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When will all this gun violence stop? People are living in fear, being forced from their homes with their little ones in tow, scared to be the next victim of a horrific gun crime.
We have heard criminologist Kim Ramsay say that gun violence in this country has reached epidemic proportions. And if her warning, sounded on September 21, wasn’t enough, we had further evidence when last weekend, five masked gunmen terrorised a St Lucy district, firing off round after round.
Residents feared for their lives, and some vowed to leave the district.
How much longer will this go on? People will become prisoners in their own homes, afraid to walk the streets, or let their children out to play.
One woman’s words resonated with me because I read fear and anger all mixed up in her very strong message to her children: “Wunna go inside now and get wunna things. Let we leave from ’bout here. We not sleeping down here tonight.”
Imagine how that mother must feel as she feared for her children’s safety.
Then, put yourself in the shoes of Judith Griffith, of Harrisons, also in St Lucy, who had a gun pointed at her face. Imagine the fear of this woman, who sustained gunshot injuries.
Now, tell me why gun-toting gangsters, some of whom are on a revenge-seeking mission, are allowed to hold this country to ransom while walking the length and breadth spreading fear? It needs to stop!
Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Cheryl Willoughby, has called for the dismantling of the blocks to get rid of the negative elements, believing this will bring a change.
Well, I differ. “Brek up de blocks” and the problems still exist. That’s my take.
What we need to do is to start looking at the root cause of all this gun violence.
Does it really start on the blocks?
I don’t think so. What about looking first at the home?
Now, I am not saying there aren’t some negative activities taking place on street corners, and in some nooks and crannies and holes that could be havens for criminal behaviour.
I believe, however, a lot of this behaviour starts in the home. We need to have programmes that target young people to help keep them on the straight and narrow. Too many of your youth are losing their way and are in desperate need of attention and correction.
So, yes, while strong community programmes will go a long way in helping, we need to expose our young people to a way of life other than crime. We need to make sure this life does not seem attractive to lure them away from doing what is right.
Right now, a life of crime seems to be cool and easy, giving access to material things, be it money, the latest gear, or girls.
Make a life of crime less attractive, tackle the issues facing our young people head on and provide alternatives to negative activities.
Police also need to step up their efforts.
But it is not up to them alone. We all need to help clean up these streets.It’s time to Level UP! (CM)