De Rebus propaganda

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De Rebus propaganda

Postby crimefree » Tue, 2006-04-04 14:37

It should be noted the de Rebus declined to publish this correction and refused to give any reason for the decline. One can only say that is not balanced publishing and de Rebus is clearly in the business of propaganda. by presenting one side only. The fact that gun control has no success and most of the information presented in de Rebus was false does not seem to concern those who should know better.

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Dear Editor

Firearms control in South Africa, De Rebus May 2004 refers:

The opening sentence sets the tone and objective of this report. "There is a world-wide trend towards gun consciousness and South Africa is no exception" is in propaganda terms known as bandwagoning. What follows is a white wash of the real meaning of the legislation. The report simply fails to get to terms with the draconian powers given and the unconstitutional flavour drastically decreasing citizen’s rights.

This report contains so many factual errors one has to wonder at the source of information from which it was compiled. There are far to many to point them all out but many have a single source of origin from Gun Free South Africa. A lobby organisation not known for producing reliable evidence or factual research and has a campaign based entirely on propaganda.

The use of irrelevant meaningless statistics in the article that have no bearing on the ability of gun control laws to reduce crime or the supply of firearms to criminals is but another ploy to enhance the propagandistic nature of the report. In reality licensed firearm ownership has increased by more than 64% since 1994 while the murder rate has decrease by 21%. The SAPS have yet to offer a realistic explanation for this decrease in the murder rate. It has been claimed as a result of operation Crackdown. This operation removed police officers to high crime areas but does not begin to explain the decrease countrywide, nor does political violence.

There has been no published research that indicates a public benefit to increased firearms control that was considered. Antony Albekers 1000 docket survey to say the least is unrepresentative and Altbeker admits this.

The worlds evidence is quite the opposite showing that decreased regulation leads to lower crime. A number of states in the USA have recently introduced shall issue concealed carry laws bringing the total number of states to 37. Crime in the USA continues to decrease. One only has to study the horrific results on crime of the recent ban of handguns in England to get a clear picture of what is intended for South Africa by the ideologically blind willing to sacrifice innocent lives to remove the object of their hatred.

A copy of the research claimed for the Act needs to be produced or a direct reference needs to be made to the cited research. Showing a causal relationship between levels of firearm ownership and crime will be world first that criminologists have long known does not exist. Why has this not been claimed by the government or research quoted? South Africa could certainly do with the fame and glory it would bestow on the country.

There has been no consultation, despite government’s claim, of any firearm organisations on the policy of the Act. SAGA and NFF have claimed that they were forcefully ejected from Safety & Security after trying to offer their services and expertise. The minister has not replied to a request from the Clay Pigeon Shooters Association of evidence of the falsely claimed consultation in the Act. All public meetings and workshops were held after the draft Bill and were initiated with a statement from the drafters and SAPS that the policy of the Act was not under discussion and no discussion of the policy would be entertained. A record of the extensive consultation claimed in the article must be cited or produced because no firearm organisations are aware of this “consultation”.

The claims of the Act preamble have no research to give truth or meaning to the words. It is unknown how removal or restriction of the best tools available for self-defence from law-abiding citizens can enhance their right to life.

This Act will not remove a single illegal firearm from criminal hands. No criminal is willingly going to hand over a firearm because of some new law. Criminals by definition do not obey laws and laws do not rehabilitate criminals. The Minister of Safety & Security publicly stated that this act was not written for criminals as criminals did not obey laws.

There is no example in the world in more than 150 years and many thousands of applications of stricter gun control legislation reducing either crime or the supply of guns to criminals. Even if an example could be found of what statistical significance would it be?

No public benefit has been shown by any investigation into firearms registers. New Zealand dropped registration after it found registration was expensive and time consuming with little to no crime fighting benefit. Australia ignored a report that showed the same (Waterman) as did England (Greenwood). The Canadian parliament was forced to admit that after 64 years of handgun registration the register had not solved a single criminal case. The new Canadian register estimated to cost CDN 80 million has now exceeded CDN1000 million and is nowhere near complete.

South Africa's register is more than ten times as complex as the Canadian register. Government (SAPS) estimates a cost of R2.18 billion this will prove to be a very poor underestimate. While less than 8% of crime is convicted such waste of resources is not the actions of a benevolent government that has the interests of citizen’s safety at heart. It is more like a smoke screen to distract attention from a very poor performance of dismal failure to control crime. A not unknown process for governments as evidence by Jamaica in enacting the Gun Court laws which have proved once again that gun control fails to deliver on its false promise.

ANC ministers cannot be unaware of this total failure of gun control and the steam roller methods used and continued desire to implement this legislation must therefor point to some other agenda. Since the ANC have made no secret of their wish to totally disarm the public this Act must be seen as the first step of the plan as detailed by Azar Cachalia to the Goldstone Commission in 1993.

The Central Firearms Register is currently without an appeal board and has an application delay of 12 months. How on earth is it expected that all the new requirements detailed in the Act as well as relicencing are going to take place in the lifetime of a firearm owner?

The administrative justice Act does not force any government department to perform a task within a specific time period. The department may well be ordered to carry out the task but no period can be set.

The absolute chaotic state of the central firearms register of being more than 70% incorrect or inaccurate has raised no complaints from crime investigation units of the SAPS. How many criminal cases has the South African register solved? Of what use is a register of firearm owners in the solving of crime? Nobody has demonstrated a use for this register or a public benefit. A similar register for known paedophiles was rejected as being unconstitutional. Criminals have protection of the constitution but citizens who have broken no law must be recorded and their privacy invaded. Does that look like democracy and being fair to the legal profession?

SAPS own records show that South Africa firearm owners are very responsible and the number of successful prosecutions under the current Act are few indeed. Therefor control was more than adequately covered in Act 75 of 1969 and there was no need to change or increase control. A very good case could have been made for releasing to crime fighting expensive and valuable resources and manpower.

There is no principle in law that holds that the victim of a crime is responsible for the crime or subsequent crime. Yet daily the SAPS and government make this claim with reference to firearm owners. The legal fraternity to its shame has yet to make reasonable comment on what can only be a reversion to the same blind foolish thinking that claimed women were responsible for rape by inviting rape.

Together the Firearms Control Act and the Regulations must stand as a monument to invasive unconstitutional legislation that was passed without so much as a murmur from the legal profession. In fact many are on record as supporting the legislation. What hypocrisy when considered with the voluminous nit picking and objection of other legislation that takes place. Where the public must be protected in other instances there is no lack of legal comment, yet the Firearms Control Act has not elicited so much as a single condemnation on its many controversial aspects. So controversial that even the drafters were aware of it. Louis Kok (State Adv.) made public comment on the unconstitutional aspects by claiming the drafters expected to get away with it due to apathy. It seem that Louis Kok was right.

The purpose of the Act is to remove as many licensed firearms as possible. This has been stated on a number of times and includes the utterances of M. E. George, Safety & Security Portfolio Committee chairman and the brief given by S. Mufamadi to the de Caris commission.

Public submissions on the Bill and draft Bill were discarded unread. Douglas Gibson (DA) noted tables filled with unopened submissions. No summary was ever produced for the portfolio committee during the entire process and the SAPS opened, read and decided on what written submissions would be considered. Comments from the SAPS to the Portfolio Committee include "Policy issue", the suggestion or advice was discarded and not included or given to the Portfolio Committee for consideration. The policy was and is still considered inviolate. This can only have been orchestrated by political means and subversion of the legislative process.

The policy document as handed to ISS for the Bill draft is not available and has never been presented for public comment. No policy document has ever been presented for public comment. The policy document claimed was drafted in secret after the Bill was made open for public comment. The parliamentary approved policy has remained secret.

There are chapters more that could be written on the Firearms Control Act and the disgraceful behaviour of Government and SAPS in the whole process. However what is clear is that those who should have some public protection obligation have abdicated that responsibility. Why is the only question that now needs to be answered.

Peter Moss
Crimefree South Africa
"Two memorials remain today at Thermoplylae. Upon the modern one is engraved his response to Xerxes' demand that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas' reply was two words, Molon Labe. 'Come and get them'."
crimefree
 
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Location: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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