Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Olympic Shooting: Kids Not Allowed to Watch.

In London, they're going to give away Olympic tickets, except that the kids can't use them to see any of the shooting events.

Sad. Shooting has been part of the Olympics for a long time - I think it trivializes the accomplishments of many athletes: Takacs, Bassham, etc...

The youth ban will anger some elements of the British Olympic shooting establishment which already feels marginalised by Games organiser Locog.

Georgina Geikie, 26, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Olympic pistol hopeful, said she was "horrified", adding: "This is a chance for children to look at guns in a different way. They are taking away the opportunity for the sport to blossom. How do we educate people that it is a sport if they cannot watch it?"

David Penn, secretary of the British Shooting Sports Council, said: "There is no link between Olympic-level shooting and crime. It's like saying that a thief would use aFormula One car as a getaway car."

Christopher Graffius, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: "The Olympics represent the international peak of safe and responsible shooting. Children can see far worse on their TV screens and interact with far worse on their computers."

Many in the sport wanted the 2012 event staged at the national centre in Bisley,Surrey, so it would leave a legacy in the form of new rifle ranges. Britain's pistol shooters complain they are at a disadvantage because gun laws since the Dunblane massacre mean they have to train abroad.

Olympic shooters say theirs is a highly skilled disciplined and regulated sport, and reject any notion that it encourages gun crime.

But Danny Bryan, founder of Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime said: "I agree with Boris. It is good kids should enjoy the Games but there's no way we should glorify guns."