September 3, 2004

This madness must stop

Blood drained down a sidestreet at Lowmans Hill Tuesday night, just as it had at Sion Hill only one week earlier. And once again another young man’s life had been wasted in a hail of gunshots. Many relatives, friends, indeed this entire nation must be mourning for the tragedy that has befallen this course of action by a section of this nation’s youth.{{more}}
It was only two weeks ago that this publication carried an editorial which addressed the question of conflict resolution. Then we made reference to what we saw as “a storm in a teacup that should never have happened” between two groups of educators. We expressed that while “we will always have differences of opinion on issues… the manner and tone of the language we adopt to resolve them goes a long way toward diffusing the tensions that may arise.”
Sadly, in the wider society among both older persons and especially amongst a section of our youth, those skills seem never to have been learnt. Anyone with an ear to the ground would note that the way many young persons express themselves leaves a lot to be desired and seems in many instances to be increasingly violent. This violence is playing itself out in the worst possible manner now that there seems to be an influx of high-powered firearms in the hands of criminal elements that from all reports are very easily obtained by anyone really desirous of obtaining them.
Used to be when two young persons would settle their altercations in a fist fight. That is no more and now we are seeing the use of firearms to settle scores.
All this is happening seemingly outside the notice of decent citizens who we note have become persons who do not see, hear or report to the law incidences of criminal activity.
We have therefore seen for the year this far a total of twelve murders. This is startling in an otherwise peaceful country. And the worst part of it is that of this number our investigators seem to have been unable to arrest anyone in half of them. Some in fact have occurred in circumstances when it is difficult to believe that there were not witnesses. Is it that persons are fearful for their own lives? Is it that they do not trust the investigators to keep their information confidential?
The trend we have seen developing is frightening to say the least. And the solutions will not be either simple or immediate since the root causes of what we are seeing today are very complex in themselves and did not begin just yesterday.