Opinions of the respondents of last week’s caymancompass.com online poll on the issue of private ownership of guns for protection were split, with just slightly more people disagreeing than those who agreed.
Of the 504 total respondents, the largest single segment – 239 people or 47.4 – strongly disagreed with the legalization of private ownership of guns for protection.
“There are too many guns on Island already,” said one person.
“Cayman will become like Jamaica if passed,” said someone else.
“If guns are legalized, there will be more deaths by guns in Cayman,” said another person. “Look at the States – you can never go back.” “Arm the police, not the citizens,” said one person. “Do allow mace or bear spray for the general population though.”
“Accidents waiting to happen; children can access; burglars can access; crossfire hitting unintended victims, etc.,” wrote someone else.
One person commented on the slippery slope of allowing gun ownership for protection.
“Private individuals get guns, so therefore do criminals, so therefore do police and it’s only a matter of time until someone is mistakenly shot.” “More guns in circulation (regulated or not) will lead to more guns on the street and more crime, including potentially more dangerous crime,” said someone else.
“I prefer the legalization of private Taser ownership,” said one respondent. “We don’t need to get into the business of killing each other, but disabling until the cops arrive makes sense.”
“The U.S.A. is the best example on why gun extended presence should be never allowed,” said another person.
“I have lived in Cayman for 31 years mostly because guns are not legal for private ownership,” said someone else. “Please don’t become like some states in the U.S.A.”
Most people who disagreed with private gun ownership for protection disagreed strongly, as opposed to slightly; only 12 people – 2.4 percent – said they disagreed slightly.
“It has not proved effective against violent crime in the U.S., which is more violent than any other OECD country, but which has liberal gun laws,” said one person.
Just over one third of the respondents, 171 people or 33.9 percent, said they strongly agreed with the legalization of private gun ownership for protection in Cayman.
“Criminals shouldn’t be the only ones with guns on this island,” said one person.
“When you ban guns, you ban them from law-abiding citizens only,” said another. “Criminals don’t care about your laws.”
“The police are useless and a deterrent is needed,” said someone else.
“With the rise in crime, especially home invasions, it’s time for private registered gun ownership,” wrote one person.
“A machete is more dangerous than a gun as proven by evidence,” said another. “The ban on gun ownership was in place in an attempt to keep criminals from obtaining weapons. Now they are the only persons with guns. It did not work.”
“Study after study shows that crime rates decrease significantly when law abiding citizens are allowed to legally possess firearms for personal defense and property protection,” wrote someone else.
“The police can’t be everywhere all of the time and are mostly a reactive force that investigates crimes after they have been committed,” said another person. “With a requirement for training and ongoing re-certification, there is no reason why private gun ownership for protection should not be allowed.”
“I see no reason why law abiding citizens who follow the rules shouldn’t have guns,” said someone else. “The bad guys have machetes, guns, knives and everything else.”
“As strict as our current laws are, the sheer amount of illegal firearms confiscated annually on islands and used in criminal activities are testament as to the complete ineffectiveness of the strict prohibition of firearms within our islands,” said one person. “It is easier to purchase an illegal firearm on the streets of Grand Cayman than it is to legally obtain a licence. As it stands, criminals are the only ones benefiting from the existing firearms law. Self preservation exists, first and foremost, even in the criminal mind. If a criminal does not know if the intended victim is armed and capable of defending him with an equal or superior force, they are less likely to commit the crime. No one wants to be “shot”. If we are to defend ourselves against the criminal element, we need a level playing field, or at the very least, give the illusion of one. Legal ownership provides for that moment of hesitation resulting from uncertainty in the mind of the criminal.”
Sixty-nine people – 13.7 percent – said they slightly agreed with private gun ownership.
“The police are incapable of protecting the innocent and the criminals are already armed,” one person said. “It’s about time we had something we can legally use to protect ourselves with.”
“For starters, the police officers should carry one and only people who meet a certain criteria,” wrote another person. “Having said that, we have never had this question posed to us because we were never like this.”
“Since Cayman now resembles a Third World country when it comes to crime and the police are useless against the bandits, maybe it is time to allow people to protect themselves,” said someone else.
Thirteen people – 2.6 percent – responded “I don’t know” to the question.
“It seems to me that the proliferation of guns in the U.S. has not decreased the gun violence there and I fear opening up the islands so all who want guns can have them will result in the same here,” said one person.
“Perhaps greater emphasis should be on preventing guns here in the first place,” said someone else.
“I don’t care what the government does, I’ll have my gun on me all the time either way,” commented another anonymous person.
Next week’s poll question
How concerned are you about the current outbreak of Ebola in parts of the world?
- Tremendously concerned (write why in comments)
- Somewhat concerned (write why in comments)
- Concerned just a little (write why in comments)
- Not concerned at all (write why in comments)
- Not sure (write why in comments)
To participate in this poll, visit www.caymancompass.com starting Nov. 10.