#PoeticLicence: If guns are a problem, our police should not have them either
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Johannesburg – There is a bullet hole on the wall at my uncle’s house in Klipspruit, Soweto.
His sons, my cousins - one my age and the other a few years younger than myself - are eternally grateful for the grace.
They know this hole very well. In fact, they are the cause of it.
I spoke to the younger of my two cousins this week about this bullet wedged into their wall instead of his face.
He said he grew to be the man he is now, somehow, because of it.
It was in the 1990s, when his trigger-happy brother, with his uneducated trigger finger, was eager to squeeze the life out of him.
With both hands his brother carried the weight of the pistol and pulled.
The bullet "pewed" past him, hitting the wall instead of his body. Either his brother could bend bullets and he was aiming for a fly on the wall, or they were playing a game of death.
Too many times we have joked about this near-fatal experiment by the gods –
PlayStation was our staple entertainment in our 20s, a goal against him in Fifa was a “shot to the head”.
If you believe in karma, reincarnation should be enticing to you. The two principles are from the same school of thought, or religion if you may.
A “shot to the head” is a quick way to resend a young boy back in line to re-experience, without memory, the neonatal experience,by the odds - may they be ever in our favour. Hunger games are empty plates where we come from.
If he is lucky, he will be reborn as a lion. Or an eagle. Or a Griffin with a bloodline too enticing to Icarus; how he ‘wax on, wax off’ with his wings, chasing the sun. A sage with the wisdom of a thousand owls.
As serene as an ancient soul devoted to a thousand vows.
With a well-trained tongue, fluent in manifestation.
Sun-baked skin, influential with melanin.
Synonymous with the moon, shining brightest in the dark.
If he is lucky, he will learn how to howl carrying legions of his lineage strapped to his shoulders in a backpack of wolves.
He is lucky and eternally grateful for the grace.
The bullet wedged into the wall, instead of his face.
There was nothing funny about the discussion I had with him this week on the phone about the proposed firearm control bill in South Africa, where citizens could be barred from acquiring a firearm licence for self-defence. And the number of firearms that one can own for hunting would be reduced.
“I have no issues with guns and people exercising their right to protect themselves, but the owner must not be negligent,” said a man who shivered to a close-range flame of a firearm as a boy.
“If someone broke into your house and they are armed, you will wish you had a gun.”
I do not own a gun, nor do I aspire to own one, but those who want to protect their families must be allowed to do so.
Both cops and robbers already shoot at us. If guns are a problem, our police should not have them either.
Walls at their houses are not safe either. Their wives are not safe either. Entry requirements for becoming either a South African police or metro police officer are too mediocre.
Any firearm, in any hand has the potential to be a flame that sets a body alight. Or at least leaves a hole in the wall.