Many of my readers seem to think that I harbour an intense dislike for the South African Police Service. I want to take this opportunity to clarify that I do not. Not even remotely.
Police officers have an unenviable job. They respond to a variety of call-outs at all times of day and night, many of those involving the possibility of violent confrontation and horrible death. They put their lives on the line every day of their careers in return for a pitiful amount of remuneration that barely qualifies to be called a salary.
The nature of their work leaves deep scars not only upon their bodies, but also upon their psyche.
There are many good policemen and policewomen in the SAPS. I am fortunate to be able to count a number of them among my close friends. They come from all ranks, from constables all the way up to generals. Many of them have repeatedly gone above and beyond the call of duty to not only stand up for gun owners and gun rights, but also to actively support our cause in fighting for these rights.
It is important for us to understand that even though there are many senior police officials who at this time would love to see civilian gun ownership disappear completely, and are indeed trying their hardest to make that outcome a reality, we cannot tarnish all SAPS members with the same brush.
We must single out the bad apples, and we must support and cherish the good.
Yes, the SAPS are in a state of shambles as an organisation. Yes, corruption and criminality among members is a problem of epidemic proportions. Yes, there are people who distrust the machinations of the entire organisation with good reason. Yes, we must hold the police accountable and correct their course where they err.
But when and where you find those police officers who try their hardest to ensure that law and order prevails, and that peace and justice are upheld, do not take their personal sacrifices for granted. We are on the same side as they are, and we need each other to survive.