Rastafari reggae deejay Jah Thunder is calling on the government to get the illegal guns from the hands of criminals. This, he believes, would stem the rise in homicide and robberies.
“This prevailing violence is a national issue that cannot be ignored. And, the gun is being featured in several murders and robberies across the island. We have tried in the past to voluntarily asked people to bring in the illegal guns through gun amnesty, but this does not work; guns, including high-powered rifles, are still being used in robberies and killings,” he said.
“I suggest that the Government find the source, the ports of entry --- land, sea and air, and most importantly, lock away the perpetrators so we can move forward as as country,” he continued.
The Small Arms Survey, a Swiss non-profit organisation which tracks illicit arms internationally, records that in 2017 “over 200,000 unregistered guns were in the island.”
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is reporting a 23 per cent increase in the seizure of illegal firearms since the start of the year. A total of 226 illegal firearms have been removed from the nation's streets this year compared to similar period 2020.
The Firearms Act prohibits ownership of any artillery, automatic firearm, grenades, or other like missile. The law states that the applicant must have good reason to apply for firearm licence without defining what constitutes a good reason, leaving it at the discretion of the authority.
Jah Thunder is promoting Upload, a song featured on BL Tha Hook Slaya 12- track album, down to be released January 2022.
“The single will be released November 2021 ahead of the album. It is a song which speaks to the concerns of guns and shootings. As an artiste who gets to tour with Capleton, comes the opportunity to meet several producers. One such player, BL Tha Hook Slaya sent the 'riddim' so I did the song and him love it to the max. This, is yet another chance to showcase my talent,” he said.
Jah Thunder explained that despite COVID-19, entertainers need to continue promoting themselves and their products.
Jah Thunder, given name Omar Bolt, was born in Cassia Park, Kingston, but grew up in Papine area of the Corporate Area. He was influenced by Capleton's conscious Rastafari teachings.
The deejay's first release was Bada Bada on the African Star label in 1997.
His other songs include Wooi ft Capleton, Ikaya, and Marvia Chin; 123; It Caah Stop; Lockdown; and, Island In The Sun.