The gun lobby has wasted no time in climbing on the bandwago<br> (was<br><br>
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The gun lobby has wasted no time in climbing on the bandwago

Postby Emilio » Mon, 2006-12-25 07:49

Taliep: The aftermath
December 20, 2006 Edition 1

The volume and content of the SMSes and letters we have published since the murder of Taliep Petersen are an eloquent and potent indication of the groundswell of feeling about violent crime, and the perception that the government is not only powerless to fight it but not interested in doing so.

Many call for the return of the death penalty, others speak of a mass march, still others for the|revival of Pagad and the benefits of vigilantism. The gun lobby has wasted no time in climbing on the bandwagon.

On the basis of this unprecedented reaction to a crime of a type that is all too common, it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that Petersen's death could be the tipping point that will transform the continuous rumble of concern about crime into something much more tangible.

Politicians must be asking themselves searching questions about the meaning of the reaction to|Petersen's death. Admittedly, it comes within days of the shocking murder, and is therefore fuelled by raw emotion, but seeds are being planted which, left untended, could grow into something undesirable.

Do we really need a revitalised Pagad - once the agent of death and mayhem in its own right - to emerge? Would armed vigilante groups of any kind be acceptable on our streets?

The answer is no, and it is woefully inadequate, but what is the alternative? Over to you, Mr President.
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