Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Archive for July, 2008

[Fearism] It’s Not About Looks Or Games

Posted by Lex Fear on July 5, 2008

It’s been hard not to notice the rise in reports of knife attacks and crime in the wonderful city of Londonland (beacon to the nations, example to every other country of how to do it right).

And with the rise in reports of knife crime follows the inevitable families of the victims appearing on GMTV calling for hangings for people caught carrying a knife.

Then we have the ultra paranoid and inept government who watch GMTV and read The Sun, introducing said hanging laws and amnesties which are shown to not be working.

And whilst many are asking why our teenagers are carrying knives, no-one seems to be hitting on the answer to this question… which is why we get pathetic campaigns like the latest one released by the Met which links to a partner site – it’s not a game.

Instead, victims, media, the Met and high Government should perhaps read some of the information from one of their own websites which offers a much more balanced and rational researched answer.

To me it’s plainly obvious, but perhaps only because I can remember being a teenager, they aren’t carrying knives to look good and they aren’t carrying knives as part of some sort of game. I know this is going to shock you but…

Most teenagers are carrying knives, along with wear hoodies up and joining gangs, because of fear.

If you’re a gang-banger, or a particularly vulnerable teen, fear of being attacked is going to be a big motivator to carrying a knife. Being armed gives you a sense of false security in that you will have a fighting chance if you are up against an attacker. Along with the faux protection offered by a gang also comes respect and acceptance.

That’s why the amnesties aren’t working. The only people who hand in weapons to amnesties are those who trust the police to protect them, or those who genuinely don’t fear the consequences of not carrying one. Tougher sentences don’t work either. Faced with 4 years or more in jail and losing your life completely (to an armed attacker) doesn’t take much math to work out which seems like a better gamble.

So, like most bloggers, I don’t have a solution but I know one thing, if the government wants to tackle knife crime and gang culture, they should focus on reducing the climate of fear and engaging young people. Not in a false way like the ridiculous “It’s not about looks” campaign, but engage them on the streets, engage them personally.

Charity organisations and the church do much better in this respect, and maybe it’s not a job for the government at all, but the least they could do is stop introducing reactionary legislation and demonising groups of people.

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