South Africa - -(Ammoland.com)- Both the Minister of Police and the ANC have recently asked for increased measures to stem the tide of inexplicable and unnecessary violence against children.
It is unfortunate, though, that both referred to increased gun control.
South African Gunowners Association (SAGA) fully supports both the Minister and the ANC in their calls for effective and efficient law enforcement to ensure that those who committed such atrocities be brought to book.
Upon conviction suitable sentences should be imposed that will serve to properly punish the culprits and serve as a deterrent to other criminals and potential criminals. The National Prosecuting Authority will also show its mettle if such prosecutions are expedited, obviously without infringing the constitutional rights of the accused.
The Firearms Control Act contains sufficient provisions, coupled with very severe sentences, to address all aspects relating to illegally possessed firearms and other firearm-related matters. In addition, the Act provides for very stringent measures to ensure that only those who are competent to possess firearms and can prove the need for wanting to possess firearms, are issued with licenses. If this licensing system is not effective or does not work, fault must surely not be sought with the law. If administration of the law, at whichever level, is found wanting, that needs to be addressed.
SAGA accordingly calls for effective proactive measures in law enforcement, such as regular patrols in identified areas (and elsewhere when resources would allow it); profiling and identifying criminals and ensuring that they do not commit their atrocities; ensuring that parents and schools are constantly reminded of their social responsibility to care for our children; and in partnership with parents, the education authorities, churches and other non-governmental organizations, educating children to be “street-wise”.
The Minister and the Commissioner of Police must also take full responsibility for the police’s failure to effectively administer the Firearms Control Act. It is unfortunate that the police often seek to target lawful firearm owners whose particulars are all readily available on their system in the hope of finding some or other technical contravention, rather than preventing and combating the proliferation of illegally possessed firearms in criminal hands.
Although SAGA welcomes the steps taken by SAPS to root out corruption at all levels, South Africa will not be satisfied unless it is assured that those who deal with sensitive information have security clearances and that all those investigations against police officials who allegedly committed corruption, fraud and other crimes of dishonesty are expedited and offenders prosecuted.
SAGA mourns the death and injury of all children at the hands of criminals and our condolences and best wishes go to the affected parents and families. Only by ensuring a safe environment for our children and by all taking responsibility for their safety, shall we ensure their right to enjoy life, to be safe and to look forward to a bright future.
The South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) is a non-profit, non-discriminatory organization, whose sole purpose is to represent the interests of all people who embrace the principles of safe and responsible ownership and usage of firearms for sport, recreation, hunting and self-defense. Web: www.saga.org.za