• Shotguns are suitable for guards because they are deadly at close range but feeble at long range.
• Armed robbers in Kenya know that unarmed security guards cannot return fire.
The Senate has been considering the conditions of private security guards and whether they should be armed.
Certainly, guards should be better paid as they risk their lives in dangerous places at all hours.
However, this should not distract us from the urgent necessity to allow selected security guards to be armed.
Today private security guards are defenceless against armed robbers. This is unfair to them and the people they are guarding.
The risk of arming security guards is minimal.
Firstly, stringent controls would only allow qualified security companies to have an armoury.
Secondly, guards would be trained and licenced. They would return their weapons to the armoury at the end of their shift. Private guards would not roam around with guns.
Thirdly, private guards should only be issued with shotguns, which are deadly at short range but feeble at long range. The police would then always have an advantage in firepower as they use AK-47s or military combat rifles.
Today armed robbers can go out on the streets at night safe in the knowledge that private security guards cannot return fire. Kenya will be a safer place once security guards can fight back.