Monday, June 20, 2005


In South Africa, violent crime has been increasing dramatically .... In response, the government has passed new laws that require guns to be re-licensed every five years (guns already needed to be licensed to be legal). To be eligible for a license, applicants must complete an accredited training course, pass a police background check, install a safe or strongbox for storage, and prove that they need a gun. Eighty percent of those seeking licenses are rejected, causing gun owners to believe (correctly) that the measure is intended to disarm law-abiding people.

Many South Africans, who rightly fear for their safety, have been trying to find alternatives to using guns for protection. Many "houses are surrounded by razor wire and electric fences," and people are buying crossbows, Zulu fighting spears, swords, battle axes, and pepper spray. The owner of one gun shop said that demand was so great for these items that he had to build a new shop.

Predictably, gun control advocates argue that disarming law-abiding citizens will stop the deluge of crime, even though it is estimated that between one million and four million illegal firearms are in circulation (albeit many of these are likely owned by basically honest people who are in fear of their lives) and that, according to the January 6 Guardian of London, only half of the violent deaths "were thought to be gun-related."

Somewhat ironically, during the time period of apartheid, whites had few restrictions on being able to get guns, large numbers were armed, and gun-related crime was relatively low. Alex Holmes, of South Africa's Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association, says the government has to realize that "the real problem is from 30-40,000 hardcore criminals using a small amount of illegal guns." He added, "Licensed guns are not used in crime at any great rate."

Once again, gun control advocates are overlooking the common-sense aspect of crime, and they're failing to acknowledge that to control crime, criminals must be controlled, not law-abiding citizens. As reported on the website "South Africa in transition," in the east coast city of Soweto, crime is especially bad, and the criminals are so numerous that an Indian doctor who works in a hospital there, named Anushka Lehka, tries to come and leave work during daylight hours. If she does drive in the city at night, "she never stops for red lights for fear of being hijacked."


Home invasion triggers shoot-out: Raymond Rogers says he is lucky to be alive after a man broke into his home and shot at him repeatedly early Wednesday morning. Tyrell Taylor, one of two men accused in the break-in, also survived, although he was struck twice when Rogers returned fire. Taylor, 21, was wanted by police for his alleged role in an unrelated murder. He is in fair condition at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, suffering with a collapsed lung. Rogers said he was roused from his sleep about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday by the sound of someone trying to kick in the front door of his Greenville Road home. Rogers, 24, grabbed his .20-gauge shotgun and hid in a back bedroom with his girlfriend. When two men entered the home and found Rogers with a shotgun, one began shooting. Rogers said he shot back, striking one of the men, but the man continued shooting as he lay wounded on the floor. Rogers fired a second time, striking the man in the chest. "He shot at me about three or four times and he never hit me," Rogers said. "I reckon' I'm lucky to be alive. I had my gun to protect myself." Rogers' girlfriend also escaped injury. The gunman and the second man managed to flee the home. Sheriff's Detective Neil Tyner said authorities were able to identify Taylor after he was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his left leg and chest. Sheriff's investigators are still looking for the second man. Tyner said Taylor and the second man pried open Rogers' front door with a hammer after repeated attempts to kick in the door failed.

KANSAS CITY, Mo: Police are investigating two violent home invasions Friday: The shootings and break-ins appear to be unrelated, officials said. However, in both cases, the victims said the gunmen were strangers to them. One of the crimes happened in southeast Kansas City at 8603 Corrington Ave. Police said a man came to the house asking if a car was for sale. The husband and wife who live there said it wasn't. Less than an hour later, three people burst into the home and ordered the woman to the floor at gunpoint, police said. Then, her husband surprised the intruders by wielding a gun. Shots were fired. Two of the intruders were hit, but they escaped in a truck with someone who was waiting outside, officials said. The second home invasion happened on the east side at 2811 E. Ninth St. A resident said at about 10:30 a.m., the door was kicked in and strangers invaded the house. "They entered through the front door, tried to proceed through the house and then that's when I came out and startled them, and then they exited the premises. Before they left, they rang out some gunshots," the resident said. KMBC's Peggy Breit reported that bullet holes were seen in the walls and ceiling. No one was injured. The resident said he felt lucky that no one else was home at the time.

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