THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Baffled by thirst for revenge
THERE ARE SOME THINGS that confound me and I guess they probably will until I depart this earth.
What eludes me is the rationale that overcomes someone with revenge on their mind.
Mankind is afflicted with many weaknesses and one of them is anger to the point of righteous indignation, for what some people may be able to endure or brush off, others certainly may not. Therefore, what may be wholly offensive to me may not be of any particular concern to the next person.
There is nothing wrong with being offended and believing, depending on the nature of the effrontery, that some form of justice or even retribution should be forthcoming. But is it for us to take up arms and exact our own brand of rough justice? The law says not and moreso, the Bible on which many of the principles are based, also says not.
What is the thought process of someone who, believing that he/she has been done a grievous wrong, equips himself or herself and then goes on the rampage, cutting through everything in their path?
These people still have life but are so blinded by rage that they cannot appreciate that privilege.
So with their God-given life, they set out on a seek-and-destroy mission.
That can be the only way to explain the actions of some who cause untold harm and grief not only at the personal level, but also leave a nation first reeling from shock and then grieving.
How does one wake up, eat, bathe, dress and consider revenge to such an extent that it is forever a reference point whenever the discussion of crime surfaces?
One can empathise with the person who has been provoked and at the point of provocation responds with excessive force. The anger may be so directed that only the object of the wrath is harmed.
But what about the other scenario?
How does one wake up, eat, bathe, dress and, with a measure of satisfaction, select a weapon designed for serious injury or death? How do you leave a location knowing that your next stop involves death?
It is for these offenders that I have trouble mustering up any sympathy when I consider the nature of the attack. And believe me, this feeling extends to any family member who may be so madly inclined to carry out such attacks.
Imagine that you or a relative are innocently in a shop or by a liming spot chatting away with friends and suddenly gunfire breaks out. By the time the mad scramble is over and the smoke has cleared, someone is dead and some others seriously injured. Or, even if someone escapes without physical injury, the entire episode is such that the trauma never leaves them.
You have to have a callous disregard for human life if you are willing to risk the lives of several others just to satisfy your thirst for vengeance on one person. Does it not matter that the innocent will also be hurt?
If you want vengeance for what has been committed against you, don’t the innocent who you’ve just wronged deserve that too?
For the injured their quality of life is forever compromised and they are now dependent on relatives and other care-givers. For witnesses, they can never sit outside and enjoy the outdoors without a feeling of dread. These are eternal scars.
Drive-by shootings, shooting up of public places and brazen attacks on the innocent are not to be tolerated. Vigilantes and street justice are not to be encouraged.
But what should be encouraged is for witnesses to come forward to capture the cowards who adopt the attitude that it is okay for them to get justice, but not the people whom they have harmed.
There’s been a violent start to the year and so far it has continued with attacks even on the police. It is time for witnesses to speak up or the next time it may be their relatives in harm’s way.
Antoinette Connell is a News Editor. Email [email protected]