Tuesday 18 February 2014
Possession of guns is a controversial issue in SA because of the country's history of violence.
Clinical Psychologist and Programme Manager of the Trauma and Transition Programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Nomfundo Mogapi, says that the possession of guns triggers aggression in people.
Speaking on the psychological effects of guns in society on SA fm’s Forum @ 8, Mogapi adds that the presence of a gun or weapon does not only trigger aggression to the owner but it does the same to other people present because of the association of guns with threat and violence.
The psychologist indicates that guns are even more dangerous in the context of South Africa as South Africans are often referred to as an angry nation.
Meanwhile, Chair and Spokesperson for the South African Gun Owners' Association John Welch says that the propensity for violence is not only a problem in South Africa but in other countries too.
Welch adds this fact should not prevent citizens from acquiring guns. The spokesperson highlights that there are innocent civilians who have the right to protect themselves from potential violent attacks.
Welch however indicates that people should think carefully before acquiring firearms.
Spokesperson of Gun Free South Africa Adele Kirsten says that data has revealed that in South Africa one is four times is likely to have his own gun taken away and used against you.
Kirsten adds that guns are used in 14% of suicides committed in SA. She indicates that the period of renewal of firearms is long and that in a period of five years a person’s circumstances can change and this can pose a threat to others.
In order to acquire a firearm, the Firearms Control Act looks at the person’s history including factors such as their history of violence, substance abuse and others.