The Bahamas: Comments on the Colorado Shooting

There has not been a significant reaction in the Caribbean blogosphere about the Colorado movie theatre shooting – which is being cited as one of the deadliest in recent U.S. history – save for two Bahamian bloggers, for whom the news hit close to home. As the Caribbean nation located closest to the United States (southeast of Florida), the Bahamas, despite its Commonwealth status, strongly relies on the American economy to keep its tourism and offshore finance industries healthy and is often influenced by U.S. media, culture and policy.

One of the country's newest blogs, Pure Fawkery, suggested that the mainstream media's response to the killings was biased and republished a photo that has been making the rounds on Facebook. (The photo caption suggests that because of the suspect's skin colour, he was portrayed more favourably by the media):

I saw this photo circulating on Facebook and I knew I had to share it. It so poignantly addresses the overt media bias. It speaks for itself and the silence in response to this message is deafening!

The most pressing issue that the incident raised for Blogworld, though, was the question of gun control. Referring to a recent article in The New Yorker, which talked about “gun crazy” America, Blogworld's Nicolette Bethel commented:

And here, in the Bahamas, some of us discuss, seriously, that Bahamians should be allowed to carry handguns. We happen to live in that part of the world which was founded on the concept that it is some people’s god-given right to sail across an ocean, map out other people’s lands, eradicate those people, resettle those lands, import other people, and make fortunes out of the process.We are the broken men and women who are struggling to create civilizations out of that history. But we cannot, because we were created out of a philosophy that sees human life not as something sacred, but as something expendable—something that is less important than profit, or than massacre. The genocide and enslavement on which the ‘New’ world was founded have left a legacy in which massacre is enacted again and again, and presented to the world as freedom.

She also questioned the wisdom of thinking in simplistic, absolute terms:

And here in The Bahamas, we believe that nonsense. We believe that true freedom consists of the right to kill other people. We believe that some people are ‘bad’ and others are ‘good’ and the ‘good’ people have the right to arm themselves and eradicate the ‘bad’ people. We ourselves are always the ‘good’ people. Who, then, are ‘bad'?

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