Ilana Mercer, author of “Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture,” gets the nod for the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for August.
 In nominating Ms. Mercer for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, stated that, “this authoress is ready, willing and able to defend the individual right to keep and bear arms from a most unique perspective.  She has lived in the Republic of South Africa, Israel, Canada, and now the United States of America.  She describes the right to self-defense, and the right to the means necessary for that self-defense, as a universal right.  She obviously knows what she’s talking and writing about, and she does that well and in a most forthright manner.  She certainly is most deserving of this Award.”
 Now that Mercer has, as she puts it, “done the conservative thing and raised a family at a young age,” she’s able to devote a lot of her time to writing about freedom and the right of self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.
 In a recent column she wrote for, she pinpointed the dangers of creeping gun control, based on her knowledge of what has occurred in one of the countries in which she has lived, South Africa.
 She states, for instance, that President Thabo Mbeki “speaks of the Left’s vaunted tolerance and respect for minorities, but one South African minority has been excluded: the nearly extinct white farmer.  Well over 1,200 Boer Afrikaners have been butchered in more than 6,000 attacks since Mbeki’s democratically elected African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994.  Despite the threat of systematic extermination, farmers are forbidden automatic weapons.  So they must battle their ubiquitous assailants with only a shotgun, a handgun and a limited number of rounds at their disposal.
 “In ‘free’ South Africa there is an official blackout (or shall I say whiteout) of national crime statistics.  When they are divulged, officials prefer to use difficult-to-understand ratios.  In many instances, data have been doctored.  Government sources claim there were 12,553 murders in 2002.  The Mail & Guardian estimates that between January 2000 and March 2003 there were almost 48,000 murders in South Africa (population 44.6 million).  In comparison, the ‘high crime’ United States (population 288.2 million) suffered 16,110 murders in 2002.”
 In describing the South African gun control horrors from a personal perspective, Ilana states that she “used to rest easier knowing that if a thug entered the Western Cape home of my relatives (where the murder rate is a staggering 84 per 100,000, compared to 5.6 per 100,000 in the United States), my elderly mother-in-law could easily dispatch him with her six-round .32 Special.  It was comforting to know that in the unlikely event she required further firepower, my father-in-law could weigh in with his .38 Special.  But that was the old South Africa.  The ANC, like all leftist governments, is determined to disarm law-abiding individuals and criminalize their naturally just actions.
 “As first reported in the Cape Times, the grotesquely mistitled Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula has unveiled ‘an arsenal of stricter gun control laws.’  ‘Gun-toting cowboys’ will no longer be tolerated and thus ‘non-threatening’ home invaders will no longer face on-the-spot justice.  In ‘liberated’ South Africa, being a robber and being ‘non-threatening’ are no longer mutually exclusive existential conditions…Safety and security in South Africa now means that self-defense may be defined as assault or murder.  If the victim of a break-in shoots to kill, the intruder can kill him and claim justification.  As Barry Ronge of the Sunday Times points out, this ‘effect(s) a switch that makes the victim of the crime the felon and turns the felon into the victim.’”
 Obviously glad now to be a permanent resident of the United States, Ms. Mercer declares that, “a person’s right to own a firearm is not contingent on whether he lives in a ‘safe’ community.�
 “The right to self-defense, implicit in the right to life, belongs to every non-aggressor, imperiled or not.  Natural rights are not subject to the vagaries of crime rates, or, for that matter, to the whims of the state (or Rosie O’Donnell).  Natural rights are not for governments to grant but to uphold.
 “Despite being safely ensconced in a very low-crime American neighborhood, and after maneuvering through the labyrinthine bureaucracy, I shall soon be sleeping with am silver-plated, five-round .357 Magnum revolver by my side.  I am grateful I no longer live in South Africa.”