I contemplate gun crime out of interest, to evaluate the extent of the problem, why it is exacerbating, not to criticise the authorities, who have lived with it longer than I, and have greater knowledge and resources. Insecurity could be the prime mover. Today, in politics, the media, education and government, people theorise, forge categories and preach, often without experiencing the subject first hand, like the reference to ‘under achievers’ I have been there as some of you know. Between six and eight I lived as landed gentry with six servants. From eight, on, we were reduced to living on the charity of an extended family, with mildly sufficient periods between. Aged six to eight I lost two years schooling and by fifteen I was shown, by my class moving up without me, that I was stupid. From then on, no matter what success I achieved in any field, including Fellowships of two august Institutions, and as a joint winner of the British Design Award, I have felt it was more luck than judgement. That is insecurity.
Under achievers. To me that phrase has no logical basis. It is not only an insult and arrogant, it. is divisive, The human race is not mass produced, and we have no ability to choose how we are made, the best we can do is improve on what we’ve got. In the 30s most of us accepted our lot without psychobabble, and only some looked for more. I remember people who left school at fourteen and, because they had a talent, became millionaires, when a million was really something,. What right have some to set arbitrary standards and say those who don’t or can’t achieve them are ‘under achievers’, their talents may suit them, and their achievements could well be of a different kind. Today labels more than anything are purposely divisive and can lead to feelings of insecurity to some. It was not until 1943 in Belfast, I discovered no-go and ghetto areas, they were not common before WW2, now they can be a feature of Cities and towns throughout the UK. They breed frustration, within and without, enmity and insecurity, again within and without.
Shooting and Knifing we are told, are on the increase. The problem has several categories, the availability of unlawful weapons; the pattern, consisting of the time of day of the attack, the locality, the age and sex of the victim, the possible age, and sex of the attacker, the form of the attack., gang linking; the frequency of attacks in a given area and the range from the centre. Even with this analysis, the chances of catching the attacker are remote for a single incident. The most serious impediment to control is the propensity of the mobile phone. If the police are setting up a stop and search system with or without an airways type security metal detector barrier system, some of those going through can warn others that the search is on. I find it odd that people can still buy weapons on the internet. Why? One should need a permit before being allowed to make a purchase and if someone under 17 is found carrying, gun or knife, the parents should be charged as well. We can’t protect the whole population, it should be like my day, when young people went everywhere at all times of day and night with out fear of molestation. Draconian measures are needed.