No New Firearms Laws Needed

By Clarence Toussaint
August 11, 2008

GunThis letter in response to Minister Martin Joseph’s call for harsher gun laws in Trinidad and Tobago.

What do stronger gun ownership laws have to do with criminals trafficking in and using illegally owned firearms? These laws will only affect the law-abiding citizens who’ve applied for firearms permits through the Commissioner of Police (CoP), sometimes having to wait years or decades for the permits process to worm its way through only to be denied (or have already been robbed, murdered, raped or kidnapped!!!)

The criminals don’t take this route; that’s why they’re criminals!!!! The net result of stronger legislation are: (i) That lawfully abiding citizens will have less means to defend themselves, their homes, families, businesses and property. (ii) Criminals will become emboldened, as the government will effectively disarm citizens by reducing the number of permits allowed (these citizens only want to stem the wave of crime as it directly affects their lives). (iii) Previously law-abiding citizens (hoping to defend themselves from murderers, rapists, kidnappers and robbers) will seek out illegal firearms dealers for weapons as a means of breaching the gap left by the extremely long permit process and the stronger legislation that leaves them feeling defenseless and unarmed; defenseless against a wave of senseless murders, kidnappings and home invasion robberies that has swept the country that the Police seem either inept or unwilling to combat. Mr. Minister, newer legislation is not needed; there are enough laws on the books.

What is needed is the practical application of an enforcement of the existing laws. These are the lessons learned from watching gun laws in England that have not stemmed the wave of crime in that country. Neither has the constant pumping out of new gun laws in the U.S. that have done nothing but put increasingly harsher restrictions on lawful citizens as criminals get their firearms illegally instead of lining up for a permit. This fools no one into believing you’re making him or her safer.

Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t need stronger gun laws!! It needs a well-armed and responsive police force that is willing to combat crime. It needs citizens who are trained in the lawful application and use of firearms as a means of self-defense. It needs citizens who are willing to combat crime in their neighborhoods by policing themselves and eliminating the criminal elements in their midst instead of seeking to benefit from their ill-gotten gains with that “gimme-some nah man” slavery handout mentality that pervades our country.

Trinbagonians need to point them out and kick them out of our neighborhoods. Nowhere in this country must be safe for them to hide!!!! When they need a quick “hit” before their next robbery, it will be your front door they’ll kick down!! Your car they’ll steal or your family they’ll kidnap, your home or business they’ll rob!!! Your son or daughter, they’ll rape or bugger in front of your eyes!! Then when you don’t have as much money or jewelry as they thought you had, it will be your life they’ll snuff with the squeeze of a trigger, as easily as they breathe. They know if they grew up with, went to school with you, came to your wedding or childs christening, then turned around and robbed you, you’ll be the first to turn them in or come back at them!! So your reward for harboring them will be two in the chest and a bullet in the head. Congratulations, you’ve earned it!!

Criminals are cowards preying on the unarmed, weak and unsuspecting. Now if you have trained and armed citizens who put two shots into the chest of the first bastard breaking down their door or coming through the window, then your neighbor puts one or two into the accomplice, then another neighbor pumps some into the getaway driver, what you effectively have is a responsible and responsive citizenry who put the criminals on the defensive instead of the offensive. Plus criminals who’ll think two or three times before coming into that neighborhood again!!

Enough is enough Mr. Minister, stop disarming the citizens as you and your family walk around with police special branch escorts. Everybody doesn’t have that luxury of parliamentary privilege. It is time to enact a program of responsible gun ownership in Trinidad and Tobago. Promote the lawful and responsible application of firearms use to protect life, limb and property. Enforce the laws that already exist instead of confusing the citizens and police with more laws.

It’s time to allow the citizens to have a responsible and effective means of self-defense because if the citizens don’t believe they have a role in defending the republic then it will fall into chaos along the lines of Guyana, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Jamaica, Columbia and Sudan where people are forced to live in little enclaves and tribal areas, subject to the whims of local warlords. They are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago Mr. Minister, not its slaves. It’s time to allow them to protect themselves and defend the republic or bear the responsibility of the chaos that follows.

29 Responses to “No New Firearms Laws Needed”

  • Agreed. The purpose of gun laws that kept arms out of our hands (legally) are relics of our former colonial masters.

    There are also many myths associated with gun ownership by the general population which are heard and read more than the facts. The many times that guns were used in self-defence to save lives will not make headlines.

    There is evidence that strongly indicates that allowing law-abiding citizens to own of guns can save lives. I always use Israel as an example of a country that probably has the highest ownership of guns but the lowest murder rate compared to similar countries. Do research on the Nordic countries and the results are still the same…

  • In Nordic countries, people are bound by the same ethnic grouping, in Israel they are bound by the same faith. Given the racial and religious hodge-podge that is TnT, and the tendency of every group to see the others are the criminal element, and everyone trying to advance at the expence of everyone else, letting the general citizens own guns would be a mistake.

    A better analogy would be Texas, where the right to bear arms is based on the Constitution of the US. Criminals have as many guns as legitimate citizens I guess, and the police are armed to the teeth. It is a very multi-ethnic, multi-religious state, and the daily weekly murder rate is quite high.Including murders by police officers using tasers. If you do not believe this, check the major paper in Houston, or check, the major paper in Austin, or the Dallas Morning News. Among homogenous people, likethe Inuit of Northern Canada, the murder rate is practically non-existent. I do not believe they have a word for murder. This is not the case in Toronto or other major Canadian cities including Vancouver.
    If we want a homogenous state, we first have to teach people to become Trinidadians. This is the ultimate impossible task. So, no guns for the general public, although I agree about the colonial bit. Does the general public in England and France own guns? Those would be more valid comparisons than Scandinavia.

  • Correct, Israel and Nordic states were not good examples to use in support any pro gun arguments. In the case of the former, the enemies are not Jews as such, but collectively tribal Arabs, Turks, and Persians Sunni & Shiite Muslims alike where expedient. In the case of the latter they benefit immensely from governments that understand the true meaning of their own version of capitalist socialism interplay– sharing of the country’s resources for the benefit of all.
    As such, citizens have no reasons like we do here, to be envious of disproportionately wealthy neighbors that are in possession of $500 millions and more in assets, while they are walking around without shoes on their feet chiefly because they often lacked the ability to cheat and steal well or as good.
    ‘Two in the chest and one in the head,’ as highlighted by the author is the least of the problems that will continue to confront citizens across the nation if action is not soon taken to eradicate this present culture of selfishness, greed, profound disgust or hatred towards the less fortunate and by extension all fellow members of society irrespective of social class, ethnicity or racial hue.

  • To: Linda and Neil,
    The both of you critize the author for his stance on “self defence” for citizens. You’ve given your views on the cons of “gun ownership” for citizens, but neglect to give advice on how one should protect oneself! Should hard working citizens continue to be the prey of the criminal element? Should they just continue to be productive members of society just to feed the rogues that refuse to make an honest days work for an honest day’s wages? People of the twin island work too dam hard for what they have and they should be permitted to protect it with all their might. The government is usless and provides no assistance to citizens; the police is just as corrupt as the criminals, where then do these upstanding citizens turn to for help? I say allow them to fend for themselves as best as they can and with the help of the law. finally, I can bet my bottom dollar that both of you probably live in North America or somewhere safe where you can enjoy the fruits of your labour in a protective environment, therefore you can afford to take the sides of the criminals. When you’ve walked in the shoes of a man whom has lost his wife, daughter, son, grandson to a murderer who’s only motive is to get “rich” quick and don’t give a dam to who dies, then and only then you should be “empathetic” toward killing those who seek to kill those that work hard to live a dream.

  • My deaar Felix,

    Your name means love. Did you know that? Your letter however is far from living up to your name. Granted that you are bitter because of personal experience. You need to work that out with your God. Now, I want you to look carefully at all your possessions. For which of them would you trade your life? Your wife’s life, if she was still with you? Your daughter’s. I am betting that your answer is none.
    Now, my sister’s car was stolen from her driveway while she slept. She has refused to buy another car. She takes the bus or taxi daily.
    My nephew’s car was broken into, and a number of valuables stolen. He was pissed. I asked him, if you had a gun, would you have…? His response was, “Auntie Linda, I took an oath to save lives”. My girlfriend was driving down Frederick Street with her car window open when a thief on foot leaned over her husband, a retiredpolice officer, and dragged off a gold bracelet worth about $5000 T. T dollars or more. It was a family heirloom. Would she have shot him if she could? No. If she and her husband were younger, they would have chased him on foot, but it was a traffic jam., at 5.30 in the afternoon.

    The day we decide as a nation, that material things are worth more than people, that is the day we are lost forever.

    How many children will have to take their parents guns, and kill their playmates in a fit of anger, or in acting out the things they see on TV before people realize that gun ownership is dangerous to the general safety of a society? Trinis want guns. They believe that the people they want to shoot do not look like them. Look again. We are all human. If you see Richard Thompson jogging down the street with a gym bag on his back, you could shoot him, thinking he was a burglar. he would be our Olympic Silver Medalist, using the oldest form of transportation to stay fit, and get where he is going.

    The guy you are likeliest to shoot, is a family member at whom you are temporarily angry. The gun will only replace the cutlass and the empty rum bottle. In some US states, you could own as many guns as you can afford. That does not rduce crime, better policing and better employment opportunities do.

    The Police Service in TnT has ALWAYS been about protecting the property of the wealthy. That is how Charlie King got himself killed.
    If working hard was rewarded with riches, why are the African people in TnT the poorest? Did they not clear all the forests wher the cane was grown, with simple tools like axes and cutlasses? Ah, but they were being forced to work for free.

  • Look, Linda there are are hardly any killings across the ethnic divide in T&T. So , to suggest that making guns more readily available would increase killings is farfetched.
    Neal, people who walk around bare footed in T&T do not do so because they lack the ability to cheat and steal, but because they lack the initiative to get off theie asses and do something about their poverty.
    Linda, stop making excuses for African poverty in T&T. Opportunities are available. Some people are unmotivated to work for a living for whatever reason.Africans are not the only group who made sacrifices, everyone suffered to some extent. The difference is that a very small minority of Africans in T&T are not willing to do a day’s work for a day’s pay.The majority of Africans are very successful. And don’t tell me that opportunities and social programmes are not available; a succession of governments have repeatedily tried to cater to this group, but all they want is something for nothing.
    Also, there is nothing wrong with free enterprise generating wealth in any country. We provide jobs, opportunities and encourage the success and creation of wealth in all families. Since when creating wealth became greed?
    On the topic of guns, we had guns in our house. At age 12 my father taught me to use them responsibly. I have never murdered anyone.

  • No one is being forced to work for free. The African People as you so eloquently mentioned, are poorest because of their thinking. The can’t see themselves cutting cane, they can’t see themselves planting tomatoes and ochro, they can’t see themselves getting up at 3am, putting on rags and walking down town; they have to have the latest in fashion,the most “bling,” a wad of money for partying and not breaking a sweat for any of it. Slavery in Trinidad is not known to anyone in the last 75yrs, this generation as well as the last inheritated a land of freedom; freedom to choose the path they take. the struggles of our fore-fathers paved the way for equality for all. So those “African-Trinidadians” who use slavery as the cause and effect of their actions are just excusing themselves for their behaviour. I am 44yrs old, and have never seen in my lifetime anything that resembles slavery in Trinidad and Tobago. The hard core criminals in Trinidad currently are in most cases half my age; what then is their excuse for their murderous ways?

    For them to prey on innocent, hard working people in the name of slavery is a crime itself. Material things can never replace that of a human life,but to protect one’s own property and their family takes precedent over any one individual’s life who seems to think it’s ok to covet another’s sweat because he feel like it.

    When a criminal decides to ivade a family’s home, beat, rape, rob and murder to fulfil his material desires deserves the only thing that is promised to him in this life;a piece of land six feet under.

    YOu said, and I qoute “The day we decide as a nation, that material things are worth more than people, that is the day we are lost forever.

    It is those very criminals that decide material things are worth more than people! They are the ones that ripped the chain of your relative’s neck, they are the ones that stole the car, what if your relatives had resisted? In a heartbeat that very criminal would’ve killed them for that very materialistic item.

    People who defy the odds of poverty by waking up at 3am and beating the rain and other elements, who eat one meal a day, who wear one suit of clothes a week, who ride a bicycle to work, who save 2 pennies out of three so that they can send thier children to college, or build them a better home, deserve the respect and admiration and reverence of everyone; not wait in the dark with a gun to take away all that he or she has sacrificed for.

    Those criminals who kidnap and demand millions in ransom want the good life, the rich life, the party life, but they refuse to break a sweat to get it. The days of working for free in unknown to most Trinidadians literally; it is only known in the history books.

    I say, after “uncle Deosaran and anuty Ramrajie” 70yrs old, has finished selling in the market, after 80hrs in the garden planting tomato and bigan, along with their 4 children, is on the way to the bank to deposit thier earnings and “Kenrick” who is following them with a loaded gun; points his gun and demands the money; uncle “Deosaran” who also has a loaded gun; at the first opportunity, empty the gun on “Kenrick” and then call 911.

    Uncle “Deosaran” would be a hero to his family and to the next person that “Kenrick” would’ve tried to rob. The lord said “Thou shalt not kill,” the lord also said, “by the sweat of thy brow shall thou eat.” If “kenrick” was hungry, he should’ve asked uncle “Deosaran and auntie Ramrajie” for a job in the garden; then “Kenrick” would’ve benn on his way to the bank too; to make a deposit

  • Felix , you should appreciate by now that the issue of arming our citizens through relax and liberal firearm laws is not a trivial one, and should not be influenced by ideas garnered from simplistic , half drunk debates at a Coura River Rum and Roti lime , or Maracas Bay Wild Meat Oil- Down’ extravaganza. Too much is at stake my dear friend.
    When you begin to be equally outraged about racist borderline crooks like Sat Maharaj that sits on his Princely hierarchical Maha Saba throne, and pretends that he did not know what his criminal billionaire buddy Harry Harnarine and numerous others in the executive at the Hindu Credit Union were doing ,as they deliberately fleeced innocent members- including the act of giving a scandalous $5Million HCU loan to Costa Rican Diplomat-primarily from Couva, Caroni, and Aranguez, of hard earned pensions and similar savings, then we can start a serious dialogue about tenuous domestic security operations, causes of escalating violent crimes, and efforts aimed at finding feasible solutions to the malady. I am certain that you would not want to have more weapon trained, angry citizens out there in our society, as they watch these two clowns try to shift the blame for their collective roles in this fraud -a common endemic business oriented corruption habit mind you – to the government, and now legal fraternity would you? Sat would need more than the Police Commissioner to protect him from his sudden, personal fears, and in Harry’s case, going to jail for contempt by Justice Nolan Bereaux would be the tip of the iceberg, and least of his problem- if you catch my drift.
    While you are at it tell me how young 9 year old Hope’s mother with a gun of her own could have protected her daughter from the miscreant that raped and murdered her daughter? How about the mothers of the several children that recently died or came close, after their jilted dads decided to commit the blatantly coward acts of suicide and forced their respective children to take poison as well in the process? How about our poor East Indian Citizen from Central that was relentlessly stalked by her psychotic criminal husband and eventually cornered like an animal, and chopped and shot to death in front of her young innocent and distraught daughter, would you have wanted the daughter or the mom to be armed?

    I am not accusing you in particular of anything as such , but let it be known that some of us are quite aware that presently several comical destabilization agents are prepared to waste our collective time, as they saturate these boards under fictitious names in clear pretense and bogus concerns for obvious devastating social ills that are affecting our wonderful country-while they cannot wait to jump on the next plane to escape to what they erroneously believe are safety havens, and state regions of total bliss in the more developed Global North. It is also more titillating for a few of these dangerous agents , privileged enough to dominate our print media and airwaves ,to highlight crimes that are perpetuated by one particular race against another, while downplaying the astronomical evidence of similar one by others on the opposite side of the growing divide.

    In typical fashion, I hardly expect a response, but what do you expect from someone naïve enough to believe that somehow life is safer in America, his daughter can prevent rape because she has a firearm safely tucked in her purse, and he can halt a unsuspecting kidnapper because he can perhaps shoot a bulls eye on a weapon range and can afford to possess a 9mm Gluck or Smith & Wesson pistol. What fallacy! Perhaps China is correct; there should be some moratorium or restrictions on those that can get access to the internet, as it is proven repeatedly, that too much democracy can definitely be a dangerous thing.

  • Neal
    You seem to be doing a fine job of highlighting “crimes that are perpetuated by one particular race against another, while downplaying the astronomical evidence of similar one by others on the opposite side of the growing divide.”
    Your abundance of comments shows why “there should be some moratorium or restrictions on those that can get access to the internet, as it is proven repeatedly, that too much democracy can definitely be a dangerous thing.”

  • No T – Man it is crass comments likes these listed by you and your colleague Felix, that made the Chinese appear correct in their approach to democracy:

    “I am 44yrs old, and have never seen in my lifetime anything that resembles slavery in Trinidad and Tobago. The hard core criminals in Trinidad currently are in most cases half my age; what then is their excuse for their murderous ways?”
    “The African People as you so eloquently mentioned, are poorest because of their thinking. The can’t see themselves cutting cane, they can’t see themselves planting tomatoes and ochro…”
    “For them to prey on innocent, hard working people in the name of slavery is a crime itself.”
    “Neal, people who walk around bare footed in T&T do not do so because they lack the ability to cheat and steal, but because they lack the initiative to get off theie asses and do something about their poverty.”

    I did not expect such to emanate from people that are from a society that is leading the literacy rates in the English speaking Caribbean at close to 98.2%. All I am inclined to say is have no fear, once we’ve finally fixed the ludicrous land disparities, and skewed business opportunities that only benefits one group along the racial/ethnic divide, then the labeled ex- slave descendant culprits , can begin to plant tomatoes , ochros and pursue other beneficial agricultural activities that you alluded to.
    I beseech you both to please indulge us for a while longer. Soon these envious, lazy, predominantly Afro- Trinbagonian criminals, will get with the program, and in similar fashion, engage in free enterprise wealth generating business opportunities that are destined to create jobs for themselves and others- like those of your hard working and non- poverty stricken families across the nation. Then, the budding 12 year old bandit from Mt Lambert and Roxborough will leave daddy’s gun in the cabinet where it belongs when confronted by problems, just like you did and others are doing today in pristine areas like Enterprise Chaguanas, and El Socorro.
    I could not recall putting forward the notion that slavery or poverty should be extended as an excuse for crimes, nor was I backward or savage enough to think of or advocated any form of racial or ethnically tinged violence by one particular group against another in the quest to satisfy economic needs- especially in my country. I have fortunately seen up close what the result of such spurious thinking can produce across the globe – and not necessarily from an arm chair recliner like you and your buddy only did while watching respective 40 inch screened TV’s in Boston, Manitoba, and Brixton the new havens.
    I am however getting a much clearer picture as to what’s needed if our twin Republic is to move forward as a nation, and we are prepared to ensure that no one gets left behind- especially the unfortunate citizens on both sides of the divide, that failed to grasp fully every opportunity presented since 1962.
    Two of the first steps are to avoid historical revisionist tendencies ,and give authentic pictures of prevailing realities in our country that are continually contributing to the mess we are in. I am referring to matters of crime, economic disparities, and political ineptitudes by many so called leaders.
    . If demonizing one group makes you fell better, and eases your conscience as you betray your country by forever tarnishing its excellent name as you run for escape towards its borders, good for you. It must be equally perplexing to you and others I believe to notice that today many from across the globe are clamoring to enter our country with all its challenges.
    Finally ,I would like to believe that I now have a better appreciation of my future role in trying to provide some semblance of a solution- in full recognition that ancestral homes of Africa, Asia, Europe, or North and South America could care less about any of us its former children , or wannabe future subjects. This blessed land of ours is all we own, and it is well worth preserving. Ah! What a challenge the act of nation building can be.

  • OK, here’s a suggestion. Since crime seems to be along “racial lines” wavy ones in TnT, but “racial” nonetheless, every ten weeks we should pick up ten people of both major races, give them guns and let them play “fastest gun in the west” then jail the survivors. Do it on a smaller scale for the Chinese, Syrian-Lebanese ( tried explaining that group to North American once, you should have heard the laughter) and the whites. Do not include in these shootouts anyone who is a doctor, policeman, teacher- unless he is drunken and does not teach the children- fireman or soldier. Please include lawyers(liars my father called them) and various dubious “businessmen”. These shootouts, being recreational, would not count in the murder statistics. Do not include any mixed race people in these shootouts. We need them to build a better TnT.
    Now, by saying no doctors, policemen or teachers, and by not including mixed race people, I have just ensured the survival of my people. Go for it guys.
    My father too, was a gun owner. The only burglary of our house, ever, was someone trying to steal the gun, in broad daylight. My father was not home. I am off to watch Obama make history. Such a wonderful blend of African and European.

  • Not a dangerous thing, but a rather ENLIGHTENING THING. Political correctness seems to be the “Muzzle” for what is true. The growing devide that you so eloquently mention is and always has been, only those that are “wilful blind” refuses to acknowledge it. this is why the state of affairs is the way it is. We need to make use of the DEMOCRACY which we have to eradicate the potential of the problems getting worse. But with a government only fixated on fulling their own pockets and promoting the great DIVIDE, hope is beyone the horizon.

  • I guess your way of protecting one’s self would be dialogue when confronted with someone raping your daughter or wife or grand daughter in front of you while you watch on helplessly. God forbid that any one of you suffer such fate, but i’m one to always believe in acting proactively and being able to live with myself knowing that I tried to do something as opposed to suffer the consequences of knowing that I did nothing, or even tried. When you can’t beat them, the obvious is to join them. Then perhaps the government will begin to see the light. My friends and co-workers are always asking about my “Country” and it’s values come vacation time; I will never recommend it for a vacation, not even a visit; as I would not want to be responsible for their demise. We can use all the expressive jargon to hide behind race, and cultural ettiquette but it changes nothing. If it makes a man/woman feel safe with a gun under his/her pillow then so be it, he is entitled to protect his life and the life of those around him or her as well as his property. I celebrate everytime the cops kill or injure one, because everytime one is killed a dozen or more is saved.

    While we engage in the area of diplomacy in solving the nation’s crime wave, a few more innocent people will be dead. Sign on to the Trinidad Express at 12:01 tonight and read about the person who was “snatched” or “the one or two or three that is now dead” bringing the total to close to 400. Businessmen along with other able bodied members of society has often tried to organize their communities to bagttle crime but is always faced with opposition from the country’s leaders, why? Because they like the status quo! They enjoy seeing murder and mayhem and they feel confident that oppisition to the government will be muzzled because they fear that they could be next. In retrospect, In my humble opinion PM Manning is juxta to Hitler and this is his way of ethnic cleansing of the wealthy and those with a voice who speaks out against the corruption and lacadasical approach to securing the country and it’s citizens.

    You’re right “it is a challenge in nation building,” but it’s takes responsible men and woman to lead to the fight in rebuilding of a nation. As i said before, when you have a PM who is only interested in creating a legacy and legend for himself that journey becomes out of reach. Anyone with an objective view of our current government leaders will see that the PM, Manning is self serving in all things that he does. But I promise you, it will only get worse if it is to get any better. The people of Trinidad and Tobago needs to stand up amidst all the threats, murder and mayhem and take back their country, away from the PNM rule.

    As it currently stands, the leaders have no accountability or transparency in utilising the finances of the very people that contributes to it. The PM wants to have a private jet,to the likeness of Bush, clinton and others. He could certainly have those things if he had the brain capacity to think like these great men, but he has an empty upper torso.

    those people that follow him are just like him, self serving and without any care for the people of the nation. To begin to build, means starting afresh and this does not include the PNM government.

    It is indeed s shame to see one of the most respected countries of the world, the wealthiest caribbean nation at one time, now ranked #9 in murder per capita in the world. Needless to say, I am ashamed of what my country has become; and i’m sure I share the opinion of many. By navel string is buried there and a Trini I will always be, but God forbid I sould ever have to return to live there, with all the murder, mayhem and corruption.

  • I for one could be tempted to agree at this point with Felix on our government role as the sole culprit in stifling any chance of the nation’s hope, based on its own fixated greed, and willingness to promote “the great Divide,” as he laid it out.
    Now the next question for you Felix is, how do you propose to effect change? Perhaps we can rule out what took place in 1990, as our wonderful country and its people clearly indicated that they were not prepared to support criminals disguised as religious saviors- a clear reflection of the true law abiding nature and spirit of our people.
    Let us follow Ms. L’s lead and listen to the Democratic convention grand finale, and see if we can pick up a few pointers on how the big progressive boys try to do thing. They aren’t perfect, but they try to get it right, on justice, equality, or political and economic opportunities. If you are serious- as the cynical part me suspects not- we’ll continue the conversation in time. As I’ve said before, if folks like us in our fairly safe enclaves cannot fine some agreement, pity our fellow citizens ‘facing the heat directly in the kitchen.’

  • Our first step in the direction of change is to educate our people in the 21st century. Our people at stagnated in the 20th century and lacks the ability to think in the 21st century. We were once the leaders in the “third world” and other nations looked to us for guidance and leadership; that has all changed. We need an inocculation of ideas that brings us up to par with the rest of the developing world. All of our leaders, politicians and values are based on ideas that are counter productive to our nation.

    Manning, Panday, Warner, Dookeran, Imbert, Joseph, Paul and a host of others all from the old school and have nothing new to offer our growing young population. They are out of touch with the needs of the younger generation and expect them to adhere to values that are no longer acceptable in the name of progress.

    For example, the same school system that I was educated in remains the same after 35yrs; the subjects being studies, the teaching styles, the phylosophy of learning etc. We are in the eea of Technology but the Educataion system in Trinidad and Tobago are not integrating this level of studies as part of the curriculum. In order to get an education in Technology students must do this privately. How many children can actuall afford to pay hefty fees for this area of study. In the country, most of the jobs demand computer experience, how do these students gather such experience?
    This alone frustrates individuals because they are limited in choices as far as careers are concerned. a young person without the necessary skills to be competitive in the job search have only a “10days to look forward to, or sell weed etc.”

    Those people in society who has laboured profusely and saved to send their children abroad for an education are the ones being hijacked, kidnapped, robbed and raped; because they have become targets for thier so called wealth.

    One might argue ” Then why are there younger politicians?”, well, I would reply, because we don’t have enough educated young people, and those that are educated are too busy helping to meet the urgent needs of thier siblings, parents and other commitments that the government refuses to address. A 30yr old graduate from law school might be the perfect candidate to run in politics, but he has to earn a living to pay a private nursing home to care for his parents, wife, siblings, children who is stricken with a deadly disease, whhy? Because the government don’t want to pay decent wages to doctors to run a public medical facility that really cares about it’s nationals. Our hospitals in the country are run like clinics in Kenya! Where only the wealthy can get top rated care while the poor suffers and gets treated according to the size of their wallets or bank account.

    Never in my life have I seen such an uncaring, divisive, hate mongering leader like the current. He is self centered, egotistical and drools over self preservation. The country needs to retaliate cohesively and fight for it’s rights and demand responsible government. It all must start in the class room. Our young people must be told what they are entitled to and how to get it. they must be shown the light and how far they are getting left behind.

    When our young people are educated and given the tools to venture into the future bravely and with the older heads standing behind them to give them a push instead of a pull backward, then and only then will the fight against crime, poverty and hunger be eradicated.

    Crimimals are laughing at the laws, and kill without remorse and that’s why I believe that if keeping a firearm or weapon to protect what one has slaved and labourd to acquire then so be it.

  • The 44 year socialist Moscow trained economist Jagdeo in neighboring Guyana, is doing such an excellent job in running his ‘ship of state,’ his citizens are trying to outdo ours in leaving their country as well. The only difference is that many of the disgusted – or perhaps lazy- are streaming to Trinidad and Tobago, end mass.
    I personally had my fill of the vast array of bombastic lawyers we are historically saturated with, that always flock to politics when they cannot find work to repay their bloated student loans acquired from over hyped foreign Universities. I’ll be incline to be more ecstatic if a few more members are prepared to sacrifice time within civil society to being part of the solution- just like young Obama did in the ghettos of Chicago.
    I despise armchair whiners – excluding you of course Felix.
    “If as you claimed “Manning, Panday, Warner, Dookeran, Imbert, Joseph, Paul and a host of others all from the old school and have nothing new to offer our growing young population,” are you planning to strangle them all, dump their bodies in Icacos, or Las Cuevas, and import all your leaders from abroad even if they have not proved their worth by doing something tangible for the people on the ground. We know they’ve nominated the Opposition leader’s daughter in your neck of the wood, but her selection you’ll agree is a mere aberration and won’t translate to anything politically worthwhile -especially as she is simply prepared to follow lock step with daddy’s 14th century leadership style , and narrow sectarian policy vision ?
    I am heartened by the fact that you are prepared to broadened your attacks however- very encouraging, perhaps we can build on this. I am however not too convinced that you’ve learned anything substantial on how vibrant , educated , progressive visionaries handle modern politics in racially fragmented and divided societies.

  • We have bright, vibrant and intellectual people in the nation cabaple of governing effectively and for the people! The problem is, most of them are disheartened and fearful for their own safety in the attempt to venture into public life. Just last year two men from the Laventille/Morvant area were killed and they were community leaders creating a diversion away from the violence and negative energy in the area. These men were good, christian men with a special love for the youth’s but their efforts along with their lives were short lived.

    I have been living in Toronto for the last 20yrs and my heart, mind and soul never left T&T! My parents, 4 siblings and all of my relatives still reside there, i’m the only one that took that bold step which initially was an adventure and never looked back. I lay at night wondering what I could do to make it better. Over the years I have returned to my country and attempted to provide some guidance and materials for the youth’s in the community from which I hailed. The i had to leave. for the month I spent there, every child and young person got to know who “Dougla” was, even though I left before most of them were born.

    I wish there was more I could do, but I had to realize it’s not a one man fight. I provide pencils, pens, books, crayons, geometory sets and array of stationary for the children in my area for school, I had a village christmas party in 1988 for the villagers in my area, but yet I have not done anything to make their lives better; though I wish I could. By the way, the area from which I hail is Peytonville, Arima, populated with Afro-Trini’s. I had to mention this to turn away any thoughts of me being racist.

    My earlier statements on the crime factor remains one of fact and not my personal feelings.

    I realize it is easier for those of us that live on the outside to see the real problems as it is, in an objective way.

    As you mentioned “Panday’s daughter, Makela” is just an extension of her father, and nothing of real substance to offer, but as you so eloquently put it, “14th century politics.” We need to search out those young, vibrant scholars and offer them our hand in oneness and encourage to pick up the fight to eliminate the elements which is causing the great divide.

    I for one is always willing to join hands with those who are willing in the name of progress. But how many are willing to share they rum and roti time, or the curry duck at the beach, not many! It’s the typical way of life for most Trini’s.

  • All of your arguments against guns are moot and it is scientific fact. Rather than bloviate your personal feelings and what you “think” based on emotions read the book “More Guns, Less Crime” by John Lott..the ONLY athoritive scientific study based on facts not opinions…..

  • Mark cut it out unless you are a paid executive of the NRA or some foolish foreign gun lobby. Leave the guns alone and let authentic law enforcemt bodies do their jobs safetly. Guns possession simply accord you a stupid false sense of security. It forces one to take unnecessary risks that they might not truly considered if they did not have such toys in their possession. I saw a recent COP show where a white racist redneck from the south ran for his gun and pointed it at a black stranger that was rumaging around in his car in an attempt to fix it as it had broken down. How pathetic. Is that the development you desire to see amongst the 1.3 millions of your fellow citizens you claim to care about? Go visit an African failed society where 10 year old boys and girls are captains and majors in armies because of one , gun conglomerates policies and two ,illiterate and backward African political figures prepared to give away precious resources for the AK47. You keep this foolish obsession up and we’ll seriously ensure that Panday and Manning sit down and create a law to confiscate passports and ban some previliged foreign base nationals from ever writing another blog about our country in the future.

  • Mark,”More Guns, Less Crime” more like more guns more children accidently shooting themselves or others. Ask John Lott to give you the statistics of how many American kids accidently shoot themselves or others while playing with thier parents gun.

  • Licensed Firearm Holder

    As a licensed and trained firearm holder, it is important to I understand that a firearm is a safety tool that is not to be relied upon.

    For example a person working on a scaffolding cleaning windows does not rely on his or her safety gear, that gear is a “last resort” item. When all else has failed and their life is in jeopardy the safety harness is used.

    A firearm is no different, you being situationally aware will get you out of trouble and keep you out of trouble 99.9% of the time. If you “walk tall” because you have a gun you are asking for trouble. And if that .1% of a time ever comes when you simply have to use your firearm then you want to be trained as to not cause any collateral damage.

    I believe the gun laws of Trinidad and Tobago do need to be changed. eg.

    1) you must know and be tested on the firearm act
    2) you must go through a situation awareness course on how to be aware of your surroundings and dangers
    3) you must be proficient in the use of a firearm and be tested yearly

    A note to all the criminals out there, I’m the one moving in the opposite direction from you, I’ll let the police do their job.

  • its 2009 …. the murder rate is very high..the world is not a nic place…. i’m neutral about the guns … i mean if someone tried to hurt your family, wouldn’t your protect them?

  • No paul. You remove the conditions that resulted in someone attempting to hurt your family.
    Get rid of greed , hatred, and selfishness, then replace them with respect for others , as well empathy for their plights, and you’ll start to see major difference.
    Guns posessions , only gives one a false sense of security, and the benefits are short lived.

    • You Sir, are an Idiot. You are in a fantasy world that will never exist. Scientific studies show that the more prohibitive the gun laws-the higher the violent crime rate. In the other words the more guns the lower the crime-a proven fact.

  • I was doing another search and came aross this, I just thought I would throw my two cents in…if one wants to use the USA as a whole as an example…the number of leagally own guns is rising, yet statisically the number of gun related deaths is droping percentage wise. If you discount the the suicides, that number drops in 1/2 again, the murders for the moast part are gang related by the larger percentage. There are more guns in the USA than registered vehicles, but vehicles kill more people every year than guns! Nobody is complaining about cars now are they????
    The fact is, in human nature, there will always be the criminal element, the only way to protect against it is with equal or greater force. The criminally intent have not changed with time, only the technology. Hunting and self-defense more so defense with weapons of any kind is as old as mankind. Nothing will change that. If you disarm the general populous, only the criminals will have guns to prey upon the defenseless!!!!!
    Sure we would all like a Utopian world,,,but it aint goina happen,,,,,,period. You look at certain States that have made Self Defense laws less restrictive, such as the “castle doctrine” and crime rate has drop as has the murder rate!!!!
    It’s common sense really,,,just think about it!

  • “The fact is, in human nature, there will always be the criminal element, the only way to protect against it is with equal or greater force.”
    Nice one David, but believe me you would not want our country to venture down this slippery road favored by misguided Yankee 2nd amendment obsessed, elite nuts. Tough on crime translates to a Prison Industrial Complex, and mean that your ‘hard working farmer’ from Couva, and similar areas now have to become Correction Officers because the government had to confiscate their prime agricultural real estates to build expensive prisons – just like is done in big brother America.
    We can instead choose to push a different social and political agenda where efforts are made to have an education that’s relevant to our needs, and well paying adequate jobs are created to absorb the growing unemployed throughout.
    Most importantly, it would ensure a progressive policy is fostered that serves as a cushion for the unfortunate that have slipped through the crack as far as crimes , so that they can be reintegrated into society as productive , and eventually respectable human beings- irrespective of color , class , creed or race.

    • “2nd amendment obessed, elite nuts”. This is an example of someone bloviating about something in which he knows nothing. The “elite” in the USA are the ones trying to take away our guns.
      I agree that when violent criminals are kept locked up longer, violent crime goes down. It’s quite simple: it’s mostly the same people who commit almost of the violent crime, so when they are locked up they are unable to commit crimes.
      As far as the last paragraph goes; “rehibilation” is inefective and a waste of time. Criminals are criminals because they like what they like to do.
      Our (USA) prisons are releasing violent prisoners prematurely because of overcrouding. About 61% of the prison population are in for non violent drug offences. This makes no sense. Our priorities are all wrong.

  • evryone,i sat done here with my laptop for over two hours trying to read and understand what you guys are debating over ,many valid points were raised and as many stupid points were tried to be justified. I believe that YOU have the option to own a firearm or not it is not for some to be judgmental on ,for crying out loud it is a CHOICE! I personally have been around guns for over 27 years and have full found respect for them as i know and have learnt that the’re not toys . MY views are simply this
    1) why is it that we have to bribe the police force $30,000 for a F.U.L (firearm user’s liscence),when infact it will only cost $5,000 to $9,000 for your firearm at any dealer here in Trinidad and $50. for your certificate of good character ,lets get real people.
    2) why is it they require a bank statement,to see how much money you have in your bank account,is it so that know you can afford a bribe ??? I wonder!
    3) why is it that you need to have your own business or carry on you at any one time large amounts of CASH for them to hold this as a criteria for a firearm to be governed to your person?

    Yes these laws or should i say shady stipulations should be reviewed and the people who CHOOSE to own a firearm should be allowed to own one under their own caution.
    At the end of the day ,i, should be allowed to apply for a firearm if i so dam well please without the under arm deals and shady bribes required by police officers of trinidad and tobago.

    My views are my views and i hope everyone on this blog respects my two sense because i would like to feel safe at the hands of my own,nolt some desparate criminal looking to go to thenext big concert in the savanah ok thank you

  • I think the harsher gun laws were meant for sentencing. When someone gets caught with a gun, don’t release him on bail, JAIL him for the minimum 5 years. In the UK under the Firearms Act 1968, they don’t play with that 5-year minimum, but not us… always some technicality. Steups

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