DOI link for Clay shooting
Clay shooting book
The central purpose of this chapter is to examine aspects of the development of clay pigeon shooting in Britain within the broader socio-political context of ﬁrearms legislation. The development of clay pigeon shooting in Britain, and some of the recent changes in the socio-political context in which it continues to develop, involves an apparent paradox. On the one hand, the gradual replacement of live targets – caught or bred for use in competitions – by inanimate and ultimately clay targets, represents a civilizing development in the sense that Norbert Elias (1994 ) used this term. In this regard, the development of clay pigeon shooting is similar to the development of birdwatching (Sheard 1999), not least in that they both reduce the possibility of anyone – or anything – getting seriously hurt. On the other hand, and notwithstanding these civilizing processes, many of those currently involved in shotgun sports in Britain (shotgun owners) feel that large sections of the general population regard them as a potentially dangerous group. Opposition to shooting is most apparent in single-issue groups such as the Gun Control Network.1 Sports shooters, clay pigeon enthusiasts among them, see participation becoming increasingly difﬁcult due to more proactive policing and ever more restrictive legislation, nominally based on concerns to limit the availability of ﬁrearms and their criminal use.