The reason for this is that they will expect more in the way of business robberies (particularly in malls) and cash-in-transit robberies, along with all of the other ‘lesser’ crimes that thrive during a season where there’s increased commercial exchange and larger crowd sizes for easy pickings, along with different residential property dynamics – such as more unknown faces being around certain neighbourhoods and the realistic expectation by criminals that lots of houses will be vacant. All in all, it is a fertile time for lethal encounters with criminals.
While it may be fair to have specific safety concerns about this time of year, before we go any further it must be emphasised that the potential for attack on yourself or loved ones exists throughout the year, and indeed in any location around the world. ‘One in a thousand’ statistics will offer very little comfort to the victim who is the one in a thousand. Be aware of this and focus on daily reinforcement along the lines of healthy, empowering awareness – and not crippling fear.
With that important caveat out of the way, let’s address a concern that’s raised more by those against firearms than those for, around this time of year – namely the idea that a defensive use of a firearm in a crowded space may create a more dangerous situation than originally occurred. When firearm owners in the Western Cape protested a local mall’s clamping down on legal carriers using their facilities during a spate of mall robberies, this was raised repeatedly as an excuse by the mall’s management.
To use this as an excuse for discriminating against legal firearm carriers is of course pretty much the same as saying that if somebody driving a vehicle sees another vehicle flying towards them, they can’t swerve to avoid it because there’s a risk they may lose control over the vehicle or hit somebody else. Yes, it’s a concern, but not one that overrides the right to react to save your life. And just as the average person with a sense of self-preservation isn’t going to swerve their car suddenly in traffic for the hell of it, neither is the equivalent firearm carrier going to immerse themselves in a firefight for the hell of it.
Knowing that their right to protect themselves is not reasonably overridden by the possibility of accidents doesn’t mean firearm owners don’t want to take steps to minimise the chance of accidents however. Ways of preventing and minimising harm are constantly discussed and improved upon, and indeed form a major part of firearm competency testing in South Africa.
Let’s have a quick refresher on the main points to consider:
By: Bernard Allen