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Butler-Turner Rejects Gibson Suggestion On Firearms

Loretta Butler-Turner, leader of Opposition in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Loretta Butler-Turner, leader of Opposition in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

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Long Island MP and WSC chairman Adrian Gibson.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

OFFICIAL Opposition Leader Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday “rejected outright” Free National Movement Long Island candidate Adrian Gibson’s suggestion that The Bahamas should consider adopting a Right-To-Carry law, as she questioned whether the FNM shared this position.

Earlier this week, Mr Gibson said while society is being gripped by “ghoulish” criminal activity that has crippled the nation, the Bahamas should follow the example of some US states where applicants who meet prescribed criteria - including psychological examinations are issued permits to carry concealed handguns. He made the comments in a Facebook post and said they were his personal views.

However the current Long Island MP disagreed, insisting that the matter goes beyond the ability to pass a psychiatric evaluation.

She further denounced Mr Gibson’s proposal saying statistical and anecdotal evidence suggested that this does not do anything to decrease serious crimes or murder. To the contrary, she said, there are likely to be increased suicides, domestic related murders and intimidation by those perceived to carry firearms.

Their differences in opinion came after National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage announced several anti-crime strategies including “lockdowns”, mobile police vans and an armed forces partnership in response to skyrocketing murder numbers. He admitted on Wednesday that the killings are affiliated with people connected to “gangs, drugs and guns”.

Eight people have been killed since Friday, taking the country’s murder count to 28 for the year. The latest victim, a woman, died in hospital in Grand Bahama on Tuesday.

“As leader of the Official Opposition, I outright reject the suggestion by the FNM candidate that we should become a gun-toting, armed citizenry,” Mrs Butler-Turner said in a message to The Tribune. “I am reminded that very early in this PLP administration the suggestion that there may have been certain Cabinet ministers who were armed for their personal safety sent shock waves throughout our country.

“The safety of citizens and visitors is paramount to good governance. It is the responsibility of us all. The notion that armed citizens will enhance safety and orderliness in our communities must be totally rejected.”

She also said: “Having read a statement allegedly penned and attributed to Adrian Gibson, the newly ratified FNM candidate for Long Island, l ask a most pertinent question: Is this a plank of Free National Movement’s plan to eradicate crime in our society? Constitutionally and morally, is this a realistic position being espoused by reasonable and responsible individuals seeking to lead our Bahamas?

“Statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests that societies where private citizens have a right to bear arms there is not a decrease in serious crimes or murder.

“On the contrary, there are indications of increased suicides, domestic murders and intimidation of others by individuals who are perceived to be armed.

“The responsibility of gun ownership goes far beyond the analysis of whether an adult has the capacity to pass a psychological test. Case in point: just two weeks ago a young Bahamian student was found with a handgun in his possession at school. Who did this gun belong to?

“A few weeks prior, a former trained military officer opened fire on innocent unsuspecting passengers in Fort Lauderdale (at the airport) killing and injuring numerous persons.”

She said there are far too many instances of persons being held hostage and even being executed en masse by private citizens who simply “flip” or “lose it”.

“Is this what Mr Gibson is advocating for on behalf of the people of Long Island and the wider Bahamas? I believe that Bahamians must demand of our government and leaders the fundamental right to law, order and justice in an environment free of the pervasive fear of crime.”

On Tuesday, Mr Gibson advocated the need for right-to-carry law on his personal Facebook page. He said with the proliferation of violent crimes and murders throughout the nation, Bahamians have grown accustomed to operating in survival mode.

“Certainly, my son and so many children - who are the up-and-coming generation of Bahamians - should not inherit this new atmosphere of fear and apprehension. These kids should not be forced to live in homemade prisons, walled in and protected by steel bars,” Mr Gibson said.

“These children should be just as free and unbothered as I was when I ran around and played as a child growing up in Long Island.

“Given the above, it is my personal view that we should consider adopting a Right-To-Carry law, much like the United States where applicants who meet prescribed criteria (including psych exams) are issued permits to carry concealed handguns. My personal view is that restrictive government policies should not be allowed to trample upon people’s right to protect themselves.”

He added: “As a licensed shot gun owner myself, it sends shivers down my spine to know that a shot gun has almost become obsolete as a protective measure for businessmen and homeowners, particularly when one considers that the criminal element has handguns capable of firing numerous rounds, AK-47s and other powerful weapons that have no limitations and does not need to be reloaded as a shot gun must be after five to eight shots (depending on type).”

“Indeed, responsible citizens could be assessed on a case by case basis and should be equipped to protect themselves as necessary or appropriate. While we pretend that there’s no real threat, the crime statistics clearly show that we’re walking down the same road as has already been travelled by so many of our Caribbean counterparts, where crime is out of control. We should learn from the experiences of our Caribbean sister countries and try to preempt hijackings and kidnappings for ransom, which could potentially be the next step for the criminal element,” he said.

Comments

viewersmatters 3 years, 3 months ago

Guess she's saying it's okay for criminals to kill people and people shouldn't be able to fight back, just sit and wait to become a target of crime and hopefully the criminals doesn't pull the trigger. The Bahamas are like deers in their environment surrounded by group of lions.

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John 3 years, 3 months ago

Arming law abiding citizens does not solve the problem of too many illegal guns in the hands of criminals. Furthermore when a country yields to the desire to arm its citizens to protect themselves it sends two messages at least. First it tells citizens that the state no longer has the ability to protect them and therefore they must now protect themselves. Secondly it tells the criminals that a potential victim may probably be armed and if he would still carry out his assault on him he must be prepared to use deadly force. And furthermore, he must be quick to the draw. Arming ordinary citizens at this time is like adding fuel to an already blazing fire. Not denying that there may be some citizens that may have jobs that put them at high risk, and at some may need a permit to carry, the number one priority should be to disarm criminals and get illegal weapons off the streets.

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Baha10 3 years, 3 months ago

Everyone has an inalienable Human Right to protect themselves and their Family, which in turn, means the right to bear Arms if need be, particularly in circumstances of a failed Nation such as ours.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 3 months ago

LBT has effectively been sidelined. Oh well..

Anyway I always wonder if people think all criminals are Keystone cops. I predict that the minute "Carry Conceal" is passed, there will be a rise in the underground sales of body armour and an increase in the number of shoot first ask questions later crimes. "Criminals adjust", you have to be twenty steps ahead.

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TalRussell 3 years, 3 months ago

Comrades! Shouldn't the House Speaker and the Governor General who are the two most responsible for steering The Queen to appoint the MP from Long Island "Reheasa" as Official Opposition Leader - in name anyways - have to clue the public in on what the taxpayers are paying every month out to prop up the Official Opposition? How much are taxpayers paying out monthly to prop up the Leader of the Official Opposition's Business in the Red Senate - like who exactly gets a government car and driver, security protection, expenses and travel budget, housing, office allowances, etc? Do we pay for their meals too?

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to Mr. Gibson for stating the truth.

Research dating back two hundred fifty years demonstrates that nations which permit their citizens to defend themselves enjoy low rates of crime, whereas nations which deny their citizens the right to defend themselves suffer high rates of crime.

There's been a great deal of leftist propaganda over the past century to the contrary, much of it promulgated by statists who covet a monopoly on force, but that doesn't change historical fact.

Research in the near term corroborates what was known two centuries ago: if you want more crime, by all means deny law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves, as criminals will always have all the weapons they desire.

If you want less crime, recognize citizens' right to defend themselves, and crime will drop, as it has in 'concealed carry' states in the US, which by the bye is one among fifty nations which recognize citizens' rights to self-defense.

Near term history as well tells us that the mere suggestion that citizens be permitted to go about armed gives criminals pause, a deterrent in itself.

Even when few citizens avail themselves of their right to carry, research has shown that when states pass concealed carry laws, crime begins to drop ahead of firearms purchases by citizens, as criminals recognize their next predatory act may be their last.

As to firearms 'causing' suicides and more homicides, again those determined to harm themselves and others are never stopped by laws, they will always find a way to achieve their goal.

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TalRussell 3 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Paul_vincent_zecchino, as usual whenever snapshot solutions to complex crime matters are presented, they can be so misleading when more guns in hands of the many are offered as the best answer.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 3 months ago

It's no 'snapshot solution', but rather one which history has proven time and again.

The snapshot solution touted by statists and hoplophobes is to ban all guns, which ensures that criminals will forever possess all the weapons they need to prey on defenseless innocents.

Gun control, so called, doesn't work and not one of its proponents can point to any locale where it's been inflicted and show success.

The 'adjacent state theory' is oft cited by gun-control advocates whereby they blame crime in one gun-free venue on 'guns coming in from states with lax gun laws'. It's an old bromide, long debunked.

Gun control clearly is not working in the Bahamas, and yet the laws have remained relatively constant for decades, so the problem is clearly not a lack of gun laws.

New York City thirty to forty years ago boasted a very high homicide rate, almost three thousand per year. Today, it boasts one of the lowest, though the gun laws have not changed and New York, despite its draconian gun laws, is nearby to gun rights states such as Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

What caused the crime rate to drop? Forty years ago, while in college, professors quoted legitimate studies which demonstrated that if police would stop releasing habitual criminals, and instead lock them up, crime would plummet. That was the early 70s.

During the late 80s, Mayor Giuliani did just that, directing police to arrest people who committed seemingly harmless offenses such as spray painting buildings and breaking windows. What they found was that these same people often were guilty of much more serious crimes for which they hadn't been caught. Getting them off the street caused the rate of serious crime to plunge to low levels, where it's remained.

In 1987, Florida passed the concealed carry law to the horror of the leftist media and gun-control advocates, all of whom predicted, 'every minor car accident will become a bloodbath as crazed drivers slaughter one another with guns.'

The opposite occurred: crime began to drop immediately following the law's passage, and thirty other states joined Florida in recognizing gun rights.

Crime today remains low, despite the manipulative reportage of the marxstream media.

Think about it, we're a nation with five hundred million guns, estimated. Were guns so dangerous, so evil, were they so powerful that they caused even the most mild mannered of persons to become a psychotic killer, then with that many guns in circulation, shouldn't all of us have long ago dropped like big, fat, juicy flies?

But we didn't because guns are not the problem, criminals are and it's a surprising small number of criminals who make all the trouble for the rest of us.

Gun control causes crime by shifting the balance of power to the criminal, who becomes free to prey on defenseless citizens. It is that simple.

Thank you for reading and taking time to reply to my post. A pleasure as ever to read yours.

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TalRussell 3 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Winston Churchill may just have gotten it right that an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.
We can site a number of countries with widespread gun ownership that don't have the same magnitude of gun violence being experienced elsewhere. But the citizens were never granted the right to arm themselves for the sole purpose of protecting themselves and their properties from the criminal thugs.
You see when you cave into thinking it's okay to further arm society's citizens under such a damaged culture of violence as we are experiencing in our Bahamaland - it has already become too dangerous to feed the crocodiles by introducing even more killing machines.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 3 months ago

You raise a crucial point, that guns are only but one factor in a society's crime rate, and a minor one at that. There are many complex elements which come into play.

As liberal albeit pro-firearms ownership professor of law, Don Kates, said in his seminal book 'Restricting Handguns' in 1979, 'when one tries to use compare nation's experiences with crime, laws, and firearms to those of another, one wades into a thicket of no return', words to that effect.

Please make no mistake, the purpose of my posts is neither to recommend nor condemn firearms but rather to state facts which the press will never utter, because the facts go against their statist, false 'narrative'.

Many Japanese tourists visit Hawaii, and quite a great many of them enjoy visiting gun ranges while there. They enjoy them because Japanese citizens are forbidden from owning any firearms, period.

Yet Japan leads the world in suicides, albeit in a 'gun free' society.

One can falsely attribute Japan's low crime rate to its gun ban but for the fact that crime rates amongst Americans of Japanese origin are yet lower than those of Japanese citizens, proving that Japan is an orderly society.

Moreso, those who immigrate to America from Japan are yet more law abiding and orderly as a group, even though they enjoy firearms rights which no one in Japan can even dream of.

Thank you for reading and kindly replying. A pleasure as ever. All the best to you this eve.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 3 months ago

The gun trade is directly related to the drug trade ........ guns for payment for drug deals ....... guns are used to barter for street dealers' payment and then used as investments by gangs or individuals to perpetrate the "rent-a-gun" culture of underground criminals and ordinary persons who have a score to settle ........ some people invest in buses, taxis, charter boats, conch stalls ......... many are now investing in guns to rent to criminals and others ............ that is where our Bahamian society has sunk to in the 21st century

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