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Please don’t tell me he has a gun

FeaturesPlease don’t tell me he has a gun

by Colin Hyde

Some supporters of the UDP leader are comparing his case with that of Mrs. Ruth Shoman, who was voted in as BNTU president. That’s a pretty big reach. The BNTU is no trivial body. The people the organization represents, teachers, are mighty. But the fact is, they are one of a dozen groups that make up our country. The BNTU is a private organization, the bargaining agent for teachers. It’s not our place to tell them who qualifies for leadership.

Despite BNTU business not being our direct concern, we have our right to think. And thinking we would have done a lot more of, if the lady had applied to be the treasurer.

Hmm, thinking about things that make you think, there’s this story on Channel Seven, say it ain’t so, that the UDP leader has a pistol, or has a license to have one. I’ll just say this. There are quite a few narratives out there, and if only one of them is true, this is a person who should be unhappy with anything associated with violence.

Guns do have their utility. All farmers need a shotgun, and the law that limits who can use a farmer’s shotgun is impractical. The US promotes gun sales because they manufacture guns and that group has a strong lobby. We don’t make guns. We use foreign exchange to purchase those. The farmer and all his sons and daughters shouldn’t each have to buy a shotgun. Make sense of that law.

Say it ain’t so that the city dweller gentleman applied for a gun license. And if he did, we have to ask what our GoB was thinking to sign off on it. I hear the UDP that reportedly gave the former gangsta rappa the license, has said that this GoB has made selling gun licenses a new growth industry. Well, that must be something else the PUP has copied from the UDP.

The British didn’t “raise” us on guns. That’s an American import, and they in that country are raving mad to put profit over life. Forget all the talk about their history. 2023 is not 1773! As for the present formula, we have to solve our violence problem; licensing guns to counter illegal ones, that will see us ending up having to implement the El Salvador solution. There are far more practical ways to skin that cat. And I’ll leave that at that.

The blot on Mrs. Ruth Shoman

It is a fact that many Belizeans, me too, are impressed with Mrs. Ruth’s intellect and knowledge. Those two attributes are under the brightest light when people are choosing their leaders. In the world of leadership, there is also the matter of character, and there’s where a question came up about the lady’s capacity to lead.

It should be noted that the matter here is leadership of a teachers’ union, a wholly local affair that is teachers’ business. If we want to make a stretch, it is true that leading the BNTU could be a stepping stone to greater things. From the outside, former BNTU prez, Luke Palacio, didn’t lead the PUP in Toledo East because Mike Espat was in his way. Ms. Elena’s stint at the top of the BNTU is a plus if she has her mind on greater things.

The blot on Mrs. Ruth is that, according to the records, when she was a young girl she allegedly took money, a large sum from some very wealthy people. She reportedly signed a document acknowledging that she had taken the money. I understand why some teachers question her credentials. If I were a teacher, before I gave her my vote I’d have asked her to tell me why, give me some details about her failure.

Was she under the spell of a young man? I tell you, many a young person has been victim of that love thing. Maybe that’s why the ancients say it’s an arrow to the heart. Now, who can function right with that body part pierced?

Is she a kleptomaniac? Now, that is a fascinating mental glitch. Why would a millionaire C&W girl go into shoplifting sachiz or cheese? How about the college quarterback who was months away from a mega millions contract, and he went into a mall and stole crayfish so he and his buddies could have a feast? I suspect that kind of people do it for kicks. They lie in bed, bored to death, and then they think of how to spice up their life. And what comes to mind is how to teef and not get kech.

People deserve every opportunity to explain. Ah, we’ve heard of innocent people who went to the gallows rather than tell. Well, that’s a choice.

All of us come short of the glory. Some of us have minor sins. Have you ever swallowed the last drink from the water bottle in the frij and not refilled it? You know you are a criminally lazy konks! Have you ever taken a bigger slice of the pie than you should have? I bet you’ve been tempted. Circumstances are important. Ah, it is the reality that the higher you climb, the more perfect you have to be, and that’s because people are following and they need the best example, from your words and deeds.

How deep is the split in the BNTU?

In the recently held election for BNTU leadership, Mrs. Ruth got 356 votes, Ms. Efeyemi got 226 votes, and Mr. Martinez got 71 votes. Shortly after the vote, Mrs. Ruth, a former top wig in the organization, tendered her resignation because a group within the BNTU said she was unfit to hold the highest office. Okay, we know what that was all about. The BNTU settled matters behind closed doors, and the president-elect who had just stepped down is now back in line for the saddle. Serious, sincere Belizeans everywhere wish the BNTU well, because they have been such a force for good in our country. They have their issues that don’t concern us ataal, but on national issues they stand tall…especially since Brother Jerry Enriquez demanded that dehn get serious about protect fu we back.

Beefs generally aren’t wished away, not if the issues are deep. We don’t know the extent of the anxiety in the BNTU over Mrs. Ruth becoming president. Was the matter that caused the disgruntlement unearthed after the ballots were cast? If it was, would teachers have been influenced to change their vote?

If the difference on the matter is irreconcilable, we could end up with two teachers’ unions. That might not look too right, but practically there is no entirely bad thing under the sun. A split, two teachers’ unions, if that came about they could still stand together on important national issues for us, and it wouldn’t weaken them on the important bargaining for pay and benefits.

Aha, it could open up serious discussions on other fronts. One of those necessary talks could have taken place last week. We know teachers put in a lot of work during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the fact is that our children and youth got left behind. Rudolph A. Neal would have won a lot of points all across this land if he had stepped up for “no” Teachers’ Day for five years, to help our young people catch up with their lessons.

Okay, maybe my championing such a decision is just sourness on my part, on seeing young people out of school. I have said there’s no more enjoyable holiday than when you’re off and all others are sweating by their brows. I do not recall any Teachers’ Day when I was growing up. This generation of children and youth, they have all the luck. Hey, I bet retired teachers noh happy with Teachers’ Day either. Een a di old days dehn neva get none. And they all had to go to mass on Sunday.

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