The national crime statistics were released but a few weeks ago, and already the insufferably self-gratifying indulgence of the Gun-Free South Africa loonies by the media is reaching fever pitch. Guns fuel crime, you see. “We need another amnesty! We need another amnesty!” They cry.
Of course they conveniently ignore the uncomfortable and humiliating fact that their previous amnesty allowed thousands of once lawfully owned firearms to be leaked to criminals by corrupt members of the SAPS after their former owners handed them in.
Clearly being responsible for arming thousands of criminals isn’t quite good enough, and standards must be lifted ever higher. Thus GFSA want another amnesty, to help everyone get rid of the guns and totally not give them to criminals by accident again. Of course things will be different this time around. It will always be different the next time around, or so sayeth the serial-adulterer to their long-suffering spouse on a weekly basis. “Just give us another chance!”
Um, no. Methinks not.
Then there is this wonderful statement by GFSA that guns fuel crime, which is not so much a little fib as it is a big fat lie. Guns don’t cause crime, have never caused crime, and are no more capable of causing crime than a hamster is capable of filing a tax return. I have spoken of this in a short video recently, so I feel it unnecessary to further elaborate here on this rather ridiculous misconception.
Considering that South Africa is a country with one of the highest violent crime rates in the world, it makes sense to assume there is a relatively high derived demand for firearms from criminals. Thus it is crime that drives the criminals’ demand for guns, and not guns that drive the demand for crime. Logic therefore dictates that perhaps the focus should be on fighting crime and not on fighting gun ownership. Much like having a painful tooth would lead one to have the cavity seen-to as opposed to merely taking more pain medication.
It is so simple even a child can grasp it.
Alas no. Police Minister Nathi Nhleko is of the opinion that South African firearm owners (the lawful ones) are to blame. He makes sweeping statements that it is too easy for citizens to obtain licences for firearms (try telling that to anyone applying for one, Honourable Minister), and that steps must be taken to change this.
Pardonne moi, Honourable Minister Nhleko, but perhaps you have forgotten about the ease with which violent criminals have obtained weapons from your own SAPS? The police lose thousands of firearms every year, either through corruption or negligence, and many find their way onto the streets where they are used to murder police officers and citizens alike. People in glass houses should not throw stones, Honourable Minister, and your house is far from being in order.
To make matters worse, the SANDF in no small way contributes to the problem through stolen and lost military-grade weaponry, including grenade launchers and machineguns. The SANDF also admitted to Parliament on 15 October this year that they have lost nearly 33 000 rounds of ammunition in the past two years. This is above and beyond the hundreds-of-thousands of former Homeland military firearms which have gone missing post-1994.
Let us likewise not forget about the struggle-era arms caches and cross-border weapon smugglers that feed a nearly limitless stream of weapons to our criminal element, thanks to porous and unguarded borders.
The State is unwittingly supplying criminals with tonnes of weapons which are then used to rob and kill their own citizens, and they have yet to rectify this alarming problem. It is so much easier to point fingers at legal gun owners then address their own shortcomings and oversights.
It is in the middle of this sickening pantomime that Adele Kirsten, who ironically subscribes to armed response, and her GFSA crackpots see it fit to do their best Yuri Orlov impression and attempt to further arm criminals via leaked guns from their proposed amnesty. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions after all.
Understanding just how incredibly broad the sources of illicit weaponry are, it is beyond me to see how any rational person can even remotely consider placing the blame for violent crime on responsible and lawful firearm owners.
Yet this is exactly what is happening through media statements and proposals to further tighten our firearm legislation, which ranks among the most restrictive and onerous in the world. Legislation which has already cost the State billions of Rands and has done nothing to stem the rising tide of violent crime.
If the State is indeed serious about addressing their failing firearms control policy, then it is time for them to stop entertaining the loathsome collection of decrepit dinosaurs from GFSA. It is after all this very organisation who has on numerous occasions called for the SAPS to be disarmed, a folly which one would think the State would consider suitably alienating.
South African gun owners, on the other hand, have a vast and deep pool of experience and expertise embedded in their various organisations. We constitute an invaluable asset that the Government can only gain from through constructive partnership. Gun owners are more than willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and reform a broken system for the benefit of all South Africans, but can only do so in partnership, and not adversity, with the SAPS.
I believe such machinations are already in the making, but I would urge the Minister of Police and his subordinates to not take their eye off the ball and throw away a golden opportunity to make a positive and lasting difference.
Now is not the time for making the same mistakes again. Now is the time for binding together and trying something entirely new. So let us get down to business.