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Thursday, July 7, 2022
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OUR SUMMER OF DEATH

With the recent spate of murders with guns on St. Thomas, it's time to consider legislation to stem the tide of emotional, retaliatory killing.
When asked why children all over America are killing each other, we always answer "because they can." The rampant availability of weapons of death makes it all too possible for an emotion-laden teenager to kill his rivals or tormentors—or anyone else.
In 1993 the state of Colorado passed some very tough juvenile crime laws that made possession of handguns by juveniles an automatic felony with mandatory sentencing.
In 1995, journalist Melvin Claxton won the Pulitzer Prize for the Daily News with his series on crime in the Virgin Islands, in which Claxton put together a 14-point formula to fight crime. One of Claxton's suggestions was to impose a mandatory prison sentence for gun possession by a juvenile.
In light of the recent murders on St. Thomas, Sen. Roosevelt David has revived his Bill 23-0038, which sought to ban assault weapons for some, but not all, people.
That's fine but we don't think his bill goes far enough. Why should anyone other than military personnel have assault weapons?
We also think legislation should be developed to ban all civilian handguns in the Virgin Islands.
We are small islands. We could control guns here. Handguns and assault weapons exist to kill people.
The statistics prove over and over that average citizens who own guns are much more likely to be shot, and with their own guns.
So, why not just remove the problem?
We could even take it a step further and get rid of all guns—except for law enforcement agencies– -in the Virgin Islands.
When was the last time you heard of someone going deer hunting here?
But at the very least, sensible juvenile crime legislation is absolutely necessary. Senators, spend your time on something that will actually make a difference. Give us a decent juvenile crime bill.

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