Guns made here too
AG urged to take firearms threat seriously
Former parliamentarian Hamilton Lashley is urging the Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite to look into the issue of guns being assembled on the island.
Lashley, who describes himself as a community practitioner and now serves as Government Advisor on Social Policy, says while Brathwaite must focus on guns being imported, he should not underestimate the “astounding” ingenuity and creativity in communities.
“The Attorney General got to look twice because guns are assembled in Barbados too. He has to look at the assembly line of guns in Barbados. Whoever is advising the AG on these issues . . . is out of contact and out of synchronization with what is really happening in this country and in the Caribbean,” he told reporters this morning.
Lashley’s comments were made at a press conference hosted by the Caribbean Congress of Community Practitioners (CCSP).
Lashley said he had paid close attention to recent comments by the Attorney General who voiced concerns about the flow of guns in Barbados. Brathwaite said then that while he welcomed any individuals with firearms who wanted to turn them in, offering a gun amnesty would be futile.
Lashley observed: “We forget that back in the 60’s, guns get make in Barbados. The Merrymen make a song years ago ‘too many guns in this town’ because it was existing . . . . People making guns in Barbados ever since.”
Lashley, who is chairman of the CCSP, expressed concern that Barbados and other Caribbean countries have been imposing harsh sentences on persons for petty crimes. He called for a serious look at the criminal justice system in the region, noting some aspects were outdated and out of touch with what is happening in the modern world.
“President David Granger out of Guyana just did a marvelous social intervention strategy. He released 64 young people from the criminal system simply because these youngsters were charged with misdemeanors like stealing a pack of cigarettes or having a spiff,” Lashley said.
According to the former St Michael South East MP, the level of violence confronting the region cannot be dealt with in isolation where each country, individually, was seeking its own solutions for what the CCSP considers to be a serious regional problem.
He called on community practitioners across the region to formulate social intervention strategies to empower troubled communities. In the case of Barbados, he cited an urgent need for empowering sessions to be carried out in housing areas across the country.
According to the community practitioner, leaving it to the Task Force Unit of the Royal Barbados Police Force to solve matters was not enough.