Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Empower the public to help fight crime

Published:Wednesday | September 21, 2022 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

“The criminal does not fear the police or the law. Therefore, he must be made to fear his victim.”

There are daily reports of horrifying attacks on the citizens of this country. The criminals have become even more brazen. Their attacks are no longer confined to the cover of darkness – they now attack in broad daylight, in full view of hundreds. Some even attack within mere feet of police stations or policemen, knowing full well there’s a slim-to-none chance they will be caught.

Following these news reports are the usual clamour for the authorities to make firearms more accessible to members of the public. “Give us a chance to defend ourselves,” they cry. “Criminals have guns, why can’t we?”

Some would say the qualifications for a licensed firearm are too high, and this is true. The eligibility for qualifying for a licensed firearm must logically and rationally be of the very highest standard. The duty of the issuing authority is, rightly, to protect the general public from possible harm by those to whom they have granted licences. Anything less by the issuing authority would be a dereliction of duty and care to the rest of the public.

PUZZLING QUESTIONS

Why do people on the street watch you getting mugged, or getting your chain or phone snatched, and not do anything the help? Why do most licensed firearm owners see a crime being committed but choose not to get involved? How can the public at large defend itself from marauding criminals?

Remember that tiny, deep rural community that was plagued by goat thieves? Well, they caught two and dealt jungle justice. Peace and quiet after that. Remember that other rural community that hunted down the suspected child abductor? They never caught him - lucky him! He turned himself in because he feared them more than the police. I bet you’ll never hear about anymore abductions or praedial larceny in those communities. Criminals have been taught to fear these rural communities that will fight back.

If this had taken place in an urban town, the citizens would all have been charged and hauled before the courts. The citizen who fights back is harassed, and vilified by the police. The citizen who fights back becomes the ‘bad guy’.

THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS VS THE RIGHTS OF CRIMINALS

The perception by the public that ‘criminals have more rights than we’ has been systematically cultured by the police, the legal system and human-rights lobbyists for decades. They have all succeeded in turning the public into a cowering, whimpering mass. What should have been a great collective strength is now a wishy-washy pool of spineless citizens. Great job to all! (sarcasm).

Many will say I’m advocating for vigilantes. I’m not! A vigilante goes out looking for crime, looking for places and opportunities to get involved. That’s not what I’m advocating. I’m simply suggesting we all stop running away. Stop bowing to the criminals. Stop cowering in fear.

EMPOWERMENT

The public needs to be empowered by the authorities to protect themselves. We do not need more guns. For those of us who do, let the authorities and the media stop maligning us. For those of us who do not possess firearm, we still have our hearts, we have our numbers, and we have the strength of our convictions.

Stand up, stand our ground, fight back. We must be able to live peacefully.

Empower the public and let the criminals learn to fear us.

SHELDON NEIL