Part of the concept of news is the idea that information is new.
If information ceases to become novel, then it usually ceases to become newsworthy, at least when it comes to the front page.
At one time, NASA’s space shuttle launches were front-page news; now they’re lucky to get in a newspaper at all.
And so it is with Cayman’s increase in shootings. At one time, if someone was shot in the Cayman Islands, it was front-page news, perhaps for more than one day. But there have been so many shootings this year that some no longer make the front page unless people die. The same holds true for armed robberies.
We realise that things are relative when it comes to crime and that relative to many places in the world, Cayman is still a safer place. However, relative to the way things used to be, the gunplay going on here these days is mind-numbing.
Given Cayman’s relatively small population, people here are beginning to realise that statistically they could become the next victim of a gun crime.
All of this is having a psychological effect on the residents in this country, who have begun to do things differently as a result of the sustained level of crimes involving guns. When a restaurant bar at major shopping centre in an upscale residential area is robbed at gunpoint, residents here invariably ask themselves ‘Where is it safe then?’
Unlike with some of the other crime waves that have occurred here, there hasn’t been the same kind of outcry from concerned residents. It’s as if they have accepted the level of crime as the new order.
We hope the residents of this country stand up and demand the police and government address the amount of gun crimes occurring here. To do our part, we’re going to keep putting shootings on the front page, even if their occurrence is no longer new.