Thomas Jefferson said,’ the strongest reason to retain the right to keep weapons is for protection against tyranny’.
Events like the Kano attack on the 3rd of January, 2015, could have been averted if each individual who turned out victim possessed a weapon. At least they will have been able to defend themselves against the insurgence.
According to the New York Times, more than 17000 death have occured since the emergence of Boko haram. Over 27000 casualties have been reported in Russia where the ownership of arms is restricted, but only 13000 killings or less have been reported by F.B.I in the United States where arms are allowed.
According to a research carried out by the Canadian authourities some years ago, countries that allow its citizen to carry concealed weapons have reduced violent crimes and accidental deaths.
If the Boko haram millitia knew individuals are allowed to own weapons, they will think twice before striking any part of Nigeria. This goes a long way to prove that legalizing the ownership of weapons is a bold step in reducing violence.
As a Nigerian, our current restriction on weapons is not helping security situation. Karate and kung fu are no longer sufficient for self defence in a world that habour the likes of shotguns and riffles. As the saying goes,’if you cannot beat them, join them’. It is time we join countries like Switzerland and The U.S and allow ownership of arms.
To restrict weapons because criminals do use them for thier evil ends is to tell law abiding citizens that their liberty depended on the conduct of the guilty. Besides, every country has its black market where weapons are purchased illegaly. How then do we expect an innocent victim defend himself against an armed psyco. It is pertinent that all restrictions on ownership of weapons are removed. This is because a cat will never stand a chance against the dog until it decides to become a tiger.
The individual right to bear arms is justifiable, but permit me to show you the other side of the coin.
Hot blood gushes through my veins whenever I remember Osama Bin Laden. I heard from rumours and mixed feelings that he was educated, mentored, and trained in a condusive atmosphere where peace thrived. His persona grata held esteem until he had the power and weapons. The power and weapons he possessed were to shield him from hostiles, but in the end, he himself became hostility.
Stephen King lamented in one of his qoutes saying:’how many more will have to die before we give up these dangerous toys’. Forest Carr conord when he said ‘this guns are not the problem, we are the problem’.
Daily, the blood of innocent citizens are been painted in the front pages of our national dailies. On May 25, 2013, The Daily Post reported the case of Mr Monday Ikudehinbo and his colleagues who were arrested for comitting series of political crimes. A hooligan was also said to have gunned down a commuter who refused to pay him a sum of N50. This events depicts the disadvantage of owning a weapon. Even the statistics that show lower rates of casualties in a weapon free state still gives the fact that death occur mainly by weaponry causes. The idea of removing restriction placed on the ownership of arms seems not to be a good one afterall.
One morning on the network news on radio, i heard the senario of a woman who shot her husband to death due to some altercation. It is said that what God has joined together, let no one put assunder. Lo and behold, how much this couple loved each other, a pistol was just enough to put assunder.
Let me relate this tragedic senario to realism; our nation that is largely devoid of love and unity. If every citizen is handed a weapon, the worst is certainly yet to be seen. Cases such as fraud, stealing, oil bunkering, corruption, rivalry, et cetera, will recieve jugdement faster. Instead of the proper legal process involved, jungle justice will be the order of the day.
If anybody in Nigeria today had the power and chance of killing the dreaded leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, he or she will surely not hold back, myself inclusive. But this was the same mistake we made when Muhammad Yusuf, the then leader of the sect that turned Boko Haram today was killed. It has now come to prove itself well beyond reasonable doubt that freedom of ownership of arms can toss a nation into a state of disequilibrum. The current restriction placed on it by our government is justified and I also feel it should remain so.
In conclusion of my view on this subject, I agree with the advise of Mahatma Ghandi when he said,’ non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, and that forgiveness is more manly than punishment’. Let us all keep weapons away from our society, because it is directly proportional to eliminating cases of fatal casualties and indirectly proportionate to being justified.