Monday, June 22, 2009

Gun Flow into Jamaica

The Miami Herald reports on the latest problem the American gun market is causing.

Ships from Miami steam into Jamaica's main harbor loaded with TV sets and blue jeans. But some of the most popular U.S. imports never appear on the manifests: handguns, rifles and bullets that stoke one of the world's highest murder rates.

The volume is much less than the flow of U.S. guns into Mexico that end up in the hands of drug cartels - Jamaican authorities recover fewer than 1,000 firearms a year. But of those whose origin can be traced, 80 percent come from the U.S., Jamaican law enforcement officials have said in interviews with The Associated Press.

When we discussed the flow into Mexico, the suggestion that 90% of the weapons came from the U.S., was hotly contested. It turned out that figure came from the ATF themselves. What do you think about this 80% idea, that the U.S. is the source of 80% of the Jamaican guns? Does that sound reasonable?

I still like what one of our favorite commenters said last time about Mexico. FatWhiteMan said who cares what happens down there. I suppose this could apply even more to Jamaica. Certainly, we're all more concerned what's happening in the States, in our inner cities especially. But, on the other hand, is this the kind of reputation we want for our country. It used to be "The land of the free and the home of the brave." Now, what would we call it?

What's your opinion? Should we be concerned with Mexico and Jamaica when we can't even get our own situation in order? Or is it all part of the same problem?

Please leave a comment.


  1. You might want to do some research of your own about the history of violence in Jamaica Mike.

    Let's just say it's not any recent "gun flow" from the U.S. that's causing problems.

    Jamaica has had a violence problem for decades. I'm talking violent crime in Kingston that makes most of America look good. They also have VERY strict gun control, the kind you yearn for here in the States.

  2. "But of those whose origin can be traced,"

    Always the qualifier is ignored.

    So MikeB, do you believe that the mere possession of a gun causes one to commit crimes?

  3. Mike, I think you know me--I don't care what happens in Jamaica any more than I care what happens in Mexico or any other country for that matter. Mexico and Jamaica both have strict gun control and yet criminals still break those laws there.

    Rather or not these guns came from a U.S. WalMart doesn't matter. 100% of guns could come from the U.S. and it still wouldn't change the fact that smugglers broke laws in both countries and restricting U.S. citizens because criminals break laws in some third world cesspool is preposterous.

    Because other countries suck doesn't mean we in the U.S. should change our laws so that we can suck too.

  4. Jamaica - a place I know quite well - undoubtedly has a history of violent crime - much linked to being a conduit for drugs exports from Latin America to USA/Europe.

    I do care about what happens there - too many innocents ending up dead in the crossfire (sometimes literally). Jamaica is staggeringly beautiful if not fouled up by drugs, criminality and poverty.

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    (John Donne)

  5. Guns are the least of Jamaica's problems.

  6. Does "guns are the least" of their problems, mean that we have to stop focusing on the guns and look more at the criminals? Is it the same thing many of you guys say about the U.S.?

    I agree with that idea, I never disputed that we need to do much with education and other means of addressing the social problems, but doesn't it make sense to not flood such flawed societies with guns?

    Just because you personally like guns and don't want to be inconvenienced, can't you see that since not everyone is as responsible as you, allowing the gun availability to be as easy as it is, is a big part of the problem?

  7. So should all computer users be punished because some are 'irresponsible' w/ them?

    Should people be held accountable for their own actions?

  8. "but doesn't it make sense to not flood such flawed societies with guns?"

    What would you have Jamaica do Mike? They've already achieved the "Holy Grail" of Gun Control. That is, they've banned civilian possession of firearms.

    What more gun control do you want for them?

    This is a classic example of your "Do it again only HARDER" mentality. Gun Control has been an abject failure in Jamaica. Now, you're blaming other countries for that failure and asking them to implement the same failed policies.

    That Mike, is the very definition of insanity.

  9. Mike W., That's a good point. But, the claim that we want to do it again but only harder is not really accurate. I think we want to do it differently and better.

  10. What's 'different' and 'better' then?

  11. What do you want to do "differently?" Your end goal is, and always has been the disarmament of the civilian population.