To Arm or Not to Arm (Cayman Islands)


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cuchulainn
August 4, 2005, 09:06 PM
from Caymen Net News

http://caymannetnews.com/2005/08/893/editorial.shtml

To Arm or Not to Arm

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

To arm or not to arm officers of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) seems to be the question currently at the forefront of public debate in the Cayman Islands.

And those that favour the routine carrying of firearms by police officers on patrol are displaying an understandable reaction to the constant flow of worrying news about the crime situation in these Islands.

Many people have gone further by calling for a relaxation of the rules governing private ownership and possession of firearms.

However, we are by no means convinced that arming the police is any kind of solution to the current problems and going even further to allow a proliferation of handguns in the country is likely to be a recipe for further disaster.

We suggest that most people in the Cayman Islands, having been brought up in an environment where the legitimate possession or ownership of any and all firearms have been closely regulated, are mentally and culturally unprepared for any relaxation in the private ownership of firearms.

We do not have the typical “gun culture” of most if not all US states, for example, where weapons of every description are readily obtainable at gun shops, pawn shops, gun shows and through private sales. Along with this, there are any number of ranges where one can learn the safe handling and use of firearms.

We have neither the cultural background nor the facilities for this sort of thing in the Cayman Islands.

As for arming the police as a matter of routine, we have equally grave reservations on this score also. Some of our readers may remember many years ago when two armed officers were on guard duty at the Governor’s House and one managed to shoot the other.

The carrying of firearms by police officers requires a degree of competence; training and responsibility that we suspect may not be universally evident throughout the force.

Recent events in London provide us with a graphic example of supposedly highly trained officers making a tragic and fatal mistake. Granted the circumstances were far removed from what is likely to be encountered in the Cayman Islands but, even so, illustrates that deadly mistakes can and do occur when firearms are involved.

Having said this, we would nevertheless be the first to agree that changes in law enforcement and policing are urgently needed and those changes might run contrary to what we are used to or what we regards as our “rights”.

Again, whilst the current situation in Great Britain is different in its genesis, it is not so different from what we are facing in terms of the changes that have unfortunately become necessary in our formerly comfortable and generally untroubled way of life.

The Times of London commented in an editorial just a few days ago that “The character of life will have to change. The abnormal will become normal.”

This could very well apply to the situation in these Islands, where more rigorous policing could well result in some minor freedoms and privacy being restricted or curtailed, at least for the time being.

However, we do not think the abnormal sight of armed police officers should now become normal or routine, even less any proliferation of private ownership of firearms, which could be abused to settle private disagreements, with some being bound to be lost or stolen, ending up in the wrong hands, thereby making an already bad situation worse.

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Standing Wolf
August 4, 2005, 10:09 PM
The character of life will have to change. The abnormal will become normal.

Lenin would be so proud!

fjolnirsson
August 4, 2005, 10:26 PM
The carrying of firearms by police officers requires a degree of competence; training and responsibility that we suspect may not be universally evident throughout the force.

Certainly a valid concern. After all, not everyone is professional enough to carry this BANG! oops....

Art Eatman
August 4, 2005, 11:38 PM
As always, those who would carry deadly force MUST maintain a level of knowledge and proficiency such that the innocent are not endangered...

Art

Harry Tuttle
August 5, 2005, 12:32 AM
Grand Cayman is a tiny place
http://www.scubadiving.co.za/images/Cayman%20islands%20map.gif
Other than the tourists coming off the cruise ships
most folkes come in and out via the airport

those are most of the roads on that map

bhart89
August 5, 2005, 09:01 AM
I spent my honeymoon on Grand Cayman 2 years ago. It was a beautiful place. Low crime, no peddlers on the beach, etc. The officers there seemed just as professional as any officer here in the states.

Kurush
August 5, 2005, 11:09 AM
Summary of article: The Cayman islands have a growing crime problem. There are two potential solutions; allow the serfs to exercise their right to self-defense, or strip away even more of their rights. Duh! Let's get busy oppressing the serfs! Wooooo! I've got dibs on the random no-knock warrants!

armedandsafe
August 5, 2005, 02:44 PM
You take the no-knocks and I'll take the pat-downs. Some of those girls are....welll,,,,ummmmm, I'll just leave it at that. :evil:

Pops

carebear
August 5, 2005, 05:30 PM
From my Caribbean experience I think it'd be hard to justify pat-downs since "plain view" would cover most contingencies.

Maybe the right to stop and make them spin. ;)

I wonder if they'd have room for a decent sized range anywhere. You can't just shoot out to sea.

Stevie-Ray
August 6, 2005, 12:50 AM
I've been there a couple times. Lovely place. Guess I won't be going back soon if they're becoming "Caribbean Detroit."

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