Fear factor

Upsurge in gun crimes sends Barbadians cowering

The recent upsurge in gun violence has left many Barbadians cowering in terror, with some shuddering to think how much worse things can get if the authorities do not step in to control the trigger-happy criminals.

A number of lives were cut short by the gun in recent weeks, the most recent being 46 year-old Ricardo Bryan of Black Rock, St Michael who was gunned down shortly before 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 1 in the car park of Lucky Horseshoe in Warrens.

His killing came less than 24 hours after a brazen display of gunfire shattered the early morning quiet in the Christ Church community of Wotton, leaving a 16-year-old boy in intensive care, along with four other injuries, damaged homes and shattered car windows.

“When I’m home every window is shut down. You live in fear,” St Michael resident Debbie King told Barbados TODAY following the shooting in Warrens.

Debbie King
Debbie King

“It’s really bad . . . I don’t really know how much we can take,” she added.

For some like the victims of the wild gunplay in Wotton, not even home proved to be secure.

However, one of the most dastardly acts took place in Northumberland, St Lucy, when robbers broke into the home of Andre Hinds on August 26 while he was watching television with his pregnant wife, shot and killed the small farmer and spared his wife only after she begged for her life and told them she was pregnant.

Such acts have left Rudolph Rock cringing and wondering what has gone wrong with the Barbadian society.

Rudolph Rock
Rudolph Rock

“We come through slavery rough and thing; I know how it is. But we need more educated people in society, we need people that will motivate one another, we need people to be role models,” he told Barbados TODAY from Warrens.

In the search for answers, concerned citizen Kim Smith questioned whether the laws were tough enough, and whether they did not allow people to literally get away with murder.

Kim Smith
Kim Smith

“The laws are not stringent enough, they [convicts] are not serving enough time, they get a slap on the wrist. They may go up [to Dodds] and spend a few years and then they’re back out, and unless we change the laws so that everything is stricter, it will continue. In fact it is going to get worse,” Smith said.

“Wherever you go, people are in their cars and somebody shoots through the window and kills them, or they’re in their homes  . . . and all of a sudden a breakout in gunfire. So you aren’t safe. It’s no safer here than in the big countries,” she added, making reference to Jamar Grazette of Arch Hall, St Thomas, who was shot dead on August 20 while waiting in his vehicle at Orange Hill, St James.

Many of those with whom Barbados TODAY spoke made reference to the economic climate as a possible catalyst.

Among them was Rock, who called on the authorities to ensure there were opportunities for gainful employment.

“It is hardship financially [and] job wise, and the Government needs to implement more jobs for young people, get people go UWI [University of West indies], BCC [Barbados Community College], Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and look for work for people,” he stressed.

Source: (AGB/KH)

8 Responses to Fear factor

  1. Bajan September 7, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Mr. Rock I have news for you and the criminologist from the UWI who believes that unemployment is a major factor in the rising violent gun crimes in Barbados. Think again…IT IS NOT. The gun crimes are committed by persons who are involved in the lucrative illegal drug trade. The illegal drug business is a real business venture with liabilities and assets and those persons involved realize more income from it than the average ’employed’ citizen of Barbados. Their conditions of employment is determined by them, not by law or by negotiated terms of collective bargaining. However, they cannot settle their business differences like ‘legal corporations’ through the civil courts or police, hence the gun. They are nonconformists (rebels) but are more respected in their communities than most law abiding ’employed citizens’, politicians or priests. They have reputations that precede them. Reputations that are enhanced by guns, bullets and blood. Their liberal lives and cash filled pockets are attractive to youth who are more aligned to any subculture that does not identify with the ’employment’ norms of society. They live for the dollar, the wild sex and the adrenaline rush of being the predator and sometimes the prey. They are anything but unemployed.

  2. redhead September 7, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Young people don’t want no work these days they think school is a joke 90% of them want easy money n it is sad boys do de block girls go on de streets at nite .so wake up Barbados its a new style n its worst all now soon to explode

  3. Phil September 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Bajan, You just contradicted yourself. You dance up here with your pretty dazzling big words denouncing unemployment as one – repeat one – of the causes. What causes these mostly young people to turn to drug pushing? NO WORK you idiot. I’m not saying it is the right thing to do. But face it. They have to survive and that’s their way of surviving in this high cost of living country. You exhibited hi education in your comment but in the same breath you exhibited high level of low thinking.
    Crime is an industry .. work on that.

    • Geoquip September 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      He’s right,T&T has no unemployment,it’s drug trafficking, gangster-ism and corruption at play..it’s a lot of work and time to fix,T&T’s has been taking the brunt for Bim from the SA mainland for decades now.

  4. Carrie September 7, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Mr. Rock has made a very good point about needing good role models for our young people. We have to go back to the root of the problem. This is not a one answer solution.

  5. Bajan September 7, 2016 at 11:23 am

    My friend Phil. Please explain why a man earning $5000 a week selling drugs would take up a gun and kill another human? It’s not because he’s unemployed because an unemployed person can’t earn $5000 a week! And do you really believe a person making $5000 a week selling drugs considers themselves unemployed? No they do not! Offer any drug entrepreneur making as little as $500 a week a normal job and see how many would accept. I predict not one! Why? Because they are already gainfully employed in the drug trade and are reaping the rewards of that employment. But even more important, how come 20000 unemployed Bajans have not taken up guns and committed violent crimes as you are suggesting they should because of their unemployed status?

  6. Phil September 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Bajan, I see your point. which comes first? the chicken or the egg? If that $5000/k drug pusher had gainful employment, he would not have turned to the drug trade. Most of their killings and hits are over what they consider their turf uninvolved and unconnected death are what George W Bush called “collateral damage”

  7. bajan b September 8, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    i have to agree with bajan u have some of these same people who had gainful employment they got invoilve in drugs and give up they employment because the drug trade makes more money then they get guns to protect they turf too small an island to be letting the situation get out of control.


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