Questions to ask

The shooting that occurred over the weekend has shocked us.

A bank’s security guard, using a high powered rifle, shot another employee of the bank in the shoulder. The bullet exited and went through a window. Police are yet to find where the bullet eventually ended up.

Fortunately, no one else was hurt in the bank or out in the street. It could have been a worse situation if an innocent bystander was also hit.

The suspected cause of the incident is personal.

But one of the factors involved includes alcohol intoxication.

It is shocking to know that someone legally allowed to carry a loaded high-powered rifle in public may have been drunk.

Following this incident, there are many questions that have to be asked.

One is whether private security personnel should be carrying high calibre guns or any guns at all. There are other alternatives like stun guns, tasers, or pepper spray, among others. Such non-lethal weapons could still achieve the same desired result in case of an emergency.

The right to carry guns in public spaces should be the monopoly of our armed forces.

This incident also raises concerns about how individuals or firms are scrutinised and provided approval to have in their possession such weapons.

While this may be the first and only case, there is no loss in reviewing the process, identifying any loopholes if any, and strengthening the system.

We are already aware that there is a shortage of mental health specialists in the country. However, if regular psychiatric check-ups cannot be provided because of this shortage, then all the more reason to reduce the number of people allowed to legally carry firearms in public.

It is essential that those approved to carry firearms in public undergo rigorous and frequent examinations by relevant authorities, which should include mental, medical, and weapons handling training.

The incident over the week, while perhaps sparked by a rare set of coincidences converging, still reminds us that we can not leave any room or opportunity for the possibility of another such incident to occur.

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