By Joseph Doway
The taking of another’s life will always continue. Let us not fool ourselves. It happens all around the world and the Caribbean. Some countries experience killings on a daily basis. We have to be aware that killings have increased and the increase could be caused by many factors such as greed, jealousy, evil mindedness, drug deals gone bad, infidelity, disrespectful youth and deranged couples. Then you have those who would not turn a blind eye to ignorance and stupidity. Our youth today are extremely ignorant, and that is based on their lack of education and the high lack of respect for society and fellowmen/women.
Joseph Doway is a professional business plan developer for individuals seeking to start new businesses. He is a native of Dominica, and has been writing poems since 1972. He has also written newspaper columns for various newspapers on Dominica, St Maarten and Antigua. He is working on a collection of poems and a novel. Most of his poetic work can be found on DPC (Domnichen Poetic Circle), a page dedicated to writers on Facebook.
Now there is what one may call avoidable crime such as murder, especially when premeditated. From the days of Cain and Abel to today, mankind has chosen to kill for revenge, kill over jealousy or just kill because they can. No respect for human life. I hear persons blaming the government, high unemployment and the police for the escalating murders. No way can that be true. The government does not tell you to take a gun and shoot a young mother of five children or a businessman just leaving his business. The police are there to enforce the law and protect us, but unless we have one police per person, then we have to protect ourselves. The police are responsible to act and respond to a crime effectively to catch the murderer.
Our biggest downfall as human beings is the strong lack of love. Love for self and love for your neighbour. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these. All the bibles carry this phrase, including the Douay–Rheims Bible. Mark 12-31
Unemployment should not bear the brunt of these murderous acts, because a majority of these murderers are employed. The main problem is greed, the need for easy money. That is absolutely different to OPM, using Other People’s Money. In these hard times, one can see that happening. That does not include robbing a person and then using their money.
We have to start looking at ourselves. We do not live in a perfect world, but we all have the right to exist and enjoy life until God calls us home. We do not avenge our fellowman because we believe they did us wrong. Yes, we have a right to defend ourselves when attacked, but if you have to be the coward and run for your life, then to that. Mankind has become so unconcerned about the value of life, that they forget after they have done the crime, they have to live with themselves, wondering if and when they will be caught.
Obviously, there are roots to such criminal behaviour. As I look around our societies, there are many reflections of a society gone badly. Start with men who get women pregnant just to have a count and boast how many children they have. Remember, I am not talking about nuclear families. In most cases, they are able to keep a structured family in place with a support mechanism. The problem arises with single parents who were not prepared to be single parents. Children are raised with no male domination and all you hear from the mothers in self-pity, “I am a single parent.” I say to these women, do what you have to do and raise your children in the right way.
We talk about the village and the raising of the child. Trust me, the village can no longer help raise a child, if the parent of that child does not support the village in its efforts. Parents suddenly attack teachers when their children are disciplined. The teachers themselves are not physically and mentally structured to handle either child or parent. So the end result is that that child ends up on the street, no formal education, no training and no job skills.
As that child becomes older, he or she blames the government and society for not being there when needed. They turn to drugs and quick money. Then come the guns and the crime. And if America and the rest of the world stop making guns and bombs, then maybe we would have had a better world. If persons found with guns were lost in jail, then and only then that crime would decrease. But then again, the educated, due to greed and power, will shoot to kill.
Like money, power is another root of evil. So is the lack of education and respect. But, the missing link is the lack of God in our people and as we know it “God is Love”. But then who does one turn to get to God? You have to turn to you as the individual and use the choice that God gives you to “Love one another”. Think before you act, because no one is macho in the sight of God. Just foolish and doomed. Some of the preachers are preaching, not for the glory of God, but for the benefits of receiving and access to the women. Don’t let their nice words and suits fool you. Some are downright false.
The constant talking from governments will not curb murders, especially if persons have no faith in the government of the day. Security and protection is the key. Take the average police officer in the Caribbean -- point in case, Antigua. We blame everyone in the force, but we forget who controls the police. The government, because they pay their salaries. The government is the custodian of their salaries, because the taxes of the citizens are collected by our government.
I would have thought that the individuals, who would be paid best and first, would be the law officers. We have to also take in consideration the doctors and teachers (they play very important roles), but the police have to protect them. Governments expect the police to serve and protect under what conditions?
I spent months in The Bahamas and I was very impressed with their police force and how they enforced the law. They have the right working environment, the right sturdy vehicles and the communication methods. The Defence Force is a minority in the scheme of things, because they only come in handy if we have a riot and they basically protect government, not public. The police on the other hand, are out there in some hand me down vehicles, not suitable for the job.
A police car is a ground vehicle used by police, to assist with their duties in patrolling and responding to incidents. Typical uses of a police car include transportation for officers to reach the scene of an incident quickly, to transport criminal suspects, or to patrol an area, while providing a high visibility deterrent to crime. Some police cars are specially adapted for certain locations (e.g. work on busy roads) or for certain operations (e.g. to transport police dogs or bomb squads).
The public comments are extremely negative when it is heard that the police do not have enough vehicles. What the public is not considering is the flimsy vehicles that are assigned to the police. The Toyota Rav 4, Toyota pickups and the bread delivery vans are no match to the roads and off roads on the island. While you need extremely well trained officers, you need to have sturdy and reliable equipment.
Where are the police cruisers, the police helicopter, the forensic lab, the state of the art communications equipment, the modern police stations, the men and women equipped and educated enough to carry out their work?
What happened to the salaries that match the job description? What happens to the protection of the police and their families? When that is solved, then you can ask a man or woman to go out into the streets and protect the citizens night and day and do it with confidence that when a man or woman is arrested, justice will be done. Murder is murder and, if the criminals know that the police are better armed than they are or they have faster and stronger vehicles to withstand bullets and outdo the criminals, then they will think twice.
So, as a public, let us all start loving each other and work with the police when crimes are carried out. The police force must ensure that their men are women are mature enough to be confidential and happy enough to maintain their lifestyle on a police salary.
Last but not least, the importation of firearms must be monitored just as well as the trafficking of drugs. Fewer guns on the street, fewer gun crimes. Equip our police with more modern firearms, but charge them when they get trigger happy. Ban music on the radio and the importation of music that relates to hatred and violence. Create an effective job program for our youth, by introducing a vehicle parts assembly plant. Men love cars. Get clothing companies to open factories so that our women can find work.
Less idle time must require rest. And install the surveillance cameras at various check points with a 24-hour monitoring station. Reduce the cost of security surveillance monitoring systems for homes and businesses. Secure our homes. The police cannot monitor each house and business place.