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Impact of Guns on Families Prof Sebastian van As 16 August 2006 Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa Red Cross Children’s Hospital UNIVERSITY.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of Guns on Families Prof Sebastian van As 16 August 2006 Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa Red Cross Children’s Hospital UNIVERSITY."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of Guns on Families Prof Sebastian van As 16 August 2006 Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa Red Cross Children’s Hospital UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN Crime, Violence and Injury Lead Programme UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA Gender and Health Research Unit MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

2 Effects of guns on society Men Women Children

3 Women

4 National femicide study (1999) 1147 (1 of every 3 killed) women were shot by firearms Nearly half were killed by intimate partners women

5 Legal firearms and women killed Ownership of legal firearms was strongly associated with women killed There was a 7 times greater risk of being murdered by an intimate partner if he owned a legal gun

6 Suicides with legal guns 1 in 5 of the perpetrators committed suicide after killing a partner, most of them had a legal gun 80% of these double murders could have been prevented

7 Security workers and legal guns 10% of the men who killed their partners were employed as security workers 89% of these security workers used legal guns

8 Children

9 Age categories

10 Place of occurrence Informal settlements/townships In and around own home50% Road/ pavement40%

11 Causes of non-natural death NIMMS 2003

12 Circumstances of children being shot caught in crossfire Measurement of shots fired in the community shot deliberately by an adult playing with a gun shot during a taxi war shot by gangsters shot by another child/friend

13 Murders in South Africa

14 Gunshot Statistics More than 1475 children killed with firearms (2000) Total homicides per year Over 50% due to gunshots Attempted murder with firearms /year

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22 Legal guns become illegal! (Stolen and lost firearms)

23 Does the possession of a firearm make you safe? Studies in the USA 1 : From all shots fired in the home or yard: only 3 % in self defence of which half in self defence against family member ONLY 1.5 % IN SELF DEFENCE AGAINST STRANGER 1 Injuries and deaths due to fire arms in the home. AL Kellerman, G Somes et al. Journal of Trauma 1998;45:

24 Does owning a gun make you safe? Studies in RSA 1 : 84% of violent crimes involve firearm Of people in possession of firearm for self defence purpose, only 8% wore it at the time of the attack Possessors of firearms for self defence are 4 times more likely to have it stolen than used 1 A Altbeker. Guns and public safety: Gun crime and self defence in Alexandra and Bramley Graduate School of Public and Development Management at the University of Witswatersrand

25 Psychological effects Many children develop severe anxiety disorders after experiencing a gunshot within their neighborhood Children who grow up with guns might easily be tempted to use them later

26 Summary Firearms are dangerous and cause death and destruction Firearms threaten the right to live The use of firearms should be strongly discouraged!

27 We can make a difference!

28 City Mortality In Cape Town, Tshwane, Durban & Johannesburg In children murdered by guns (56% of all murders) In children murdered by guns (43% of all murders)

29 Firearm violence Source: National Injury Mortality Surveillance System

30 Non-firearm violence Source: National Injury Mortality Surveillance System

31 Firearm violence Source: National Injury Mortality Surveillance System

32 New Firearm Bill Excellent Bill, which we strongly support Will make South Africa safer Will make children safer

33 Amendments to New Firearm Bill by the Pro-Gun lobby 1) Existing gun owners would be allowed to keep their “excess” guns 2) Renewal of competency certificates without proper background check 3) Discretion about the period of “unfitness” …will weaken the value of this Bill substantially!

34 Our Amendments to make South Africa safer: 1) Lift minimal age limit to 25 years (most violent crimes committed by youngsters mean age 20 years) 2) All persons who are the subject of a temporary or permanent protection order should have their gun licence suspended with immediate effect 3) Gun dealers should undergo the same process as owners of liquor outlets

35 Nelson Mandela “A better society should be measured by the happiness and welfare of the children” The New Firearm Bill is helping us towards that: we should not weaken it, but make it stronger!


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