Home News Guyana has to take a serious look at its gun laws
A recent story involving the slaying of a young man in the prime of his youth caught my attention, and for salient reasons, I have decided to write on this matter.
The story is reported that the two teenagers were friends, and one was called for a sleepover at his friend’s house. While there, it is alleged, the friend breached the lock of his parents’ safe, took out the gun, and “accidentally” shot the other to his head; the victim later died of his wounds.
I immediately began to grieve with the sorrowing mother of the dead teen, knowing that a young, promising life has been lost, cut down in such a senseless way. But as much as I was sorrowful, my sorrow quickly turned to anger as I questioningly began to put together the pieces of this story.
Now, there are many troubling aspects to this episode, and the first thing that comes to mind is: Why would two teenage friends, who ought to be down in their books battling with their SBA, be taken up with such a dangerous weapon?
Why, instead of devoting their time and energy to studying, were these two fiddling around with a dangerous weapon? Again, why? It just boggles the mind to think this was their preoccupation.
Secondly, where were the seniors in that house? What about the “responsible” adult members of the household? I am talking about the owner of the weapon: How responsible was he or she, knowing fully well that there are teenage boys present in the home, and leaving them unsupervised is simply asking for trouble?
As reported, was this gun properly secured, if at all? And could we get the authenticated report of the investigating officers to corroborate that claim?
Further, was this gun a legally acquired weapon, and was it currently registered? These are pointed questions that deserve sensible answers. Was this gun ever in any illegal activity prior to this incident? Is there a report of these teens ever in possession of this weapon? If so, why and for what purpose were they in possession of the weapon?
I am more inclined to treat this story with a lot of suspicion. If believable answers to my questions are not forthcoming, then that owner should cease being the owner of a firearm. We need licensed firearm holders to be careful and responsible people at all times.
Turning to the accused, I would ask: Were the teens ever at loggerheads with each other, and was it ever mentioned of settling the score with the use of a weapon, in this case a gun? I am talking about a dispute over a girlfriend: Was there ever trouble brewing over a girlfriend? Because the shooter friend went straight for the victim’s head, which is an indication that some malice or some level of hate was involved.
This was not a scene where teenagers were experimenting with a weapon found, or playing around with a parent’s gun; this was a situation where his aim was directed at a specific target. He did not aim for his friend’s hand or foot, he went straight for his head, which tells that he wanted to maim or permanently disable him. I would grill the daylight out of him to get down to the bottom of it.
A life has been lost, and this is in no way a joke. Too many lives have been lost in our country due to the cavalier actions of some gun- toting fool, and no significant action has been taken against the perpetrator. In fact, gun crimes are at an all-time high, and something has to be done about it. Government, Opposition, civil society as well as the respective authorities have to wake up to the call and put measures in place to arrest the upsurge.
I have posed these questions to you because gun crimes have been a bugbear for too long now. Too many lives have been lost as a result of this scourge, and immediate severe solutions need to be put in place to deal with it.