PNG LEADERS MUST GET TOUGH ON GUNS

Editorial

PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 10, 2009) - Guns or firearms have been a menace to society since that time in history when they began to take the place of bows and arrows, spears and catapults.

Since then, wars and violence of all sorts have become so much more harmful.

Now the world is beset by guns in the hands of organized criminals and of momentarily enraged individuals who want to harm or kill others.

The most recent examples have been in the highly advanced United States of America, where an army psychiatrist of Muslim beliefs shot up his military base and killed 13 and wounded many more, plus the sacked employee who went back to work and killed one and wounded others.

One appears to have been a case of a man deeply troubled by his ethnic cum religious background and qualms about the Afghan and Iranian conflicts.

The other seems to have taken his anger about being sacked to the extreme.

We are all aware that the US is saddled with a constitutional freedom, the right to bear arms, and that this right harks back to the pioneering days when settlers felt the need to have guns to protect them from the "Indians" and from bears and cougars.

The native Americans have been "modernized" and are no longer considered a threat and the bears appear to be a major risk only to picknickers’ food baskets. But the right to bear arms is fanatically defended by many and the opponents have little or no chance of changing it in the USA.

In Papua New Guinea, we have some similarity to the American situation in that people used to have a knife or axe handy wherever they went, usually as protection from tribal enemies and the occasional wild pig or crocodile.

The reason to bear arms in PNG is much less defensible nowadays.

There is no constitutional right to have a gun. The better off in our towns and cities will plead for the right to have guns as a means of self defense.

Our leaders are among the most vigorous about the right to protect themselves, which is a sad comment on their leadership!

Now is the time for those leaders to show they are not frightened of their constituents and grab the Gun Committee recommendations and put the best ones into force.

Get guns out of the hands of all but those who are authorized and entitled to them in the name of law enforcement.

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