By Shawn Seabrookes
Following the disclosure that the offence of carrying an illegal firearm carried a penalty between five to ten years, a significantly stiffer penalty than the three years that was accepted as the standard, Kittitians and Nevisians uttered a sigh of relief as if to say “Whew! It wasn’t what we were looking for but it better than what it was before.
Many thought that the harsher penalty for the offence might have discouraged an dissuaded the gun toting fiends in the twin island state.
However, as if in total defiance and seemingly making a mockery of the new decision, the senseless shootings continued.
On Friday last alone, June 29th, there were two shooting incidents in Basseterre. Luckily, the two victims escaped life threatening injuries. One forty-five year old male was grazed across the head by a gun shot in one incident, while a young man was shot in the knee while walking through an alley.
To add insult to injury, as the old cliche states, there was another shooting incident, in the vicinity of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, on Saturday night last, June 30th, underlined the ignorance of the gun slingers in society.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that a young man, was extremely fortunate to escape with his life after he was fired upon, at least five times, by assailants.
Interestingly, residents claim that this is not the first time that the same young man has been shot after.
It is alleged that he was involved in a criminal act and as a means to prevent him from “ratting”- the common term used to denote releasing information- attempts have been made on his life. ~~Adz:Right~~
The senseless shootings have definitely left tremendous scars on the St. Kitts and Nevis community, and residents have been very vocal about their concerns.
“It is rather distressing that because of the numerous shooting incidents that locals have now been nicknaming the communities where these gun related incidents occur,” a female civil servant noted.
“Imagine communities are being called “Shootersville” and “Dodge City”- an indication of how you have to run and duck. It is disgusting but that’s the reality. Things have gotten out of hand,” she added.
Despite the frustration, the young lady was kind enough to appeal or a concerted effort from the community to apprehend the gun-toting criminals.
“People know who the culprits are but keep silent. We need to make a concerted effort with the officers of the law to stamp out these lawless people,” she stated.
Within the last three months, there has been a significant number of gun related crimes in the Federation, which have resulted in the deaths of two persons.