UK to Pitcairn Islanders: turn in your guns


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Cortland
August 12, 2004, 12:19 AM
PITCAIRN Islanders have been ordered to hand their guns to British authorities amid fears a six-week sex trial on the island could lead to violence, officials said today.

Seven Pitcairn Island men face 96 charges over allegations of sexual abuse.

Some of the alleged offenses were committed up to 40 years ago. The trials, which are due to begin on the island on September 23, have caused rising tensions in the tiny island community.

Pitcairn Deputy Governor Matthew Forbes, who is based in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, said the island's governor, British High Commissioner to New Zealand Richard Fell, had ordered residents to surrender their firearms, which they use for hunting and shooting coconuts out of trees.

If people do not hand in their guns, authorities will legislate to suspend all firearm licences on the island and guns would be taken from residents, he said.

Mr Forbes said the island's 47 permanent residents held about 20 weapons.

"It's going to be quite an emotional time for everyone concerned so this is to remove that increased risk, by ordering a hand over of firearms," Mr Forbes said.

Authorities feared that the increased tension could lead to incidents either in relation to the trial, or trigger violence in people's interpersonal relationships, he said.

Herb Ford, head of the California-based Pitcairn Islands Study Centre, told The Associated Press in an e-mail that islanders had been given until September 7 voluntarily to hand in their guns "or have police conduct a house-to-house search for firearms".

He said the British governor's order drew "immediate, stunned reaction from Pitcairners on and off the island."

He quoted one island woman as writing to Mr Fell, saying that "we are being treated as if (we) are a murdering, suicidal bunch of good for nothing sex-crazed cowboys".

Mr Ford said islanders regularly used guns to hunt wild goats for meat, shoot breadfruit and coconuts from tall trees and occasionally to shoot sharks.

Mr Forbes said that during the trials "there are going to be large numbers of people wandering around Pitcairn who are new to the island and there could be accidents".

More than 20 court staff and media are expected on the island for the trials.

Authorities are doubling police numbers on Pitcairn from two to four, to beef up security, he said.

Just 47 people live on the speck of land halfway between New Zealand and Peru. It is 1.6km wide and 3.2km long.

The people of this island have an interesting pedigree. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this gun confiscation ... :D

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armoredman
August 12, 2004, 12:29 AM
Hmmm, watch this space....

GunnySkox
August 12, 2004, 01:12 AM
:cuss:

I sincerely hope someone drops the hammer (my verb-phrase of the week) on the bastardly limeys trying -- not even under a moderately good excuse -- to steal their firearms.

~Slam_Fire
The news: bringing more proof, every day, that people are scum.

Linux&Gun Guy
August 12, 2004, 02:07 AM
Hmm only 20 guns :( I hope someone has a few good rifles the goberment dosen't know about.

House to house confiscation!!!!:cuss: :fire:

I hope they take a stand but knowing them they have been brainwashed and will never see those guns again

Cortland
August 12, 2004, 02:34 AM
You wonder if the Brits will haul this off too:
http://www.lareau.org/40.jpg
A cannon from HMS Bounty! :what: The bore may be mildly pitted but no doubt it still poses a grave risk.

Wildalaska
August 12, 2004, 03:16 AM
The people of this island have an interesting pedigree.

Umm yeah...Murder, piracy and a good healthy dose of VD :)

WildposterchildrenAlaska

Kharn
August 12, 2004, 10:41 AM
I think I saw that cannon for sale on GunBroker, it was listed as LNIB, never fired, pristine bore, buyer pays shipping. Do you mean to tell me thats not how a cannon should look? :eek:

Kharn

MBG
August 12, 2004, 11:51 AM
If I mis-remember my history correctly, were not the Pitcairn islands settled by the decedents of the Barbary pirates? Isn’t pillaging and shooting what they do?

A census of the island taken in the mid 90’s listed “27 able bodied men”. If 7 of them are on trial, that’s over 1/4th of the male workforce!

Marty

BTW, years ago, I worked with a company looking to bid on a satellite uplink facility there. They wound up taking a pass on it, for numerous reasons.

JPL
August 12, 2004, 12:06 PM
Who wants to bet that somehow those firearms will never be returned?

sendec
August 12, 2004, 04:57 PM
I thought Pitcairn was where the Bounty mutineers wound up. It is probably a little late to worry about them having guns now, should've taken care of it 300 years ago.

myopicmouse
August 12, 2004, 06:54 PM
Wouldn't it just be irony if there was a wave of murders when people clubbed their victims to death with coconuts.

TallPine
August 12, 2004, 07:03 PM
It is probably a little late to worry about them having guns now, should've taken care of it 300 years ago.
Yeah, and some of my ancestors were traitors to the English Crown (fought in the American Revolution) so I suppose that means I shouldn't have guns either ....:rolleyes:

geekWithA.45
August 12, 2004, 07:47 PM
this is to remove that increased risk, by ordering a hand over of firearms," Mr Forbes said.

Are they freaking NUTS? They think door to door searches for guns will DECREASE their risks?

Cosmoline
August 12, 2004, 08:08 PM
They hunt with firearms, fish with firearms and even shoot breadfruit out of trees! These are my people! Alaska should annex this island.

In the mean time, it will be interesting to see if the blood of Fletcher Christian will still rise up against the arrogance of the British crown.

deej
August 12, 2004, 08:18 PM
It'll be interesting to see how the augmented four-person police force will be able to conduct house-to-house searches.

Cosmoline
August 12, 2004, 09:03 PM
Umm yeah...Murder, piracy and a good healthy dose of VD

In other words, just like home Spenard! :D

Gifted
August 12, 2004, 11:37 PM
California-based Pitcairn Islands Study Centre What the heck?

Standing Wolf
August 13, 2004, 12:00 AM
More arrogant evil from the country that lost the American Revolution.

Cortland
August 13, 2004, 12:24 AM
What the heck?
Looks legit to me (http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn/index.shtml)

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