Freedom for a fewSunday, May 02, 2021
A police force is designed to control a few deviants in a society that to a large extent complies with the law. This is a simple fact. It is common sense. That is why the gas tax riots in the nineties were so successful. Everybody and their granny was out there, some banging pots or looting stores.
So with this being accepted as true, how does controlled societies that we are taught virtually bully their citizens like prisoners manage to keep their homicide rates so low, this whilst many of the free nations — Jamaica, for example — have runaway crime rates? Let me cite some examples.
China has a per capita murder rate of 0.53. Vietnam has a per capita murder rate of 1.53. Singapore has a per capita murder rate of 0.16. Taiwan has a per capita murder rate that is so low it cannot be statistically represented in a figure as per 100,000.
Why is this vs our side of the planet.
Well, it is not wealth because all of the above still have extremely challenging numbers of poor and even have historic political divides.
You will notice Taiwan and Singapore are mentioned despite not being communist.
Well, the term 'controlled societies' is not limited to Communism. They have detention laws that are just as tough and they also execute for narcotic offenses.
So what are they doing that we over here in the PanAm region are not?
It is not resources. The United States of America has more than anybody else and their murder rate is 10 times that of China. I would not even compare to them Taiwan.
The answer is fear. The noted countries, despite the fact that they may not have popular support of the populace, are afraid of the consequences of going up against the law.
The strategies employed are detention without charge, long sentences, capital punishment and little or no regard for human rights.
So we, of course, do not want a society like that. We fought the British in riot after riot to be free of state oppression. Sir Alexander Bustamante, an eventual prime minister, was arrested and detained. So we live as free men and accept the consequences of this freedom — that being a runaway homicide, rape and robbery rate.
However, because we are free from State oppression, does it mean that that we are free?
Well, I think I am free. I cannot be arrested without due process, no gunman can dictate to me and only the Prime Minister can 'sen me guh me yard fi de Easter'. And I go. But I do not live in a squatter settlement, inner-city concrete jungle or a gully bank. However, hundreds of thousands of my countrymen do. Are they free? Well let us see.
They dare not speak their mind, vote for who they wish, attend court as a witness and in many cases, cannot protect their under-age daughters from being sent for by the don of the day.
So they are not free by any stretch of the imagination. Their oppressors do not wear uniforms or regulation numbers. They have pants below their behinds and carry guns that appear to outweigh them.
Now the only way to fight them and enjoy the effect of controlled societies is to utilise the legal framework that the noted societies use. That would give the police totalitarian powers. Neither you nor I want to live under that type of domination. So we accept that our countrymen should. But not from the State.
We banally elect scapegoats and ask them to develop strategies that we know will never make our fellow countrymen free and able to protect their children, this because we fear what may come of ours if the police had the power of controlled societies.
So we throw the weaker, poorer and less fortunate under the bus because there is a possibility that we may suffer what we know is definitely happening 20 minutes driving time from us. That being a society dominated by the strongest in the group — the most evil, the best armed. I bet you did not know that you, no actually we, are that selfish.
The majority of our country is not dominated by gangs. We are all impacted, but not all dominated. But at least 400,000 Jamaican citizens are.
To end this we would have to adopt the strategic legal framework of controlled societies. That is just what the facts are. We do not have the wealth of Switzerland or the Netherlands, who have the money to make crime unnecessary.
In fact, we have the parliamentary imbalance to adjust our constitution to allow for the introduction of remand acts and monster long sentences.
Would I prefer bail to remain a right and habeas corpus an option to oppose detention? Of course I have children who are young adults and I am old enough to remember Jamaica as a rogue State in the 1970s. But I know this comes at a price to about 15-20 per cent of my countrymen and I am ashamed that they suffer at the hands of gang oppression so that I may be free of state suppression. OK, now, you all feel bad. Let us discuss options.
Accept firstly that our current framework cannot fight an enemy this embedded, this large, this well armed and this politically powerful. Yes! Political. These gangs can determine entire parish results if they decide to take sides, which they do.
So we need a law for them. A gang detention act that allows for indefinite detention of any man determined by the police commissioner and the commanding officer of the police division to be a gang member. This will require constitutional changes that likely will impact our status of being a signatory to the Charter of International Rights and Freedoms.
Do you still want the change? Do you want your citizens' safety on the gully bank down the road still as important to you as it was a few seconds ago?
Sentences for guns must be 20 years and up and dual conviction for rape must be punished with castration. Seems OK till you think your son may commit himself.
You see my point.
People are not unselfish enough to give up their rights so that other people may enjoy their's. So maybe we could set a time period for this Act that allows for detaining them. After five years when we are normal, even if not perfect, we could have it repealed.
No country is really free utill everyone in it is. This was said over and over by abolitionists in the mid-1800s in the USA. I am not sure that has even been achieved there. You see chains are still chains whether it is padlocked by a State or a cruff. It cannot be acceptable that gangs have actual control of the vast geography they command and the massive amount of people they rule. This is not equality.
If it is required to remove every protection under the law to stop one more father from watching his son's head being chopped off by a dull machete by one more gang member then let us remove them.
There is no crime that is not accepted in Norbrook that should be accepted in Newland. Not in 1821 or in 2021.
Pretending you are blind requires you to walk with your eyes closed. Are you not tired of it? Take a good, strong look at yourself and ask if this is really fair.
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