Friday, January 21, 2011

Gun Trotting Bandits - Executions, Not Simply Injustice?

ON Thursday morning, I looked into the online version of the Kenyan Nation newspaper to find the big news, with pictures to boot. Police had executed some thugs, who had apparently surrendered. Of course it's shocking. More so that they did this in the very open. I can't imagine if one had their children in their vehicles while the cops carried out their actions.

On Wednesday evening, I received a phone call. My brother in law had been murdered. He was shot dead, execution style, right outside the gate to his house. The bandits carried his car keys but not his car. They killed him outside his gate, so that meant his wife and kids heard the commotion, the shots and were left to find the display the bandits had left behind.

On December 24th, 2010, I was in Kenya and at Kenyatta Market getting my hair braided. This crazy story was circulating. One of the braiders in one of the stalls wasn't in and had experienced tragedy in her family. Apparently, the night before, on her way home from work, she walked into a crowd of people gathered around some dead people. They had been shot by police. One was a robber. The other was an innocent high school student, whom the robber had used to shield himself from the police bullets with. The police had shot and killed both. The innocent high school student was her son.

So I am reading the comments on this story in the nation newspaper and noting the outrage in people's tones. I am trying to feel that outraged, but I can't. I keep thinking, as long as one can confirm these were robbers with guns, shoot them and kill them. For starters, our system will probably let them out of jail, perhaps even before they have served their time, due to corruption within our jail systems. And these people will go back to shoot and kill another family's father, son, brother, husband and friend. Let this gun trotting idiots die instead.

Now I am not unaware of the ugliness of my intuitive emotion. How dare anyone kill a surrendered man? It's horrible. I agree. But is it worse than the fact that this surrendered man kills innocent people? If I believed that the system would take care of these thugs correctly, tuck them away somewhere and let them rot there to die; especially where the death penalty is now eliminated in Kenya, I might be OK and insisting on the 'don't shoot surrendered gun trotting thugs', mantra. But I don't believe in it. And what about these cops? Who keep engaging in gun fights with the same set of thugs repeatedly? I understand why they shoot them to eliminate them. The truth is, our system is not ready for gun trotting violence wielders.

So here is what I'd propose. An outright gun on guns in the open for everyone. Any violators can expect to be shot dead. Legally. Yes, I'm proposing a shoot to kill order for all gun wielding thugs.

What about the innocent bystanders, such as the high school student I mentioned earlier? I'm proposing better training for the police. And an additional clause to the shoot to kill order. Simply, once an innocent person is added to the mix, a 'hold fire' mandate.

But am I sorry for the executed thugs? Not at the current moment. Perhaps my emotions are a little raw at the current moment. Am I aware that it is a degenerate society that would execute a surrendered man? Yes. But to that I say, it is a degenerated man that would shoot an innocent man. The cops did not shoot innocent men. They shot surrendered crooks. It is not the same thing. And I for one, want that difference noted and appreciated. If my father, brother or husband was a cop, I'd be sure that I advised that they shoot these idiots before they get shot. I'm fighting for the cops on this one. I'm not claiming they were right. I'm asking that we pass a law that makes them right. That should deter any gun trotting thug without a death wish. All others, well, their wishes can be fulfilled as desired. And meanwhile, those responsible should start drafting laws, creating spaces and cleaning up the system, so that in the future, the shoot to kill order will no longer be necessary.

I'm surprised by myself too. I didn't know I had this cold space in me.