Editorial

Financiers of guns as guilty as the bloodthirsty scum pulling the trigger

Friday, September 29, 2017

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Earlier this week the police reported that they had seized five firearms — a pistol and four M16 assault rifles — in the troubled community of Flanker, St James.

On Sunday, when the security forces commendably took out Marlon “Duppy Film” Perry in St Thomas, they told us that they had recovered a Kalashnikov rifle and two pistols after the firefight.

On September 13, the police reported that they had seized a Taurus 9mm pistol with a magazine containing 12 rounds in Red Dirt community in Flanker. The gun was found in a knapsack being carried by one of two men who the cops stopped and searched at approximately 1:20 pm — broad daylight.

The following day, police from the Narcotics Police Division said they seized one Astra 9mm firearm and a magazine with 15 rounds of ammunition during an operation at a house on Arabian Sea Drive, Seaview Gardens, St Andrew.

These are but a few of the reports from the constabulary in recent weeks. In fact, since the start of the year, the police say they have removed well over 400 illegal guns and much more than 7,900 rounds of ammunition from the nation's streets.

While that is commendable, the stark fact is that they have a lot more work to do, because there is little doubt that there is a massive arsenal available to the criminal underworld.

These weapons are by no means inexpensive. Many of the young, wayward individuals who are using these guns for evil are in no position to afford them. The firearms and ammunition, therefore, are being purchased and distributed by people of means.

Who, then, are these people? It would seem to us that the police need to give greater effort to unearthing these individuals who are just as guilty as the bloodthirsty scum who pull the triggers of these weapons.

As we stated in this space on Tuesday, it is our fervent hope that the police will reap significant intelligence from the interrogation of the two men held in that operation on Sunday that rid this country of Marlon Perry. Those men, hopefully, can say who was funding Perry and, if that information proves to be true, the police should spare no effort in gathering evidence to make an arrest, regardless of the social status of the individual.

The same needs to be done in all other cases in which people are arrested and charged with illegal possession of arms and ammunition.

If the police are stretched, the Government should not hesitate to utilise the services of trustworthy individuals in the private sector who are skilled in the art of investigation and who are not influenced by friendships or political associations.

Until the authorities are able to sever the financial link to the importation of arms, the battle to rid the streets of illegal weapons will be unending. So, get the guns, yes. But also get the financiers of the guns.

Otherwise, the guns will reappear as fast as they are taken away.

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