Arm citizens against looters, thugs

Vaal residents cleaning Thabong Mall after a looting spree in the area.
Vaal residents cleaning Thabong Mall after a looting spree in the area.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Many have voiced their concerns and presented their views on the proposed changes in the Firearms Control Amendment Bill.

The biggest issue of contention is the proposal to scrap self-defence as a reason for applying for a firearm licence. Police minister Bheki Cele has gone on record stressing that arming citizens will not solve the country’s high crime rate.

Firearms make it easier to kill, but firearms also make it easier for citizens to defend themselves, or other innocent victims. Several photographs and videos on social media have shown armed citizens resisting looters busy with their latest “shopping sprees”.

Private businesses apparently stepped in to donate ammunition to the police and private security companies during the latest riots. For communists, social regeneration takes place through violence and anarchy.

Close observers of history know this is always shrewdly orchestrated but manipulated to appear spontaneous. The resulting carnage and confusion are usually blamed on capitalism, the greed of the wealthy, wealth disparity, western imperialism, racism, etc.

As a missionary, I work with some of the poorest people on the continent and they wouldn’t dream of stealing, rioting or looting. Do mass shootings, rioting and looting often occur in police stations, on shooting ranges or at gun shows?

Thugs select unarmed soft targets for their acts of violence. Social anarchy occurs less often in areas where responsible citizens may carry weapons. Did looters in SA attack malls when armed citizens surrounded the buildings?

Armed citizens may not solve all the country’s crimes, but I’d sooner have those armed, selfless, and responsible neighbours at Maponya Mall in Soweto protecting life and property rather than unarmed neighbours who make the working environment of thugs safer. You are your first responder!

Gun free is no guarantee!

Charl van Wyk, Durbanville, Cape Town

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