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Several stories grabbed the attention of readers this week, who left hundreds of comments on our wesbite, www.royalgazette.com. Here are a selection of those comments.

A Thought For Today. “Useless laws only weaken the necessary laws”—(Charles de Montesquieu philosopher & writer, 1689 - 1755) Time for “stiffer justice” Minister M Dunkley and all other concerned public members as well as the Opposition party...”Fight fire with fire” that’s what must be done to curtail the rampage crimes that have saturated our once beloved Bermuda :-(

Operation Ceasefire launches next month

Raymond JC Ray:

de-Winna: I sure hope that these ideas work. I would like to sugest that Mr Dunkley to get either Gang members or representitives of the Gangs together on to find out what the beef is. and Prehaps turn the negatives into somthing positive. It would really help the situation a lot if Mr Dunkley found out what the root of the problem could be. I’m also suggesting that he has a series of meetings with them without anybody else to build up trust.

Changer: Great work Minister Dunkley. The OBA are trying their hardest to make Bermuda safer,for locals and visitors.Well done!

Rhonda: Operation Ceasefire proved to be an ineffective intervention because it failed to consider a host of ecological factors, such as environmental, socio-economic and cultural factors that significantly affect youth violence. The Social Ecological model emphasizes the relationship between environment and behaviour. This approach assumes that health is shaped by many environmental subsystems, including family, community, workplace, cultural beliefs and traditions, economics, the physical world and social relationship networks. In order for health promotion efforts to be effective, they have to be comprehensive and systemic, which requires that they address these subsystems that affect a persons health and safety (1).

In addition, the social learning theory holds that people learn behaviour, especially aggression, by observing and imitating others (3). Youth growing up in neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence are a product of an environment where fighting is often viewed as the best or only way to resolve conflicts and gain respect. They are more likely to witness violent acts, learn to be violent, and to have role models that do not adequately control their own violent impulses. Such violence begets violence. In effect, being a victim of violence has been found to be the strongest indicator that one will commit an act of violence in retaliation (13). Fear for one’s personal safety can undermine one’s ability to resolve conflict without violence.

free to fight for change:I have seen a lot of comments that call for harsher punishments, even capital punishment. I cant believe that so many believe that is the answer. increasing the level of the consequence does only that. It does not combat the causes of anti-social behavior. If you really want to see a change in the norm you must start with those who will soon become teens following in the footsteps of he current anti-social teens. If the government really wanted to change what is fast becoming the norm they must put out the flame at its base. trying to treat symptoms i.e. harsher punishments, is anti-social in and of itself because it only encourages finding ways to avoid prosecution and therefore only causing more problems in our society. What we need are single parent workshops, more sponsored activities for the youth, Government, industry and Highschool involvement in career selection pre-college, community development programmes aimed at identifying and channelling youth talent, actual affordable housing and not financial assisted living, community involvement in curtailing teen pregnancy and mentoring for young men and ladies on the value of “whole family” values. dismantelisation of our marijuana and drinking culture and the value of moderation and self control.

The list could go on and on for the betterment of our society. I agree with fedor, this is something that we can not expect the government to do. It is on us and will take organised community effort and not individual. Lets show the government how to make our country a better place.

Mountainous Bermuda? Err....are you sure you’ve got the right Island?

To dream: So maybe Bermuda “is” another WORLD?

Bermy Byrd Too: I would like to see what kind of refund the tourist will receive once they realise that beach does not exist in Bermuda.

If it does I do not know of it. Where did those mountains come from? There are no open spaces in Bermuda so did someone photoshop all the buildings out???

Anne: Let’s ask the photographer :) ... Could be a really high embankment ??

I pray for the day when people stop praying to cure social ills. Two common indicators that a society’s leaders (political and other) haven’t a clue what to do (or lack the guts to do): 1) Call for prayer/divine intervention; 2) Start bad talking journalists for reporting bad news.

Churches to use prayer to combat social woes

Outsider:

Onion25: This is the silliest thing I have ever read. I am an atheist and I am highly educated, never been drunk, never done drugs, and am gainfully employed. Do not tell me that the crisis we are suffering here in Bermuda can be traced back to a waning spiritualism. Why dont we try to actually address the issues that we face, rather than appealing to island-wide prayer?

Niave Observer: I would prefer the churches take more concrete action, get your congregations out in the community helping where it is needed. Support more education in useful areas. God helps those who help themselves (and others), praying for god to solve your problem rarely works.

Islandlover: My parents brought me up to love God and love my neighbour. I live this daily....I am far from perfect, but when I see the foregoing comments filled with antagonism in some cases it doesn’t seem to me that these people represent the people that I grew up with, went to school with, worked with, and called my friends. If there is a large segment of our population who think in this manner, then God help my precious Island home and all who are trying very hard to make things better.

400years: amen all you fools who bad mouth prayer. it works.

JC: Prayer works! When things go wrong, you run and ask for prayer or help. Now it is put out there to have people come together as one body,people are saying why? What is wrong here? We need to bring back in schools and our homes. Whay happen to the all tines. People come togetheir as noe,it will work.

Every ‘expert’ has a seemingly simple and effective plan for tackling Bermuda’s gang problem. Last time I checked the cities, from which these ‘experts’ work or originate, still have gang problems. If they have all the answers and solutions, then their own cities and towns should be gang free. However, this is not the case. How much money has been given to these ‘experts’ whom we look to for solutions to the problems affecting our community...and what are the results? I find it amazing that ‘experts’ who previously have never been to Bermuda and do not know much about Bermuda have all the answers to our social problems

Baron: Gang expert drew emotional responses

flikel:

Islandlover: Negativity rears its ugly head once again in these comments. Senator Baron, I wish you and your colleagues the best success as you help Bermuda put this period of time in its history behind. Families need this, innocent children need this, neighbours need this and Bermuda needs this.

Moequity: Start with operation “fix terrible parenting”, and we might stand a chance of turning this around.

Jinky: Surely, this is problem that can only be fixed from within..... within this country, within this society and especially within families!

Why do we always look outside for solutions to our internal problems? Prevention is always better than the cure, so let’s put in place the means to encourage our youths to strive for more positive outcomes and while we are doing this, then let’s ensure that the deterrent to those already involved is enough of an incentive to move away from this way of life.

Finally, these people are not strangers in our midst, on this small island, they are family members and neighbours, so let’s accept the responsibility and fix this ourselves.... it is within our gift, we just need to make the right choice.

Before we have NO choice at all!

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Published May 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 03, 2013 at 5:19 pm)

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