It’s time for us to stop only reacting after an event has already irreversibly occurred. Once innocent victims have been stabbed, shot or beaten death, it is already too late. It may be possible to try and prevent it happening to more victims, but it is too late for those who have already gone.
Last week on BBC breakfast news, Colin Knox, father of murdered teenager Andrew Knox, gave his thoughts on revelations that the Government’s £3m initiative to reduce knife crime has, statistically, so far failed.
Instead of decreasing the number of fatal stabbings during the time it has been in action, thus far the overall number of fatal stabbings has risen under the campaign’s watch.
Colin Knox came up with a poignant and very sensible suggestion. He said that we need to get knife carriers off the streets and into a place where they can learn not to carry weapons with them.
He even suggested that for those who wanted to, maybe this could be a route into the army rather than being sent back to the same streets that created their knife-carrying tendencies.
For a father of a murdered teenager, carrying grief that must be too unbearable to even imagine, this is one of the most level-headed suggestions for tackling the problem that I’ve heard in months.
There’s no point in continuing to tackle the problem purely through punishing for crimes which have already, irreversibly been committed. Instead we must also tackle the problem before the murder has occurred.
Just because someone has not yet killed with the knife they are carrying, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t now start to assume what that knife could eventually be used for.
Colin Knox also pointed out that for those who use the old excuse that they are carrying the knife for self-defense; this is a weak and often irrelevant argument. In the majority of knife-murder cases it is only the murderer who has been carrying a knife, the victim is weaponless.
Yes, of course we must continue to punish those who have done wrong. Murderers need to go to jail and be duly punished for their unforgivable actions. But we need to realise that this should not be the extent of our action.
We need to cut off the problem at its source, once and for all. If we don’t, we will only have ourselves to blame next time another innocent victim is mercilessly murdered by a knife-wielding maniac intent on destroying lives. Their path to this destructive destination seems to be without enough obstacles at the moment. Hopefully locking them up somewhere where they get the guidance they need to realize and understand where their journey is currently taking them will prevent at least some of these horrible crimes from being committed.