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This is the first of GFSA’s policy briefings on firearms control for 2016. GFSA recognises that gun violence is one type of violence that occurs within the context of the overall high levels of violence in South Africa, including structural violence – a form of violence that contributes to excluding and marginalising people from engaging in the social, political and economic life of our country.
The title of this briefing: Gun Control as Violence Prevention, looks at ways in which an understanding of violence, its causes, its risk and protective factors, and what works to reduce violence, can provide a useful framework for understanding how best to reduce gun violence.
This briefing also comes soon after the adoption by the Cabinet of the White Paper on Police and the White Paper on Safety & Security. A central theme of the Safety & Security White Paper is the imperative to create safe communities with a particular focus on the importance of reducing gun violence as part of broader violence prevention efforts.