round Lithgow, in all weathers, with a dog and nobody else around. He shot, and we all ate - at least three main meals a week were so provided.

In terms of self sufficiency I've always thought that the inventor of cling wrap has a lot to answer for. I say this after a four day period last week when my valley was without power.


Jim Belshaw said...

The time with your brother sounds fun, KVD. And a big budget help, too.

Now you have me curious. Pls explain the cling wrap.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about 'cling wrap' reference. Should have been 'Glad Wrap'

Family shorthand term for the point at which we stopped either growing our own or purchasing same direct from grower (complete with dirt attached) to simply lining up in the local store to buy stuff - all of which seemed to be wrapped in Glad Wrap.

(I had to consciously replace 'Glad Wrap' in my earlier comment, by the way. A bit like Hoover: generic, until the US invaded our lives.)


Jim Belshaw said...

I always say Glad Wrap! I see your point. We are, I think, our own worst enemies here!

Anonymous said...

Small aside on my brother: Until he fell ill, and subsequently died at the age of 21 from cancer, he was employed at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory after leaving High School. I inherited, long ago now, his two rifles - both of which were manufactured at the LSAF, under his direct running supervision - as was apparently allowed in those simple days.

I've also got (from a few years earlier) both his and my next up brothers' medals issued in honour of their rides on the first electric train Sydney-Lithgow. They were School Captains of Lithgow Primary and High Schools of that particular year.

This was of course the year after Noah demobbed the animals, which we then proceeded to shoot.


Jim Belshaw said...

You must be proud of your family, KVD. Nice point about Noah demobbing the animals.

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