This is Greater Miami – 2019.
What should be a day set-aside for lovers – Valentines Day – is now only being remembered for the bad episode of a School Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – a suburban town in Greater Miami.
May we never forget!
But this is America; a warped pattern of gun use in society is common and now expected. For Caribbean communities, we have always been able to sit on the sidelines and just laugh-weep-mourn at these bad practices. On February 14, 2018 however, things change. One of our Caribbean Diaspora was enrolled at that High School … and victimized accordingly.
This American social dysfunction came to “our home” to roost.
So we must advocate for change, not just in our Caribbean homeland, but also for America, as the full Caribbean eco-system includes our Diaspora that have left the homeland 50, 40, 30, and 20 years ago – plus their children … and grandchildren. Surely, as compassionate people, we feel the thug on our hearts if/when a little one is victimized by this cruel American dysfunction.
Surely, we mourn for our own, and for those who emigrated from our communities; ones who may still consider the Caribbean their true identity and their tropical homeland as their true “yard”.
This was the theme of a previous Go Lean commentary from March 26, 2018, asserting that while we need to work to reform our Caribbean homeland, to make it a better place to live, work and play, that we also need to lend-a-hand to change America. That previous blog is Encored here-now:
Go Lean Commentary – Observing the Change … with Guns
Here’s is our assignment – the 5 L‘s – for the Caribbean Diaspora in the US hoping for change back in our beloved homeland:
Look, Listen, Learn for the societal defects in the American eco-system.
… and if you can: Lend-a-hand
… then go back home and Lead.
You see, we are not trying to be like America; we are trying to be better.
This is a Big Deal … right now. There was a school shooting in the US again; this time on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. 17 people were killed, 14 students and 3 staff members. Though the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has 3100+ students, the survivors are not going away quietly; they are “mad as hell and not taking it anymore”; they are not satisfied with the status quo for gun control in this country and they are not going to settle for anything other than:
When asked about the #Enough hashtag – “hactivism” – these young ones responses has been consistent, summarized as:
America should have considered it “Enough” with Columbine (1999), Virginia Tech (2007), Aurora Theater (2008), SandyHook (2012), Pulse Nightclub (2016), Las Vegas Concert (2017), or any of the other 260 shootings since Columbine. The fact that these shootings have proliferated is proof that the adults have failed to protect their children. Now the children will not be satisfied until there is real reform, real change.
VIDEO – Hundreds of thousands stand with March for Our Lives – https://youtu.be/KYxIQ_FHPE4
Posted March 24, 2018 – From Washington D.C. to Paris, young voices resound in protest against gun violence.
- Category: News & Politics
- License: Standard YouTube License
The implementation of any reforms will surely be heavy-lifting.
For the Caribbean, let’s pay more than the usual attention for lessons learned for our own Big Deal implementation for change in our region. But let’s lend-a-hand here too. We do have our Caribbean Diaspora here, and students and visitors. These ones amount to millions. Any lack of reform can and do imperil our own loved ones. This is sad, but true – one of the 17 victims in Parkland, Helena Ramsay (Age 17), was of Caribbean (Jamaica/Trinidad) heritage. See story here:
Title: Student of Caribbean-American descent among 17 victims killed at Parkland high school
According to reports obtained by the Jamaican Consulate in Miami, one of the victims of the tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 14 was the child of Caribbean Americans parents.
Helena Ramsay, 17, a student at the high school was confirmed by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office as one of the 17 killed by a 19-year old gunman who opened fire on students and school staff. Her mother is reported to be Jamaican and her father Trinidadian.
Source: Posted February 16, 2018; retrieved March 27, 2018 from: https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/caribbean-breaking-news-featured/student-caribbean-american-descent-among-17-victims-killed-parkland-high-school/
Again, the US is being urged to reform and transform its policies on guns and school safety, while the Caribbean needs to implement a roadmap to forge change in the societal engines (economics, security and governance) for the 30 member-states of our region.
The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.
There will be a lot of security and governing dynamics associated with the topic of guns.
The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to transform the societal engines of Caribbean society, regarding guns and gun control. In fact, there is 1 advocacy entitled “10 Ways to Improve Gun Control” (Page 179), with specific highlights, mitigations and solutions. There is also this encyclopedic reference to the US’s Second Amendment, here:
|The Bottom Line on the 2nd Amendment
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Supreme Court ruled on several occasions that the amendment did not bar state regulation of firearms, considering the amendment to be “a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the National government and not upon that of the States.” Along with the incorporation of the Second Amendment in the 21st century, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms. In 2008 and 2010, the Court issued these two landmark decisions to officially establish an “individual rights” interpretation of the Second Amendment:
a. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home within many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court as being consistent with the Second Amendment.
b. In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.
The US has the most liberal gun ownership laws in the western world, accompanied by highest gun crime and murder rate.
The Go Lean book asserts that every community has bad actors, and coupled with guns, a bad actor can do a lot of damage. The assumption in the Social Contract – where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights – is for the State or governing entity to regulate weapons to ensure protections for all members of society. There must be “new guards” to assuage any gun risks and threats in Caribbean communities. This point is pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13) that claims:
x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. …
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.
Reforming guns in the US is a BIG DEAL considering that many Caribbean people have emigrated to the US from their island homes. It is a frightening prospect that our people may have jumped from the “frying pan” of failing communities, “into the fire” of a gun-crazed society. This point was addressed recently in a previous blog-commentary entitled – ‘Pulled’ – Despite American Guns with this excerpt:
The repeated incidences of mass shootings – with no gun control remediation – makes American life defective …
This commentary aligns with charter of the book Go Lean … Caribbean to make the countries of the Caribbean region better places to live, work and play. The goal is to be Better Than America; to be a protégé without the ignominious Second Amendment; to exercise better governance.
Let’s see how this process goes in the US. Guns are in the DNA of this country; the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791; the US has more gun ownership per capita than any other country in the world; more gun deaths too. Changing this culture will truly be a BIG DEAL!
This writer is doing more than just “look, see or observe”; I will lend-a-hand as well.
I have children and grandchildren in the US States of Florida and Arizona. Though my efforts are only in the scope of reforming and transforming the Caribbean, my heart does want to ensure change in the US regarding guns and school safety.
I would not want to sacrifice my children nor grandchildren to the American twisted perception of gun rights. No, and while I accept the premise that I cannot fix America, I can work to fix the Caribbean homelands to be better places to live, work and play. Hopefully then we can provide a model to the US on how to effect change.
Let’s observe-and-report on this American effort – these Parkland students – let’s observe their successes and their failures, while we hope for change.
Speaking of change, this commentary commences a short 3-part series on “Change” in society. The full catalog of commentaries in this series are as follows:
- Change! Observing the Change – Student Marches for Gun Control Reform and Action
- Change! Be the Change – RIP Linda Brown; the little girl in “Brown vs Board of Education”
- Change! Forging Change – Citibank’s Model of “Corporate Vigilantism”
All of these commentaries give insights on “how” the stewards of a new Caribbean can persuade people, establishments and institutions to forge change in their communities. 🙂
Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.