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Shooting: Belfast shooting: three men arrested

Shooting is the act or process of shooting a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, slingshot, crossbow, or bow). Even the acts of launching/discharging ordnance, darts, grenades, rockets, and guided missiles can be considered acts of shooting. When using a firearm, the act of shooting is often called firing as it involves initiating a combustion process (deflagration).

2 dead, 2 harmed in Saturday shooting

Three men have appeared caught in Belfast in connection amidst the murder of a partner in the north of that city earlier on Saturday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the three suspects were taken to Musgrave Street police station in central Belfast for questioning on Saturday evening.

The PSNI also said that the murdered man was shot several times during the gun attack in the Ardoyne district around 11.50 am on Saturday.

A counselor whose constituency includes the Ardoyne district where the fatal shooting occurred said a number of children were playing nearby when the man was shot dead.

The Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, said there was no excuse for this “abhorrent and brutal crime”, adding that it was “particularly thoughtless at a time when our emergency services are already working increasingly hard to keep us all safe dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The victim was killed in the front garden of a house in Etna Drive in Ardoyne.

Local sources said they did not believe the killing had a sectarian motive, and that the victim was not from the area.

Paul McCusker, an SDLP councilor for north Belfast, said a number of people living in Etna Drive tried to save the victim after he was shot.

“One man from Etna Drive tried to use CPR to revive him but to no avail, while other neighbors in the street comforted him until the emergency services came,” he said.

McCusker said it was deeply disturbing that young children playing in their front gardens while locked down at home due to the coronavirus crisis may have witnessed the shooting.

“This brutal crime has caused immense shock in Ardoyne. My thoughts are with this man’s family at an incredibly difficult time.

“I also think that this will compound the already massive pressure on people living here who are having problems coping with self-isolation and lockdown,” he said.

Investigating officers had locked down large parts of the area surrounding the location of the shooting, he added, urging the public to cooperate with the police.

A car believed to have been used in the killing was found on fire a short distance away in Ardoyne on Jamaica Street.

Gerry Kelly, the Sinn Féin member of the legislative assembly for North Belfast, also condemned the shooting.

“I would appeal for calm at this time in the area and stress that anybody with any information about this horrific incident should bring it immediately to the PSNI,” he said. “Actions like this have no place in our society and I repeat my condemnation of those involved.

“At a time when all frontline statutory agencies and indeed communities are doing what they can to fight against COVID-19, this just adds to the suffering, unfortunately, being experienced by local people at this time.”

Competitive shooting

Shooting has inspired competition, and in several countries rifle clubs started to form in the 19th century.[1] Soon international shooting events evolved, including shooting at the Summer and Winter Olympics (from 1896) and World Championships (from 1897).[2] The International Shooting Sport Federation still administers Olympic and non-Olympic rifle, pistol, shotgun, and running target shooting competitions, although there is also a large number of national and international shooting sports controlled by unrelated organizations.

Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of firearm used (from a handgun to a precision rifle); the distance to and nature of the target; the required precision; and the available time. Breathing and position play an important role when handling a handgun or a rifle. Some shooting sports, such as IPSC shooting[3] and biathlon also include movement. The prone position, kneeling position, and standing position offer different amounts of support for the shooter.

Hunting with guns

In the United Kingdom shooting often refers to the activity of hunting game birds such as grouse or pheasants, or small game such as rabbits, with guns.[4] A shooter is sometimes referred to as a “gun”. Shooting may also refer to the culling of vermin with guns. Clay pigeon shooting is meant to simulate shooting live pigeons released from traps, after doing so was banned in the United Kingdom in 1921.


Shooting most often refers to the use of a gun (firearm or air gun), although it can also be used to describe discharging of any ranged weapons like a bow, crossbow, slingshot or even blow tube.[4] The term “weapon” does not necessarily mean it is used as a combat tool, but as a piece of equipment to help the user best achieve the goal of their activities.

Shooting is also used in warfare, self-defense, crime and law enforcement. Duels were sometimes held using guns. Shooting without a target has applications such as celebratory gunfire, a 21-gun salute, or firing starting pistols, incapable of releasing bullets.


In many countries, there are restrictions on what kind of firearm can be bought and by whom, leading to debate about how effective such measures are and the extent to which they should be applied. For example, attitudes towards guns and shooting in the United States are very different from those in the United Kingdom and Australia.[7]


Canting is an alignment issue that occurs in the shooting. Because scopes need to be mounted to a rifle in perfect parallel to the barrel and to ensure the crosshairs sit exactly where a bullet will go (POI), a small variation of even ¼ of one degree can cause great problems at longer ranges. A locking bar holds the mount in a perfect 90 degree to the rail system whereas a non-locking bar system can cant to the left or right. This canting (sometimes called jamming of surfaces) is caused by not matching the clamping surface perfectly to the rail. When tightened down, stress exerted on the base can cause the scope to be off from the POI by as much as several feet at 100–200 yards and gets progressively worse as range increases.

Lower-grade materials used in the manufacturing of scope bases, inconsistent design tolerances from one manufacturer to another and other factors can cause twisting stress and cause the mount to move out of parallel with the rifle barrel. The locking bar system allows for even stress to be distributed and prevent canting of the scope mount. Another form of scope canting is caused by the rings themselves. Some mounts either have two or four screws on top of the scope ring that hold the scope in place. With the two-screw style, the ring usually aligns well but does not have the strength of the four screw system. When tightening the screws of the four screw type, the scope can twist in place, causing misalignment.

Shooting positions

The four basic “NRA” or “competition” or “field” shooting positions, in order of steadiness/stability (the closer you get to the ground, the steadier you are), are prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing (also called “offhand”).

Another common, but aided, shooting position is the bench shooting position. There are also numerous shooting aids from monopods to tripods to sandbags and complete gun cradles.


The steadiest and by far the easiest to master defeat correctly. it can be as steady as shooting from a bench rest.
Probably the least used in the field because, all too often, the vegetation gets in the way and obscures the view.


classic – with some effect at an angle (left for right-handed people, right for left-handed)
modern – with the body more directly underdeveloped the rifle with the shooter’s strong side leg slightly bent.
Test for correct body position: wrap your arm into the hasty armament and drop down into prone, sighting at the target. Close your eyes. Meanwhile, you initiate them you should still be training at a particular target. If you aren’t, then your position is unemployed. Also, if the shooter’s sight picture returns after the firm kicks to each muzzle, then body alignment is good. If not, adjustment is needed.

  • The usual advice is to use a sling for this position
  • Aided prone position – prone with pack or bipod


This position is relatively easy to get into, but more difficult to get out of quickly and provides clearance for low to medium-height obstacles that would interfere with the prone position.
The proper sitting position is extremely difficult to master.


open leg
cross leg (aka pretzel style) – the steadiest sitting position.
cross ankle

  • The test for correct body position is the same as prone.
    Usual advice is to use a sling for this position.
    Aided sitting position – sitting with a tripod


Best for times when the shooter needs to shoot quickly, but it is a bit too far (or he is breathing a bit too hard) to risk a shot from the standing situation.

A lot more patterned than a position spot.

For most people, it is not nearly as steady as sitting but it is a lot faster to get in and out of.[8]
For some people, this position can be almost as steady as the prone position.

The strong-side knee is on the ground, weak-side knee and foot are pointing at the target while the weak-side knee is supporting the elbow (It is extraordinary that the bony tip of the elbow not be planted on top of the knee cap – bone-on-bone contact allows for too much movement or it can slip.)


sitting on strong-side foot
with strong-side foot flat
sitting on the strong-side foot’s heel with the toes grounded
Usual advice is to use a sling for this position.[9]
Aided kneeling position – kneeling with crossed sticks or tripod

Rank (or offhand)

The quickest position to assume and is useful for quick shots and for shooting over objects.[9]
By far is the least steady of all positions. A common trait is a bit of sway in this position. The trick is learning to control the sway and fire when a shooter is at his steadiest.

The most awkward office to shoot off and to master.

Stock fit is essential in standing – perhaps more than in any other position. The shooter needs to have his cheek firmly welded to the stock.


squared toward the target – advantages of this technique are that it allows the shooter to absorb the rifle’s recoil much more effectively, to run the bolt and get back on target quickly. It also places the shooter in a more aggressive stance that allows him to move, in just about any direction, as his target requires.

the bladed position of the rifle marksman

The usual advice is not to use the sling for support in this position.

Aided standing position.

Standing with sticks and stones.

Three-legged shooting sticks are almost universal in Africa.
Whatever shooter’s comfortable range is for offhand shooting, sticks should double it.[8]
Rice paddy squat in rifle shooting

Main article: Squatting position

The rice paddy squat (or rice paddy prone) position is a moderate-stability position that supports both elbows, making it more stable than kneeling yet keeping a high level of mobility. Its higher center of gravity will still be less stable than sitting or prone. It was a traditionally taught marksmanship position but lost popularity after the Korean conflict.[11] The heel-down squat/kneel combination has also been used to fire weapons – see the image.

Shooting sling

The sling is used to create isometric pressure to increase steadiness. While the use of a sling is of questionable value when shooting from the standing position, it is very much worth using from kneeling, sitting or prone. Proper use of the sling locks the rifle into the body and enhances that solid foundation so critical to delivering an accurate shot.

Quick launching

A type of shooting sling. All positions are strengthened through the use of a hasty sling. The formal tight sling is detached from the rear sling swivel and tightened above the bicep of the supporting arm. Almost any carrying strap can be used in the hasty sling mode. There is often a compromise between the most comfortable “carry” length for the shooter’s sling and the ideal tension for a hasty sling. The steadiness achieved is almost as good as a tight competition sling and it is a lot faster.[8][10]


In ISSF shooting events, 3 out of 5 shooting positions are used. Positions not used are rice paddy squat and sitting position.

WBSF governs benchrest shooting.

IPSC shooting events use prone, offhand and supported shooting positions.

There are some competitions, such as felthurtigskyting, in which shooting position is freestyle. That means that the shooter decides which one of the four positions he’ll use.

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