Rowley: Kamla’s “light them up” statement was reckless and irresponsible

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Rowley: Kamla’s “light them up” statement was reckless and irresponsible

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has described as “reckless and irresponsible,” the Opposition Leader’s recent statement, in which she urged victims of home invasions to “light up” the criminals.

Rowley in an Express interview, said flooding the country with weapons and telling citizens to “light them up” was not an answer to crime.

During the UNC’s Monday Night Forum, Persad-Bissessar said that her party, once back in power, will bring “stand your ground” legislation, “so when the criminals invade your home, draw your licensed firearm and light them up! Empty the whole clip! Reload! Fight fire with fire!”.

Rowley said the statement was reckless and irresponsible, and unbecoming of someone whose singular aspiration is to become the head of the government.

“The UNC interprets home invasion crimes as happening only to one group. The conversations which appear to be coming from the bowels of the UNC and reflected in the tone on the UNC platform is not that the country is facing an onslaught by a determined criminal element, but that only one demographic is involved in the criminality.

“In that scenario the Opposition Leader sees an opportunity to ­incite her political base by stoking anger and promising ‘guns for all’ and a crime policy that says ‘shoot first, ask questions later’.

“The solution to our crime problems was a state of emergency when they were in government. I notice that they are not saying that now since we all know where that got us.

“The latest quick fix brainwave is ‘I will give everybody guns and you will stand your ground’. It goes further into unwarranted election hysteria with instructions to ‘light them up’.

“Even the jargon of the gang leaders have now entered the platform performances, with further instructions to ‘empty the clip and reload’.”

Rowley told the media house: “Yes, we have a serious crime problem that we are consistently tackling at many levels, but does that say that we should convert the whole country into the Wild Wild West where one’s survival is dependent on who can shoot faster, who aims first and who can afford an FUL? I’m sure it is not the desire of the thinking population that we all become Frank and Jesse James or a star in a Clint Eastwood movie?

“As an acceptable national policy, we should continue to support and build effective policing in order to guarantee safety and security to the population at large.

He added: “A ‘well oiled criminal enterprise’ dishing out Firearm User’s Licences at $40,000 to $100,000 per FUL is not a solution. It simply provides enrichment for a few and has the very real potential of replacing one persistent problem with a permanent one that may be even more destructive towards the end. The answer is not giving out guns and emptying the clip.”

The Prime Minister stressed there were already laws which provide for any and every citizen to protect their home and that includes getting an FUL consistent with that.

He also noted the UNC was filing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests asking for information along racial lines and a “supporting pundit” filing to ask how many instances of crime involve Africans attacking Indians.

He said Persad-Bissessar was desperate to be in office “so that she could bail out her carnival of thieves and other tawdry aspiring criminals”.