Sort out guns and violence

YOUR report, "We fear dad", about the father who allegedly killed his wife Mangaka Sina Khumalo and was granted bail refers.

According to reports this was a particularly callous and disturbing killing, with the man encouraging the children to look at their mother's bullet-riddled body.

The children naturally fear for their lives. We presume that the murder weapon is in the possession of the police, but it cannot be guaranteed that the man will not get another gun. So we wonder if it was wise to grant him bail.

Because such killings are very common we need to know whether the gun was licensed? If it was licensed, did the authorities check the man's background before issuing a certificate of competency and consequently a licence?

The Firearms Control Act has very clear guidelines on when a firearm licence should not be issued. Only by capturing the information on firearms used in the murder of intimate partners can we judge if there are problems in implementing the act.

Many men want to own a gun under the pretext that it is needed to protect the family because of the power it gives them.

Statistics reveal that taking a gun into a home increases the chances of someone being killed by 40percent. All too often the gun is used to intimidate the family, especially a partner who might well end up dead.

The killing of women (and often children as well) by intimate partners is a regular occurrence and more should be done to address the problem. Eradicating violence, particularly gender violence, should be a priority if we are to enjoy our hard-won rights.

The Ceasefire Campaign advocates nonviolence, arms control and arms reduction as well as peace.

Laura Pollecutt, Coordinator, Ceasefire Campaign