Archives For Responsible Violence

Pro-active self defence

August 19, 2015 — 1 Comment


The cheese is the fruit of our labour

Violent crime is an African and a South African (SA) reality and not one that is simply going to disappear through good wishes. In SA our crime rate is ridiculously high, and this is not just petty crime but the kind of crime where people lose life and limb along with property and dignity.

If one is flush enough you deal with one kind of crime by paying your e-tolls and another kind of crime by paying private security companies to respond to notifications of distress and if flush on time too you will perhaps even participate in a local community policing forum in order to plug the gap left by policing in SA. All of these “additional services” subscribed to and/or participated in are pro-active steps that are, ironically, re-active to actual crimes.

Crime must be detected in order to be responded to. By nature crime is active and, all responses to crime, reactive. What is the waiting period?

  • When notifying the police we can expect a national average response time of around 20 minutes.
  • When notifying a private security company of a crime you can expect an average response time of 10 minutes.
  • If you don’t notify anyone of a crime or no one notices that you are a victim to crime …

What can a criminal accomplish ahead of those ten minutes? Or twenty minutes? Or however long their window of opportunity is? Quite a bit it seems. Let’s look at a few examples:

  • A Pick n Pay gets robbed by a group of well armed gunmen. The gunmen are already getting away by the time the police arrive
  • A woman and her elderly parents are intercepted in their driveway, they’re taken inside and tied up, the contents of their home are ransacked and the criminals make off with their vehicles. The police arrive well after the fact.
  • A couple wakes up with several armed people in their bedroom, they’re tied up, sexually assaulted, their house ransacked, etc. After notifications, first the private security company arrives and a little later the police.
  • A man is surprised in his driveway by armed hijackers, gives up his car and is happily unscathed. He considers himself to have done “everything right” in the situation including compliance with the criminals. The criminals are well away, fortunately he’s not harmed, now the private security company and police arrive after they are notified.
  • To note some foreign examples—villagers are massacred by armed raiders and shoppers get gunned down in raids on a mall (if you read the news you can probably reference several examples here). The respective governments respond very late to the situations.

Inconveniently these criminals use knives and firearms, neither of which are licensed or traceable. They’re not legal gun owners either, do not renew their competencies, subscribe to sporting bodies or pay any form of licensing fees, nor did they have to wait for months to receive their firearms due to inefficiencies in the systems established to support and control their acquisition and usage of said weapons.

The people who are, however, directly facing the crimes directed against them are the citizens. They are threatened, robbed, and worse. It is only if there’s notification that one can expect 20 minutes for the price to respond or 10 minutes for your private security company. That’s a long time to be victimised. That’s a long time to worry about life and limb, property and dignity.

It is the public civilian who is, generally, unarmed and unable to respond meaningfully to this kind of crime that gets victimised. Criminals have learnt that the average SA citizen will comply with them. They will cooperate as they are tied up, as their homes are ransacked, as they are raped, even as they are murdered.

In my honest opinion a Gun Friendly South Africa is the way to to go. A friend of mine said it well in his blog post. We should empower and enable our citizenship to deal with crime. After all, policing and military are supportive organisations (or ought to be). If we raise responsible citizens and provide them with encouragement, opportunity and meaningful partnership then the police then we’ll be much closer to solving crime.

This will only happen when the government and police actively encourage citizens to defend themselves and when policies are created by government to enable this. It is the police and government that ought to be cooperating with the public to make this happen. By encouraging and cultivating a culture of responsible self-defence—armed and unarmed—we’ll be enabling potential victims to defend themselves against crime.

Otherwise we’re simply waiting for the trap to fall on us, given that the cheese is the fruit of our labour.


In a few situations the perpetrators also intend to harm the occupants of the vehicles. The shift can be quick and sudden, usually indicated by an internal warning that things are gonna get ugly. When the perpetrator wants to harm you or your family simply “cooperating” is not an option. Could you stand by while you, your spouse, and even your kids get shot, stabbed, raped, and murdered? What can you do?

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Choosing a firearm as a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) for home defense is a real challenge, especially if you’re not a gun nut and aren’t surrounded by gun nuts. Trawling the Internet and seeking advice from accessible gun nuts yields varying opinions about what to get and why. I’ve recently started to consider acquiring one.

The starting point ought to be an evaluation of your motivation. Why do you want a firearm? For me the answer is simple – self and personal defense.

South Africa is rated #7 with regards to violent crime and stated as being #1 with regard to murder. Though the statistics are dated it does provide a foundation for the popular opinion people I know have of my country. The basic fact is that the average criminal involved in hijacking, home invasions, rape, and robbery is likely to be armed. In the city where I live in violent crime, including murder and hijacking and rape, is a concern and protecting my family is important to me. I’ve been lucky enough to make it this far in life without the sense that the world is a dangerous place. Whether its my sixth sense, the leading of the Spirit, or recent re-exposure to firearms, the urge to acquire a firearm for CCW has dawned.

The last time I fired a gun with any kind of consistency was between the ages of 5 and 7. I’ve done one or two fun shoots in my adult life and put over 30 years of time in between. The only serious attempt at firearm usage was recently doing a Combat Shooting course through Golani Krav Maga. This means that I don’t have a large volume of experience. Understandably you’d want to file my recommendations here under the realm of “opinion.”

Disclaimer: I’m not a very experienced firearm wrangler. Hence, this piece of writing doesn’t count as professional advice. Consult a trained professional, do your research, participate in some training, do a few tests, and make up your own mind. Continue Reading…