Cumbria Tragedy Update 12 June 2010
Post date: Jun 13, 2010 11:48:25 AM
From: Karen Robertson
Sent: 13 June 2010 09:31
Subject: Cumbria Tragedy Update 12 June 2010
At 11am on 2 June 2010 The National Rifle Association was informed about the on-going shooting tragedy in Cumbria. The first response was to contact the British Shooting Sports Council representative and agree policy and protocols over the handling of this incident in common with all the other member bodies.
It was agreed that BASC would represent our interests in any television reports, leaving BSSC and other shooting bodies to handle radio and local and national press enquiries. All the press statements from this point forward were made in accord with the joint agreement between the member bodies representing the sport. This was essential to ensure the sport spoke with a single voice.
At this point the NRA also made a decision to contact all of its clubs in the Cumbria region to offer them support in dealing with the media. The Secretary General of the Association was on stand-by to attend Cumbria to support the clubs locally should that need have arisen.
The strategic message that was essential to the agreed approach was that the authorities should not respond in a ‘knee jerk’ manner to the sad events as they were revealed in Cumbria and that the national shooting bodies should be consulted early for their views enabling any changes to legislation or guidance to be considered, appropriate and effective going forward.
This was the message that was given to the media and politicians both publically and privately.
The NRA has quietly had discussions with both media and political contacts, who have confirmed that the approach was correct and appropriate. The views of the shooting bodies have since been reflected in comments by representatives from all the major political parties, most importantly the coalition government.
As a result of the joint efforts of all of the national shooting bodies, working in co-operation, the media are at this point in time treating the events in Cumbria as the tragedy it is, not allocating blame to the shooting community.
All of the member organisations attended a BSSC meeting on Thursday 10th June 2010 where it was reiterated that all organisations would continue to act together in the wider interest of the sport. The NRA will at times make comment this incident as issues develop but any statements will accord with the policy and views of agreed via the British Shooting Sport Council.