RSA gun guy Gideon Joubert emailed me this morning: “I have written an article regarding the necessity of firearm ownership in South Africa. It is in response to negative press regarding gun ownership brought about by the highly publicized Oscar Pistorius trial.”
Gun ownership in South Africa has again been thrust into the spotlight, in no small part thanks to the high profile criminal case against Oscar Pistorius gracing our television screens and the front pages of almost every newspaper and weekly publication. It is mind-boggling that the allegedly negligent actions of but one famous public figure can reflect so badly on an entire population of lawful and responsible gun owners. Unfair indeed, but alas not unexpected . . .
There is a deluge of deceptive, inaccurate, and downright untruthful misinformation about the nature of firearms and firearm ownership propagated through the media by organisations like Gun Free South Africa (GFSA), and the public readily believe these inaccuracies due to ignorance and naïveté regarding the issue.
For one thing, the Republic of South Africa is a country where violent crime is endemic. In 2007, we recorded 17 firearms-related homicides per 100k population. That translates to about 44 murders a day. In comparison, the United States recorded 3.6 firearms-related homicides per 100k population (2011).
Our criminals seldom show mercy. In many instances rape and murder their victims in a most brutal fashion. Here’s a excerpt from the [UK] Daily Mail article The murders so brutal they shocked even South Africa.
A gang of robbers gunned down a father, raped and murdered his wife.
Then, in a final act of sickening brutality, they drowned the couple’s 12-year-old son in scalding bath water.
Amaro Viana was murdered to prevent him from identifying the three housebreakers who carried out the raid in suburban South Africa.
This is not something I am willing to let happen to my family. In my own social circle I am far from the only person who carries his gun concealed on him every day. Most of my friends do exactly the same. We are all firmly aware that a great responsibility is thrust upon our individual shoulders when one owns and carries a firearm, and it is not something we as a community take lightly.
As you’d expect, members of this community prove the value of armed self-defense on a regular basis. I have taken the liberty of providing some links below to stories involving successful defensive gun use by ordinary citizens like you and I, also bearing in mind that many defensive gun uses do not even make it into the media at all and these are but a few examples only. [Click on the headline to read the article.]
South African firearms legislation, the Firearms Control Act of 2000 (FCA), is among the most restrictive and onerous gun laws in the world. It has failed to stem the out of control violence in our country perpetrated by criminals; the horrendous number of people killed monthly in Manenberg, Mitchell’s Plain and Lavender Hill attest to that.
Not surprisingly, none of the guns used in the numerous daily criminal acts are legally owned firearms. Criminals do not tend to bother licencing their weapons. There is the flimsy argument that if no civilians could legally own guns the criminals would be devoid of their source. The SAPS [South African Police Service] and SANDF [South African National Defence Force] lose hundreds, if not thousands, of their firearms yearly. There are no prizes for guessing where these lost firearms turn up.
Our criminal element has a virtually limitless source of guns with which to ply their violent trade, and the only thing a prohibition on legal civilian firearm ownership will achieve is to make law abiding citizens completely defenceless. There are frequent media reports on the inefficiency of the South African Police in responding to violent crimes in progress. Would any citizen want to gamble their and their family’s lives on the response time of our Police Service? I truly hope not.
Yet if GFSA have their way, we will all be at the mercy of the SAPS response time. GFSA claim that they seek only expanded gun control and the stricter enforcement of the FCA, which is untrue. They seek a total prohibition of firearms in civilian possession, and they admitted this fact when pressed by Gun Owners of South Africa (GOSA). What we desperately need in this country is more legal civilian firearm ownership, not less.