Re: Shooting in Montell Heights

The Democratic National Alliance was horrified to read the words "mass shooting" as a headline in a Bahamian newspaper this morning. Like the rest of the country, we are praying for the full recovery of the 17 wounded persons in the incident in Montell Heights. It is particularly disturbed that four of the victims were under the age of 18. 


While it would be inappropriate to speculate on the motives of the shooter, this incident has already sent shockwaves of fear that our beautiful country is descending into a dark place. All of our nation's stakeholders, be they members of the Government or of the wider public, have a responsibility to pull our country together around common-sense solutions. Our safety depends on it.


Omar Smith

Chairman

Democratic National Alliance


DNA expresses concern over recent murders

  • Government House should enjoy highest level of security

  • Crime fighting initiatives must restore confidence of the people

  • More resources should be placed to treatment of mental health

  • Thoughts and prayers remain with victims, RBDF, Governor General & staff


The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is deeply concerned by the news of the gruesome murder of a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine at Government House earlier today.

Government House is the official residence of the Head of our nation - the Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. This historical and monumental property should enjoy the highest level of security in the land. It is therefore troubling that this hallowed property became a crime scene this morning.


This incident brings back painful memories for several Bahamians who have felt the negative effects of the crime epidemic within our country. Many Bahamians still recall the senseless killing of the aide to the Governor General some months ago and are beginning to question the quality of the safety measures surrounding the head of our commonwealth.


Concurrently, the news that a prominent businessman was murdered in Bimini earlier today has sent shock waves throughout that island and community.


It is not difficult to understand why Bahamians would be concerned about their own safety as a result of these recent occurrences. The government must move with haste to allay the fears of the populace and restore the confidence of the people in our crime fighting initiatives.


It is imperative that in addition to fighting the menace of crime, more focus is placed on and resources are allocated to ensure that individuals with mental health challenges receive the requisite attention. This issue must be considered from several perspectives including within the context of the enormous stress under which Bahamians are living today.


On behalf of the DNA, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolence to the families, loved ones and friends of the victims of these violent crimes. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as well as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Governor General and the staff at Government House during this dark moment.


Buscheme Armbrister, Deputy Leader

Democratic National Alliance


Government disconnected from reality of Bahamian youth

Summary:

  • Government silence on C.V. Bethel incident deafening,

  • Youth violence and rebellion merely symptoms,

  • Marginalization of young people must end,

  • Administration is disconnected from Bahamian youth reality,

  • Comprehensive and collaborative approach is needed


According to recent media reports, a teacher was allegedly assaulted by two male students on CV Bethel’s grounds resulting in the educator having to be rushed to the hospital.


We the Young Democrats Alliance (YDA), despise and condemn the use of violence in any matter by any segment of our society; particularly, we condemn the recent violent act at C.V. Bethel. It is our belief that any and all disputes should be resolved peacefully and amicably. In the days following the alleged attack, the government’s silence on this matter has been deafening.

This is disappointing and perpetuates the practice of ignoring matters impacting the youth of our nation. We submit that the C.V. Bethel incident is merely a symptom of a much larger and systemic issue crossing sectors and institutions in the Bahamian society. Violence and aggression are tools of those who lack the proper communicative and interpersonal skills to resolve conflict and differences. Violence and aggression are also the resources of the disenfranchised and those who feel they have no other recourse to difficult situations at hand.

Our educational system is in desperate need of a major overhaul. We require new and innovative ideas to advance not only learning but also how we socialize and develop students as holistic and productive members of society. In order to achieve this, we must cultivate an educational system that is safe, productive and innovative which translates into safer communities.


The alleged C.V. Bethel attack should serve as a wake-up call to our political leaders and the Bahamian people. The trend of rebellion and violence among our young people must be treated with the utmost urgency and importance lest we lose a generation.

It is time for the government to place specific focus on the plight of the Bahamian youth. The actions of the present administration suggest that priority is not being placed on the empowerment and inclusion of young people from an economic and governance perspective. This is reflected in the high youth unemployment rate of 23.1% and policies enacted to date which fail to address challenges that confront young people. These are clearly the evidence of disconnection from the reality and real struggles we face in our own country.


We need a collaborative and non-partisan approach which embraces input from educators, social workers, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, civil society and the public to address this menace. We must consider whether there is a need for more training for teachers on the psycho-social realities facing our youth and make the requisite resources available to young people facing trauma at home. Law enforcement agencies must also be sensitive to the needs of our young people rather than marginalizing and profiling them. The youth are the future of our Bahamaland, and we can no longer afford to ignore them.


The YDA stands ready as capable facilitators of the urgent change that needs to happen regarding the youth of our country. There is an undercurrent of disease and ambivalence towards an appropriate solution, our country’s leaders have stuck their heads in the sand and have yet to issue a release on this matter. How much longer would you have our students, our children, our future suffer in silence and only be noticed by tragic, immoral disingenuous cries of attention when they are so full of life, hope, potential and opportunity for a truly better and brighter Bahamas?

Laron G Moxey, President

Young Democrats Alliance



DNA Cautiously Optimistic on Reduction in Crime

After years of record breaking crime numbers, The Democratic National Alliance welcomed this week’s report of an overall drop in criminal activity around the country. The figures released by the top brass of the Royal Bahamas Police force are a testament to the incredible work being done by these hard-working public servants, many of whom have made the decision to protect and serve their communities at great personal sacrifice.

We are, however, cautiously optimistic that this downward trend will continue. While the reduction in overall crime is cause for celebration, now is not the time to become complacent. The Bahamas, as a small and developing nation, continues to be crippled by the rate of homicides. Further, the fear of crime still provides a high level of uneasiness in our country. Scores of families continue to be ripped apart by violent crime as our young men and women continue to lose their lives. Even in the face of this reality however our political leaders continue to play politics on this crucial issue by publicly bickering over whose crime reduction is bigger.

We have always said, if politicians get out of the way of the RBPF, and provide the necessary resources to aid in the crime fight, that we can effectively address the scourge of crime in our community. In that regard we support the work being done by the Commissioner, his executive team and every officer. Crime should not and must not become a “political football”. Instead, we encourage our leaders to commit themselves to true bi-partisan collaboration on this long standing social issue because until ALL BAHAMIANS are safe we can not claim true success in the fight against the criminal element.

Christopher Mortimer
DNA Interim Leader