The following paragraph you are about to read will probably be the most chilling piece of information you will read this week.
On Wednesday, nominated Senator Paul Njoroge fired in the air when officials of a company came calling at his Shell petrol station in Karai, along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
In January, 2017, Nairobi businessman Chris Philip Okeyo Obure was accused of assaulting Ben Alila outside a club in Kilimani, on New Year’s Eve.
In November, 2016, the owner of the popular eatery K’Osewe Ranalo Foods, William Osewe was shot in the ribs, hand and spine by a licensed firearm holder.
In November, 2015, Embakasi West Member of Parliament George Theuri posted pictures and videos on social media of his toddlers playing with guns.
In May of the same year, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko’s daughter Salma Mbuvi, posted a picture of herself holding a gun.
In mid-2014, Stephen Ngelu, the Speaker of the Makueni County Assembly threatened to use his gun after an argument with a police officer, in the full glare of cameras.
In May of the same year, Sonko arrived at the Lee Funeral Home complete with his entourage brandishing big guns.
The same month, Michelle Yola, a former girlfriend of popular musician Jackson Makini aka Prezzo, posed with guns on social media with a very appropriate caption: "Don’t F*&%$ with me, Imma blow your brains off (Do not mess with me, I will shoot you)".
I think it is time to talk about gun control.
It does not take much to own a gun in Kenya. All you need is an empty head, an inflated ego and a fat wallet. There are far too many guns in too many irresponsible hands. There is way too much power in the hands of very little people. And by little people, I mean, tall boys masquerading as grown men. Arrogant and spineless men with fragile egos who think the solution to any problem is to shoot at it; self-aggrandising men who cannot take no for an answer, who cannot own up to their debts and who are either weak or incapable of handling their problems like real men.
Guns in Kenya today are owned by boys with beards who have graduated from throwing tantrums to being trigger-happy to get their way.
From the casual way in which we treat firearms, it is no wonder that a do-nothing legislator, probably sitting in a do-nothing House committee, can brandish a gun at people he disagrees with just because he feels inconvenienced. Given what happens in Kenya, who would be surprised if such a person gets away with it like many others before him? Because in this country, firearms are for the rich, and the rich are above the law.
Gun control in Kenya is regulated by slap-on-the wrist laws, just ask Mr Obure, who was released on a Sh20,000 cash bail with an alternative bond of Sh50,000 only.
There is not even a law that dictates the maximum number of guns that one can own. Who knows how many firearms are in the hands of insane men and women? The law does not even say anything about public exposure of guns such as on social media. Nobody has cared to put measures on thoughtless parents who expose their children to these weapons despite the danger they pose.
Such parents should have their children taken away from them because they have a lot of growing up to do as parents.
If you read Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets by Manasseh Wepundi, Eliud Nthiga, Eliud Kabuu, Ryan Murray and Anna Alvazzi, you will discover that the estimated number of firearms in this country could be between 530,000 to 680,000. Which means there could be as many as 700,000 firearms out there if you consider the possibility of under-reporting and those who acquired firearms in the past five years. Which also means, almost a million Kenyans own firearms.
Police claim that for you to own a firearm, you will have to undergo “thorough vetting” and “intense training” on how to handle the firearm. They also claim there are thorough background checks done on potential firearm holders and, get this, they are checked for mental health.
Now we all know all this is public relations. Judging from the thoughtless actions we read about in the media, what you truly need in this country to be a licensed firearm holder is a lot of money and two or three senior cops in your pocket.
Have a safe weekend. Do not drink and pull out your gun.