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[Opinion] Here’s why gun ownership is necessary


Expert Member
Oct 21, 2014

Let us have a look at the average gun owner for a moment, and use a Mr Mkhize as an example.

Mr Mkhize is an average South African male: employed, married, works hard at his stable job, and makes do as best he can.

For him to be able to own a handgun, he first needs to attend an accredited training institution, and demonstrate his competence in theoretical and practical modules.

Upon completion of these unit standards, he then has to convince the South African Police Service that he is a fit and proper person to possess a firearm by applying for a competency certificate.

This process requires character references, his proficiency results, proof of residence and a whole host of other criteria. If all goes well, he will get his competency certificate after three months.

Then, and only then, can he even consider applying for a firearm licence. So, after much consideration, Mr Mkhize decides on the firearm, pays for it and begins the application process.

This is a separate process with its own library of required of documentation. Why? Because Mr Mkhize must prove that he needs this particular firearm. Hence he waits for another three months for his licence to be granted.

The entire exercise in order to legally licence a firearm takes a minimum of six months. Usually longer. Thus the argument that firearms can be legally obtained on a whim is very far from the truth.

It is an expensive and time-consuming process at best. And not one undertaken lightly.

But why does Mr Mkhize need a firearm at all? We live in the eighth most homicidal nation in earth.

A country where crime is a rampant problem, as we can easily judge from a mere glance at the annual SAPS statistics.

These same statistics also tell us that we cannot rely on the police to protect us. Their average response times in cities vary anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. In rural areas it is even worse.

So, Mr Mkhize finds himself at a crossroads: he can either accept whatever violent crime is directed his way, or he can become his own “first responder”.

Should he choose the latter, he must mitigate violent threats as far as possible, and protect both himself and his family as best he can.

And in the 21st century a firearm is by far the best tool for such a vitally important job. No other object allows the weak, old, and frail a more effective manner with which to defend themselves.

Disarming Mr Mkhize deprives him of the only means with which he can protect his constitutionally entrenched right to life.

All human interaction falls into two categories, reason or force. You either have to convince me to do something by reason, or force me to do something by threat of violence.
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