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Golding blames US for guns

Published:Wednesday | April 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

KINGSTON has accused Washington of not doing enough to stem the flow of guns into the island.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding made the claim yesterday, during a more than two-hour-long presentation in Parliament.

Golding said that a resolution was now before the United Nations (UN) for an international convention to restrict the illegal trafficking in small arms. The prime minister did not say who brought the resolution to the UN, nor did he hide his dismay about the flow of guns into Jamaica.

"The overwhelming majority of guns coming into Jamaica are of United States (US) manufacture," Golding said.

"The inflow of guns into Jamaica is what facilitates most of the murders that are committed. The security forces recover, on average, 600 guns each year. We suspect that a greater number enter the island each year, creating an ever-increasing arsenal of illegal weapons, snuffing out lives with callous brutality," the prime minister told Parliament.

Golding also said his Government intended to renew efforts to "strengthen bilateral cooperation with the US with a view to addressing the flow of illegal guns from the US to Jamaica with the same vigour that we seek to apply to the flow of illegal drugs from Jamaica to the US".

Bills to be tabled

But US-Jamaica relations were not all Golding spoke about on crime. He said the controversial anti-crime bills, as well as anti-gang legislation, would be tabled in Parliament soon.

He accused parliamentarians of spending "a considerable amount of time shouting at each other, un-willing to coalesce around any solu-tion, each one proffering his own and proffering blame".

"Crime-fighting strategies must be appropriate to the crime that has to be fought. For too long we have allow criminals to test our will and test our willingness to destroy theirs," the prime minister added.