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Old 20-08-2015, 06:30   #166
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Interesting post RTB. and yes declare your weapons, that's a no brainer.
But an objective as possible cursory glance at just the firearm arrests in the report above it seems, considering the population of Bahamian citizens to the amount of gun related arrests, that it is a false narrative given here that it is just the Americans that have the cowboy mentality. Seems like a lot of YeeHawing going on in the Bahamas as well.
How could it possibly be a false narrative? He was responding to the clear logic I gave, backed by evidence: 99% of ALL illegal guns used in violence in the Bahamas originate in the US, mostly in Florida, and are smuggled in by boats. The guns are supplied from the US, on boats. We are talking on this thread about Americans bringing in guns to the Bahamas, undeclared, ergo smuggled.

What "false narrative" are you referring to?
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:31   #167
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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And all I said is they were civilized for not using a gun!
That is not "all" you said, and well you know it is not. Why be disingenuous?
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:34   #168
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Good point, thankfully its mostly on one island. Whats interesting is if you read the online comments by Bahamians in response to gun related crimes they seem to keep blaming american culture and especially rap music for their problems. Maybe they are on to something. If we compare gun related violence. In the US before say 1990 when rap was in its infancy, to today where I dont even know what the hell they are saying or how they call it music, could show some disturbing results.
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The demographics of handgun violence in the US make it hard to talk about it openly and honestly without having to defend oneself as not being a racist. And, I myself, have often thought that, rap music videos, and movies, glorifying violence as a method of dispute resolution, as well as very realistic video first person shooter video games, play a large part in the fact that our firearm violence rates exploded at a corresponding time.

But, having interviewed a lot of perpetrators and victims of violent assaults in my job, I have always been amazed at how casually some segments of our society regard extreme violence committed over seemingly innocuous events and for specious reasons. They just don't have the social mores against it that most of us grew up with and had instilled in us. It's not going to be an easy problem to solve.

And, even worse, it seems to be spreading.
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:36   #169
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
I have been sailing for over 50 years and never have had need for a liferaft, PFD or anything more than a bandaid.

The number of boats that sink with the crew repairing to the life boats are quite small. You'll never need the life raft......until you need it.

A firearm is a tool. It is a dangerous tool. But so are chainsaws.

The idea that there are only a very small number of Americans who own firearms is belied by the fact that there are about 300 million firearms in private hands in the states. The vast majority of firearms deaths occur in certain urban areas where drug gangs operate, and in suicides. Lawful firearm owners in the states tend to be the most law abiding of citizens - conceal carry laws exist in every state, in one form or another. Wild west analogies don't match the low crime rates. The OK Corral gunfight references may well come from folks who watch too many Liam Neeson movies.

I am not sure whether or not I will bring a firearm when we cruise out of the country. I will certainly abide by local laws - as we have done in all our world travels. I will do as I have done all my adult life. I will avoid going to areas known to be problematic. I will seek to avoid any situations that seem prone to trouble. I will seek to leave if I find myself confronted with folks with bad intent. I will seek the assistance of law enforcement in all cases where I feel threatened. And, finally, I will use whatever means I have at my disposal to protect my family if all the aforementioned strategies fail - and ONLY if they fail.
With respect, lifrafts and PFDs are not well renowned for making it more likely that a person will die at sea. Pulling out a firearm in an apparently dangerous situation ups the ante of violence in the game to deadly instantly. It makes what may merely be an unpleasant situation or confrontation into one which is a fight to the death. This is what Sir Peter Blake discovered, when he was shot to death and the bandits left, leaving numerous witnesses to the murder unharmed. How is a liferaft or PFD analagous to such an equivocal "tool"?

Oh, and as regards suicides, they are widely and fairly evenly distributed and account for a massive proportion of such deaths, so I am not sure what you are trying to say. Most gun deaths are not random, no. The point is surely more important that guns kill a LOT of people and do so proportionately wherever they are most numerous. Further, in those high crime areas you speak of, wherein people are also humans, do the guns make death in confrontations on average more or less likely? The same may be said at sea.
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:45   #170
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
How could it possibly be a false narrative? He was responding to the clear logic I gave, backed by evidence: 99% of ALL illegal guns used in violence in the Bahamas originate in the US, mostly in Florida, and are smuggled in by boats. The guns are supplied from the US, on boats. We are talking on this thread about Americans bringing in guns to the Bahamas, undeclared, ergo smuggled.

What "false narrative" are you referring to?

99%? Can you back that up?

I've lived in Florida all my life. If you think it is only Americans, 99%, that smuggle guns into the Bahamas then with all due respect you have no idea what you are saying. Bahamians come here all the time practically everyday of the week. They buy huge amounts of groceries fron BJ's Coastco, etc. that are taken back undeclared all the time. They smuggle equipment, boat parts, etc. all the time from here to there. If you really knew the extent of the Bahamian smuggling by the Bahamians you'd also know of the pleasure boats and private planes they use back and forth bypassing their own customs by landing on several private landing strips and docks in the Bahamas. If you think that these guns in the Bahamas are 99%, or even close to that percentage, are smuggled in by US registered boats and US citizens, then again with all due respect you really have no idea where these weapons really come from.
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:48   #171
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
99%? Can you back that up?

I've lived in Florida all my life. If you think it is only Americans, 99%, that smuggle guns into the Bahamas then with all due respect you have no idea what you are saying. Bahamians come here all the time practically everyday of the week. They buy huge amounts of groceries fron BJ's Coastco, etc. that are taken back undeclared all the time. They smuggle equipment, boat parts, etc. all the time from here to there. If you really knew the extent of the Bahamian smuggling by the Bahamians you'd also know of the private planes they use back and forth bypassing their own customs by landing on several private landing strips in the Bahamas. If you think that these guns in the Bahamas are 99%, or even close to that percentage, are smuggled in by US registered boats and US citizens, then again with all due respect you really have no idea where these weapons really come from.
It appears you didn't follow the link provided in my original post. Please do. The number is there. It refers to firearms recovered in a certain time period, but can be extrapolated, with somewhat diminished certainty as to percentage, to indicate that the overwhelming majority so do.
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:48   #172
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
How could it possibly be a false narrative? He was responding to the clear logic I gave, backed by evidence: 99% of ALL illegal guns used in violence in the Bahamas originate in the US, mostly in Florida, and are smuggled in by boats. The guns are supplied from the US, on boats. We are talking on this thread about Americans bringing in guns to the Bahamas, undeclared, ergo smuggled.

What "false narrative" are you referring to?
I was assigned to work with the Bahamian Police, as a U.S. federal agent, when I was assigned to Miami. While it is true that almost all of the guns in the Bahamas originated in the U.S., only a very, very small percentage of them were stolen from, or otherwise procured, from visiting yachtsman. The vast majority of them were smuggled into the Bahamas by the same organizations smuggling drugs through, and into, the Bahamas. Drugs flow into Florida from south American, through the Bahamas, and guns flow out of Florida into the Bahamas. It's the same pipeline, and the same people.

I'm sure most people who are the slightest bit familiar with the Bahamas, are familiar with it's history of being a base of smuggling operations, from the Revolutionary War onward. And, specifically of its role in the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. since the 1970's. While the use of the Bahamas as a smuggling transshipment point has been greatly reduced since then, it is still an active smuggling route. At the same time, drug related violence, most related to sales, not smuggling, has greatly increased there.

Many Bahamians participated in that trade (and many still do). And, many received firearms (and drugs) for their participation in that trade. Lots of both. And, the vast majority of the gun violence in the Bahamas was and still is, drug related (just like in the US). So, yes, in my opinion, the US and our huge appetite for drugs, and our glamorization of that life, and the money participating in it brings, has caused most of the crime problems in the Bahamas. We need to own up to that when we are complaining about it.

The U.S., the Bahamas, and the Turk and Caicos, still operate a task force known as OPBAT (which I was assigned to for a while). You've probably seen their boats, planes and helicopters when you were there, whether you knew it or not.
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:50   #173
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
99%? Can you back that up?

I've lived in Florida all my life. If you think it is only Americans, 99%, that smuggle guns into the Bahamas then with all due respect you have no idea what you are saying. Bahamians come here all the time practically everyday of the week. They buy huge amounts of groceries fron BJ's Coastco, etc. that are taken back undeclared all the time. They smuggle equipment, boat parts, etc. all the time from here to there. If you really knew the extent of the Bahamian smuggling by the Bahamians you'd also know of the pleasure boats and private planes they use back and forth bypassing their own customs by landing on several private landing strips and docks in the Bahamas. If you think that these guns in the Bahamas are 99%, or even close to that percentage, are smuggled in by US registered boats and US citizens, then again with all due respect you really have no idea where these weapons really come from.
I didn't say any such thing. I said that they originated in the States, which was backed up and is in any case logical, and I said that US flagged or originating boats being so searched and seized by Bahamian authorities is entirely reasonable therefore. Where did I say what you are suggesting?
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Old 20-08-2015, 06:56   #174
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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I was assigned to work with the Bahamian Police, as a U.S. federal agent. While it is true that almost all of the guns in the Bahamas originated in the U.S., only a small percentage of them were stolen from, or otherwise procured, from visiting yachtsman. The vast majority of them were smuggled into the Bahamas by the same organizations smuggling drugs through, and into, the Bahamas.

I'm sure most people who are the slightest bit familiar with the Bahamas, are familiar with it's history of being a base of smuggling operations, from the Revolutionary War onward. And, specifically of its role in the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. since the 1970's. While the use of the Bahamas as a smuggling transshipment point has been greatly reduced since then, it is still an active smuggling route. At the same time, drug related violence, most related to sales, not smuggling, has greatly increased there.

Many Bahamians participated in that trade (and many still do). And, many received firearms (and drugs) for their participation in that trade. Lots of both. And, the vast majority of the gun violence in the Bahamas was and still is, drug related (just like in the US). So, yes, in my opinion, the US and our huge appetite for drugs, and our glamorization of that life, and the money participating in it brings, has caused most of the crime problems in the Bahamas. We need to own up to that when we are complaining about it.

The U.S., the Bahamas, and the Turk and Caicos, still operate a task force known as OPBAT (which I was assigned to for a while). You've probably seen their boats, planes and helicopters when you were there, whether you knew it or not.
Interesting post and thanks for your inside perspective. However, a "small percentage" still indicates that this is a contributing factor and cannot be in any way dismissed. Also, yachts are a typical class of vector of smuggling into and out of the US and other jurisdictions. Whether you classify the crews of such smuggling operations as "yachtsmen" or not is up to you. And yes, I definitely was aware of those craft (enforcement) particularly the helicopters. They are rather unmistakeable and conspicuous by their general absence in much of the remainder of the Caribbean area.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:08   #175
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

OK, I just deleted a few more posts.
Remember please the "be nice" rule.
If it isn't related to boating and cruising, it doesn't belong here and will be deleted.

It IS a hot topic, but I think in and among some of the rambling, there is good information, particularly for maybe the new person who may be considering going to the Bahamas for the first time this year, and maybe even for the person that has been every year for the last 20.
I know I have learned a few things myself.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:11   #176
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

As far as contraband only being able to come in by boat, that is not necessarily the case, many, many small airplanes transit the Bahamas every day, and I've flown there myself a few times, and never have I had my airplane or it's contents even looked at, so that is at least one other way
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:12   #177
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
How could it possibly be a false narrative? He was responding to the clear logic I gave, backed by evidence: 99% of ALL illegal guns used in violence in the Bahamas originate in the US, mostly in Florida, and are smuggled in by boats. The guns are supplied from the US, on boats. We are talking on this thread about Americans bringing in guns to the Bahamas, undeclared, ergo smuggled.

What "false narrative" are you referring to?
I see that it is possible that this sentence of mine could have been misinterpreted to mean that I suggested "all" guns were smuggled by Americans. It certainly does not say that, and only makes the logical connection between the fact that nearly all illegal Bahamian guns originate in the States and the fact that in this case a US flagged and originating vessel was boarded and searched, and undeclared firearms discovered. It is actually fairly clear I meant this I feel, however, to clarify, I did in no way mean that only US citizens would be so implicated. That'd be kinda silly.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:14   #178
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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As far as contraband only being able to come in by boat, that is not necessarily the case, many, many small airplanes transit the Bahamas every day, and I've flown there myself a few times, and never have I had my airplane or it's contents even looked at, so that is at least one other way
Yes and I didn't consider that sufficiently and should have. Quite so. Still, the point that boats are at the very least a significanct such vector remains valid. The point about aircraft or boat exclusivity was "gilding the lily" rather in any case.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:14   #179
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Interesting post and thanks for your inside perspective. However, a "small percentage" still indicates that this is a contributing factor and cannot be in any way dismissed. Also, yachts are a typical class of vector of smuggling into and out of the US and other jurisdictions. Whether you classify the crews of such smuggling operations as "yachtsmen" or not is up to you. And yes, I defninitely was aware of those craft (enforcement) particularly the helicopters. They are rather unmistakeable and conspicuous by their general absence in much of the remainder of the Caribbean area.
Statistically, I'm embarrassed to admit, that U.S. law enforcement, and military personnel assigned to the Bahamas, have probably had more weapons stolen there, than were stolen from legitimate yachtsman. It's not a secret there that a large number of the Americans who are assigned to the Bahamas are armed and we have often been targeted for that reason for burglaries, thefts and assaults.

Guns stolen from yachts, or smuggled by yacht owners while embarrassing to we yachtsman in general, are just not statistically significant in my experience working there. But, I will agree with you, that with the extreme tolerance Bahamanian officials show to visiting yachtsman carrying and declaring firearms, I harbor a lot of suspicion of the motives of anybody who sails into the Bahamas and doesn't declare their weapons.

But, you have to think about the logistics of trying to sell a smuggled weapon in the Bahamas if you are not already part of a drug smuggling ring. The Bahamians, by a vast percentage, are law abiding people (much more than in the US in my experience). For a yacht owner, to approach one of them, and offer to sell a gun to them, would probably get the same result as if a Bahamian knocked on your door at home and offered to sell you a kilo of cocaine. They, like you, would quickly report it to the police in all likelihood, with the next logical event soon to follow.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:21   #180
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Re: Dont declare firearms in the Bahamas, Ouch!

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Statistically, I'm embarrassed to admit, that U.S. law enforcement, and military assigned to the Bahamas, have probably had more weapons stolen there, than were stolen from legitimate yachtsman. It's not a secret there that a large number of the Americans who are assigned to the Bahamas are armed and we have often been targeted for that reason for burglaries, thefts and assaults.

Guns stolen from yachts, or smuggled by yacht owners while embarrassing to we yachtsman in general, are just not statistically significant in my experience working there. But, I will agree with you, that with the extreme tolerance Bahamanian officials show to visiting yachtsman carrying and declaring firearms, I harbor a lot of suspicion of the motives of anybody who sails into the Bahamas and doesn't declare their weapons.

But, you have to think about the logistics of trying to sell a smuggled weapon in the Bahamas if you are not already part of drug smuggling ring. The Bahamians, by a vast percentage, are law abiding people (much more than in the US in my experience). For a yacht owner, to approach one of them, and offer to sell a gun to them, would probably get the same result if a Bahamian knocked on your door at home and offered to sell you a kilo of cocaine. They, like you, would quickly report it to the police in all likelihood, with the next logical event soon to follow.
Thanks again for your inside and very honest post.

But how can the Bahamian authorities know this in advance? And surely simply nondeclaration in such circumstances and given the situation in the Bahamas and its origins warrants suspicion and should be taken very seriously (rather more seriously than it in fact was IMHO) by the authorities? I am absolutely certain that like circumstances (so, a Bahamian boat cruising US waters with undeclared firearms aboard) in the US side of things would have generated a fierce response! No?
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