Zuma ignorant about firearms

Dr Pieter Groenewald

President Jacob Zuma’s remarks that the possibility of making South Africa a gun-free country attests of his ignorance, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the F Plus’ chief spokesperson on the Police said.

Dr. Groenewald said that although everyone condemns the murders of police members, attention should be given to the training and alertness of police members. Proper training and “street survival” should take place.

“This is not the first time that Zuma has made such remarks. In 2009 he said in Tzaneen in Limpopo that there are too many firearms in the hands of civilians and as a result of this people are murdered.

“The reality is that the police themselves have poor control over their firearms and many are stolen from the police. The firearms registry division of the police is in chaos and shows poor management. Legal firearm owners aren’t the problem, but the poor management of the police and illegal firearms.

“In countries such as Canada, New Zeeland and Australia studies have shown that violent crime increases when civilians are disarmed. Zuma is quick to say the police should shoot when firearms are pointed at them, but what about the general public?

“Civilians are exposed to criminals with firearms more often than members of the police. The minister himself says that criminals have R5 and AK47 automatic rifles. The public does not have such weapons, only the police and defence force.

“It is a myth to believe that civilians without firearms will cause a decline in crime. The opposite is true,” Dr. Groenewald said.


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