Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims

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1999

So why did the ANC government try to rush through Parliament the Firearms Control Act that effectively outlaws most licensed firearms belonging to law abiding citizens?  

The implications are far reaching:

+ No person would be allowed to own more than one handgun for self-defence.
+ Licence fees could jump to R500 per gun.
+ Licences for self defence firearms to be renewed every 5 years.
+ Licences for hunting and sports purposes to be renewed every 10 years.
+ Licence renewals would be at the discretion of the Registrar (currently the Minister of Safety and Security).
+ No licence holder would be allowed to possess more than 200 rounds.
+ Firearm Free Zones would be declared making schools, churches, shopping centres etc. defenceless – soft targets for violent criminals.
+ The vast majority of citizens would be denied the right to own a firearm for self-defence.
+ Your constitutional rights to property, privacy, and protection would effectively be removed.
+ Your constitutional guarantees of presumption of innocence and access to courts would be jeopardised.
+ The provisions for search and seizure, even without a warrant, could lead to flagrant abuses of human rights.

Irresponsible & Counter Productive

The Act entangles licensed firearm owners in a vast array of intrusive regulations and require much time consuming paper work. Even more seriously it requires an inordinate amount of time from the Police Service to process the vastly increased volume of paperwork and to monitor the licensed firearm owners. Considering that legal gunowners are not the problem why divert so much police manpower away from fighting crime to harassing law abiding citizens?

The Act ignores the basic human right of self defence and makes it a privilege for a select minority. It places the burden on the applicant for a firearm licence to “satisfy the Registrar that he or she needs the firearm for self defence.” One would think in a country torn apart by violent crime with one of the worst murder and rape rates in the world that any law abiding citizen would have the right and a compelling cause to need firearms for self-defence.
The Bill places arbitrary powers on the Registrar to accept, or refuse, or revoke licenses or entire categories of weapons – at his discretion.

The Act grants sweeping powers for search and seizure and arrest – without a warrant!

The Act provides for excessive penalties or fines – without even coming to trial – and imprisonment of up to 25 years in prison just for possession of a firearm that is no longer in accordance with the Act! Yet murderers such as the terrorists who were convicted of the St. James massacre have been set free! It is blatant hypocrisy for the government to claim that they need this Bill to fight crime. Murder and rape is already illegal, but the State has let many convicted murderers and rapists go free. What is needed is not more legislation but enforcement of existing laws.

Gun Control is where only the Criminals have Guns

At the time of writing (1999), there were an estimated 4 to 9 million illegal firearms in South Africa. The vast majority of these illegal firearms have been, and continue to be, smuggled into South Africa from neighbouring countries, especially Mozambique.

The Ministry of Safety and Security has reported, in Parliament, that incidents of crimes committed by registered firearm owners are “statistically insignificant.” As licensed firearm owners are not the problem – why target them?
Firearms are not involved in the majority of murders in South Africa. Knives and clubs and other blunt and sharp objects are used to murder more South Africans than firearms are. Gun control will not end the violence, it will only disarm the potential victims.

Each year, motor vehicles kill twice as many people in South Africa than firearms do. Why don’t we just outlaw all motor vehicles? Because motorised transport provides tremendous freedom and convenience. The solution to the horrific carnage on the roads is not to ban motor vehicles, but to improve safety features in vehicles, educate drivers, promote the use of seat belts and severely punish drunken or reckless driving.
As with motor vehicles, it would not be right to take away everyone’s freedom because of the criminal activities or carelessness of some.

Gun Control Precedes GENOCIDE

In Germany, Gun Control was first introduced by the Nazis using the Law on Firearms and Ammunition, 1928 and 1938. Adolf Hitler declared that this innovative legislation, the first in the Western World, would make the streets of Germany safer and enable the police to better do their work! Hitler also predicted that other nations would soon follow the National Socialist example by also limiting firearm ownership to government officials.

The greatest threat to life has not been from firearms in the hands of private citizens – quite the opposite. The greatest killer in the 20th Century has been secular governments who have disarmed their own citizens. Over 160 million people have been killed, so far, by their own governments in over 40 communist states (including: the Soviet Union, Red China, Cambodia, Cuba, Ethiopia & Mozambique) just in the 20th Century alone. (UCANEWS 3/98)

In 1994, in just 100 days, more people were killed with machetes and clubs in Rwanda, than have died from atomic weapons in all of history! The Hutu MRND government of Rwanda, after enforcing a vigorous gun control, organised the systematic slaughter of the Christian Tutsi minority. As the population had been previously disarmed, they were helpless to defend themselves against the state – which had a monopoly of weapons. Over 500 000 Tutsi Christians were murdered. (Holocaust in Rwanda published by Frontline Fellowship)

A government that doesn’t trust its citizens with weapons – cannot be trusted with power.

Armed Citizens Save Lives

On 25 July 1993, five terrorists attacked the congregation at St. James Church of England in Cape Town. In about 8 seconds the terrorists had killed 11 people and wounded or crippled 55 as they hurled handgrenades and fired directly into the packed congregation. Only the prompt action of one armed member of the congregation ended the bloodshed. Drawing his revolver, Charl van Wyk fired back at the terrorists, wounding one and causing the heavily armed assailants to flee.

A U.S. Justice Department study (of more than 32 000 rapes or attempted rapes) found that the best protection against rape is for a woman to be armed. When a potential victim was armed only 3% of the rapes succeeded (Rape Victimization).

A South African study, Armed Private Defence, by John Mann, concluded that when an armed victim resists, the chances of surviving the attack are increased by 31 times (SAGA News).

Professor John Lott of the University of Chicago Law School has published his exhaustive 18 year study on firearms and crime. “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws” documents that gun control laws are counter productive – leading to an escalation of violent crime. In fact those states with the largest increases in legal gun ownership have also seen the most dramatic decreases in violent crimes.
Every day in South Africa hundreds of crimes are prevented, hundreds of victims are protected and countless tragedies averted by armed citizens.

Speak up for your right to self-defence

— Unless you make a stand and speak up now, you may lose your rights to property, privacy, presumption of innocence and protection.
— Ultimately this gun control could deprive you, and your loved ones, of your right to life.
— Some people do use firearms to commit horrible crimes, but far more people use firearms to prevent horrible crimes from being committed.
— Firearms are used as much as five times more often for defensive purposes than for criminal purposes. Weapons control interferes with our basic right and responsibility for self-defence.
— Those who choose not to have firearms still benefit from those who do as the criminals do not generally know who is armed and who is not. The deterrence value of armed citizens against crime cannot be overestimated.
— Contact the state President and communicate your concern and opposition to the Firearms Control Act.

Contact your elected representative at Parliament and encourage him, or her, to oppose this irresponsible legislation.

 Request a free copy of “THE RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENCE” (in English or Afrikaans) and “What Does the Bible say about Gun Control?” and order a copy of the “Holocaust in Rwanda” book – at R15 a copy.

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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