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17 June 2017 | Editorial

Ineffective Gun Law

Daily Guide
Ineffective Gun Law

The statistics of illegal firearms is worrying. With over two million such weapons in the hands of people whose psychological makeup nobody even knows we are definitely in trouble. Even more troubling is the fact that owners of such illegal weapons are nowhere near surrendering them or having them registered.

In some countries, illegal guns in wrong hands, was addressed by providing incentives to such owners but we can bet this would not yield the needed dividend.

Going back to the drawing board to take another look at options would be such a wonderful idea. Given the number of fatalities suffered because of so many firearms in the hands of bad persons, no amount of money or even time would be too much to spend on this campaign provided the desired results would be achieved.

The authorities do not know what to do and would have to rely on the goodwill of the people to manage this unacceptable situation.

We learnt rather disappointingly that even though we continue to lament about the challenge posed by illegal weapons, we are not on top of the game because among other factors we have not invested in sophisticated scanners at our entry points.

Let us draw lessons from countries which have done so much and achieved so much in the area of managing illegal weapons.

It is our take that the appropriate scanners be acquired as a first step towards managing the challenge. We could seek assistance from the other hemisphere as we have always done in times of need. If such illegal guns are responsible for countless deaths, nothing would be too much to use to stem it.

One of the sources of these weapons, it has been established by experts, is the local gunsmiths – their weapons easily acquired on the black market.

We are suffering the effects of porous frontiers. This has led to an uncontrollable smuggling of weapons into the country. With no sophisticated gadgets to detect such firearms, smugglers usually get field days.

In spite of the challenges, we cannot afford to rest on oars but to continue to strive to reverse the disturbing statistics.

Armed robbers should be able to tell us just how they acquire these weapons with such ease. We believe that the Police have such a large stock of information about the nature of the black market of weapons.

Although it might not offer an immediate solution to the gun craze, we think educating children from basic schools about the dangers posed by illegal weapons would be supportive of the other solutions.

As for the gun law, the least said about it the better.

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