South Africa – -(Ammoland.com)- This media statement is issued by South African Gunowners Association ( SAGA ) in the interest of citizens’ rights to be free and responsible.
SAGA promotes the right of citizens to choose whether or not to keep and bear firearms for self-defence and other lawful purposes, while always adhering to the principles of safety and responsibility.
The recent spate of armed robberies in shopping malls have apparently surprised many, even the police. Why the police are surprised is not known since their Crime Intelligence Division ought to have been working on this and all serious crime threats by gathering information and analyzing such as to efficiently address criminality. In many of these robberies mobile phone shops have been targeted, which shows that there obviously must be a lucrative market for these devices.
Since all these devices must be registered and comply with specific requirements they ought to be traceable – why then are they not being traced?
During a recent radio interview, Media Spokesman John Welch stated that banning guns from shopping malls is no solution, in fact it will increase criminality. Criminals will soon realize that they are the only ones who may have guns (or whatever other dangerous weapons) – after all, criminals do not adhere to laws, that is why they are criminals – and accordingly the shopping mall managers and owners will play right in their hands. All should know by now that the police’s reaction time to any violent crime is several minutes (you just cannot expect the under-resourced police to be everywhere all the time) and accordingly, the law-abiding citizen will be denied her or his right to self-defence. It is not SAGA’s view that citizens take the law into their own hands or become involved in law enforcement, but, it is vitally important that citizens who have elected to exercise their constitutional right to take care of and protect their own liberties and rights, be allowed to do so.
Citizens who often have to travel long distances and through unsafe or even dangerous areas, prefer to carry a firearm for personal protection. In such event shopping malls will have to provide a prescribed safe-keeping facility in which to lock up the firearm while the person is shopping. Not only will such facilities become targets but also expose such persons as targets.
This is once again a typical example where shopping mall owners and managers wish to address a symptom rather than the problem. They hope to be seen to make shopping malls safe, whereas they in fact do not and they deliberately interfere with the lawful rights of others.
Security officials doing duty at shopping malls need to be well-trained, vetted (to ensure loyalty to the law) and vigilant. There must also be a much greater focus on visible policing. The festive season is almost upon us and still we have not seen an increase in visible policing! Why not? The police must further share their (relevant) crime intelligence with shopping mall managers to ensure that they and security officials would know who and what to look out for and thus focus on prevention. By banning guns they will only play in the hands of the criminals.
South African Gunowners Association calls upon all its members and all citizens to be responsible, to not take the law into their own hands and to abide by the law at all times. Unless you are trained in law enforcement do not get involved, rather leave it to the police.
However, when there is an unlawful and violent threat against yourself or your loved ones, you are within your constitutional right to defend it. And if you have a choice of shopping centres to use, you may choose to rather do your shopping where your civil liberties are not infringed.
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