Editorial: Guns off the streets

POSTED: 08/25/14 11:29 PM

The crackdown on illegal firearms by the police is long overdue. There is another epidemic on St. Maarten besides dengue and chikungunya: the gun virus. Thursday’s confiscation of 4 semi-automatic pistols with extended clips and a snub nosed AK 47 with a high capacity barrel cartridge was outright shocking, because these deadly weapons are circulating on the streets. And on an island that depends heavily on tourism to boot.

In the wake of two deadly shootings, numerous armed robberies, including two commercial banks, the mixture of streets with gun toting thugs and a tourism based economy is a volatile one. As we’ve written in the past, there can be no prosperity without security.

This is not a call for the restriction of civil liberties in the name of safety. The two are not mutually exclusive. But better and more proactive policing and detective work, including greater cooperation between both political sides of the island. Obviously the guns are not made here. So where are they coming from and how are they ending up on our streets?

 

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