Please allow me the space in your paper to reply to a letter published in your Thursday, 28 July, edition.
In that letter the author issued a challenge to many of the prominent people in our society to Ban all guns in CI because there was no need for private citizens to possess them.
This was his or her answer to help stop senseless acts of violence in this country, in particular, to the many recent firearms related atrocities that have taken the lives of some of our young men and put fear in the hearts and souls of others who work hard and honestly for a living.
The author then goes on to say that he or she was in the position where their occupation required them to carry a firearm for over a period of six years. During which time, the firearm had to be drawn three times in the course of operational necessity and that this was ‘pure unadulterated hell’.
They then go on to say that their occupation was in law enforcement. The question I must then pose is should he/she not have considered the consequences of an occupation where they had to carry a firearm, with the possibility of having to use it, and going through pure unadulterated hell to protect the lives of themselves, their colleagues and the people they have sworn to protect?
While my deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the families of the recent victims, I have but a few questions for the author of that letter and the people of this country.
Many years ago a man was murdered with a household kitchen knife. Why was a ban on kitchen knives not called for?
A few years before that, a man was murdered with a machete. Why was a ban not called for on them?
In more recent years, a young man was murdered in a teen club with a pocket knife. Why don’t we ban all pocket knives?
A few weeks ago another young man was senselessly murdered with a baseball bat. Should we ban those too? What about the murders that have been committed with beer bottles, people’s bare hands, or pieces of a ceramic toilet, are we going to call for a ban on all those things too?
In this country cars, trucks, motorbikes, forklifts and garbage trucks have killed more people than firearms ever have but no ban was called for on gasoline, diesel, propane or motor vehicles.
In case the author did not know, these recent atrocities were not committed with legally registered firearms, which, many law-abiding citizens of this country possess. They were committed with unlicensed firearms that the perpetrators obtained illegally.
Some of the firearms used in those criminal circumstances are outlawed across the board in the Cayman Islands and cannot be obtained or licensed as legal firearms.
Those illegal firearms hugely outnumber the legally licensed ones that are kept in a locked safe in registered owner’s premises.
To own a legally registered firearm in this country is of course a privilege, and those of us that do posses one know the stringent procedures that are done by the RCIP before we are issued a permit allowing us to obtain one.
When was the last time a legal firearm was used by its owner to commit a crime? I agree that if a firearm(s) owner is responsible enough, and meet the criteria set forward by the RCIP for the storage of firearms that it is still possible for the firearm to fall into the hands of criminals by having the gun stolen, which has been, as we have seen, happened lately.
Every legal firearm(s) owner is aware of this and most of us have taken extra precautions against this happening by installing stronger safes and installing alarm systems before this can happen to us.
This is still not the perfect solution but it is a responsible solution, but I find it is a lot better than sitting back and doing nothing at all.
If legal firearms are being questioned as to whether or not they are being used in these crimes, let’s have the RCIP do ballistics testing on all privately owned firearms new or old and then keep these ballistics tests on file. In the event of a crime being committed these results could then be cross-referenced against all legally recorded firearms to see if they match.
Let me suggest, that, I honestly think that these crimes are all drug related. Whether it is a direct result of a drug deal gone bad or a drug addict stealing money, or merchandise to sell to get money so that they can support their habit and get that fix that they so crave.
Let’s not sit back and wait for the RCIP to do all the work.
As law-abiding citizens of this country we have civil obligations to do something about the crime whether it be by neighborhood watches or other means of reporting crimes/criminals to the proper authorities.
So once again the legal law abiding citizens of this country suffer for the bad with suggestions like those of the author being put forward as a cure all in their eyes.
I am an avid sport shooter and hunting enthusiast, who has represented this country abroad in recognized sport shooting competition, along with other legally licensed firearms owners from our Island. Using our firearms, we have competed in many shooting sports, such as skeet, sporting clays, trap and PPC pistol competitions, in which we have been very successful, winning top place medals and maintaining top 10 finishes.
To tell me to give up my firearms, and a sport that I very much love and enjoy, would be like asking a baseball pitcher to give up his glove, his bat and his ball, because that 100 plus-mph fastball that he threw could potentially kill or injure someone or his bat could kill someone, if swung at their head.
While we are at it let’s put a ban on planes, buses, boats, motorcycles backpacks and computers. These have all been used to murder or facilitate murder recently or have the potential to if they fall in the wrong hands.
Or better yet, let’s ban movies, books and plays that have murder as the story line so that no one gets any ideas on how to commit these unlawful acts.
Crime and murder are prevalent in today’s society and it comes in all forms, shapes and sizes.
Let’s face facts here. If firearms were banned then only criminals would have them.
If someone has the intent to kill another human being, they will commit that crime with whatever they can find, be it a knife, machete, beer bottle or in recent months, a firearm.
The author should hopefully realize ‘firearms don’t kill people, people kill people.’
Wait, I’ve got the best idea of all……. Lets Ban People!!!!
Richard M Bodden