Comment by John Robbie

Gun responsibility at a time of the Oscar-Reeva tragedy

We’ve had so many stories about guns on 702 - remember that guy who was an ANC employee that shot after a cellphone thief? It was a little boy and he shot and killed him.

Just the other day, we had the taxi war madness in Midrand and a bullet hit an innocent lady in her car on her way to work and she was killed. Guns are a part of life in South Africa but so is innocent death because of them and that is a fact.

You look at the Oscar trial – for so long it’s been a voyeuristic journey for most of us where we get to see the adversarial nature of our law at work: dolus directus and dolus eventualis; we’re all experts! We’ve had fans being moved minutely from the balcony to the bedroom and screams and gunshots and cricket bats hitting doors and experts galore!

We’ve had Gerrie Nel ‘Mr Nasty’ and Barry Roux ‘Mr Nice’ and the daily game we all play when we look at the television – who is in the public gallery? It’s a favourite – who can we recognise?

But yesterday was different – yesterday brought home what the Oscar Pistorius trial and incident with Reeva Steenkamp was all about. It was about a person who loved guns and who was paranoid about security, either making a terrible mistake or losing his temper or being scared stiff. But the end result is that whole families are ruined forever.

Oscar’s a broken man and you look at his loyal sister – I feel so sorry for her and the family, they’ll never be the same. Reeva’s cousin and her story yesterday – she started off so confident and then you realised that she’s a broken person and her family is also dysfunctional now; that came out.

There’s counselling, there’s therapy all over the place and of course the gun issue is a contentious one. If the violent gangsters and crooks have guns, why shouldn’t we? It’s a very fair question.

Don’t get me wrong, but for the love of God, if you have a gun, be responsible and careful and understand what it can do. It can kill people and can ruin lives – not just the people who are shot.

Listen to John's Comment in full below:


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