Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
President of the Manchester Gun Club, Orville Henriques, wants more Jamaican women to make the effort to become licensed firearm holders.
Henriques is also urging the authorities to make it easier for women to get gun permits.
According to Henriques, women must be given a better chance to defend themselves in the face of the numerous criminal attacks against them.
"We want more good people, more decent Jamaicans to own firearms, especially women." Henriques told The Sunday Gleaner.
"I want to see more women with firearms. You women are the biggest victims of crime. When women, go to the gym, look after their bodies, and take care of themselves, some 'little nutting boy' believe him must come and rape you. If you ask me, those women should be able to take care of themselves against anyone who attacks them and violates them," argued Henriques.
He charged that with more women equipping themselves academically and becoming economically independent, they are being targeted by criminals.
"I want more women to be educated about the process, and take steps to own guns. When I look at those women killed, like the one whose body was found burned in the cane field (Michelle Coudray-Greaves) and also the other one, Tandy Lewis, in Kingston ... . They are somebody's children, wife, mother or sister. The playing field was not level, because these women were defenceless and that made them easy targets," he stated.
The two women were murdered in incidents in Kingston and St James last year. One man has been arrested in connection with the Coudray-Greaves murder and is before the courts. No one has been charged for Lewis' murder.
Henriques argued that if the criminals know that they are likely to be challenged by a woman armed with a firearm they would think twice.
"There are many young professional women who are vulnerable to criminal activities, just because they are women, and because they cannot defend themselves.
"If some of these criminals, going around in the society, forcing themselves on women; if they knew that there was a 50 per cent chance that the woman would open fire and take them out, so many women would not be targeted," Henriques contended.
The gun shop owner said he supports the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which protects an individual's right to possess and carry firearms.
According to Henriques, the work of the police would be made easier if more individuals had licensed firearms.
Last week, two men were shot, one fatally, by a female police constable after they allegedly attempted to rob a woman in downtown Kingston.
The Firearm Licensing Authority has sole responsibility for the licensing, certification of applicants, as well as shooting ranges across the island.