Gun fear haunts Jamaicans
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Parents are constantly worried and in fear of the safety of their children at school. There are several workplaces at which employees are constantly in fear of an invasion of the premises or of persons coming in to hold them up and rob them.
Most of our homes have now become steel-enclosed forts. Doors are constantly kept locked and the grilles are always locked. We remain inside in fear of being attacked, injured, robbed or killed.
There is no doubt that the greatest concern of the majority of us is crime. That being the case, the Government should give priority to bringing the constabulary and the army up to the stage where they have all the resources, including human and material resources to go after the persons who are committing these crimes and after the 'connected' persons who are arranging and facilitating the importation of guns and ammunition.
The weapons being used by the gunmen in Jamaica are not cheap. The prices for these weapons in the underground market would surprise a lot of us. An AK-47 is sold for between $500,000 and $700,000, while an M16 goes for between $400,000 and $600,000.
The submachine guns, especially the Uzi and the Tech 9, are sold for between $300,000 and $400,000.
The 9mm pistols such as the Browning and the Beretta carry a price in the range of $120,000 to $150,000. The Glock 9mm is sold for $180,000 to $200,000. Small revolvers, known in the underworld as spinners, such as the .38, are rarely sold. They are usual given to the new initiated who are just starting out on the road of gunmanship. A shotgun is sold for $100,000 to $180,000.
Ammunition in the underworld is readily available if you have the funds to purchase. The 9mm rounds are going for between $300 and $500 each, while a .38 round goes for about $100.
With these challenges facing Jamaica, the country will continue to be subject to THE BIG FRAID. We need a Government that is brave enough, tough enough and determined enough to take on the criminal underworld. Smash their enterprise, thereby freeing citizens of fear.
LINTON P. GORDON
Ocho Rios, St Ann