The Law of the Blade
I feel quite uneasy reading this book. It talks about increasingly number of senseless knife crimes that happen on the streets and in the schools in Britain.
The topic is a good one, in the sense that people will be more informed of such things happening in Britain. However, it does not really talk indepth about what are the possible solutions and the book’s cover also look horrible with the pictures of the killers. Hey, are you trying to glorify the crimes is it by putting them on the covers? No wonder, there are even more crimes. It is really distasteful. Maybe they will be so happy to know that their crimes and actions have made them famous.
On 8 July 2005 around 2.30 am, Daniel Pollen and his friend Andrew Griffiths, both 20, were leaning against bicycle racks waiting for Daniel’s sister to pick them up. Suddenly, three young men swaggered into view from around the corner and attacked them. Daniel Pollen died from the attack and his friend Andrew suffered injuries.
It seeem quite common in the book, that the quotes “They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” were said over several such incidents as above. And many times, their attackers showed no sense of remorse and couldn’t care about the consequences of the actions. I am quite surprised there seem to be no death sentence at all in Britain. The worst thing the criminal can face is a life sentence. Many of a times, the criminals also seem to have given up his own life, being hopeless and angry, they just go about killing and doing what they want.
In one of the books that I remember reading, “Will the Circle be Unbroken?” by Studs Terkel, there was a story that this guy (i think he is a lawyer or police officer), he mentioned that in his job, he has really seen some hardcore criminals that death sentence is necessary. I think there is true too. It is not that I am wicked or thinking that we have the right to kill another human. However, in certain crimes, the penalty is not heavy enough to deter others from doing the same thing. Example in UK, one youth killing another one, can have a sentence of only 10 over years.
According to the book, the perpetrators of the crimes have common themes running through their lives : poor literacy levels, absent fathers, broken homes, no possibility of fruitful, rewarding employment ahead – gang membership was seen as the only way underachievers can attain any status or respect from their peers.
I remember reading a book called “My Spiritual Autobiography” by Dalai Lama. He mentioned that a sense of responsibility is born from compassion. The immediate cause of our present situation is exclusively privileging material progress above all else. We have thrown ourselves so frantically into its pursuit that we have neglected to pay attention to the essential human needs of love, kindness,cooperation and caring. An authentic sense of responsibility can emerge only if we develop compassion.