Norman Tebbit is calling for all boys to go out on shoots in an effort to reduce gun crime, saying that a ‘controlled, limited use of firearms’ will allow boys to vent their aggression in a positive way.

Lord Tebbit, 76, made the comments as he announced plans to launch a game cookbook. He said: ‘Kids should go out on shoots. It gives them a sense of excitement, and kids, especially young boys, have a need for a degree of violence.’

Lord Tebbit continued: ‘It is much better than playing a ghastly computer game. To have them struggling through the brambles, seeing people shoot, is much more in the interest of the kids. Boys would soon find themselves in a man’s world and having to obey instructions.’

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, opposes the idea. He said: ‘I cannot believe you can improve behaviour in society in general by encouraging youngsters to use weapons. Violence does nothing other than breed violence.’

Eileen Harrild, a teacher shot by Thomas Hamilton during the Dunblane massacre in 1996, agreed with Mr Keates, saying that Lord Tebbit’s proposal was ‘too ludicrous to be true’.

However, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: ‘I agree with Lord Tebbit. We can’t allow our children to get their hands on guns. It is better for them to understand. We teach boys about legitimate shooting. Once you see what a gun can do to a small animal you are less likely to use it on a human being.’

Lord Tebbit’s comments come as he launches his game cookbook, which he has been working on for three years. It will feature around 100 recipes for all the game he has stalked and shot.

‘I don’t shoot for the sake of it,’ said Lord Tebbit, ‘that’s pointless. I shoot to cook and eat, or to take it to the local butchers.’

‘My mother said that if you never learn to cook, you never learn to eat,’ he said. Lord Tebbit’s mother, the daughter of a butcher, taught him how to skin rabbits from a young age. ‘To this day, I can think of few things better than shooting a bird, plucking it, cooking it and then eating it.’

Lord Tebbit’s favourite recipe? ‘Partridge with pears and cheese. It’s delicious.’

However, the announcement of the game cookbook has prompted criticism, following Lord Tebbit’s comments that all boys should go out on shoots, and that a ‘controlled, limited use of firearms’

will allow boys to vent their aggression in a positive way.

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