More Guns More Violence
The United States is suffering from major shooting incidents especially in schools and universities. So will giving our security guards guns make our lives easier? You might think that it is not fair to compare the US with us, but really it is about having a society that can be as peaceful and harmonious as possible.
“The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems — and in most years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as ‘weapons of mass destruction’.” — Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, March 2001
The personal security you have at home is composed of an alarm system and a security guard in most cases. These are strictly preventative measures and even if the security guard does have a firearm, you have to realize the following:
He/she needs constant training
There is a lot of psychology involved so that it is not misused or especially misfires
Who will monitor the guard’s movements that he/she doesn’t turn on you
All the above requires major jurisdiction and investment. By the way Nigeria is planning to build and open its own firearms factory and not depend on foreign countries. Is this going to be the start of Africa’s own weapons Pandora box? Time will tell. While South Africa may have a strict gun control policy, the recent Oscar Pistorious trial and incident is testimony to the blunders that can cost many lives.
Private security companies should continue their work on having sophisticated technology and as much training as possible for their staff especially those on the ground, the security guard. If they are given the opportunity to have them, then who will manage them? In the Westgate and Garissa University attacks, the fact that were no armed security personnel managing raised alarms. But here’s the thing, a surprise attack and if an armed person with an AK 47 jumps into your way then the reaction time is debatable. Given power to control or handle firearms when a security company may have about 1000 security guards, means 1000 guns out there. You can imagine the type of drama that can explode. There also remains a huge responsibility of the storage of the weapon and if they take it home, it exposes their family and environs.
According to the Firearms Act (Cap. 114) in Kenya anybody can own a gun but they need to fulfill the criteria of having a valid reason. Their background checks are also necessary. However what if a private citizen creates a threat to obtain this gun and then even the private security firms may not have much to stop them. Thus, it is a very complicated system that will be required. Personally I don’t believe we need to have the security guards or private firms taking up guns, dialogue can play a crucial role. Most importantly economic empowerment and alleviation of poverty will make the bigger difference. Instead of giving them a gun, give them an entrepreneurial opportunity. Invest not destroy.