|Letter: Tasers no solution to crime|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 28 October 2010 10:07|
I would like to address (a recent letter from Jack Grever) from the point of view of someone who has experienced a violent gun crime on Providenciales in recent years. Unfortunately this event and the resulting years of partially successful investigations is the reason my family no longer lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands, our home for the previous 12 years, but we are still extremely attached to the island and are saddened to see that the lessons which should have been learnt from our experience have not yet improved safety of all the friends we left behind.
Firstly I would like to congratulate Mr. Grever in taking the time to put his ideas on paper for publishing. I agree with most of his points and all his intent, it is only through individuals making suggestions that there can be effective public debate that result in new, more effective law making and policing.
I would like to reinforce Mr. Grever’s point no. 5 which encourages ridding the island of firearms altogether via a law which essentially makes all guns illegal except those owned and used by the police force. TCI is a small country and one illegal gun does not equal one shocking incident. The effect of a single handgun in the wrong hands has huge negative effect as it can be used by multiple criminals in multiple gun assisted offences causing far greater harm to society and the impression of safety than the use of a single firearm in a country of far larger population such as the U.K. where four or five crimes go unnoticed.
In TCI, four or five serious crimes is a national issue and an international headline. The British have taken far too long to realize that a gun offence in the TCI should not be treated the same as the same offence in the U.K. due to the destabilizing effect it has on the wellbeing of the country as a whole. Indeed any argument by collectors or gun club members that guns can be owned and stored responsibly is completely unfounded in a country such as TCI where one stolen firearm can do so much to damage societies safety and, potentially, economy.
Persons who want to own guns for (legal) personal purposes are selfishly endangering the wellbeing of the majority of the public. ALL guns found by the police should be automatically illegal and all handlers arrested for an offence against society.
Having said that, I am shocked and saddened by Mr. Grever’s inclusion of point 4 that advocates the use of Tasers on the island. This is, in my opinion, almost worse than arming everyone with handguns where you at least level the playing field between legal owner and criminal. Arming the public with a sub-effective weapon in a country where illegal hand guns may be rife is a license for carnage, where criminals have an excuse to shoot first.
I would suggest that these points need careful consideration before employing such a law:
For now all my experiences in achieving justice in TCI will remain between myself, the police and the governor’s office. It appears to me, however, that the biggest issues is a lack of funding and by default a lack of training; indeed, this has repeatedly been the line delivered to us by both governor’s office and police personnel over the last 2½ years. (I have some sympathy for the latter given the antics of the last government and previous governor, all of whom are not on my Christmas card list).
If, therefore, there are a number of people wanting to defend themselves via licensed Taser ownership (yes, I was sent the petition too), can I suggest that instead you start a fund which holds the money you are each prepared to spend on these weapons and training and use it instead to help train and arm the police effectively through the police management personnel that have been brought to TCI by the current governor.
THEN DEMAND PROTECTION AND JUSTICE, NO EXCUSES AND NO MORE WEAPONS OF ANY KIND, LEGAL OR OTHERWISE.
Lastly, heaven forbid you find yourselves in the position my wife and I did, but if you do, please, please, please do not reach for a Taser or any other weapon. You will likely not feel the bullet that hits you.
I wish all in the TCI the very best in their quest for a safer society and look forward to bringing our children to a place as safe and beautiful as TCI was when I first stepped on the island back in 1996.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 12:27|
Latest Local News
Tourist Board expands adding two new staff members
The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board announced this week it welcomed two new staff members to further More...
Cruise terminal to open April 8
Beginning Monday, April 8, thousands of cruise ship passengers will again begin to enjoy the More...
2013 TCI Elecrotal List Available
TCI 2013 Electors’ Register is Ready! Supervisor of Elections Mr. Dudley Lewis has announced More...
Misick Declared By-Election Winner
Supervisor of Elections Dudley Lewis has advised that the Progressive National Party's (PNP) Amanda More...
New Board leads TCHTA
On Wednesday, March 13, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) bid farewell to its More...