Simplistic arguments and band-aid solutions

The key to a safer Malaysia is to have political will, proper enforcement and curbing cross border arms smuggling.

The government must also seriously look into preventing cross border smuggling. And these laws must be complemented with the government’s will to tackle the culture of corruption and impunity in the police force, Immigration and Customs.

By Charles Santiago, FMT

What is gun control? According to Wikipedia, it is any law, policy, practice, or proposal designed to define, restrict, or limit the possession, production or modification, importation, shipment, sale, and/or use of firearms.

There are a minimum of 370,000 guns owned in Malaysia, which has a total population of 28 million. Japan has a population of 127 million and 710,000 guns.

Malaysia has a ratio of one gun to every 78 people, higher than Vietnam which has a ratio of 80:1.

But Malaysia has strict gun ownership laws.

Only those with a license are allowed to own arms. Those caught possessing firearms without a license can face up to 14 years in prison. And having a live bullet can warrant the death penalty.

So where do the guns, used in the recent shooting spree, come from?

In 2011, Time magazine reported a dizzyingly-complex arms smuggling route in the region. The reporter said guns were readily available along the Cambodia-Thailand border as leftovers from the Pol Pot rule.

She also said Malaysians were smuggling firearms (including rounds of ammunition) into the country, which were bought in Thai military camps.