We need tougher laws on knives


MANY say ‘justice has been served’ when a Court sends the offender behind bars for the crime committed.
That means a proper punishment or fair treatment has been given by the legal system.
Life, however, will never be the same – for all the parties, from the victim to the offender.
Some may pick up from where they have left off, and others will not.
And if the crime involved taking away the life of another, the consequences will be felt for a lifetime.
Last week, a 17-year-old student was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for killing another student during an argument in Finschhafen, Morobe, in August last year.
Lae National Court judge Frazer Pitpit, while sentencing the accused, said whatever compensation that has been paid to the victim’s family will not make up for the life that has been lost and the pain inflicted on the family members.
Justice Pitpit told the prisoner that the sentence serves as a reformatory punishment.
And we concur with the good judge that life is the ultimate gift which no-one has the right to take – at any cost.
For the grieving family, some will be satisfied with the court’s decision but for the parents, the only justice will be to have their son back.
Their grief will be difficult to deal with.
The young offender on the other hand will spend the next 25 years locked away. He had dreams and an education to complete. Unfortunately, those dreams will remain unfulfilled and his education unfinished.
It’s too late to go back now.
In a fight he started, he took a bush knife from the bag of his friend and cut his victim over the right eye to his ear and the victim bled to death.
Justice Pitpit said bush knives are becoming too commonly used as lethal weapons.
There is one way to deal with this problems: Stop the sale of pocket knives in public markets and on the streets because they are being used to threaten and attack people during fighting and hold-ups, and they are being used to kill people.
The law should also ban the possession of a knife in public, without a good reason.
It is becoming too common at police stations and courtrooms to hear of offenders using a knife to wound, cause grievous bodily harm or kill.
Knives should be treated as dangerous weapons and carrying them in public should be forbidden or, at least, restricted. In Papua New Guinea, knives are just as dangerous as guns and should be treated as such.