Should civilians own guns?

For protection, yes! Nicholas Cage, while playing a guns dealer in the 2005 blockbuster action thriller, Lord of War, which is loosely based on the deeds of Viktor Bout, said that, “There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet.
Ivan Mugisha & Rachel Garuka
Ivan Mugisha & Rachel Garuka

For protection, yes!

Nicholas Cage, while playing a guns dealer in the 2005 blockbuster action thriller, Lord of War, which is loosely based on the deeds of Viktor Bout, said that, “There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is how do we arm the other 11?” I couldn’t agree more.

The world has become a far too dangerous place to live in without proper protection. Thieves no longer use hammers or batons to break into houses; they use sophisticated methods, including computer hacking, glass cutting and machines that crack safes. In addition to that, they use automatic weapons to scare people.

People everywhere, even here in Rwanda, already have guns; therefore, convincing them to give them up is harder than arming the rest of the people. In Rwanda, you can buy a gun; the law states that individuals can have guns as long as they pass through proper channels and registrations, but few people know this.

Therefore, the Rwandans who know about this provision and are capable of buying a gun have the guns whereas those who do not know about this are left in the dark, and at the mercy of the good morals of those with the guns.

I am of the view that if you discover one day that your neighbor has a gun, you should get one as well. First of all you don’t know what he bought it for, although it’s wise to assume that you could be one of the reasons he bought it. So why not have yours as well?

People have always killed others with knives and machetes; shall we now be forced to also rethink the availability of some home utensils in supermarkets?

When someone is attacked in their home by gun wielding thugs, he may be forced to succumb to their every command simply because he has no means for protection. But with a small pistol under his pillow, these goons will be in for the surprise of their lives.

Sometimes summoning the police isn’t easy when one is facing the barrel of a gun. At best, the police will capture the criminal when he has already killed or injured people. Therefore, arming citizens seems like the most reasonable option now.

Don’t look at America and think that owning guns is evil; although Americans shoot randomly almost every day it doesn’t mean that owning guns is the problem.

It is not the number of bullets in a gun, but rather the evil inside people that makes them do the terrible things that they do.

“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people”- a famous saying says it all. Arm everyone and people will control themselves. The only reason we get weird shootings is because those with guns feel more powerful than the ones without. If more guns are imported, legally I mean, sensitization should be made to urge people to fetch one.

When your neighbors know that you have a gun, they will think twice about breaking into your house.

ivan.mugisha@newtimes.co.rw
RushAfrican on Twitter

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Guns cause more problems than they solve

Just recently, a gunman wearing a gas mask and sheathed head-to-toe in body armor opened fire in a theater packed for a midnight showing of the just-released The Dark Knight Rises movie, killing at least 12 people and wounding 58 others.

The shooter, 24 year old James Holmes, is one of the very many other people who in the name of civil rights, have acquired guns and put them to a terrifying use. In the USA, senseless shootings seem to be the order of the day.

On October 2, 2006, deranged Nickel Mines went to an Amish school in Pennsylvania and opened fire on innocent little girls, killing five and seriously injuring six others before killing himself. According to his suicide note, he blamed God for the death of his new born baby girl and decided to take his frustration out on other kids.

In 2008, I went to visit my sister in Brighton, UK. Not a day went by on the news when someone wasn’t shot or stabbed on the street. I told my sister such things didn’t happen back home (home was Uganda at the time). Sure the iron bar hit men have traumatized chaps but I have a feeling they are not out to kill you unless you are trying to be a hero because many have survived them.

I feel like Africa is always being criticized and questioned but then again, we are not the ones walking out of the house one sunny morning to take the trash only to get shot! I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone can take their little girl or boy to school one morning only to be called later telling them their child has been shot and is dead. Can you?

Sure we want protection from these puzzled people but we wouldn’t need protection if guns were left to soldiers now would we? Don’t we already have enough knife and other objects cases worrying us? Is being mentally sound enough to prove that one is not a threat to society? If one can feign insanity, I’m sure the reverse isn’t that hard.

According to allafrica.com, Rwandan civilians are allowed to own guns as long as they seek permission from the National Police. All you need is to be over 21, proved by doctors to be mentally sound and also have credibility from their area of residence to avoid using the weapon to commit crime.

As I once said, an Africans’ love for the bottle is quite impressive – so what will happen now? Do we wait for newspaper articles talking about people being killed in drunken brawls or juvenile misunderstandings over property?

Less guns out there means less people shooting each other. Hunting rifles sound reasonable but a hand gun? Hell no. That thing was designed for one thing and one thing only – killing people! It will be hard for whichever madcap there is out there to get one if there they are illegal.

Another thing I don’t understand is that those who are for them say they are for our own protection yet firearms are not allowed in most if not all of the places where these attacks happen. How the hell am I supposed to protect myself in a movie theater without my gun when some madman from nowhere comes firing rounds?

Malls won’t let you through with a gun in your bag – yet these are some of the most targeted places! Guns don’t save lives, guns destroy lives. The possession of guns should be limited to police and military personnel who have been trained to properly use them. Civilians can protect themselves by other, less dangerous means, including pepper sprays, alarms and security systems – maybe even stink bombs!!!

rachelgaruka@yahoo.co.uk

 

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