Gun control

Google “Gun control pros and cons” and of course you get an Americanized debate, but I think it’s also valid points for SA. But surely, even the con side would agree that a Gr2 child bringing a loaded gun to school, is not a good thing. It is my opinion that the owner of said gun should lose the right to have guns.

I think the Americans probably panic too much about absolutely everything: the anti-gun people worry all the time they’re going to get shot; the pro-gun ones that evil government agents will come take away their guns. Talk about first world problems! Had I been an American I wouldn’t have been all that worried - the numbers simply don’t justify having sleepless nights over the issue.

Here in South Africa it may well be a different matter. I don’t know how successful our gun control efforts here have been. The theory behind it is that the source of virtually all illegal guns is legal ones that get stolen or robbed from the owners. Thus, if there are very few legal owners, the source of the illegal ones dries up.

Now we have had quite strict gun control here for many years now, so it should be possible by now to see some difference. Does anyone here have some hard facts about this?

Very little crime is committed with legal firearms in SA. The government wanted to change the gun laws but the con court halted that. Meanwhile many old and unwanted firearms were handed in. 2000 of these were resold by the police to Cape Flats gangsters. Colonel Prinsloo is in jail for that and other cases are still in progress. That gun taken to school by the 7 year old kid was unlicenced with the serial number filed off. The father is on the run.

And this is another factor not taken into account. It’s all very well to try to remove all handguns from Swedish or German society. In a country with high levels of police corruption, and hopeless administration, you simply cannot have people hand in thousands of firearms to the police.

Something I did learn the other day: in both America and south Africa, it is legal to own a muzzle loader without a license. Maybe that’s the way to go for people who want a firearm. :slight_smile:

Paintguns also work well: not too accurate though but balls loaded with Pepperspray are great deterrents: no licence required.

There is some control, a friend of mine had one (muzzleloader) and I remember him having to show his ID to buy the powder, and he could only buy a certain amount. He could have gone to another dealer of course, so not much control.

Yes, they control the gun powder to some extent. Of course, you could make your own.

At risk of flogging this horse we’ve flogged to death before, I will say having visited areas in the USA where the gun ownership levels are, quite frankly, epic… I have never felt so safe. If minor convenience store robberies are making the evening news you know something is going right. In the words of a local: “Why do I leave my back door open at night? Do you have any idea how well armed everyone in this neighborhood is? You’d have to be mental to break into someone’s house!”

Mass shootings are a problem, but what fraction of a percentage does that make up of all gun-crime in the USA? and what fraction, in turn, is that of all gun owners in the country? I’ve heard of places in the US where the guns outnumber people, yet their crime statistics look nowhere near as sad as ours. To me it seems almost like a fad: Back in previous decades the weapon of choice for making public statements in the USA was the homemade bomb. This is entirely subjective but this seems to have waned in favour of using automatic rifles. I’ll admit this could be because if you buy more than X fertilizer in the USA as a private citizen the authorities start asking questions… and so the next-most-available thing becomes the new choice. Question is: How many things do you ban before you decide it’s “enough”, but not yet an entirely police state?

I actually wonder which is more devastating, the bomb or the gun? Then again the #1 public statement and most deadly attack on US civilians ever was made with a set of commercial airliners. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

They do have a far higher homicide rate than other western nations, but it is not clear to me that this is due to mere availability of guns.

Well, as an FYI and to answer my own question, I found this graphic: