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LETTER OF THE DAY - Murder is not normal

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Please permit me to use this medium to remind fellow Jamaicans who have become apathetic to the bloodletting in Jamaica and have accepted it as the norm, that murder is not normal.

We cannot prosper as a nation if we ignore the constant shedding of human blood among us. The blood of too many people cries from the ground. Some people have stopped watching and listening to news from the mass media because they are tired of the bad news, but we get the news via the telephones and visits from friends and relatives and even the police. There is no escape. This is a nation shrouded in grief and pain. We cannot continue like this.

How many homes in Jamaica remain untouched by the murder of a friend, relative or mere acquaintance? It is impossible for the police alone to make a significant difference in the statistics when people kill with impunity and play 'catch me if you can' - I am innocent until I am proven guilty. My guilt depends on the proof, not on my deed and, if you can provide the proof, I eliminate you, so I walk free.

Where is the collective conscience of this nation? Has this conscience been murdered too? Our children are learning that murder is normal. It is all right to kill anyone for any or no reason. A place where children, the elderly and the disabled are not spared in the killing spree, who is safe? No one.

Jamaicans, when we want to get people to purchase our goods and services we know what to do. When politicians are campaigning for votes, they know how to reach the people. We know when to launch a public-education campaign. Weapons do not kill people. People who think it is all right to commit murder will do so with or without a weapon. A weapon may make it easier for murderous thoughts to become actions.

Until Jamaicans get it within the psyche that murder is not normal, and enough people start thinking about respect for life and act accordingly, we will continue to wring our hands, weep and cower in fear.

Who will take the lead in the game of transformation? The mind is where it all begins.

I am etc.,

Winnie Anderson-Brown

Bagatelle district, Clarendon