BREAKING: Gunservant Rebrands to Paratus – 23 October 2017
I was recently tasked with providing a government official with statistics comparing civilian firearm losses with those suffered by the SAPS. He was presented with a claim that the SAPS lose approximately 8 times as many firearms as private citizens, and asked me to investigate whether or not this is plausible. As discussed below, there are significant limitations regarding the available data, but it does paint an interesting picture.
It is with no small amount of concern that I regard the Minister of Police’s calls for SANDF soldiers to be deployed to so-called “criminal hotspots” in Gauteng and the Western Cape. The SANDF is tasked foremostly with the performance of various military operations. The purpose of an army is to fight primarily on land and, if I am allowed to severely oversimplify its actions, it will do so by deploying, manoeuvring, and then finding and killing the enemy. Its personnel are trained with this in mind. What they are not trained to do, is to perform the actions and duties of police.
Sorry, that was a bit harsh….I don’t know if it is just me or is there a current explosion of new “instructors” in SA? I am not referring to actual knowledgeable people in the field of shooting, I am referring to the person who sees a younger shooter or a female shooter instantly thinking they need help. I have been shooting quite the number of years in a few disciplines (from air rifle back in school to my current IDPA/IPSC craze), and in every sport I have come across a few of these people.
In August, shortly after the blog’s third birthday, I wrote a short piece on the future of Gunservant.com and that it was being migrated to a brand new identity. The blog has grown to over 12 000 subscribers, and I am beginning to run into limitations as to what I can achieve as an amateur webmaster. The blog needs to be redesigned into a format that is much more professional, easily navigable, and aesthetically pleasing than the current form.
As most of us are aware, shooting is a perishable skill. As with any hard skill, once it is practised and trained to a level of unconscious competence, further training often seems redundant. Because I’ve “mastered” the skill of the reload, I no longer need to train it.
Understandably, the first emotional reaction of many people in the wake of such atrocity is to demand stricter gun-control legislation. This is where we develop a problem. Laws can be used to punish (or bring other consequences down upon) perpetrators of crimes after the fact. What is completely beyond the scope and power of legislation to achieve, is to prevent atrocity from happening.
These requirements, none of which are mentioned anywhere in the act and which seem to change at the whim of the DFO, the Provincial FLASH or the CFR, drive the logical conclusion that the officials within these structures are completely captured by bureaucratic inertia and too poorly managed to make changes or utilize a strategy of obfuscation by onerous administration to implement their personal agendas.
One of the most difficult examples of conditioning to overcome, is the occurrence of cross dominance. Cross dominance is an individual that might be right hand dominant, but left eye dominant. This is often completely misunderstood and ignored in training entirely.
Why are so few SAPS firearms recovered in comparison to weapons from other State sources and civilians? Stolen firearms originating from individuals and businesses were recovered at a rate nearly 15 times higher than SAPS weapons! Firearms stolen from other State sources in turn had a recovery rate 7 times higher than the one for SAPS weapons.