Prime Minister Holness Extends Condolences After Orlando – and Pledges to Fight Gun Violence at Home


The last two or three days have been horrible, at home and abroad – the kind of period where one feels the struggle against darkness and destruction is almost too much. I am feeling subdued this Sunday, and the quiet rain falling outside is in sympathy. I’m sharing Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ statement following the terrible event in Orlando, Florida in the early hours of this morning. 

The gun. The gun. The gun.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is working with the Police and the Army to deal with the issue of gun violence in Jamaica.

The Prime Minister’s statement comes a day after the police revealed that they and the Army will be mounting more police/military operations in the western end of the island.

He added that: “We are giving the law enforcement agencies the resources they need and support in other ways to ensure they can deal effectively with crime generally and murders in particular. Our resolve is to see a consistent reduction in crime and we are working towards that aim.”

Prime Minister Holness extended the government’s support and prayers to all victims of crime, “We as a government are deeply impacted whenever a Jamaican is affected by crime. Crime impacts families and by extension, our economy. Our quest for growth and job creation will be most effective in a safe society. We must end gun violence.”

Prime Minister Holness also extended condolences to the people of the United States as they deal with the worst mass shooting in their history. “We are working with our United States partners to reduce the influx of guns into Jamaica as they too are constantly reminded of the impact of gun violence on their society.”

“Our commitment is sound and our resolve in strong. Through partnerships with law enforcement, the community and the state, Jamaica will succeed in its fight against crime.”

Prime Minister Holness has also written to the Ambassador of the United States to Jamaica Luis G. Moreno, to express Jamaica’s condolence and support.

In his letter, Prime Minister Holness said, “The people of Jamaica have been good friends and supporters of the people of the United States of America, you have stood with us constantly throughout our history and we stand with you today as you grieve and seek answers.

The world must finally deal with terrorism and gun violence, which continues to scar our quest for peace and brotherhood among peoples.

The people of the United States of America are constantly in our prayers as we have been in yours in our times of tragedy and pain. We stand together with you as brothers and sisters committed to a better world for our peoples.”


6 thoughts on “Prime Minister Holness Extends Condolences After Orlando – and Pledges to Fight Gun Violence at Home

  1. We are so often talking about terrorism and violence and suggesting ways to help deal with them, but one root cause for them seems to be overlooked – religious extremism. Religious extremism is to be found in many mainline religions and has already caused denominations to spilt in the U.S.A. Extremism is responsible for denying women their full rights in church leadership, and has caused deep rifts in dealings with persons in the gay and lesbian groups who want acceptance in leadership roles and marriage choices. The Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston is right now showing a prime example of such prejudice in its appalling restrictions on the personal lives of the staff there. Religious extremism and a misunderstanding of the Sitz im Leben of the various scriptures can lead to the tragedy experienced today in Orlando.

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    1. Yes! Indeed you are right, Barry. I could not agree with you more. At the same time as I heard about Orlando, I was reading on the front page of today’s paper about Andrews Memorial Hospital – and although we may not recognize it as such, it is the same extremism, discrimination and largely targeting women. Religious extremism comes in many forms. Thanks for your comments!

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  2. Problem is…who manufacturers guns? Why are they even sold? Because it’s big business that’s why. The most we can do is firefight by stopping guns being shipped to Jamaica but will the US really commit to doing that, stymieing their business at home?

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    1. The six largest arms manufacturers in the world, so far as I have learned, are Smith & Wesson (USA), Beretta (Italy), Izmash (Russia) – the AK-47 etc. – Colt (USA) and Heckler & Koch (Germany). The Glock is made in Austria. China and the UK also manufacture all kinds of guns. So I am not sure if it is really the manufacturers (yes, it is big business) but many of these guns are routed through the US (and Haiti, South America and other routes) so it is more how they get here than who makes them.

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