Following the tragic events of this weekend in which an armed gunman opened fire in Los Angeles International Airport, the Somali people find themselves once again questioning the government on its traditionally hands-off approach to regulating gun control. “I mean, it just shows us that the world really isn’t as safe as we’d like to believe” reported Ali Rahim, lifelong resident of Mogadishu and pirate warlord, “it seems like every time a shooting like this happens, people get outraged for a week or so, but nothing ever actually changes.” Many agree with Rahim, adding that in place of strict gun control, measures such as background checks and stricter firearm license requirements would be a welcome change.
Others vehemently disagree, citing the necessity of freedom to bear arms. “What if someday our government becomes oppressive?” asked Awa Samatar “we can’t afford to give any government that type of power over the people. That’s just asking for disaster.” Political scientist and American Ambassador to Somalia Peter Birges admits that gun control might not be the silver bullet it is sometimes seen as. “Banning guns would just push sales underground,” Birges claims, “and we certainly don’t need a booming black market here in Somalia.”
Only the future will tell how this public outcry will affect future Somali gun legislation, but the timing is certainly poor; polling indicates that the majority of citizens are much more concerned with healthcare reform.