JRA- The Jamaican Rifle Association

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Malum Prohibitum, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    From Clayton Cramer's Blog:

    Jamaica: Through The Looking Class Politics

    Dave Hardy over at Arms And The Law pointed me to this article about the bizarre upside politics of gun control in Jamaica:

    The controversial call by Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) senator, Prudence Kidd-Deans for the arming of the society in the face of the prevailing high murder rate, has not found favour with the Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA), popularly known as the gun club.

    "First of all, it's not a right of every Jamaican to bear arms, like in the United States where their constitution states so explicitly," said Andrew Chin, acting president of the JRA. "There must be strict conditionalities. In some cases it can put the person at more risk."
    [Senator Kidd-Deans makes an argument that sounds like a position that I would make, or that the NRA would argue:]

    Chin is also a member of the recently established Firearm Licensing Authority that has replaced police commanders as the persons responsible for granting gun licences.

    "In certain areas, if you have a gun you become a target," Chin cautioned. "I would like to think that you would want more people having firearm licences, but I wouldn't go as far as to say make it easier. What you want is to level the playing field so that those who qualify can get access," he said.
    The JRA has a membership of between 800 and 1,000 persons, but estimates of licensed firearm holders in Jamaica range from 28,000 to 30,000. Figures on illegal firearm holders are, not unexpectedly, harder to come by.

    Kidd-Deans set off the controversy when she argued in the Senate recently that all members of the public who qualified for firearm licences, and who wanted and could afford the weapons, should have easier access to them. She also called for the removal of bureaucratic impediments to granting gun licences.

    The senator was willing to take a guess that 75 per cent of Jamaica's legislators on both sides of the political divide were licensed firearm holders, and she noted that those who qualified were provided with security personnel, in contrast with other Jamaicans who "must abide by the rules of the state and, at the same time, tremble with fear at the possibility of the gunman's bullet".
    MacMillan. placing more guns in the hands of responsible citizens will deter crimes

    "Every level of bureaucracy should be removed to facilitate the application of every decent, law-abiding Jamaican who has applied, and who fit the criteria for a firearm licence (and that such a person) be granted one unhesitatingly and expeditiously (so) that such a person can become a front-line soldier in his or her defence," Kidd-Deans told the Senate.

    She afterwards told the Sunday Observer in an interview that criminals would at least be forced to think twice before pouncing on people if they thought there was a chance that they would fire back.

    [And it gets weirder and weirder, with a former police commissioner agreeing that there needs to be fewer restrictions on gun ownership, and the spokesman for the Jamaica Rifle Association making classic gun control arguments:]

    But Chin, who has owned a firearm for some 20 years, saying he had only used it in practice, insisted that more guns might not be the solution to the country's crime problem. Furthermore, he pointed to a lack of quantifiable evidence or data to show that owning a gun actually made one safer.

    "There's no 'yes and no' statistics," he said. "We don't know, for example, how many licensed guns have been lost, how many licensed firearms have figured in foiling robberies or other crimes, nothing tangible. We need to study it carefully."

    He said that in his experience, some individuals tended to undergo a personality change once the gun was in their hands.

    "Some people get an itch to use it once they have it. They feel invincible and sometimes it makes them more confrontational because the gun is the great equaliser," he observed.

    Chin also noted the effect of having an illegal gun on groups such as inner-city youths among whom the outlook was "once I have a gun I have power of earning".

    "Guns are not the solution to Jamaica's crime problem," Chin said. "Better education and social programmes will have a more positive effect."

    [Do cats chase dogs in Jamaica? Do horses ride men in Jamaica? This is just mind boggling in its strangeness.]

    posted by Clayton at 2:26 PM
  2. ber950

    ber950 Active Member


    I have two friends who were missionarys in Jamaica. The place is a mess.
    Also, you have to remember it is a British commonwelth.

  3. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

    I know this one is old, but even the Jamaican's know what the 2A is.
  4. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

    This is just weird.

    Until "better education and social programmes" have had time to be funded, argued over, agreed to, developed and implemented sometime in the next century, I would suggest more guns are the answer.

    Fortunately, for Jamaica, one member of Parliament understands the problem and has offered a solution. Actually, offered what sounds like a workable solution. But.............

    It has as much chance of passing as I do of being asked to join Mensa... [​IMG]
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

  6. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

    Maybe we could trade Sarah Brady for Andrew Chin?