The South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) have responded to the South African President’s comments with a media release.
MEDIA RELEASE BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN GUNOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION (SAGA)
5 August 2015
POLICE KILLINGS AND FIREARMS
The South African Gunowners’ Association (SAGA) extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of all police officers and all other victims of crime who have been killed by the perpetrators of unscrupulous and heinous criminal acts.
During a recent visit to Katlehong to talk to family and friends of police officials who had been killed at the hands of criminals over the last few months, the President asked, correctly in our view, whether police were being too “soft” and “democratic” when dealing with criminals. He then said that he thought the “nation has to explain how the police must protect themselves and the country” and whether the police should be killed by criminals because they must be “soft” and “democratic” when facing criminals?
It is unfortunate that the President then embarked on the bandwagon of disarmament. How often must it be repeated that people kill, not guns, or, for that matter, any weapon? SAGA and all other law-abiding citizens believe that criminals and all other incompetent people who possess firearms must be disarmed. Disarming the “good guys” is nothing but complicity to violent crime.
While allegations of corruption, mismanagement, lack of discipline, inadequate training, incompetence, lengthy response time to emergency calls, etc. in the Police Service are continually being made, the lawful firearm owner is often the first responder to violent crime. After all, she or he is on the crime scene and if armed and adequately trained, is the most efficient way to thwart an unlawful and violent attack.
Advocates for disarmament of citizens are quick to point out that only law enforcement officials should possess firearms. The killing (and robbing) of police officials is a clear demonstration as to why law-abiding citizens must not be disarmed.
We wish to emphasize that the Constitution and the law bind all peoples of the country, the President, ministers, politicians, government officials, law enforcement personnel and private citizens. The law is clear as to the circumstances under which a person may lawfully take the life of another. We must all abide by this. Police officials should not demand stronger powers to give them special “killing rights”. No, what the police need are proper and effective training, the right equipment, discipline and the correct attitude that is required of a police official.
Our judicial system has all the powers at their disposal to effectively deal with criminals who thrive on violence and especially those who attack and kill police officers or home occupiers. Attacking and killing law enforcement officials or performing acts of violence on victims of crimes such as housebreaking with intent to commit a crime, rape or robbery constitute aggravating circumstances, which justify life imprisonment.
This media statement is issued in the interest of all law-abiding citizens and in the protection of the rights of lawful and responsible firearm owners.