Afghanistan Declared Gun-Free Zone
"After over thirty years of senseless violence, I think it's time we say no to big guns and the firearms industry that promotes them," a tearful and visibly-tired Karzai told a crowd of Afghan legislators at the presidential palace in Kabul.
Under the new government-approved policy, no one will be allowed to carry any type of firearm or ranged weapon in Afghanistan. Swords and knives are still permissible, as long as the owner possesses a Class-III license available at most government offices.
There were concerns that many residents in this nation of firearms enthusiasts, widely described as "the freest people in the world", would ignore the edict. This is a country where guns outnumber people 14:1 and actually have more civil rights than them. Many people proudly sport jalabiyas bearing the slogan "Live free or die". Last year a DShK heavy machine gun was elected to parliament. And the national motto can be roughly translated as 'A man should purchase a gun instead of a wife, because at least if someone looks at his gun he won't have to take it out back and crush it with a heavy rock'.
Several gun collection centers have been set up around the country under the leadership of female Afghan General Khatol Mohammad Zai, prompting a group of elderly mujahideen to release a statment saying: "I am a mujahideen veteran of 30 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one."
However following the announcement, many citizens rushed to turn in the millions of pistols, shotguns, rifles, belt-fed machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and anti-aircraft weaponry possessed by their families for generations.
"We're losing such a valuable part of our national identity," sobbed farmer Haji Hayatullah as he drove his 438 firearms to the police station in the family tank. "My AK-47 has over thirty notches for every man it's killed, and seventy half-notches for each woman and child."
Initially there was some hope that the edict would not affect the 130,000 ISAF/NATO soldiers serving throughout the country because the edict only affects men and women. Under the Afghan constitution, ISAF soldiers are not considered human.
However ISAF spokesman Major Kimberly Ash said the International Security Assistance Force would also comply with the law and that all future patrols would be limited to bayonets and sharp pointed sticks.
Surprisingly, Karzai's decision has also been praised by his opponents in the Taliban.
"Under Islamic traditions, firearms are considered bid'ah, or innovations," said Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar. "The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, never used a Soviet SKS semi-automatic rifle, a pressure plate IED, or a 107-millimeter rocket."
Mullah Omar added, "We are pleased that the infidel puppet Karzai has recognized this and we look forward to riding up to his palace on horseback and beheading him with a proper Islamic sword."