Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Keeping a gun in your house or owning a gun is a dangerous thing to do. A gun in the house doubles or even triples the chance of somebody in the house getting hurt or killed by the gun. Further, a gun in the house in the hands of an inexperienced user of firearms can exacerbate an already tense situation when and if an armed bandit enters your home.

That's the bad news about owning guns. On the other hand, the police are not protecting the average law abiding citizen. Oh, they will turn up all right after your wife has been raped, your children murdered and you are left for dead in your home. But they won't be there in minutes (or even "seconds") if you call the emergency hotline with a report that your home is under a deadly assault.

It is time that we recognise that we are living in "the wild, wild west" and that the political parties that we elect to govern us are incapable of fixing the crime spree ... at least, not any time soon. The murder rate is the figure that everyone looks at, but the truth is that violent crime ... the rapes, the armed robberies, the invasion of our homes ... is increasing with a ferocity that daily becomes more frightening. When a former National Security Minister can be robbed and beaten in his supposedly safe gated community and the assailants can get away and not be caught then we must realise that all of us have a very serious problem. The problem in one sentence is that the bad guys just aren't being caught and the police aren't going to catch any of them any time soon. We can pass all the laws we want, but unless and until the cops start to catch the bad guys ain't nothin' gonna happen!

In other words, there are very serious questions that we must ask ourselves: if the old solutions aren't working should we not try something new? Like what? Would arming ourselves work or should we continue to restrict our rights to be allowed to own and use a firearm? If the vote is that we should be allowed to arm ourselves, should there be any restrictions on the owning of firearms, and if so what?

If the vote is that we should not be allowed to arm ourselves, then should we put a time limit on the authorities to get crime under control or then allow us to arm ourselves? What do we do if the police, say, this time next year do not have crime under control? What bench marks are we placing on the Commissioner of Police and all the other persons responsible for reducing crime to get it under control where we can feel safe again? How long are we prepared to wait?

Everybody talks a blue streak when it comes to crime. The Government of the day comes up with excuses and the Opposition attacks. But the truth is that when the PNM was in power nothing happened, and while it is obviously too early to criticize the energetic Jack Warner, at some stage, if he isn't seen to have reduced the crime rate, then he too will be blamed.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Speaking for myself alone, I am personally not at all convinced that loosening the gun controls or gun laws in this country will work. But I see and hear nothing new when it comes to dealing with this terrible scourge. I hear promises that do not come to pass (like Operation Anaconda, for example). All I see is that except for the names and a few other changes the authorities are doing the same thing over and over again. And the issue of our personal safety is left dangling in the wind without any hope of a safer tomorrow.

No. It is time for radical "out-of-the-box" thinking. The old ways haven't worked. Frankly, nothing seems to be working. So, maybe we should try and do something new. It's either that or we continue to be murdered, raped, assaulted and robbed.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. Just look at our situation, your venezuelan neighbors, who are facing increasing volatile violence year after year just because we let it be, remain, establish, and grow. Now it is hard to control (before even thinking of reducing it).