Friday 3 April, 2020

Innocents suffering; Governments need to bring harsh gun penalties

FILE - Founder of Solutions Barbados, Grenville Phillips

FILE - Founder of Solutions Barbados, Grenville Phillips

Solutions Barbados is laying the blame for the continued impact of gun crimes and violence involving illegal firearms squarely at the feet of previous governments.

Founder of Solutions Barbados, Grenville Phillips said that a failure to act on the part of both the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has let this issue escalate drastically.

After yesterday's shooting incident which resulted in 20 persons being injured on Spring Garden Highway, he told Loop News:

“When our elected politicians fail to properly address emerging problems, then the rest of us must suffer greatly for their failures.”

He said that the problem is not new but ignoring the problem has led us to last night’s shooting incident which left 20 persons nursing gunshot injuries and one man dead.

He said:

“In the early 1990’s, guns started flowing in to support the illegal drug trade, and shootings were becoming frequent.  Our politicians were warned about the increasing gun violence and were asked to do something about it.  The callous response was that it was simply criminals shooting each other.

“The obvious solution was to charge all persons involved in the illegal distribution of a gun with the same offense as the final user.  Therefore, the importer, distributor, seller, and renter should all be charged with: murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, rape, theft, threats, illegal possession, or whatever the final user was charged with.  Neither the BLP nor DLP administrations would implement this effective deterrent. Instead, the guns flowed in, gun violence increased dramatically, and the innocent are being killed.”

Phillips said that the present-day leaders need to step up to the plate and stop burying their heads in the sand.

“At this time in our history, we should be more mature in our approach to solving problems.  Our elected politicians tend to ignore problems until they are completely unmanageable.  When the harmful consequences are publicised, then they tend to blame parents, the private sector, the Church, and even God for not doing enough, but they never blame themselves.”

And he said, if they do not act then Barbadians have to take a stand in the polls whenever the next elections are called.

“Watching the country being run this way is very frustrating – but it is the system that we must accept.  The only hope for Barbados is for voters to finally realise that both established parties have no actual solutions by the time the next general election is called, and to look for a competent alternative.  Solutions Barbados is that competent alternative.”

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