Right now, if you were stuck at this very moment in the local mall with an active robbery or shooting in progress…can you run away? Can you run up that flight of stairs next to the escalator? Can you do that carrying your 3-year-old daughter and pulling your 5-year-old son?
I started gunservant.com on 11 August 2014 as a platform on which to publish my firearm-related ramblings (mostly about gun rights and so forth), because I had nowhere else to publish it (not all of it being newsworthy enough for other publications) and because I firmly believed (as I do to this day) that a public discussion regarding firearm rights in South Africa is of vital importance.
Back in the first blog a very good question was raised pertaining to how you should appropriately produce and present your firearm should you be asked to by a police official at, using our old example, a road block. If you look at it from our side, we have identified an armed person, and while he is not suspected of any crime whatsoever, we are entering tricky terrain of handling a firearm around people, more importantly, around me.
One of the most fiercely-debated issues across societies is the one pertaining to civilian firearm ownership. There are few civil rights discussions quite as polarizing, and the legislative responses of nations to the question of civilian gun ownership varies broadly. This makes it incredibly difficult to separate fact from fiction, and so-doing present an accurate portrayal of the matter to people who find themselves sitting very much on the fence.
If you are in the camp that thinks your carry-gun also needs to look good, you may need to reconsider your views on self-defence, and the role of the firearm therein. If you think that your carry-gun also happens to look good that’s all good and well, you’re one of the lucky ones.
I want to blend practicality with philosophy. Regular readers of this blog might forgive me this indulgence, especially since I believe it will cover an important gap in what we commonly refer to as our training or preparedness matrix, or whatever terminology we want to use to describe that we wish to take seriously as the requirement to protect ourselves and those whom we love.
When I was still pretty newly out of Police College, I could tell the level of my Warrant Officer’s authority by the size of his moustache and that look in his eye that said, “Blougat! As jy hier gaan rondfok sal ek jou soooharddonner you maa gaan dit voel!” (My apologies to sensitive viewers) It was the mid ‘80s and into this environment myself, my tunic, boned ‘school shoes’ and Walther P38 were thrust. Some guys called it the “Parabellum” (possibly because before it the calibre had not been used by the police), which for a newish guy like me caused some confusion early on as the shoes we wore were also called “Parabellums”.
In years past, owning a firearm was a simple matter. So simple, in fact, that you were expected to have at least one. Discussions around the braai fires were more along the lines of preferred farriers, the co-op’s new policy and whether or not old Tan’ Sarie up the road has had her bunions removed yet.
Fast-forward a decade or five, add an unhealthy dash of attacks on our rights and a pinch of agenda-driven media, and the situation looks somewhat different.
On 27 June I had the pleasure of doing a podcast on the famous Renegade Report, hosted by Jonathan Witt and Roman Cabanac, regarding the topic of gun ownership and firearm rights in South Africa.
We discussed the process of licencing a firearm in South Africa, wonky anti-gun statistics, how effective guns really are for self-defence, and why Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has a really great taste in handguns. Among other things.
The policeman then swings out the cylinder or you revolver or pops out your magazine and sees your ammunition. “You’re in trouble,” he says. “You can’t have hollow point ammunition!” Then, the story goes, he either proceeds to confiscate the ammunition or a scenario of your choice.
I am going to settle this little problem once and for all.