Letters & Opinion

We’re heading down a slippery slope: Too many guns and too little jail space!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

The talk these days is about the Customs officer who the press said was found by the police to have had a gun at his home. But long before that, and long before COVID-19, the sheer number of guns already here, and the amount coming into our island was already a major cause of concern.

This tells me that it is either we have a great need for guns, or we should expect much more killings now and all the time in the near future. So, more people are expected to be executed and the image of this island will be more tarnished as it relates to criminal activity.

Every day, even in COVID, you hear about progressive, material developments going on. But what good will it bring if the reputation of the country is going downhill?

I question what is or should be our priority: Should it be about protecting or safeguarding the nationals, or is it about building ‘a concrete society’. If we are not protected by the law or supported by the state, then all our gains will be in vain.

After the COVID restrictions are over, we will still be more afraid to go out and those working late will be scared to work the night shift. So, how can we say that we are progressing and still be afraid to leave home to dine out because of the threat of being gunned-down?

It’s not only killing that is on the rise since before COVID, muggings and stealing will also become more rampant too. We pay taxes, we pay vat, we get grants, we obtain loans, all in the name of improvement of our country and its citizens, but it seems that the money is used for other purposes, not to enforce the law or protect its people or create a fair or just society.

We are going down a slippery slope and we are not paying attention to our real needs if we cannot be concerned about the welfare of our people. We cannot be afraid of thugs and criminal-minded people just because the law of the land ignores the distress calls of the nation. Jail sentences should be longer, but not without a trial. We will spend more taxpayers dollars on longer sentences, but more people will get the message. Gun laws should be, if you are caught with an unregistered gun, automatically fined and confined – you pay a big money and you take a big jail.

In this situation, more guns should instead be allocated to people who are legitimate, but at a higher price for ownership. If we can build more roads, hospitals and schools, we also need to build more jails.

If the new culture is crime, then the country should be prepared for such growth, before we have to drop these same criminals back on the streets on the basis of not enough jail space.

Instead of us only crying and singing the Bajan Spice and Co.’s old song about ‘Too many guns in de town’ in these new times, we should instead realize it’s time to deal with this very real concern of lack of jail space before it’s too, too late.

And like the Bajan Rihanna says, ‘Don’t you say I didn’t warn yuh!’

1 Comment

  1. It is something that I feel strongly about, it is the expense of keeping the hundreds of
    able young men locked up in Prison, when there is an alternative: there is nothing more
    frightful, and a proven deterrent, and that is – a good axx whipping for the young offender
    and I believe, after a good one, he will think twice before committing another crime. Along
    with that lashing, they should spend a given time on a farm, depending on the severity of
    the crime. The farmers need help, Bus them to different farms and return them safely back
    their time being cut depending on labour put in. $millions will be saved, and farmers happy.

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