HONOLULU (KHON2) — Murders have dominated the news in recent weeks. And that has some people wondering if Hawaii has become a more dangerous place, or at least just asking what’s going on?
The Waianae shootout was the latest in a string of violent and gruesome events on Oahu. There was the Hawaii Loa Ridge murder in which the victim was encased in concrete. And before that there was the woman who was beaten with a tree trunk outside the Kapolei police station.
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“It’s completely normal to have your sensibilities shocked by these crimes,” said psychologist Marvin Acklin. “The state of the world that we’re living in right now, I think it’s conducive to feeling fearful and insecure.”
Acklin says going through a pandemic has also led to more people being thin skinned and ready to snap. And clearly there are mental health issues that need to be addressed.
Community leaders point out that Hawaii is still blessed but has its share of problems.
“It’s called paradise but it’s not perfect, and I think that’s one thing we have to remember and be reminded is that as blessed as we are we need to take care of one another,” said Pastor Kordell Kekoa.
There are no easy solutions for what’s been going on, but the message from those that KHON2 has spoken with is that everyone has a duty to make things better.
“At the risk of sounding trite, this is their Hawaii. So if they don’t feel that things are going in the right direction then get involved and do something about it,” said former Gov. John Waihee.
He points out that gruesome and unexplainable murders are nothing new to Hawaii. There was the Xerox murders that killed seven co-workers in 1999. And the toddler who was thrown over the freeway overpass in 2008. The important thing is that we learn something from them. Moving forward, it’s best to work together.
“We all need to do our part, to share, to watch out for each other, to take care of each other. And I believe that’s the old Hawaii that we’ve lost a little bit here,” said Kekoa.
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“I think the chief antidote to fear and anxiety of course is love, is care that we share with those who are important to us,” said Acklin.