Wednesday, December 18, 2002

A few weeks ago I linked to a story in the Jamaica Gleaner in which a senior policeman & a well-known psychologist claimed that Jamaica's mounting murder rate should not alarm law-abiding citizens, since most of the killings were either gang- or drug-related, or else domestic; "ordinary citizens are not affected."

In today's Express, Keith Smith passionately takes on a similar claim apparently made by Patrick Manning for T&T:

"It seems that Mr Manning, no doubt seeking to limit the political fall-out, suggested that the average citizen did not have all that much to fear because the circle of murder mostly surrounded gang members and drug dealers.

"He is probably right about this but he was wrong to take that particular public stance, I find, for the simple reason that isolated though the recent spate of killings may be, the fact of that isolation is not of much comfort to anybody, certainly not to all those law-abiding citizens living within ear-shot of the gun-shots in the night.

"The thing is killing is killing and murder is murder and while it is true that there are those, even among those living in the killing fields, who hold that “the best thing is for all of them to kill out each other with dey damn stupid self”, the reality is that it is young black men killing young black men and I don’t see how any leader, and a PNM leader for that matter, could hold such a narrow perspective on this matter."

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