Truths that cannot be avoided
There is a growing number of people globally, who are very uncomfortable about the future of societies where values for a decent peaceful life, continue to be under threat from those who seek their twisted agenda, through blatant violence, with total disregard for life itself. The Boston Marathon terror attack is a reminder.
Young people, are wondering what future they have in a world where common sense and reason, are frequently shoved aside, by powerful groups who will stop at nothing to achieve objectives that defy logic and a basic sense of right and wrong. Men, women, and children are still being slaughtered daily by powerful regimes that have a single objective to stay in power and create terror and fear among people who believe they have a right for freedom of expression, and a right to exist in peace. It is indeed a much changed world. Despite two great wars, pockets of vicious military conflicts still result in weekly carnage and a loss of hope for many.
No longer can we duck beneath the covers to shut out the undeniable truth: That unless good people of this world act now collectively, the forces of evil will stumble on, oblivious to consequences as they dish out their demented version of justice. With cameras playing a vital communication role, hardly an incident occurs on the planet without it being in front rooms almost as it happens. This has to have a profound impact on children trying to understand the world they find themselves in. The US is largely divided over attempts to alter gun laws, with a fever pitch thrust by the powerful National Rifle Association to crush initiatives aimed at keeping military type assault rifles out of the public domain. Remember it was that type of rifle that took so many lives in America last December, mostly children in minutes, while in their classrooms.
Most Americans seem to agree that such weapons should not be included in the right to bear arms, which the second amendment to the constitution permits. Some politicians fearful of wrath from their gun loving constituents, voted to defeat a proposal from President Barack Obama, to bring about change in the law which could save lives in the future.
The point here is that good people are starting to speak up, despite the deeply entrenched gun culture that some Americans place higher than the Bible. Those opposed to the NRA are determined to change the thinking that the second amendment gives one the right to possess any type of weapon as a constitutional right. The NRA even frowns on full scale background checks to keep criminals and mentally ill people from getting such weapons. This story is far from over.
Meanwhile here in Bermuda after a recent history of gun violence, mainly gang related, that has claimed many lives, the clergy in a non-denominational thrust, have decided enough is enough, and will soon engage in an Island-wide prayer effort to change the mindset that fuels antisocial behaviour and violent crime.
This effort must be commended, but success will come only when the entire community embraces the urgency to stamp out an underworld culture, before it is able to swallow up young minds yet to be touched by this menace. It is easy to blame others and point fingers, but once again, the front line in this ongoing struggle is really the home.
We must find a way to revive a desire by our young people to learn good things early, in order to promote continuity toward a healthy society. It will not happen over night, but with hard work, it can happen. We cannot rely on others to solve what is clearly a problem in our society. Neither Government, the Police, nor community leaders can bring about change alone.
This Heritage month, every Bermudian who loves this Island should reflect deeply on what can be achieved, if we work closely together. Mistakes of the past cannot be changed, but the future can be brighter if we face up to truths, and are prepared to confront problems together. It is a struggle we must win for ourselves, future generations, and Bermuda itself.