AHF President calls gun amnesty a 'joke'
President of the African Heritage Foundation, Paul ‘Ras Simba’ Rock has heavily criticized government’s gun amnesty, predicting the measure will not produce the desired results.
Going so far as to call the amnesty a “joke”, Rock questioned if the Attorney General, Dale Marshall considered the success of previous gun amnesties before implementing the current one.
Rock also highlighted the loopholes in the ‘no-questions-asked’ clause, noting if a gun was connected to a murder, how would police use it as evidence in court.
He said there needed to be a combination of measures to arrest the rise in gun-related crime, the first of which needed to be the legalization of marijuana, as opposed to a gun amnesty.
“Young men are killing over drugs, money and women. The only thing that can bring a change in the killing fields is legalization of cannabis for recreational use. Based on research done in places that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes, violent crime has decreased.”
Last week the AG announced the introduction of the amnesty which would run from to run from April 7 to April 13. He said government made the decision to run the amnesty for just one week as opposed previous ones which ran for up to six months and after that time the "gloves are off".
Rock said until government recognizes the link between the policing of drugs and crime, the situation will not improve.
“Nothing will work if cannabis users continue to be made into criminals. You make them criminals and they will act to suit.”
Rock also suggested government improve the prison rehabilitation programs so as to lower the rates of recidivism and implement agricultural-based programs in lower-income communities.
“Government can look at awarding achievements of reformed prisoners to encourage others to do better. I also think that rural agriculture can help put money in poorer communities. Give them community responsibility and with that a sense of worth. Give them something to live for.”