Another three weeks to finish 2022 and the murder on the weekend pushes the year to date recorded number of murders to 41 which equals 2020. The state of violent crime in Barbados in recent years brings the 48 murders recorded in 2019 into play. Of deep concern to the blogmaster is the inability of the leadership in the country to effectively address the problem.
Last week the blogmaster read about 140 murders recorded by The Bahamas and it is no secret Jamaica has been declaring state of emergencies as a measure to arrest the murder rate for over 50 years. The outlook does not look good for Barbados that we will be able to reduce the murder rate using regional trending as the basis of conclusion.
The scourge of drugs is generally accepted as feeding criminal activity in Barbados – specifically gun crime. Further, we have the untouchables operating in the shadows of society who pass as upright citizens responsible for financing the importation of drugs and guns. The blogmaster is sure, very sure there is collusion between various actors in the first, second and third sectors of Barbados. For some reason a video of then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley posing with certain characters come to mind. What are we doing?
There has been another school mass shooting in the US. Since the US has politicised this issue, it is foreseen that there will be many more school mass shootings. When a problem becomes politicised, the solution is not normally determined by reason, but by what is politically expedient – which tends to be the worst possible solution.
For generations around the world, it was accepted that children fully transitioned into adulthood at 21. There were individual exceptions, but to protect the public, governments generally did not give children adult responsibilities until they reached 21.
Our primary school age children may think that they are ready for adult responsibilities. But most parents know that their 18-year-olds are not fully ready for the liabilities of adulthood – they are transitioning. Parents are responsible for managing this transition by introducing their children to age-appropriate responsibilities, and not forcing them to prematurely accept adult liabilities.
The transition into adulthood for most, was found to start at 18 years. Therefore, in the US, you could marry at 18, since you only risked harming a few people. However, if you wanted to vote, or own a gun, then you had to be 21. There were exceptional circumstances when governments entrusted adult responsibilities to their 18-year-olds. That was normally during times of war, when they were drafted into the military, whether they wanted to go or not.
Politicians trying to exploit situations to attain or maintain power, decided that our children should be allowed to vote, and own guns. They reasoned that if they could fight in wars, then they could vote – and own guns. They conveniently ignored the fact that being compelled to fight in a war is temporary, while establishing rights to vote and own guns is permanent.
NEW RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN.
In 1968, US Politicians gave 18-year-olds the constitutional right to purchase guns (Gun Control Act, 1968). After this, the wave of school mass shootings in the US commenced. These mass shootings were mostly done by boys under the age of 21. The solution seems obvious, raise the age to legally own a gun back to 21. But that would mean acknowledging that the political experiment to legally make children adults at 18 had failed.
In 1971, US Politicians gave 18-year-olds the constitutional right to vote. They convinced children that they were emotionally mature enough to make adult decisions. They are not, but politicians will always try to exploit any group to attain or maintain power. That is who they are, and that is what they do.
Teenagers of the 1970s generally had more formal education than their parents. Politicians exploited the rebellious phase that teenagers normally experienced, by deceiving them that they did not need to follow the old-fashioned conservative ways of their parents – including their voting preferences.
Politicians also manipulated popular youth to influence their peers on what political positions were outdated, and which were trendy. That deception continues to this day.
If we accept that children fully transition into adults at 18, then they should not be discriminated against in being given adult responsibilities and liabilities, based solely on their age – including owning guns. But to maintain political power, politicians cannot return to the sanity of accepting that most children do not fully transition to adulthood until the age of 21.
The desire to deceive immature youth to vote for their political party, is more important than stopping the carnage of school mass shootings. Many US politicians are so utterly shameless, that they consistently use every school shooting, that is a consequence of their own short-sighted policies, to convince people to vote for their political party.
BARBADOS THE FOLLOWER.
In Barbados, we want to follow the US in their insane political folly. We want to manipulate our children into becoming politically active. We want our children to be our Senators, reviewing and approving complex legislation that can harm us all.
They have forgotten that the one constant about children is that they are inexperienced. Our politicians have forgotten that the Senate is a place where our most experienced and knowledgeable citizens should serve – not our least experienced. By forcing our children to prematurely become politically active, we are doing them, and the public, a grave disservice.
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 .
I had the privilege years ago, to live in The United States. Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. I got to know Washington DC like it was my home in Toronto, Canada. A beautiful county indeed. What makes America so special is its amazingly creative and humble citizens. I have many good friends in your homeland.
I am writing to you because of this concern for my friends and the Americans who will become my friends in the future. You have a problem that needs to be dealt with now while you are at the beginning of your administration. Guns, Gun Violence and Political Hooliganism.
Some day Canada will be part of America. We are already allies, partners and friends socially, economically and culturally. Many Canadians given the chance would become citizens of your fair land. We need to protect these people too. The future of America rests upon your shoulders.
America is at war with itself. The second amendment has become the pivotal point of this war just like slavery was so many years ago. The personal freedoms of your fellow citizens have challenged their own security and well being. Like children they FEAR the possible loss of their toys (weapons) and the freedom to use them. The Republican Party is playing upon these fears. There is no group in America more infantile, insecure and corrupt.
American laws have been passed to protect gun ownership, allowances made so registered owners can carry these arms out into society as though they carry water guns. As a Canadian it shocks me seeing people walking around with weapons of mass destruction so freely. Now I used this term “weapons of mass destruction” with purpose Sir. I grew up around weapons, learning to shoot when I was 8 years old. Hunting before my 12th birthday. My father taught me of the great responsibility required to own or use a weapon. Whether shot gun, pistol or rifle these are all tools of death.
The second amendment calls for “regulated militia’s”. Where is the regulation Sir? Years ago I visited friends in America and was taken to a school where I found tables upon tables of weapons for sale. I looked at these weapons knowing what they were, with no interest to buy. I was approached by a seller knowing I was Canadian. He offered an item to buy. Their purpose was to sell, not carefully regulate their sales to the appropriate person. No wait needed. Hand over the money and leave with the item.
Regulation seems to be viewed with negativity by Americans. That will change in time. There can be only so many murders, mass killings, domestic terrorism events before the blind can see. The myth of America’s Second Amendment must be destroyed, stripped of its legitimacy by You. Either bring about constitutional change or make an executive decision Sir. America is on a roller-coaster of destruction building its momentum until it crashes. Slavery had its momentum and it was finally put to an end after many lives were lost and the very existence of America challenged. You do not want that to happen do You Sir. The weapons are far to deadly, numerous and held by all in America. Perhaps You need to educate America. Remind them that America’s Constitution was written at a time when weapons were actually needed just to survive. The present day situation is so very different. Good guys and bad guys all seem to be packing. I have a friend in Texas, who migrated to that sate years ago. He has 2 rifles in his truck and a carrying permit for a cobra handgun. He owns eleven legal weapons. Why? I asked him and you would be surprised at his responses sir. My friend lives in fear of criminal attack, the possible invasion of illegal immigrants into his state, and most of all he claims to hold weapons because he fears the loss of these weapons. Illogical eh?
FEAR of the POSSIBLE has transformed Your Nation into a bunch of well armed FEARFUL People.What are You going to do about it Sir? I believe You have two years to change Your nations destiny and stop the roller-coaster of Death. Doing so will cost many Americans their lives. There are approximately three million militia members in America. Over a hundred million Americans are armed legally, not to mention the vast illegal weapons stored in Your Nation.
The NRA is truly Your greatest opponent. They has become a part of America’s Social fabric and manipulate The US Congress and Senate through bribes and intimidation. Who will stand against this organization? Will You Sir? Connect the dotes and link Crimes, mass shootings, arms manufacturers and The NRA. The Federal Government Must take the NRA on legally. Find the assured illegal actions of this organization and isolate them. Americans Must come to believe in a Safe America that exists without weapons. Mr. President , You must develop a trust between the federal government and Americans that does not presently seem to exist.
Why am I concerned about America? Well Sir I believe we Canadians will become Americans one day. It is a political evolution that will happen. As this will happen , I want America to have dealt with its greatest of challenges pre unification. America must get itself straightened out. Deal with all your many problems please.
The roller-coaster should be moving toward progressively good things….Equality, Safe normalization of society and an end to FEAR.
Please realise that the brass ring goes to those who take up the challenge and act. Act for the sack of America and ensure Your Legacy. Act for All of North America.
In the Friday Nation newspaper of October 23, 2020 Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith AGAIN revealed to the public that “guns are still coming”. His comment comes in response to public concerns about gun crime. The COP remains adamant that although there has been a tightening of the security at the Barbados Port, unfortunately it has not arrested the problem. The blogmaster understands that a system is only as good as the integrity of the operators of said system. We also have other ports of entry where the security is questionable and there is the additional headache that Barbados is an island with many many areas that allow those willing to take the risk to land contraband. This is an enforcement issue BUT there is the systemic issue we have also failed as a society to even scratch the service..
Listen to the following exchange between Social Scientist Corey Layne and Community Practitioner and Veteran Journalist David Ellis from 4 minutes into the clip.
There are many pieces to our drugs, guns and corruption puzzle. Reviewing various documentaries about the drugs trade in the wider Caribbean region, can show us what the finished puzzle may look like, and therefore, why it is not being solved.
Interviewed gang leaders admitted to bribing: customs officials, police, judges, and politicians. Bribes were paid to guarantee the uninterrupted flow of guns and drugs, and to frustrate any investigation if someone was caught.
Gang leaders normally employed assassins to kill those who did not cooperate. They also tended to care for the poor in their communities. Sometimes, the US pressured the Governments to arrest gang leaders. If those next in line were also arrested or killed, the leadership void was sometimes filled by the assassins. When assassins became gang leaders, no one was safe.
How close to the edge are we in Barbados? With the pieces kept conveniently jumbled, the true picture has always remained speculative. We now have 30 years of jumbled evidence to assemble.
When the gangs were fighting for turf in Barbados during the 1987-1994 DLP administration, former Prime Minister Sandiford declared that there were no gangs in Barbados. The following BLP administration (1994-2008) acknowledged that there were gangs, but noted that there were simply killing each other.
After some gruesome murders, legislation for illegal guns was passed. We were told that convicted persons would receive 25-year sentences for possession of an illegal gun or bullet. Soon after that announcement, a person was convicted of a gun offence, and received a comparable ‘slap-on-the-wrist’.
In 2008, former Prime Minister Arthur revealed that he left an FBI report, on his desk, for the new Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Stuart claimed that he never saw it, on his desk.
In 2008, Barbados reported to the OAS that we had 150 gangs, with 4,000 members. For comparison, in 2010 the Jamaican police reported they had 268 gangs with 3,900 members. That same year, the Bajan Reporter published a shocking report of how gangs recruited our school children.
In 2017, Small Arms Survey found that 1,675 guns were used by the Barbados military, and 2,000 by the police. The number of unlawfully held guns was estimated at 7,000.
In 2017, the DLP reported that gang leaders were operating without fear of prosecution in Barbados. They noted that kidnappings, executions, drug trafficking, and legitimate businesses were part of their normal activities. They further noted that prominent members of Barbados society were linked to the importation of illegal guns.
In 2017, the DLP proposed anti-gang legislation, with gang members being liable for 20 years imprisonment, and gang leaders, 25 years. In 2018, the new BLP administration decided not to pursue anti-gang legislation, noting that it will only be used as a last resort.
In 2019, former BLP politician Atherley, revealed in Parliament, that politicians had connections to gang leaders.
In 2020, the BLP passed an Integrity in Public Life bill, that contained glaring loopholes to protect persons who received bribes. For example, section 65.4 states: “An inquiry or investigation shall not be commenced after 2 years from the date on which the person involved ceased to be a public official.”
The increasing number of unrestrained shootings in Barbados, suggests that whatever restraining influence ‘prominent members of Barbados society’ had, has faded. If we are on a similar trend as the wider Caribbean, then bribes have already been paid, and the uncontrollable sicarios or assassins have taken control of some gangs.
For the past 20 years, after every shooting that the media gave prominence, we got the same tough political talk, and no meaningful action. We have now come to a very familiar junction – to jumble or not to jumble.
The BLP recently announced that we are paying a UK law firm to go on a fishing expedition – to look for corruption in Barbados. This suggests that we have chosen to jumble.
We can easily ask the FBI for a copy of their 2008 report – at no cost. We can also ask them for an updated version. Perhaps it is time to ask why we have not done this simple thing for the past 12 years.
We have foolishly courted disaster for the past 30 years, and they do not tolerate break-ups.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
With the tranquil landscape of Barbados being routinely disturbed by a culture of gun violence an unprecedented murder rate. Civil society is being encouraged to frankly discuss short term and long term measures to implement to arrest the trending. BU commenter Greene posted the following measures (with minor edits by the blogmaster) to kickoff Barbados Underground Internet Town Hall on Crime & Violence – How to Arrest it NOW.
– David, Barbados Underground
Short term measures
Come right out and tell Bajans that the young men in some areas are murderers and are terrorising BIM by killing one another and if they continue so the Govt will have to invite people in BIM to take their place in BIM.
Tell them that the illegal drug trade and reprisals are responsible for murders. that the guns are coming through the Port and that any government officials including but not limited to politicians, police and customs involved and caught will be punished severely. Change the official corruption laws to suit.
Tell mothers and women by accepting drug money and turning a blind eye to the activities of their sons and boyfriends that they part of the problem.
Enforce or implement Money Laundering and asset forfeiture Laws
Second half the Defence Force to the police as patrol units in hot spot with a view to engage and challenge suspected drug and gun men/dealers based on intelligence in the first place and observation when they are in the area.
Actually engage and if fired upon shoot to kill taking into consideration threats to their own lives and dangers posed to others in the area.
Look to pop some necks even if it means changing the laws.
Discuss openly about what is causing the problems and solicit solutions.
Seek a truce between warring factions with a forum where where they can confront each other in a neutral setting (do not know if this is possible).
Look at witnesses protection with a view to sending those who qualify to other participatory islands/ countries.
Provide and lease farm land to young men and women who say they have nothing to do.
Teach civics from primary school with an established set of ideals that we expect from Bajans.
And I would say all this to the public.
Look to change the school system to make it more hands on for boys with more technical subjects.
Revert to single sex schools
Provide counselling or more counselling for troubled youths and parents with early intervention programmes.
Improve the lot of the police by paying them more and making the service more attractive. If the Government says they have no money they can exempt police, fire and prisons (emergency services) from income taxes and provide free health care at any private facility.
Disband the Defence Force and recruit those who want to and are qualified into the police, fire service and prisons.
Change corruption and other associated laws.
Make marijuana legal for anyone over 18.
Decriminalize other hard drugs treating them as a health issue and not a legal issue.
Alter all the above from time to time to suit the changing circumstances.
Look to improve the long term economic and employment situation.
Buju Banton was popular before his incarceration in the USA. Since his release it would appear he has gained greater notoriety. One group Banton does not endear himself is the LGBT community. The reason can be found in his song “Boom bye bye“. What many Barbadians are blissfully unaware are three words in the chorus of the song Boom bye bye that the lawless in society bellow as a mantra – “dem haffi dead”.
Although Barbadians still boast of a high literacy rate – the product of a heavily invested education system – there is the recognition by some that the country has allowed too many of its citizens to fall through the cracks. The result is a lawless group that gladly act out the mantra “dem haffi dead”.
What the blogmaster finds disappointing about the increase in gun violence debate – responsible for four out of the eight murders in 2019- is a perceived expectation that better policing is the answer. The blogmaster is not trivializing the importance of an effective police force and the capacity of the courts to dispense justice. However the well being of any country must also be anchored in the ability to adequately educate and create economic opportunities for citizens. There is a group of lawless Barbadians who has slipped through the net and wear the mantra proudly that “dem haffi dead”.
More depressing is the recognition we have had successive governments unable to manage the PSV sector for the last forty years. The result is that a sub culture has developed to contribute to the current state of gun play. It is a very optimistic person who believes the government has the will to contribute to hauling our island from the brink of anarchy. The politicians are aware who are the Dons in our communities. They will have to make a choice sooner or later but it will mean foregoing ready financing to support political activities designed to stoke popularity. How many more haffi dead?
The blogmaster listened intently to Attorney General Dale Marshall admission recently that one of the scanners required at the Port Authority to detect contraband was under repair. He went on to share that additional scanners will be ordered to better equip Customs Department given the increase container traffic. His statement should be joined with public positions taken by the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith regarding contraband entering via ports of entry. Again the question whether the government has the will to contribute to the crime/gun solution is up in the air.
How many more “haffi dead”?
Too many studies have been prepared by sociologists, criminologists, educators et al to assist with reform in the relevant areas of civil society to ameliorate the crime problem. The time has come to leave out the talk. The time has come to act. We have to attack a system that continues to breed a “dem haffi dead” mindset.
Given the almost weekly incidence of the death, invariably of a young man, caused by a firearm, Barbadians are understandably concerned about their prevalence. In an alarming display of linear reasoning however, the popular assumption appears to be that once we can rid the nation of all unlawful firearms, then there would be no, or at least fewer shooting deaths. That may be logically so, but the fact that death may be caused by other criminal means leaves one to query whether we are bothered merely by those murders caused by the bullet or whether we are equally concerned, as we ought to be, with the murder or maiming of one individual by the hand of another, however caused.
Accordingly, most of the suggested initiatives for combating the current phenomenon have centred on ensuring their absence from the country by restricting the importation of these weapons; by punishing severely their unlawful possession, by initiating a gun amnesty to limit their incidence; by having trials for kindred offences tried in a separate gun court; by having a street march; and the most intriguing one so far from a contributor to “Brass Tacks” two weeks or so ago who expressed the notion of amputating a number of fingers of those convicted of gun crimes and allowing them back into society, I suppose, “pour décourager les autres” For the caller this would be a most effective solution since those so sentenced would be unable to fire another weapon in anger and would even be, as he so risibly put it, unable to clean themselves after defecating (he used the local vernacular to dramatically amusing effect however).
All these suggestions may be likely to reduce or severely limit the incidence of firearms and their unlawful use but, as the National Rifle Association of the US so frequently intones in defence of its members’ Second Amendment rights, “guns do not kill people, people do!” The identical reasoning may be applied to the knife, the bomb and even the nuclear weapon. Each needs to be activated by a mind intent on committing murder and is, without that “mens rea”, a harmless object
This proposition is no less logical however than the obverse notion cited above that elimination of the weapon will thereby reduce shooting deaths, but its further consideration also leads inexorably to the opinion that we need rather to concentrate of the nature of the mind that would form the intention to take the life of another individual by any means including the inanimate gun, or knife, or even poison for that matter.
Of course, the impediment here is that we would prefer to believe that it is much easier to remove the temptation than to cure the mind, even though the admissible evidence thus far would cogently suggest otherwise. The importation and possession of unlicensed firearms have always been unlawful, there have been more gun amnesties than one locally, the Gun Court in Jamaica, apart from having been a constitutional nullity did not stem the number of fatalities owed to the bullet in that jurisdiction and while the caller’s suggestion referred to above would be clearly effective in a number of isolated instances, the imposition of cruel and inhuman dissuasive punishment for an offence has never served effectively to deter the reprise of that conduct by another. But these require much less thought than the concept of altering human conduct.
In the latter context of removing the criminal instinct, the questions become a step too difficult for a society impatient for relief to contemplate. It starts with the grudging recognition that the same individual that would recklessly fire into a crowd of fellow citizens is a product of the society, the political and educational systems that we have created and in which we exist and not merely some extraterrestrial visitor to our space. It continues with the contemplation of what local circumstance might have caused such a mindset in one of our own that the state would have delivered into this world with taxpayer-funded hospital services, offered similarly provided education to at least age sixteen with the prospect of additional assistance, should he need it, to go even further in order to acquire training for a skill that would enable him to become a productive citizen of the society.
Yes, we should seek to eliminate the gun from our society, but we also need to ascertain what force might have intervened to break the chain of causation from that innocent baby born to adoring parents to the sober productive citizen he was s destined to become and convert him into a wild-eyed thug that has no compunction in killing or maiming a number of fellow citizens to “bore” his intended adversary.
The late Prime Minister, Mr. David Thompson, might have been on to a useful concept with his mantra that Barbados was not merely an economy, but also a society”. However, we did not make the logical connection that the creation of a just society should require an abstention from the materialist development that we have pursued in which the acquisition of as much wealth as possible to the neglect of the most vulnerable is perceived as success. In that milieu, the drug baron is of equal status to the successful business magnate or community leader.
Can we then blame the impressionable youngster for wishing to take the easier road less frequently travelled to fame and fortune? To answer my own question therefore, no, it is not the guns only. It is rather our chosen developmental path. And as the weeping man in the rearview mirror seen by Shabine in Derek Walcott’s “Schooner Flight”, we might yet weep for the houses, the streets…
“Babylon system is a vampire sucking the blood of the suffers.”
A drought causes cracks in the soil exposing what is beneath the surface of the earth. It seems that a 9-year drought in Barbados has exposed every problem that laid dormant in its society. Barbados has a crime problem that if not arrested will make life miserable on its 166 square miles, affecting not only the lives of the persons who live there but also inflicting reputational damage on the tourist industry.
Gun related crime has become a fundamental threat to the rule of law, the conduct of good governance and an imposition on society. The combination of these three elements suggests that gun violence is now normalized in the public domain. If left unchallenged, it is implicit that little Barbados will reach the ranks of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica with their rampant gun related crimes.
Over time both political parties have failed to take the necessary action to reduce gun violence. Their actions were never enough and have fallen short of addressing the source of the problem. However, society on a whole must be willing to go the extra step to eradicate this fraction of crime from the island.
It is not good enough to only have reactionary measures. For decades, we have thrown our own under the bus with excessive punishments when in essence the triggers were really pulled by some persons who live in grand houses far away from the turmoil that they created.
To date gun related crimes that end in murder have reached epic proportions and the entire island is having discussions about this topic. I have listened to the Acting Commissioner of Police, The Attorney General, Members of the Opposition and read statements by the leaders of two of the newly formed Political Parties on this matter. One thing that stands out in my mind is that this storm has created the perfect example of over-analysis of gun related crime in Barbados.
In their analysis, most solutions were to address a symptom of the problem. Very few persons even stopped to consider the real problem. When they did, some did not provide a solution.
We all know that some words can frame a narrative, while some can twist it completely out of context, causing us to lose the true focus of the problem. We also know that personalized narratives are specific and that the interpretation of generalized narratives varies according to who is reading it.
I listened carefully to the narrative of the Acting Commissioner of Police. It was specific but I realized from his statement that there is no holistic approach to solving gun related crime in Barbados. The Acting Commissioner’s focus is clearly on one aspect of the problem as he is now seeking to have dialog with other law enforcement agencies on the matter. It leads one to the conclusion that to date he has been satisfied to fight a battle while a raging war is going on.
In his narrative, the Attorney General was too generalized and not coherent. It was almost as though he was complicit to the crime of importing guns. He blamed the presence of the sea as an enabler to the crime. Then he spoke of addressing the problem of importing guns after the fact. I did not see the rationale for making a customs officers take a lie detector test after he had let the contraband into the island. The concept must be prevention. He did not mention any linkages of the economic deprivation and the growth of poverty as impacting or increasing gun related crime.
In my opinion, the root cause of the problem is the importation of guns. My solution is therefore simple, removing the importers of drugs, the persons who turn a blind eye to the importation or accept bribes, and removing from society the persons who sell the youth a false sense of attainment and recognition.
My solutions to this crisis comprise, an investment in body cameras that all customs officers must wear on duty. All items entering the island through the ports of entry and the post office must be scanned.
In these days of advanced technology, it cannot be too difficult to develop an application to track the movement of vessels in the sea that are possibly bringing in guns and drugs. The coast guard and its patrols need to be enhanced. The police must be empowered to go after people in high places who are known gun and drug importers. We as a people must not elect politicians who are rumored or known to engage in corruption. We must press them to ensure that the laws are implemented.
And what about our youth who are the targets of the importers? It is no revelation that Barbados has failed its youth. It is the end result of breeding discontent and hopelessness for decades. Every time one passes and sees young men liming on the block it is an acknowledgement of a failed education system that only awards academic excellence and throws crumbs or nothing at all to the other abilities.
The most vulnerable are now reaping what we have allowed to be sown. If we are all content to leave things just as they are and only make a public outcry when another person is murdered, we must change our Coat of Arms, removing the word “pride”, because there will be nothing left to be proud of 10 years from now.
As Elombe Mottley recently related to me, we must open community based avenues by which our youth can become recognized and feel a sense of accomplishment through sports, the arts and social activities. We can no longer choose to ignore the drug dealers and gun peddlers who are filling up their heads with a false sense of pride which makes them choose violence and reckless indifference.
In the final analysis, until we acknowledge the real problem, and implement meaningful solutions to deal with the problems as well as the consequences of the problems, we will be fighting a battle but will never win the war.
Don’t even use this ATM during daylight hours
That statement gives me chills as you have implied that the simple act of completing a routine transaction during daylight hours can be injurious to one’s health. I use ATMs when I’m in Bim but they are in very public locations and I always have my wits about me. I used to access an FCIB unit located in Sheraton Plaza next to the FedEx office and it was closed/relocated to the interior of the complex. I often wonder if the move was logistics or if it was due to the numerous people who use to hang around the steps at the Eastern entrance to the mall and who have clear view of customers entering/exiting the enclosure.
This branch is and has shown a vulnerability to robberies. Forget ATM!
Hants July 18, 2017 at 3:22 PM
Thanks for the “warning”. Barbados is not like it used to be.
Daylight robbery was not part of “we culcha”.
Condolences to the family of the victim.
What made the exchanges chilling for BU David was the reality Barbados has lost its ‘virginity’. There is no need to be prolix on this issue. What WE are going to do about it should be a national priority.
How are the guns entering Barbados?
Is the business community dong enough to ensure their place of business is secure for customers?
How can we hold parents and guardians responsible for their children’s upbringing.
Are we building the kind of society that will produce virtuous citizens?
Is the police force adequately equipped with the required resources?
Is civil society doing enough to build community outreach programs?
The commercial banks took the unusual and unprecedented decision a few weeks ago to stop giving loans until the government reviewed the law/procedure on how tax clearance certificates were to be issued for property transfers. BU recommends that all financial institutions close ATMs after 6PM that are located in areas known to be a greater security risk. The RBC can start the ball rolling at the University Drive location.
The following is a post to a T&T YahooGroup to which Barbados Underground is subscribed. Take note of the following disclaimer. The BU household has replaced “T&T” with Barbados, “Keith and Kamla” with Freundel and Mia, “PNM and UNC” with DLP and BLP
– Barbados Underground (BU)
Credit: Colonel Buggy
…. they admit the main reason for our crime problem is the free flow of guns & drugs and the massive money laundering by white-collar criminals running the narco trade in Barbados, and they cooperate to solve this problem.
If they don’t, then you can take it the bank that these two will never be able to solve the crime problem and will continue to support ineffective, stupid, useless, and VERY COSTLY programmes that continue to maintain the eat-ah-food parasites of all parties who continue to eat while blood flows, especially that of the foot soldiers.
You will hear more legalese talk than real action to solve the real crime problem and go after the real crime bosses. Lawyers and politicians who are advised by lawyers believe the solution to all problems is more LEGALESE, EVEN THOUGH we have a plethora of good laws (bad ones, too) on the books but we can’t implement any damn thing in this country.
Like most problems, anywhere, you have to go to the source to solve it. Anything else is crap. You cannot real with guns & drugs & dirty money when the nation is flooded with these and you allow more to come in! Why is that hard to understand,. eh? You seizing a gun every day, if even that, but more and more come in all the time. Guns & drugs come in and leave in shipping containers yet you are not increasing patrols & monitoring as well as scanning at ports etc? But, now and then you seizing a few pounds of ganga or a few ounces of cocaine, and you say we getting there, we finally making progress in this battle, really? Who yuh fooling?
When the the Government and Opposition come together to reduce the free flow of guns & drugs, tackle the money laundering and white-collar crimes, and bring the Defence Force out to help the Police in more patrols all over the country, more temporary and permanent Army/police posts, more control of the roads and highways to restrict movement of criminals (they have to move), genuine CCTV that actually work and monitored by real people all over the country but first in strategic locations, more coastal stations and patrols, more scanning at points of entry and random checks of containers all over the place……. then you could say Freundel and Mia getting serious about crime. But that might happen when cock get teeth or pigs fly or ….
Until then, it’s all a pappyshow that fools no once except the dwindling band of DLP & BLP lackeys and eat-ah-fooders who are too blind to see what is happening.
One wonders why successive governments AND THE PEOPLE OF Barbados have not tackled the growing narco trade that is now destroying Barbados? Is it that everyone has a price? Is it now all ah we iz corrupt? Is it that the narco trade has permeated every sector, every village, and every block in Barbados so all ah we in it? Why is it that people offer all manner of solutions for crime but never admit the real problem and suggest solutions to tackle the real problem? Why is it that successive governments and the people of Barbados do not want assistance from USA, Canada, Europe and others who have expertise and experience in this and are willing to help us? Some years ago, a government official said we have nothing to really worry about narco trade since it just “pass thru” here, so let them do dey ting and we have no problem. Naive. Stupid. Dangerous. Is it that such opinions are still prevalent among the leaders & elites in Barbados? One has to wonder…..and then die.
In recent weeks guns have been a topical issue in Barbados, however this submission is not about individual cases or specific persons, as those will be investigated by authorities vested with that responsibility. I have taken a general approach to gun ownership, its impact on society and the psychology which underpins it.
First we should take account of what are established facts arrived at through research and rigorous examination of available figures on gun related homicides.
“Homicide rates tend to be related to firearm ownership levels. Everything else being equal, a reduction in the percentage of households owning firearms should occasion a drop in the homicide rate” – Thomas Gabor, Professor of Criminology – University of Ottawa.
“The level of gun ownership world-wide is directly related to murder and suicide rates specifically to the level of death by gunfire.” – Professor Martin Killias
If the more guns available in a specific society show a correlation between gun ownership and rates of homicide and suicide; why do private citizens feel safe owning guns. Apart from sporting guns and guns used against vermin and wild animals, is there a need for a personal weapon, except for law enforcement officers and the military. The argument is often made that there are criminals out there -in society- and guns are necessary to protect family and property.