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233 Mass Shootings in 152 Days of 2022, why Guns are so easy to Get in the USA

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 6, 2022 – A mass shooting as described by the Gun Violence Archive a non-profit organization as “has a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident.” The US has had 233 of them in the first 152 days of  2022.

But how easy is it really to purchase a gun in America?  In order to establish that, we’d have to go back to 1968.

The United States had moved past the assassination of John F Kennedy 5 years prior, Lyndon B Johnson was President and Martin Luther King Jr. was in the prime of his life.

About 6 am on April 4th as  he stood on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee a sniper’s bullet took him in the neck. Shock and outrage poured out from people around the world at another towering figure taken down by a gun.

Two months later to the day, Robert F Kennedy was shot in the chest just hours after winning the California and South Dakota primary elections. Prior to 1968 you could order a gun on the mail but outrage from these shootings sparked the creation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968 which created the first federal framework to investigate and prosecute firearms crimes.

The GCA required people who dealt firearms to obtain a federal license and prohibited transfers of those firearms to certain persons and regulated the importation of firearms not suitable for sporting purposes.

This law kept guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives “drug addicts”, mental patients, persons dishonorably discharged from the army, illegal aliens, persons convicted of domestic violence and anyone under the age of 18.

The GCA did not include provisions for a firearm registry or licensing requirements for gun owners. At most it prevented licensed firearms dealers from selling to children and the other persons listed above and only licensed firearm dealers could be arrested for breaking those rules. In terms of banning certain types of weapons the GCA says Under the Act, all imported firearms must be “generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes”.

At the time, 53 years ago, Time magazine printed: “It may take another act of horror to push really effective gun curbs through Congress.”

A very important thing that the GCA did though was control the flow of firearms, by prohibiting the transport and shipment of guns over state lines.

By 1986 that particular aspect of the GCA was repealed by a new law.

The Firearms Owners Protection Act, the purpose of which was to make sure that the GCA “did not place any undue or unnecessary federal restrictions or burdens on law abiding citizens.” It is an ideology that took root in America and continues to shape the discussion about gun laws until today.

While it outlawed machine guns for civilian use and punished everyone who sold firearms to prohibited persons, the FOPA seriously slackened the controls on gun purchase and distribution.

The FOPA not only allowed persons to sell guns away from their state of residence, it prohibited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from centralizing or computerizing firearms purchasing records, it permitted the sale of ammunition without a license, it allowed convicted felons to get firearms and reduced criminal penalties for recordkeeping offenses committed by licensed firearm dealers from a felony to a misdemeanor.

These changes widened the pool of who could get their hands on a firearm and narrowed the options of the ATF on how to track and regulate gun sales. It took the heat off of the gun making industry by removing/lessening the federal laws that could punish gun distributors for certain sales.

Some ground was made up in 1994 with the introduction of laws that required background checks on customers for handguns which helped keep guns out of the hands of felons and required License gun dealers to submit photographs and fingerprints and certified that their businesses complied with all state and local laws.

In the early 1990s schools were designated gun free zones in response to several school shootings and Congress made it illegal to transfer handguns to juveniles or for anyone to have handguns near a school.

The Youth Handgun Safety Act which put this into law does not apply to long guns. No federal law press prohibits the position of long guns or assault rifles by juveniles, it is not unlawful for an unlicensed individual to give a long gun to a child.

It is unlawful to own, manufacture or transfer semi-automatic assault weapons in the US. But what counts as a semi-automatic assault weapon in law? To qualify under law a gun must have three things to be banned: a detachable ammunition magazine, which allows for clips with hundreds of rounds, a flash suppressor and folding stock. But many guns evade this category by having only one or two of these characteristics. Gun makers who make assault rifles that fit all three categories can remove one and rebrand it as a different weapon, which is then totally legal, and available to most people over 18 years old.

For context the guns used in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 were legal by this definition, so was the gun used in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and the gun used in the Buffalo supermarket shooting and the gun used in the Uvalde shooting.

Stricter gun control laws are proven to work in countries worldwide while US lawmakers argue over the issue, there has been a consistent increase in mass shootings since 2014. In 2014 in total there were 269 and 2022 seems on par to eclipse that number.

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Crime

Male Succumbs to Injuries

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 05th, 2024.

The Serious Crimes Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force has launched an investigation into the tragic shooting death of a male resident in Five Cays this evening.

Preliminary reports indicate that the incident occurred shortly after 7:00 PM.

The 38-year-old victim was at his home located along Five Cays Road when a lone gunman approached and shot him.

RT&CIPF officers and emergency services were promptly dispatched to the scene, and the victim was rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre for treatment.

The victim succumbed to his injuries shortly after 8:00 PM. The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.

Residents of Five Cays and surrounding areas are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or information about the incident to the RT&CIPF.

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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Crime

TCI Police identify 14 Criminal Gangs headquartered in Dock Yard, Five Cays and Blue Hills

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Danae Dennie

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 5, 2024 – “There are 14 mapped criminal gangs in TCI” said TCI  Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of the Crime, Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit.

In a press conference on June 24, 2024, the RTCIPF shared information on traffic arrests, migration mitigation issues as well as their plans to stop crime, after the four deadly killings that took place within 24 hours of each other and the two traffic deaths.

Superintendent Holden shared that the 14 mapped organised gangs are only the ones that they know of but there is possibility for there to be more.

“..that’s as far as we know so, unfortunately I’ve known that we probably have more organised crime groups operating. We need to really humble around the extent of our intelligence… we need people to support us around that”.

When asked about the ages of these gang members, Superintendent Holden said “The profiles for our gang members are usually males between the ages of 18 and 26. Now, that’s not to say that there are not people outside those ages.”

Holden says these gangs are commonly located in Dock Yard, Blue Hills and Five Cays.

According to Holden some of the murders that happened last year were undoubtedly a dispute between gang members from the Dock Yard area and Five Cays. One of these gangs has now been disbanded from the Five Cays area and the other gangs’ members have been remanded for conspiratorial offences that are fire-arm related.

When asked about how firearms are getting into the country, Holden said “when we have an illegal migrant vessel coming from Haiti it is not only carrying individuals… but it’s probably also carrying criminals and probably contraband as well as firearms, in particular ammunition”.

The RTCIPF has set a National Intelligence requirement for all partner agencies to provide information surrounding these crimes

When speaking on the effectiveness of the Gun amnesty, Holden says personally “anybody who gives up their gun usually gives it up because they know it’s not involved in criminality. If it is involved in criminality, my concern then is , if we are saying to people you can give up that gun without any sort of police investigation. If that firearm is linked ballistically to murders or other serious crime, where do we stand? So I have a personal concern of  its effectiveness.”

“The vast majority of the illegal firearms entering the Caribbean space seems to be disproportionately coming from the US” said Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin

“A lot of the weapons that are arriving in the Caribbean region are actually being perpetuated by individuals who are from the respective domestic states and sending them out as well…… there are persons from our state… that are a part of the apparatus of sending firearms to us and causing the significant evil that it is causing us”.

As it relates to the issue of capacity, Martin said, “ the RTCIPF, is trying to build capacity within the force through training , the development of resources both vehicular, mechanical as well as manpower resources to be able to combat the situations that we are approaching at this time”.

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Crime

Two men found dead on dirt road in desolate area of Providenciales

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Wilkie Arthur

Eagle Legal News Media

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 3, 2024 – Pleasant, respectful, helpful, and humble was the way the dark man with dreadlocks that we saw lying on the ground, in the depths of Snake Hill was described by many Residents of Back Road, Blue Hills and Dock Yard.

The body of Haitian Ras or lil Haiti was discovered along a secluded bush road that leads into the troubled community of Dock Yard in Kew Town.  His body lay twisted, and not far away, another male, this one a more bright skinned, clad only in his boxer shorts.

The second man has less flattering comments made about him.

Happy photos of Haitian Ras were shared with Eagle Legal.

The discovery on the morning of Friday June 28 marked the fifth and sixth murders for Providenciales in as little as a week; the 20th and 21st killings for the country this year.

Eagle Legal conducted its own investigation and inquiries as to the identity of the two individuals, having visited the scene early Friday morning, arriving shortly after police got there.

We were unable to ascertain any legitimate identification and status of either.

Both the police vehicles and this news network Eagle Legal’s vehicle was lost and had to turn around twice and enter another way in order to find the crime location of the bodies. Without the assistance or had we not followed the police speeding vehicles with flashing lights and sirens heading into the depth of the bushes, we would have never found where the deceased bodies lay motionless.

Both men were said to be residents on Back Road in Blue Hills but frequent the Dock Yard area.

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