Letter: Cricket bats can be dangerous

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was angered by the implication that gun club members are, by definition, more dangerous than cricketers, in your report (20 December) on the Duke of Edinburgh's remarks.

I have practical experience. As an eight-year-old I was knocked unconscious on the school playground by a carelessly wielded cricket bat. When 18 I was knocked unconscious by a hockey stick at a Christian youth centre. On the rugby field I sprained an ankle and a knee, and others have fared much worse.

In 40 years of target shooting I have never had any significant injury, and I can vouch for the fact that injuries are extremely rare. All shooters know the potential for harm and so avoid it by safety training. The discipline amongst shooters is so good that the annual subscription to the National Small-bore Rifle Association for a club, which includes general and public liability insurance, is pounds 40.

Please, please understand that the shooting community is just as appalled as other members of the public at the disgusting actions of Thomas Hamilton, but we are not all homicidal maniacs, as you would have your public believe.


Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire