Have you heard the ads for Belize real estate on the radio? They tout the country’s stable political system, proximity to the United State, native English language, clement weather and relatively cheap land prices. Paradise on earth? Not if you violate the country’s gun laws. Last week, a Belizean judge sent a mother and her two-month-old baby to jail after police found a single bullet in her home. How politically stable can a country be with this sort of draconian gun control regime? Stable, perhaps, but not free. As the following editorial (republished with permission) from the publisher of amadala.com.bz proves . . .
Every now and then, I have a hard time producing a column. One of the reasons for this is that I am not a machine. A second reason is that there are times I have to swallow things I’d really want to say.
I saw a story some days ago where a nursing mother with a two-month-old baby got remanded to prison because the police found a bullet in her home. The whole family was taken away to jail. I really thought we had found a way to take the fangs out of our stupid gun laws, but the vicious predator, made in the U.S.A., is still with us.
In these modern, urbanized societies, we live in large groups of human beings. We have laws and regulations which guide and govern our individual conduct, and these laws and regulations exist so as to reduce the amount of friction among us; laws and regulations are supposed to facilitate us in our daily interactions with each other.
Some of these laws and regulations are relics from the time when Belize was British Honduras, which is to say, a colony of Great Britain. Other laws and regulations were products of our government’s need to cater to the priorities of the mighty United States of America, our new bosses. Belize’s police department is absolutely “gung-ho” about chasing down weed and weed smokers. Even our army is enlisted in this “anti-herbs” campaign. The Belize war against weed is in fulfillment of an agenda made in Washington, D. C.
The gun and ammunition laws were passed, our legislators said, to make it difficult for our gangs to obtain the guns and bullets they need to rob law-abiding citizens and to murder each other. These laws were first introduced about twenty years ago, and I think they have been amended once or twice. Today, all of us Belizeans know that these are laws which are abysmal failures, if we are to judge failure or success on the basis of the original intent of the laws.
What the guns laws have succeeded in doing is to intimidate and victimize innocent citizens who live in certain targeted neighborhoods. The laws are draconian, and they have contributed to the ever-growing sense in the Belizean people that we are not in control of our own destiny.
How free are we, Belizeans? How much power do we have to run this Belizean show we call our own? To what extent does the superpower United States of America interfere in our reality? These are relevant questions, and they are serious questions. How can these questions be any more relevant and any more serious than when they address a situation where a two-month-old baby is deprived of its mother’s breast milk because a bullet was found in a dwelling in which she resides?
The frigging bottom line of the gun and ammunition laws is that the magistrate has to send you to jail because this legislation reverses everything we know about British common law and considers you guilty until you can prove your innocence. Why the hell shouldn’t you be allowed to get bail if a single bullet is found in an abode where other people live with you?
I hold Ya Ya Marin Coleman in high esteem because she has the courage of her convictions, as it is said. Ya Ya has been putting in work, for real. Single-woman protest, however, will not accomplish anything. Belize is ruled by party politics, under the umbrella of the invisible power structure, and party politics is all about human numbers.
In early 1970, the UBAD organization, which I led, came into direct conflict with the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). In UBAD, we said we were revolutionary, but there is no doubt that the PUP at foundation in 1950, just twenty years earlier, had been a truly revolutionary movement. Inside the PUP the people of Belize stood up against the great United Kingdom.
The people of Belize supported their leaders in the fight for self-rule. In the first seven years of the PUP’s existence, incidentally and lost in history, its base strength came from the General Workers Union (GWU), a trade union which had been established in the 1940s.
The people of Belize apparently believed that we accomplished something of permanent upliftment when we became politically independent in September of 1981. In the 33 years since then, there is only once when I have seen the people of Belize rise up en masse in the population center to make a point on a national issue. This was late in 2004, when there were financial scandals in the Social Security Board (SSB) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The popular uprising of late 2004, however, was quickly taken over by the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP).
It seems to me that when any of the two major political parties takes over anything, that is the end of it, because the two major political parties are the instruments through which the invisible power structure of Belize, in collusion with the forces of imperialism and neocolonialism, controls the will of the Belizean people. The two political parties are “responsible” organizations. But would you say that the gun law is a “responsible” piece of legislation? Personally, I would say that both the weed law and the gun law serve the interests of Buckingham Palace and Washington, D. C. So now, what is it that we are independent of, Belizeans?
There is a need for the people of Belize to be educated politically beyond the colors, slogans, and flags of party politics. It is said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. But the weed law and the gun law in independent Belize suggest to me that we are not free. Before we can be vigilant, we have to be educated about the nature of freedom.
Remember, there was a time when we were enslaved, and for sure we knew we were not free. The white supremacists, in their calculated brilliance, then introduced a disguised form of slavery to us, and they called it colonialism. When we got hip to how degrading colonialism really was, the white supremacists, in a burst of renewed calculated brilliance, said, listen up, we’ll give you independence.
Okay now, can’t you see, Belizean people, that this game is bogus? The evidence is the weed law and the evidence is the gun law. These are not Belizean laws. These are oppressive laws. The PUDP are in bed with white supremacy. Power to the people. This is a must.
Notice that this kind of direct assault on freedom predominately comes from people who call themselves “government.”
The very people who proclaim to be the guardians of freedom are by far the biggest threat to it.
It’s for your own bloody good!
Government is a symptom. Voters are the disease. In our case, leftists. So long as they continue to be willing slaves, they will vote in their own masters.
Draconian laws are actually an example of an unstable political environment because the people will eventually revolt, throwing out the old government.
Of course, it’s very difficult to keep the peace after a revolution (I’m pleasantly surprised our founders writing was able to prevent a civil war for as long as they did) but that’s the nature of revolution.
When was the whisky rebellion?
” white supremacy” Really? Read that again, and list all the leftist ideology talking points. Then think about it awhile.
I assume the vast majority of Belizeans are not white, and the vast majority of the ones the author believes are in control are white, therefore I can see where the term of white supremacy would be fitting in the author’s eyes. Other than the simplistic description of white supremacy, I have a hard time disagreeing with the notion. We live in a similar state of affairs here in the US. Laws created to control rather than to facilitate cooperation between individuals.
crack a history book, jackass.
Yep, long list of “white supremacists”, and funny thing, they are communist/socialist/fascist, which makes them leftists. The fail is strong in you.
It’s not the same as the manufactured race baiting in the US. The colonial Brits weren’t a very open minded bunch. Give this article credit, for whatever his talking points, he recognizes the evils of gun control.
According to Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate ) Belize has the 4th highest murder rate on earth, 9.5 times higher than the USA.
Is Guatemala on that list? Venezuela? Egypt? What order are they in?
They are all on the list, and lower. But Belize is a relatively small country, so it has a disproportionally high per capita number like most other small countries.
Yes, Belize runs neck-and-neck with the U.S. Virgin Islands, at about 52 homicides per 100,000, a dead-heat tie for highest homicide rate the in the English-speaking New World.
The ABC’ s are beautiful to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Whenever I think about moving somewhere warm to live in retirement, I look at their gun laws.
Most of them suck.
Come to AZ. No beach, but lots of warm weather, and some kickin’ gun laws.
No beach but lots of sand, amiright?
No, not really. You might be thinking of White Sands, NM.
AZ is gorgeous. So is NM.
I do like the Flagstaff area.
Check out the Show Low/Pinetop area the next time you’re around. It’s a few hours east of Flagstaff and much more off the beaten path.
Absolutely. I moved to AZ in February. Best move I have ever made. Sunny, warm, and free…and Arizonians are especially fond of the 2nd amendment.
Alabama’s not all that bad. I moved to Gulf Shores a couple of weeks ago and it’s mostly retired people down here during the winter. Gun laws are decent (other than having to have a CCL to carry in your car, which is absurd.) and the weather is great.
But the old people! You never realize how fast you walk until you’re trying to get through walmart with 20 70 year old’s in front of you…
Funny how it’s always “white supremacy,” “racism,” “exploitation” – the white supremacists, racists and exploiters left and let the indigenous people f*uck themselves – and they did!
What do you mean “always” We left Iraq and look at what an awesome job they’ve done with the place since we pulled out!
To be fair, all we really did was destroy the stability provided by their government (yes, I’m well aware that their government was pretty horrible, but I’m not convinced the destabilization was worth it; talk to some Iraqis, see how many of them say life was actually better under Sadaam), without really providing an alternative. Sure, we made a half-assed attempt to establish democracy (which, spoiler alert, is pretty much useless without stability), which failed. And then we left them to fend for themselves, after destabilizing the entire region by a pretty significant amount. So, blame them for their current predicament all you want, just be aware of who is really at fault.
Add to that, the US military disarmed the civilains who were to defending themselves. Because it was assumed the weapons would be used against US targets. However, most locals were just taking care of business on the criminal cartels.
The gun prohibition was lifted but most people were too poor to rearm and remained victims.
In this particular case, the laws like this are the leftover from the British colonization period. This is actually fairly common in many colonies. In a similar vein, the fact that homosexuality was a crime punished by a lengthy prison term in India is also a British artifact, they didn’t consider it wrong until they were told to do so by the colonizers.
Of the fact that colonialism produced better governance than universal suffrage democracy under the watchful eye of Washington DC there can be no doubt. The examples range from Angola to Belize to the Congo to Djibouti to Egypt.
What we have here, however, is a call for government that is even more Progressive than their current government. Remember: Slavery is Freedom!
>> Of the fact that colonialism produced better governance than universal suffrage democracy under the watchful eye of Washington DC there can be no doubt. The examples range from Angola to Belize to the Congo to Djibouti to Egypt.
Congo is an example of colonialism producing a “better” government???
Are you serious?..
Have you ever heard the name, “Congo Free State”?
This. And in case someone doesn’t feel like going all the way to Google to learn more….
Have you heard of the Belgian Congo? Or Zaïre? Or the Democratic Republic of Congo? Which of the four provided the best governance? Which the worst? Why does colonialism have to answer for its disasters but decolonization doesn’t?
Everyone has to answer for what they did wrong, but you have picked a very, very bad example here.
Congo Free State resulted in anywhere from 5 million to 15 million deaths, and that’s not even counting the mutilations (people who had their limbs chopped off, or the same done to their children, when they couldn’t meet the quota) – all this in less than 25 years. The usual estimate is ~20% of the population. Note that these are almost all civilians, since we’re talking about punitive slavery, not civil war. And all this was not even a result of a fight for power, but solely to pad the pockets of a single man who literally owned the entire country and all the people in it, and was bent on squeezing every single penny for himself, however brutal measures this took. And so we have a litany of witness accounts detailing the practices of punitive amputation and torture, mass murder of whole villages that didn’t meet the quotas, Mongol-style piles of severed heads etc.
For comparison, even if you add up the toll for all the civil wars, external invasions, and other disturbances in Congo since independence, it tops at about 6 million by the highest estimate, that over a period of 60 years. And this number also includes soldiers from both sides, not just civilians.
I remember Zaire. Funny, how individuals set themselves up as “leaders of the people” and then proceeded to murder those “people”, all the while stealing everything they could lay hands on. Colonial governance did not create that, it was the tribal pattern from before European colonization, writ large.
You didn’t answer my question. You’ve got the Congo Free State, the Belgian Congo, Zaïre and the DRC. Which of the four provided the best governance? Was that an anomaly relative to its peers or was it typical of the governance of its peers? (By peers I mean, governments similarly constituted at similar times in similar locations.) Which provided the worst governance? Was it an anomaly or typical relative to its peers?
I think they all need to smoke a fat bowl and go shoot something?
With their gun laws as draconian as they are, can you imagine what the drug laws must be like?
Some of that could be applied to our own current status with the failed two party system.
And of course right wingers dismiss any “white supremacist” claim, but just end up ignoring history and making themselves look even more bigoted.
I don’t dismiss them. I dismiss them as a strawman excuse, and I simply ask that leftists hate black supremacists and Islam supremacists as much as white supremacists. For some reason, they have a hard time doing that. Almost as if doing so would delegitimize their agenda.
This is exactly why I’ve never been attracted to these “Bargain” South/Central American “escapes”.
So what if you can bribe the local police colonel to let you bring your AR? in a moment, the money is forgotten and you’re in prison. None of them are stable, therefore, neither is anyone’s rights.
About a decade ago, My wife and I were introduced to a company rep. which sold property in Belize. We saw full color photos and videos of the properties and some were very nice. Before purchasing anything, we opted to fly there and spend about a week in the country. After 5 days, we knew it was not for us. The oppressive government regulations were a big factor.
Congress just bestowed approval on the medical use of marijuana. Now how about we stop telling other countries to persecute the cannabis community, and save the money we bribe those governments with to do things our way?
So aside from the “clement weather” (read hotter ‘n’ Hell) and “stable government,” i.e. entrenched strongman, I’ve yet another reason to keep Belize on my anti-bucket list.
Not just particularly rotten gun laws, but mandatory minimum sentencing as well, are just plain bad.
Ugh! Yuck! Bleah!
If I ever decide that Kansas is at times too cold, I’m thinking Georgia.
I’m getting real tired of the image border hyperlinks TTAG. If you’re going to make the entire picture section a link at least have the courtesy to change the background color so I know not to click it when I want to refocus my window to scroll.
So the drug war helps to destroy yet another country, and provides an excuse for that country’s government to commit more violations of individual rights. Par for the course, unfortunately.
If the USA wants to help stabilize the world, it needs to abolish the DEA and end the war on (some users of) drugs ASAP. The “cure” of the drug war is far, far worse than the “disease” of drug abuse.
I think that is supposed to be “unpopular users”, rather than “some”.
Come to Florida! Although we have lots of old people, we are gun friendly and have great beaches.
East coast for surfing, kitesailing and deep sea fishing.
West coast for calm water.
Stand your ground law, o.k. to have nfa firearms, no magazine restictions.
Our local sheriff office just moved the boulders that the game wardens used to block our local plinking spot.
They told ’em the public can target shoot here during hunting season.
I sailed my boat down to Belize when I was single. I had a semi auto AK and a 9mm pistol.
All the American boats were armed, none of the Europeans had guns.
We all had fun blasting away target shooting on the outer atolls.
Belize, a land situated next to and surrounded by Cartel’s. Much like others in the area, corrupt as the day is long.