Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Yemeni tradition of firing (full) automatic

In 2007, the Yemeni government began implementing an ambitious disarmament and weapons-registration campaign in Sanaa, the nation's capital, and in many other cities around the country. The upshot is that Yemenis can no longer carry, brandish or fire weapons of any sort in urban and semi-urban districts — even on their sons' wedding nights.
"People still [fire guns] in the villages. You'll see it all over out there," said Muammar Abdul Jaleel, who runs a wedding supplies store in Sanaa. He mimes firing an AK-47 in large half-circles above in head and laughs out loud. "But in the cities? No, no, no. Not anymore."
For the most part, urban Yemenis are in favor of the disarmament campaign (Show me the proof of that or it is just a biased opinion! - S9), and are willing to simply adapt their old traditions to a new, gun-less environment...Most urban grooms now pose for pictures with an ornamental assault rifle instead of the real thing. (A least one particularly entrepreneurial vendor in Sanaa has begun renting out bedazzled, gold-inflected AK-47s for just that purpose, Jaleel, the store owner, said.)...But a handful of Yemenis (Again, show me the proof of that or it is just a biased opinion! - S9) say the government's anti-gun campaigns are an affront to not only wedding traditions, but also to a deeply revered sense of autonomy among tribal and community leaders.
"Firing guns for celebrations has been a tradition passed on from father to son for generations," said Abdullah Hassan, who has lived in Sanaa for the last six years, but grew up in a small village, where owning a gun is a symbol of social status and manhood. "Guns are a part of being Yemeni," he said.
While there are no good statistics on how many guns are in Yemen today, a United Nations-sponsored study from 2007 indicated there are up to 17 million firearms in Yemen, a country of only 22 million people. Other internal studies and media reports put the number of guns around 50 million.
"Every man in Yemen has a gun. Every single man," said Mohammed Said, a student in Sanaa. "That will never go away."...
"Of course the availability of arms in the hands of citizens provides a base for extremism and terrorism,"(Again, show me the proof of that or it is just a biased opinion! - S9) said Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Marwani, the president of Dar Al-Salam, a Sanaa-based organization that works to disarm citizens and mediate armed tribal disputes in the Yemeni countryside...
Al-Marwani said the massive proliferation of guns in Yemen is due in part to the fact that many Yemenis have no faith in the judicial system, and so turn to guns to defend themselves...
Other scholars attribute Yemen's pervasive gun culture to the succession of highly armed regimes — the Ottomans, the British and then the Soviets — that dominated Yemen throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and left their weapons behind when they split town...
Yemeni officials have proposed two bills in the last four years — one in 2005 and one in 2007 — that would have restricted the sale of firearms or required licenses for existing firearms. Both were met with scathing opposition by tribal leaders in the Yemeni parliament. Neither passed...
Full Story @:
There is so much bias in this piece it would take an article on it's own just to refute it!. I will defer to the intelligent reader being able to see the obvious. All the rest who can't are hopeless nincompoops unlikely to be saved from themselves..Also: "Gun culture" is a positive thing when it is linked to liberty, not tyranny! S9

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