Enough crime is enough

I wonder how many parents, after having read the 27 June Caymanian Compass sat in despair wondering when the first stray bullet would kill an innocent child.

A gnawing sense of unease has been growing in Cayman, over the last year or so.

It seems that, every day, we read or hear about another weapon or another shooting.

When I heard about the shooting in the Matrix parking lot recently, my first thought was of the children in Smyles – the indoor playground that shares the Islander complex with the Matrix and World Gym (among others).

What if a child had been in that parking lot and had been standing or sitting in the wrong place when the bullets started to fly?

Today we read about the discovery of an AK47 rifle in West Bay.

It is my understanding that this weapon is, quite simply, a killing machine.

I have never seen one fired (nor do I ever want to), but I am told that it is difficult, if not impossible, to control where the bullets will spray.

And, quite frankly, I doubt that anyone evil enough to bring one of these abominations to Cayman would really care who was in his line of fire.

Are we going to become yet another crime-riddled Caribbean island?

Are we going to start putting bars on our windows and broken glass and barbed wire on our walls?

I am not usually a scare-monger, but I think most people would agree that complacency is grossly inappropriate in this situation.

Hats off to the organizers and participants of the Walk against Violence held recently.

Your actions highlight the fact that many of us are taking this threat seriously and want to do something about it.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, it is time to say enough is enough. We all need to support the police.

If that means paying larger salaries so we can recruit the cream of the crop, then let’s do it.

If it means finding the money to be able to properly patrol our coastline and beef up our airport screening of incoming baggage, then let’s do it.

I know many of us still need houses, or roofs, or classrooms, or better roads, but what use are any of these if we are not safe on our own streets – if our children can’t grow up in the safe Cayman that we all love?

I don’t think I need to even go into the whole issue of what effect violence or even the perception of violence will have on our tourism industry.

If we need to establish a zero tolerance policy for weapons (handguns, automatic weapons, etc), then let’s do it – set a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years for a first offence. Make a second offence punishable by life in prison.

Draconian?

Yes.

Simplistic?

Yes.

Necessary?

You bet.

Mr. Kurt, you are a good man and I suspect your heart is as heavy as all of ours. You and your colleagues have set yourselves the task of picking up the pieces of Cayman and restoring her foundations, her dignity, and her soul.

The threat of violence in Cayman is casting a pall over the reconstruction efforts.

Tell us what we need to do to help you and to support those who are entrusted with protecting us, so that we can rid Cayman of this growing menace.

R. Clarke

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