Spreading the gospel of gun ownership in Jamaica

As I described in a previous post, Jamaica has some of the most stringent gun laws in the world. Consequently they have a huge problem with gun crime! To say that guns and gun ownership is a sensitive topic there would be quite the understatement.

So naturally I had to wear this T-shirt while I was down there:

My family and I were riding in the back of a tractor-drawn tram through an active ranch that happens to have a most beautiful series of waterfalls (Check out YS Falls). There were a couple of Jamaican guys riding the running board immediately behind us, and I overheard one pointing out my shirt to the other one.

Though they speak English, it isn’t a version of English that the typical American can understand readily, and the Jamaicans are always shocked that I can understand their conversations. These guys were no exception to that rule when I turned around and remarked “Yeah I own a bunch of guns. Too bad you guys can’t.”

After overcoming his momentary surprise that I had understood the drift of their conversation the first man asked “How many guns do you own?”

“Oh well…I guess between 30 and 40" I said. (I subscribe to the belief that if you can count how many you have, you don’t have enough!)

A new look of incredulity replaced the old as the man tried to determine if I was serious or just pulling his leg.

“Where do you shoot them?” he said.

“At the rifle range, in the woods, or at my hunting club” I replied.

In a clearly challenging tone the second Jamaican now chimed in with “What you need wit all dem guns?”

Rising to the challenge, I leaned closer to the man and with a look of deadly seriousness on my face I said: “To keep the damned Gubmint off my ass!”

And thus ended the conversation on the tram.

But later in the park one or two of the young guys working as guides approached me to ask their own questions; mostly pretty typical stuff: how many, what kind, etc. The one worth relating was the young guy trying to be funny who asked me if I could get him a “57 magnum”. Trying not to laugh I asked if he meant a 357 magnum!

“Yeah mon! Dats de one”


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