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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

It is commendable that the Prime Minster, during his statement on the recent murders, adopted a humanistic approach appealing to “all those young persons who are attracted to violent activity to reflect on alternatives which would provide more acceptable outcomes to their valuable lives.”

In response to violent crimes, politicians tend to react by making statements which are themselves violent. Statements such as “declaring war,” “releasing the dogs of war” “hang them high” all capture the ethos of a society created, engaged in and determined to continue the cycle of inflicting pain on each other.

Until that statement, I have never heard a Prime Minister deliver such a sincere plea to “criminals” urging them to reflect on the fate of their own lives.

Not to fear the law, nor guilt from the infliction of pain on victims lives, but to contemplate the grief and effect it will have on their own lives.

Society, movies, music and entertainment have always glorified a young man’s combativeness. Young men’s strength never seems to be praised for acting peacefully or obeying the rules. We are often inculcated to believe that respect is only gained by conquest, and we are only empowered by money, women or our superiority over another person.

We are often stripped of any emotion from a very young age by the simple and deadly phrase of “man up.” Certainly murder is the extreme expression of this violent nature, it is still a reflection of these qualities.

While the Prime Minster’s statement may have no tangible result, at least it opens a dialogue as to why we young men are so very violent and how we can challenge that energy constructively. Until we find such a avenue, we will be nothing more than a society of vikings searching for a battle in the scorching heat.

Daniel Khan


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