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Can our guns save us?

The short answer: Yes, they can, if we find ourselves in a sticky situation. But the gun is ultimately a tool. It’s the person who wields the weapon that holds the responsibility. But to get to wield a licensed gun in South Africa is a difficult process. Unlike the US, where the right to bear arms are enshrined in their constitution, South African gun laws are very restrictive. Since the inception of the Firearms Control Act of 2000 it’s been increasingly tedious to get a gun and sometimes the process can take several months and cost several thousand rands, not including the cost of the firearm itself. And restrictive gun laws doesn’t seem to keep guns from betting into the hands of the criminals. Perhaps you’re wondering, dear reader, if the police are equal to the task? Well, it seems that even the police are out-gunned especially after the brutal gunning down of 3 police officers last week in Kempton Park. Our beautiful country has become less than the idyllic, interracial democracy Madiba and we have dreamed it to be and more like the Wild West on steroids.

So what can be done about it? I think the simplest solution would be for ordinary citizens to arm themselves. Of course, the process of getting your licence is a timely one, not to mention expensive and the licence process doesn’t include the cost of a firearm, which can run anything from R6000 and up. Besides the licensing process, new potential gun owners have to pass a barrage of security checks and psychology exams and their friends are interviewed to determine their personality type. It’s hard to imagine, especially considering that the criminal certainly doesn’t struggle to get a firearm at all. If he doesn’t buy any of the firearms being smuggled in from Mozambique or Zimbabwe, he can just buy firearms from any of the hundreds of stolen arms caches left by the ANC before they came to power. It seems that laws in South Africa were made for the criminal and not its citizens. The only thing we can do is oppose further gun laws, start the application process, get a gun and keep it safe. Yes, it can save you.

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