Fratricide — brother killing brother — appears endemic in black communities in the United States. That sad narrative has also visited the shores of the Virgin Islands. Our paradise is being lost because of hatred and feuding between members of a supposedly close-knit community. It has to stop.
The Bible asserts that the love of money is at the root of every evil. That warning is clearly unheeded in the VI. These islands are a tiny community, and every violent death affects everyone else. The need to acquire quick wealth is at the heart of recent gun deaths. What will it take to stop the madness?
Guns cause the vast number of murders in the land. The reality is that countries where gun possession is high, such as the US, also have the greatest number of gun murders. Worse still, the historically oppressed black community suffers the most from gun crimes.
In fact, the murder rate from guns in the US is exponentially higher than in any other high-income country. Just pay a visit across the channel to the USVI to observe this reality.
Is there a solution? Politicians and community leaders regularly preach about the evil of guns in the community, but their words go unheeded. We all wait in horror for news of the next murder, hoping it is not someone in our family.
Young men of the VI, rest the guns down and settle your differences in a wise manner. You kill your brother or cousin to what avail? You end up in prison for 25 years or more. In essence, your life is at an end. After you get out of prison, everyone silently considers you a murderer. Who wants to employ a murderer and ex-convict? That is the outcome of crime. You are on a slippery slope to nowhere.
There are better ways for dealing with business than murder. Why put your close family at risk and in sorrow?
That is why getting a skill is crucial for our youth. A skilled man has no need for crime.
Families and community who know where these guns are should get them to the police. Warn your children, relatives and siblings to give up their weapons. There is no reason why a small community cannot solve its disputes in a civilised fashion.
Take heed, as the next bullet could have your name written on it even if you are innocent.
We are losing our safe paradise. How sad.