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It’s time to combat gun violence

rhondathompson, [email protected]

It’s time to combat gun violence

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Enough! It’s time for the authorities to act. It’s also time for the law abiding, peace loving residents of The Ivy in St Michael to determine that they will not surrender their community to thugs and vagabonds.
Our Front Page yesterday and much of page four were dedicated to the plight of residents of this district who have been complaining for several months about what appears to be both indiscriminate and targeted shooting – a situation that has left them living in fear, almost in a state of siege.
Our records also show at least five residents who have been injured by bullets either intended for them or others, the latest being 23 year old Crystal Cottle, who was shot in the leg early Sunday morning.
To the best of our knowledge she was not involved in any altercation with anyone, but was in her bed with her children, clearly mindful of the fact that she is three months pregnant, when a bullet penetrated her home and struck her right leg. It could as easily have been her heart or head, scenarios that could have led to her death.
No community should be forced to live like this. No individual should be placed in such a position that even in the supposed tranquility of her bed she is not safe from these gun-toting hooligans. We believe it is time for the police to take a tough stand on this matter. We may be wrong, but in the face of this kind of gun violence we believe residents would be far more amenable to a siege by cops working to improve their safety than to the current state of affairs imposed by thugs.
We call on the Minister of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police to deploy the appropriate resources to ensure that this area is adequately policed to deal with this situation and to make it clear to these criminals that they will not be allowed to spread their fear to any community, be it a working class district or a community of the rich and influential.
At the same time though we would be less than honest if we did not say that the long term solution to this problem rests in residents themselves determining that they will not stand for such thuggery. We maintain that criminals do not repeatedly walk into such a community and unleash mayhem without being seen – even recognised.
We also do not believe that the culprits traveled from Norththumberland in St. Lucy, Paragon in Christ Church or Glenburnie in St. John to The Ivy in St. Michael to do their mischief. These incidents have all the attributes of home-grown criminals — not necessarily from The Ivy, but certainly not from distant places.
Those who want to protect their district and who are aware of who is disturbing their peace and putting their lives at risk have a duty to themselves, their neighbours and their community generally to share that information with the police, even if they do so anonymously.
Preserving community peace has first to be the responsibility of the community.