The widespread outrage and condemnation on radio stations and social media platforms over the last two days, following the shooting death of six-year-old Kylie Meloney, is a signal to the authorities that right-thinking, law-abiding citizens are not prepared to tolerate another year of violent killings, and more so when innocent children are the victims.
Citizens are understandably angry with the continuance of killings that caused 2022 to hit an all-time record for T&T.
Part of the problem, however, is that the expressions of outrage that often follow the killings, tend to diminish until the next one occurs, fuelled by a notion that the police and Government are the only ones responsible for changing things.
However, young Kylie's death is part of the wider problem; that is the prevalence of high-powered weapons in the hands of criminals.
With the ability to discharge 180 rounds a minute with these weapons, murderers are often unconcerned about singling out their targets, hoping instead that by rapidly spraying bullets, at least one would hit their intended victim.
Therefore, in a small wooden house that cannot withstand 7.62 mm bullets from AK47 and AR15 rifles, the probability of innocent victims like Kylie also being hit was higher.
The six-year-old's murder on Sunday is the third such incident in three months, following the killings of nine-year-old Jomol Modeste and three-year-old Nazim Owen in October last year.
Modeste was gunned down while playing at the African Recreation Ground in Enterprise, Chaguanas, on October 15th, as gunmen fired without discretion and Owen was among four people fatally shot when gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in Diego Martin on October 24th, all collateral damage in violence among adults.
To call upon criminals to stop targeting children, therefore, is to suggest that murderers are directly targeting the children in the first place, or that perpetrators of these heinous crimes are awaretheir actions are directly putting children in danger.
The cold-heartedness that we've witnessed in the last 12 months does not engender any confidence that the modus operandi among those holding these high-powered weapons would shift.
To stop the loss of innocent lives, therefore, requires removing weapons from the hands of criminals, specifically those in possession of high-powered semi-automatic guns that are now frequently being used in crimes.
Success here depends not only on the intelligence of our protective services, but on the cooperation of all citizens.
This is why Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley's call for those who see something to say something must be adhered to among all of us, once safe whistle-blowing mechanisms are in place to do so.
Dr Rowley rightly referenced relatives of criminals and others within the community who very well know of people who possess these types of guns and continue to protect them.
We cannot have it both ways.
The loss of Kylie's life is just as much a result of criminal protection, as it is about the criminals themselves.
Former British MP Edmund Burke's famous proverb still rings true today, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing."