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Go kahle on sale of guns

IT is easy to assume that if every second South African owned a gun, Bheki Cele would experience far more nightmares than the apparitions that are haunting him now.

After all, South Africans are a notoriously trigger-happy bunch.

Guns have, sadly, become favourite forms of attack and intimidation in road rages, domestic disagreements and even lovers' tiffs.

The less said about their rampant use in other crimes, like cash-in-transit heists, the better.

That is why we think it is reasonable for police commissioner Cele to take a bald stance instead of randomly issuing gun licences to the public.

Not so in the US, where "gun ownership is a cherished constitutional right".

It is also a truism of our time that the US boasts the world's largest and most dangerous arsenal of weapons.

But whether any country can win a battle of bullets, war planes, submarines and nuclear bombs is conjectural. Just like it is difficult to fathom a crime-free society while guns can be picked up from every corner.

Sadly - mainly because of the number of dangerous weapons in the public's hand - the US is mourning the death of a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, four other people and serious wounding to congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after a crazed gunman opened fire on a crowd outside a grocery store last week.

Sales of guns in the US are now going through the roof - apparently because everybody wants to defend himself.

This is what South Africa should guard against - guns and more guns in public.

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