Put down the gun, the Prime Minister has pleaded to the youth, as the murder rate climbs to unprecedented levels so far this year
Declaring that the use of guns does not allow those involved to live to see another day, Mottley said that many were simply giving into peer pressure.
“Twenty, thirty years ago, two fellas get in a fight they go for a 2 x 3 and hit one another or they cuff one another … they might even try to stab one another. The chances of recovery are far greater than a semi-automatic gun. It is the 15 seconds that comes from the notion that I have been disrespected or that I am offended.
“It is that response in the first 15 seconds that determines where next a person goes and part of the difficulty that we have is that there are too many stories of people being egged on by their peers not fully appreciating the consequences of their actions until it is too late,” the Prime Minister said.
Mottley was speaking in support of an amendment to the Bail Act, now before lawmakers. She said that there seems to be little respect and regard for human life; and that once that trigger is pulled there is no turning back.
“This is not a cartoon. This is not a video game. Within our communities there are too many stories with young people regretting their actions because a gun does not leave a margin of error. There is no buffer for error with a gun. There might be with a violent temper and 2 x 3; there might be with a violent temper and a fist; there might be with a violent temper and a big rock.”
Drawing on her experiences as a practising lawyer, Mottley dispelled the belief that those who face serious criminal charges are happy when reality sets in.
“More often than not those behind the bars are crying after the act they are not celebrating. No matter the notion that they may appear to be more attractive it don’t go so. All the fancy talk the majority of people I know with whom I have interacted as a criminal lawyer were not in any way happy or celebrating.
“The only people I know celebrate the deprivation of liberty and hardship are people who are sociopaths.”
While acknowledging that Government would do all in its power to wrestle the crime scourge to the ground, she appealed to all Barbadians to do their part.
“Our duty lies within our families, our schools, our communities, our work place, our shops and in our places of entertainment . . . . Our responsibility is to make what they see and hear different. We must let them know that there is a better way, and that they must take that better way.”