Every young man is a gunslinger
Stabroek News
May 24, 2002

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Dear Editor,

A long time ago, the Mighty Sparrow sang a calypso entitled "Gunslingers". The lyrics included the following: "...Every young man nowadays is a gunslinger... Doan mind they dress in suit and bow-tie, all o'them lookin' fo' guns to buy". The foregoing is indicative of what is fast becoming the norm in some sections of our society today and was recalled having recently witnessed an altercation between a 14-year old and a 15-year old.

It started out with the usual loud voices and 'cuss' words (I daresay to attract an audience). Then, as things heated up, each acquired a 'one by four' to reinforce his position. Suddenly the younger one pulled a 5in. (or was it 4 ins.) knife from his pocket and started to advance with it. In response, the older one took from his pocket what appeared to be a revolver. The altercation immediately ended as the knife-wielder turned and ran for his life. The older one then had a laugh with one of the onlookers by reassuring all present that the 'revolver' was in fact a toy!

One question and one observation. The question: What would have happened if the 'revolver' was as real as the knife was? The observation: Guyana shares an open border with a country wherein is located one of the most prolific manufacturers of quality small arms in the world!

One final comment: I was around during the racial disturbances of the sixties. Then, it took eight, ten even twenty persons using sticks and cutlasses to kill one person. It would be a completely different story if similar disturbances were to take place today! We can vicariously experience racial conflagrations by looking at CNN or the BBC. The high level of emigration and the scourge of AIDS are already taking care of "excesses" in our population. Surely the country doesn't need other "help"!

Yours faithfully,

C.E. Housty