I Don’t Have To Respond Each Time There is a Killing

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. | Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Gonsalves responding to the recent killings over the weekend said,  some of the homicides are an absence of restraint murder, people just don’t know how to solve their problems by peaceful means, he said.

He further said that some are related to associational groupings, where one set of persons having arguments over this or that, with other sets of individuals.

And others he said are of nefarious purposes or causes, maybe drugs or things connected to criminal activity of one kind or the other.

Gonsalves said at the heart of it is the ease at which people get guns, given the fact that they come out of the united states and slip in here and there throughout the various ports of entry and also those areas where you don’t have ports of entry.

“Each of the different crimes has to be dealt with differently, various kinds of policing, different social responses.”

“ However, I just want to say, not every time there is a killing I have to respond because I speak all the time, and what I said here today, I have said repeatedly”.

Gonsalves pointed out that the government had spent a lot of resources on the police, involving training, cooperating with regional and international agencies, and of those which he cant speak publicly about.

The Prime Minister stated that with all the things which are being done by the government, citizen security must be at the top of the agenda.

Gonsalves was at the time speaking about the relief efforts for the islands when he was asked by Press Secretary Hans  Kings about the homicides.

31 Comments

  1. Herein is arrogance at its best, our MINISTER of SECURITY, our Prime Minister responding to a question, after there has been FIVE and may be more, very shocking MURDERS here, all in the space of just two days, and his response in his duty full giving an account to us is, “not every time there is a killing I have to respond”! Who should; may one ask? He after all is the employed Security Minister of SVG!

    There is this extreme outbreak of gross violence here, that is causing tremendous fear and distress, in both our Town and villages and the Minister for Security does not have to respond or give an account to us! Surely his take on these shocking events therefore, is that we should be policing ourselves.

    John Stuart Mill, that English influential social Philosopher said, way back in the middle of the nineteenth century in On Liberty, had said that the proper role of Government is “to prevent” other people from harming an individual.

    However, here is our arrogant Security Minister and Prime Minister saying that he does not have to give us an answer every time there is a failing in those responsibilities of his in Government or even as his being our Security Minister.

    Self reliance is one thing for us but our security surely is his and he and his Government is failing in their constitutional Duty to us.

    • I always like your comments. Very well analyzed with references to related incidents. You also bring up facts that I/we seem to forget in some ways, such as Yes! Ralph is our minister of security. If he can’t stand the heat he should get out of the kitchen and let someone else take over. I think Ralph is over his head (no reference to King Charles) in his positions as Minister of Finance and Minister or Security as well as Prime Minister. Any non-arrogant individual would resign but it seems he is going to stay (with the help of the doltish)until we are flushed completely down the toilet.

  2. I’m not sure what the government is to do it they call a state of emergency and ask for outside help that may be a littl to much we as a people have to speak up about who is doing these killing and feel safe doing so. The police have to be trusted by the community. I’m sad that my birth place had become a battle ground. I have family there still and Sunday I couldn’t reach my sister and I had a panic attack after calling everyone in the house thanks God they were out with their job. God please help

    • Excellent question Eugena! You may have noticed our sky-high crime rate for our small population did not happen overnight. It started in earnest as our jobs started leaving the country, primarily bananas and agriculture. Eventually these jobless want a better life but have little or no means to get anything. People that have jobs may not be rich but they then at least have hope and a higher self-esteem. Our present Prime Minister believes he can continue to raise taxes, fees, and essentially everything and do so with NO ill consequences (at least not to him). He cares little for the people, he only wants to show that the government is getting more and more revenue every year. But, the economy has gotten much poorer since the ULP took over.
      What Ralph needs to do is reverse his dependence on causing AUSTERITY FOR THE VINCENTIAN PEOPLE and instead a little austerity for the government (to lead by example). He needs to lower the Corporate Income tax…VERY MUCH! He needs to cut Customs Duty by around 70% as well as slowly cut the size of the Public Service by about 50-60%. There is more he needs to do, but if you get my point, such measures encourage investment (see Singapore) and potential criminals will instead be occupied with a job and education instead of “doing a job”. Ralph Gonsalves has stated he has to raise taxes to create jobs…What!?!…He is LOST! If he does not change we will continue down loser street.
      With loser economics we will continue to have a loser economy and a growing crime rate.

    • You are so right, Ralph how can you be running a country and have no ideas in mind of how to cease some of the crime thats affecting your country.
      Here’s some ideas put the country on a 6am to 6pm curfew, have other countries help you out by bringing in some soilders to do daily home raids, all police officers on duty should have no access to phones because of the simple fact you dont know who’s a dirty cop, make changes in the criminal justice system(servere punishment) even hanging. Get some water police to patrol for any illegally activities. Get more surveillance camera install on street lights especially in the villages most affected by crime. Have onduty securities at the entry ports to search individuals leaving and entering the island. The list goes on. Mr prime minister about you dont have to always say something. We need you you do. Since you got elected svg done thru..

      • That is very severe but if Ralph Gonsalves continues his terrible rule the situation may get so bad that some of those measures may have to be implemented. Of course the water police should have been implemented long ago.

  3. Is it only now there is an absence of restraint murder, and people don’t know how solve their problems by peaceful means, along with all the other excuses the PM is saying. This was happening a long time ago and he blamed Mitchell and Toussaint for the crimes in the NDP time. So who should we blame now?

    • Yes Ralph Gonsalves is the master of shifting the blame on others for his doing…He wants others to believe he is flawless. Essentially he cares little or nothing for the country. He cares for Ralph and friends and progeny, the rest can die as far as he is concerned, and that is what many of us are doing…dying. Any words about love and caring are just lip-service.

      • Ralp Ralph Ralph Ralph is that all the abandon pet knows. When the day of judgment comes lets see if Ralph will answer to any of those killing. Hatred like this is what is dividing us. You still seeing the pitures in black and white thats why you only pointing fingers in one direction. Right now the place ah run red and we need to be the solution and not the problem.

        • Champ…It all starts with leadership. The point of all this is that WE DO NOT HAVE ANY! We have a LIP-SERVICE leader that thinks his greed, tough talk, royal face and expensive suits will save the country.
          You are right, Ralph loves to divide the country. He makes people think the only way for them to go is join the ULP. Then free lumber poor relief and more respect will come to them. But he cannot guarantee protection under the law for anyone.
          We will continue to have a loser country as long as we have a loser Prime Minister. Anything he does is always very poorly thought out. It will take time to solve the out of control crime rate in SVG but the correct measures have to be put in place, not always higher taxes and fees. That is exactly the WRONG thing to do! At the moment Ralph is taking us backward.
          Those that worship Ralph indirectly worship crime ignorance and poverty.

  4. A lot of fart coming from a lot of people on this and other Internet sites and from our Prime Minister, all of whom need to check the facts before they pretend to be experts in crimimology or sociology.

    When considered from a global perspective, there is no correlation between the number of guns per capita in a country and the number of firearm-related homicides. The United States has, by far, the most number of guns in the world per capita, at 89 per 100 people, but has a homicide by firearm rate of only 3 per 100,000 people. Compare that to Honduras, which has only 6.2 guns per 100 people but the world’s highest homicide by firearm rate of 68 per 100,000 people.

    Meanwhile SVG, has eight times the homocide rate of the United States at 27 per 100,000 — the 15th most murderous country in the world — but has a very low per person rate of legal or illegal firearm possession. (I could find no hard data but my own estimate based on my knowledge of gun ownership in my home community is that there are less than five firearms per 100 people).

    The conclusion? Give your head a good Shake and learn that guns don’t kill. People kill.

    • Very Good! Ralph is just trying to distract us from the real causes of crime by talking guns. That is what Hillary and Obama use as their distraction. The real causes but take years to ameliorate are: ignorance, poverty, hopelessness and greed, as well as a few other ingredients. Until these are addressed the trend will not be reversed.
      (I think Switzerland has the most guns per capita and among the lowest crime rates).

  5. No one C.Ben-David is denying that those people here who pulls the trigger, use the knife/Cutlass or picks up the club, are to answer fully for their terrible acts but equally, the Government and its Agent the Police, are failing us in their required duty to us.

    Not since the days King Charles the First of England, have there been such arrogance and we all know what happened to him in 1649, and for what reasons. Do we have here in Ralph Gonsalves our own unaccountable King?

  6. Peter, while I support your point that guns don’t kill people, you are completely wrong when you say there is no correlation between the amount of guns and crime. You conveniently picked two examples to support your argument. If one were to take a single city in the USA like Chicago as oppose to the entire USA you would see that Chicago have an extremely high homicide rate. Similarly if one were to look at Venezuela, South Africa and Jamaica where illegal guns are prevalent you would also see and extremely high murder rate.

    The availability of guns make it much more easier for persons to commit murders. Unlike a knife or cutlass a person carrying a gun do not require to make close contact to kill anyone so any coward can take a gun and shoot someone. This is precisely what is happening in SVG. If one were to look at countries like the United Kingdom and Japan where guns are very difficult to come by you would notice there are far less murders in those countries.

    In an article in USA Today dated June 16, 2016, Jane Onyanga Omara wrote……. The homicide rate in in England is about 1 for everyone million people according to the Geneva Declaration of Armed Violence and Development………….In a population of 56 million, that adds up to 56 to 60 killings annually. In the USA by contrast there are about 160 times as many gun homicides in a country that is roughly six times larger in population……..

    There you have it. while there are other cultural factors at play the presence of guns also plays and extremely important role in homicides. Here are several research that support this argument.

    1) Firearm Availability and Homicide, Hepburn Lisa; Hemengway David, Review Journal, 2004

    2) Across High Income Nations More Guns more homicide, Hemengway David; Miller Mathew, Journal of Trauma, 2000

    3) Across the States More Guns = More Homicides, Miller Mathew; Azrael Debrah; Hemengway, David, American Journal of Public Health, 2002

    All of these studies found that where there are more guns there are more homicides and the propensity for homicide is higher. Lets not try to live in denial about the challenges that confronts our country but try to work together to solve them.

    • Augustus Carr, you make some good points but have some facts wrong. First: you yourself said “illegal guns”. There is a difference when you think that Switzerland has at least 1 gun in every household, some households have more than 10 guns. there are few guns in the UK but the UK (before the refugee crisis) had the highest violent crime rate in Europe, and Switzerland, with the most guns has the lowest crime rate. so your theory of more guns equals more violence is inaccurate. “illegal” guns is another matter altogether, such as you mentioning cities such as Chicago.

  7. Thank you Augustus for your very informative post. I so much liked also that post you did here under “OPINION” entitled ” No Police Force Can Be Effective Without The Community.” The dictum is entirely true!

    What is truly interesting is that the enlightened British, no longer call their Police a “Police Force” but now call their Police, ” The Police Service,” thereby reflecting the attitude of the Police, to those they police and the Community’s request for a Social Service in the Police that serve them.

    We are a far, far distance from being that enlightened as our political leaders see themselves as entitled to deference from the lower classes. Our feudal society has a long way to go to be that enlightened.

    Ralph Gonsalves as Prime Minister and Security Minister is only expressing here, like King Charles the First then of England before him what he called ” The Divine Rights Of Kings ” to go, come, do without questioning by his subjects.

    When Ralphe says ” I don’t have to respond each time there is a killing.” he is in reality saying, that he rules over us, and we should always remember that whenever we are dealing with him.

    We the lower classes and the ruled, should always remember that he is the ruler and we the ruled. Our Divine Ruler! He has in his mind other and better things to do other than to be concerned or bothered with our everyday sufferings.

    Therefore, if we wish to kill one another that is entirely our concern and not his for one moment!

    So let the killings continue our Security Minister is otherwise engaged! A Champagne Dinner Party at the U.N perhaps?

  8. Well Nr. PM you know how the guns coming the country, you know why these homicides take place then why not find a solution to these problems. You are leader of this country which means you have the power to provide the resources to combat these problems. So instead of making all these excuses solve the damn problem. Patrol the waters, provide jobs, incarcerate the gang members and drug dealers or maybe you one of them. Do something to show the people of SVG that you care about our damn country.

  9. Well Mr. PM you know how the guns coming the country, you know why these homicides take place then why not find a solution to these problems. You are leader of this country which means you have the power to provide the resources to combat these problems. So instead of making all these excuses solve the damn problem. Patrol the waters, provide jobs, incarcerate the gang members and drug dealers or maybe you one of them. Do something to show the people of SVG that you care about our damn country.

  10. Lostpet I fully agree with your perspective; what many of us in SVG are forgetting is that 17-18 years ago, Ralph Gonsalves promised the nation in an election manifesto that he would be “TOUGH ON CRIME AND THE CAUSES OF CRIME”. Seventeen years later he is NEITHER ‘tough’ NOR does he have any regard for and, perhaps lack of knowledge of the ’causes’ of crime. Yet he is still in office!!!?????

    • Thank You David S. The “still in office” part is a failing of “we the people” for voting for our own poverty. At least a significant number of people that vote for lack of opportunity resulting in poverty and eventually leading to crime.

  11. David my man, Ralph as a politician was only copying one Tony Blair, Prime Minister of of the UK’s rhetoric when Ralph had said, ” Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime here.

    It was Tony Blair’s then campaign slogan in the UK’s general election. The sad thing is this, we did not know that was the case at the tine, nor did we knew that Ralph was a very good copy cat!

    Ralph knows that we are a nation of terrible dunces, unlikely to discover where he is copying his slogans from, that is why he copy the actions and slogans of others abroad and then regurgitates those things to us here, safe in the knowledge that we are too dunce to uncover his tricks.

    As should be noted too David, these several years later, many a dunce here have not yet discovered that Ralph has no political conviction of his own. That he is just a very shallow old man who have worked out just how to make fools of a nation of dunce.

    I fear that by the time he eventually vacates office, we as a nation would have become so poor and destitute, with foreigners owning what little resources that remain in the country and the new young asking us, how come we were so duped and seduced by the slick words of a grubby charlatan.

  12. Friends there is nothing politician can do to stop the killing on our Island. if the politician can do anything then we are saying the Bible is a liar or God is a liar. friends the Bible speak about these things in the last days yet men are telling me politician can solve this problem think again friends. man become lovers of themselves and haters of others these are the last days.

  13. What foolishness are you coming here with Charlie? The Bible has nothing to do with these lawless criminals and Government failings, so just cut it out. Go and sit down with a cool bottle of Beer or a glass of Rum.

    We can most surely solve this problem of lawless gunmen running around the country killing people, if our elected Government would just do its job properly and get these hoodlums into Prison.

    Charlie, men have always hated other men and men have always wanted other men’s Wives, cattle, goods and money, that’s why God instituted Governments.

    So go have that cool bottle ah Beer while you can, before one ah dem gunmen come tek it waay from yoo cause de Government nar do it job of lakking dem up!

  14. C. Ben-David, I mused over your response to the question posed by “Pet” of 26th Sept. The summary of Pet’s discussion was that during the NDP Administration, Ralph Gonsalves blamed PM Mitchell and COP Toussaint for the crime situation then. Gonsalves is now the PM and the crime situation under his rule has worsen significantly. Pet’s question was who should we blame and your response was “blame the people who pulled the trigger”. My question to you is, why should we not blame Ralph Gonsalves and was it OK for him to have blamed Mitchell and Toussaint?

  15. David S our contributor, C. Ben-David means well, but he do tends to get his nickers in a twist sometimes depending on his mood!

    Well C. Ben-David while the violent criminal acts belong to the perpetrators without a doubt, we are sure that you would agree that the seminal cause of the frustrations which leads to the wanton lawlessness, rest with this inept Government and its lackadaisical agent, the Police department.

    Governments are required to govern to our good and not absolve itself of the responsibility for cause and effect. Surely, what we have here is poor Government leading to terrible consequences for our nation and communities.

  16. Imagine for a moment folks, that you own a large factory and in that factory is kept all of the valuable things that you make daily.

    Knowing of the nature of human beings, and our propensity to steal and plunder that which is not ours, and may even bring to harm and even kill, those hindering the illegal removal of goods from the factory, you therefore hire a group of SECURITY PERSONNEL to protect the factory.

    Well to your surprise, for good on 10 Days your factory was the subject of extensive theft and looting by unknown miscreants, who even killed a few of your workers.

    Your being distressed by all this upon learning of the unfortunate events, called upon the employed SECURITY PERSONNEL to give an account of his and his staff account, as to how and why these dastardly events had taken place, but to your utter surprise and dismay, your HEAD of SECURITY tells you “I DON’t HAVE TO RESPOND EACH TIME THERE IS A THEFT or KILLING at this factory”!

    Perhaps it is time for you to show him who is the boss!

  17. I thought the topic was Ralph’s reply to the killing. Why are some folks branching off into tangents with gun control and what’s happening in other countries? The leader of the country doesn’t care and has no solution to combat crimes. He should resign and pass the position of security to a younger more energetic person. Ralph is old and tired and can’t function properly.

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