Armed Exhibitionism

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 12 September / Sep 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

It is an abolition of our time.

Armed exhibitionism is no longer a phenomenon exclusive to one governorate or district without the other.

Celebratory shootouts have become customary to Jordanian occasions, from weddings, to elections, not to mention tribal and family fights.

Notably, firearms are now the most commonly used weapons in crimes.

During the elections just last months, armed exhibitionism was in abundance, as people in bulks fired up their automatic weapons in complete disregard of safety and dismissal of law.

Youths lined up with their rifles in the air, firing up bullets in celebration of their candidates’ election.

In tribal conflicts as well, gunmen race to exhibit firepower or to take revenge.

Right in front of police stations and local governance buildings, people shamelessly fire up their guns in protest, anger, or joy, all the same.

In other words, people have begun to resort to firearms in protest and demonstration of discontent too.

Now, this; nothing good can come out of it.

Light arms are easily accessible to civilians, that’s no secret.

In the last few years though, with the situation in Syria unfolding, new kinds of weapons began to flow into the public’s hands.

Suddenly, more people are carrying more dangerous weapons.

Over five years ago, a news report by one of the colleagues concluded that there are no less than a million firearms in Jordan.

Easily, we’ve crossing the million barrier.

In fact, specialists say that purchasing a weapon is now easier than ever.

As we said before, this isn’t a new phenomenon.

The new thing about it, however, is the rising insolence and the public readiness to take up arms so carelessly, openly undermining the law.

Not so long ago, those who owned weapons had kept them from their own wives, so that she may not slip a word about it to anyone.

Back then, people were scared of the police.

Today, citizens carry AK-47s around their shoulders, shamelessly waltzing by police stations, roaming the streets and threatening their enemies.

Body guards carry arms today in public spaces, crossing checkpoints without anyone ever daring to question them.

While Jordan has done remarkably well when it came to protecting its borders from the chaos all around us, we have not been so successful in maintaining the situation domestically.

Every day the army foils infiltration and trafficking attempts.

Our soldiers would kill arms traffickers before they even set foot on Jordanian soil.

Why then do we cower or weaken in the face of the domestic challenge? We must address the rising trend of armed exhibitionism and domestic arms trafficking at once!

We’ve come to a critically, embarrassing point, wherein people are neither scared nor ashamed of it.

Meanwhile, the police do very little about it!

Why this lax approach to an issues that will prove both grave and catastrophic? Why is the police treating armed exhibitionists so lightly?

Those who point their guns up in the air will one day point their guns at us, including the police.

Indeed, this has already begun to happen.

Howe many times did gunmen open fire at police precincts and government buildings?

How many security martyrs must die by the arms of criminals and fugitives before we wake up and take action?!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.