Crime has increased in many Lebanese areas. In Baalbek in the east, accessible weapons are becoming part of daily life, manifested by crimes committed by shameless people who do not hesitate to appear in public. For example, a young man was filmed shooting a food vendor because his order was delayed.
Weapons that are accessible to everyone are concentrated in areas under Hezbollah’s rule. Baalbek is famous for being a hub for Hezbollah and tribalism. Excuses for the accessibility of weapons, which is threatening social security, include the situation in Syria and fear of terrorists infiltrating Lebanon.
Murder has dominated headlines and public life in the past two weeks. The debate focuses on the issue of armed sects and the sense that killers enjoy impunity. The murder of a young man in a traffic dispute is an extension of a spreading culture of militarization. The young man who shot a food vendor relies on protection from a sectarian system that has protected many murderers previously.
Weapons that are accessible to everyone are concentered in areas under Hezbollah’s rule. Baalbek is famous for being a hub for Hezbollah and tribalism.
The accessibility of weapons in Lebanon is not new. As much as armed militias, particularly Hezbollah, are to blame, political and sectarian elites are also involved via their silence, compliance, corruption and interest-based networks. These forces are likely to be re-elected soon by the very people who suffer from their corruption, as if Lebanese are voting for their killers. In Lebanon, sectarianism is stronger than hope and ambition for a better future.
• Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media. She is also a columnist and freelance documentary producer. She can be reached on Twitter @dianamoukalled.