Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun sales in America


It is worrying indeed that after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, that people could rush to gun stores to arm themselves. Maybe it is because I am a foreigner from the American culture that I really do not understand their need for guns. News blogs have been a buzz about how gun sales have soared over the weekend after the tragedy of a 20 year old shooting 26 people, 20 of them children under the ages of 10. I wish someone would explain to me why a person needs a semi-automatic weapon to go deer hunting? It is not as if congress or the White House would have a TOTAL ban on guns.

Some good news is that the company that makes bushmaster guns like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre was put up for sale by the private equity owner. Although it is a sale and not a closure, it is a move into the right direction.

In Botswana, there is presently a total prohibition on the issuing of handgun licences to individuals. People who can possess and carry firearms are serving members of the police and defence force. And even this is restricted - ordinary police personnel do not carry firearms except for special operations, and there is only a limited issue of firearms to other members of the public service in the prisons service and wildlife and national parks department. Hunters are also subject to strict control with a limited quantity of 400 licences issued annually - 200 for shotguns and 200 for rifles. These are allocated randomly by an annual raffle of the approved applications. Exception is made for the safari industry and some cattle owners if they can prove they are troubled by predators.

If America has got no clue on how to have a gun-free country, there could look at countries like Botswana or China. People can live in their homes without guns and hunters can hunt with limited firearms.

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