Empty words won’t soothe our horrifying crime nightmares
Dr Horace Chang

We in this space are naturally happy to hear from National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang that over 376 illegal firearms and more than 7, 511 assorted rounds of ammunition have been seized by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

If we are not jumping up and down, clicking our heels and describing the Government as the best thing slice bread it’s because we are not in the least bit impressed, certainly not after the vicious slaughtering of four children and their mother in Clarendon, which is giving all of us horrifying nightmares.

It is to be hoped that Dr Chang’s announcement of the seizure of weapons was not meant to distract us from that spine-chilling episode in Coco Piece, Tuesday morning, or worse — some public relations gimmick suggesting that the country needs not worry because 376 illegal firearms has been seized.

Dr Chang, the prime minister, and the Opposition spokespersons have done what is the only thing that they can or are prepared to do — condemn the killings, which have been flashed across the world by the international wire services.

We have suggested in this space before that these leaders have condemnatory statements pre-prepared, packaged, and ready for issue to the press once another of these gruesome incidents takes place. All they have to do is change the names, locations and dates.

And somehow, it seems, they expect the populace to be hoodwinked, bamboozled, tricked, fooled, deceived, and misled by these flowery statements that really are full of sound and fury, but signify nothing but their impotence to quell the over-the-top violence.

“An act of savagery, barbarity and brutality of unequal proportions,” is how Dr Chang describes it, as if the more strident the term used, the closer we are to solving our runaway crime and violence.

The prime minister competes with Dr Chang thus: “The entire country is today feeling immense pain following these blood-curdling murders, which show extreme contempt for the sanctity of life, and is especially devastated that young, innocent children were viciously cut down.

“The murder of this family reflects the epidemic of interpersonal violence that bedevils our society… Horrific murders such as these are shocking to our very core and we must finally resolve as a country to set aside differences and take every action necessary, in an all-of-society effort to save lives and eradicate violence at its root.”

For her part, Opposition spokeswoman on gender affairs and culture Denise Daley, informs us that: “The barbaric murders of young mother Kemisha Wright and her four children have shocked the sensibilities of all well-thinking citizens of Jamaica…

“It takes an exceptionally evil heart to cut the throats of not just one, but four young children and their mother. This is an unforgivable act, which must be condemned and never repeated.”

Hardly had the ink dried on their statements and, as if to mock their impotence, the gunmen struck that same night, shooting four people, one fatally, in a drive-by on Red Hills Road in St Andrew.

Let us repeat ourself: Until the political leaders move to unite the people to tackle crime and violence as one country, nothing will change.

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