Guns!

Gun

Fighting the Covid 19 disease continues to soak up scarce financial and human resources in small Barbados. We should not forget before the pandemic impacted the globe, Barbados was struggling with managing the economy among other challenges. One of the other challenges is still with us – rising gun crime.

We learned recently of a shipment of at least 30 guns unlawfully exported to Barbados from the Georgia, USA. The blogmaster is willing to suggest the discovery of that shipment represents a ‘tip of the iceberg’ scenario if we assume managing our borders may not be done as efficiently as outlined in the text book. Unfortunately all issues in Barbados are distilled through political lens. It does not matter the political administration holding office, the problem of gun violence continues to rise. It seems we are helpless to solve it in much the same way we have been unable to fix the roads, bring order to the PSV sector, address perennial concerns of the Auditor General, produce audited financial statements of National Insurance Fund, waste to energy solutions/garbage solutions, discover alternative export income streams, make the public service fit for purpose, revamp health and education …

Social commentator Kammie Holder recently reminded us in a jingle – we are all in this together and it is important to say something if you see something. The blogmaster is not overly optimistic economic and Covid weary Barbadians are so minded .

See Something, Say Something Credit: Kammie Holder

21 comments

  • I was shocked to learn that the three prominent named carriers were accused of being the vehicles used for the transportation of guns and ammunition into Barbados. Why? Well for as long as I can remember every package, large or small, received by me were opened, inspected and resealed by customs. This includes, up to yesterday, an item ordered online from Amazon.com and packed into a box measuring 3.5×6.5×1.5 inches. It was opened on both ends and resealed. Maybe they were looking for 12 AK-47’s , 1,000 rounds of ammunition, night vision glasses, a silencer and telescope. As I said, this happens without fail and all shipments have been from reputable companies, not from some hob knob or unknown and untraceable personal address. OR, are packages known not to contravene the laws of Barbados the only ones to be inspected to prove that someone is doing their job?

    Time has long since gone when security cameras must be placed in critical areas of the airport, seaport and marinas!

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  • @FearPlay

    Your comment makes one pause to ask how deep does this go. The level of complicit behaviour appears to be mind boggling .

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  • Forget the notion this many guns are getting into the island unnoticed.

    Impossible, people in the right places are simply paid to look the other way. Just follow the money

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  • Kammie ++++++++++++++

    Thank you David for showing what Corporate Social Responsibility is about. I note with interest the selfishness of most companies who see their only role as to sponsor fetes but have not seen the same public show of support in helping the public in mitigating the fallout. #Shameful, where are the Simpson, Massy, Digicel, Flow, EMERA, Courtesy, Nassco, Insurance companies, Banks Brewery, Banks, Credit Unions etc.

    Really thought that companies and institutions in Barbados would have collectively set up a fund to offset vaccine cost for the masses who they depend on.

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  • The bells and whistles are there.
    So too is an on/off switch

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  • Barbadians are caught up in the latest 9 day wonder anyway, who care about guns with all the drama bending stuff going on!

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  • @David, a talk show host friend said to me Bajans only care about salacious gossip but not the things that disturb their wellbeing.

    It is suggested we call it the #DeadDogSyndrome for a dog is killed outside your home. You ignore the roadkill, only when it starts to smell, it bothers who you, then you expect, the taxpayers to remove it.

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  • @Kammie

    We have become shallow, social media of which BU is a part has significantly contributed to the dumming down as well.

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  • This Bajan does not engage in salacious gossip.

    This Bajan knows that it is not poor people who can afford to bring in guns and drugs.

    This Bajan knows that Barbados is too small for the police to be ignorant as to who is responsible.

    Therefore, this Bajan assumes that the “powers that be” are also well aware.

    What else should a reasonable person then assume?

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  • “Your comment makes one pause to ask how deep does this go. The level of complicit behaviour appears to be mind boggling”
    Now you are catching on. Why change is so difficult. It isn’t about rearranging the apples, it involves skinning over the whole fruit cart.

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  • The Bajans in power is selling the home land out. Give the essential workers a drug test randomly. Check the bank accounts to all workers who are in the position to inspect and even the bag handlers at the port of entry. Check the phone chats. You must also check the Millionaires who are from a different Country or Island and the people who were expelled from a foreign country back to Barbados.. I could definitely show my fellow country men how to do this. It’s not rocket science..

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  • Crime down, but gun smuggling a worry for cops

    By Carlos Atwell carlosatwell@nationnews.com

    The Royal Barbados Police Force is battling to stem the flow of firearms – including the large and powerful AK-47 assault rifle and the small but just as deadly .380 pistol – into the hands of criminal elements.
    Assistant Commissioner (crime) Sylvester Louis said while these weapons were still making their way into Barbados, he assured Barbadians that lawmen are on the case.
    While admitting he was still concerned about the overall number of firearms and the ammunition still getting into the island, Louis said both the crime rate and the number of firearms being seized by police were on the decrease and the police were utilising particular methods to try to get to the root of the problem.
    “As you know, the worldwide smuggling of firearms is part and parcel of organised crime. Naturally, we are a peaceful people and as such gun smuggling is the concern of everybody; not only us in the force but of all law-abiding citizens.
    ‘Not being outsmarted’
    “I want to emphatically state we are not being outsmarted. Of course, we have utilised various operational methods and techniques to combat this scourge although surely we cannot be expected to divulge our trade secrets. However, the citizens of this country can be assured that we are doing our job,” he said.
    The force’s research department, headed by assistant superintendent Mark White, provided some statistics concerning guns and crime last year in comparison with this year up to last month.
    They show the police had worked on more than 7 000 crimes last year and more than 3 000 so far this year. Lawmen have solved 62 per cent of cases in 2020 and 65 per cent so far this year. That still leaves thousands of unsolved cases – 2 699 in 2020 and 1 130 up to July 2021. However, Louis remained upbeat, saying crime was down 23 per cent, thanks to the hard work of the police force.
    The senior lawman declined to comment on the issue of the importation of guns, ammunition and drugs being done reportedly with help of officials in high places. Instead, he said it was the ordinary man on the street who was a vital partner in crime reduction.
    Very useful information
    “We are indeed proud of our citizens since they have been furnishing us with some very useful information. With respect to persons anonymously giving information, such as to entities like CrimeStoppers, I can safely say that that too can be placed in the affirmative section,” he said.
    A check with CrimeStoppers revealed the public has indeed been calling in tips regularly. A representative, who requested anonymity, said it had been constant.
    “People never stop calling about guns and drugs, in particular, though it tends to fluctuate, and something we try to study is why that happens though we haven’t come to a conclusion yet. During COVID, when we thought everyone was in lockdown, people were still calling in about people breaking curfew.
    “It is not something we want to boast about as we still have a culture where people think they shouldn’t ‘snitch’ but people haven’t stopped calling in,” the representative said.
    Louis wanted to make it clear the force was not slacking off and said that while crime was 24/7, so was the work of those tasked to curb it.
    “Our police officers are just like all of the other stakeholders who have been working around the clock to ensure that the safety of our people is not jeopardised even more so in these perilous times. The country can depend on us.
    “I want to ensure that the people of this country understand and are assured that we will protect them using all of our resources. Criminality will never be allowed to flourish in this beautiful country of ours,” he said.

    Source: Nation

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  • The flow of guns into Barbados and a relatively high murder rate is a recent phenomenon. Bajan on a whole are a peaceful people,therefore, the question is : Why is this happening? What has caused us to engage in this kind of self-destructive behaviour of late? A robust academic study by criminal anthropologist, Dr H. Gayle is needed to get at the root of this recent trend.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Jamaica’s gun violence and murders started in 70s over politics which then exploded into a full blown political turf war. Those grudges carried over when people from those warring neighborhoods migrated to the USA. They were the main culprits sending back guns to Jamaica to maintain the status quo. And though jamaican criminals have moved on from politics, the country has never recovered from its violent past.

    Barbados history has nothing resembling jamaica turbulent past, however, we are on a path of a similar destructive trend.

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  • @fortyacresandamule

    It seems the gansta culture is with us, probably triggered by drug related, music etc. should we now be doing studies ?

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  • @David. Yes we should. At this early juncture, a comprehensive evidence-based research is needed to get a clear and bigger picture of what is happening on the ground. Anectodal evidence while useful , is not good enough. Flyihg blind on this issue is not an option.

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  • We have added the dynamic of freedom of movement in the CSME region.

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  • Another study?

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  • A Commission of Inquiry.
    You hire the faithful to go around for a year “speaking wid de peeple”, plus hearings, and report back in a non-binding report which is 600+ pages, with 120 recommendations.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. That’s a very good point.

    @Donna. Yep. Call me stupid, but I am very curious about this subject matter at a very deep level. Dr Gayle did a very comprehensive ground breaking study on this matter in Belize some years ago. It was an eye opener for the government policy makers.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Violent crimes spread just like a disease in a society, and once become entrenched, it becomes next to impossible to eradicate.

    Like

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