Do you shoot Civilian Service Rifle? Mike Yardley thinks you’re ‘selfish and weird’

Tweed-wearing shotgun enthusiast Mike Yardley – once seen as a public spokesman for the sport of shooting – has launched a bizarre attack against his fellow shooters, labelling them “selfish and weird.”

In a series of increasingly erratic comments posted to his Facebook page, Yardley attacked shooters who have “some odd need to dress up and pretend they are in the SAS.”

“Get this,” he ranted. “Most people in the UK shooting community, let alone the UK general public, think this is entirely unacceptable. What you promote is selfish and weird and will damage shooting.”

yardley wibbling

UK Shooting News points out the 150 or so people who shot in the NRA Civilian Service Rifle matches (~110 individual competitors, plus entrants to the Falling Plates match) last week, and also highlights this most excellent photo album from the NRA’s media team.

“I do think certain modern weapon types should be more strictly regulated compared to traditional types because of their potential,” Yardley continued in a later post to his Facebook page, attempting to justify his outbursts.

The UKSN view

Yardley’s views are outdated, arguably bigoted and certainly not representative of the modern shooting sports. He may well be happy to pretend he lives in 1850, playing at being the Great White Hunter, but the great danger to the rest of us is that Yardley would forcibly drag us back to those times by advocating new restrictions on the shooting sports rather than accept the world has moved on.

UKSN supports those shooters who have written to UK shooting magazines calling for any existing relationships with Yardley to be ended immediately.

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19 thoughts on “Do you shoot Civilian Service Rifle? Mike Yardley thinks you’re ‘selfish and weird’

  1. Colin Jenkins

    I challenged him to shoot a 3 gun match with a bolt action, O/U and a blackpowder revolver… and got “I don’t think our sporting pleasure outweighs our social responsibility” and CSR Rifles are “useless” and no great loss to sporting shooters” – Now, I’ve just asked hi to quitely say no more and let it fade away….

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    1. Mike Yardley

      Why the belligerent language? You “challenged me” – that is not how you put it to me (you presented it as a friendly and genuine invitation). What you post here is foolish comment – trying to give people reading this the wrong impression. I had been considering accepting your invitation to shoot for FUN. You obviously saw your invitation – which I now decline – in a different way
      .

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  2. Mike Yardley

    Well, where do I begin, First, you characterise and attempt to misrepresent me as “Tweedie” – yes, I do own a tweed shooting vest. My experience in the shooting world is broad, though – not just confined to shotguns as I suspect you are trying to imply – I have experience of most sorts of shooting in the UK including practical pistol – which I used to instruct.

    I do think we need to scrutinize what we do occasionally, it is not just about our personal pleasure, but how we are perceived. I have, however, NOT suggested to further bans in the UK – we have had quite enough of them. Indeed, I would also like to see .22 pistols back in gun clubs.

    Now, here is something relevant that I posted on my own pages:

    I think a little history of the debate raging on this page is in order as I have noted considerable confusion. I have also been misquoted or not fully read. All this began a couple of weeks back when I interacted with some extreme advocates of the Second Amendment in the US. I thought their ideas about arming everyone – including convicted felons and the mentally ill – barmy. They reacted with a great deal of aggression, unpleasantness and menace when I challenged their wacky ideas. I argued my point. I don’t like bullies.

    A few people in the UK – some of whom might have atypical views compared to most of our shooting community – entered the fray not always understanding quite what they were commenting upon fully or what had happened previously. They thought that they were being attacked too in some cases. I argued my points with them as well.

    During the course of this ‘debate’ I have not hidden my views and concerns about the ‘militarization’ of shooting sports particularly in the US but also in the UK. I do think certain modern weapon types should be more strictly regulated compared to traditional types because of their potential (although it is noted that centre-fire semi-automatic weapons have been banned in the UK since the legislation following the Hungerford tragedy).

    Finally, I have little time for extremist politics and think shooting should be completely distanced from it. Sadly, this is not the case in the US where a fanatical few have a disproportionately loud voice. I do not believe their views are challenged enough… thus far, their bullying approach on any discussion concerning the Second Amendment has worked. The debate will not be put off indefinitely though.

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  3. Mike Yardley

    ps, note I made no absolutely no comment about service rifle competitions. I said that I believed people in the UK did not want to see “concealed carry” for personal defence introduced here and that dressing up and pretending one was in the SAS might be perceived as a bit weird.

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  4. Colin jenkins

    Oh Mike, you have totally misread the above comment – to be clear. when you said back on Monday last week (sens so long ago): semi-auto, hi capacity magazine fed “military style” firearms have no place in civilian shooting, I replied : “and there’s the rub ” no great loss to sporting shooters” in your opinion… So I challenge you to shoot a 3 gun match with a bolt action, over/under and a revolver”. I then went on to post a link to hotshots TV. That was the challenge you replied to Mike with your comment “sporting pleasure doesn’t outweigh social responsibility” – editor, I have these messages from me to Mike and Mile to me saved and am happy to send them to you so that you can show them here and let people decide for themselves whether I have misrepresented Mike – unfortunately I have been banned from his site and all my posts and his replies deleted so you can no longer see the context of the discussion – which is a shame but this was the challenge referred to Mike, not the invitation to a practical shoot

    Now I have consistently said to Mike his comments regarding semi-auto magazine fed firearms will be misrepresented and used against the UK practical shooting community and he has consistently ignored this point, the fact that he has M&S ssunderstood my comment above shows how easy misrepresentation is, I have invited him to come along to a practical match to see for himself how the sport has changed since the 80’s and speak with the participants and show him that we are not all camo wearing, Lewis Collins wanna-be’s this offer still stands Mike.

    Lastly though, I made the comment to Mike about this furore, if you’ve got nothing positive to say on a subject, best to say nothing.

    Editor – as I say, happy to email Proof of my comments and Mikes replies to you for publishing here as they are no longer available on his site.

    Regards to all fellow shooters, whatever your flavour!

    Colin Jenkins

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    1. Mike Yardley

      You attempt to sound aggrieved – but you issued no challenge as far as I am aware – you suggested in apparently friendly way that I try your discipline as evolved as noted. It appears you had another agenda for some sort of mano a mano interaction. Well, I’m not your Huckleberry. Have a nice day.

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      1. Colin jenkins

        That is correct Mike – you have not been challenged – I said in a post over a week ago, “I challenge you to try 3 gun without a semi-auto” – the point being it would be impossible – that nuance has clearly been lost on you as I’m hardly going to fly you to the states to join in a 3 gun match!

        This comment over a week ago, whilst pertinent to this CSR article, has nothing to do with the offer to attend a practical match in the UK I made yesterday – Your loss

        As for all the Mano-a-mano crap you’ve written above – I’m not going to lowery self to your level

        Colin

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  5. Colin jenkins

    I would also apologise for the typo’s above I have severe arthritis in my hands and find typing on a phone a tad cumbersome

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  6. Colin jenkins

    Final, final point… Mike – your recollection about not commenting on CSR is incorrect, you said “once modified for the UK these (AR type) rifles are “useless” IMO” – unfortunately, your reply contains your words was deleted when you banned me from your site.

    Sorry editor, but just wanted to set the record straight!

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  7. Frank Connelly

    Seems Mike just cannot stop digging that hole.

    Now with a clear attack on UK Practical shooters.

    I invited him to a Practical comp last week, quite genuinely, so that he could see there was nothing to fear, just people of both genders, all walks of life shooting fun competitions that involve puzzle solving and great shooting skills. Come and find a weirdo, Rambo wannabe.

    However

    “Colin, I got dragged into this debate – but I will stand by what I believe in. I used to be a practical shooter, I used to teach it, I do it anymore because I believe times have moved on… in a UK context, I do not think it makes sense anymore… I also think it may be misinterpreted. For stating this, I have an FB page started against me – which should be condemned whatever else for the harassment it is – and a film on Youtube which at least does not hide behind anonymity though it includes much erro

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  8. John Pate (@kalliste23)

    Yardley is characterizing calls for recognizing our historic common law rights to defend ourselves and our property as “extremist.” The “sporting purposes” bullshit has lead us to the Scottish air gun ban. Yardley is a enemy of not merely shooting but rights and liberties in general.

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  9. Terry Muldoon

    “public spokesman for the sport of shooting”? As an ex-PR person I have always wondered about that role. I am afraid that Mike’s media advice after Dunblane allowed the “ban it” brigade to take an early lead from which we never recovered. Being a journalist does not make one a PR expert.

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  10. Steven Wolf

    I really don’t understand you Mike. I don’t go around saying that tweed wearing big game hunters are despicable (even though some of the general public might think that) and try to say it’s unacceptable. So why attack me because I like my fast action shooting and my black rifles? Would you be more comfortable if I was shooting a wooden stocked Ruger 10/22 rather than one with a black “military looking” one?

    I accept that some people hunt big game and like to own old style rifles, I hope others including you would respect the position of people who want to own military looking rifles as well.

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  11. Mike Yardley

    Terry first – rubbish. I did not co-ordinate the media campaign after the Dunblane tragedy the BSSC did. Their policy then (a foolish one I think), was not to respond to the media attacks on shooting. They suggested “dignified silence” was the best policy, I thought it mistaken one in the face of the modern media. Albie Fox and I started the Sportsman’s Association (for which I acted as “Co-ordinator”) and took thousands of shooters to Hyde Park Corner and to Trafalgar Square to protest against a great injustice. I appeared on many TV debates and organised a series of advertisements in major newspapers. Sadly, there were not enough of us to have real influence, though. We did not get enough support from shotgunners and riflemen. Centre-fire and later .22 handguns were banned. The one good thing that came out of all this were the Countryside marches and rallies which followed…

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  12. Mike Yardley

    I don’t want to ban anything more in the UK. I just want us to think about what we do. Things do change – sadly public opinion is moving more and more against shooting because of a hostile media – and, we must reflect upon this and consider whether we should change (or not) in the face of shifting attitudes. The future of shooting is by no means secure now. In the British context, meantime, fantasist garbage about carrying pistols for self-defence – and I have encountered a lot of it in recent weeks – will sink us.

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  13. Mike Yardley

    Visitors to this page, should know – whatever their views on issues discussed – that the Boycott Michael Yardley Facebook page are now attempting to menace me. This statement was put up on their site and then quickly removed: “you refuse to listen to reason. Well, we shall teach you about reason and about patience. Watch and learn.” Anyone who visits my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michael.yardley1 can see the screen shot. I hope all decent shooting people will disassociate themselves from such tactics unequivocally.

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  14. ash a

    my two pence for mike.

    “I don’t want to ban anything more in the UK” – but you implied tighter regulations on firearms specifically used for practical disciplines which to many is as good as a ban.

    “I just want us to think about what we do” – are you kidding? the target shooting world is constantly worried about doing something wrong and the impression it gives. its paranoid that further restrictions will be introduced.

    “Things do change – sadly public opinion is moving more and more against shooting because of a hostile media – and, we must reflect upon this and consider whether we should change (or not) in the face of shifting attitudes” – that is a pathetic viewpoint, if shooting does have a bad rep then surely the shooting industry needs to use PR methods to CHANGE the negative mindset towards shooters not to just keep offering up little bits to appease the ban junkies. and i can tell you this for free, your image of the great white hunter is pretty much loathed by a great swath of the great british public and thats not a personal insult (i couldnt care less) – hows about you change your image:)

    The future of shooting is by no means secure now. In the British context, meantime, fantasist garbage about carrying pistols for self-defence – and I have encountered a lot of it in recent weeks – will sink us. ” i agree with you on that one but i think you have given the impression that the use of modern sporting rifles (uk) is somehow closely aligned with the 2nd amendment lot (USA) – it isn’t.

    things do change mike – walnut stocks are changed for alloy metal, your zeiss scope has changed to a nightforce with horus reticle, stocks are now ‘tactical’ (i mean a slightly different shape to shoot more accurately in prone.) shooting disciplines evolve to include movement and timer boxes. The influence of militaristic looking clothing, firearms, language is ever present because we have been in constant conflict for over ten years, this not an insidious threat to our peaceful way of life – its almost a homage to the servicemen and women who have gone to war for us, it doesnt mean you are some sort of fantasist. Tastes just change with time. you like tweed, i like kryptec mandrake camo (only a baseball cap mind you a full suit would be a bit much) i think you will find that the shooting world constantly DOES think about what its doing but it doesnt DO anything to protect it. just look at scotland and air weapons, its bonkers. The views you have displayed have fallen on a very threatened ‘playing off the back foot’ shooting community. we expect it from ban brigade but not from a member ‘of’ the shooting community. give your head a wobble.

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