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Sun Aug 25, 2019, 03:27 PM

One Handgun, 9 Murders: How American Firearms Cause Carnage Abroad

Source: New York Times

One Handgun, 9 Murders: How American Firearms Cause Carnage Abroad

Hundreds of thousands of guns sold in the United States vanish because of loose American gun laws. Many reappear in Jamaica, turning its streets into battlefields.

By Azam Ahmed
Aug. 25, 2019
Updated 3:07 p.m. ET

-snip-

Guns like Briana reside at the epicenter of the crisis. Worldwide, 32 percent of homicides are committed with firearms, according to the Igarapé Institute, a research group. In Jamaica, the figure is higher than 80 percent. And most of those guns come from the United States, amassed by exploiting loose American gun laws that facilitate the carnage.

While the gun control debate has flared in the United States for decades — most recently after the mass shootings this month in El Paso and Dayton — American firearms are pouring into neighboring countries and igniting record violence, in part because of federal and state restrictions that make it difficult, or sometimes nearly impossible, to track the weapons and interrupt smuggling networks.

In the United States, the dispute over guns focuses almost exclusively on the policies, consequences and constitutional rights of American citizens, often framed by the assertion “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” — that the reckless acts of a few should not dictate access for all.

But here in Jamaica, there is no such debate. Law enforcement officials, politicians and even gangsters on the street agree: It’s the abundance of guns, typically from the United States, that makes the country so deadly. And while the argument over gun control plays on a continual loop in the United States, Jamaicans say they are dying because of it — at a rate that is nine times the global average.

“Many people in the U.S. see gun control as a purely domestic issue,” said Anthony Clayton, the lead author of Jamaica’s 2014 National Security Policy. But America’s “long-suffering neighbors, whose citizens are being murdered by U.S. weapons, have a very different perspective.”

-snip-


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/world/americas/one-handgun-9-murders-how-american-firearms-cause-carnage-abroad.html

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