Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jamaican Guns

The Jamaica Observer printed a letter to the editor concerning the gun problem on the island.

Dear Editor,

Gun violence is all over Jamaica, every day, every month and every year. It is the main cause of homicide. Gun violence does not exist because we are naturally violent, or because we have a violent culture. It is there because of a long string of bad decisions made by individuals in the communities. When a citizen, young or old, male or female is struck down by a bullet, it is not because the person is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is because some way, somehow, the perpetrator is able to get a gun when the easy access should have been prevented.

For years, intelligence-gathering in Jamaica uncovered numerous sources or ways that guns arrived in Jamaica illegally – especially from the United States and Haiti. Efforts have been made to curtail the flow. But I believe that too many guns are on the island. Guns by themselves are useful tools in the right hands but they become deadly weapons or instruments in the wrong hands. Therefore, strong gun-control laws must be put in place to prevent guns from reaching the wrong hands.

Let us all try to have a peaceful and violence-free Christmas season.

Charlie Brown

Morant Bay, St Thomas

The man who wrote this letter was not necessarily an expert on guns or the gun flow problem on the island of Jamaica, but he seems to understand perfectly that easy access to firearms is the problem. I agree.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. "Gun violence does not exist because we are naturally violent, or because we have a violent culture."

    Hit the brakes! *screech!!*

    After witnessing Jamaica's treatment of gay people, I have to call BOVINE SCAT. They most definitely have a violent culture. One that makes America look like Disney World.

    If you could make every gun in Jamaica disappear, they'd still have rocks and sticks, all of which they gleefully employ against anyone even suspected of being a "batty bwoy" or "chi chi mon".

    If you ask me, Jamaica doesn't have enough guns. Especially in the hands of gay people. And considering the Jamaican police (oh those wonderful protectors lauded by gun banners around the world) turn a blind eye and sometimes even participate in the violence against gays, I think if a few armed gay people blew away a few Jamaican cops, Jamaica would be that much better.

    Now back to the matter at hand.

    Jamaica's problem is really no different than that of Chicago's. It's the people, not the guns. You curtail the flow of guns in one place, they'll just go to another place to get their guns. And ultimately, all the good gun owners will have to suffer the "curtailment" of guns because our government refuses to curtail the very knuckleheads that are the problem.

    So my solution for Jamaica is the same one I offer to the US. Lock them up. If the Jamaican government treated criminals as half as harshly as they treated gays, their crime would diminish by half.

  2. "Therefore, strong gun-control laws must be put in place to prevent guns from reaching the wrong hands."

    I was under the impression that Jamaica HAD "strong gun-control laws." What are those lows, and how should they be "stronger"?

  3. FishyJay, That's a good point. I'd heard there are strong gun control laws in Jamaica too, but I don't know really. It could be similar to Chicago, as AztecRed said. Strong laws but guns are coming in anyway.

  4. Strict gun control on an island and they still have a problem.......

    heh, kinda shoots holes in the whole argument that gun control promotes public safety and lowers crime rates.

  5. "Strict gun control on an island and they still have a problem.......," not unlike Chicago or New York. And just like those cities' gun crime doesn't disprove the necessity of gun control laws, neither do the laws of Jamaica.

  6. I waited before weighing in on this one.

    Jamaican guns are tied to the drug problem. Both commodities are smuggled in and out of Jamaica. That means there must be a logistical chain to do this feat.

    As one source said, the Mexican and Jamaican guns are tied to the drug trade. The volume going into Jamaica is less than that going into Mexico, but the source is the same: The US.

    I was curious about how the gun trafficking situation would be in Saint Vincent, which also grows a fair amount of Marijuana. Although, it seems that DEA says very little of Saint Vincent's marijauna ends up in the US.

    Since the US refuses to deal with its gun addiction, perhaps it can deal with its drug addiction. The US could end the war on drugs.

  7. Jamaican guns are tied to the drug problem.

    The same is true here in the U.S.