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Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 299: Guns, Bullets, Bombs & Blades

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278918/Oscar-Pistorius-Guns-strewn-bachelor-pad-explosive-rages-procession-blondes-.html



After lunch, he showed me around his home. I recall being impressed by the marble floors.
In his bedroom, I pointed to the handgun – a nine-millimetre pistol – and asked what it was for.
‘Protection, brother,’ said Pistorius. ‘You can have all the guards in the world at the gate, but the problem is when they are in on the robbery.’
South Africa is a country of contradictions. It is welcoming and, for the most part, friendly, but it is also a cauldron of criminal violence.
Every year around 7,000 so-called ‘home invasion raids’ take place in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, which covers Johannesburg and Pretoria, the cities where Pistorius was born and lives.
The robbers prefer to strike when the occupants are at home, so the alarm does not go off and the intruders can be shown – with as much encouragement is necessary – where the valuables are kept.
It was at the house which I visited that Oscar Pistorius was arrested at 4am yesterday having allegedly shot dead his 30-year-old model girlfriend of three months, Reeva Steenkamp. He was charged with murder and will appear in court today.
The four shots to Miss Steenkamp’s head, chest and arms came from a 9mm handgun.
Was it, as some suggested, a surprise Valentine’s Day visit by his girlfriend that went tragically wrong when Pistorius mistook her for an intruder and reached for one of those guns? Or did this complex man, by turns both charming and brittle, know precisely what he was doing? - MailOnline

And so the gun debate rages on. I think though, that the basic desire of each and every one of us is to live in a world where guns are not necessary for safety. But, I digress. It is slightly amusing how news agencies are portraying South Africa and its inhabitants as gun-crazy and fearful. I have known only a small handful of people with gun licensees, and while yes, there is a high crime rate (let's just say you don't spend time alone in the city if you're female and without escort), people here don't live in the grip of fear with guns stashed all over the place. 

It is likely that this particular news story, like most others, has been embellished and exaggerated. Maybe Pistorius was a bit of a nut or maybe he wasn't - he is just a pawn in the greater game. If it wasn't him that was the main character in the story it would have been someone else - the nature of our society is such that tragedies happen every moment of every day. 

We are so caught up in defending the way we live and our opinions that we keep missing the harsh truth that life simply shouldn't be this way - it's not supposed to be this hard. Things like guns shouldn't exist, because greed shouldn't exist, neither should hunger, poverty, crime, rape, murder, abuse, war, deforestation - we keep saying that it is "the nature of things" - but it is not. What happens in this world on a daily basis is an abomination. We have taken the gift of life and turned it into a curse. It has now come to the degree where we don't even want to procreate, because we don't want to inflict this life on our children. I suppose the only good thing that has been happening is that we are annihilating ourselves at an ever increasing rate, so hopefully this won't go on for too long. Or, you know, an asteroid gets us.

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