Short-term fixes won't stop crime

February 16, 2018
Guns seized in Montego Bay in late December 2017.

In this country, we are suckers for short-term fixes. We want everything to happen now, not understanding that most comprehensive 'fixes' occur as the end result of a process; and, as we all know, some processes take longer than others.

Take our present situation with crime and criminality. We have been doing a 1,000 murders a year for almost two decades now, but most people think the government and the police can put a stop to the bloodletting in mere months.

Here is the reality check, though. There are thousands of gunmen in Jamaica and tens of thousands of illegal guns, with more coming in each day.

Those guns will eventually make their way into the hands of wayward youngsters who have been made to believe that this is the only way of life that makes sense for them.

They are made to believe that living past your 30s requires a combination of luck, being smart and being a good shot.

Education means nothing, because they see the university graduates lining up for BPO jobs that pay J$300 an hour and they know that nobody can live off that kind of money.

What that results in is a mad rush to get rich by any means necessary.

So, if that means aligning with a gang that generates millions from extorting businesses or retired folk from another country, that is what they are going to do.




So, even though the ongoing zones of special operation and state of emergency in St James might provide some short-term reprieve from the wanton killing taking place, be assured that as soon as they end, the wholesale killing will return to previous levels.

Jamaica, crime and these murders are symptoms of many things that have gone wrong in this country over the last half-century.

It will require the efforts of all of us and the Government to identify the root causes and dedicate our efforts to fixing them.

It will take time, and it will take a collective Herculean effort to do so.

But unless we commit to that effort, I'm afraid that we are going to continue to live in fear for our lives every single day for the rest of our lives.

So we have to decide what we want. Do we want to live in fear or die cowering behind the bars of the prisons we call home, or do we come together regardless of party affiliation to combat this monster that sees no colour except the colour of blood?

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