There are some things that if they weren’t real and negatively affecting the lives of Trinidad & Tobago, they would be funny. I can just imagine someone living in a country that effectively manages their water distribution, laughing at our inability to fix two leaks along Panka Street in St James that has been pouring thousands of gallons of water into the drain for over two months.
Perhaps the most recent funny incident is that of asking citizens, in a country with over five hundred murders a year and a plethora of robberies and home invasions, to apply to use pepper spray on possible criminal elements. Pepper spray that can be made by simply placing pepper sauce in a spray bottle.
The Government requires citizens seeking that method to protect themselves to apply for a permit to do so. What is more laughable is that according to the media reports, three hundred and eighty-four persons applied and only thirty-eight were approved. So, one can conclude that someone somewhere thought that three hundred and forty six applicants were not sufficiently at risk to be allowed to use a spray that at best produces a burning sensation to possible attackers.
That is, if one is lucky enough to be able to spray the product into their face.
This however points to a more serious issue. That is the government’s failure to offer citizens an opportunity to protect themselves from criminal elements. Government has made it close to impossible for a homeowner to own a firearm. That matter can easily be fixed by passing legislation that allows homeowners to own firearms and keep them for home protection only. As in some States in America, these firearms can only be transported to the range for practice and cannot be on one’s person. In transportation, the gun must be in the trunk and the ammunition in the glove compartment.
The aim is to let citizens protect their homes from criminal elements.
In Trinidad & Tobago, not only do we make such protection near impossible, but the government also fails in doing the simple things like; issuing State issued licence plates so that one can record a genuine plate and not a false plate put in place for criminal activity.
Gun courts for people arrested with illegal firearms, expeditious ballistic testing, revision of tints for vehicles so that one can see into vehicles, and structured police patrols for rapid response from police are ignored as possible solutions that can help reduce crime.
One can almost conclude that it seems like there is an encouragement of criminal activity. Failed efforts to block telephone calls from prison, access to bail for gun possession, rushing to raid stored weapons rather than wait for the criminals to seek to retrieve them and arrest them when they are in possession, all seem to pander to the criminal elements.
There must be a serious approach to dealing with crime.
God Bless Our Nation.