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Attacking youth violence



Editor: A young school boy, 17 years of age, charged with murder? These are indeed troublous times, and the tears that fall on our nation’s youths are many, especially in the most recent past. A generation that has been endowed with the products of scientific advances, one that has greater access to knowledge and education than the generations that preceded us and should know better, yet the nation’s future is already marred with the blood spilled by today’s youths.{{more}} Who is responsible for this savage behavior among our youths? Who or what is to blame?

Our youths are responsible for their actions! They are the ones who choose the exact course of action they desire to pursue. We all came from environments that may not have been the most morally favourable, but even in the most horrible of environments, nothing ever replaces a youth’s ability to desire what he or she wants to be in life. This is evident in the many stories of persons who grew up among drug-dealing families and friends and never submitted to such destructive influences. They determined for themselves to practice restraint in humble submission to their consciences.

The habit so often indulged by politicians of sharing the crime blame just for political mileage does not help in addressing our crime problem. The phrase “since this Gov’t came into office there has been an increase in crime, thus they are responsible” is often too vague and irrational and is often motivated by political hypocrisy. Given that the Government cannot patrol every single area in this country to prevent would-be criminals from committing crimes, what can it do to help curb the crime situation among our nation’s youths in a practical way?

Since a crime is conceived in the mind of an individual (Psa 58:2), whatever initiative the Government pursues to deal with this problem must handle in a pragmatic way the state of our youth’s thinking. Our young people must be made to understand, through various means, the inhumanity and horribleness of criminal activities. One can get this clear picture in a social setting only by understanding the universal value of each human being – i.e. that each person was created by God with inalienable Rights and endowed with freedoms which should never be violated under any circumstance. If a Government takes the initiative or sponsors initiatives taken by citizen groups to educate the nation’s youths on the value of Rights and personal freedoms, this Government would have made a significant contribution towards the reduction of criminal activities. When an individual thinks then to commit a crime, he or she will not only think of the natural consequence of his act (facing imprisonment or death) but will consider the human being whose rights he intends to violate and how unnatural and in-human his act would be. He will have a proper view of the real nature of both the criminal act and its anti-rights effects.

Further, this author does not submit to the idea that lack of employment, the existence of poverty, the lack of sporting facilities and the lack of formal education are the main causes of crime among youths. These, if corrected and made available to youths, will present favourable employment of their time and give them some sense of accomplishment, but never forget that sportsmen, teachers and politicians, both rich and poor, commit criminal acts too, sometimes of a violent nature as well.

Crime among youths has its roots in the uncontrolled passions they cultivate in their day to day interactions as well. These may have begun as simple habits in childhood where a parent gives his son the authority to take away his elder brother’s toy to appease his selfish cries, or to slap or hit back another of his peers to appease his anger. In both cases, there is a criminal and a victim, the loud spiteful and selfish son being the criminal and the elder brother being the victim. In both cases, the little spoilt brat is given the message that it is right to violate another person’s rights (to private property – the toy; and right to life – the slap) to satisfy his uncontrolled passions. He then translates that into violent robberies and murders in his adult life, if he isn’t rescued early. Do not parents share the blame for shaping our nation’s criminals as well? Is not crime fostered in small but lasting ways in the homes of our nation’s youths? Our parents must then be made to consider these, and our youths must be made to understand the value of controlling their passions in all circumstances.

As the nature of criminal acts continues to defy our imaginations as they become more and more outrageous, there seems to be a growing influence among so-called “Human Rights” organizations and Governments to restrict the most severe forms of punishments which have acted in our past to be a deterrent to many of our nation’s youths. Our youths now conceive and execute their criminal acts without much thought towards severe punishment. They are not forced to restrain their passions for fear of severe consequences. Some of our youths would not even remember the last hanging in St. Vincent; others do not know what it is like being in a country where hanging is carried out as a punishment for murder, having little practical horror (of being hanged) for the mind to reflect upon before committing a murder. How effective is hanging when it only exists in the pages of our law books?

Our religious denominations have done little to help in eradicating crime at its root. They only act as social shelters to occupy the time of many of our youth, without teaching them how to control their passions and discipline their thoughts to overcome all criminal tendencies. A statement given to me by one so-called Christian sums up what our Apostate Christian churches teach today…”you cannot overcome sin, you cannot live without sinning, you cannot control your passions.” Imagine the implication of those words to a would-be criminal who comes to your church seeking salvation. Can’t Jesus help a man to overcome his passions and reject his sinful (criminal) thoughts? The Bible says he can…as a matter of fact, he gives the penitent sinner his mind, and crucify (or inactivate) all evil (criminal) passions in the converted man (Rom 6: 6). Further, he keeps the converted person from falling (Jude 24), in reality, and makes him obedient to God’s law (Rom 3:31) and the law of the land (wherever it does not conflict with God’s law). Sadly, as seen in the many articles written by the anti-law activist Mark Charles whose purpose in life is to preach hatred for God’s law (making him and his gang religious criminals), false Christianity continues to encourage blatant disregard for God’s law and order, from which our country derived its laws.

If our youths understand that they are responsible for their actions, and that all criminal thoughts and passions can be rejected by them, if they can appreciate the value of their fellowmen’s rights and freedoms and know that if they penitently come to Christ, He can change them and keep them from falling, our country will be better off. If our Governments and our parents play their roles and individuals preach hope-filled theology to our youths, less 17 year olds will be charged for murder.

Shefflorn Ballantyne (Mr) 24 years old.