February 19, 2020

The Second Amendment does not apply to other countries [Cayman Islands gun case]


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By Mark E Anderson from Daily Kos

Carol Ann McNeill-Skorupan, who is a certified public accountant and the former chair of the Dane County (Wisconsin) Republican Party, recently took a cruise that included a stop in the . A piece of her luggage was lost; Delta Airlines was able to find it and send it ahead to the first stop on the cruise ship’s itinerary, the . There was a problem, though: in her luggage was a .25 caliber handgun and six rounds of ammunition. She now faces up to 10 years in a prison for violation of the country’s gun laws.

Now, I have no idea why she would take a handgun on a cruise ship. According to news accounts, McNeill-Skorupan sailed on Celebrity Cruises, and Celebrity has strict policies about weapons on board its ships, as in, they are not allowed.

Weapons, Explosives or Other Dangerous Items

No weapon, explosive, or other item that presents a risk of harm to persons or property, are is permitted on board. The items not permitted on board will be taken by ship’s Security. Items such as dive knives must be reported to ship’s personnel at the time of boarding. They may be permitted on board, but held in safe custody by the ship’s Security staff when not in use ashore. Firearms are not allowed onboard. Guests who declare to ship’s personnel the presence of a firearm (on their person or in their luggage) will be given the opportunity to dispose of the firearm prior to boarding. Guests who fail to declare the presence of a firearm may be denied boarding.

Seems simple enough—go on a cruise, don’t bring a firearm. Now McNeill-Skorupan claims that she did not ask that Delta forward the bag, her lawyer told the court, and that she had planned to leave it with a friend in Florida. That being said, why in hell was she bringing a handgun to a cruise vacation in the first place?

The U.S. State Department warns Americans visiting the Cayman Islands not to bring a gun or ammunition to thecountry.

Common reasons for arrest include:

  • Carrying ammunition and firearms into the Cayman Islands. (Even a single bullet inadvertently loose in a carry-on bag can lead to arrest.)

The article in USA Today does all it can to place the blame on the Cayman Islands and its strict gun laws. One person interviewed, David Meadors, is another U.S. citizen awaiting trial on gun charges there.

“They do what they want to there,” said the other one, Florida business owner David Meadors  “The biggest problem isn’t the fines, but arbitrarily ruining peoples’ lives.”

“There’s a huge lack of understanding among the U.S. public about the Cayman Islands. The bottom line is they detest us and what we stand for,” Meadors said.

Meadors said he thinks authorities want to make an example of him to appease anti-American sentiments among some of the nation’s approximately 61,000 residents, the majority of whom are non-white.

“They don’t understand that Carol Ann taking a gun with her is a way of life in the U.S,”  he said. “All they see is a criminal.”

First off, both Meadors and McNeill-Skorupan violated Cayman Islands laws. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not apply to other countries, and according to Cayman Islands law, she is a criminal. The Cayman Islands does not have to recognize a concealed carry permit from Wisconsin, Florida, or anywhere else for that matter. Carrying a gun is also not a way of life. It is a personal decision, in some cases made by white people out of fear of people whose skin color is not white. 

I have also been to the Cayman Islands. I did not find any animosity towards me as an American. Of course, I also was not breaking any of their laws. 

This of course brings up the question of why anyone feels the need to carry a firearm at all times. I am 51 years old. I served in the U.S. Army—other than my time in the Army, I have never felt a need to carry a firearm. Ever. 

If you ask someone who advocates carrying a firearm either openly or concealed, they will inevitably bring up that they need it for protection. Protection from what? It is not like we live in a lawless society where murders, rapes, and physical assaults happen on every street corner at all times of the day. Violent crime has been on a downward trend in the United States since 1993.

Using the FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 49% between 1993 and 2017. Using the BJS data, the rate fell 74% during that span. (For both studies, 2017 is the most recent full year of data.) 

Sure, violent crime happens in the U.S., but the odds of you being involved in a violent crime are minimal. What kind of life must you lead to feel so fearful all of the time that you need to carry a gun with you, even when you board a cruise ship for a vacation? I can assure you, as someone who vacations on cruise ships, that there are not roving bands of criminals wandering about the passageways, pool areas, and bars of your ship. Unless you count the folks wearing identical t-shirts drunkenly celebrating Great-Aunt Mimi’s 98th birthday with a cruise (no word if Great-Aunt Mimi was actually aboard the ship). 

Port areas are generally well-secured, as the cities and towns near them know their very livelihood depends upon tourist dollars, so the local authorities are going to do everything possible to ensure that the port areas and tourist areas nearby are safe. You are probably safer in the port area than you are walking down your own street.

The moral of this story, no matter how the USA Today article paints the picture, is that if you go on a vacation to place that has strict gun laws, and you violate those gun laws, the laws of that country are not the problem. You are. The Second Amendment does not apply in the Cayman Islands, any more than it applies in Germany. If you go somewhere with your firearm, and it is illegal to have that firearm in that place, you could find yourself in jail in a foreign country. 

The arrogance of people like Meadors and McNeill-Skorupan pisses me off. You go to a foreign country, break their laws, and then have the audacity to suggest that you are the victim. We already have Donald Trump giving the United States a bad name in international relations. We sure as hell don’t need yahoos like these two adding to our tarnished world reputation.

For more on this story go to: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/7/1847452/-The-Second-Amendment-does-not-apply-to-other-countries

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