Andrew Venables

Who would have thought it?

On New Years Day, if I had told anyone that the world would be in pandemic shutdown on March 24th, I would have been labelled crazy; some sort of Doomsday theorist.

Well, here we are. Lives on hold, economy in deep-freeze, plans set aside, in a family, community, country and worldwide effort to protect us all from Covid 19.

This is the essence of humanity shining through. If we really were just a herd in crisis we would carry on, walking past the fallen, uncaring and solitary in our objectives.

WMS Firearms Training is focused on helping our clients ‘call the shots’: knowing when to get closer, how to make the shot, or how to hold your fire and hunt another day. Humility in the face of nature is priceless. Now is the time for humanity to be humble, in the face of a tiny virus with the power to take our loved ones from us.

We have postponed all non-essential training until our government, their scientific and medical advisors can tell us the road ahead is clear. We wait, patiently until then alongside our clients who are also our friends.

Please, as an extended community of shooters, set aside your own personal interests and focus on the bigger picture. The main event, the only thing that matters, for now, is protecting our community from the spread of Covid 19 by slowing the infection rate. Anything else is a distraction, a potential complication and risk to others.

It boils down to common sense and putting others first. Do you really need to do it? Could it go wrong and require the emergency services? Will you pick up or spread Covid 19, like a snail leaving a trail? Can it wait? Can you do it quietly, without causing risk or fear in others?

If you live on a farm with rabbits, pigeon and deer and you can walk out and shoot, it’s your land and your call and you are blessed. If you have to drive 30 miles to stand in someone else’s wood and pop a squirrel or shoot some pigeons, then you risk too much. Please don’t.

Shooting sports depend on sensible, thoughtful people doing the right things on the correct risk assessments. Taking unnecessary risks on the basis of ‘I am alright Jack, it should be OK’ is not acceptable if you own guns. If we want to keep owning guns, now is the time for restraint, respect, the common good, humility and putting others first.

The ‘Bugger it, I’ll shoot where and when I want’ brigade risk everything; both now and in the future and especially if they boast about it on social media. More vitally, they risk lives in a time of national emergency.

Let’s make the response to this emergency by the countryside, farming and fieldsports communities the one to follow. We are the soil that the nation’s roots grow in. Many have forgotten that and they attack us and our values from all sides. Now is the time to set the record straight.

Be strong, do the right thing and we look forward to seeing you all again when the dawn breaks on a new era. This will change all of us. Let’s make it for the better.

Take care and thank you for reading.

Andrew Venables

CEO, WMS Firearms Training Ltd