This is a letter to the editor of my local paper when I was living in South Africa. I think it is excellent – short, sharp and to the point.
Letter in the Kempton Express 30 May 2002
ARE STOLEN GUNS GUILTY? By Sebella O’Donovan
There are far too many crimes taking place in South Africa and even more innocent people lose their lives due to these crimes.
Every week we read of yet another murder.
What really concerns me, is statements made that “it is the stolen guns on the street that are responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people”.
Do people really believe that should there be no guns, that crime will not take place?
How many people are murdered with axes, knives, strangled with bare hands, poisoned or even burnt alive? The list is endless. Yet we continue to blame the tool. (one particular tool).
We are also led to believe that the more helpless we are, the safer we are from criminals.
That an intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or even spray, but if shot with a .44 magnum will get angry, and kill you?
That ordinary people, in the presence of guns, turn into slaughtering butchers and revert to normal when the weapon is removed?
That a woman, who is raped and strangled with her own stockings is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet?
Is it not time for all of us to remember that it is the evil in a man’s heart and not the tool, which causes the crime?
Criminals need to be punished and the more of our liberty and freedom that we sacrifice, the less we’ll have of either.
Perhaps we should be looking at a society where innocent and free people don’t have to live in servitude to a government or to criminals?