reva steenkampThis photo of Reeva Steenkamp firing a gun is yet another terribly ironic twist to the already tragic model's alleged murder by boyfriend Oscar Pistorius: Posted to her Instagram account in July,  the picture shows Steenkamp at a shooting range  -- holding what appears to be the same 9mm pistol responsible for her death. “Shooting Games this morning! I feel less stressed now :)," she wrote. It's just beyond painful to consider, in retrospect. Gun culture was something that made Steenkamp feel safe and calm. Shooting made the model feel in control and capable of defending herself.

Look, I understand that South Africa's crime rate is significantly higher than most of us are accustomed to and that guns are commonplace in many homes. So I kind of get why knowing how to shoot properly made Steenkamp feel empowered.

But is that kind of empowement worth losing your life? Henke Pistorius, father of Oscar, recently came under fire for making the following "racist" comments:

"It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country, it's an aspect of our society. You can't rely on the police alone."

I get it, I really do. But something has to change, and fast -- before yet another tragedy like this one takes place.

Do you think it's strange that Steenkamp was photographed holding the very gun that killed her?


Image via Instagram