Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kenya Gun Destruction, 2016

On November 16, 2016, the government of Kenya destroyed 5,250 guns.  The method used was fire. It isn't that guns are not valued in Kenya.  Villages in Kenya are being raided for slaves by al Shabaab, an African affiliate of ISIS. They have sworn allegiance to the new Caliphate in the middle east. Kenya has allied with other govenments to fight them. Al Shabaab loudly proclaims its Islamic right to raid, kill, and enslave unbelievers.

But the Kenya government does not trust the villagers with any guns, even single shot muzzle-loaders, let along AK47 rifles. From
Somalia’s insurgent group al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the country’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of sharia – Islamic law, has carried out regular assaults in neighboring Kenya in recent years as retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Kenya last burnt a similar collection of illegal weapons in 2003, 2005 and 2010.

Africa has been prone to small arms proliferation which has in turn resulted in political and social unrests in most parts of the continent. Reinforcing existing small arms treaties at the national, subregional and the continental levels are seen as important to maintain stability and peace in Africa.

The African Union says there is the need for a concerted effort to combat trade in illicit small arms and light weapons which continue to cause untold suffering and pain, threatening the peace and security of the region.
Kenya is not a rich nation. There is tremendous poverty in the rural villages. It is hard to believe that the rifles, shotguns and a few pistols could not have brought at least $100 each.  That would have been a half a million dollars.

Better yet, distribute the guns to village militias to defend against Al Shabaab.  Even a few arms could result in significant resistance. That is not an option when the government is a kleptocracy riddled by tribal loyalties.

One village was started by women who were rape victims.  It only took one man with a gun to destroy it.  The village was helpless against him.

In the pictures of the stacked firearms, I see a lot of AK47s or AKMs, a fair number of SKS rifles, Enfield MKIII and IVs, M-16s, G3s, a smattering of air rifles, sporting bolt guns, and decent double barreled shotguns. There is a Martini-Henry in full military regalia, an RPD, an RPK, a few RPG grenade launchers.  There are a couple of single barreled shotguns.

In the picture above, you can see a Webley MKIII nestled in between RPG launchers.  Just to the left, is a homemade pistol.  In another place there was a M-2 .50 cal machine gun.  I saw one possible sub-machine gun. It looked like an American "Grease Gun", the M3.  There was a Mauser 98, and what appeared to be a sporterized Arisaka M38 from WWII!

It is sad to see such valuable resources destroyed when they could be put to good purposes.  One reform that could help would be to allow personal importation into the United States. A limit of 3 firearms acquired overseas sounds reasonable. That was the policy until the middle 1960's.  There was no duty or special license required for such personal importation.  It would give governments overseas a way to get rid of some of their excess firearms, and make a profit at the same time.

It may not be a high priority for the Trump administration in the first hundred days.  It is a small reform that would be appreciated by the Gun Culture.  I considered a visit to the Czech Republic, to look for a nice drilling or double. But I found an import license costly and impractical to obtain.

I would gladly spend a couple of hundred dollars for that Webley, one of the double barreled shotguns, or the Martini-Henry. 

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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Anonymous said...

I though I saw a Thompson .45 in the stack. new they are selling for over 1,000 dollars. I would like to have a Thompson with a bag full of magazines.

Anonymous said...

I love to buy guns from people that think they are selling a defective gun and ask a ridiculously low price just to get rid of it. moat of the time the gun has not been cleaned since the day it was bought. I take them home and carve the lead, dirt and carbon build up off of them, find the lands and groves that appear to be missing and have a nearly new gun with very little effort. recently a guy sold me a pump action 22 and he was happy to unload it for the price. He never said it would not chamber the round. but when you remove the chunk of lead that was blocking the bolt it works like new.

Dean Weingarten said...

I have made some good deals on guns like that.

.22 pumps are charming rifles.

Anonymous said...

I have a lever action, .22 action, that needs stock and barrel and feed tube. a pump and a semi auto. a bolt action magazine fed and a bolt action tube fed that needs a bolt. I'm always looking for parts. I love the guns that come in several different models. very easy to change parts around and reconfigure them. I would love to get my hands on a military M-14. still looking for a berretta 92 9mm and a colt .45acp. I need magazines for a berretta Garcia .22 semi auto. it is actually a modified model 70 8 shot to ten shot custom target, long barrel.