Shoot To Kill, I vote.

  1. I have been a supporter of the shoot-to-kill idea for the longest time (and human rights has never crossed my mind). I am not going to wait till I am affected directly or indirectly I want to ensure safety long before destiny and some violent robbery or event occurs to me or my loved ones.

    Kampala, Uganda was once the most unsafe city in East Africa, but now people walk safely at all hours of the day. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is another example, you can leave the comfort of your house in pair of shorts at 3am, get a snack from 711 and be home safe in the next 30 mins.

    The only thing with the shoot-to-kill policy is that:

    First, the police’s weapons must be upgraded. It makes no sense for them to fight gun battles with criminals who have better weapons than they do. Second, watchmen & security firms such as G4S & KK Security must be given guns as well. There is no use to pitting an AK47 against a rungu. Third, citizens must be allowed to own guns as well. This is so that in the event of you being caught out (like you were) alone and far from security sources you can take matters into your own hands. Fourth, the laws on manslaughter, murder in the 1st and 2nd degree must be revised in the event that citizens with guns decide to kill innocents due to unsettled vendettas and such.

    Until all those things are set into place a shoot-to-kill policy won’t really do much but make the criminals a little more angry and more likely to be more violent. You’d have to understand that they are in a heightened state (adrenaline assisted with some drugs) so the idea that death be at their door-step might increase the random & stupid actions they might take to carry out a crime.

  2. Like the cops told you, there is nothing like a little action to bring one to taking a hard look at gun crime. It might sound cold but I feel I have to say it though – stop feeling sorry for yourself and start thinking about the problem. Robbery at gun point is a fact of life for more than 10 people every night – which I think is the estimated number of gun crimes in Nairobi every night.

    I have been robbed at gunpoint on atleast 2 occassions that I can remember and at knife point so many times that I stopped keeping count. After going through the same initial knee-jerk reaction that you are describing here, I thought about whether I really believed the notion that these guys want to be out there stealing when they know that it might cost them their lives with the trigger-happy cops that you are describing. They probably cannot find work doing anything else.

    Granted, they choose the easy way out by choosing to be jambazis instead of finding other ways but a shoot-to-kill policy is the easy way out for a society that allows government to get away with not taking care of business.

    Maybe a better approach would be passing legistlation that calls for mandatory sentencing with fixed terms, some sort of restitution etc etc. The lawyers and the legal system can think this one through. The issue though is that the approach taken MUST be inside the rule of law. Make no mistake, the shoot to kill policy that we have adopted is illegal since everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

  3. Very interesting comments.

    I’ve also for many years supported the shoot-to-kill policy as the only way to rid our society of these gun totting criminals. I have now come to see that even though the policy is already in place, though unofficially, it’s not working.

    The young thugs who are shot nearly on a daily basis, are quickly being replaced by other desparate young men. This tells me that clearly, the situation is much more deeper than we think. These young men (most of them are anyway) do not seem detered by the fact that they can die anytime as they engage in their chosen profession.

    For us to stem the tide of young men adopting kamikaze style of professions, we clearly need to address the factors that are pushing them into crime. And these are well known such as increasing poverty levels and desparate living conditions, especially in urban settings. This may take a long time to correct but it is necessary if we are to effectively stem the rising rate of violent crime.

    A more effective deterent in the short-term is the adoption of Sharia Law; that is, the aspects that deal with theft. There’s no doubt that the cutting of offenders hands has proven to be quite an effective method in discouraging incidence of theft in the Arab world. These parts of the world have the lowest crime levels in the world.

    The Sharia method, and some may call it barbaric, has quite a number of advantages.

    First, the criminal gets to live in the society as a free man (No costs to the state in terms of prison maintanance). Secondly, the fellow serves literally as a walking advertisement to children, who clearly get the message that if they steal, they lose their hands and they get to be ostracised by society. Finally, such a person will live the rest of their life, scorned, disrespected, can’t get a job anywhere, or even a spouse. To the youth, the message is powerfully reinforced when they see someone like that in their midst, as opposed to when the fellow is dead and buried.

    Before we all start imagining Utopia, the picture I’ve just painted cannot happen in Kenya unless we establish a corrupt-free Police force. Corruption and crime go hand in hand.

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