PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In the wake of another brazen robbery of a jewelry store on Front Street, USP candidate Elvis Flanders expressed concern with the alarming
increase of incidence involving guns and the casual nature of the response by officials and the community.
“The rise in gun related incidences is alarmingly high and needs to be collectively looked into. Armed robberies, threats of gun violence and actual shootings as a response to disagreements and/or misunderstanding is not the St. Maarten that I know,” said Flanders.
Looking at the evolution of the role and purpose of guns on St. Maarten from the standpoint of hunting, deterring and the protection of property, outside of the role it played for law enforcement. There seems to have been a leap to self-defense, aggression and robberies.
“Gun related violence is becoming too common, and almost accepted as normal, and we should not as a people allow this to happen without intervention,” continued Flanders.
Brazen robberies, shootings at festive events, and shooting or threats of gun violence as a means of settling disputes have been plaguing communities across the island.
“There is no way that people are going out to have some fun and enjoy themselves, and they are going to leave their house with a firearm or any kind of weapon, that in itself says everything. These individuals are going out, not to have fun. I mean seriously, is that really called for, for you to leave your house with a weapon, to go out and enjoy yourself,” lamented Flanders.
“There is definitely not enough intervention from our elected officials on how to curb this alarming situation, some serious decisions have to be made if our community are ever going to feel safe again.”
“In my most humble opinion, the penalties are too weak, and government seems lost on how to tackle this ongoing issue. They are void of solutions and failing our youths who are in the majority when it comes to gun violence and aggression,” continued Flanders.
Flanders pointed out a trend of escalating aggression among our youths. Reflecting on the issues of gang violence at the schools which was prevalent in the late 90’s and early 2000’s usually involving bats machetes and knives. Twenty years later the gun is now prevalent as the weapon of choice.
From a historical perspective elected officials have failed to address the evolution of violence amongst our youth, and they continue to fail at safe guarding future generations of youths.
“This current administration has seen an explosion of gun related violence among the youths. No solutions or plan of actions has ever been released to the people. They have failed the people in many ways and St. Maarten deserves better. Real solutions proper planning and better governance period is what takes to this country in the right direction concluded Flanders.
USP has been at the forefront of submitting laws and proposing solutions to existing problems facing the country. As a candidate on USP, Flanders is confident that his continued input will bring about positive results for country St. Maarten and his people.