Columns

Jamaican Diaspora sponsors gun crime here... not Americans!

Franklin
Johnston

Friday, June 21, 2019

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There is confusion about guns and, like chronically dependent people, we “other” the problem, cite what America is not doing, and exonerate those who send the guns.

Do you really feel safe? Prime Minister Andrew Holness fails in his duty of care and our diaspora is not helping. The a recent newspaper report with the headline 'Leaking guns' ( The Sunday Gleaner, June 9) cited firearms sent to Jamaica with a judgemental subscript '...under one per cent of containers leaving Miami fully examined'.

But there's a truth that we don't consider: White supremacists, or some Caliphate in the making, did not ship guns here; your family did it!

Is it America's job to keep us safe from Jamaicans abroad?

A US Homeland Security agent said, “Detecting every gun tucked away in thousands of containers that leave the shoreline each year is impractical.” Some 357,000 containers leave each year; 8,000 for Caribbean ports, and in recent years they detected some 3,000 persons trying to smuggle guns; say, 50 in Jamaica?

How many of these 54 Caribbean nations have our murder rate? None! Why blame America for guns coming in, but not for salt fish, sweet drinks, and fatty bacon, which rank high in our epidemiology of death and dying?

But did you know that Cabinet handicaps the gunfight? As, “in 2018, Jamaica ended a non-binding memorandum of understanding formerly used to intercept information, as it did not satisfy stipulations of the Jamaican Constitution.” ( The Gleaner, op cit)

So Jamaicans die by the gun as our Parliament says the constitution is more important than our lives. Selah.

That said, many Jamaicans have two disgusting traits. First, we shift responsibility, as Sahara sand before a wind: “It wasn't me!” Second, we choose things we can't control and ignore those we can. So, in the economy, we focus on tourism, remittances (lots of chat) which we have no power to grow, but ignore farm and factory production which we control totally — no foreigner needed! We blame America for making guns, which we can't control, and not our border security or wicked people here, which we can — confusing!

The supply side for guns is transparent. The Small Arms Survey 2014 says there are a billion small arms made in 102 countries. Wow! The USA, UK, Russia, China, Germany, France export 75 per cent; none is in the top 10 murder nations, yet Jamaica, which makes no gun, is.

Is the gun evil or the people? What of the demand side?

Here, gun lust means some kill for a gun. Guns in America are freely available and special, as their constitution says, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of a free people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Massive! But recall America fought for Independence and was always alert to invasion. Recall also that some 620,000 died in the whites vs whites civil war to end slavery. America fought for every milestone in national life; we got ours as gifts. So, America trusts its people as all shed blood for freedom; and, black, white; upper, lower; rich, poor own guns.

Our black Cabinets do not trust black people. It is hard to get a gun permit, but easier if you are not of the 92.1 per cent. Our black politicians oppress blacks, but white, Indian, Chinese get by easy. Blacks are grossly disrespected here. In history our men use technologies of murder well. A stone or machete made in England, switchblade from America, and now the gun — first brought in by farm workers and politics — is the weapon of choice.

Legal guns number under 70,000, and every year are involves in only a few incidents — criminals shot, crimes of passion, accidents at home, hotheads that kicks-off! A man suffering from road rage shoots a schoolboy in a taxi by accident and it was news for years.

We do not have 70,000 illegal guns (under 10,000?), yet murders are four-plus a day — unacceptable! Illegal guns here are not used for revolution — Marxist, freedom fighters, capitalist or communist putsch, as elsewhere. Our listless men do petty crime and settle scores. Police say there are 300 gangs, with some 3,000 members, so with one gun each, and an attrition rate of 15 per cent, how many a month must police recover to get most guns in three years? Critical thinking, please!

Our gun crime is not America's doing; it is our diaspora that sends guns to killers here. Prime Minister Andrew Holness, do the balance sheet. Are remittances worth the fall in investment and rampant gun crime? Is “how to end gun supply” on the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference agenda?

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, please call out the diaspora! Gun in barrel, school furniture or health equipment must stop! Ban goods from the diaspora (not returning residents) for 24 months, then watch guns, ammo dry up and killings cease. The general police force has needs, but give the detective corps better tools, then we can expect better results! Stay conscious!

Franklin Johnston, D Phil (Oxon), is a strategist and project manager; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK); and lectures in logistics and supply chain management at Mona School of Business and Management, The University of the West Indies. Send comments to the Observer or franklinjohnstontoo@gmail.com.


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