Living in fear not an answer

Kamloops Daily News
January 16, 2013 01:00 AM

At first glance, the advice from police after a stabbing in Brocklehurst makes sense.

Residents were told they should be alert, walk in groups, have a cellphone and stay in well-lit areas that aren't isolated. At second glance, though, that kind of advice is grating.

The 25-year-old victim - a woman carrying her baby - was walking on a path between Southill Street and the rear parking lot of the Brock Shopping Centre on Tranquille Road.

This was a mother out shopping with her child - doing something no doubt done by hundreds of Kamloops residents every day. It borders on mundane. But not anymore.

Now, in addition to bundling up their babies before going out, moms are expected to call some friends to come along with them. If no one is available, they have to take along a cellphone. Not everyone has a cellphone, so they should at least stay in well-lit areas.

The path this woman was on does not have lights. If she and other moms have no cellphone or shopping friends, they'll have to take a longer route for shopping. And be alert for masked men dressed in black.

The would-be mugger may not have succeeded in stealing a purse, but he definitely stole the sense of safety that we should be entitled to in our own community. Already, one mother interviewed by The Daily News has said she now avoids the path.

If the path is so unsafe that it can no longer be used by mothers and children, maybe it should be closed off.

Maybe all unlit paths in the city should be closed - just in case.

Of course, we're taking things to a ridiculous extreme to make a point. Instead of reacting to this incident by living in fear, we need to fight back. At the very least, there should be some thought to placing lights along the path.

Would those lights be expensive? Maybe, but it would feel better to spend that money than having to give up parts of our community to lowlifes with knives. That path should belong to us, not them.

Another resident of the area who spoke to The Daily News said the stabbing didn't make an impression on him because, as a former resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, he's used to that kind of thing.

Is this what we want for Kamloops? A future where stabbings are so commonplace that we become desensitized to them? Obviously, the answer is no. This has to be taken seriously.


© Kamloops Daily News

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