Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Letter of the Day: Police chief failing to Get the Guns

Published:Friday | April 29, 2016 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I almost fell off my chair in disbelief last week when I read a news item which said the commissioner of police, Dr Carl Williams, was thinking of commissioning a study to see if there is a nexus between dancehall and violence. To what end? If I am not mistaken, he was speaking in general about the rampant murders in our society. What a colossal waste of time that would be!

Dr Williams does not seem to understand that the most pressing need is to stem the flow of illegal guns coming into this country and to get the ones that are already here.

Has he really looked at the pervasiveness of firearms of all types in this country, and how easy it seems for anybody to get one - even if they rent it?

Every day there is at least one gun murder - whether it's a reprisal or drug-related; someone perceives they have been dissed; somebody 'bad-drives' somebody else; somebody looks at another cross-eyed - and the list could go on and on.

But the most frightening aspect of the whole affair is that it seems everybody has a gun or can get one. When do the police really start making a determined, unrelenting and sustained effort to get the guns? Gun amnesties don't work for hardened criminals.

Dr Williams may argue that the police force does not have the manpower to sustain such an effort. So I want to ask, what are the hundreds of soldiers in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) doing each day? Training? Good, but for what? Let them do some real work to earn their keep.

 

STATE OF EMERGENCY

 

I just read where $200 million has been approved to build accommodations for the JDF and I have no problem with the soldiers being more comfortable. But what do the taxpayers get in return?

I am suggesting that we declare a time-bound state of emergency - if we must - but decent citizens cannot continue to live in the state in which we now find ourselves. Some might want to challenge me on this, but as far as I am concerned, our country is bordering on anarchy.

I have no faith that Dr Williams, as commissioner, will make any difference to the rampant murder rate because I don't see him and his men taking the guns out of the hands of criminals. And please don't tell me about the current Get the Guns campaign. That is only slightly more effective than Dr Williams' oft-repeated platitudes after another of the too-frequent multiple murders.

STEPHEN HARRISON

stepharrison28@gmail.com

St Mary