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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trick knives bought by children


Feel a little like holding my head in my hands... I started this anti-knife crime blog as a memorial - but also in the hope it can persuade people not to carry knives as weapons, to help try to make knife carrying as anti-social as, say, smoking.

This weekend my 10-year-old daughter came to show me a plastic toy knife she bought at a car boot sale this weekend - for two pence. The picture of it in this post is almost identical to the one she bought.

What surprised me was how happy she was to have bought it. It had a spring loaded plastic blade that gives the impression of a blade passing into the body when, in fact, the blade passes (harmlessly) into the handle. You can pretend to stab yourself - great fun for kids, it seems.

My daughter loved this trick. She does like drama and acting so I guess it appealed to the theatrical side of her personality. Being young and innocent, she thought it was - simply - a great trick.

Me, however, being somewhat sensitised to knives used as weapons, am just wondering how to best communicate about knife-carrying to young people without being way too overbearing. Far better for any child to independently understand the dangers of carrying knives and not want to have one, seems to be a useful message to convey.

At the moment, I think I'm partly right and partly wrong. My children have also play-acted with fake confectionery cigarettes but openly discuss the dangers of dying from smoking-related cancer and how they are anti-smoking. My aim now then is to have them express similar sentiments about knives and knife-carrying. A communication challenge with some complexities - but, all being well, I'll let you know what happens.


Friday, August 21, 2009

How to treat knife and gun criminals who maim and murder

Scotland has exercised compassion by releasing a convicted Libyan prisoner. Court evidence showed he was a terrorist and involved in blowing up a Pan Am plane over the country (Lockerbie) back in 1988, killing so many innocents (270).

What should we do when murderous criminals and aggressive types (who set about people with a knife or a gun - or bombs) are in prison and face a terminal illness? Let them rot in prison. It's a popular sentiment.

This Lockerbie bomber case seems to have opened a can of worms and much misery - and who knows if releasing someone in this manner could lead to more atrocities in the future. That's a real worry and security concern. But showing some compassion should be a good thing, I would have thought. It shows we're not 'in the gutter' like some criminal scum.

Here's a relevant excerpt of the Scottish Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's release statement. Worth reflecting on and evaluating...

"In Scotland, we are a people who pride ourselves on our humanity. It is viewed as a defining characteristic of Scotland and the Scottish people.

"The perpetration of an atrocity and outrage cannot and should not be a basis for losing sight of who we are, the values we seek to uphold, and the faith and beliefs by which we seek to live.

"Mr Al Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion. They were not allowed to return to the bosom of their families to see out their lives, let alone their dying days. No compassion was shown by him to them.

"But that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days.

"Our justice system demands that judgment be imposed but compassion be available.

"Our beliefs dictate that justice be served, but mercy be shown.

"Compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs that we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people. No matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated.

"For these reasons - and these reasons alone - it is my decision that Mr Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, convicted in 2001 for the Lockerbie bombing, now terminally ill with prostate cancer, be released on compassionate grounds and allowed to return to Libya to die."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Violent crime - Loss of loved ones

Reminiscing, as you do sometimes, I listened again to Puff Daddy's
tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. He was once a drug dealer - but putting
that disturbing issue aside - I could feel myself welling up as this touching, poignant song about the violent death of a friend.

"What a life to take, what a bond to break..."

See what you think. It helped me grieve a little more as I recalled the stabbing I tried to stop. Maybe it will help you.

Lyrics are below for you to mull on. To hear the song, play the You
Tube video below or click this link if you have a mobile device - http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4N_RLyINSGE&fulldescription=1&client=mv-google&gl=GB&hl=en



Verse One: Puff Daddy
(Yeah... this right here... goes out to everyone who has lost someone they
truly love)

Seems like yesterday we used to rock the show
I laced the track, you locked the flow
So far from hangin on the block for dough
Notorious, they got to know that
Life ain't always what it seem to be (uh-uh)
Words can't express what you mean to me
Even though you're gone, we still a team
Through your family, I'll fulfill your dream (that's right)
In the future, can't wait to see
If you open up the gates for me
Reminisce some time, the night they took my friend (uh-huh)
Try to black it out, but it plays again
When it's real, feelings hard to conceal
Can't imagine all the pain I feel
Give anything to hear half your breath (half your breath)
I know you still living your life, after death

Chorus: Faith Evans
Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you
Thinkin of the days, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you

Verse Two: Puff Daddy
[Puff] I miss you Big
It's kinda hard with you not around (yeah)
Know you in heaven smilin down (eheh)
Watchin us while we pray for you
Every day we pray for you
Til the day we meet again
In my heart is where I'll keep you friend
Memories give me the strength I need (uh-huh) to proceed
Strength I need to believe
My thoughts Big I just can't define (can't define)
Wish I could turn back the hands of time
Us in the 6, shop for new clothes and kicks
You and me taking flicks
Makin hits, stages they receive you on
I still can't believe you're gone (can't believe you're gone)
Give anything to hear half your breath (half your breath)
I know you still living you're life, after death

Chorus:
Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you
Thinkin of the days, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you

Faith Evans:
Somebody tell me why
One Black Morning
When this life is over
I know
I'll see your face

112 Outro:
Every night I pray, every step I take
Every move I make, every single day
Every night I pray, every step I take
[Puff] Every day that passes
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] Is a day that I get closer
[Puff] To seeing you again
Every night I pray, every step I take
[Puff] We miss you Big... and we won't stop
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] Cause we can't stop... that's right
Every night I pray, every step I take
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] We miss you Big

Faith Evans:
Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you
Thinkin of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you

Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you
Thinkin of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you

Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you
Thinkin of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Rio Ferdinand and pro footballers anti-knife campaign

Does anyone know what's been happening with the 'It Doesn't Have To
Happen' anti-knife campaign launched by the England football team's
Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham and David James?

I saw Rio quoted recently saying, "Communities need to play a bigger
part. Boredom can set in. There is a lot of peer pressure and then
something happens that everyone regrets."

Commendable comment and sentiment but I haven't noticed much else. Let
me know if you've seen any updates on this one - I'd like to think
this campaign could be helping more. Or what do you think?

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