AFRICANGLOBE – Following on the recent brutal slaying of 20 first-graders with an assault rifle in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama has called for ‘action’ on some level of gun control while those in the National Rifle Association (NRA) have increased their proactivity in defence of ‘Second Amendment rights.’
This push-back by the NRA and the rush to purchase assault rifles by the gun-crazy crowd in the USA could have a negative influence on Jamaica’s level of criminality. Put another way, an increase of guns in American households will equate to an increase of what I call the ‘effluent’ on the Jamaican streets.
One newer assault rifle purchased in some American city or suburb will, theoretically, free up an older model into the US underground from which it is likely to make its way into the Caribbean and into the hands of Jamaica’s criminal elements.
As a countermove, Jamaica’s mayors — those individuals closest to leadership of the communities — ought to come out in support of and express solidarity with American mayors who are leading the charge in some form of gun control. Indeed, I would suggest that Kingston Mayor Angela Brown Burke should take an active role in this process.
It may appear that such an approach could come across as empty wishing and hoping and not a tangible attack on the American gun-crazy crowd who see nothing wrong with one American household owning multiple assault rifles. In reality, we here in Jamaica have no real power to influence the gun lobby in any American city, but that small move by our local mayors would be better than nothing.
Jamaica’s health system spends about $2.2 billion per annum dealing with trauma/violent attacks, that is, cases where guns, knives and other implements are used. An excess of any more guns in the system brings about an increase of fear, the risk of additional injury and injury itself, attending to, treating and managing disabilities.
An excess of guns in Jamaica where we are not a part of the value chain in producing guns and ammunition will have a negative impact on tourism, local entertainment and, of course, it will increase the protective layer on Jamaica’s housing stock — that thing we call grille work.
Bear in mind that the gun is also used as a tool of power and not necessarily for shooting others. Think robbery and rape and one will have a better understanding.
President Obama will have a fight on his hands with the powerful NRA and the gun-crazy crowd in America. In Jamaica our leaders will be powerless to defend our shores from the expected influx of assault rifles arriving via the link between the American and the Jamaican underworld.
There is just too much shoreline and not enough resources (coast guard vessels, manpower) to deal with these important and pressing considerations. Our security forces should not fool themselves into believing that the recent rapid and illogical purchase of assault rifles in America will have no impact in Jamaica.
In other circles it’s called globalisation.
By; Mark Wignall