Commentary: Anger, Fear in T&T

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‘For many of us our fears of becoming just another crime statistic have turned into a deep maroon form of rage’
Alicia Chamely
By Alicia Chamely

OF all the human emotions, fear is probably one of the strongest ones.

It can make us irrational, it can plunge us into sadness, it can steal our peace of mind and it can evolve into something incredibly dangerous… anger.

We are scared and we are angry. For many of us our fears of becoming just another crime statistic have turned into a deep maroon form of rage. We (myself included) are angry as hell.

Angry that we are forced to live behind burglar proofing, angry that we get jumpy every time a stranger approaches, angry that when we are victims of crime we get blamed for not taking precautions to avoid being robbed/raped/assaulted… Lord have mercy, they are trying me today!

Seriously at this point I am so fed up of having to continuously having to watch my back, I sort of wish some fool will try to mug me (at knife point… obviously… gun point is a different story, that’s a here’s my purse, my keys, my jewelry, have a great day kind of situation), just so I can fight back… and fight I will because I am angry and the dragon must be realised!

As ignorant as this sounds, I am sure I am not the only one feeling this type of rage.

This is a problem. An angry society, especially one in which the citizens feel as though those who are meant to protect them have failed, is a dangerous society. The tiniest of spark can ignite the fuse that sets off the bomb.

Take for example what happened in Haiti this past week. The Haitian capital, for those who live in a state of total oblivion, has essentially been overpowered by gangs. It is estimated that over 60% Port-au- Prince is gang controlled.

The Haitians are fed up, they are tired of being scared and the fear they once felt has turned into blind rage.

So, when a group of police officers pulled over a minibus of suspected gang members, confiscated their weapons and had them lined up awaiting additional police to help transport the suspects, it was no surprise when a fed up crowd, tired of being terrorised by these gangs, over powered the police.

The crowd beat the bejesus out of these alleged gang members, sticks, stones, fist, foot, all of it. Then they proceeded to cover them with tires and straight up burn them… and note not all the beaten were dead when the roast was started.

It was an extreme act of communal brutality, bought on by the anger that felt every day regarding their crime and political situation.

They are just over it. If the Government and police can’t do their jobs, well the citizens are going to do it for them. I am not condoning what was carried out by the Haitians but, I can empathize with them, because there are times, I feel it too.

While I think we are a far cry away from Haiti, the anger is there, which is why I must object to the Oppositions call for increased access to legal firearms and new legislation that allows for “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Firstly, giving angry people access to guns is never a good idea… NE-VVV-EEERR. Do you know how much accidental shootings would occur; how much situations would go from zero to a billion in point five seconds…a lot!

Also all the funds that would have to be expended to expedite the Firearm Users Licensing systems, would frankly be better used in social and educational programmes aimed at reducing the risk of underserved youths being recruited by gangs.

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Stand your ground, is a nightmare and hasn’t worked too well in its birthplace, the mighty USA. Take for example the 20-year-old woman, who was shot to death when she got lost and turned into the wrong driveway. The home owner saw a car and woman he didn’t know and bang! bang! Stood his ground.

In a society riddled with angst, scared, angry people you are going to have so much, stand your ground deaths. KFC may suspend its delivery services, because we all know that one neighbor who is suspicious about everything that passes his home… and God forbid a lost delivery driver turns into his or her driveway.

While the Opposition proposed measures that supported education, job creation and social development aimed at the reduction of crime that I can stand by, these guns for all and stand your ground policies do nothing for crime prevention or reduction. All they do is give people the illusion of safety, when in fact they are not.

Side note: Whereas fear may turn some people into walking bottles of hot rage, it also turns some people into dummies… I’m looking at you Pundit Satyanand Maharaj. Clearly, you figured now was a perfect time to have people turn on each other rather than come together.

Because you know, racial division has always worked so well for us.

At this point we are all fed up, for many of us our fear has transformed into anger. What our leaders, Government elect, Opposition and hopefuls need to realise is our faith in them is eroding daily and now more than ever do egos need to put aside, bickering needs to end, snide parliamentary comments have to stop, and a system of cooperation needs to be developed.

So, to our prime minister, maybe it’s time to open your door, because your country is in crisis and those sparks are nearing the fuse.


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