Editorial for December 28: Did he really mean that?

We were somewhat taken aback
earlier this month by the comments of RCIPS Commissioner David Baines at the
recent Northern Caribbean Conference on Economic Cooperation.

According to a recording of the
proceedings, taken by one of our reporters, the commissioner said the following:

“The constitutional right to bear
arms in the United States is directly contributing to the denial of the right
to life for young men in the Caribbean.

“I’m quite happy with those
countries who are banning your pop stars who would want to spread the murder,
mayhem rap and going around as if it is normal, appropriate, sensible. The more
people that we stop travelling around our region and actually collectively
state, ‘that’s not our value for our communities’.”

Experts in international relations
we at the Caymanian Compass are not. However, it would seem that, especially in
dire economic times, openly blasting the constitutional rights of your largest
trading partner and criticising measures that allow the free exchange of trade
would not seem to be the wisest course of action.

We have not always agreed with the
commissioner, particularly regarding his media relations policies, but no one
should doubt he is a hardworking chap who has done his absolute best to reduce
gun crime here in the Cayman Islands – with some positive results as well, we
might add.

But the above views as expressed by
Mr. Baines are not – we believe – representative of the general position of the
Cayman Islands. We value our economic and political relations with the USA, as
well as other Caribbean neighbours, who are home to rap music and many other

Blaming the second amendment of the
US Constitution for denying young men in the Caribbean the right to life is
akin to blaming a computer keyboard for the spelling mistakes of a newspaper

Perhaps, Mr. Baines would wish to
reconsider these comments?

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now


  1. In fairness to the CoP, my sources in the USA say he isnt the only person to get dragged into what is currently a misinformation campaign generated by certain agencies (BATF was mentioned) trying to justify their involvement in what by all accounts is a bloody fiasco in Mexico.

    As I posted earlier the figures quoted by Mr Baines are nonsense.

    His statement that more than 60,000 guns originating from the US were recovered in Mexico over the past four years doesnt tally with any actual records. The bottom line is that over 2000 weapons are alleged to be passing through the USA/Mexico border each week but theres absolutely no hard evidence (such as substantial arms seizures by customs officers on either side) that this is happening. In fact in the vast majority of cases no proper records were even kept of seized weapons to enable their source to be determined before they were allegedly destroyed by the Mexican authorities so no one knows where they came from or (more seriously) where they went.

    The figures are also nothing new, between 2000 and 2006 over 250,000 illegal weapons were seized and apparently destroyed in Mexico – thats about 40,000 a year. So, if anything, the rate of seizure has actually reduced in recent years and the only new aspect is the blame game.

    Based in the information I have now, the comments were probably made in good faith but the fact that they were not properly checked before being used is cause for concern.

    Based on my experience, senior UK police officers never apologise after a gaff like this but maybe Mr Baines might like to tell everyone who his sources of infomation were and why he failed to check the accuracy of their figures?