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Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
5 Aug 2019
3:50 pm

DA councillor says 57 people die every day in SA because they ‘can’t arm themselves’

Daniel Friedman

Renaldo Gouws believes US politicians calling for 'anti-gun laws' are 'walking on the graves' of the victims of this past weekend's mass shootings.

DA councillor Renaldo Gouws debates gun laws on his YouTube channel, November 2008. Picture: Screenshot.

In a reaction to two mass shootings that occurred over the weekend in the United States (US) Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor and YouTuber Renaldo Gouws slammed those who had called for stricter gun laws following the attacks, alleging that such laws are behind SA’s high murder rate.

“American politicians walking on the graves of the victims of the mass shootings to propose their anti-gun laws don’t understand how bad it would be you got your wish,” he tweeted.

“I would know what that looks like, my country has 57 murders a day because the victims can’t arm themselves,” he added.

While some showed support for Gouws in the form of likes, retweets and comments, his tweet, for the most part, elicited harsh criticism.

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These included from veteran journalist Max du Preez, who called it a “shocking comment” and called on the DA’s leadership to confirm whether Gouws’ views reflected the party’s position.

Nechama Brodie, an author and former head of TRI Facts, the specialist training and research division of independent fact-checking website Africa Check, mentioned “several research papers” which she believes refute Gouws’ argument.

“When South Africa tightened its gun laws, murders overall reduced,” she said.

“There have been several research papers published that track this phenomenon. There is no evidence anywhere that arming people with guns reduces lethal violence. Quite the opposite.”

5FM DJ Rob Forbes told Gouws: “This f*** rambo fallacy you gun nuts have is utterly ridiculous,” adding that he found it “childish beyond reason” and accused the DA councillor and others against using the topic of gun control to support their cause.

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Human rights lawyer Richard Spoor also had strong words for Gouws: “Don’t be a d*ckhead. The free availability of guns, particularly assault weapons in the US, is a huge problem. Me and millions like me do not wish to carry guns to defend ourselves, we don’t want anyone to have guns other than the police and army.”

Gouws argued throughout the day on Twitter with those who disagreed with him, and ended the day with a tweet showing that his views were unchanged.

“At the end of the night when I go to sleep I know that if something had to happen I am ready to protect me and my family. I sleep much easier knowing that if a criminal had to come through my door with the intent to harm me I would have a chance… because I own a firearm,” he tweeted.

Two shootings left 29 people dead in the US over the weekend. Twenty people were shot dead while shopping at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday morning, and nine more outside a bar in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio, just 13 hours later.

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