Friday, 22 February 2008

SA: A letter published in the Star, 'You can't disarm a nation that needs protection'

February 19, 2008 in the Star.

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You can't disarm a nation that needs protection

In the latest issue of the Government Gazette, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula intends to outlaw self-defence weapons.

We, the law-abiding and taxpaying citizens who catapulted the ANC into power, are being asked to defend our hard-won freedom and liberty with sticks and stones. Incidentally, the minister also wishes to ban the catapult.

Unbeknownst to many South Africans, banning weapons such as shockers, batons, catapults, etc is the gateway to civilian disarmament, which often precedes genocide.

Frequently, when presented with these deadly chronicles and the perilous historic sequence, namely that rigid weapons control is followed by banning, confiscation, civilian disarmament and, ultimately authoritarianism, naive South Africans opine that it cannot happen here.

This is not only naive, but also a dangerous attitude because governments have a penchant to accrue power at the expense of the liberties of individual citizens. Civilian disarmament is not only dangerous to one's liberties but also counter-productive in achieving safety.

A glance at our criminal- justice system shows there are minimal or often no consequences for criminal behaviour. Making defensive weapons illegal will primarily disarm peaceful citizens.

There's an old saying: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Wouldn't it be ironic if laws created with the purpose of cutting back on the number of murders and deadly assaults actually had the opposite effect?

Society's apathy and silent acquiescence regarding weapons control is baffling, to say the least.

But make no mistake about it, we will eventually pay a hefty price if we remain silent while we are being stealthily disarmed.

South Africa is the most violent country on earth. In this society, it is of critical importance that we have access to the most effective tools to protect ourselves when an overburdened and frequently unconcerned legal system fails to do so.

Our very lives and livelihood depend on it.

Farouk Araie


Published on the web by Star on February 19, 2008.
© Star 2008. All rights reserved.

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