Letters & Opinion

I miss the Saint Lucia I grew up in

A smiling Denys Springer
By Denys Springer

We are without a doubt at the crossroad of our development, and it is either we take the tough measures that are deemed necessary in order to move this country forward, or we take a step backward and allow criminals and gun touting reprobates to take over and bring us into the realm of violence and murders.

To date there have been 69 murders for the year and there are still some three weeks to go before the year ends. I believe that talking is necessary but talk with no action is simply “pie in the sky”.

Chomsky the Philosopher was of the view that “it is the responsibility of the intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose it” however he went on further to say that “the truth shall set us free” and that is why I can be no more blatant and even callous in speaking the truth in what I have to say.

I do hope that what I say will be analyzed in an objective manner as it is not about party politics. Crime, I have always said, is everybody’s business especially the brutality of the murders we are beginning to see in this beautiful country of ours. In my view, over the last twenty years, both sides are guilty of not putting policies in place that would have alleviated the gun violence we see today.

Both sides of the political divide have accused each other over the rising crime issues and have failed because they did not look at the real cause of crime in the country. To an extent, they thought that the crime would suddenly disappear. Some made loud noises as if they were ready to combat the rising level of crime but they were like the empty vessels that made the most noise.

I am now of the view that this present government cannot renounce the use of force to bring the country back on track. I know that there is a saying that violence breeds violence but the government now has to take a stand. If not we will be making Thomas Hobbes theory in the book the Leviathan come to fruition, in that if law and order is broken down then we will become a country where the villains will destroy our beautiful country and where men are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

We must come to the realization that poverty is causing lots of young men to hit back at society because their parents have had to feel the pain and anguish of not being able to feed them, or to give them what some of their friends were able to have.

If we are serious of solving crime then there are measures that can be taken to show the criminal elements in our midst that the government and the people mean business. At this stage there can be no half measure in that fight and therefore we can begin by weeding out any criminal intent by police officers.

We also need to pay them a decent wage and for them to be completely insured if they are to put their lives on the line for the people of this country. We must also give them the proper equipment to do the job.

There are important equipment that police officers, putting their lives on the line should have, such as armored vehicles. Tasers as I have said before, and without doubt CCTV cameras, which we have spoken about ten odd years ago, but it seems like just talk.

I believe also that police dogs are now necessary and must also be given to Customs officers. We need gun detecting equipment for both the police and these customs officers and they too must now be vetted in a holistic manner.

They need to be vigilant in detecting any guns that are being imported in barrels, containers and elsewhere.

There is no doubt in my mind that the random shooting, which has brought horrors to civilians in all parts of the country, makes it imperative that we study the minds of these young human being and the situations that drive them to such acts. I don’t want to sound pedantic but the abandonment of the belief in the sanctity of human life, of human family and of human livelihood is clearly visible.

We must include politicians and head of corporations who abandon the belief in the sanctity of job security and the devastating effects it has on families, justifying it in the name of retention of power and profit margins.

These are all symptoms of how extremely materialistic our society has become. It seem as if we are now part of the global society that puts gaining material possessions, power and profits over and above life, livelihood and the human spirit.

As far as the gun violence and killings are concerned we will be dooming ourselves in repeating the same mistakes of our history if we do not go beyond the calls for ballistic fingerprinting, data basing, gun control and execution.

We therefore must find ways of halting the wastage of human lives and preventing the growth of the perpetrators of crime thereby reducing the deaths of sometimes innocent people. We must take into consideration the agony of their families; therefore the call is to hold a conference on crime and gun violence.

The group should include psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, medical personnel, and parole officers if we have any, police officers, schoolteachers, church leaders, researchers and family members of those with criminal background, also social workers, prison officers, rehabilitation officers, and some members of the communities.

In the fight ahead, we must be honest with ourselves, and our politicians too must be honest with themselves. The commitment must be there to fight the evil that is now upon us, and which may have serious repercussion on our economy if not curbed.

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