Thu | Jul 7, 2022

Letter of the Day | Stop the entry of illegal guns first

Published:Monday | May 9, 2022 | 12:05 AM
An AK-47 and an M16 rifle - two of the eight guns found at the Stadium East field in St Andrew earlier this year.
An AK-47 and an M16 rifle - two of the eight guns found at the Stadium East field in St Andrew earlier this year.

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I am compelled to write this letter with reference to the article, ‘Lawmakers divided on 15-year minimum for gun possession’, which was published in The Gleaner on May 6.

I believe the proposed mandatory sentence is ill-conceived. Legislators have not shown any statistical data that offenders with unlawful possession of guns commonly commit serious and violent crime.

There is no established statistical data for each parish showing that strict gun laws prevent firearm-related (gun) deaths.

For example, data from each parish on gun-related deaths from 2015-2019 show a strong correlation between strict parish laws and lower overall fatality rates caused by guns. Further nearly two-thirds of those deaths were suicides, and only about a third were homicides.

Also, if we can’t stop the illegal guns and ammunitions coming from the United States and entering through our 145 unofficial ports into Jamaica, then no matter how many statutory gun laws we codify, that will not prevent the illegal gun trade.

CARGILL KELLY