Cops should withdraw more gun licences

In Summary

• There 8,100 private gun licences in Kenya but an estimated 750,000 firearms in private hands.

• Police crackdown was prompted by MP Babu Owino shooting a DJ in a nightclub last week.

Yesterday the police said that they would no longer provide security to VIPs who have been charged with crimes and would withdraw their firearms licences.

The crackdown was prompted by Embakasi MP Babu Owino shooting a DJ at a club last Friday. He has been charged with attempted murder and misuse of a firearm.

There are 8,100 registered guns in Kenya but reportedly 750,000 unregistered guns in private hands.

Babu Owino's shooting is not an isolated incident. Every month there is at least one drunken shooting in a bar or an angry attack in a traffic jam.

Gun owners often claim that they need guns for self-defence but it appears that private guns do more harm than good. It is not good enough for the gun owners to say that these are a few individuals spoiling their reputation.

The police are right to withdraw gun licences from VIPs charged with crimes. But the police should go even further.  Only sportspeople — hunters and sharpshooters — should be allowed to have gun licences.

All other private gun licences should be cancelled. That would make Kenya a safer place.

Quote of the day: "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

Vladimir Lenin
The Bolshevik leader died on January 21, 1924.