Friday , September 29 2023
Home / BLOGS / Gun violence: How to stay safe and secure

Gun violence: How to stay safe and secure


COMMENT | Samson Tinka | In the last few weeks, over ten gun violence cases have been recorded in Uganda. This is not to say, there hasn’t been such cases before, what’s weird this time round is how these cases have been committed. The first one was a bodyguard killing his master who was a senior retired army officer, an MP and a cabinet Minister.  The circumstances surrounding his death are still on Ugandan lips.  What’s clear is that the person who killed the minister, killed himself as well. This somehow complicates the investigations journey towards finding out the truth.

A few days after, Asikari (Private Security guards) squared it on themselves. A month ago, women MPs fought with policemen at a demonstration. In the short video, one Woman MP is seen boxing a policewoman on duty. The punches were falling like rain from the sky.

On 19th May, a Police officer killed a UPDF lance corporal in Mbarara city for yet to be identified reasons. On 28th May 2023, a private security guard at Stabex petrol station on Entebbe road injured two civillians.

Last week, a police officer in Kabasaanda sprayed gunshots into his commanders house that housed children as well. They survived by mercy of God. These events and others unmentioned, portray a sharp rise in gun violence which includes injuries and death. The combination of the above evokes fear. This is a threat to both the civilian and armed forces population.

In order for me and you to sail through these tides, we ought to take precaution in a more professional, logical and systematic way. One way of ensuring that me and you are safe and secure is by ensuring that we aware of the situation around us or commonly known as ‘situational awareness’.

Situational awareness-Perceiving, understanding and predicting

Situational awareness is critical for effective decision-making, especially for making safe choices. Situational awareness involves being aware of what is happening around you, taking everything into account and adjusting your behavior to reduce the risk of injury ,death to you, your family or your coworkers. You should make decisions based on real-time experience rather than experience. Throughout the day, remember to pause regularly to make a quick, mental assessment of your environment. That way, if conditions change, you can respond, helping to reduce the risk of injury to you and those around you. Some of the obstacles to understanding our situational awareness include, faulty or hasty observations that lead to distorted perceptions (Rushing through the process),Complacency (Being so relaxed and settled we are blind to the big picture, fatigue (Being mentally or physically exhausted, poor communication (Either received or given).

Know and respect your teams: We continue to see death between supervisor and surbodiante. This relationship is vital. Managers that don’t respect their subordinates have struggled to hit targets and vice versa. Commanders that work well with troops in terms of interpersonal relationship have won both wars and battles. At whatever level one is in leadership, they should relate well with those they lead.

Avoid confrontation: This is very critical to men and women who carry firearms. The gun in most cases has no casualities. Men in uniform are trained to shoot to kill not to demobilize. The demoboblizing theory works on paper and especially by police. In practicegun holders shoot to kill that’s why in training schools, while learning to shoot, trainees are told to shoot in the head, and chest. In fact the the dummies have no legs. Therefore civilians, avoid confronting armed forces be it UPDF, police officers of private security guards. A gun has no sorry. You can lose your life in a second.

Do not stop on gates especially at night: Wrong characters whether thieves or assassins use home gates as ideal point to shoot down their targets. The reasons for this is that, at the gate, the target is easily identified and it is easy to drive away from the scene etc. Always call the gateman, or other person at home to open the gate a minute before you arrive so that you can drive in.

Follow instinct: in most cases our minds, bodies and souls will communicate to us in one-way or another. Its important that we follow instincts. If the body and mind say no to a certain journey, avoid it.

Comply with the attacker demands: in case you survive being shot, comply to instruction of the attacker. Don’t ask questions, don’t yell, don’t act I know it all, don’t get frieghtend. Try to memorise every event, let your valuables go like money, phones, laptops etc. most people die while trying to hold onto their goodies. These criminals do not have mercy and often, they are intoxicated with drugs and alcohol. When an opportunity strikes and you can escape , do but this is very dangerous in case the move is unsuccessful.

Follow social medial for news updates: Most times innocent people fall into trouble. For example, when Kampala used to have trouble in Kiseka and other down town areas, Ugandans would find themselves in trouble because they accessed these areas unknowingly. Its common in Uganda for a person to go a day without listening to radio news, check on whatsap or any other social media platform. Social media bring to us news we would ordinarily not know.

Know Police contacts near you. Police in Kampala and the sorrounding areas has means of responding quickly. Every police station has three or so numbers that never change. DPCs, OC station, OC CIID, CLO, OC operations have numbers that are meant to be on 24/7. In case you are attacked, call any of the numbers, response team may save your life or your valuables.

Know people that you live with: Know especially house cleaners, shamba boys and other support staff. Always have a one page form that all new people in your homestead fill with their details. You have 100% chances of obtaining right information from a new family. That biodata information can assist police to track and arrest a former family member that has since turned into a criminal.

Own dog, CCTV, razor wire fence, asikali, electronic gate: These measures do not entirely eliminate threats and risks to our lives and our properties but they largely mitigate the risks and threats and even lower them to relatively acceptable measures. Criminals’ carry out reconnaissance of our businesses, movements and residencies. When they find that security is tight, they abandon their motives. But when they find that we are exposed, they crush us. Invest in safety and secuirty.

Security officers use guns to kill criminals not unarmed civilians:  It’s possible to sort out any grievances amicably. The option of a gun on a civilian should be be absent today and forever. No reason whatsoever why a Ugandan should die of bullet wounds. The Engola, Kasanda and other incidents are not only regrettable but a sign of uncivilized society.

In 2021, in USA, 48,830 died from gun related injuries.  We seem to be taking the same direction if we don’t reform. Gun deaths are avoidable. Let us all shape up before we lose our lives.


 Samson Tinka is a safety and security consultant | Director Matts Secure Solutions Ltd | tindsam@yahoo
















Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *