I watched on TV, Hon. Hawa Koomson, Special Development Initiatives Minister and MP for Awutu Senya East Constituency when she opined that she fired shots to scare some motor riders who according to her, were making noise and appeared threatening.
Hon. Hawa who claimed she took the firearm to the registration centre to protect herself, failed to call the police and rather took matters into her own hands by firing shots to scare the men. She also said shes entitled to a gun and could fire when she feels threatened.
Inasmuch as I agree to some extent with Hon. Hawa on her right to defend herself, it is terrifying to imagine what would become of our democracy when every gun owner decides to take his weapon to a registration centre or a polling station to protect him/herself?
It sure will be a free for all.
It’s only persons who are unfit to possess guns who fire at the least provocation. Besides, it’s worth knowing that gun ownership comes with certain responsibilities and golden rules. One of them is tactical discipline. Before you engage, you should be sound enough to assess the threat level rather than exaggerate it. In essence, the force you apply should be proportionate to the threat level. For example, you can discharge your firearm when you are in an aggressive manner, threatened by a machete-wielding person rather than a rattan cane-wielding man. But your ability to assess whether the machete man could use it or not, is key. Sometimes, people threaten with offensive weapons but dont necessarily intend attacking or using it. But since you cannot enter the human mind, a number of factors including body language, facial expressions and movements could be telling. Firing a gun in certain situations escalates rather than de-escalate situations.
How much less motorbike riding noisy youth?
The resultant impact of her action is what culminated into the burning of motorbikes and the eventual abandoning of the voter registration exercise in that area. The Hon. Minister could have exercised better judgment. A little patience or a call to the police could have saved the situation.
What the Honorable MP did could send wrong signals across the political divide. If nothing is done, it becomes a new normal.
In my tacit opinion, the Ghana Police Service should invite the Hon. MP for some questioning and possibly, initiate a full scale investigation into the matter. They have to send a strong signal else, when another politician fires, it will be within his “right” to protect him/herself and the police would have no moral right to take any action.