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The NRA and the Gun Connection in Jamaica

 Following on the recent brutal slaying of 20 first-graders with an assault rifle in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama has called for ‘action’ on some level of gun control while those in the National Rifle Association (NRA) have increased their proclivity in defense of ‘Second Amendment rights.’

This push-back by the NRA and the rush to purchase assault rifles by the gun-crazy crowd in the USA could have a negative influence on Jamaica’s level of criminality. Put another way, an increase of guns in American households will equate to an increase of what I call the ‘effluent’ on the Jamaican streets.

One newer assault rifle purchased in some American city or suburb will, theoretically, free up an older model into the US underground from which it is likely to make its way into the Caribbean and into the hands of Jamaica’s criminal elements.

As a countermove, Jamaica’s mayors — those individuals closest to leadership of the communities — ought to come out in support of and express solidarity with American mayors who are leading the charge in some form of gun control. Indeed, I would suggest that Kingston Mayor Angela Brown Burke should take an active role in this process.

It may appear that such an approach could come across as empty wishing and hoping and not a tangible attack on the American gun-crazy crowd who see nothing wrong with one American household owning multiple assault rifles. In reality, we here in Jamaica have no real power to influence the gun lobby in any American city, but that small move by our local mayors would be better than nothing.

Jamaica’s health system spends about $2.2 billion per annum dealing with trauma/violent attacks, that is, cases where guns, knives and other implements are used. An excess of any more guns in the system brings about an increase of fear, the risk of additional injury and injury itself, attending to, treating and managing disabilities.

Read more: Jamaica Observer

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