“To ensure restricted access to firearms by civilians to ensure public order.” – Draft amendment to the FCA, 2018
I originally considered the title for this piece as Bheki Cele Wants You Murdered. Or Bheki Cele Wants Women Raped. Both would have been equally accurate and appropriate. Yet neither would adequately cut to the heart of the problem. You see, the full-frontal onslaught of the civilian disarmament agenda is bigger than just one man. What onslaught, I hear you ask. Well, this morning I awoke to read the proposed draft amendments of the FCA. And they are very, very bad. Let’s go through some of them, shall we?
Guns for Self-Defence Banned
No more Section 13. The draft proposals entirely repeal it (along with Section 14). The proposal states “an applicant does not have a valid reason for possessing a firearm if the applicant intends to possess the firearm for…(a) self-defence or the protection of any other person”.
There you have it, folks. We live in the 7th most homicidal nation on Earth. And the government wants to ban self-defence guns.
On average 57 people are murdered in SA every day, and our murder rate for 2017/18 increased by 6.9%. To top it all off, mismanagement and corruption have decimated the SAPS’s abilities to fight crime. From May 2012 to May 2018 the total number of SAPS reservists declined by 86%.
Reservists are a free resource of highly-motivated volunteers. Their contributions have been disgracefully squandered by the arrogance and ineptitude of SAPS management and the Police Ministry. What the police do with the resources they actually pay for is no less horrendous.
Not only are you completely on your own, with police response times more accurately measured in hours rather than minutes, but the government wants to ban the only effective means available to you to protect yourself and your loved-ones.
Ridiculous limits on S15 and S16 licence-holders
In addition to turning everyone into defenceless victims, sport shooters and hunters are also viciously targeted. You will be allowed a maximum of two handguns only. You will be allowed a maximum of 8 firearms only (if you have DSS).
The maximum ammunition limit will be 25 rounds per licence. Yes, twenty-five. DSS-holders may apply for exemption, which will be granted under exceptional circumstances.
In order to obtain a semi-auto rifle or shotgun (of which you are also only allowed to own a maximum of two each), you must first hold DSS for at least two years.
Also, all S15 and S16 licences are valid for only 5 years.
These proposed limits are of course purely arbitrary. They are not anchored in any rational argument or honest motive. The ability of sport shooters and hunters to own guns is certainly no threat to the safety of society. Quite the opposite, in fact. A healthy and vibrant sport shooting and hunting fraternity is the cornerstone of responsible and safe firearm ownership. The importance of these institutions cannot be overstated, and harming them will do infinitely more harm than good.
So where are these tyrannical ideas coming from?
Why are these things proposed?
Collectors, professional hunters, security providers, dealers, and black powder shooters are similarly attacked by the document. I haven’t had time to read it all, but I have attached it at the bottom of the article. This is nothing more than a broad-based onslaught on all firearm owners. The proposals don’t seek to improve the system or to make it workable – it is purely a naked attempt at disarming civilians.
The above extract clearly states that the reasons for the amendment are “to ensure restricted access to firearms by civilians to ensure public order.”
That, my friends, is pure tyranny. Overtures about “securing and protecting civilians” sound as sinister as they are intended. This isn’t about enhancing public safety, combating violent crime, and reducing the murder rate. This is purely about taking your guns because the government is paranoid about civilians owning them, because armed citizens are harder to control than disarmed subjects.
And they will use their jackbooted thugs in uniform to seize your guns and leave you defenceless against violent criminals. And if you don’t comply they will lock you up in a cage, along with murderers and rapists.
It is as evil as it is insane.
What are the consequences?
Stating that owning a gun for self-defence is not a valid reason (in South Africa!) is hyperbolically stupid and completely out of touch with reality. It is also tyrannical overreach in its most extreme form. It is impossible for the SAPS to protect citizens from violence. This is an indisputable fact. Yet the government and police intend to remove your ability to protect yourself. The result? Everyone will be a defenceless victim, and can be robbed, raped, and murdered with impunity.
Additionally, the arbitrary and unworkable restrictions on S15 and S16 licence-holders will do nothing but inflict irreparable harm to sport shooting and hunting. Renewing these licences every five years will also break an already crumbling CFR – it can barely cope with the day-to-day demands placed on it. Increasing these demands by effectively 100% will ensure it crashes.
It is bitterly ironic that the state, who loses 8 times more guns per capita than civilians (and whose firearms are recovered at a rate 1/15ththat of civilians), are trying to disarm us. And we are far superior custodians of our firearms than they are.
The last time civilians surrendered our guns to the police, a corrupt Colonel and his colleagues stole and then sold thousands of those guns to criminals. Who then used those guns, which were once safe in civilian possession, to murder thousands innocent people. Including children. The government then redeployed the man investigating the extent of these corrupt activities, so-doing covering it up. And now it looks like they want to do it again.
What can you do?
These proposals must be killed in their embryonic form. Gun owners need to wake up from their slumber, and realise that the wolves are again at the door. The government wants to confiscate your guns, and ensure you are a disarmed victim. The only way to stop this, is by joining a firearm rights organisation, like Gun Owners SA, and devoting some of your money, time, and effort to fight for your cause.
You should write letters to your political representatives and put pressure on them to stand up for your rights. Additionally, you should write letters to the press and fill their pages with your pro-firearm ownership stories. Dominate your social media space and talk to people about why this issue is an important concern for all South Africans.
You have a voice. It is powerful, especially when combined with those of others. Use it.
Because we have a choice – get involved and fight, or sit back and watch our rights disappear. And to me surrender has never been an option.
Written by Gideon Joubert, cartoon by Jerm.
Gideon is owner and editor of Paratus