Shake up gun control policy

Shake up gun control policy

Could be that when anything is left to its own devices, it soon gets out of control and becomes a law unto itself. At this point, it is so out of control that the best we can do as society is merely look on in dismay and hope that the next day will bring about a character different from what is being experienced in the current.
If it does not change for the better, we then have to find other means of dealing with it before it actually reaches a point where it will annihilate the world. Men have a fascination with weapons, I think it is primal; an instinct that is part of the few remaining signs of what the caveman age in the evolution of the human being was like.

Back then it was good to be violent and it was an advantage, right now it is utterly unnecessary to be violent, but the problem stems from the ownership and wrong use of firearms. It is as if the old adage, “my violence is better than yours” is back at play and every gun-toting individual deems themselves a gunslinger of the old western bioscope. It has become a Wild-Wild West in the tiny Mountain Kingdom and the policing services are fighting a losing battle to stem the tide of illegal firearms in the wrong hands and legal firearms in the hands of improperly trained criminal minds.
It should go back to the question: do we really need to have guns in this land? Gun control is a huge political topic and it is often debated whether gun control policies should be more lenient or more restrictive to best protect citizenry. Universities and institutions have conducted numerous studies in an attempt to settle longstanding debates concerning gun control and violent crime.
As usual, there are two sides to the debate with the opponents of strict gun control policy often citing the idea that criminals often seem to find illegal ways to obtain firearms despite the strict gun control measures undertaken by governments and authorities.

The truth in Africa south of the Sahara is that there are large amounts of illegal guns available on the illegal market due to the history of liberation struggles and civil wars.
Due to the prohibitive gun control policies usually preventing law-abiding citizens from possessing legal firearms, it means that they have little to no means of protecting themselves when faced with a perpetrator possessing a gun (Malcolm, 2003).
The other side, the gun control proponents, assert that strict gun control policies lower violent crime in many areas throughout the world. An example can be made of England which totally banned handguns in an attempt to lower violent handgun crime. Some states in the US do not allow individuals to carry concealed guns in an attempt to lower the availability of guns.
Recent research has also indicated the availability of guns also has a direct impact in the increase in gun assault and gun robberies or related crimes. It is a fact if one looks closely that Lesotho has a gun problem, the number of gun related assault and crimes is on the increase.

It does mean that somehow, access to guns on the illegal market is open and the authorities are finding it hard to deal with the influx of illegal firearms.
Only a small fraction of annual firearm deaths result in mass shootings, and these events attract enormous public, media, and social media attention in the country. Though they occur frequently, they hardly prompt discussions about legislative initiatives or measures that can be taken on how to better prevent gun violence.
There are discussions on other issues of equal importance, but it seems that the current and prevalent rise in gun-related crimes is given a cursory glance, ignorant of the fact that it might spiral out of control if left unchecked at this point in time.

The government has never actually defined the different terms related to gun crimes, for example, mass shooting, mass murderer, and others. There is no single universally accepted definition for each of the terms. The common definition of a mass murderer requires at least four casualties, excluding the offender or offenders, in a single incident (Wendt Jeffrey, 2009).
Public law defines a mass killing as a single incident in which three or more people were killed. Alternative definitions include two or more injured victims or four or more people injured or killed, including the shooter.

A case in question is that of police shootings of civilians that have triggered fierce debates locally and nationally. The gist of the matter lies in the question of when the use of lethal force is appropriate.
This stems from the question of whether lethal force is being used disproportionately against the disadvantaged and minorities, for the reality is that most of the incidents that occur seem to largely affect the poor and the vulnerable: the rich and the influential make a small percentage of the victims of gun crimes.
The numbers of gun crime victims are often so inaccurate that they could easily omit any individuals shot and killed by the police. This is largely because those victims from the vulnerable and minorities sectors of societies are usually those about whom no news story is written.

The government should at least announce plans to begin a new data collection effort that will track all incidents in which law enforcement officers seriously injure or kill citizens. The lopsided view that the police are a law unto themselves could come to an end if exposure and proper reporting actually put such policing sectors to account for crimes committed.
The background of any individual is important when it comes to the procurement of firearms. There should therefore be check laws to prevent firearm purchase or possession by individuals thought to be at high risk of presenting a danger to themselves or others. By restricting the means by which dangerous individuals could otherwise access guns, these laws are designed to reduce gun crime and violence (Malcolm, 2003).

While compliance on who should be granted a firearm licence is likely to be imperfect, a universal background check on the part of the issuing authorities may help reduce the number of gun-related homicides or suicides by deterring prohibited possessors from attempting to acquire firearms or by making it harder for them to succeed in doing so.
A recently read article states that, “For instance, when analyzing crime guns, Webster, Vernick, and Bulzacchelli (2009) found that fewer of the out-of-state guns originated in states with universal background checks than in states with no background checks for private sales of firearms.”
Universal background checks may also reduce illegal gun trafficking, but the story of Yuri Orlov as seen in the 2005 Nicolas Cage movie, Lord of War rings true in the case of Africa. The continent is the playground of gunrunners and illegal (and sometimes legal) weapons dealers.
The history of the armed struggle has a large hand to play in the proliferation of illegal arms on the black market. It does not take much to understand how illegal guns from Mozambique or Angola make it across the border into South Africa then to Lesotho.

One merely has to look at the history of the continent and they begin to understand how caches of ammunition and stockpiles of assault rifles (AK 47’s usually) find their way into wrong hands.
Once there, the scale of cash-in-transit heists, robberies and other crimes increase. The police get some of them, destroy them, but the sources of the illegal firearms are actually never perused or discussed at the regional body meetings. Issues of poverty, starvation, and health take precedence over this increasing problem. The issue of how guns get into the wrong hands is actually never questioned.
This means that there are currently no established patterns on how guns are sold and acquired, and the laws that control the sale and delivery of guns are not effective.
The effect is that such laws will bring about a change of great magnitude if the level of enforcement is high and the availability of firearms through alternative markets is kept in check. Members of such illegal markets or legal markets should be liable to pay hefty fines or to face lengthy prison sentences if they are apprehended.
It is a fact that an increase in the availability of guns increases the average citizen’s odds of being victim of a gun assault, especially in a country where the ownership of a firearm has the tendency to create the false image of being a demi-god in the owner.

Though some may argue that the possession of legal or illegal weapons or ammunitions is not necessarily a social threat, the truth is that the current increasing gun crime rate may prove to be a huge liability for the economy in the future.
Most of the guns present in the current stock of weapons are used for the commission of homicide or other violent crimes, the basis of owning a firearm which is self-defence is actually never observed in most cases. The most common reasons for individuals to illegally possess weapons are hardly ever questioned.
If they were to commit another crime in which the weapon is used as a tool to carry out the crime such as homicide, robbery, and assaults, the sentences on the offenders are so short that they do not act as a deterrent for further crimes.

One has seen and heard of incidents where the perpetrator gets away with just a light sentence. We are not judges, and this therefore means that we cannot know what sentence is appropriate for a specific crime, but the sentences for some of the gun crimes of passion sound like an insult to the families of the victims.
The insolent legal culture that seems to prosecute only offenders from the poorer section of societies for gun crimes should be reviewed. The truth of the matter is that we should be wary of the ultimate results of a loose gun control policy if women and children now form part of the demographics of gun crimes.
Rather than sit in discussion on issues that affect other sectors for long hours, focus should be put on the more serious issues related to the commission of crimes by individuals that should not possess guns or actually have illegal firearms in their keep. It makes sense to consider the basic tenet of “safety first” before moving on to other issues.
The economy won’t move if we are not safe, other sectors too will be wont to failure if there is an atmosphere of tension caused by too many illegal firearms.
It does not matter what one may argue, but it is a fact that where the smell of gunpowder is the leading scent, such a place is no place for productive thinkers that can aid the economy’s progress.
The attitude of approaching guns with an air of pride, or being casual about their ownership will surely lead the country into the doldrums out of which the state will never get out of. One hears people casually mention “shattering” other people’s heads as if it is a pastime.

It is true that there are discussions with rival gangs and factions on the issue of gun battles, but the main issue is never discussed. Gun control policies should be the main point of focus for any government that comes into power, for guns are what ultimately determine the stability of any given state in the world.
The presence of guns in the wrong hands is the main catalyst to violent crimes and the lead cause to social instability. Chopping the head off the snake can only be achieved if there is a clear gun-control policy.
It should be clear on how access to the ownership of guns can be furnished by the authorities, why they are issued, and when such access can be terminated if the owner is not compliant with the laws governing the ownership of guns.

Early lessons in the handling of firearms made one aware that a gun is technically a tool of death and nothing more or less than what it really is or is perceived to be. We seem to have forgotten this aspect and like that character (Spider) in the Wanakiri Wanaberi tale, we have forgotten the name of Death.
Guns are toted proudly in neighbourhoods as if they are pens, fired as if they are firecrackers, and what follows is a description of what they really are in the tale of Spider and Death.
Guns are, “The death goes round the city like a fattened big cow. The spider is very hungry and has nothing to eat. The spider wants to buy beef. The death gave it to him and asked him to pay a price which is to remember his name within one year.”
The reasons why we buy guns are forgotten, the care with which we should handle them is casually dismissed, and now we kill each other as nympholepts high on the peyotes of debauchery; for glories we will never reach, killing each other like flies with guns.

Tšepiso S. Mothibi

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