I want to reach beyond the usual echo chamber with a serious request.
During the Police budget speech in Parliament on 23 May the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, made it clear that there exists an objective to completely disarm all South African civilians within a specified timeframe. This despite our homicide rate increasing for 4 consecutive years, which is a clear indicator our strict and draconian firearms legislation is not working.
This is not unique to South Africa: similar and worse models have resulted in abject failure in Jamaica, Honduras, Puerto Rico, the UK, Australia, and many others.
Firearm rights are just another group of civil rights. I believe strongly in freedom of speech. I believe in marriage equality. I believe in freedom of association. I believe in freedom of religion or the lack thereof. I believe in the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
This includes the Right to Life, Right to Property, Right to Security of Person, and Right to Human Dignity.
The government wants to remove the most powerful tool with which we can defend these rights from our possession, and leave us at the mercy of those who seek to impose their will on us through the use of violence and criminality.
Even if you do not intend to own firearms, or even like them for that matter, please at least realise that such a blatant infringement on these civil rights touches you directly regardless.
If you want to help, please join GOSA: Gun Owners of SA. We are 25 000 members strong, and are from all walks of life. This issue is about as non-partisan and non-racial as it gets. If you don’t believe me, come see for yourself.
The Minister of Police has made it clear that there exists a long-term objective of complete civilian disarmament. I see some here laugh at the time-frame, but completely fail to note that some of the short-term objectives are to be realised by 2020 already. The Minister has repeatedly made his stance against civilian gun ownership crystal clear. There cannot be any doubt as to where his sentiments lie.
The government is powerless to disarm civilians if the public sentiment is strongly against such a move.
What can you do?
You can write to the newspapers and express why the Minister is wrong. You can write to your political representatives and tell them to oppose any such moves in Parliament. You can join GOSA as a paying member and contribute to our funding to fight this through our available channels. You can make yourself available when next we arrange a march to Parliament or the Union Buildings. You can become involved in the Fight for your Gun Rights.
We tell the media and politicians that we have over 25 000 members. It is time to show them that. Screaming about the problem on the internet is nothing but impotent rage: it achieves nothing and wastes valuable time and energy.
Get involved. We are only as strong as your involvement allows us to be. Nobody is going to fight this for you: but if you pitch in, you will at least not be fighting alone.