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Intrigued by arms

Badrya Darwish

Badrya Darwish

The initiative by the Ministry of Interior to collect arms from the public is a great idea. But how successful will it be and how easy this task turns out remain to be seen. It was impressive to see MPs coming forward to hand over their Kalashnikovs - of course done with lots of publicity to encourage the nation.

Arms collection is not an issue only in Kuwait, but all over the world. In the US, there is a deep divide over the personal possession of arms. It's allowed legally to buy and bear arms, but they must be licensed. That's the difference between us and them. Arms must be licensed even in Kuwait, but few are. And even if you apply for a license, not many will be approved and it will likely require wasta - of course.

Still it's wrong, in my opinion, that the public have so many personal weapons. In the surrounding nations, I know for a fact that it's very common that individuals have arms in their homes, be it Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc, etc. People in this part of the world love guns.

How many times have we heard of a story that teens fighting over a dispute end up shooting each other with their fathers' guns? Or someone kills themselves by mistake while cleaning their weapon or someone shoots someone during a wedding celebration. By the way, shooting at weddings is a well-known ritual in the Arab world despite the many disastrous accidents that have happened because of it. Still, people do not change and stick to keeping and using their arms inappropriately.

So I don't think even if lawmakers came and handed over a few pistols or Kalashnikovs, it will make a difference. Everyone will think they probably have more at home and few are likely to be impressed or guided by the lawmakers to do the same. Most people, at least 60 to 75 percent, will not willingly hand over their weapons. Is the ministry ready to go in every house and do a search? And even if they do, searches are not likely to find everything.

It's a great initiative and it will help a little bit, insha'Allah. But I think people will remain intrigued by arms for the future.

By Badrya Darwish

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This article was published on 09/03/2015