An unsurprising story from Africa appeared on the BBC today. Apparently there’s violence in South Sudan. I know what a shocker right? Of course this next part doesn’t make sense:
This is why the south’s semi-autonomous government has launched an ambitious initiative to control the violence.
In Jonglei, the biggest and most violent state in the south, teams of officials have been touring remote areas for the past three months, telling cattle-herders to hand in their guns.
So there’s massive violence and the solution is to… disarm the cattle herders. Yeah because disarmament has worked so well in other countries to curb violence. Wait a minute that’s a complete crock. Disarmament only makes live easier on the lawless who refuse to turn in their arms. That does beg the question why would any of the cattle herder turn in their means of self defense against the lawless? Well because:
Those who refuse face five years in prison or a fine of 20 cows.
The classic government mechanism for disarmament. Give us your guns or we’ll take them and either send you to jail or steal even more of your property. Of course:
“We found people were already fed up with these arms, so they co-operated with the civil authorities,” said Jonglei State Governor Kuol Manyang.
I’m guessing the reason you’ve found co-operative people isn’t because those people are sick of their guns but because you’re forcing them to turn in their guns. When citizens do this in place of government it’s called theft.