As we approach what can arguably be described as the biggest thing to happen to the Federation since independence, we must exercise supreme caution. For a little while we’ll be on centrestage of the planet and it will certainly go beyond a few choice television shots. We will be selling the country, as it were, and we’d better put our best collective feet forward..
However, a propos of centrestage, it has become alarming to hear more and more reports of persons walking with guns as though we reside in the old American Wild West. More sickening still is to hear of persons being routinely shot, wounded and killed.
One magistrate, who too must be feeling sick and disgusted over this frightening trend voiced her disappointment and expressed fears that we may have to be dealing with bombs next, like Trinidad.
The situation would not have been as frightening if only there was a proportion of arrests and convictions that counterbalanced the reports of gun-toters seeking to show utter contempt for the laws of the land.
The unanswered question is where do we go from here? Must we sink as other societies have done within recent years? Must the sweet singing of the birds that so inspire and calm the nerves be replaced by the reverberating sounds of gunfire that shatter the silence o f the atmosphere? What would become of the calm and serenity that together help visitors to recognise the two islands as representing one Paradise?
What is the solution? Surely, the picture is looking like a runaway horse that has gone wild. What is done cannot be undone but what has not been done ought to be done.
Do our lawmakers have to revisit the law libraries of this land? Do they need to dust off the old volumes and bring in tough gun control laws? Laws tough enough that would be twice as severe for those found guilty of bringing the guns into the country illegally as against those who are irresponsible enough to buy and even dare to use them?
While our readers contemplate on the above point we must remind that the challenge goes beyond passing and adjusting laws. Citizens must now rise up and be prepared to expose those who might be hoarding such dangerous weapons. For a small nation as this, those are really weapons of mass destruction.
Let us be prepared to give full support and assistance to the law enforcing agencies. Of course the agents of the law must know that people would be putting their lives as well as those of other security personnel if information they submit is not treated in the most confidential manner. One late Caribbean poet warned, “…We are all involved, we are all consumed”. Therefore let us be our brother’s keeper, since we need ask for whom the bell tolls, tomorrow it may be tolling for us.