Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed a lot of gun related violence in Saint Lucia, which doesn’t augur well with us. We have not thought of the impact this brings to our economy. In places where these kinds of situations exist, we can be sure potential investors will be deterred from bringing their money into the country. To the young people involved, have you thought about your future? When we continue to “kill ourselves” we are destroying our own future. As a society, we need to create a culture of compassion and kindness in order to eliminate this “monster of crime and violence” in our communities.
Truth be told, it appears crime and violence is causing fear and panic among the masses. It seems to me that fear of violence is paralyzing and polarizing our communities. The news today is filled with terrible stories of crime and violence. Gun related cases seem to be reported almost every week in our news media. Today, our families are torn apart by violence and our communities are destroyed by violence. We see violence in our homes, in our schools and on our streets.
We need to ask some questions: Where do the people who are involved in these crimes get the guns and the ammunition? Do we manufacture guns in our country? If not, where do these guns come from? Do they pass through our borders? Who is responsible for the protection of our borders? These are legitimate questions we need to ask ourselves, if we want to overcome crime and violence in our country.
I think it is time to stop the celebration of violence in our social media, and music that contains foul language should not be encouraged. Again, it seems as though some of the video games are also contributing factors to crime. Some of these video games are poisoning the minds of some of our children and our young people. Beyond the violence in our streets is the violence in our hearts. Hostility, hatred, despair and indifference are at the heart of a growing culture of violence. Verbal disputes within our families are also a key contributor of this ugly menace, with mass communication and talk shows contributing to this culture of violence.
I do believe we can turn away from violence. It is not too late! We can build communities of greater peace. This peace begins with a clear conviction, respect for human life and value for human dignity. Respect for human life and compassion is the starting point for confronting a culture of crime and violence. As a Methodist community, we are appealing to all to show respect for each other and find a better way to resolve conflict. Remember, guns and other weapons are not the solution.