Pakistan needs a gun-control law

Published: January 29, 2011

The first step could be a crack down on unlicensed guns

Has your car ever been stuck behind a police mobile in a traffic jam? If yes, then you may have found yourself staring in to the barrel of a rifle that lay snugly on a police officer’s lap.

There is probable a security lock on these guns that are pointed directly at us, but the thought of an accidental shot always makes me move a little further away from the vehicles to ensure the gun is not pointing at me.

What bothers me is that I have never seen the rifle pointing towards the vehicle, at another officer or the driver – just us, the public.

Unfortunately, in a society like ours we have come to grow up with the idea that brave men carry firearms. We embrace the concept of taking a life “when necessary” – but does our addiction to guns and the violent masculinity that they represent really represent the nation we want to be? In order to bring this change in our society, Pakistanis have to stop wishing for more sons and guns.

Guns, like alcohol and sex, are an addictive weakness.

The media, judiciary and opposition can all play a role in enforcing anti-gun laws. Perhaps the first place to begin is by cracking down on big-shots who have guards that roam the streets with unlicensed weapons.

The fact is that we cannot shut down the gun manufacturing which some claim is the world’s largest illegal weapons market in one day. But the government can at least start taking anti-gun measures.  A heavy tax on bullets could be imposed reducing the use of frivolous “firing” like on chand raat, weddings and New Year’s.

Recently, the MQM introduced a bill to deweaponise the country. While it may seem far-fetched the spirit of the bill could help to improve the situation.

Perhaps, this is all a dream but I would rather try and maybe see a weapon free Pakistan by the time my children have grown up. Wouldn’t you?


Syed Ali Raza Abidi

A businessman who writes on politics and civic issues. He completed his masters in business administration from Boston University. He tweets @abidifactor.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • parvez

    Hey ! compared to your last 3 or 4 blogs this one makes a bit of sense. Recommend

  • S. Ali Raza

    Yarr ET.. thank you for publishing it, but so much editing from the original piece? Khair…Recommend

  • Yasser

    Perhaps, this is all a dream but I would rather try and maybe see a weapon free Pakistan by the time my children have grown up. Wouldn’t you

  • Saad Durrani

    A heavy-tax on bullets?

    Let see. Good idea. I say TAX them 100% with some kind of “General Welfare Text”. Secondly, WE NEED TO DEWEAPONISE. Call the Rangers, hunt every house down in Karachi and get all the guns out.

    To the author, first time in your (publishing) life, you made sense.Recommend


    It is FOOLS’ DREAM to long for a WEAPON FREE REGION.

    AMERICA has taken the responsibility to distribute every sort of weapon in the whole GLOBE. If the world is made a WEAPON FREE GLOBE then what will happen with the American Weapon Market and where he will sell his ARMAMENTS.

    Arms & Ammunitions and other Warheads are the MAJOR EXPORTS of America, for this purpose he strives too much efforts; he creates ANIMITY among the two Nations or two Countries. He infuses TEMPTATIONS in their Minds & Hearts. He supplies WARHEADS to one country and bewares the other to make arrangements for safe guard.

    He is SUXESSFUL in this Strategy.

  • Ammad Hafeez

    Yes, First of all Government should crack down on unlicensed Guns.Recommend

  • S. Ali Raza

    @ASHIQ ALI ANSARI: I am talking about our local weapons industry. We need to start by shutting or taxing it down. Recommend

  • Ferdousur Rahaman

    When the country will succeed to give security to its every citizen then some peoples will leaves arms. And govt can easily control the use of illegal gun’s.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    infuses TEMPTATIONS you must be jokingRecommend

  • Tariq Ali

    I like guns.I wish I had a legal G36 with a red dot sight or a bolt action sniper rifle. An AK47 would work too. But, life is’nt fair, the more guns people have the higher the probability of some nut job going ”Call of Duty” in real life. Maybe those rich weirdos with the pointy business shoes will start being even bigger jerks if they were legally allowed to carry guns. OR they might think twice before picking on armed civilians. Who knows I just like Guns and I respect them. To me Guns don’t represent masculinity, but freedom and fun. Recommend

  • noman siddiqui

    karachi sould be cleaned from gun…..Recommend

  • Waseem

    WRONG. we need the American equivalent of their 2nd amendment here. gun owners should be made to take classes that teach gun safety and proper use for sporting purposes. Recommend