We have a duty to give up the evil monsters among us

We have a duty to give up the evil monsters among us

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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The shooting of children by cowards armed with illegal guns is not new in this country. Those of us who are old enough can point to several such brutal acts over many years.

But each time these scum take one of those precious lives from us, or injures them, it gnaws away at our very core, leaving us angry that anyone claiming to be human could be so wicked.

What concerns us just as much is the deafening silence from those who are quick to defend the terrorists among us who engage in these displays of savagery.

They, like the lumpen who benefit from their advocacy, are not worthy to be considered fit members of organised society.

What we have witnessed over the past week, with the shooting of a five-year-old boy in an attack that took his mother from him, and the injuring of one-year-old Mia Dailey on Sunday is a further descent into animal behaviour by beings devoid of all moral worth.

All decent, law-abiding Jamaicans — who we know comprise the majority in this country — must come to accept that these monsters do not deserve pity or protection. Communities, we reiterate, must give them up to the authorities.

For, as we have repeatedly stated in this space, giving information about criminals and their activities is a civil duty, as law enforcers need all the help they can get to ensure that the perpetrators of murder and other acts of violence are arrested, be subjected to a fair trial, and made to pay for their actions.

While we encourage Jamaicans to share information with the authorities, we take note of the comments made to this newspaper by Dr Ganesh Shetty, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist.

This week's Sunday Observer reported Dr Shetty as saying that 25,000 children are seen annually at the 20 child guidance clinics across the island. However, there are not enough child psychiatrists to attend to all who need the care.

Additionally, he said only one out of 20 children actually accesses the services offered at these clinics. That is a frightening ratio, which gives us even greater cause for concern for the five-year-old boy who lost his mother last week and about whom Dr Shetty spoke.

Given the little boy's horrific experience, he will be in need of urgent and skilful counselling, For, as Dr Shetty pointed out, the trauma inflicted on this child is made worse by the fact that he also has to deal with the grief from losing his mother.

The doctor also suggested that if this boy develops post-traumatic stress he will re-experience the violence.

“He might have nightmares and flashbacks. Even when he is playing, he might play with themes of what happened like guns and killing,” Dr Shetty told us.

That, certainly, is not the life experience we want for our children. And when we take into account Dr Shetty's information that there are 25,000 children who are in need of guidance counselling annually, it is clear that there is a great need for a cultural shift in how we, as adults, conduct ourselves, how we resolve conflict, and how we relate to our children.

We simply cannot continue like this. There are more good people in Jamaica than those who are hell bent on sowing grief, mayhem and hatred.

While we may not be able to stop all of them, we have an obligation to try, because, if in that attempt we save just one life, the outcome would have been worth the effort.

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