Opposing Law Regulating Acquisition of Firearms in Rwanda

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Today I woke up to a traumatizing article in the news detailing how our legislators started passing the draft law relating to procedures for the acquisition, possession, carriage, manufacturing, sale, storage and obtaining of all types of arms (firearms and their ammunition, grenade and other explosives used as arms as well as nuclear, biological, chemical or toxic weapons as described in the New Times' article.) This is not the first time that I read about Rwanda's wish to legalize public gun possession and sale in local shops as long as dealers have licences.

In the words of our legislators, "We want to catch up with how things are done elsewhere and there is nothing wrong with buying arms from a licensed dealer.” Being Rwandan and enjoying the benefits of living in one of the safest countries in the world, I can only wonder what would one need a gun for in this country? While I see no reason, our legislators seem to have many - "For hunting, sports, self-defense." Obviously this is not based on any research because as far as I know Rwanda has been putting lots of efforts in conservation of wildlife. And since hunting is not an accepted sports in Rwanda, what sports are legislators talking about? Self-defense? We already have disciplined and effective local defense forces, police, and military patrolling the streets day and night to keep us safe, and they do a pretty good job. I still freak out at the sight of a finger on a trigger even though it's from a military that I trust. That's why I cannot imagine a civilian with a gun. I refuse to imagine that. I don't wish to see that. I don't want to live in fear. I don't want our children to become victims of something we could prevent today because there is an obvious pattern between owning a gun and violent crimes. While the United States of America faces consequences of guns in the hands of public, our legislators choose to ignore the reality only to focus on sales. 

Now that I come to think of it, they must be in the wrong chamber. Maybe they would be more effective in a chamber of commerce, in which I don't think gun talk would be allowed. To put the global situation in the Rwandan context, we are a people still recovering from genocide with almost no help in dealing with trauma. Two things that I foresee with the implementation of this law: If guns don't lead to murders, they will lead to suicides. You and I have the power to say NO to both. 

By signing this petition, you are making your voice heard in the parliament of Rwanda and hereby propose the nullification of the law allowing the public to possess guns. And since the law is backed by a presidential order since 2011, I guess only you and I can make this right.

Please sign this petition for a gun-free Rwanda. 



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