UK Police Shut Down Popular Gun Channel on YouTube, Branding it a 'Forum of Extremism'
On Sunday, YouTuber Callum Long-Collins announced he would be effectively shutting down the channel EnglishShooting, a YouTube channel that racked up more than 15,000 subscribers and more than 12 million views in the past four years. Long-Collins said the police had marked his YouTube channel as a "forum of extremism," and that he had to "show the police that I am a fit character to own firearms within the U.K."
"I was told that due to repeated comments from other people on the videos [police] felt that the channel was a forum of extremism and it was promoting views that were not in line with legal firearms ownership within the U.K.," Long-Collins said in a YouTube video announcing "The End of EnglishShooting."
The trouble began two years ago, when his licenses were revoked following a false accusation. His licenses were restored, but police found previous videos on his channel that they considered suspect.
"Over the past two years, I’ve made significant efforts to change the direction of the channel, change the videos, and to change my own beliefs and views around firearms and firearm ownership," the YouTuber said (emphasis added). "Unfortunately, I’ve failed to bring the channel and the videos to the standard that the police feel is adequate and I only have myself to blame for this."
Throughout the video, Long-Collins sounded as though he had been forced through an Orwellian re-education. He admitted that the errors were his alone, even though it seemed police had the biggest problem with commenters on his YouTube channel, rather than his own comments and videos. He even admitted that he has attempted to change his own beliefs in order to combat the government revoking his firearms licenses.
The authorities "were very clear that there was a high likelihood that my applications would be rejected so I made the decision to remove them voluntarily," the YouTuber said. "My focus now is purely to keep my head down and to show the police that I am a fit character to own firearms within the U.K."
Unfortunately, he admitted, "No matter how hard I try I believe that the channel will always have a tainted image to the police and I don't think that's something that I am going to get away from easily. I need to be a bit selfish and give myself the best chance of moving forward with my own shooting career."
Long-Collins announced that he had already started removing videos in an effort to condense the YouTube channel into "a series of highlights."
He reiterated, "I've got no one else to blame but myself," and committed himself to "take on board what the police have said and move forward in a much more positive manner."