Monday was a most horrific day in the history of this country. It certainly was not the day when the most murders were committed nor was it the day when the most people died on the roads. But for some time now there have not been as many deaths in a single day. Monday was therefore a large blip on the national calendar.
Indeed there were the massacres by the gang that terrorized Guyana during the crime wave. In one fell swoop eleven people died, some in their beds, when gunmen, many no older than sixteen, and armed with high powered rifles, killed because one megalomaniac wanted to teach the nation a lesson.
Then a few days later, the very group with assistance from people in the community, launched a most murderous campaign on Bartica. Policemen manning their desks in the Bartica Police Station were slain, as were watchmen and ordinary people going about their business.
When it came to road accidents, there was one accident that claimed eight lives. The occupants of the minibus were returning home from the Mashramani event in Berbice when they crashed. The nation groaned and the authorities vowed to do everything to avoid a recurrence. There were similar utterances when the criminals actually made life a nightmare in the country.
On Monday two people were murdered, one of them a watchman who stayed out of his home each night because he was a breadwinner. The other was an insurance manager whose killing defies logic. To make it worse, his car has been taken and remains hidden.
A woman who decided to spend Mother’s Day amidst friends ended up dead on a porch; a young man entrusted with a car crashed and died. His passengers were seriously injured. To this day they remain hospitalized.
Then there was the nurse who took her own life because of a soured love affair and the demented woman who disappeared from home and ended up dead in a desolate area.
For a country with such a small population there are simply too many unnatural deaths. Some of these result from what seems to be a growing impatience among members of the population. Reasoning seems to have gone through the window leaving behind, brute force and ignorance. With the proliferation of guns there are now a growing number of shootings.
It is not unusual for people to blame the police for inaction. It is as if the police are the people who must contain every crime wave. We do stop to consider that the wider society must be the first line of defence. The criminals come from the cinema and they can only do what they are now doing because people stand idly by and let them.
In the Wednesday May 15 issue of Kaieteur News, a letter writer, a T. Jadunauth, said that the situation in Enmore that has seen two men killed and their bound bodies left by some public place, is the result of society failing to take action to protect itself by monitoring the very people who live there. In the first instance, parents should be instilling in their children a sense of morality. This is not the case. Women could be heard proclaiming that they are mothers and fathers and that they simply cannot cope. Under such conditions the wider community should help because, as the saying goes, it takes a community to bring up a child.
But there may be an overriding influence, something that caused President Donald Ramotar to jolt the memory of the Organisation of American States that poverty is one of the factors inhibiting the orderly growth of a society.
As we have seen most of the violent criminals come from the depressed section of the society. They are the poor of the poor whose parents simply ignored them in a cat-eat-cat dog-eat-dog world. Under such conditions one can see that life has lost its value but those of us who care, behave like Pontius Pilate as Jadunauth notes. “The security of a community is in the hands of the residents,” Jadunauth writes. By extension the security of a nation rests with the citizens.
If only we become involved we could see an end to what sent shockwaves through the society on Monday.
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