2008-03-03 : Anger at non-lethal weapon ban idea

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2008-03-03 : Anger at non-lethal weapon ban idea

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2008-04-14 07:23

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 368C899372


Anger at non-lethal weapon ban idea


March 03 2008 at 01:12PM


"People have the right to defend themselves."


This is the view of Paul Murphy, the manager of Blades and Bows, a
self-defence and sporting goods shop in Durban.


Murphy, and other self-defence store owners, have reacted angrily to the
news that Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula has proposed a
ban on self-defence items like knives, pepper sprays and stun guns.


While the proposed ban would mean that Murphy and other owners could
lose their businesses, some Durban residents are concerned that they
will not be able to defend themselves unless they possess a licensed
firearm.


"A ban on flick-knives is laughable, you can kill some one with a steak
knife or a sharpened butter knife if that is your intention. Why would a
thief buy an expensive flick-knife to rob someone when they can use
anything?" said Murphy.


"Someone would not come into our store and buy a bow and arrows to
commit armed robbery, they would be ridiculed. Most of the items we
sell, such as air rifles, pellet guns, paintball guns and hunting
knives, are all used for sport or self-defence," said Murphy.


Deterrent


He said if someone comes onto your property you are not allowed to
defend yourself by shooting them with a real firearm, but if you shoot
them with a pepper-ball gun it is a minimal force deterrent that could
save you and your family.


"Instead of instituting bans on non-lethal weapons that the police don't
have the recourse or man-power to police effectively, they should rather
focus on getting unlicensed firearms off the streets," said Murphy.


In the document proposed by Nqakula in parliament last week, he
suggested banning any weapon that could injure or disable a person.


This also includes traditional weapons such as knobkerries, which many
people carry around or keep in their cars for protection, and even toy
guns, which have been used in armed robberies.


KwaZulu-Natal police have welcomed the idea, saying that crimes
throughout the province were split 50-50 between real guns and other
"non-lethal" weapons.


Police spokesperson Muzi Mngomezulu said: "I believe a ban on these
non-lethal weapons such as flick-knives and other sharp, dangerous
objects would reduce crime.


"It would make it much easier for police to apprehend suspects in raids
because if they are carrying a flick-knife in their pocket, for
instance, it would be illegal and the person would have to face the
consequences," said Mngomezulu.


He said that illegal guns were still a problem and he encouraged people
to report anyone carrying unlicensed firearms to police.


Gun Free SA has also welcomed the initiative by the Minister.


Lihle Cwinya, Gun Free SA Durban spokesperson, said: "I think it is a
great idea, these are the things that are perpetuating violence and
crime in our country and it is a positive step forward if they are banned."


Children


"We are a country that likes violence and it would be a good thing if
they banned toy guns; they are very bad for children and teach them to
be violent. Whether toy guns are banned or not, parents should not allow
their children to play with them," said Cwinya.


"I believe the action that has been taken by the minister will help
change people's attitude," she said.


The public has about two weeks left of public participation to air their
views on the subject before it is written into law.


o This article was originally published on page 5 of Daily
News on March 03, 2008
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
GOSA
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