Istanbul Bar Association, "The Effects of the unconscious and the Joint Armament Control" Panel
20 November 2000
As we are about to enter a 21st century we dream of being dominated by peace and knowledge, violence in our society continues to grow. The ‘Working Group Against Individual Arming’ group was formed with the ninth decree of the Istanbul Bar on 17 December, 1998 aims to set up a legal foundation against arming without awareness, the most important factor behind today’s violence.
Our commission believes that examining the laws and finding their deficiencies and having them applied properly are legal practitioners’ responsibilities. The commission organizes social activities and scientific studies to prevent violence and individual arming with this sense of duty.
We should join each other in the fight against weapons and violence, which is a chronic problem for our country!
We should stub out violence and the weapons that poison our children and young people.
Our commission is willing to work with the belief that modern and civilized people can solve the biggest problems through compromise.
Having you on our side in our activities for a peaceful and compromising society will be our biggest support.
- Panel Scripts
ÖZGÜL BEYAZIT KIVANÇ, LAWYER
Welcome to our panel on ‘The Effects of Arming without awareness and the Common Struggle’ organized by Working Group Against Individual Arming, formed in the Istanbul Bar.
In fact, Hülya Keskin, a lawyer and the President of the commission, and our friends leading the commission deserve to be applauded the most. We formed this working group, this commission a year ago. Our aim was to improve legal arrangements for the problems created by individual arming, especially in the regions in Turkey and ensure that our legal system is compatible with the universal system. In our first year, the participation of our lawyer friends was low, but we still continued our work.
This is our first panel and it is very important for our bar. We know very well that this problem can be resolved through education in particular. During this period we have had close relations with the Umut Foundation and its president, Ms. Nazire Dedaman, because this foundation also works against arming, especially individual arming. Of course, we are also arming on a larger scale.
We, as the Istanbul Bar, want Turkey to be a state of law instead of being a state where the gun rules, and we would like all our commissions, the directors of our board, our legal practitioner friends and our young friends to work towards this goal.
Now our first piece of work will take place with our distinguished guests and very important people who have really worked hard on this subject. We hope our participation expands. Unfortunately, though, there is very little participation in scientific work in our society. We will try to lead new progress with this meeting. Since I am a member of Bar Board following this year’s election, I think I will be in charge of coordination with the commission. Our aim to organize the all bars throughout Turkey and spread these commissions and start a legal fight, especially in Black Sea region and the South East of Turkey where individual arming is uncontrolled and all too common. There is a very important member of the police department among us, and I believe that the information he will give us is scary enough. We already know the events. We, as the Istanbul Bar, will spread our thoughts on this subject throughout Turkey.
Now again I will kindly ask Hülya Kesim to introduce our panellists to you. Thank you for your participation.
HÜLYA KESİM, LAWYER
I would like to quickly introduce our panelists.
Ms. Nazire Dedeman, founder of the Umut Foundation and now director of the Board. She is the president of the foundation that has been working against individual arming since its establishment, and has given us great support in establishing our working group in the Bar. Today, she will share with us what they have done so far against individual arming, and what kind of activities they plan in the future. We thank her in advance.
Mr. Savaş Kalafat. Our dear friend from the Star newspaper. He won the top award with his article on the ‘Contribution of the Media to Peace’ in the competition organized by the Umut Foundation this year. Today, he will share with us his thoughts on the ‘brutality in sport’ caused by individual arming, and its effects on children’. We thank him.
Ms. Gül Erman. I am sure all of you know her very well. She will tell us about the legal side of individual arming, and will chair the panel. We thank her.
Mr. Ahmet Süha Umar, our previous Aman ambassador. He is now the president of the Association for the Prevention of Hunting of Wildlife. He has also represented Turkey in international meetings about disarming organized by the OCE (Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) and OSC (Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe) and he knows much about individual arming. He will share his knowledge with us. He will also inform us of the effects of individual arming, not just on people but also on animals. We thank him.
Ms. Ferai Tunç, from the Hürriyet Newspaper. She received the ‘honour award’ for her article on the ‘Contribution of Media to Peace’ in the competition organized by the Umut Foundation. Today, she will share her thoughts with us on ‘the role and importance of the media in individual arming in positive and negative ways, and ‘the role of the media in the prevention of individual arming”. We thank her.
Our final panellist, Dr. Adil Serdar Saçan, the Director of the Department of Organized Crimes and Arms Smuggling at the Istanbul Police, will share his information with us about ‘arms smuggling, individual arming, unlicensed arms and criminal organizations’, as Ms. Özgül mentioned earlier. We thank him.
I will now give the microphone to Ms. Gül Erman to open the panel.
SESSION CHAIRMAN LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
- I think I should put the microphone here. Should I not, Hülya? Are we going to hold it?. Okay.
Since I am chairing the panel, I will be the one supposed to say the not-so-pleasant things. I like to start by requesting the speakers to limit their first speech to 10 minutes. That is, one speech for 10 minutes.
Later, you will have a second chance to talk, and it appears that we will be able to give you another 10 minutes.
I will be examining the legal side of the subject. In fact, when we talk about something related to arms and if people get killed or some people have to kill other people, we do of course need to look at the related legislation.
The first thing that comes to our mind is the Turkish Criminal Code. However, there is no ruling in the Turkish Criminal Code related to arms. It did not concern itself with what kind of arms are used in crimes. What it does is describe some crimes and the penalties against them, thereby accepting the use of arms in committing the crimes and sometimes arranging it as a special decree.
If a legal benefit is damaged in one country, it is the duty of law makers to bring in the norms to fix it. If the norms exist even though there are no harmed legal benefits, and if these are penalty norms that bring some restrictions to people, it means there is oppression in that country.
Although the legal benefit of getting harmed and there is not any norms for it, it means there is anarchy in that country.
In countries where these two situations are balanced carefully we have a possibility of talking about a state of law.
I do not have high hopes. It is not easy to discuss the existence of a state of law in a country. I am condemning the words about the possibility of talking about a state of law.
Then we look at the Criminal Code. It does not mention arms. After football games, armed events are taking place in schools and everywhere; we even see guns in small childrens’ hands. Where will we look to?
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the existence of a special law - law 6136. This law does describe arms in the real meaning. Article 4 mentions the attacking, strangling chain, the dagger and brass knuckles but does not describe them.
There is an additional regulation to the law 6136. There is some information about arms in this regulation.
We mentioned the non-existent laws here. However, we need to carefully look at the existing ones.
There are some laws in our country related to arms. I don’t want to frustrate you, so I will keep going, skipping some parts.
- For example the law 6136
- Regulations issued in a state of emergency governing the principles to obtain a licence to carry guns.
- Regulations for temporary and volunteer local guards to return their unlicensed guns and obtain a license.
- Regulations for rifles, hunting knives and fire practice pistols used for hunting and sport.
- Land Hunting Regulations
- Regulation for controlling private industries in Turkey which produce arms and ammunition
- A status about producing explosive and hunting materials and similar items.
It continues like this.
As you see, in our country there is not a single law which describes arms, no certain regulation for arms, but on the other hand there are hundreds – of course I am exaggerating, not hundreds – but dozens of regulations, statues and even some decrees. These decrees authorize governors to award gun licences to people already holding unlicensed guns in regions where there is a state of emergency, without asking any questions. I just heard upstairs from Mr. Adil Serdar Saçan, who said also said ‘governors or gendarme’. Thank God I have not encountered that.
There is also amnesty law. We have been waiting for one year. I think it has been more than a year since they started talking about it? We then realize that they have already issued an amnesty law and they have pardoned some crimes related to arms. And some decree laws had been accepted as amnesty laws including previous periods.
If there are many contradicting laws, decrees and statues in one country – of course, normal laws may have also contradictions - everybody can be a gun owner there. There is no other way - while some people can take advantage of their deficiencies, other people can get take advantage of others.
So, what should we think about this? Crime and the number of guns is increasing every day in this country, so everybody reaches the conclusion that penalties should be harder.
However, when we look at the penalties, we see that the penalties already in place are not light. According to the 12th article of law 6136, “People who bring, or try to bring guns and bullets into the country will face a prison sentence of between 5 and 8 years”. They are also subject to be fined. However, I will ignore the fines because they are really insignificant.
If a combination of crimes has been committed, the sentence increases to between 10 and 15 years. When automatic rifles with a sight, pistols and the like are used in crime, the penalties can be raised by half up to their seriousness.
According to article 13 of the same law, people who sell, hold and carry fire guns and their bullets will face prison sentence of between 1 and 3 years, a and fine of between 3,000 to 5,000 YTL.
There is a concept of ‘seriousness’ here. Although our Supreme Court of Appeals and Penalty General Committee describe this concept as how much will be the amount of money after the bullets sale, we already know that this seriousness actually means seriousness of the events consequences of the bullets. Our Supreme Court of Appeals sees this in this way.
Yet these are not negligible penalties. It may not seem to you right to say that. There would no problem if everybody with unlicensed guns faced these penalties. Our real concern is the existing laws are not applied properly. Moreover, the penalties I mentioned here are always related to unlicensed guns. However, we see crimes committed by licensed guns being reported in the media every day, and also we see our ministers firing their unlicensed guns at wedding ceremonies. The important thing, therefore, is not to issue some laws covering unlicensed guns. If after a football game, someone fires his gun and causes someone’s death, it does not matter whether his gun is licensed or not.
What about the Turkish Criminal Codes? When the Turkish Criminal Codes sets out the norms for committing crimes, they accept that guns are a significant factor in crime. If you take someone’s eye out, you will face a sentence of around 1 year. But if you break his glasses, the sentence is 10 years, because it is accepted as plundering their glasses by breaking them. In fact, the sentence is not, in fact, heavy enough. In fact, there are sufficiently heavy sentences in the Turkish Criminal Code. However, if you gave a license to everybody who wanted one, if you issue an amnesty law every three days, if you still talk about the “horse-woman-gun” tradition and encourage it, you can not make any headway by making sentences heavier. I will try to explain more later in the solutions part.
There is another point we need to add. The United States leads the way in arming. In the United States a youth over 18 is killed every 2 ½ hours, and in the last 2 years the number of people killed by guns exceeded the number killed in the Vietnam and Korea Wars.
If guns are so important for us in our tribal law system, if our president does things like giving the pistol he got from Bijan to another government officer after his trip and if we say that “we always choose the United States as our model”, we should look at what kind of toys our children play with before considering whether guns are licensed or not or if the penalties are severe enough or not. What kind of toys do they have?. What kind of films do they watch on TV?. Where do they get dragged to?. And the bloody media - when we read newspapers we see bloody scenes every three days. This is what we watch on TV. I personally believe we should be very careful when we look at what we are getting dragged into. This is all I have to say about the legislation.
Now I am inviting Mr. Savaş Kalafat to speak.
Star Newspaper Columnist
In fact, you mentioned a very important subject. We call it as a “pass” in our language. You talked about TV and I believe one of the most important problems that individual disarming should solve is the arming tendency which is inoculated to our children by the media.
That is why I wrote on this article. Although it was not my field, it was related to violence reflected on TV. First of all, I’d like to read the introduction of it, because its introduction and some part of the main body of the article explain a lot about the subject. I assume jury members honoured me with this award for the same reason.
“Those who do not care about our children’s psychology are producing clouds loaded with dynamite for the next generations. It is so horrible to think that these clouds will turn to rain one day. It is really scary to think that these children may be the potential criminals of tomorrow”.
Another extract from the article:
“We are making terrible mistakes. We assume that guns are a meant to be at the point where justice occurs. It is also so strange that guns that can be taken as life saving and in good hands but are always in the hands of the mafia and bullies. Who can imagine the potential effects on a child who believes that the unbelievable guns represent the power of cartoon characters and bad guys of TV shows”.
We cannot imagine because the TV children are not yet among us. They are still growing and absorbing the violence which is inoculated to their brains through TV every day.
I have a daughter too. If I can see her growing up – but I live in this country, in Turkey – and if she keeps growing in a healthy way, we will continue to live in peace. But I have a fear : Some ideas are getting imposed to people through TV. One is the principle of “creating your own justice” that is imposed by mafia shows I mentioned before, and unfortunately the media – the media owners – allow these to be directed to people in an irresponsible way.
Where will this go to?. What will be the end of it?. When tomorrow’s child murders start – we see many incidents in the United States - we will start to have regrets. As the number of child murders increases we will stop regretting and begin to wonder where we made mistakes.
However, this is an opportunity for us. We still have time to consider all these and take the necessary measurements, and doing so we can leave better principles and systems to our children.
The United States has been always been our role model, because arming is so easy in the United States. You can buy guns for a few hundreds dollars.
I concluded some questions out of the previous speech. Some arms can be legalized and get licensed with some decree of law issued by governors in Turkey. I wonder if these arms used in some crimes can still be legalized. I mean there is such a thing called murdering gun; members of the police department members know this better. Murdering guns are cheaper because they circulate in market. That gun continuously kills someone because it is produced for that reason. Guns are security if they are in the power of the government. What we see is that their guns are on their waists. So where are the other people who do not carry their guns on their waists? They are either at night clubs or in some mafia groups, or in some organizations which have recently become very famous in our popular culture.
Another issue is that they say the number of guns is increasing, but penalties are having little effect. Who are creating the deficiencies in the laws? Are we or law makers? Who are the law makers - the members of parliament, Parliament itself or its institutions?
Weakness in applying the laws has been mentioned. Does the machinery of justice have any weakness in this?. Why is it tolerant in applying the laws against guns?. In fact, we have to apply them to everybody in the same way. We have to do it in the same way regardless their age or position. There are definitely some reasons to reduce the penalties. Although they are subjected to judge’s approval, they have to be applied equally to be example for next generations.
I remember some incidents about giving guns as gift by our state men – not just a few; most of them bring guns with them when they return from foreign countries, to give as a gift or to bolster their reputation. I read a statistic recently. I will not mention names, but almost each of our government people bring 10 to 15 guns from abroad during their service and give them as gifts. Maybe these are also murderer guns now, I don’t know! But we did not research into it. We had no chance to do so; if we did, we might have seen people killed or injured with those very guns.
I will return to the issue of children again. Children are impressionable to what they see on TV. Children are our future. We are trying to teach them something with some bans. But there is such a thing called a ‘rating’. There is a company called AGB Anatolia that classifies people as into A, B, C or D categories. This is the most effective company delivering advertisements to TV channels. Naturally, every TV channel is a commercial company and every commercial company has to follow some certain rules, so they are taking watching rates as base. However, they are ruining our culture without knowing it.
I will give an example now. The TV show, Memoli –not the real name of it, I could not remember the name of it –
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
Never Ending Story (Yılan Hikayesi). Everybody knows its name. The ratings for this show are 20% of the television audience, rising to 50% in cities. Do you know what it is?. In fact, it is a children’s program. It is not the sort of program for grown ups with cultural messages or leading people to some kind of feeling. I do not watch it personally, but my wife does. That makes me sad, and I keep telling her. Do you know what it means, when I look at its watching rate? It means 50% of people who watch TV at that time watched that program.
What is in that show? There is a police officer in it. He has a gun. We have no objection to this, because the police character is a reality of our life, and it is a good character. There are also mafia characters in that show. What is in mafia’s hand? There is gun, and they are playing with it. I mean there are mafia characters who are in love with guns. They love and touch it and put it on their forehead. And there are children who imitate those actions.
In fact, we also need to look at the children on the streets. With the habits they obtained from TV shows, those children take their parents to toy shops to get toy guns, which I believe they are real guns in a way. Even though they do not have real bullets in them but one day they can turn out to be real. This is very easy. While those murderer guns circulating in Turkey very cheaply…
Members of Police Department should not get offended by this, because this is happening everywhere. They are fighting against it, we appreciate this but unfortunately there are also illegal things in Turkey.
As we media, our duty is to be doing right things, inoculating, impressing and reflecting right thoughts to raise responsible and good people for the next generations. It should be this way in the media.
I know I talked nonsense towards the end, from one topic to another…when the time was reminded ….
I will continue later. Now I am getting my thoughts together.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
We thank to Mr. Savaş Kalafat.
I am passing it to Mr. Süha Umar. He is a member of European Disarming Committee
AHMET SÜHA UMAR
Former Amman Ambassador
Of course, we need to make a small correction there. I worked for 33 years in Foreign Affairs. I spent most of my time during this period in diplomatic activities rather than in international organizations and I spent almost my entire time dealing with military and strategic issues, such as NATO and disarmament. I think they mentioned my title, because I participated in OCE discussions. This title has stuck with me. I do not complain because I can say that I played a part in disarming the country. Of course, I did not do it by myself, but with other people.
However, our success in disarming is not that large in Turkey, even we call it a complete failure.
I will try to explain shortly “Where is Turkey today, and Why?” without going back to its history and philosophy. We have a philosophy; “Horse – woman – gun “. One of our ministers also said this on a TV program in 1997. After that, the media gave him a really hard time and we helped the media too; he could not be elected again. I hope he will never be elected again. I believe such incidents should be an example to support our plight.
The first mistake about arms was made in 1534. This is the amnesty fact that you mentioned before. I will not mention about its other side because it is very popular and complicated nowadays. Bu this amnesty law is one of the main reason for where Turkey stands today in disarming.
We are facing the same problem today. Law 2521, which you referred to before – that you said in hunting and sports etc. – is subject to amendment. There have been attempts to submit this amendment to parliament since 1996. It is been facing different obstacles. Although these changes are made, there is a much more serious article here. These changes proposing to pardon the possession of ungrooved rifles and semi automatic pump rifles obtained illegally – these are our biggest problems. This is really not acceptable and everybody should do everything they can to prevent it. Unfortunately and as Mr. Savaş said before, no one should get offended by this, the Internal Affairs and Police Department which are supposed to get harmed by arms and arming are actually behind this move.
We never can explain this to them. Most of them are my friends and the Public Peace Department Director is also my friend. We can not dissuade them from what is going on.
QUESTION ASKED NOT UNDERSTOOD
Yes. They are supporting the amnesty law.
So, Why are they doing this? Why are we here today? Where are we, and why are we here? I am telling this because I am trying to explain it. I am keeping it short because we do not have enough time.
Turkey is in a serious situation today when it comes to individual arming. We have heard there are 500,000 ungrooved semi automatic and pump rifles produced and sold legally, but the actual number is around 1.5 million. Some arms producing companies were shut down and investigated recently. Hundreds of guns are produced with the same serial number and they are sold to harvest in villages – even as my friend Metin Sertoglu says – to the wooden bench on which the corpse is washed. These are also captured. Besides, as you said – that book over there is not the sole authority on regulations and laws related to arms. Despite this, these sort of things are continuing.
So, why is this happening?. How are these arms so obviously being sold and bought?
Selling and buying arms is nowhere as difficult as it is in Turkey. There is an incredible amount of bureaucracy for buying arms in Turkey – it does not matter whether it is a hunting rifle or a pistol. There is no such bureaucracy anywhere.
So, how can such unlawful actions happen? I will reach the same thing you said, because the laws are not applied.
So, why are the laws not applied? There are many reasons for that.
But, as far as we see there is one serious reason for that. This is a money issue. A gun license brings between 1 and 150 YTL to the Police Department Foundation, and this money is legal. There no permit in the legislation system to accept this money. It is arranged in a decree. This is against the legislation, because there is no such legislation. A decree is not possible without its legislation.
I am not god at maths, I can not deal this calculation - 150 YTL..
QUESTION ASKED BUT NOT UNDERSTOOD
No, no. 150 YTL comes from the pistol licence. If 1,000 people get a license, I do not know how much money can be earned. Imagine that 300,000 people get a license. As far as I calculate – of course the police department members know this better, how many guns have been sold and licensed given – the amount will be millions.
So, Why do they want an amnesty law?. The reason is that “ we know where the guns exist so we can control them”. But, when these guns were sold, the legislation to know who owned them already existed. Why didn’t we not know then?. There is only one reason for this amnesty law which and that is to get this money, called card money.
The document that I brought with me took years to prepare and it is a draft of the work which became one of 18 articles of the National Security Committee in 1997.
Our approach and perhaps everybody’s approach should be similar. As far as we know, if an amnesty law is issued it should not be applied to arms. They were fooled for some reason, but of course it is not an excuse not to know the legislation – you want to pardon good people. You may say “If you bring your gun I will not investigate you”. When you say “bring your gun and get the license”, you will encourage people to get hundreds of guns illegally.
However, after the Celali Rebellion in 1534, all guns were collected and after the collection had been completed, the number of guns doubled or tripled. It means that you do not prevent arming, but encourage it.
Okay. What kind of position – I ask again – is Turkey in?. Turkey is in a serious situation. According to our statistics – unfortunately there aren’t healthy statistics – there are 750,000 hunting permits, 1.25 million ungrooved rifle licences, almost 300,000 – 400,000 pistol licences - if I am wrong, I am ready to correct the numbers – for possession and carrying.
What does that mean? In additional, if you include these illegal guns I mentioned, it means that almost every one person out of 3 or 5 you see around has a gun, either in his pocket or on his waist or in his car boot, or next to his seat. No offence please.
- I have this license for carrying a gun. My friends are making fun of me because it is a big gun. It is a 357 Magnum. I do not carry it. The Government gave this to me because four of my close friends got killed. I do not carry it -
But I face thousands – hundreds of thousands – of people every day who have the same license and unfortunately because of their low education and level of consciousness they are capable of anything with these guns. Lorry drivers, jewellers, shepherds – I do not condemn anybody – but guns…..
QUESTION ASKED NOT UNDERSTOOD
Beekeepers, yes. That can come to our mind….
The other day, one of my friends from the Aydın Police Department said, “everyone who think is not supposed to have a gun has a licence for possessing and carrying them.”. Lets see. A doctor, a dentist, an engineer, a lawyer. I think lawyers have a right to get a license. What is going to happen if you try to get license for one of them?. You can not get it. Then we can talk about a mistake here.
What kind of situation are we in today? We are in a serious situation. Why? Because, legislation is drawn up with the question “to whom can we give more guns” in mind, and unfortunately it is still being issued in this way. There is no point here blaming our friends who prepared this legislation, because they do not make arbitrary decisions; they are instructed by other people.
Can they resist to them? They should resist and tell them that it is not possible. They should struggle for it.
As we suggest what to do next, we should elaborate on the subject. I should only say this: Because we could not overcome the serious events we witnessed in 1993, we started a struggle. We had seen many armed people in rural areas, and they were obviously not hunters. We got suspicious and thought this was a tricky situation. Those people got our attention with their accents, their attitudes which represent a certain part of our society and they had semi-automatic and pump hunting rifles – I will mention that later. It made us take action, informing the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Parliament, and they opened a thick file for them. We wrote articles about it. I have at least 15 articles in different newspapers that I brought with me here. Everybody wrote about this from Bekir Çoşkun to Metin Sertoğlu. The media took the responsibility sometimes.
But we still could not succeed in changing law 2521 since 1997, and besides we have been continuing to pardon arms. We try to give guns to more people with every change in the legislation change. The Machine Chemistry Industry Institution tries to sell guns to its personnel through instalments. Why do they need guns, for Goodness sake?. Please. Shepherds do not need guns either. What will happen if he doesn’t have a gun and cannot shoot a wild ox from 10 metres? What is he going to protect his herd from? These are the things that have been implemented without thinking.
Of course – as I tried to say - it is a big source of money. As long as you do not cut this source off, you can not prevent these people from acting this way. They will continue to do it.
I do not want to exceed my time limit. If you like, I can continue later.
Thank you very much.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
We thank him very much.
Now I pass the stand to Ms. Ferai Tunç, a journalist.
Having heard all this, it will be difficult for me to talk, I feel like I can not find my way in this darkness.
Actually, I have not given too much thought to individual arming. Saying that there is no good ar bad arms and being against all kind of arms, I want to talk about the media and the violent environment that creates arms.
Now - we have heard before and here too - the tendency of holding the media as the biggest reason for all the bad things has increased recently, so that I started wondering if this is a way of running away from our responsibilities as a person.
Obviously I agree that the media plays a role in accepting violence, getting used to it and making it grow. In the last 10 years especially, competition in circulation has intensified in a dangerous way in the visual and press media being in a transition period has accelerated the tendency to violence, not just in Turkey but in the whole world. The photographs shown such as carrying out an autopsy on a dead body on TV have been especially effectively in getting children used to violence. As you now, on 20 April 1999 in a Colombian High school in the United States children killed 12 of their friends and teachers with theirs fathers’ guns – the highest level of having got used to violence. The conclusion of the arguments after the event was – as Ms. Gül said before – forbidding guns is not the problem, but the important thing is to change the system and to stop the legalization of the killing instinct.
When I think of this I remembered an American movie; “Natural Born Killers”, one of the very frst examples of action movies. I assume you have seen it. When I started watching it I got sick and I had a physical reaction to it and I left the room. Then I went back and watched the whole movie and I liked it, because I got used to the violence in the movie and it increased my adrenaline.
Therefore I would like to emphasize on this. Violence is genetic, microbic or….
…it is self selling. What I mean is that it has a buyer. Its buyers are – as our friends said – more than other programs’ buyers. We should not expect anything from violence, but unfortunately for commercial organizations everything is based on sales and the market.
Therefore, the important question concerns what the media can do to root out violence and how the media can solve the problems which are leading to the violence?.
When I have a wider look at it – since I write about foreign policies, I consider the events for perspective of the world and foreign policies – I see that the conflicts broke out caused by ethnic and national reasons after 1980, which is the end of the cold war period. Conflicts and wars entered our lives more than before.
The Gulf War was the breaking point of it. All of us watched the Gulf War on CNN in our homes, having been addicted to it. We liked the scenes rather than what was going on there. We watched the bombs go off and got used to them, but they did not bother us. After that point violence became virtual.
All of us, again, watched the violence in Bosnia and Kosovo on TV.
Then there were the events in Chechnya. We were a little scared, but we still watched them.
We also watched the stories and scenes of the civil war going on in our country for the last 15 years.
Having watched all this, everything has become virtual in our eyes, because we have got used to it.
I was in Macedonia last year. When I was sleeping in a house near the Kosovan border, I heard the bomb explosions from the NATO war planes. They were so close. I got a little scared at the time because what I witnessed was different from what I had seen on TV, but later, I got used to them both.
We are talking about the responsibility of the media here. Should TV stations and newspapers not mention these? They are going to be shown on TV channels and written in newspapers. Informing the public about these also means exposing them to violence.
We come to the point of the responsibility of newspapers and TV channels. As you know, there are events going on in the Palestinian territories. There is a picture which has become a symbol of the rebellion. This also has been shown on TV channels and increased global support for the Palestinians. This picture was showing a child’s death with his father while under fire from Israelis.
Should or shouldn’t this have been shown on TV? Of course, it should have been shown; the responsibility of a journalist is to reflect the real life as strikingly as possible.
We are in something of a dilemma here. How are we going to fight violence? There are different kinds of violence in life. I do not mean the violence that causes death only when I talk about it. For example, the conditions created by rampant globalisation, accepting the idea of the “survival of the fittest” in today’s world in which interactive communication has taken the place of non governmental organizations’ and politics and unions have become less effective.
For example, people who wreck the banks, the corrupt and crime originations. Would forgiving them constitute violence or not? To me, these things represent violence against society. I accept this as an act of violence against myself. A small pistol directed at my head is not necessary; the environment that kills my hopes and bothers me is enough for me to accept it as violence.
Every attempt to threaten justice has violent effects. For example, there are the suicides of women and girls in Batman. They can be considered as self violence.
What I am saying is that we should not limit the fight against violence to solely being against arms. We should fight against it in a deeper way. Of course, it does not mean that we should stop tackling arms; on the contrary, we should do more; as Ms. Gül said, we should see what is behind it.
I will stop here. I will bring some solutions about the tasks of media in solutions part. Thank you.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
Mrs. Nazire Dedeman will speak.
Founder of the Umut Foundation and Director of the Board.
Thank you everybody.
I was asked to spank about Umut Foundation, so that is how I would like to start.
The Proud Umut Leaders Foundation was established in 1993 – as you all know – after my son Umut was killed. We have tried to share our sorrow and experiences with society while striving to keep our children’s’ memories alive.
The aim of Umut foundation to give the skills and personality to our children - who are the guarantee of our future - to lead society in the manner set out by Ataturk, and raise our children so they support the improvement of our country and the welfare of mankind, to help people to accept the superiority of the law and contribute to its implementation, to find peaceful solutions for disputes with the principle of Ataturk’s motto of “Peace at home, peace in the world’ and to teach them the skills to keep and improve a peaceful and compromising environment.
The emblem of the Umut Foundation is the seagull. As you know, the symbol of peace is the pigeon. Peace has a predominant role in the aim of our foundation, but not only the establishment of peace but also sustaining peace. For this reason, we chose the seagull. Our effort is to prepossess and spread these expectations with ‘flying seagulls’ and inspire the hopes of our country and the world in our young people.
The Umut Foundation has contributed to peace and also helped prepossess and teach peaceful methods of compromise not only in Turkey but also in the Middle East. I would like to mention some of our activities.
- Activities of the Peace, Compromise, Science and Art Conference, held in Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain
- Regional, National and International Readjustment Tendency Conference in the Balkans
- Education program related to Law in the Balkans Project.
- International Conference on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Democracy in Today’s schools
- Two Conferences on Civil Rights in Bulgaria
- One Balkans Conference, related to Law
- Regional Conference of Non Governmental Organizations
- Turkish – Greek Student Seminars
- The Middle East Media Conference
I do not want to take your time by setting out the whole list. Many similar activities have been carried out.
Our aim with these activities is to show the psychological side of the negotiation, and draw attention to the importance of compromising centres in taking the burden of courts, promoting democracy, removing prejudice in intercultural relations, and promoting compromise.
The projects related to law was including the superiority of law and peaceful solutions for disputes; our main subject is violence.
The education of civil rights in Turkey is aimed to promote people’s consciousness to be responsible citizens.
The reason for the Umut Foundation’s establishment – as I mentioned before – was that my son was killed with a gun.
Tens of people die everyday in this country. Like Umut, they lose their lives through guns and violence. The use of arms is a means of violence and it is the extreme of violence. The use and possession of arms illustrates the tendency towards violence. Violence is not gift of God, it is learned and it comes out when it finds adequate conditions. Like violence, the use of guns is also a learned behaviour.
Therefore, the Umut Foundation faces all kinds of violence and brute force at all levels, and seeks to contribute to the preference of peaceful methods to solve problems.
When we face violence and brute force, we also need to change ourselves too. This is possible by adopting a peaceful spirit when solving problems.
Besides these activities, Umut Foundation has been organizing activities under the banner of “Say No to Individual Arming” since 1993-1994. With these activities, it has aimed to encourage research into the need for individual arming and to prevent the rise of violence and brutal force and to strengthen the existence of state of law.
We all know that unchecked arming has reached to a dangerous point in our country. Besides arms used in celebrations and entertainment activities, there are arms used in killing. Therefore, it is a reality that many people lose their lives and most are innocent people. Having heard and read the reports every day, we have became inured to them. The Government has also become inured to them, and – as Ms. Gül said – unfortunately no legal action is being taken against them.
For this reason, there are many things that we, the people who work for non governmental organizations, should do about this. Our insisting attitudes, leading public opinion and making it heard more in public will encourage law makers to take action.
After the campaign ‘No jokes with arms, a call to sports fans’, Umut Foundation carried out many activities with the Football Federation, the Association of Sports Writers and even with arbitrators. Apart than this, the visual media supported our call and subtitled our ‘no jokes with arms’ slogan during football games. This attracts people’s attention and talked about not using guns after the games.
It also affected legislation. With the decree of the eighth Criminal Department of the Supreme Court, taken unanimously in 1996, “those committing such a crime face 2 to 5 years’ imprisonment”. I went to the eighth department of the Supreme Court in Ankara, to personally thank them, and they told me that “this legislation already existed, but we had never implemented it. After the media campaign, we have at least tried to put it in practice.
Of course it was something, but at the end it did not work, because the users of weapons still evade capture. Who would capture them? Police officers in police stations would capture them, or people would inform each other or call the police. I had many discussions in police stations, because they were still using guns after the games and still do so. They asked me; “who are we going to capture?” They told me they would go to the scene after hearing gunfire, but when they arrived there the shots were over and people had already gone home. Of course, it is easy to find excuses. But it is their duty to do capture the perpetrators.
Since the government makes buying guns easier, in other words, by legitimating guns, it also legitimatizes violence.
Apart from these activities, we also organized competitions with prizes, on “Say No to Individual Arming”.
- “Searching and examining the reasons of individual arming in Turkey” in 1994
- “Composition Competition on Violence and Arms among Young Individuals” among high school students across Turkey in 1995; with this competition we aimed to find out how the young see the problems of violence and arms.
- With a cartoon competition entitled “No Jokes with Individual Arming and Arms” in 1997, we tried to show the artistic side of the subject.
- We organized a research conference on “The Role of the Media” in 1998, which attracted a very high level of participation from members of the media, especially the newspapers. Columnists discussed what to do now, and I will mention this later.
- News photograph competition into the reasons and results of individual arming and violence in 1999.
This year, on 28 September 2000, we had the activity entitled “The Media’s Contribution to Peace”.
As you know, incidents resulting in death and injury increase with the sale of guns in Turkey and individuals are being egged on with this increase. I would like to give some statistical information.
According to the Justice Department’s statistics in 1996, the incidence of murder in each 100,000 of population rose by 11%, while incidents of assault and battery increased by 88%. It also shows that 21% of suicides were committed with the use of guns.
- Of course, I am not sure. These are the statistics provided by Justice Department, and you may have more detailed information and statistics.
During the 5 year period between 1992-1996, public prosecutions against guns under law 6136 increased by 83% and has multiplied in each 100,000 of population. The number of accused rose 74%. The use of guns in incidents has also increased. As you know, guns cause five times more deaths than sharp materials.
The number of rifles and pistols sold in our country in the last 8 years between 1990 and 1997 – according to official information – increased by 358%. During this period the total amount of sales was 260,770 – I think this is very low. According to this statistical report, in the last 10 years between 1987 and 1996 the number of pistols captured in the area controlled by police forces was 95,114.
The number of pistols captured increased by 612% between 1987 and 1996.
According evaluations carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1997, the percentage convicted murderers serving prison sentences, out of a sample of 234, who used weapons was 59% in 1985-1986.
Here is the list showing the use of violence and arms in public prosecutions in the criminal courts.
While the number of murders was 4,810 in 1987, this number increased to 6,980 in 1997 and the number of accidental deaths increased from 13,843 to 19,942, while the number of incidences of assault and battery rose from 73,839 to 97,370.
When we include robbery, seizure by violence, hostage taking and suicides to these numbers, the result is more scary. But we don’t have time to be scared.
Again when we look at the statistical report of Justice Department Judicial Records and Statistics General Directorate for the period between 1994-1995, we face an even worse situation. The number of cases filed for murder based on decree laws 448 and 445 of the Turkish Criminal Code was 129,447.
The number of cases under law 6136, which concerns the use of firearms and sharp materials, between 1994-1998 was 132,321.
When we look at Police Department Records, we see the seriousness of the situation, with 80% of above crimes recorded as being committed with unlicensed guns.
Our wish – I will keep it short – is to solve the problems through peaceful methods and encourage people to do the same. Although we want to have guns to defend ourselves, unfortunately we do see any incidents where guns are used for this purpose in our country. Guns are not used for defensive purposes; they always cause incidents or cause death following arguments.
If we succeed in encouraging people to solve the problems through peaceful methods, we will not need guns. Our government has a huge responsibility in this, too. Our national education program should also include mediation courses for schools.
I will stop here and will continue in the second part.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
We thank her.
So far we have listened the opinions of non governmental organizations. I am giving the microphone to Mr. Adil Serdar Saçan, our last speaker. He should have more serious things to say.
DR. ADİL SERDAR SAÇAM
ISTANBUL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Organized Crimes and Arms Smuggling Department
First of all, I am not a representative of Security General Directorate. I am the director of Organized Crimes and Arms Smuggling Department at the Istanbul Police Department. Therefore, the decisions taken by the Security General Directorate or my speech are not binding for the Security General Directorate. When our friends say something related to police departments, please don’t take offence. I will not get offended - it is not a big problem for me. We have bigger troubles than you do.
For the position I am holding, first of all I would like to mention the importance of arms for organized crimes and then share my personal opinion about the problem of licensed and unlicensed arms and arms smuggling in Istanbul.
The Organized Crimes and Arms Smuggling Department was established in September 1998 and since then we have instigated 230 different operations against crime organizations, and in these operations we have seen that all these crimes organizations were armed.
There are also robberies without arms in Turkey – as the Ladies mentioned before. Leaving them aside, the only source and only capital of crimes organizations is an unlicensed 7.65mm calibre pistol.
What am I trying to say? This is what we see in practice: If you have a 7.65 mm pistol, you go to a businessman and ask money by threatening him, asking where his wife and children are and telling him that their lives are in danger. If he does not give the money you demand, you shoot him in the foot, as we have been witnessing recently. If he still resists, you shoot him in the head or go to his wife. Consequently, you get a large amount of money with a 7.65 mm pistol, and 90% of our citizens usually give the money without asking for help from the police, help and by doing so, they help these strengthen these gangs, and unfortunately these people have 1% of our citizens money in their pockets.
So, licensed or unlicensed arms are the biggest threat to us and to our job. The only capital of these crime organizations have is the ability to scare people, and unfortunately the arms are the biggest means of perpetrating fear. Therefore, we are tackling all kinds of arms, regardless of whether they are licensed or not. I will mention the licensed ones later.
On the other hand, arms have played an important role in crime organizations in their shows of power. When one uses a 9 mm pistol, the other can use a bigger or more dangerous weapon, and then another one can threaten people saying that “I will attack with rockets” in the courts.
These are very important when we look at the issue in the terms of unlicensed arms. However, another piece of information we recently found is that use of licensed arms in crime organizations is very common. This is how it happens: People authorized to have a license – since I am not the director of the licensing department, beekeepers are the first thought that springs to mind, I can not remember others - he can be a police officer or a lawmaker, have licensed guns and then we find these guns in the offices of the crime organizations. So, the licensed guns are being used illegally.
We had a operation against a well-known crime organization which was threatening well known rich people– I do not want to give names for legal reasons – and we captured almost 60 licensed arms. When we took action based on article 313 of the Turkish Criminal Code, they said “these arms are all licensed, we are not an armed organization”. Naturally, if you give those licenses, they have the right to deny that they are an armed organization.
When we look at arms smuggling in Istanbul, we see that a large number of Kalashnikovs have come from the Southeastern part of Turkey to Istanbul. The reason for this is the arming in Southeast of Turkey during the struggle against terror there. After establishing control of government in that area, arms not in use were brought to Western parts of the country and used by crime organizations.
The smuggling of arms affects Istanbul in the general sense. How does it affect Istanbul? Unlicensed arms are brought into the country, especially from our southern borders and from the Bulgarian border. We mainly encounter the Scorpio type of guns, similar to the Uzi among those arms. These are 7.65 mm calibre with 32 bullet arms, and it is easy to hide them. These are also coming to Turkey from Bulgaria.
Another problem is that after the liquidation of terror organizations, former members of these organizations gave their arms to crime organizations.
The most important incident for me is that the government gave permits to some arms producers in the Black Sea Region. This is very important. You can not apply the article 12 that you mentioned here to these arms, because they do not come from abroad. They are being produced in Turkey without licences. 90% of the arms captured in the recent operations are local arms made in the Black Sea Region and the penalty is very light for those arms. More serious action needs to be taken against these arms. These arms can be easily imitated.
In the last 2 ½ years, 1,282 unlicensed and 612 licensed arms were captured merely in our own department’s operations. A total of 195 rifles – I will come on to the rifle issue, as our friend mentioned - 55 long barrel shotguns and 24 hand grenades were captured. These are the statistics obtained by Istanbul Organized Crimes Departments’ operations against crime organizations in the last 2 years.
Just before our friend mentioned about “killer arms”, we call them “dirty guns”. This information is correct. 65% of these 1,282 arms are dirty arms which have been used in various incidents. But I do not agree with that view; it is correct that they are cheap, but people do not buy these arms because they cheap. They buy them because they are afraid of using these arms knowing that the arms will be responsible for the previous incidents.
The most important issue here is the traditional importance of arms for the Turkish people. This is something which requires research by sociologists and doctors. Whether the guns are licensed or unlicensed, in all these incidents such as guns as mentioned before – it is a matter of debate - both the users of the guns and those who capture them are people of our society. Therefore, the traditional importance of arms for the Turkish people and how we can overcome this problem should be researched into, without running away from any responsibility.
When we look at Police Department Penalties, we see a main reason for being expelled from duty is “to use arms in a residential area”. It shows that this is a common practice among Police Officers, so they bring in this legislation in the police regulations to try and prevent it. I do not have the related statistics, but this is the most frequent reason for expulsion from the force. Of course, we have judges who rule on it, and prosecutors who open the criminal charge, and the lawyers who defend it.
Therefore, since we are all products of this society, the importance of arms in traditional Turkish people should be carefully researched into. As you mentioned before, the way the police station responds to you is not right when it comes to the firing of guns. They did not want to take the responsibility. This is obvious.
It is a very important subject for me. I believe you will get satisfying results, as the Umut Foundation has, if you persist on this subject.
Another subject is the increase in unlicensed rifles. I agree with you. Our operations also showed that the number of pump rifles has increased considerably. It has increased by more than 300% in the space of the last year.
The fact that these weapons are used and owned by certain people is also true. I agree with you on this too. Issuing an amnesty law for this is the same thing as issuing one for people who build shanty-towns without acquiring land rights. I do not think that there is a difference between them. Before the elections, these shanty towns literally crop up in one night and you pardon them with the law; after an amnesty law for arms, more rifles or more dangerous arms will enter the country.
There is another subject here I would like to attract your attention to. The legislation for getting a license for these rifles is not as strict as it is for pistols. For example, there is a hunters association, I am speaking as far as I know. They get an official certificate for hunting and according to this certificate, they get rifles. But the rifles they get are more dangerous than the one I carry as a police officer. You imagine a pump rifle, it has the capacity of being loaded 15 different kinds of bullets. These are more dangerous than a Kalashnikov or uzi and yet it is easy to get license for them.
A regular police officer, except those who work in the government service, can not get a license for those dangerous arms. So, you can not get the license for a Kalashnikov – apart from in some exceptional circumstances in the Southeast – but you can get the license for these 15 round pump rifles, which are more dangerous – I do not know if you ever seen them, their appearance is scary too. If I had a smart member of a crime organization, I would establish a hunters association and get hunting permission for each member and get everybody armed. I believe this would have dangerous results
To prevent this from going on, I will take on the critics…….
You mentioned about the “card money”. I do not know the reason for getting this money – it goes to the police foundation and is used in there. I will not say anything about this subject. But I disagree with the idea of giving a license just for this reason. I do not think this could be the only reason; every time you want to take legal action, you need to give money to – I do not know the its name correctly – the Justice Department Foundation. But, is it effective in giving licenses? It may be. I do not agree with that idea, by the way.
Another issue is that we are really careful about the circulation of killer arms, or dirty arms. As you solve the cases, you can obtain these arms.
Another subject you mentioned is whether or not a ballistics examination is required to give licenses for these arms. To be honest, I do not know. But I do not think that ballistics examination is carried out on licensed arms. That is another mistake. I will discuss this later on in the suggestions part.
I would like to mention one more thing as a director of the Istanbul Organized Crimes Department. You gave the show “Memoli” as an example. That is true that at least it has a legal side; Memoli is a police officer. But on the other hand, there are 11 TV shows – with one police show, versus 11 Mafia shows. Therefore, I support this show. I do not watch it either.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
In that show, a person representing the power of the government is carrying a gun. On the other hand, there are so called mafia leaders who act on behalf of public and I claim this: Each of those shows is supported by a mafia organization. We will see them in further operations.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
I am pleased you spoke about the show “Memoli”, Mr. Adil Serdar Saçan. Although I have no reason to support the show, I was watching it because I find Mehmet Ali Alabore (Memoli) very handsome.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
I do not know. It is not possible not to watch it while he is in it. Who is carrying gun, who is not? I don’t know.
We are now moving to the suggestions part. I will say one or two words to start this part before leaving it to our friends. This time, the time period is 5 minutes.
Should we have a break? If we have a break, though, the President should have a welcome speech in the break. We are having a break and will drink something.
Shall we start?
Now, we are going to try to submit our suggestions in 5 minutes. Our friends said “5 minutes is not enough”, but when I see the number of people here, I can say that if we kept this as 10 minutes, no one would stay in the room. Therefore, I suggest we should start right away and finish it in 15 minutes to complete one round.
I have a request from you. All these discussions are being recorded, but when you keep your mobile phones on they cause a technical problem. If you would please turn your phones off I would be grateful.
First of all, I would like to briefly mention that the idea stiffer penalties could solve the problems has already been abandoned. The important thing is to have legislation which prevents handing out arms to everybody and with ease. Further, there are many pieces of legislation, statutes and arrangements, which leads to deficiencies and contradictions. All the regulations should be arranged in one system.
In particular, they should not issue an amnesty law whenever it is needed, and they should take more care when drawing up legislation such as laws 2500 and 2583. This is because they were not named as amnesty law and no one noticed these laws, but in effect they had the same function, according to their results. And we believe they should not make regional discrimination issuing decree laws, and that existed arms should not get licensed.
I also suggested that if a legal right is harmed in a country, necessary measurements should be taken against it. Considering what happens after football games and at wedding ceremonies, we believe discouraging criminal norms should be a priority.
I believe that our continuing tribal law system is the main reason that arms are so important in our society. In spite of everything, tribal law is still practiced in our society. Men define themselves with arms and I think this reflects the way they are raised in the childhood, with ideas that they should not cry or be afraid of anything. Their fears are so great they cannot be at peace without arms.
Besides this, the virtual murders and virtual lynchings have a big place in our society. These virtual murders, virtual lynchings, children’s films, children’s programs and all kinds of toys with a violent tendency should be controlled carefully.
I have brought some statistical information for you. However, I will keep to my time limit.
I do not have much information about the situation in the United States other than that one child under the age of 18 dies every 2 ½ hours, and in the last 2 years the number of people who have died by gunfire is higher than the number of those who died in the Korean and Vietnam Wars put together.
There are some categories and some security restrictions being applied to the toy industry in the United States. There are four security restrictions for toy bears (teddy bears) and those made of cotton, although there are no restrictions on toy guns in the United States. We can not say that it is not our problem, because we look to the USA as an example for our own society, so we should consider this carefully.
Again, in the United States, the tendency towards violence is a result of the Founding Fathers’ belief that you should “assign your own land and protect it”, contrasting with our tribal law. Although our targets are the same, our starting points are very different. Despite this, the similarity is also very strong.
Warnings should be given to license holders regarding the dangers of weapons. If licensed arms are left in homes without care, children could pick them up and play with them.
Legislation can only bring limited solutions to social events. The common and unconscious use of arms in our country has deep social roots. As I said before, the “horse-woman-gun” tribal traditions are the cause of this, and we especially witness this at wedding ceremonies. I believe maintaining social change and providing a healthy social environment will be more effective than legal measures.
I am passing the stage to Savaş Kalafat.
With my regards…
The unbearable attraction of being a journalist is to ask questions. Actually, when I see the friends from Police Department I can not stop myself from asking a question and I am planning to mention that in the final part.
I will have 2 short questions and then I think he can answer the question while explaining the results.
I believe that media, especially the visual media, has a large responsibility to prevent individual arming and to eliminate the effects of violence in society. Therefore, I would wish that the members or researchers, and the reporting mechanism of Radio Television High Commission (RTUK), should be effective, wise, competent and well educated about psychology. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
I will move on the question discussed by Ferai Tunç - What are you going to do with the reality of news? If you need to broadcast what is happening in Bosnia or Chechnya as news, will you not broadcast it?
Of course, you will broadcast it, but there is journalists’ ethic. According to this ethic, you should first consider your own responsibilities and then make the news. I think when you do this you can continue a peaceful relationship between society and the media.
People who want to get a gun license should also be subjected to a mental health inquiry, as well as having their judicial records checked. To me, this is the mot important thing. However, the absence of record does not prove that the applicant is of sound mind. We also know that there are many maniacs that seem normal who are walking among us. We come across them in many incidents.
I am coming to my questions.
There is a gun advertisement in a newspaper right next to its emblem. It has been published for nearly 1 or 2 years. I will not name the newspaper – some of you will know it. I wonder that why this advertisement is being published. It is as if it is provoking a group by calling “Let’s get armed. We need these arms to remove Turkey”. This is not way, but if I live in this country and share its air, water, land and someone tries to bring a system which conflicts with the one I have, I start to think deeply about what to do.
Secondly, Can the members of police department explain how dangerous the pump rifles can be after their barrels are sawn off?.
This is all I have to ask.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
With our thanks. Süha…
AHMT SUHA UMAR
It is really difficult to give both the reasons and the solutions in the space of 5 minutes.
First of all, I would like to make a few main ascertains. We refer to the United States a lot. It is a completely different society, with a different perspective. The reason the Founding Fathers had weapons was not the idea of “determining private land”; the reason was that the independent war was based on the militia organizations. It is stated in the constitution that the right to bear arms cannot be abandoned. So, what happened after this? The United States is top of the list of countries in terms of having war arms and pistols, rifles and hunting guns and other guns. Moreover, as you know, there is an institution called the “National Rifle Association” which supports arms and their owners. In spite of this, a president like Bill Clinton, who is said not to be very serious, changed the situation with new legislation which limited the right of American citizens to carry guns.
So, first of all, there is no militia tradition in Turkey. When Ataturk started the War of Independence, the first thing he did was to eliminate the militia organizations and to form a regular army. We really do not have this tradition. If such severe measures could be taken in the United States, where such a tradition did exist, severer measures can be taken in our country.
It is also not true that Turkish people are fond of firearms. I am 54 years old. Since I was aware of myself and being a hunter, I have been always been around guns, and travelling in villages and mountains. In fact, Turkish people do not have fond feelings about guns and these feelings have been changed with the changes in society, and these feelings have strengthened with the civilization and modernization process of the country, and the transition from an agrarian society to an industrial society. Nowadays, arms and everything related to arms only cause a reaction in Turkish society. Therefore, we should not consider the things that are happening in Turkey as our fate, and we should take on these stereotypes.
So, what kind of danger are we facing now? I would really like to thank our guest from the police department for his opinions and the information he gave. Even though he said that those are his personal thoughts, they are still very important. First of all, we need to consider the ordinary threat faced by ordinary Turkish people. Of course, crime organizations fight each other and mafia members kill each other and smuggle arms. We can not judge the society with people who are living outside the law. They will always exist and find arms.
But there is one thing that he said. Most of it is true, and there are other examples. Many members of the police department who have a right to have guns and even some members of the Turkish Armed Forces, have been giving their guns to these crime organizations service for a long time. However, as we consider the situation today, these incidents represent a minority of the incidents, and this is not the main threat that the Turkish people face.
The main threat is that ordinary people are arming with the encouragement of politicians and volunteer organizations and unskilled behaviour of official institutions, which are supposed to prevent arming.
We now have to fix this problem.
There is another threat you will face if you can not concentrate on one concrete point. They can get your attention to other directions and distract you from what you are doing and you will end up doing nothing.
I agree with Ms. Ferai , Mr. Kalafat and Mrs Dedeman. Education is the only way to eliminate the threat permanently. However, educating people always takes a long time. The problem we are facing in Turkey today cannot wait for a long time. So, what we need to do first is to stop the bad situation at any cost. This is a concrete target. During this period, people will get educated and gain consciousness, and legislation will be improved.
When you intend to issue a law, you will lose the political party – they have been unable to change the legislation since 1997, and all they have been trying to change is the opposite of what needs to be done.
Therefore, our priority should be legislation – I completely agree with what you said - the threat we are facing should be eliminated in the legal sphere. In the first place, our problem is applying the legislation properly and, unfortunately this legislations is misused by certain individuals and certain groups by issuing decree laws. First of all we need to stop this. This should be our priority job in the short term.
So, how are we going to do this? This has been already started in act. The sale of pump rifles and semi-automatic rifles has already been stopped. How? As a result of the hunting investigations led by my foundation, it has been realized that 70% of these arms did not have the certificates, and they were confiscated.
Secondly, the pressures, especially from the president of our foundation, on this subject made the police department and gendarmerie work on this seriously. As a result, the sale of these arms was halted almost completely and the producer companies faced bankruptcy. It does not matter. We tried to explain to them for 5-6 years. They did not listen. After they went bankrupt, they realized the error of their ways and went in other directions. They produce double barrelled guns for example, and they go in another direction.
In fact, these arms were the biggest threat we have faced. Again, as our guest from the police department said, 2,000 of these guns entered the country illegally and they were sold. I am talking about hundreds of them. I wish they were limited to these 2,000 guns. If you consider Istanbul and other cities, this number will be 50,000. I wish that was all. I am talking about hundreds of thousands guns and 1 million rifles.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD.
As you said it is very effective. Other guns such as scorpion and uzi are nothing compared with these. I mean, it is a big coincidence that someone without any training shoots another person with one bullet from a certain distance. However, there are 250 buckshots in the bullet in that rifle. With these 250 buckshots from 30 meters, I can kill everybody in this room in 3 seconds – it is a kind of semi-automatic pump rifle, and actually it is difficult to use, although I do not even have to be a hunter to use it, or skilful in using guns.
The first way to stop this threat is through the volunteer organizations. Of course, there is also the Bar. The Bar has very many things to do about this in various ways.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD.
What he said is true. You can not even get his defence.
Of course, you will say that “he has a right to defend himself, like doctors”. Sometimes, it is better for doctors not to practice their jobs. We are going to put pressure on parliament. These amnesty laws will not be issued anymore and these licenses will be collected – they can take mine too. We are not going to allow everybody such as “autonomous people and bread sellers on the streets” to get a license.
The media is very important on this point. When I went to see Emin Çölaşan in 1994 and explained the situation to him, he bounced from his seat. Then he wrote about this. After him, many people wrote about it and they still write. He did not pursue it. That is fine, we will pursue them and put them under pressure. They will write and make news. The media actually do their job. Look at the newspapers: you will see a pump rifle scandal and a pistol scandal every day. It is our job to benefit from these news; it is a volunteer organizations’ job.
Finally, I would like to explain something. We are going to better determine our. We will limit the threat that we are facing. We will focus on our target. In order to reach this target, we will carefully determine what to do and we will keep working together. If we do this, there is no way that we fail. I know this through my experiences.
There is no failure if we work together. Anyone who disagrees had better give up on living.
Thank you very much.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
Ms. Ferai Tunç.
Of course, the media is not a non governmental organization. Non governmental organizations take action and the media will make their action news. As you said, you spoke to Emin Çölaşan and he started to write. This is where we came for 6 years with your efforts. I mean the media can not start a campaign about this but there is one thing that media can do.
As our friends said, that was an important explanation – the mafia shows on TV channels and then the dirty money. So, now – the popular saying – in a globalized world the money circulates too. We do not understand where it is, whose money it is and what it is buying. At this point, we should protect out professional ethic and we have the main responsibility. You protect this in your Bar, because you give permits. I mean you are authorized to give permits to lawyers. We do not have such a right; as journalists, we do not have such an organization. We get permission to practice our job from the prime ministers’ office directly. Therefore, there is no controlling mechanism here in the media. A journalist can stand by alone until one point.
My suggestion about what the media should do is more comprised. A journalist should support peace. I believe that he/she should defend peace against violence and struggle for it in every meaning. And I believe that it should be his/her professional principle.
I do not have any concrete suggestion other than this.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
Yes. There are many things to suggest in this part but we talk about the legal side of it more. On the other hand, individuals have more things to do.
I want to list them like this.
Ms. Gül, I will give another example about the United States in addition to yours. In the United States, there were 10,744 incidents of armed violence in 1997. Only 111 incidents took place with individual arms in Japan in 1996.
If we compare these two figures, we see that while it is easy to own guns in the United States, it is forbidden in Japan. Thus, it is possible to control the holding and carrying of guns with legislation. Australia did the same thing too and, even better, they collected the guns and melted them and made a statue out of them. So, we should start with the legislation…
Yes, we have legislation but it is not applied properly. As a matter of fact, after issuing the legislation, they should be updated according to daily life. Therefore, we should insist on their implementation. How are we going to do that? This is another side of the subject of course. However, we, as citizens, can be effective in issuing new legislation. Therefore, you, the law makers have much a great deal of responsibility in this.
I have a suggestion for the new legislation, similar to the system for driving licenses. We used to have it in a short period, but it has been subjected to courses which take 3 months I believe – I am not sure about the period, mine is very old. It is been a very long time since I got it – It took a long time to change the system. The same thing can be applied to gun licenses; they can introduce 6 month courses with the written and practical exams which can discourage people from going through it. They should also be given to peaceful people, something that has been proven by specialists to matter.
I will again mention about the stiff penalties. They are called stiff penalties but to me they are not. The fines, especially, are not sufficient for the crimes committed with firearms, because they do not update the legislation and they have applied the same legislation for a long time.
Therefore, owning unlicensed arms should also be punishable with stiff penalties to discourage people. It can at least prevent people from getting unlicensed guns.
As you know, in order to increase the sensitivity of people and raise public awareness, we have some certain days for occasions such as cancer day and traffic day for example. Some days and weeks are designated for such activities. Activities are carried out in schools and the media, and non governmental organisations support these activities. We can also announce an “Individual Disarming Day”. According to information we got from Foundations General Directorate, the prime ministry’s office gives such permits. Therefore, we, as the Umut Foundation, applied for the permission two months ago, but we have not yet received a reply. This is another subject.
We talk about the same subjects, it will be another repeat. There is the subject of removing toy guns from the market. They did not get banned in the United States but they are banned in many countries in Europe. Therefore, I hope that they can be banned in our country too. We should remove those toys, which are means of violence, from our children’s hands so that we can maintain a peaceful environment for the years to come. We should also prevent computer games containing violence from getting into our country or being produced.
Of course, the media has a large responsibility on this. We say the “media is doing its job”. It does, but I follow the media too. We have a group searching the entire press. Sometimes they write about arms then they do not mention the subject for 2 years. It depends on their mood. Someone may be sensitive one day and write about it, and then not continue his own news. He does not think that he should write to “enlighten readers” from time to time. There are a few writings about individual arming in the newspapers – we have two dear media members here, but they will agree with me when we watch it.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
You wrote it, yes.
We had a subject entitled “the media’s contribution to peace” this year, and therefore all articles written in 2000 related to peace, violence and its prevention and individual disarming were scanned by our foundation. We found over 500 articles in the Turkish press and gave our awards to some of them. Unfortunately, this amount is not enough. Since one year has 365 days, if you consider how many newspapers we have, and how many columnists there are in each newspaper, when you do a calculation, this amount is not enough. Even I want to say it doesn’t mean anything.
I may have more to suggest, but we do not have enough time, do we?
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
Yes. Yes. That is the reason. I had many notes in front of me for the suggestions but I’d better stop here. I hope we can talk about them in another panel.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
We call Mr. Adil Serdar Saçan
ADİL SERDAR SAÇAN
I would like to make one thing clear first of all. When I said before “some TV shows are supported by the mafia”, our journalist friends asked “do they support all the shows?”
Of course, it is not like that, but…
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
It is not important even if it is the case. I am telling this for your information.
We should not consider this subject only for TV shows; the mafia reality in Turkey is not well known. Politicians, government officers, the media and business figures are also sold where the mafia exists. I mean, mafia the buy all these people. However, when I say that “those people support that show”, it does not have to be monetary support. It is based on a person’s story and what we watch is today is a mafia leader’s life in the eye of public.
Another subject is that there are not only TV shows, but there are news reports and programs supporting these people. We are trying to get them to make programs against them. We have such a problem too.
I watched something on NTV last night about the struggle against the mafia in the United States. If some of you watched that program, it includes what I said here. They can catch a mafia leader with legislation, someone who may have been so close the government and media so they can follow his life.
I believe it is vital to take necessary measures to prevent illegal production of unlicensed firearms in the Black Sea region. These will be the real problems in Turkey for the years to come.
I totally agree that the current penalties are insufficient. The penalties for massive arms smuggling and arms smuggling with the tendency to commit crimes are fairly heavy. The penalties for serious arms are heavy as well. They are not heavy for individual arms. When we capture someone and impose a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years, he can be free from the court easily and as soon as he is released – according to our experiences - he can get a gun. If we stiffen penalties and apply them over their arrested period, police will obtain the guns without any need for an amnesty law. So, in contrast with the amnesty law, if penalties are raised and these people get arrested, some primitive minded people – I apologize – will not make shows on TV saying that “the penalty for the guns is freedom”.
I would like to mention another subject as a suggestion. I had a period of training in the United States. They were using nerve gas for the collective crimes and to use this nerve gas a police officer needed to try it on himself first and he had a tag on him saying that “this nerve gas can be used”. Without this tag, he can not use it. The same thing applies to clubs too.
This is what I think. Turkey’s biggest problem– you may say that its results will be the opposite, I am not sure - it is 8 months or more to get a license but at the end at least they know how to drive – is that there is no training for people who get the gun license. As with the drivers’ license, you should give training to those you give guns to. Without training, it does not make any difference if you give them a licensed or unlicensed gun. Therefore, before getting a gun the person should be trained accordingly. I do not know whether the Ministry of Education or Security General Directorate will be responsible for this training, but training certificate should be a must to get a gun license.
The most intensive course in our police school was the knowledge of arms, which lasted for four hours a week over four years. We graduated after these courses. In the first week after graduation, we got our guns and five of our friends shot themselves. You consider that that was the most intensive course in 4 years.
Now, you give a gun – as our friend said before – to a shepherd in the mountain. We need to explain here how dangerous guns are. The biggest handicap for gun owners is the holding the gun. Because, with your gun:
1- You can shoot yourself
2- You can shoot someone close to you
3- Someone close to you can shoot you
4- Your enemy can get your gun and shoot you.
You will carry such a dangerous device on your person without any training.
I, as a police director, am against carrying guns. I wish there were no terror incidents in Turkey and that police officers didn’t have to carry guns, like in Britain. I hope we can reach that point. No matter what, training should be given before giving a gun license.
This brings me onto another subject. All rifles, apart from hunting rifles – those ungrooved hunting rifles as double barrelled and single barrelled - should be considered as serious arms and be subjected to licensing. The hunting certificate in particular should not be valid. As our friend asked, there is no need to cut its barrel off. There are already heavy war arms, semi-automatics and full automatics.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
That is not important. That cartridge you use is very important. As you know, there many kind of cartridges, there are even cyanide cartridges. As our friend said, you can blow this place up in 3 seconds with a pump rifle.
If you look at the individual massacres, you will see that someone goes crazy and shoots people with a pump rifle. Most of the damage occurs in those incidents, where 4 or 5 people die at the same time. It is not easy to kill 5 people with a pistol, but it is very simple to do with a pump rifle.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
For the purposes of carrying.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
My other suggestion is that besides increasing the penalties for unlicensed guns, the penalties should be increased for the crimes committed by the licensed guns. This exists in the legislations for police officers. It aims to increase the penalty for the trained people who commit crimes with a gun. On the other hand, you give a license and someone gets killed or injured with this licensed gun.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
I do not know that it has been increased for the licensed guns. It applies to us, does it apply to regular licensed guns?
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
This is what I am trying to explain. So, you do not charge people who commit a crime against the law 6136. This is a gun with a carrying license. Another common example, after the football games they fire the guns. What are we doing, if there is not any harm? Firing the gun in a residential area. What are doing about this? You are changing the carrying license to the owning license. This is all he got, and the fine too. It should be increased for using a licensed gun. That is my opinion.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
That is different. I want the penalty to be increased for the licensed guns.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOD
No. I want them to be done separately. I mean the licensed ones…
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
No. I already suggest an increase in the penalty for unlicensed guns. Therefore, committing crimes with the licensed guns should be considered just as serious.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
I do not know. We do not see it in the practice.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
I want it to be increased over arresting limit. It may be more severe but..
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOD
I am suggesting that the penalty for committing crimes with licensed guns should be increased. The license should be given after the training and if the person commits a crime with this licensed gun I am suggesting an increase in the penalty, whether it is accepted or not…
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
Yes, it is another issue. That is correct.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOD
You encourage unlicensed guns, but I am also suggesting a penalty increase for unlicensed guns.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
We did not mention about blank guns. I think this is one of the most dangerous subjects. The danger of these blank guns is that we encounter them in operations. When you direct a blank gun at someone, he will have a legal right to use a gun against you. This is a very important issue for us and we are facing serious situations in the operations. Our friends are not well trained about this. When he is faced a gun, he answers it with a gun, if it is a blank gun there is a problem. If he does not use his gun, there is another problem.
Besides licensed guns, these blank guns do not have any licenses and we can not do anything about them – although we send the perpetrators to court, they do not get charged. These weapons are sold with an invoice which is simpler than the ones for toys, and they have features similar to those on licensed guns and make the same noise, too. This is another method of arms smugglers. They change the barrels of blank guns with the real ones. We found 3-4 gun factories in the last week. This is another problem we are facing.
As our former police director said earlier, “They are selling knives inside pens in front of the schools”. They say law makers resist it – I do not know, do they? These also should be subjected to law 6136 and these materials should not be in the hands of our children. They can take each other’s eyes out at the very least.
I would like mention another subject before I finish. I do not agree with this traditional role since I know the crime rate and criminals closely. I believe there is an addiction to guns, which passes from father to son in Turkey like the addiction to smoking, in the Southeast and Black sea regions in particular. In the Black Sea Region, they do not consider a man to be a real man unless he has a gun. Therefore, the traditions have a big effect in these regions. As children imitate every action of their fathers, they get affected by this gun tradition and are inclined to commit crimes.
LAWYER GÜL ERMAN
We have finished summarizing too.
Now I am passing the floor to the Director of the Bar
DIRECTOR OF THE BAR
The last thing you said about this tradition is not only our tradition. This is a tradition of all primitive societies in the world; they use guns. Every society has a primitive tradition and it is abandoned as a society becomes civilized.
I don’t think we should call it a tradition in our society. Women in Turkey do not use guns. Turkish society does not only consist of men, women do not use guns.
QUESTION ASKED, NOT UNDERSTOOD
We should not look at it in that way. We may put this as the primitiveness of Turkish men rather than their tradition.
There is a system based on this primitiveness. We are in such a social order that produces an instinct of violence and use of guns. I remember that the years between 1990 and 1993 are the years which the military powers maintained order. The Village guards system was established which is based on arms. Someone says, “I have 10,000 armed village guards”. It means they are protected. It is not known who is protecting them.
I conducted research at that time and I am explaining what remained in my mind. For example, there is a national defence law dated 1946, which deals with internal and external threats. It provided the armed training of mean and women between 16 to 60 years of age. Now, has this law been applied or not? Many pieces of legislation were removed from practice, but this was not. During Ozal’s period, they insisted on this law and with this a military system was being created. Besides this, there are many special security units, and they all carry guns. They are at banks, they are everywhere. So, this is being encouraged and special forces are being established.
There is a Prime Minister’s Office Crisis Centre. A kind of civil organized military. Are there guns there or not? What is its budget and who is directing it? We do not know anything about these things.
That the society creates military forces and considers arms as a good thing, and the forces you call the mafia are all right. The mafia comes from the government as its definition. It is caused from there. I mean, they do not get into the government, they do not form an organization and they get people from the government. It is a product of the government. We can consider it like that. This was used in Turkey, there were people who fought for the country. The system itself created violence, especially armed violence. Now, I wonder what is the rate of use of individual arms compared to this?
When it comes to penalties, in such a system, a military system, there is no trust for legislation and judicial processes. In fact, everything is balanced. If you free everybody involved in the Susurluk incidents, you can not send someone to prison for 3 years for holding a gun, and the system rejects itself. You cannot send him to prison. You should free him a fine. If you apply the amnesty law to someone who killed 7 people, you cannot punish someone who did not use a gun. You can increase the penalties as much as you like. There is already insecurity in the society.
When it comes to the lawyers and the Bar, and I am being half serious and half sarcastic, we cannot instruct them not to defend such cases because there is also a judge, and we cannot tell him the same thing either. We should say society should punish itself.
Of course, disarming is going to be on our agenda as a part of a social project providing democracy in such a society that favours the use of military force. However, it will not be able to stand against it. The system allows us to discuss but prevents us from changing it. When we are dealing with these problems on one side, there are bigger things happening – not just arms smuggling – on the other side. I think the system is based on this.
LAWYER HÜLYA KESİM
We are going to prepare a conclusion statement by evaluating all these suggestions mentioned and discussed in this panel and this statement will be our guide for our next activities and studies.
I really thank you all. I enjoyed it a lot and got informed in this panel. I hope everybody feels the same way. Thank you again.
The panel on Individual Disarming “Effects of Uncouncsious arming and the Common Struggle” was held at Istanbul Bar on 20 November, 2000.
- The Istanbul Bar Committee For The Fight Against Arming Conclusion Statement
THE HELL OF ARMING IN TURKEY
Before a day passes, we come across names of those who have been shot and killed in football matches, weddings, within families and on the streets.
Because this is Turkey;
Because in Turkey, those who want to carry a weapon can carry a weapon, licensed or unlicensed. Because in Turkey, journalists, television stations, photographs, the news and TV programs encourage weapons and violence.
The Istanbul Bar ‘Committee Against Individual Arming’ is tackling deaths and injuries, in cooperation with the Umut Foundation. We put every dimension of the individual armament under the spotlight. We are presenting the conclusion report of “the Effects of Insensible Armament and Joint Fight” seminar, dated 20 November 2000, to get your hand in this struggle.
• Many weapons have been coming to Istanbul from the South East in recent periods. The weapons left out after the state maintains the domination in this region are brought to the Western regions and presented for gangs to use. Having fear as the only capital, these gangs are creating their power through weapons,
• Weapons left out with the elimination of the terror organizations are also presented for the use of gangs,
• Licensed weapons are not always used for their intended purpose in Turkey, while there is an entry of unlicensed weapons,
• There is an increase of 300% in pumped rifles, because it is very easy to get a license for them,
• Giving permission to some people to manufacture weapons in the Black Sea region has created severe danger. Article 6136 is not applied to these weapons, and penalty is very small.
• The ‘card money’ that is received when giving weapons has been encouraging the award of licenses.
The use of weapons is encouraged by television stations. (There is one series about the police compared to eleven about the mafia).
• The most important threat in Arming; the encouragement from politicians and thus the arming of the ordinary citizen because of the insufficient fight against it. It is accepted by everybody that EDUCATION is the way to totally eliminate this
Judicial regulations can provide some limited solutions. The common and inept arming in our country has some deep social roots. The social regulations will be more effective that the judicial regulations. Therefore, the importance that Turkish society attaches to weapons should be investigated well, and prevention means should be found out (especially in the Black Sea and the South East regions). Even if it hurts, we have accept that the tradition of weapons is the tradition of primitive people, and it disappears as a society becomes civilized.
• Thorough investigations must be carried out when awarding licenses for weapons. A psychological investigation must be carried out along with the bureaucratic one. Most importantly, the license for weapons should include training, like when getting a driving license; the biggest danger for a person carrying a weapon is simply carrying a weapon. Because,
1- You can shoot yourself with this weapon,
2- You can shoot a relative,
3- A relative can shoot you,
4- An enemy can capture your weapon and shoot you.
Consequently, training is a must to convince people of the danger of carrying something this dangerous. Moreover, all rifles, apart from ungrooved rifles (called double/single) need to be within the scope of severe weapons with licenses. The use of pumped rifles in individual massacres in recent times is a clear indicator of this issue.
• Although the idea of increasing the penalties to help solve the problem has been abandoned, increasing the files will provide some discouragement. Besides this, all regulations should be combined in one system and amnesty laws and/ or decree laws should be issued.
• Discouraging penalty norms should be assigned to prevent the armed events happening after football games and wedding ceremonies. While assigning these norms, the arrangements that will change the tribal law should be considered.
• The media should always support the peace culture in every aspect of life and fight for it; the media has a very important role to play in preventing individual arming and the effects of armed violence. The virtual murders, virtual lynches and other violent programs should be controlled in the printed media and on TV, one of the most effective means of mass communication in society.
• Toy arms / blank arms should be banned (they have been banned in most of European countries) and other sharp materials should be covered by article 6136
• Illegal Production of unlicensed arms, especially in the Black Sea Region should be prevented and necessary measures should be taken.
• Although the penalties are heavy enough for massive arms smuggling and the arms smuggling intended for crime, the penalties for individual arming are not. Increasing the penalties for individual arming will provide a discouraging effect.
• Crimes committed by licensed arms should also be subjected penalties, and current penalties should be increased.
• Awarding licenses to unlicensed arms should not happen, as it did before. The first measure should be to collect all unlicensed arms.