Brighton academic wants ban on ‘shooting porn’ mags

Posted On 11 Aug 2012 at 9:16 am

A Brighton University professor has called for a ban on magazines that celebrate shooting wildlife.

Peter Squires, professor of criminology at the university, added his voice to the debate in an article for Animal Aid.

Professor Squires, one of Britain’s leading experts on gun control, said: “It seems imperative that shooting magazines celebrating the casual cruelty of shooting wild animals – a kind of ‘shooting porn’ – should not be on sale to children and young people under 18 and that shops and retail outlets selling such magazines should position them both out of reach and sight.”

Professor Peter Squires

In Animal Aid, which campaigns against animal abuse, he said: “It also strikes me as appropriate that organisations committed to the shooting of live animals for ‘sport’ and ‘fun’ should not be offered opportunities to promote their activities in schools or more generally with youth organisations.

“Above all, fostering healthy and environmentally conscious attitudes to nature and wildlife conservation is fundamentally inconsistent with deriving pleasure and enjoyment from shooting animals for fun.”

Professor Squires, who began researching the criminal use of firearms during a project on bullying and victimisation on a housing estate, said: “Some people told us how their domestic pets – cats and dogs – had been shot and injured by air weapons.

“In other people’s homes we found air rifles propped casually against kitchen units.

“The more I studied the problem the more it became clear that air weapon misuse was just the tip of a whole iceberg of underreported firearm-involved crime.

“In fact, air weapon misuse was the most common form of firearm misuse in Britain.

“It all suggested that this was an area of activity that needed much tighter control, not only because of the very direct harms and cruelties it inflicted but also because of the cavalier attitudes towards public firearm safety that it frequently exposed.

“A parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee report of 2000 got it right when it referred to such activities as forms of ‘vandalism and casual cruelty’.

“With this in mind, it seems imperative that shooting magazines celebrating the very same ‘casual cruelty’ of shooting wild animals should not be on sale to children.”

Magazine publishers have defended their titles by saying that they promote a responsible approach to shooting as opposed to the casual attitudes identified by Professor Squires.

 

  1. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Air Guns should not be legally available for any reason. No gun should be available outside the military or a gun club.

  2. Reece Fowler Reply

    Valerie,

    Why should no guns be available outside the military or gun clubs? What about the people who need (yes, need) guns for shooting? Many people shoot to obtain meat ethically, as opposed to the factory farmed stuff commonly sold in shops. It is also necessary for pest control, which is a vital part of wildlife conservation and agriculture.

    Just because you don’t need guns doesn’t mean others don’t. Guns are essential tools for many people.

  3. Pingback: Brighton and Hove News: 'Brighton academic wants ban on ‘shooting porn’ mags' - Peter Squires

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