Opinion: Thinking

POSTED: 06/13/11 1:08 PM

Within two weeks two high-profile citizens have become the target of attempted robberies. The first victim was former Minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus; the second was (almost) Parliamentarian Louie Laveist.

Technically this robbery has nothing to do with Laveist himself, because he was not at home when the bandits attempted to get into his house. Instead his godson had to endure some frightening moments.

The reactions we heard after this second robbery-attempt are remarkable. We heard some people say something to the extent that it is a good thing that people like Buncamper-Molanus and Laveist have become victims of a crime. We’re not sure why this would be true (that it is a good thing), because we think that nobody deserves to become the victim of a crime. Maybe people feel justified in supporting their opinion because Laveist has been in court for bribery, and Buncamper-Molanus had to step down as Public Health minister because of hanky-panky with government-owned lease-land.

When it comes to the perceived added value of these two robbery-attempts, most people seem to think that this will finally make clear to politicians (and former politicians) that the Friendly Country has a serious crime problem.

We were for some time tempted to follow the same train of thought, but we have to change our mind now. Apparently, no extra security measures have been taken at the property of local politicians after the Buncamper-Molanus robbery-attempt. Laveist reportedly went out to buy bread when the robbers knocked on his door – and there was no Rottweiler or pit bull around to deal with the street punks. Instead, Laveist’s godson had to handle the situation.

And boy, did he make a good job of it. He did not open the door (though in one report we read that the child panicked), but he called someone who in turn called Laveist. Had Laveist had a security officer guarding the premises he could not have gotten a better result.

So where does this leave us? It is tempting to assume that politicians have become the target of the underworld. We reject that idea, because it gives too much credit to the robbers. Targeting a specific group requires thinking. We have seen enough robbers in the courthouse to know that in general thinking is not part of any game plan.

In general, local robbers are young, and uneducated; quite often they suffer from a psychological or even a psychiatric disorder. That makes these youngsters unpredictable, and also dangerous. But we do not think they are capable of putting together a hit list with the names of, say, fifteen parliamentarians, seven ministers and a bunch of other high-profile citizens.

Still, Members of Parliament and members of the cabinet – and let’s throw in our governor for good measure as well – will start thinking about their safety and that of their families. Who wouldn’t?

They have of course one leg up over Joe Average. Their income is so generous that they won’t have to eat a hamburger less by spending money on their personal security. So while we think that going through the experience of a crime committed at your home is basically the same for everybody, and that we do not wish such things to happen to anybody, there is no need to be too overly concerned for people like Laveist and Buncamper-Molanus. Unlike many others, they have the financial power to buy their own protection.


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