Ebanks shoots Miller down on gun reform

| 28/02/2010

(CNS): While the independent representative for North Side basked in the glory of his motion on a Fair Trade Commission being accepted by government last week, Ezzard Miller’s second private member’s motion on a revision to the Firearms Law failed to find favour. Following concerns from his farming and hunting constituents over license refusals, Miller asked government to consider forming a committee that included two justices of the peace to consider applications as well as the police commissioner, offering a more localized perspective on decisions. However, the deputy governor told the House that, as 97% of all gun license applications were granted, he could see no compelling reason to change the system.

Miller, however, was critical of having the decision as to who should and should not have a firearms license made solely by the police commissioner, who had no understanding of the local population, and said that people would see it as a fairer system if two local justices of the peace assisted him in making the decision, even if they were refused.

The motion was seconded by Arden McLean, the opposition member for East End, who has a considerable number of farmers in his district, and was supported by all of the other opposition members. Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts pointed out to Deputy Governor Donnie Ebanks that the figure he quoted was less relevant if it did not include new applications as well as renewals, and he agreed that there seemed to be a growing number of complaints.

Miller illustrated the issue when he said some of the complaints about refusals had come from farmers where their fathers or grandfathers were passing down firearms that were essentially family heirlooms, and in those cases they were struggling to get licenses in their own names. The independent North Side representative said he believed it was as a result of what position the commissioners, who generally came from the UK, were taking towards private citizens owning guns.

Taking aim at the previous commissioner (James Smith) who had publicly stated he wanted to reduce the number of weapons in private, legal ownership and queried why farmers couldn’t use a bolt to slaughter livestock and poison for the rabbits, Miller pointed out the cultural insensitivity of those comments and how he was clearly unaware that in East End and North Side agouti is as much a staple food as turtle elsewhere in the islands.

He said that having two JPs assisting whoever is in the post as police commissioner would offer a more realistic view of any given application. “Even when people were denied, if they knew the decision was made by two Caymanian Justices of the Peace they would be more content that they received a fair hearing,” he added.

Alden McLaughlin, who also spoke in support of Miller’s motion, said that the British opposition to any kind of private ownership of firearms was permeating the local environment, resulting in an increasing restriction on firearm licenses, even when held by perfectly law abiding citizens who needed them for their work as farmers. McLaughlin noted the problem was that there were no strict criteria in the law to determine who receives a license but it was merely the discretion of the commissioner, which was why having others assist that decision would be beneficial.

Ebanks, however, had noted that anyone who was refused a license and who felt that they had been unfairly treated had a route of appeal, which was to the Cabinet itself, which contained a number of justices of the peace who had the power to overturn the decision. Ebanks advised anyone who has been refused recently and feels they have been refused unfairly to make the application to appeal, as he believed that the Cabinet would look favourably on traditional users.

Premier McKeeva Bush backed the deputy governor and said government would not accept the motion. Although it came from the independent representative, the premier told the opposition benches that if they had really believed there was something wrong with the system they had had plenty of time to address it when they were in office, but did not.

“I have been here long enough to see when an opposition is pandering to votes,” he said, adding that he had no intention of listening to them as they were merely playing politics.

Category: Local News

Comments (44)

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  1. American says:

    Obviously Cayman law is different than American law and the peoples’ ideas about guns differ greatly as well. I’ve been to Cayman a few times and I like it. The last 2 times I came down there were crimes in the news. In 2008 someone was stabbed to death. In 2010 A woman had been robbed at gunpoint. I found this unusual because the Caymans have traditionally had such a low crime rate.

    My issue really isn’t whether Caymanians find firearms a reasonable form of self defense. Obviously if they are required to be locked in a safe at all times, they are pretty useless for that. Unless the weapon is accessible you aren’t going to be able to defend anything. It’s just property to be stolen and used by guys who don’t really care about the law or gun safes.

    My issue was with this statement, 

    "The independent North Side representative said he believed it was as a result of what position the commissioners, who generally came from the UK, were taking towards private citizens owning guns."

    The American colonies had the same problem in the late 1700s, among others like taxation without representation. We ended up deciding not to be a British Colony anymore and , well, you know the rest.

    Are the Caymans properly represented in the British Parliament?

  2. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Cayman does not need guns. When it is easy to get gun permits legally it is easy for illegal guns to enter the country. It is a mind set. I have seen some of the gun lockers. Not for skeet shooting, not for target practice, not fur verrrmittt shootin. Big high caliber Clint Eastwood shoot em up. Why ?…It just escalates….the crocks get bigga guns…the politicos want their’s….the politico friends want theirs…this guy is a collector….it just escalates. Stop it now….create a depository for all existing guns….fine the dickens out of any law abiding citizen with a gun at home…..and shut down the criminals with guns.

  3. Anonymous9 says:

    THIS:

    ‘..the premier told the opposition benches that if they had really believed there was something wrong with the system they had had plenty of time to address it when they were in office, but did not.
    “I have been here long enough to see when an opposition is pandering to votes,” he said, adding that he had no intention of listening to them as they were merely playing politics.’

    Is uncalled for antagonism and it is a perfect example of why our country is falling apart! Did their parents never teach them to get along with others??

    Get it together!!!! GROW UP! Act like an adult. Show some integrity!

    Our government (ALL OF THEM) act like immature school children. No wonder attitudes are they way they are and there is back bite bickering and blaming the expats for all the woes.

    Picture in your mind someone that you hold the utmost respect for and now imagine those words coming out of their mouth. Does that sound okay to you????

    They should be ashamed of themselves and their mothers should be ashamed of them too!!

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Cayman Islands Government,

    I have rats in my attic. Please accept this application for an AK-47 assault rifle. I need it to eliminate the rats.

    I do hearby swear to keep my assault rifle locked up in a really, really strong metal cabinet and I will hide the key in a coffee cup really, really well. This will make it impossible for anyone to break into my home, steal the weapon, and then use it to commit more crimes.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    God bless,

    Elmer Fudbanks

  5. Bobby Anonymous says:

     

    Don’t be coming on my land with ya guns shooting wildlife,

    If you need a gun to farm with,then prove your a farmer with land and crops. Not a cow tied to a tree.

    Has anyone ever tried to register as a farmer at DOA??? I hear it’s almost impossible.

  6. slowpoke says:

     Me for one, actually like "rabbit".

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its amazing the statements in the media mocking the Caymanian Society by non-Caymanians no doubt.

    They come to enrich themselves at the country’s expense but have little respect for it or its culture.

    Thank you Immigration and UDP for this wonderful future that you are giving to our culture.

     

    • Victor E says:

      Seriously, when your "culture" appears to based upon eating rats and turtles then what do you expect?

      Anyway I am not coming to "your country".  As a British citizen I am living  in part of my country’s territory so I owe nothing to the residents for coming here.

      • Heavy Cake says:

        Victor E,

        Let’s take a look at the very "cultured" British cuisine:

        First, there’s the very popular Black Pudding (AKA: blood pudding): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pudding

        How about spotted eel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jellied_eels

        Devilled kidneys, perhaps? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devilled_kidneys

        If you like animal’s organs, try a faggot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_(food)

        There are a couple more, but hopefully, you get my point. With regards to your comment about the C.I. being merely another part of the UK, well, sure you’re right. But remember that works both ways – that means a group of your fellow countrymen eat some very "disgusting" foods like turtle, agouti and whelks.

        Surely, you know (sounds like you’re "sophisticated") that worldwide, people everywhere eat food that some find repulsive. Caviar, escargot, calamari and foie gras may also ring a few bells.

        • Victor E says:

          I don’t see any common vermin on that list.

          And I don’t recall a love of jellied eels being used as a justification to broaden gun access in a time of rise gun crime.

           

          • Heavy Cake says:

            The point is, you attacked the food we eat and yet, y’all eat animal’s guts.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are not rats which shows just how much you know.

      • I cant wait until we kick out the queen says:

        I cant wait until we get rid of the british..crosses

      • Anonymous says:

        Victor I take it your culture is visiting a foreign destination and insult the people you find there.Sad.Pathetic.

      • Anonymous says:

        CNS – I suspect that your "baiting – ometer" malfunctioned when you let this post through.

        My fellow Caymanians – There are some very malicious and/or mischievious expats out there. They like to play the baiting game. The person who triggers the most outrage as indicated by irate replies and thumbs down, wins.

        There are also some of our fellow Caymanians who are now playing the game of saying outrageous things that they think a particularly nasty or pompous expat might say. I know of some younger ones who boast about doing so. It seems that it is a modern and in my view much nastier version of the game children in Cayman played 30 or 40 years ago when telephones were relatively new – making calls to random phones and saying silly things to whoever answered.

        The point is that CNS would do us all a favour if they did not allow such baiting posts through and the rest of us would do well not to encourage the game by responding with anything more than an abuse report.

        I know its hard but let us ignore the baiting posts rather than taking them seriously and devoting our energies and increasing our bloodpressure in responding.

        • Victor E says:

          I am not baiting.  I simply find it incredible in the 21st century that eating endangered species or rodents are justified on the basis of "culture".

           

          • Anonymous says:

             The rabbit (a rodent); eaten in cultures around the world. The European eel; endangered and a traditional dish in much of Europe. In the 21st century. Simply incredible.

      • Joe Average says:

        So stick with kippers!!!  Yeech Do you know what they smell like???  Dead fish.

        Nah you don’t owe anybody anything.

        Except an apology

      • Anonymous says:

        yeah you dont owe us anything but us as caymanians don’t owe the british crown anything as well so this is our country why do you think we dont pay taxes you smart british citizen

        know your history before you talk  sh**

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats and foreign companies have enriched this country beyond belief.  The standard of living here is beyond copmarison to almost any place in the world.

      It seems to me that you have no appreciation for that and are so narrow minded that you think it would be better if they left and took all the money with them.  The anti-business policies of the previous government are already driving companies to leave at an alarming pace.

      This whole expats vs caymanian thing is really getting old.

       

      • Frequent Flyer says:

        And then the conversation disintegrates even further after this…

        Wish I could put more thumbs up on this and ESPECIALLY the last sentence. Old AND pathetic.

        All it is, is the blame game. I have never seen anything like it in all of my expat life anywhere else in the world. Blame blame blame but never take ANY responsibility yourselves, eh!!!!

        Keep them as your enemies and see wha ya get!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. It time for us Caymanian to have wild turkey, deer and wild hogs let free so we be able to feed or family because we can’t touch the lobster, Counch, welks, grouper,  turtle, doves .wild pigeons .Or eat potty meat with or farmed yam, sweet potatoes, banana and all others.

      I ready to order 100 young turkeys for release in the wild.

      We don’t eat lizards’.

       

  8. Anonymous says:

    typical small town politics from ezzard… haven’t they got more stuff to do?

  9. Victor E says:

    Shotguns have ben used in several robberies recently.  The less guns on island the better.  Eating rats or cutting gun crime?  Mmmm, Hazzard has his priorities wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Victor it was one of yours ,since it seems Britishers have no problem getting a licence,they simply have to prove they are a member of the gun club and loves to play with guns.That is one reason why we need someone local assisting the commish.

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      I’m glad to know we have the right to freedom of expression, butwhile exercising that right, you should know that no one is going to take my firearm rights away from me.  I will be governed, but never ruled.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone ever been shot in Cayman from a gun stolen from a farmer? The problem farmers face is that agouti destroys their plants..

    • Anonymous says:

      Get a large dog – oh sorry everyone already has a pit bull that will chase some poor unsuspecting walker/ cyclist……

  11. Phat and fine says:

    CNS, you sure that’s an agouti in the picture? Maybe that’s how they look on the Brac, but over here on Grand Cayman they are no where near that lean and flat bootied. 

    Ours have way more junk in the trunk. So much, in fact, that I’ve seen a few that were downright sexy. Well, I mean if I was a rodent, of course. Brackers must be starving theirs. Yep, Grand Cayman agoutis got way more bounce to the ounce.

    By the way, why do North Siders want to shoot agoutis anyway? Aren’t agoutis our national rat or something? Is that legal?

    CNS: There are no agoutis on the Brac, sexy orotherwise.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Otherwise known as a big South American rat which people actually eat in Cayman – yuck!!!  Cheaper than turlte I guess.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes the feared and deadly agouti, an incredibly violent and crazed creature which preys upon Caymanians out in the bush.

    The island is being over run by agouti otherwise known as a Cayman squirrel of the gray variety not to be confused with the Cayman squirrel of the red variety otherwise known as a rat.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a way some people fool-fool, you too ignorant to see that is not a Squirrel? For your information, that is a Cayman Rabbit AKA agouti.

  15. Save our Squirrels says:

    LOL CNS what’s with the picture of the squirrel?  SAVE OUR SQUIRRELS? 

    They are a vicious predator and now everyone knows what they look like and they’ll be on the lookout.  

    Bye the way.  I guess Mr’s. Miller, McLean, and McLaughlin have never heard of a firearm although possessed legally being stolen, or "borrowed"? 

    It happens.

    CNS Note: That, dear commenter, is a very nice picture of an agouti….

    • Save our Squirrels says:

      Ok. It’s a an agouti. Whatever BUT it still looks vicious.  Is that a human bone it’s chewing on?  How many agouti attacksare there each month?  100?  More?  How many are unreported because of embarrassment?

      • Ex-Lobsta Hunta - till Decemba says:

        Does look a little vicious yes, but if cooked properly can be very delicious. They’re vegetarians by the way.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Is that a squirrel?

  17. Clint Eastwood says:

    Yeah, this is just what Grand Cayman needs these days, more guns in the public. Great idea, Ezzard.

    I’m sure when teenage burglars rob the home of North Side farmers they will be sure to only take cash or jewelry and leave the guns behind. Na, they wouldn’t steal the guns. No chance of that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its the law that guns are kept in a strong metal cabinet or safe. Responsible gun owners will have their weapons stored properly. Also, being responsible is a  criteria for obtaining a gun license in the cayman Islands.