31 October, 2009

Another negligent discharge

Back in July, I observed that members of the protective services routinely muzzle sweep each other, along with civilians. One IATF officer shot himself in the toe while on patrol in a densely populated area of the capital city. I warned that these armed persons were a potential menace. Another member of the public was ‘accidentally’ shot while holding his five-year-old daughter on the roadside, while waiting to cross the street.

From the report, it seems like a police vehicle on patrol was involved. This occurred at a busy intersection, at Charlotte and Duke Streets, in Port of Spain. 

28 October, 2009

In Canada 0.15% of firearms applications refused!

Major General Cameron Ross (ret.)

Since we have a penchant for following developed countries wholesale: 

Canadians renew their firearms licences once every five years. And the application process is simple, and well thought out. No opportunities for corruption. The first quarter of 2009 saw only 0.15% of applications refused.

In other words, Canadians have a 99.85% firearms application approval rate.

Contrast that to our roughly 95% refusal rate for citizens. 

Did Canadian Maj. Gen Cameron Ross (ret.) suggest increasing the firearms approval rate, as one of the 300 recommendations to National Security minister Martin Joseph? If not, then why not? After all it works (and pays) in Canada!

26 October, 2009

15 guns stolen from security firm

“In all, 13 nine millimetre pistols, one .357 handgun and a shotgun were taken. They were all fully loaded, police said.”

One man was reportedly dressed in police uniform. It makes security sense now to never open your door to anyone in police uniform. Better to have them talk to you through a closed door, or have them display their identification first. You can ask them to slide it under your door, while you confirm with the local police station on the phone.

The MI5 security company is at 40 Alfredo Street, Woodbrook.

Spent yesterday evening plinking at some bottles and other assorted objects with one of my sons. Ah, the joys of fatherhood.

20 October, 2009

Prisoner killed in front court; police flee

A prisoner was shot to death while being escorted by two police officers from court, yesterday. Sounds more like Colombia than Trinidad and Tobago. The two killers were highly motivated and confident, as the heavy police presence at the court didn’t deter them.

Garcia had no chance to defend himself, and no one to defend him.
The police constables escorting him to the police station next door released their prisoner and ran after the first gunshot.

The policemen who responded to the shooting came long after the suspects were gone.”

“The killers used Uzi submachine guns. They fired on the police station before leaving. And despite a response that involved multiple search teams, tracker dogs, road blocks, and a helicopter hunt, the suspects vanished.”

And you thought the police were here “TO PROTECT and serve with pride”. If an accused person, in police custody, is not secure, then what about the rest of the population? It seems everyone’s fair game for the predators.

It would be interesting to see what this event does to public/police mistrust.

16 October, 2009

Beetham Gardens residents protest

“…residents setting alight anything they could drag on to the roadway.”
“…massive pile-up along the highway as two of the three lanes of the highway, near the beginning of the Beetham berm, were impassable.”

“…caused commuters in Port of Spain and at the City Gate hub to spend longer periods on maxi-taxi and taxi stands waiting for transport to take them to their eastern and southern homes.
At one stage, residents also threw rocks, pieces of bricks and debris at passing vehicles on both transit sides of their homes.”

Re-read that last line. 

Ostensibly, the cause of this disturbance was a controversial police shootout with four men, linked by police to a murder earlier on that evening. Police killed two men during the shooting.

The residents of Beetham Estate can block the three main arteries (Eastern Main Road, Priority Bus Route and Beetham Highway) out of/in to Port of Spain, our capital city. This is cause for concern, as tens of thousands are potentially affected by this action. If they can sustain this action over several days, then, in theory, much of the nation’s productivity will be brought to a halt.

The police response was swift and decisive this time. Maybe the cameras on the Beetham Highway helped provide timely intelligence. 

07 October, 2009

Foreigners granted more gun licenses than locals

- National Security Minister Martin Joseph in the Senate yesterday in response to a question filed by Opposition Senator Lyndira Oudit.

These figures are a disgusting indictment on government crime prevention policy. So far, we have had over 400 murders this year. With almost 42,000 firearms applications, just over 2,000 were granted. Which means 40,000 persons who undertook the onerous steps to apply, have been refused the opportunity to own a firearm.

Yet, each successive Police Commissioner has appealed for co-operation from the public in fighting ever-escalating crime levels. Co-operation is a two-way street. We, average law-abiding citizens, would like to answer the call for help from the Police Commissioner, but must we confront armed criminals empty-handed? We need “teeth”, not just lip service. Teeth, in the form of guns.

We missed out on 40,000 opportunities to confront the crime menace in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, places of worship and recreation. If criminals know that there are only 2,000 firearms holders (granted, between 2002-2008), then this emboldens them. If they were treated to the news that there are 42,000 new firearms owners, then it would certainly give them pause. Perhaps it may even encourage them to seek other vocations.

A nation of 1.3 million, yet only 2,000 Firearms User’s Licenses (FUL) granted in an eight-year period. Shame. Of the 215 people granted firearm users licences this year, 144, or 67% are foreigners! This is insane! Two thirds of FULs granted are to foreigners! What does that mean with regard to patriotism? I doubt that any developed country will grant foreigners 67% of gun ownership versus 33% local. No mainstream media has yet picked up on this.

On a related issue, the police must treat legit gun owners with respect, not envy. Don’t envy a man (or woman) just because they are allowed to carry a gun in their private lives and you aren’t. There are numerous stories circulating amongst gun owners of police officers hatching plots to have the gun owner stripped of his/her weapon. Stories circulate of really elaborate plots, some even involving station serjeants.


Camp Ogden is the TT Defence Force Headquarters (Regiment) of the First Battalion. 

01 October, 2009

Hunting season opens today

Today, October 1 is the official opening of the hunting season. Season closes February 28, 2010.

Safe hunting, have fun and good luck to all hunters.

A few quick reminders:

Agouti, deer, lappe, tatou, wild hog, lizards (iguana, matte, caiman), cage birds and waterfowl cab be hunted. Waterfowl can only be hunted from Nov 1 – Feb 28.

Protected species: monkey, ocelot, anteater, scarlet ibis, pelican.

No hunting in game sanctuaries.

Hunting in forest reserves only 5:30am – 7:30pm.

No artificial lights while hunting in forest reserves.

Every member of a hunting party must possess a state game licence.

Read Chap 67:01, Conservation of Wildlife Act (1963).
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