There has been a marked increase in violent crime in Bermuda, with the prevalence of gun crime being the most obvious increase. Gang “warfare” is the easiest example of this but in recent months the use of gun in commonplace crimes has increased exponentially. Not that any crime against another person should be considered commonplace but there are always degrees, init? Hearing stories of gang members shooting at each other is almost a non-event nowadays (which is an unfortunate statement in and of itself). But to hear of robberies and muggings where the assailant is armed with a gun as opposed to a knife? Yup, that’s still is a bit of a shocker. I mean, these categories of crimes are by definition crimes of chance. So that means we now have “random” people walking around with guns just in case. Which can also be taken to mean, that contrary to the official line, there are a helluva lot more guns on the streets than we originally thought. Yeah, I know, scary. Even scarier is realizing in a very real way that, unlike the gang fighting, this brings the gun scrounge to everyman Bermuda.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve had reports of women, young girls, taxi drivers and others being held up and robbed at gunpoint. Yes, “young girls” was not a typo. This is definitely a new Bermuda in ALL the completely wrong ways. This is progress? How is it that as the more the world around us gets smaller and more connected, we are actually getting less civilized? And how do we stem this tide of lawlessness? Is the answer a return to community values of old, changes to policing methods, changes to legislation, all of the above? If so, how much of the change we need is dependant on each part of the whole?
There is a saying I love. Not sure who it’s attributable to but it goes, “You must become the change you wish to see” or something like that. I think in that one line, we find an answer to these and many other issues on our small, insular island. The solutions are in each and every one of us.