The nation of South Africa is easily one of the most violent in all of Africa, and considering Africa, that’s saying something.
Even with (or because of) the strict gun controls in the country, robberies and murders are common, with a homicide rate about seven times higher than the United States, but at least South Africa has historically recognized the need for someone to defend themselves.
Unfortunately, that may be changing.
The latest draft for the updated Firearms Control Amendment Bill has angered the Democratic Alliance (DA), with the opposition party furious about the removal of the “self-defence” criterion as reason to lawfully own a weapon.
The DA insist that spiralling crime rates necessitate that the Bill be more accessible to ordinary citizens living in fear, and have called on South African citizens to submit comments as the draft legislation endures public scrutiny.
DA CALL FOR PUBLIC TO INTERVENE
In a statement released on Sunday, the DA’s Shadow Minister for Police, Andrew Whitfield, said that the draft Firearms control Bill is “concerning”.
“The DA has noted with concern the contents of the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill, particularly the removal of ‘self-defence’ as a reason to possess a firearm. We will be vehemently opposing this and other elements of the bill when it comes to Parliament,” he said.
“Should Minister of Police Bheki Cele succeed with this draconian legislation it will be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime. It will remove the last line of defence for millions of law-abiding South Africans.”
Whitfield called on South Africans who share these concerns to urgently submit their comments on the draft amendment bill to the Civilian Secretariat for Police within 45 days of publication of the notice published on 21 May 2021.
There are those, of course, here in the United States who don’t think self-defense is a valid reason to own a gun. If you don’t believe me, look at states like New Jersey or California that require a reason to get a carry permit. Many of them won’t accept a general “self-defense” as a reason.
It’s not as bad as this attempt in South Africa, of course, but how long until this is what we see?
There are those who routinely ask why we need guns. There are some who want to require licenses just to purchase a firearm–at least in states that don’t already require a reason. How long until we’re expected to provide one just to buy a gun?
As for South Africa, this won’t make the nation any safer. If anything, the criminals who are committing these crimes will start to feel safer and likely step up their violence. That’s no different than things are here in the US, of course. Criminals are protected by gun control laws in every nation on the planet, but if private citizens can at least get them for self-defense, there’s some hope for them.
It looks like there won’t be for much longer down there.