Daily Archives: October 15, 2008

Barbados National Organisation Of Women Has It Wrong (They Want To Ban Kitchen Knives!) – Barbados Police Have It Right

NOW Sees Kitchen Knives As The Problem, Police See A “Culture Of Violence”

According to her interview in The Nation, NOW President Yvonne Walkes thinks that it is time for the “authorities” to take “effective action”.

Her suggestion: The total eradication of knives from our society “unless you were a butcher or someone like that and have a right to it.”

Yes, that “unless you are a butcher…” is a direct quote from Yvonne Walkes in the Nation article NOW Vex At Weak Weapons Control.

What does the Royal Barbados Police Force say about violence?

“It is a national issue. It is a culture of violence and it has been like that for a long time now,”

… RBPF Deputy Commissioner Bertie Hinds

Deputy Commissioner Bertie Hinds gets it. The root causes of violence are cultural, and have very little to do with the availability of weapons. Calling upon the police to quell a wave of violence that is culturally driven is merely passing the buck. It is unrealistic and doomed to fail.

I’m sure that Yvonne Walkes means well, but her words are so typical of a certain flawed worldview that refuses to consider that the root causes of violence could be anything other than what is on her very narrowly defined list.

Guns? Sure, we all agree that that such powerful and easy to use lethal weapons should not be handed out willy-nilly to children, bandits and people prone to violence. But should the entire population be disarmed of guns?

Yvonne Walkes believes that individuals – even responsible, peaceful, mature adults – should not be allowed weapons of any kind – or tools like kitchen knives that could be used as weapons. She believes that all potential victims should be disarmed. Criminals, of course, don’t give a damn about the law and will arm themselves anyway.

This “objects and tools are the problem” thinking has led to the formation of “weapons free” zones in Britain and the United States – or as they are also known “Where madmen can find unarmed victims” zones.

But the availability of guns and knives is not a root cause of the violence that is shaking western society – nor is it a cause of the creeping violence that Barbados is having to defend itself against more and more. The availability of knives, cricket bats or tyre irons is not the cause of violence when these tools are used as weapons.

If we want to talk ROOT CAUSES for violence in society there are three that I can identify – and the eradication of any on this list would lead to an immediate and significant reduction in violence (in my humble opinion)…

1/ Television (and now the internet)

Nothing has so closely paced the rise of violence in Western society as the introduction and growth of entertainment television. When television was first introduced, everyone realised the tremendous power of television programming to impact societal values, perceptions and culture, and for a while there were limits and controls on programming because folks realised the harm that could be done.

Remember “I Love Lucy” from the 1950’s? Ricky and Lucy were shown with twin beds and if Lucy was shown sick in bed she had to wear long sleeved pajamas and have the blankets up to her chin!

Silly? Sure… but that was an illustration as to how closely society’s leaders wanted to control the visual image because they knew it’s power.

What do we have today? Anything goes and our children are fed a steady diet of violence and the glorification of crime and excessive behaviour. Black Entertainment Television has probably done more to destroy black families and glorify crime and violence than any other broadcaster. And we’re not mentioning the so-called “music” of rape and mayhem that our wonderful Barbados radio stations pump into the ears of young men.

The police cannot help with this root cause of violence.

2/ The Marginalisation of Men as Fathers, and the rise of subsidised Single Motherhood as a career choice.

So many young men grow up wild without the guidance of their fathers. Young men and boys need fathers – and occasionally even need a father’s physical intervention. That’s just the way it is for young men. Anyone who says anything different must be a woman. Yes, a single woman can successfully raise a young man but that is not the best way and these days single women fail at this task more often than they succeed. A woman cannot teach a boy what it is to be a man any more than a man can teach a girl what it is to be a woman. (That paragraph should put the cat in with the chickens!)

But increasingly we structure our society’s laws and values so that fathers are optional. Men have become pretty well just meal tickets without rights to their children, both in law and in the community. The result of this is generations of wild young men who lack role models and close supervision. (See BFP’s Unwed Motherhood As A Career Choice In Barbados)

The police cannot help with this root cause of violence.

3/ Flawed Teaching of Moral Relativism in our Schools and By Example Of Our Leaders

A few quotes from persons wiser than yours truly…

“Moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. Moral relativists hold that no universal standard exists by which to assess an ethical proposition’s truth;

Morality, whatever it is, is thought to be something different from personal taste and preference. Subjectivism holds that it is exactly personal taste and preference.” … from Wikipedia link here

We have had a generation of leaders who have ignored the rule of law when it suited them, and ignored the morality behind the law – and this has not gone unnoticed by the ordinary folks. As an example we have the recent St. Joseph Hospital report that characterised Senator Brandford Taitt’s actions as “unethical”, but instead of a contrite apology or embarrassment, we had Taitt and his party celebrating that there were no criminal violations. Sure… no criminal violations only because we lack Integrity Legislation!

Some example for the young people. And that is only one example of a daily diet of greedy, unethical “leadership” that this country has been subjected to for a generation at least. In my opinon, this example of “do as you please” often translates into criminal behaviour and violence amoungst our young men.

The police cannot help with this root cause of violence.

We can ban all the knives we want and take away all the weapons from the law-abiding people. Heck… might as well take the tyre irons and hammers too.

But Yvonne Walkes and the National Organisation of Women are only puffing smoke if they think the availability of tools is a root cause of violence.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law