A proliferation of guns is not the answer
Stabroek News
October 23, 2001

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Dear Editor,

I refer to Mr. P Singh's letter captioned "Criminals prefer more powerful weapons" (20.l0.2001). Mr. Singh asserts a small number of weapons are obtained from the citizens licensed to have them. Mr. Singh also stated that criminals get their weapons from some illegal arsenal but did not elaborate. My question remains, where did the illegal arsenal get their weapons from? Surely these depots will have to get their weapons from a source that at one time is/was legally permitted to procure and disseminate them, which again proves the point that criminals will always get their weapons from a legal source.

Permit me again to reiterate there are moral, social, legal, political, as well as racial ramifications pertaining to the actual use of the weapon in self-defense. My choice of the case involving a former police officer, who lost his weapon is an excellent one to prove the point that if someone as trained and experienced as a police officer, can get their gun taken certainly the average licensed gun holder can as well. The ex-officer's actions must be harshly scrutinized and evaluated in order for all to glean every bit of knowledge so that incidents like these do not occur, as well as provide information to prevent such situations from occurring again.

These questions remain unanswered: Where is the ex-officer's weapon now? If the proliferation of guns in certain states in the US does not contain nor deter crimes, why is this policy going to succeed in Guyana? And to add another question; How many more crimes have been or are being committed by these weapons taken from the so-called small man.

Should the use of weapons be carefully scrutinized, the results will show that the so-called low powered caliber weapons are responsible for more deaths than higher caliber weapons. The reasons are many, these low caliber weapons are lightweight, more manageable, to name a few and therefore, more accurate than the heavier calibers as the 9 mm, 10 mm and the .38, .357 etc etc.

Finally, Mr. Singh, I know from experience that I'm fighting a losing battle, eventually there will be a proliferation of guns in the streets of Guyana. However, until then, I will continue to battle against it for the life of the country. Guns are made for one purpose, to kill, and therefore nothing about having a gun is defensive. Guns are not the answer, it never was and it never will be.

Yours faithfully,

Medrick Yhap MBA

Editor's note

It is widely believed that guns are smuggled in to the country., This will account for some of the weapons in the hands of criminals.