More guns not the answer in ganglands: iLIVE
Gangs and gang-related violence appear to be an almost insoluble social problem in Western Cape ("Army must fight gangs", July 9). Now premier Helen Zille has called, incredibly, for the intervention of the defence force.
Apart from the fact that the army is not trained in policing techniques, the last thing one would want to see is even more guns in the province. This would perpetuate the idea that solutions to social problems can be solved with fire-power.
The fact that many of the killings in the region are perpetrated with firearms should set alarm bells ringing.
The Firearms Control Act, if implemented effectively, should ensure that there are no firearms in the wrong hands. Proper implementation and stringent adherence to the list of criteria that must be fulfilled before a gun licence is issued will prevent firearms ending up in the wrong hands.
Of course it will be argued that the firearms are illegal and, if that is the case, the police should be conducting door-to-door searches to remove them.
With the removal of firearms, at least one type of weapon will be out of circulation.
The Ceasefire Campaign accepts that a multi-pronged approach is needed to tackle the despair and poverty that lead to gangsterism and substance abuse, and their concomitant problems.
This should be led by social services and the police, not the army.
As an organisation we believe in demilitarisation, arms reduction and non-violence. A determined effort to introduce communities to non-violent solutions to problems could be a good place to start.