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SMOKE: Disarming The Cops

Originally published: 27 October 2004

Yesterday I read a South African Press Association (SAPA) report on what national police commissioner Jackie Selebi has been up to, and it seems he's been swanning it at a Gun Free South Africa conference talking about how he wants to disarm our police services.

When one reads the fine print of the article one finds the following paragraph: "'The removal of service pistols from officers will be considered if no policeman is killed over a two year period,' said South African police commissioner Jackie Selebi on Tuesday."

So in other words don't worry about the cops being disarmed - South Africa has the highest police mortality rate in the world. If you're a cop - you'll get to keep your gun, is my guess, but your life ain't worth spit.

But the principle behind what Selebi was saying I find disturbing, because it's yet another step in the direction of criminal rights. The title of the article was: "Cops may be disarmed - Selebi". Why wasn't it: "Criminals may be disarmed - Selebi"?

I couldn't agree more with the sentiments behind the Gun Free South Africa campaign and any other anti-firearm lobbyists - a society in which there are no guns is a society in which nobody dies in a hail of bullets, as happens every minute of every day of every year in Claremont alone.

But it's kinda like starting up a group called World Peace campaign - a noble enough cause, I would think, but one that requires a whole lot less hatred than there currently is in the world.

In other words - it's an ideal, and one I can't ever see being achieved.

If there were some way of disarming criminals in South Africa then by all means take the guns away from cops. A handy truncheon, bangers and mash for brekkers and an "Oi - what's going on 'ere, then?" should be more than enough protection against the disarmed hordes.

But if I were a criminal I'd hold one huge meeting of criminals in someone's basement and get everyone to stop killing policemen for two years. Wait for Selebi to take his own men's guns away, and go mad - the world is your oyster. Fire up those AK-47 arms caches, bung on the old cammo's, tie a headband around your head and go be naughty. Nothing they can do to stop you.

Japery aside - Selebi's comments are typical appeasement stuff and it just seems to me that the police are getting less and less rights in order to uphold some twisted ideal of "personal rights". Everyone has rights these days other than the police - a criminal is not allowed to shoot anyone yet they do anyway, and cops are not allowed to shoot criminals so they don't.

Seems a bit skewed in favour of the criminal to me.

I had some Pig running through my garden the other day, in flight from the law, and I can tell you now that if I had a gun and saw someone on my property - running away or not - I would shoot him. And I would go to jail for doing so, despite the fact that it was my property that was invaded.

The reason I would shoot him is twofold: firstly I don't appreciate having strangers who are obviously criminals on my property and thus in my life, and secondly I would have no idea what he'd done. For all I know the guy running past my window had murdered the tannie behind me - should I just let him run away, or should I take a positive step towards making the area I live in a safer place?

The law will tell you the former; I'll choose the latter.

And it really pisses me off that I will be in the wrong, because if he had not come onto my property - or robbed or murdered someone else - he wouldn't have 6'3" of pissed off Urban Rage holding a sawn-off shotgun to contend with.

Gun Free South Africa will argue that if we remove guns from society we won't need to worry - I wonder if any single member of that organisation has ever had their wife raped and her throat slit with a six-inch Bowie knife?

I'm sorry, but screw you - if you turn up on my property unannounced and show evil intent towards me or anyone in my vicinity I will do my best to kill you. Not to maim you, or hurt you, or clap a hand on your shoulder and manfully tell you I'm making a citizen's arrest - I'll kill you.

Because it is not your right to involve yourselves in the lives of others, for any reason whatsoever, and if you don't attempt to mess with me I swear to you I will never mess with you.


Under Gun Free South Africa and Jackie Selebi's conditions when I spot a madman in my house carving my wife to ribbons I should simply sit down calmly and say: "Oh, bugger." Once he's done I can call the cops and they can come over with their truncheons and attempt not to harm him in any way while arresting him. If he doesn't blow their heads off, that is.

No - all this "rights of the individual" crap must stop now - we're getting far too many rights to know what to do with. Look what it's doing to America and other democratic countries - it's a joke what people can get away with. You spill hot coffee on yourself because you're a dumbass and you make a million bucks for it.

Too many rights.

So I'd much rather see our national police commissioner attending day classes at Langley, Virginia, or spending a weekend playing golf with Rudi Giuliani.

Reminds me of a photograph I saw in the newspaper a few years ago - it was a story about our new national defence force, and there was a big picture of a bunch of soldiers standing around with huge, shit-eating grins on their faces, giving the two-finger peace sign.

What the hey.....?! Next thing they'll be burning their bra's and having group sex in tour busses. Peace indeed! What next?

Surely you want your army to give off the impression that it can deal with threats, stabilise situations and generally be a bunch of hard bastards you don't want to mess with? The impression I got was that they're a bunch of lily-livered employees who'd rather be anywhere other than near the action.

But the SANDF is dumbing down - soldiers have rights these days, and no doubt maternity leave as well. Soldiers are no longer soldiers - they are employees with rights like everybody else.

So I feel sorry for the police force - they're being asked to be polite about curbing crime. And if they do curb crime they have to worry about their protection being taken away. In a weird way I actually have to hope that a few more cops get nailed in the next couple of years.

It's for their own good.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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