Yesterday I went to a friend’s house to pick mangoes. I got into a conversation with my friend’s neighbour and discovered he is a retired police armourer. He spends his days tending a small kitchen garden and reminiscing with any other retired law enforcement or military personnel about “the good old days”.
This man has a wealth of practical know-how and real life experience. He is a classic example of an abundance of skilled retirees who are allowed to waste their golden years without passing on their expensively-acquired skills. Instead we hire the most expensive foreign ‘experts’ and complain about the economy. Yet we ignore the plethora of skill sets available, just for the asking.
A number of senior citizens would happily share their skills, knowledge and wisdom, if we only ask. The Japanese have recognized the value of their senior citizens and are harnessing this power, passing it onto the youth. The interaction helps both generations, as the seniors get to mingle with youth and feel valued. The youth get much needed skills, knowledge, the benefit of avoiding pitfalls, while understanding that “foreign” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”.
I submit that should we ask nicely, and he agrees, this single retired armourer can teach scores -- or maybe hundreds – of young people to maintain and repair small arms and weapons systems for our various agencies that require them. Some can become civilian gunsmiths, including airgunsmiths. Some can be inserted into any civil defence programmes. And boy do we need those skills!
With national security units such as SUATT, SSA, the TT Police Service, TT Regiment, TT Coast Guard, TT Air Guard et al, those skills are currently in short supply and high demand. The Forensic Science Centre also assists the Police Armourer, sometimes because of the enormous workload.
The incoming National Security Minister can tap this most valuable of resources. Just remember to ask nicely.
Caribbean born husband, father. Trying to raise healthy family in an increasingly complex and unhealthy world. Would like to equip my children with old values and skills coupled with new technology so they can be prepared for whatever life throws at them.
Dealing with our country's predatory, archaic, colonial laws against individual rights to own and bear arms can be frustrating, especially when criminals can obtain illegal guns so easily. We love shooting, and air guns are easier to buy, own and maintain than firearms.
I invite you to participate in this blog, adding your contributions as often as you like.