We don’t want to be unnecessarily alarmist, but organised crime, murder and kidnappings are soaring in SA. According to a report by Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, this is posing an “existential” threat to South Africa. The murder rate has risen 38% since 2010 and the number of kidnappings for ransom has quadrupled.

Frightening statistics

“South Africa faces a complex, hybrid criminal threat,” their report states. There’s been a surge in vigilante killings and cash-in-transit robberies. An average of 67 people are murdered in South Africa every day. And as worrying, in the first six months of 2022, there have been on average 1 143 kidnappings a month. That’s double the monthly average of 2021. The first six months of 2022 are already 60% higher than the number reported for the whole of 2019, according to a report in the Mail & Guardian.

“The number of murders in this country remains high and worrisome. 6 424 people were killed in the country in the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year. This is an increase of 664 more people murdered, compared to the same period last year during lockdown level one and two,” said Minister of Police Bheki Cele in August.

So, this is the time to be prepared by arming yourself, as well as learning and practising self-defence skills. You can be the William Tell of firearms by never missing a target – but fact of the matter is that shooting is a skill that perishes with time. At Marksman’s Nest our mantra is practice, practice and practice some more. The more, the merrier.

Practice makes perfect

Just like athletes practice their skills religiously, it’s recommended that to gain complete command of skill, gun carriers should practice regularly. We all have full-time jobs, but ideally, we advise visiting a shooting range twice a week or so.

There are no two ways about it: a shooting range is the best and safest way to practice and brush up shooting and self-defence skills. This applies to carriers, law enforcement personnel and military individuals. It’s a safe, controlled environment and protects you from external interferences.

How much time you spend practicing at the range will ultimately pay off in your competence with the weapon and using it effectively when required. It’s essential to practice the rounds, shooting distance and managing the bullet’s arc movement.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement personnel should spend large fractions of their time at a shooting range to experience shooting amid the weather elements. The more you practice, the better your chances of surviving a lethal confrontation or shootout.

Confidence booster

Becoming adept at shooting is a confidence booster bar none. Not only will muscle memory kick in at a time when you need it most, but you’ll be cool, calm and collected. That’s what being a pro is all about.

What’s more, having high self-esteem will have a spin-off on your work, relationships and interaction with stress.

Take note that murder and kidnappings are soaring in SA. So practise your shooting and self-defence skills regularly. Thus you’ll develop a high level of self-discipline and goal setting.

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