Lessons from Jamaica's Gun Violence

Lessons from Jamaica's Gun Violence

For those that have been following the news, Jamaica has been going through a lot of violence as the authorities there try to find Christopher Coke. As the numbers rise daily on the number of people who have died in the gun fights between the government and the gangs, it prompts a question that many people often wonder whenever there is gun violence: do gun bans actually limit the number of crimes committed with a gun?

When trying to answer that question, it is important to look at the numbers. Jamaica, despite the numerous killings going on right now, normally has 60 murders for every 100,000 people a year. For a small island of only 3 million people, that’s a lot of yearly murders. But, what is interesting to note is that before the 1974 handgun ban in Jamaica, there were far fewer murders. But, when the guns were taken out of the hands of law abiding citizens, suddenly something very serious happened…

Crime went up. Murders went up. The reason for this is because laws are only followed by law abiding citizens. What makes a criminal a criminal is the fact that they don’t believe law applies to them. In their opinion, they don’t have to follow laws. So, in what universe is a criminal going to give up their handgun simply because a law states that handguns are illegal? I can’t think of any situation where that would happen.

In Jamaica, they are suffering the results of that. With so many murders every year caused by guns, it’s no wonder gun bans don’t work. The scenario works as such. A criminal walks into a store with a gun and robs the man. He takes all the money and then kills the man. Now, assume guns were legal. One of the patrons in the back of the store with his own gun could have stopped this criminal from acting. Not only would the store owner still have his life, but his property would not have been stolen.

This connects directly to the United States. In Washington D.C., they imposed a handgun ban. When that happened, crime went up. However, something interesting happened when they removed that handgun ban and allowed the average Washington D.C. law abiding citizen to carry a gun: crime dropped. Suddenly, these citizens were able to protect themselves. When someone pulled a knife to try and mug them, they could turn around and pull a gun. If someone broke into their house, they could pull out their gun.

Jamaica must be a lesson to the United States and to all the cities across our country. It is very easy to point a finger at the tool and blame that for the problem. But, that’s not the problem. The problem is that only the criminals have the tools at their disposal. When there is an uneven match between the law abiding citizens and the criminals, there is bound to be an increase in crime.

What we should want in America is not an unarmed citizenry. Instead, what we should want is a defeated criminal. To do that, the American people need to be able to protect themselves. Studies show that the only people that are disarmed when a gun ban occurs are the good people. The criminals will still have their guns and that does nothing to protect the American people.

We, as human beings, are responsible for our own protection. The police cannot be there to protect us all the time. There are simply not enough police officers in the country. By taking away our guns and our right to protect ourselves, the government dooms us to being victimized by criminals with guns. Unless we are made equals with the fire power we have, we cannot rightfully protect ourselves. Jamaica is an example of what happens when guns are taken away from honest citizens. The criminals take control, murders rise and only the innocent suffer. That is not something that we, as American citizens, should want. And that is why it is so imperative that politicians look at the facts and not their emotions when it comes to guns. Criminals won’t give up their guns because of a ban. We shouldn’t be forced to either.

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3 comments
admin
admin

Quoting Wikipedia: "The Firearms Act of Jamaica regulates the ownership and use of firearms and ammunition. It was first passed in 1967, and has been subsequently amended. The law requires gun licenses, with a yearly registration fee of $6,000.00. There were about 65,000 licensed firearms in Jamaica in 2002, and approximately 700 licenses approved per year." A $6,000 yearly fee is the equivalent of a ban for most people. I tried to confirm this with the Jamaican Firearm Licensing Authority, but they do not list fees on their web site. The Jamaican Observer states that the fee is only $1,000/yr -- but even that is far out of reach of most Jamaicans. In addition the process is punishing -- including governmental approval requirements for purchasing ammunition and forms you have to fill out if you use ammunition.

Steve
Steve

Sorry but Jamaica does not have a gun ban and never has.Anyone who wants a gun in Jamaica can apply for a license and get one as long as they pay the fees and can wait a few months for approval. There is also no magazine capacity limit and never has been (unlike the US) nor any semiautomatic assault weapon restriction.There are approximately 45000-60000 gun owners in Jamaica (1.5-2% of population).

Vic Cruz-Saez
Vic Cruz-Saez

I guess those same folks forgot one of the main reasons that Yamamoto was so against invading the us. Did he not say that there would be an armed American behind every blade of grass?

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