Prime News Ghana

Samson Lardy writes : Guns, more guns - Part II

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Samson Lardy
Samson Lardy
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Last time I talked guns. I promised a second instalment. This is not about the law’s regulation, its inadequacies, and the abuses.

But again, about the failure to diligently enforce it, if at all, and the failure by paid gatekeepers in a manner that endangers citizens.

You may have doubted my assertion that the central registry would be found to hold names of private citizens who cared to register or procure the licence to own and use permitted guns, but no proof of compliance with the conditions of ownership including annual renewals. Gatekeepers have no idea what number of cartridges are purchased at what point and there is no accounting for the rounds discharged and for what purpose.

But the added danger is the fact that of the more than 2.3 million firearms in private hands in Ghana, as much as 47% is unaccounted. These, and not the 53% gatekeepers registered but don’t monitor to enforce full compliance of the conditions of registration, are mostly the guns used in violent crimes. The Ghana National Commission of Smalls Arms found that there was over 850% increase in guns in private hands between 2003 and 2014.

Robbery attacks that got captured in police records between 2016 and 2017 revealed an increase in the gun-related crime by almost 27%. In 2014 it recommended gun-use training for those who care to register their guns. All you require in the present regime is proof that you are 18 years and of sound mind (no medical certificate is demanded).

I get surprised when people express surprise on hearing that in certain conflict zones of the country, almost every home has a gun or two. The poor folks find money to buy guns. Who do they buy them from, and don’t even register them and yet don’t get caught and made to face the law?

You must have seen the video, attributed to Nigerian security, in circulation in which criminals arrested with a stash of arms mention Ghana as one of the countries their lords get these guns to supply them.

My point is, if those paid to act don’t, but continue to sleep on the job, it will be too late when they ever wake up before they are also victim to a major gun-slaughter.

Fix the leakage when the sun shines. Our cities and town are getting overwhelmed with litter that endanger our very existence, but those paid to fix the problem seem to only wake up to the responsibilities when the rains set in.

Solving the filth problem that causes the life-claiming floods isn’t rocket science, yet the filth-induced killer-floods have remained an annual ritual for decades. The World Bank notes that poor sanitation costs Ghana 290 million dollars and 19,000 lives each year. What a farcical sham of leadership we endure?

We have been told in a state of the nation address that plastic waste is a huge problem but managing the same will create jobs and us about two billion Cedis a year. It is assured a modern approach to managing plastic waste can create up to five million jobs. Let’s talk about this in next Samson’s Take.

The civil society, Centre for Defence & Security (CDS) isn’t being any prophetic when it warns the influx of firearms makes fighting gun violence difficult, and that the influx has fueled tribal and chieftaincy conflicts, armed robbery, kidnappings, galamsey, and the twin-phenomenon of land guards and party militias. It fears the lethal combination of illicit arms in circulation and weak institutional checks has dire consequences for Ghana’s internal security.

June 8, 2019

Samson Lardy ANYENINI