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Baron hits back at ‘negative’ Daniels

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Senator Marc Daniels (File photo by Mark Tatem

One Bermuda Alliance Senator Jeff Baron has hit back at an opinion column by Progressive Labour Party Senator Marc Daniels focusing on gun and gang violence.

Mr Baron criticised the piece — which highlighted comments he made about antisocial behaviour — during the motion to adjourn in the Senate Chamber yesterday.

The article by Mr Daniels, who was absent from the Chamber yesterday and last week, was published by The Royal Gazette yesterday.

Mr Daniels wrote: “One Bermuda Alliance Senator and Junior Minister of National Security, Jeff Baron, stated that in his view, ‘we are stronger than any gangs, stronger than any sub-communities, stronger than any root causes’. While I accept that the Senator’s contribution is filled with good intentions, I humbly think that these remarks demonstrate a complete disconnect from reality and our society’s problems.”

Senator Baron said his own comments had been met with “a tremendous amount of feedback”.

“Senator Daniels’s opinion piece misses the mark, largely,” he said. “My question is, where is he?”, referring to his absence from the House.

“I’m not being sanctimonious,” Mr Baron went on. “But I take exception to Senator Daniels’s personal attack when he is not here.

“I did say to Bermuda we are stronger than the gangs and the subculture and communities of gangs.

“Senator Daniels says the community cannot win the war because we’re not on a level playing field economically. I reject that roundly.

“I reject any notion that any community cannot be as safe as some of our safer communities, because they are richer.

“That is such a negative and fatalistic way of looking at things.

“I say that from a place of experience,” explaining that he had spent “real time” with the families and friends of people who had died as a result of gun violence.

“My simple message is, if you’d like to debate these things, do so in this Chamber,” Mr Baron said.

“I am not a politician by Facebook or social media.”

OBA Senator Michael Fahy supported Mr Baron, and said he took particular issue with Mr Daniels using the term “genocide” in his piece.

Mr Daniels wrote: “We have a very serious choice to make as a country.

“We can continue to stick our heads in the sand. We can continue to find slogans. We can continue to watch the genocide.

“Or we can actively engage with those on the front lines who are disenfranchised and excluded from society.”

Mr Fahy said: “It is not genocide. I’m offended by it. I am sad that Senator Daniels is not here to debate it.”

OBA Senator Jeff Baron (File photo)