Not enough murders yet

By Ken Waddell

It would appear that our capital city, Winnipeg, has more troubles than speeding tickets and crumbling infrastructure.
It seems Winnipeg has a major murder problem by the number of homicides that have happened so far this year.
The number of injuries that could have resulted in deaths is astounding.

A number of years ago, an expert on CBC radio said that the murder rate in Winnipeg wasn’t that bad. The victims, he said, came from two sources. First, it was men who insisted on going on three day drinking binges and who lived in seedy hotels. Second, it was women who refused to leave abusive spousal situations.

That may have been the case but the latest rash of shootings and murders are a lot harder to categorize.

A 16 year old girl was murdered, an adult in the house nearly killed. A middle aged man was attacked and killed, allegedly by two 14 year old boys. These recent cases don’t fit the earlier stated model.

One has to ask what is happening in Winnipeg, or in Manitoba for that matter.
And please don’t tell me it is poverty or else there should be lot more murders committed. Poor people don’t commit murders; sick, angry people do.

So why are there so many sick, angry people around?
I’m certainly not sure of the answer but there may be some clues.

A teacher told us few years ago that when he went to school (and he’s only 40 now), if he got in trouble at school he would be in more trouble when he got home. “Nowadays,” he said, “as a teacher, if I raise some trouble with a student, I may as well sit by the phone and wait for the angry parents to call.”
Therein lies one clue as to why society is falling apart. If a teachers says your kid has been bad at school, trust me he’s likely been bad at school. Most teachers have a lot better things to do than “pick” on your kid, so get over it.

Yes, you need to defend your child, but when they are in trouble at school, for goodness sake, back the teacher up at least until you know the truth.

Another cause of trouble in our society is the use of alcohol and drugs. For several decades we’ve winked and smiled as we observe young people starting into booze and drugs. Safe grad, not-so safe grads, bush parties with parental consent and supervision are all a part of a slippery slope that says to kids, everybody is doing it so you may as well just do it, stay safe, and don’t get caught.

That’s just plain wrong.

I would love to have a beer, I’d enjoy a drink of wine or maybe even stronger drink. But you know what? The only way you can be sure alcohol won’t control you is if you never touch the stuff. Many a good person has gone from a little wine to a few beer to a lot of hard liquor. Never yet has there ever been any good come of booze, never, ever!

The same can be said of illegal drugs, never any good has come of them, never, ever. Period, end of story.

And yet we play with them; if not in fact, in our minds and in our jokes and in our conversations.
We trivialize the very things that have lead to so much obvious ruin. It’s bad for society when we trivialize the enemy of our well being.

There is one partial answer to society’s problems. We are desperately short of treatment centres, remand centres and jails. I’m willing to bet that when 14 year olds commit murder, it isn’t the first time they have had run-ins with the law. It might be, but it’s doubtful. We certainly learned from the repeat car thieves that the majority of offences were second, third, fourth or many multiple offences. We also know that a person can’t steal cars when they are in jail or remand or rehab.

We are short of judges, that report just came out. We are short of crown attorneys. We are short of spaces to house the accused, the guilty and those in need of rehab.

We aren’t taking our public safety seriously on a number of fronts. Until we do, we can just keep running up the tally clock. Crime will run rampant and murders will keep adding up.

I’m not sure how many people have to die before we catch on. Apparently not enough people have died yet to get our government’s attention.

Oh sorry, I forgot. The government is too busy handing out illegal speeding tickets. Well, at least that makes money, I guess, and after last week, Winnipeg has a few less people to spend it on. They’re dead!

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