2008-03-04 : Weapons ban: Keep them out of criminals' hands

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2008-03-04 : Weapons ban: Keep them out of criminals' hands

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2008-04-14 07:32

Weapons ban: Keep them out of criminals´ hands, some say
Witness 04 Mar 2008
Peter Schafer


The controversial amendment proposed for the Dangerous Weapons
Act, which will outlaw carrying all harmful weapons in public
places, including everything from stun guns to flick-knives and
even catapults, has split public opinion firmly down the middle.


Some are for it, saying South Africa is already one of the most
violent places on earth; others are against it, saying that the
proposals will never work and add more red tape to police
duties.
The list of "dangerous weapons" includes stun guns; CO2 guns;
pellet guns; toy guns; catapults; pangas; cattle prods; batons;
ninja stars; bows and arrows; spearguns; blowpipes and darts;
slingshots; swords; bayonets; spears; daggers; knuckle knives;
throwing blades; tonfas; any knife with a blade longer than 10
cm, and "any other article made or modified to cause physical
harm".


Pepper guns have been excluded, at this point, according to the
Safety and Security Ministry.
"The ban will be good," feels Margie van Zyl, CEO of the
Pietermaritzburg and District Council for the Care of the Aged
(Padca). "Often it is the most vulnerable members of the
community who carry such weapons, such as the old, or women, or
the disabled, but they are easily overwhelmed by their attackers
and the weapons fall into the wrong hands and can be used
against them."


"The ban will be useless," says Chris Neubauer of gunsmiths
Reford and Bresler. "They´ve spent billions on the new Firearms
Control Act, but shootings just keep going up. If they can´t
control firearms, how on earth are they going to control
catapults and flick-knives?"


Lifeline and Rape Crisis director Debbie Harrison says her
organisations try to promote a society that rejects all forms of
violence. "The reality for many of the women we counsel is a
very unsafe, scary world where their lives are in real danger.
We would enthusiastically support a South Africa in which any
form of self-defence weapon was not required.


"At this stage pepper spray is not on the list and this is the
defence of choice for many women. We hope this will not be added
to the list until such time as the security services of our
country can reasonably guarantee most women and children a safe
environment."


Fay Buckley, a pensioner who lives with her husband at
Woodgrove, says she no longer has the gas gun she used to carry.
"I didn´t know how to use it anyway and most elderly people
don´t know how to use such weapons."


Director Selby Bokaba of the SAPS Legal Services said the
prohibitions in the notice amount to "basically anything that´s
not a firearm, yet could cause some kind of harm", but added
that the amendment is still in draft form and "far from final".


The proposals have not yet caused a run on arms and camping
supply stores, although there has been an increase in queries
about pellet guns and pepper sprays, says Keegan Walters of Bush
& Bundu. "People are nervous and want to get some sort of weapon
before they´re banned."


Ashwin Bhana, a director of Royal Smokers, agrees.


"It´s a tricky situation, and customers are asking to see gas
and stun guns that they´ve never used before."


Toy guns are also on the list. The manager of a large toy store
said he didn´t want to comment before the draft is finalised,
but said that banning toys is "difficult and time-consuming,
whether they are guns or dolls".


Lihle Cwinya of Gun Free SA in KZN said: "It would be a good
thing if they banned toy guns; they ... teach them to be violent ...
parents should not allow their children to play with them," she
said.


Comments: [Post a Comment]
Comment:
Posted by Jo on 04 Mar 2008
Dangerous weapons law
Once again law biding citizens will be helpless when needing to
protect themselves. Why would a criminal who is going to break
the law by attacking or robbing someone, worry about carrying or
using a "dangerous weapon"? The only people who will abide by
this law is the law abiding citizen. Just another stupid law
which may work in theory but could be more harmful to the exact
people it is meant to protect in reality.


Posted by Jon on 04 Mar 2008
Banning of Weapons
So the government wants to stop dangerous weapons like catapults
and stun guns from getting into the hands of criminals. Why any
criminal would ever want to steal a catapult is beyond me -
especially when one considers that a large percentage of the
easily obtained illegal weapons used to commit crime have in
fact been stolen from various government agencies. So if we use
government logic are we to also see the police and army disarmed
to put a stop to the most efficient supply of firearms to the
criminal world? Just like the recent sexual offences laws this
is just one more bit of proof that the ANC government either
lives in cloud cuckoo land or wants to make it easier for
criminals to commit crimes with less chance of the victims being
able to fight back.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
GOSA
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