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Bishops Demand ‘War On Guns’

Bishop Simeon Hall

Bishop Simeon Hall

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FIVE local bishops “frustrated” with the recent wave of gun-related violence in New Providence have called on National Security Minister Marvin Dames to declare a “war” on guns.

Bishops Simeon Hall, Victor Cooper, Greg Minnis, J Carl Rahming and Ross Davis specifically called on the minister to “lead efforts which would significantly increase the present penalty for the illegal possession of guns”.

In particular, the five religious leaders said in a statement that anyone found importing guns “should face the stiffest penalty in the law”.

The bishops also called on “concerned and responsible parents” to engage in the “war” by not harbouring children engaged in criminality or knowingly benefitting from their criminal activities.

Their joint statement comes after a week of gun-related violence in New Providence, which has seen at least three men killed and several others shot and left in hospital. Last month also saw a number of gun-related incidents which claimed nine lives and injured several others.

On the first two days of February, three men were shot and killed following separate shooting incidents—one on Miami Street of Cordeaux Avenue; one on Rosedale and Mackey Streets; and one on Fritz Lane. There were also three non-fatal shooting incidents that weekend. At the time, all three victims were said to be in serious condition in hospital.

The next weekend, four men were killed and one man injured in separate incidents, with two of the killings taking place roughly an hour apart and just streets apart.

Last Sunday night, 40-year-old Chinese native and shop owner Xiang Song was shot during a suspected armed robbery at his business establishment on Taylor Street, Nassau Village. He was taken to hospital where he later died.

That shooting came after another man was attacked and shot outside a party on Samson Street in the same constituency.

Earlier that day, 26-year-old Jovardo Thompson was killed and another man shot in the leg during a brazen drive-by shooting at the Fox Hill roundabout.

On Tuesday March 19, a man was found dead at the junction of Mackey and Wilton Streets. Officers said the victim was shot while crossing the street after leaving a local establishment.

Then on Friday, two men were shot and consequently hospitalized within five hours of each other. One was shot at 6pm while sitting in his vehicle on Rupert Dean Lane, while the other was shot shortly after 11pm while sitting in his vehicle on Plantol Street.

“Most of the senseless killings in recent times are being committed by persons illegally in possession of guns,” the bishops said in a statement.

“Notably, guns are not manufactured in the Bahamas and persons found illegally importing guns should face the stiffest penalty in the law. Guns are too easily available to criminals and gang members and others involved in nefarious activities.

“We, as concerned and frustrated religious and community leaders, call on the minister of national security to lead the war on guns by leading efforts to amend relevant legislation which would significantly increase the present penalty for the illegal possession of guns.

“We further encourage concerned and responsible parents to engage in this war by not harbouring children engaged in criminality or knowingly benefitting from their criminal activities. Indeed, we commend the local father who recently turned his son in to the authorities for the latter’s criminal activities.

“Efforts to drastically reduce crime must be led by the government, but every Bahamian citizen and resident must participate in the war on guns.”

Comments

bogart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

DA BISHOPS...OUGHT TO KNOW IT AINT DA ....GUNS SHOOTING TARGETED PEOPLE BY ITSELF.........MOST OF TBE TIMEFEW BYSTANDERS.......DONT PULL DA TRIGGURE BY ITSELF......!!!!!!!!!!.....ITS DA PEOPLE WHO PULLING DA TRIGGER.... DA CHURCHES.....FAILURE TO DEAL WITH ....THE PEOPLE.....TEACHING DEN THE CHRISTIAN UPBRINING.....DA COMMANDMENTS.....MORAL CHRISTIAN...RELIGEOUS....BROUGHTUPSY......stead of strongarming dem of dere collection......MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAX FREE CONCESSIONS ...IN RETURN FOR BRINGONG RELIGEOUS BROUGHTUPSY....STILL LOOKING FER RESULTS...!!!!!!!.... AS AS DA CHURCHES BEING THE EXPECTED FORCE....SEPARATE BUT EQUAL....FAILED TO DEMAND UPLIFTMENT FROM DA POLITICIANS........many cohoots right up in da front pews of the church....jonsering for crowm lands...getting dem to pay insurances from failed insurancd company.... TO STOP DA WEAPONS.....DEAL WIF DA PEOPLE BEHIND DA GUNS.....gangs....abject grinding poverty......no religeous broughtupsy...injustice....lack of education....pore victimized....years after years...CHURCH GATS CAT GATS DERE TONGUE FOR DECADES YET CHURCHED MULPILIED....MORE CHURCHS...NEXT TO LIQUOR STORES..WEB SHOPS...IN PORE AREAS......pore getting poorer rich getting richer, second biggest disparity evidenced in Caribbean........CHURCH NEEDS MORE ELBOW GREASE.......NOT TALK...YADDA YADDA....SOME EVEN DIABOLITAL....PROUNCEMENTS.....CRINGES ERRY PSYCHOLOTICAL...ADVISORS.....NO SOLUTIONS...JUST DOWNGRADING GRINDING SUFFERINGS...

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Sickened 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Guns aren't the problem, our people are the problem. As you can see just yesterday, those people who don't have guns are going to use knives. Look at England. They must be the stabbing capital of the world.

Violent, unsocialized, psychopaths will use any item available to inflict as much harm as possible. Put Bahamians in a large enough group and we become nasty! Without a large enough police presence at any gathering, we as a people, will undoubtedly seriously injure or kill someone.

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bogart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

REALITY.... IS ELEMENTS......NO RESPECT......DOES NOT MATTER WITH POLICE ....MANY CASES REPORTED OF ACTUALLY SHOOTING AT THE POLICE....DERE CAR...EVEN JUS SHOOTING POLICE IN CAR WAITING IN SCHOOL AREA... .... SOLUTIONS FOR ENTIRE POVERTY STRICKEN....AREAS...crime generating...tying up millions of dollars....lessening GNP....Solutions are easily achievible...easily attainable.....can be accomplished....no big time scientific rocket scientist !!!!!!!!!!........seems to better ...will put pressure on top cronies...crooks..cohorts as dey feast on more pieces of da pie......

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hrysippus 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey sick. Murder rate per 100,000 in 2016 for the Bahamas is 28.6, murder rate in the UK is 1.2. You cannot compare these countries in a meaningful way. Also most of the knife crime takes place in London which coincidentally is known as the 3rd largest Caribbean country because of its large number of immigrants from the Caribbean. (not typically the Bahamas though.)

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joeblow 2 months, 3 weeks ago

In an uneducated population with no mental or moral discipline, bad things can and must happen!!

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If the bishops stop their war on condoms, they wont need no war on guns.

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