Gun-toting bodyguards in public places an unnerving sight
Would you stick around if you went to a restaurant, shopping centre or for a stroll on the beachfront and saw heavily armed men milling about?
This is the conundrum facing Nelson Mandela residents as more and more of the rich and people in high-risk industries surround themselves with bodyguards openly carrying high-calibre weapons.
One of these armed protection details has even been spotted in the street outside a home across from a school in Lorraine and the fear is that, should a shooting break out, the children could be caught in the crossfire.
In several other instances where residents have gone shopping or for a meal, they have immediately left the establishment after spotting the men and their weapons rather than take the risk of being trapped in the middle of a deadly shoot-out.
This could happen to other innocents in any public space frequented by these high-risk individuals and their gun-toting protection officers.
The armed guards and the people hiring them are doing nothing wrong, however, according to the police and security industry regulator.
They are just doing what they can to protect themselves and their families in a country where kidnappings-for ransom and taxi turf wars are a growing problem.
So as worrying as it may be for the man in the street, everyone has the right to protect themselves and armed guards in public spaces are an uncomfortable reality we all have to learn to live with.
However, where the bodyguards used to be more discreet in the past, they are now openly flaunting their heavy weapons and it is this that is making people nervous.
As one resident said, it appears to be an intimidatory ploy.
Whatever the case may be, it is essential that the bodyguards act responsibly at all times and, should anyone witness anything to the contrary, it should immediately be reported to the regulatory body so action can be taken against the culprits.
So, would you stay or up and leave if you saw armed men at an establishment you were visiting?
The answer from most people would probably be ‘I’m out of here!’
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