This new bill if passed, along with the Firearms Control Act, will lead to a further consolidation of power, and a greater monopoly on violence in the hands of the South African Government and criminals.
Chris summarises the ‘end game’ of this legislation here:
The end game is that only the State and criminals will be in possession of actual deadly weapons. Furthermore, scope for State control of the public will be expanded.
In short, this new draconian bill seems really to be about control and state-power over private South African citizens.
Chris explains that any person found with a “dangerous weapon” and on reasonable suspicion suspected to be planning a crime, will be guilty of an offence and subject to jail time. “Dangerous weapon” and “reasonable suspicion” are rather ambiguous terms open to much legal interpretation.
Chris shows the words of the bill written in section 2:
“any person who is in possession of any dangerous weapon or firearm, replica or imitation firearm under circumstance which may raise a reasonable suspicion that the person intends to use the weapon for an unlawful purpose is guilty of an offence.”
I find the wording of the bill to be a mess. Does this effectively mean that the state power monopoly, will be able to interpret the law and charge civilians with jail-time offences, EVEN BEFORE THE CIVILIAN HAD COMMITTED AN ACTUAL CRIME.
Arrests can then be made on mere suspicion. This is of course open to severe political and legal abuse. I’ve heard it said that most police detectives in this country have hundreds of murder cases not being investigated.
How will this new bill be enforced? Who will enforce it? What will the enforcement cost? And which functions of the police will be reduced to do it? The South African Law Reform Commission indicates the conviction rates of crime in SA to be as follows: murder 11%, rape 7% and robbery 3%. Those reflect very inefficient policing. Surely spending more funds and police time on the policing of private weapons not yet used in crime is a dodgy and wasteful proposition.
This bill will make more innocent people guilty
It is not completely clear yet. But under this Bill, it seems, you may be guilty of a crime if you simply carried a pocket knife in public. This means that many, now still law-abiding South Africans, will immediately become potential convicts when the Bill is passed.
Just like there are now many previously legal firearm owners in breach of the FCA of 2000, this Bill may set up law-abiding people to be considered criminals.
The bill defines a dangerous weapon as follows: “any object other than a firearm designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or bodily harm.”
This will in essence make all of us potentially guilty. Where does the definition of a “dangerous weapon” stop? Is not a brick, a rock, your car, a stick, a pocket knife, and a bat, not also a potential ‘dangerous weapon’ under this bill?
Are fists, your teeth and your feet not also a dangerous weapon if we assumed they were designed by a creator? Where will it stop?
The veiled sinister plan seems to be to strip even more layers of self-defense from law-abiding civilian South Africans: leaving more of us to be disarmed victims.
The final goal appears to be the complete disarmament of civilians in South Africans. This Bill will at best disarm some of the criminals (doubtful), it will disarm most of the law abiding, and it will not disarm the agents of the state at all.
This will create a powerful monopoly on violence in the hands of government along with criminals wilfully ignoring both the FCA and the intended Bill.
Problematically, government and their agents will certainly not disarm themselves in any way. First they came for the legal private firearms (with the Firearms Control Act) and now they are coming for everything else.
This will effectively leave private citizens even more powerless before the armed agents of the state, such as the (often corrupt) police, military, and armed special interest groups with government given weapon privileges. (Think the bodyguards of politicians and private security contractors approved by the state.)
Historically, this is an incredibly dangerous precedent to say the least.
At this point I am wondering if the SA government are now taking the steps needed to install our very own “Thought Police, Pre-crime Division”.
Those of you that do not know, the “Thought Police” were the government department in George Orwell’s novel 1984, tasked with policing the thoughts and intentions of citizens. Pre-crime means you are arrested, charged and convicted for a crime, even before you actually committed a crime. See the film Minority Report with Tom Cruise for a parable in this topic.
The way I see it, this Bill is one more step in that direction as it will give the state the power to charge people on the suspicion of planning to use a dangerous weapon in a crime.
It seems designed to make a great majority guilty in the eyes of the law. According to the ideas of George Orwell, the statist power control grid has to make as many citizens guilty in the eyes of the law as possible. That way it is easier to clamp down on individual dissidents, not playing ball with the statist project; and to assert state power over individuals.
Now, to some questions:
Will we get a democratic vote on this bill?
No, I don’t think. I expect it will be rammed through parliament, with red tape, government process, and bureaucratic bullying. PR spin, and manipulative delphi techniques, just was the case with the Firearms Control Act in early 2000, and the current e-Toll, will be employed. In none of these issues were, we the people of South Africa, given a real actual vote that would have affected the outcome. All governments seem to need to proceed with liquidating the liberty of people nowadays, is implied consent while giving citizens an illusion of being able to provide input.
Will we see an entire barrage of sympathetic PR spin on this topic.
- Yes, in the coming days, the state influenced ‘lamestream’ media, and government ‘spin doctors’, will manage and manipulate the perceptions of the public to support it.
- They will focus on all of the supposed benefits while completely ignoring the potential problems and very real costs to taxpayers.
- This will be done in the name of collective terms like ‘public safety’, ‘public health’ and the ‘safety of all’. That is give up your rights to carry self defence weapons in the name of public safety.
- The rights of the individual (such as owning weapons for private defence) will be balanced, and then liquidated by law and with impossible bureaucratic red tape, in the name of the ‘greater good’ of society.
- I expect they will use political marginalising tactics to try and discredit protestors against the Bill. Expect to see state-manufactured narratives that divide South Africans along the lines of race, gender, and social status, on this issue.
Will the taxpayers pay for the enforcement of the Bill?
You bet. The FCA had by estimates cost the public much more than 2000 million (2 billion) Rands. The real figures and beneficiaries of the FCA were never given to the public. Enforcement of this new Bill will cost us a lot too, I assume. The police will probably ask the minster of finance for more tax money to enforce this bill, and for new equipment, personnel and hours. The claims that is will not cost much I don’t think is accurate. I speculate that those businesses in bed with the police, in line to implement new systems and equipment needed for the enforcement, are probably supporting this bill already.
Can the bill be stopped?
That depends on the civilians (not government) in South Africans, but looking at the historic precedents, and the bureaucratic bullying process followed to ram the FCA down the throat of the South African public, I don’t think so. Government is clearly aiming to get a monopoly of power over private citizens by their commitment to disarm us. That said we have to try to stop this in peaceful protest. See the petition below.
Will it be effective at preventing crime.
No don’t think so. I expect many South Africans are going to ignore this Bill completely. Criminals are certainly going to ignore it. It will again most likely be mostly private citizens that comply. In certain cases, good people will be left without even the most basic means of private defence (e.g. a knife) for protection.
How to protest against the Dangerous Weapons Bill:
1. Sign SMSA’s petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-the-dangerous-weapons-bill-in-south-africa/
2. Write to the political representative in your province. Explain why do not consent to the bill, that you do not condone further disarmament of law-abiding citizens, and why you consider this Bill as an arbitrary, unconstitutional, and problematic.
3. Write the same message to the Minister of Police.Minister Nathi Mthethwa Ministry of Police Private Bag X463, PRETORIA, 0001
4. Help us. If you know of other ways to protest agains this new draconian bill that threatens the liberty of all South Africans. Please leave a comment below, and I’ll add it to the list.
Please support our online petition against this bill.
Editor’s note. (Petition is now closed.)