“I WOKE up in the morning thinking that I have to go there and establish order [poriadok].”
The one sentence Milan Juhász is known to have said in court is so far the only explanation for the killing of three people in Hurbanovo. And it is likely to gain the 51-year old member of the town’s municipal police force many fans.
Violence as an answer to the Roma problem seems to enjoy a disturbingly high level of support. And given that this is the second mass killing in two years, Slovakia will quickly have to find a strategy to deal with the problem or prepare for further tragedy.
Any solution will have to build on three pillars.
Firstly, hammering prejudice out of the minds of people. As long as potential killers feel like potential heroes, improvement is unlikely.
Secondly, the state needs to look systematically at all the security issues that the shootings in Devínska Nová Ves and the recent incident have revealed – gun holders undergo no psychological testing, police officers are not required to talk to experts about their frustrations, and walk around with illegal firearms. Serious analysis and possibly new regulation could help.
And thirdly, the government needs to show the majority that it takes their concerns seriously and is ready to ensure their safety. Especially in troubled areas with a high crime rate.
Only then will people feel that they need not take justice into their own hands. Because when that happens, it does not lead to order.
It leads to more violence and chaos.