* Photo by Kageaki Smith. Show of unity and respect: a vigil for murder victim Kumi Harford on Tuesday evening drew islanders to the spot where he was killed­.
* Photo by Kageaki Smith. Show of unity and respect: a vigil for murder victim Kumi Harford on Tuesday evening drew islanders to the spot where he was killed­.
After a senseless killing, a kind of second death often sets in to a community like ours. A sense of fatalism overwhelms us. We don't know why it happened, and we don't know what to do about it. It's just the way things are.

For the country, the deadliest danger is not the bullets, but the sense of hopelessness and lethargy.

But something really encouraging has emerged from the shooting of Kumi Harford on Saturday - a real determination by ordinary citizens, by the police, and by community leaders to take action.

In many cases the actions have been clear and specific. In others, they were vague. But either way, they showed the kind of resolve out of which progress will be constructed.

There were, of course, the usual platitudes to begin with. "We're grieving for the family." "The community must pull together." This is all well and important but doesn't actually solve anything.

And there was the traditional shifting of responsibility. "The police can't do it on their own." "If only the previous government would have listened." "We don't have operational control." "It's up to parents."

But then something more important seemed to emerge: The community HAS responded, and so have the police, and so have politicians.

The truth is, the police sometimes come across as whining and incompetent when things go wrong.

They blame road deaths on irresponsible drivers, for example, and don't question their own ineffectiveness in enforcing the laws.

They complain of poor cooperation from the public, instead of their failings to gather intelligence, protect witnesses or develop enough evidence to win court cases.

But in this case the Police seem to have been proactive. Their "Police Support Unit" had been patrolling the area, and had conducted 41 "stop searches" and made 10 arrests for in the hours before the shooting.

The have brought in foreign forensic experts to help with this particular case, but have also arranged to receive training from America's FBI in shooting scene investigation. And they have arranged for the FBI's Safe Street Gang Unit to review Bermuda Police plans and conduct workshops for local officers.

All this seems like the sensible kind of things to do.

The reaction from the community as a whole has been impressive.

Marches were quickly arranged on parliament. Four young men from the St. Monica's Road area quickly formed a group called "Rise Above, Bermuda": within a few short days had successfully gathered hundreds of Bermudians to a meeting to come up with specific, short-term actions they can take.

From our politicians, too, the response has been mostly encouraging.

The Government quickly accelerated legislation that the Police had asked for to help them fight Bermuda's own semi-structured gang problem.

These laws will give Police greater powers to disperse groups, and enhances their stop and search powers under certain conditions.

There was even a reassuring joint statement from the Governor and the Premier, outlining police measures being taken and assuring the public that they were discussing policing "frequently and intensively."

An hour later, the Premier issued a separate statement, boasting of his own Government's foresight - it had "seen the writing on the wall" - and complaining that he is "hamstrung" by the Governor's constitutional control over the police.

In a week where horrific tragedy was followed by so much positive community action, it was one of the few sour notes.

In a week where we have seen citizens, police and community leaders pulling together, it became clear the Premier was playing his own, separate game.

He was still refusing to take part in a regular forum with the Governor on policing issues. He was still trying to push blame onto other people.

And he was trying to use the killing as a tool to achieve constitutional changes that voters have consistently rejected.

For the leader of the country that has responded admirably since Saturday morning's death, the Premier was painfully out of sync.