I don’t condone the use of guns.
When I have children one day, I don’t think I will buy them a toy gun, I don’t think I would be cool with my kids playing ‘Cowboys and Crooks’ or ‘Cops and Robbers’. When I ask myself why, the decision is a bit harder for me.
For starters, I believe citizens should have the right to protect themselves. As much as I long for proper gun control – which would keep arms out of the hands of criminals – I wish we did not have to have armies around the world. But then, when I see evil being confronted by a big stick from certain nations, I’m encouraged that perhaps it’s for the good and not the bad.
But in my home, under my pillow, in my car – I’m never going to hold a gun because it’s just not me. I’ve grown up seeing first-hand how people die at the end of a barrel in gang violence where I grew up.
I had a Dad who brought a gun to protect his family, us, after our house got ransacked but I’m so happy that he’s never ever had to use that gun on anyone. I remember the day vividly, when he took me out to the veld, handed me the gun and said: ‘Here, fire off a couple of shots and see what it’s like’. I don’t know what it was, but in my spirit, in that moment, I said ‘Papa: no!’ and I walked away. I remember the day very vividly.
Now you can tell me that I’m naïve about my stance on guns and that’s fine. I’m not a hardliner about South Africa being a gun-free society. I believe you have that right to protect yourself.
I don’t think it would ever happen in South Africa, that we would become a gun-free society – I think the good people need to have guns to protect the rest of us from the bad people, because that horse has bolted. But I’m not being naïve in my view when I say: guns simply cause more harm than good - Udo Carelse