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Gun crime, the devil and governance

guns don't kill people!

If you live in a metropolis, then you are probably used to all varieties of crime. However, if you live on a small island with the population of a typical western village then frequent murders and gun crimes are inevitably scary, perplexing and worrying.

The larger issue is about gun ownership. Who owns guns and where do they come from. Also, the use of guns to commit crimes is escalating. These events are inextricably linked to the socio-economic state of a nation.

Crime and poverty are two sides of the same coin. To reduce the probability of the coin landing on its head (the crime side), the opportunities factor has to be ramped up.

Youth Employment

‘The devil finds work for idle hands to do’.

That should be the job of governments. They have to do more to fight poverty and dispel the feelings of despair that many young people feel. Youth employment programmes are a baby step but what people need are real fulfilling and rewarding work. They want jobs that can help them achieve and start to climb off the bottom rung of the social ladder.

The disparity on all the Caribbean islands is palpable and this breeds jealousy and contempt just as it does throughout America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The tourism industry helps to balance the GDP but paradoxically it also fans the flame of inequality as disadvantaged people get to see first hand how some people really live.

Deterrents

Stiff penalties and huge jail sentences are an obvious deterrent to gun ownership and gun crime but – crime prevention is always better than a cure.

Throughout the Middle East, the ‘downtrodden’ have risen up, and let governments know that they are unhappy about the society they live in.

This should be a warning to every incumbent politician in the Caribbean islands of St Kitts through to Trinidad.

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