This week was greeted by some very troublesome news of a revolver making its way into the island’s lone institution where mentally ill patients are treated- the Mt Gay Psychiatric Hospital. The firearm was in a package which contained other personal items and was dropped off, destined for a patient there. Was the gun loaded? According to online reports, it was. A report from the Lead eNewspaper certainly went viral provoking a lot of discussions on the issue that prompted the name of this week’s editorial which simply means a narrow escape.
This newspaper spoke to some people after receiving the initial report and they expressed concern that it could have been catastrophic, had it gone into the wrong hands. Others said that it has added to the nervousness that the many sad reports that are being revealed these days are causing. One person revealed that he has no interest in venturing outside of his home these days since he feels very unsafe at this time.
However, when the modern electronic media which seemingly go to sleep on public holidays, awoke on Tuesday we got a better understanding of the incident albeit still cataclysmic. One radio station reported that the package was prepared by the father of the patient who accidentally sent off his loaded firearm in the process. The question here is why a loaded gun was on hand to mistakenly be placed in the bag to be sent off?
Fortunately it was found in time before falling into the hands of the patient or patients. However, while this brought sighs of relief, it remains one of the most troubling events at this time. The owner is said to be a businessman on the western side of the island, so it was for this purpose that he obtained a licensed gun. According to a police officer in the news, the owner, upon realizing that his gun was missing made a report immediately. The story lacked clarity on why a loaded gun was on hand at that time.
Whatever went wrong, we, as the public may never get the details officially because results of police investigations are hardly publicly revealed. Was it was an act of carelessness or an accident? Will the owner be made to suffer any consequence? What will be done to avoid such an incident from ever happening again?
This maybe the opportune time to beef up the security at the gate at that institution. This newspaper have spoken to people who have visited there for one reason or the next and they are of the view that the gateman is just too casual. Some of them are suggesting that a register must be kept at the gate where visitors are required to print their names and addresses in block letters and every package should be carefully searched there.
We have learnt that a similar procedure is in place at His Majesty’s Prison since it was discovered that prohibited items were making their way into that institution in boxes of cereals and other ways. So far, according to reports, it’s working well at the prison. It may serve the Ministry of Health well to understudy that system in a bid to upgrade safety at the Mt Gay Psychiatric Hospital where patients’ thoughts are most times unstable putting them in a vulnerable situation. We are aware of serious fights taking place there among the patients and we even heard of an alleged incident of rape which sparked a lot of discussions by the Friends of the Mentally Ill group. So let’s see some improvement there.
Then again, reports of homicides seem to be creeping in the news. There was a report of a man who died as a result of blood loss due to wounds inflicted on him at his home in Concord recently. This week another man was found dead at his home with a deep wound on his neck. Those two stories have something in common. We are aware that a man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so this newspaper is abstaining from pointing fingers we await the end results of the cases. Popular reports making the rounds are that both men allegedly had altercations earlier with someone they knew very well. Their bodies were later found at their homes with chop wounds seemingly inflicted by sharp instruments.
Reports of missing teenagers who are referred to at times by the police as runaway teenagers, cannot be ignored. Three went missing this week. The question is, what is the underlying cause? Why are we not seeing more concern coming from parents by way of standing together in protest marches? Aren’t parents a little too quiet on this issue of missing young people? A talk show host on a local radio station made reference of an ex-rated video making the rounds with a young boy making stark revelations. This newspaper was made aware of videos on phones where local people fall prey into being seduced by people to get involved in sensuous behaviour. Then videos are made and used to extort money from the victims. The outgoing Police Commissioner Edvin Martin gave a sound advice for the public to work with the police for the safety of the nation as he proceeds on pre-retirement leave.
Let’s also pray very hard for the safety of our young people!