27 May, 2010

Untapped human resources

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.


  1. Hi , i am also a Air rifle enthusiast, and own a 350 magnum air-rifle, however have not been able to make any online contacts or runs to Chaguramas regarding shooting clubs, so its been the bush practice for me, which i would like to up it and get involved seriously,
    in addition I have a quick question the legislation says you cant discharge a firearm with in 40m of a public road.
    but it also says it's not a firearm or air weapon "of or below .177 calibre, unless the barrel thereof is rifled. So if one were to acquire a .177 air pistol am i correct in saying this would be legal as it does fall in the .177 category is not a firearm and is not rifled?? Please give me you take on this?

  2. Kharis, this issue is unresolved. It usually is up to the discretion of any police officers involved. The truth is you can be arrested for breaching that law, even with an airgun.

    The case will usually be thrown out by the magistrate though. However, you would have been inconvenienced and expensed, during this sham.

    It's better if you shoot within legal limits. Don't give the police ANY excuse to raid your home. If you aren't already a firearm owner and you may want to be one someday, it (the raid) will work against you.

    Stay legal and have safe fun.

  3. I don't think you should take risk shooting so close to the road even though an Air rifle is not classed as a Firearm. Also you have to look out for your "friendly" neighbours who might not be so educated and see you with this "SNIPER Rifle" with scope and calls the police and then as "Trini Airguns" mentioned.

    As for the Air pistol, I believe you need to get a Firearms Users License for this,as most modern air pistols resembles actual firearms.

    Just my 2 cents.


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