Editorial for January 14: The elephant in the room

It’s no secret that the Cayman Islands has experienced a dramatic increase in crimes involving guns in recent times.

Most worrisome in the amount of armed robberies that have taken place at various businesses on the island, including some in broad daylight.

It’s not like these armed robberies are occurring in “bad neighbourhoods” that can be avoided by most people, as is the case with big cities elsewhere.  These gun crimes are taking place in banks and other businesses in areas frequented by people of all walks of life. For the most part, however, the armed robberies have occurred away from areas frequented by tourists. That is changing, as evidenced by the armed robbery of Gino’s Pizza on West Bay Road in the heart of Seven Mile Beach on Monday.

It seems only a matter of time before someone is killed or injured in one of these armed robberies. If that someone happens to be a visitor, an already struggling tourism market and real estate investment climate can become much worse. As other places in the Caribbean can attest, crimes against tourists can have devastating effects to the economy.

Despite the continuing escalation of gun crimes and the public’s growing concern, this issue surprisingly doesn’t seem to be at the top of the national agenda. There’s an elephant in the room and our government and its agencies don’t seem to notice.

But they’re not the only ones. Instead of intelligent discourse about crime, many seem more concerned with political rhetoric and Caymanian/expatriate relations.

It is time for everyone – our government, the police, churches, non-governmental organisations and all residents in general – to realise that if the current trends with gun crime are not reversed, it will jeopardise our way of life and the prospects for returning to prosperity. Escalating gun crime offers no benefits to law-abiding residents of any origin; it can only serve to lower the quality of life for us all. We call on everyone to come together to develop strategies to deal with our crime problem before it has severe and irreversible consequences.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Recently here in the United States we suffered a horrible shooting incident in Arizona, involving several people at a political rally. Im not sure of the coverage of the particulars in the Cayman Islands but one of the first things reported from Tucson was that among the first people on the scene of the incident was a licensed concealed hand-gun carrier. While it wasnt necessary for that individual to draw his gun because other bystanders had already subdued the shooter, the fact that someone had a gun would certainly prevented the shooter from escaping. Escaping bandits with guns seems to be the norm in Grand Cayman these days.

    Despite this incident, crime is down overall in the United States because of an armed citizenry. Perhaps, it is time for the Cayman Island to consider the same.

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  2. I dont believe our police would act differently in its policing action based on the effect to the economy. Protection of life and property has no borders or neighborhood distinction. I believe that comment could have been left out. Just as poster JTB on 1/14/2011 3:21:40PM reference to some voters on these island as knuckle draggers should have been edited out. Since all comments are submitted for approval am I to believe the editor saw that comment as appropriate or legally defend-able.
    I dont believe our past comments in regard to gun crime has been ignored by government or the police, to the contrary- I have seen posted in this very paper two proposed pieces of legislation meant to deal with crime, and if enacted would have dramatically infringed on the civil liberties of us all. I agree that the correct process is still to be defined or communicated, and I believe the starting point is the protection of our borders from illegal entry.. No guns are manufactured on these island neither are poppy plants grown.
    No bodyguard or armed citizen stopped Senator Giffords from being brutally shot. No armed citizen will stop gun crime in Cayman. Stop the criminal from getting guns in the first place.

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