OPINION: Shooting innocents is no monkey business

2017-03-16 06:02
my takeThobile Ndzube

my takeThobile Ndzube

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‘Look mummy mummy they can smoke too’.

These words had been uttered by a young girl when she made an innocent observation of a group of exiles undergoing their military training in Yugoslavia during the Struggle years.

By “innocent” I presume that is what a bystander would have assumed coming from the mouth of a child.

Or could it have been an outburst based on the ignorant assumption that “they” were not human enough to do things that she took for granted was the preserve of only locals.

Kids are very brilliant at grasping and remembering stuff, and as parents we have learnt that we need to refrain from saying certain things in front of them.

How many times have we been in a fix and shaken to the extent that we would pray or wish that the heavens would open and swallow us up, because of a child’s slip.

Our country is coming in from the cold. We know our lot under Apartheid.

Our people were treated and called so many names that by now that should be a thing of the past.

Or so I think. My point here is about the increase in the number of people being shot at while being mistaken for monkeys or baboons. If it was an isolated incident, perhaps it would be understandable, but now more people are finding it easy to just go on and shoot someone.

I feel that the authorities should come down hard on the perpetrators.

This defence that they thought they were seeing baboons or monkeys does not wash in my neck of woods, so to speak. I believe the authorities should legislate for a mandatory jail term once this defence is presented to court.

This should serve as a deterrent to any would be “monkey” shooter.

The ideal of a gun-free society should be a moot point.

For, if no serious thought is given to this spectre of mistaking people for monkeys, our society would be tantamount to a game reserve, where those with guns shoot at the unsuspecting, because they believe they are monkeys. This phenomenon, if not given serious consideration can translate to a game range activity where people willy-nilly and wildly go on shooting or hunting sprees. Maybe we should carry stickers around our necks that say: Please don’t shoot, I am not a monkey about to devour your corn.”

Who would have thought in this day and age.

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