David J Smith
David J Smith

Oscar and Chekhov’s Gun

There is a rule in screenwriting that if you introduce a gun into a scene, at some point you must use it. The rule applies to real life too. That’s how Reeva Steenkamp lost her life. A gun appeared in her story, and she got shot dead. Regardless of the circumstances, when guns are near people, they kill people.

I know the gun fraternity will say that it was Oscar Pistorius who pulled the trigger, and not the rest of the gun community out there. But that’s what Oscar would have said a few days ago. He would have said, “I am a responsible gun owner and I will never use my firearm to hurt an innocent person”. Well, whatever happened that night, we can be sure of one thing, he did exactly that. He went from “responsible” gun owner to a man on trial for premeditated murder. And his girlfriend went from a young person to a dead person.

Guns have no real place in our homes any more. The protection argument just doesn’t wash. While home invasion, rape and murder are scary, very real crimes, the murder of a loved one is just as likely when you own a gun. The stats continuously show that the most likely person to die from your gun is you or someone you know. Your children, your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. Just ask Oscar.

When I was at school, a kid in our year had his head blown off while he and a mate mucked about with a gun. It was a tragic accident everyone said. But really it wasn’t. An accident is an unintentional event. When you pick up a gun, you have declared your intentions, you have made yourself clear, you intend to use the gun. There is no other reason to pick one up. You can’t clean the oven with it, or write a letter, or find your way home with it. It does just one thing. It kills things. Gun deaths are no accident.

Some would like to believe that they still need them to hunt for fun or food or sexual satisfaction, but really all of that stuff can be done quite easily without guns. There are people who will whip you, let you whip them, there are supermarkets where you can get food, and video games that let you shoot up aliens and little furry animals if you like. No one needs to hunt, not any more. And if you really can’t do without the thrill of killing animals, get a job in an abattoir, I hear they pay pretty well.

Where does that leave us? Nowhere really. Just with a dead girl, a fallen hero, and a fairly simple rule: Own a gun, shoot a gun. Shoot a gun, kill someone.

Tags: ,

  • The uncomfortable truth about white masculinity
  • Theatre of terror at the trial of Oscar Pistorius
  • We need more gun owners in South Africa, not less
  • Resistant whiteness: On Pistorius, Memela and the dead bodies of women
  • 68 Responses to “Oscar and Chekhov’s Gun”

    1. Enough Said #

      @Brent

      “When does it dawn that broken homes, divorce, domestic violence, dishonesty, single parenthood, parental incompetence, abuse, nihilism etc are to blame if people lose sense, hope and perspective and an inability to express emotions in an appropriate way. This turns decent persons into monsters.”

      Exactly, that is why gun control is so important. Control gun ownership until society can sort out the above social ills.

      February 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    2. Truth be known #

      @Brent

      The increase in violent crime in Britain is due to social problems and increased gangsterism in recent years not gun control. The US/UK comparison to dismiss gun control is some of the most dishonest propaganda put out by the gun lobby.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    3. Momma Cyndi #

      Honkie Tonk

      …. but the cops are the ones ‘losing’ the most amount of guns. Surely the logical thing to do is plug the biggest leak first?

      About 4 years ago, I went to fetch my daughter from her part time job as a barlady. It was about 3am and there were bricks and stones on the top of the offramp. As I slowed down, a man threw a brick through the back window and tried to grab my daughter’s hair. I lifted the gun up, took aim and he took off running.

      Do you think his intentions were good and I would have been ‘safer’ if I hadn’t had a gun?

      February 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm
    4. Brent #

      Truth be known, the increase in gun crime in Britian is never ever brought up by the MSM and the UK is always compared favourably vs the US. So who is sewing the dishonest propaganda? The inconvenient truth, ignored by the liberal chattering classes is that gun crime has increased in the UK at same time that gun control laws have got stricter. Cause and effect are the result of multi factors but dont hide some TRUE facts (not opinions) whilst debating the issue.

      Brent

      February 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    5. Momma Cyndi #

      If you go down to the hostel in Mamelodi, you can buy an AK or an R5 quite easily. Hand guns are also available but they tend to have fewer of those. The cops partner up with the army about once every 2 years or so and raid the place but other than that they are pretty much left with business as normal

      February 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    6. @David… explain to me how you plan to remove a gun from a criminals hands. Your solution would leave police offices and military with no guns? What about the President… are they not protected with guns? I do not know about Africa, but the day that they try to take our 2nd ammendment right away from us in the US, will be the day of anarchy when the citizens will rise and take over the government. Last time I checked, criminals don’t obey the laws so well.

      In response to your comment… since we do agree that a gun will kill no one if no one touches it… then you just proved your entire article false, your comment was

      “Own a gun, shoot a gun. Shoot a gun, kill someone”

      “…if you introduce a gun into a scene, at some point you must use it.”

      How does either of these statements wash if you agree that guns by themselves are not dangerous…and we know you agree to that because again… it no one touches it… it will not harm anyone right?

      I hope you dont drive a car because that is a much more dangerous weapon than guns. How many deaths are related to car accidents? But I am sure those are all the cars fault… because we all know cars drive themselves. Especially if you have a drunk driver… but that is blamed on the alcohol right? The person doing the action has no fault… so since cars kill so many, why are we not removing cars from the roads…if you solution is right, would this not be the correct and more viable option?

      February 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    7. @David, I am really starting to wonder why you are avoiding responding to my comments… its seems all you are doing are doing coming back with a smart remark that makes you look silly.

      Read what I have wrote and try to respond in a intelligent manner… lets debate this… I know I am asking alot, because I have read you article…

      Isnt it #1 on the list of contributor guidlines in this site.. “1. Stick to debating the issues and respect other people’s views and beliefs. Contributions launching personal attacks or that are hurtful and insulting will not be accepted”

      I am trying to debate the topic with you and either you don’t have the ability or simply do not want ot debate… try to prove me wrong… try to convince me other wise. Dont take comments personally.

      One of the greatest pleasures in life is reasoned conversation, discussion, perhaps even debate with good people about issues which are, or ought to be, of concern to everyone. Disagreement can be very enlightening, ebcause you learn from it. Always talking to people who agree with me means I will never learn anything.

      February 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    8. Honkie Tonk #

      @Momma Cyndi

      Legal and illegal guns are both just as lethal. Both need to be controlled. Twice as many guns are lost by or stolen from civilians than by/from cops in South Africa last time I looked at the statistics.

      The gun lobby like to blame the cops and army and ignore the facts regarding civilians that lose or have guns stolen even though it is almost double..

      Also check out how many South African women and children are killed each year by a farther, partner or spouse with a licensed firearm.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:37 am
    9. Honkie Tonk #

      @Brent

      “gun crime has increased in the UK at same time that gun control laws have got stricter.”

      Wrong, that is absolute nonsense. Violent crime has increased due to gangsterism increasing, not gun crime. In fact gun crime decreased in the areas where guns were controlled. The only gun crime that increased was increased use of airguns that are still legal.

      Stop spinning gun lobby rhetoric.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:40 am
    10. Gun Facts South Africa #

      @John

      1) The Firearms Control Act of 2000 made the qualifications for private gun ownership stricter than they had been, including a competency test. The law came into full effect in 2004. Gun Free South Africa said that gun-related deaths decreased by nearly half between 1999 and 2009.

      2) Gun Free South Africa also says, however, that “Since 2012, trauma surgeons … have noted a spike in gun injuries. The organisation believed this spike is related to the fast-tracking of gun licences after the minister of police promised in November 2010 to deal with a backlog of licences by mid-2011.”

      3) According to Gun Free South Africa, both South African and international statistics show that gun owners are four times more likely to have a firearm used against them than they are to use one successfully in self-defence.

      Source: http://mg.co.za/article/2013-02-22-00-ten-things-about-guns-in-south-africa

      SORRY JOHN, NOTHING TO DEBATE :-)

      February 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    11. Momma Cyndi #

      Gun Facts South Africa

      Do you have any references other than GFS?
      I know that the survey that they paid WITS to conduct was rather badly manipulated so I’m not really terribly trusting of them

      February 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm
    12. @Gun Facts South Africa…

      Again you have avoided responding to all my comments but presented a single source of statistics. Stats that prove what… do they prove that a gun that is picked up by no one can kill? no they dont. You answered none of my questions, offered no solutions and no voice of reason… why?…what is the reason for this?… because you can’t…Thank you sir for proving my point in that you really don’t have a idea what the issue is here and how to resolve it. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

      I refuse to have a battle of wits with a unarmed person… good day to you sir… please come find me and we can debate this issue…my website is posted on every comment I have made…by clicking my name.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    13. Gun Facts South Africa #

      There are sound references for that research just ask Gun Free South Africa. Only gun-nutters dispute that research.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:35 am
    14. Brent #

      David, have written a controversial article, which is your job, why do you not debate the ISSUES brought up (ignore the nutters) other than a snide comment or two. Having started something at least be there, playing the ball not the man, right to the final whistle. If bloggers are beneath you just dont write anymore atricles.

      Honkie tonk, is is true that gun crime (+ other crime) in the UK has increased at the same time gun control laws got stricter. You can make a case that the two do not show cause but cannot argue the facts.

      Brent

      February 23, 2013 at 9:04 am
    15. Honkie Tonk #

      @Brent

      The research I quoted was put out by the British Home Office. So maybe the British government are wrong and the gun lobby right. I doubt it though, the gun lobby always distort the truth, why would they be correct this time?

      @David – there is nothing controversial about your article, just some people cannot get their heads around it.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:02 am
    16. David J Smith

      Some points

      Comparing cars and guns is silly. The car’s primary purpose is transportation. Death is not intended. Guns have one purpose. Death.

      @john, you asked me to respond to the statement that if a gun is not touched it will kill no one. I agreed, and said it would be great idea if we never touched them again.

      @brent, I know nothing of the UK. All I know is there are too many guns in SA. And we could definitely do with less. If I run with your logic, the solution to gun crime is more guns. That is some MAD Cold War logic.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    17. David J Smith

      One last point about countries with high gun ownership and low crime rates. These countries are different to RSA and the USA. They are not mentalist places with loads of social ills, but stable societies.

      Just like you wouldn’t give a gun license to an unstable person, you can’t allow an unstable country access to guns.

      South Africa as a country should have its gun license revoked. Fact.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    18. Genghiz #

      You cannot expect insecure and paranoid men like me to live without our PCDs (Phallic Compensation Devices, for those not in the know). The deaths of a few (obviously not so) loved ones is a small price to pay to conserve my besieged masculinity. Just ask Oscar! I mean I don’t even miss the three toes I accidentally shot off before watching the “Die Hard” series of training videos (thanks to them and John Wayne movies, I am now completely qualified!).

      March 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

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