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Three events are slated for the opening of the school year – V.I. Fathers Back to School Barbecue and Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 27; the Back to School Days of Prayer on Saturday , Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4; and the V.I. Fathers March on Sept. 6, the first day of school for public schools in the territory. Organizers are encouraging fathers to take their children back to school starting on the first day.

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Virtue of the Week: Purposefulness

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2017-01-22 22:08:05
Beach Advisory for January 17-20

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) announces that the Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program, which evaluates weekly water quality at popular swimming beaches throughout the territory by sampling for enterococci bacteria and turbidity, which is a measure of water clarity, advises the public of the following:

2017-01-20 20:20:22
St. Thomas Starring in Upcoming HGTV Show

Two upcoming January episodes of the popular HGTV series “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” are expected to feature St. Thomas and several local professionals.

2017-01-20 18:28:46
Commentary — St. Croix
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Don't Kid Yourself: Guns Kill People

One day last week I received an unsolicited email from a local, federally licensed gun dealer. It had one of those cute little sayings at the end in baby blue italics, "Saying guns kill people, is like saying pens cause spelling errors."

As of Monday, May 10, this community has lost 32 people—most of them to gun violence.

I am, and have been from the time I was old enough to think, against the licensing and carrying of hand guns. I could never have imagined the arsenal that would become available to any lunatic who can get a driver’s license.

But registered guns are fine, right?

Well, how do you reconcile this? Police have said repeatedly that 60 percent of the guns confiscated in crimes were legally registered guns that were lost or stolen. And those are the ones that were confiscated.

Hmmm, Ya’ think maybe there are a few irresponsible registered gun owners?

The law requires registered guns to be kept under lock and key at all times. So, how do you lose them?

I wonder if our federally licensed arms dealer has ever sat with a keening mother in an emergency room who has just lost her son and repeated  his little one-line to her: "Oh yeah, m’am, excuse me, but it was a person, not a gun, who killed your son. Heh, heh, heh!"

You think that grieving mother will suddenly grasp onto that ridiculous justification for cowards who promote the notion that having assault weapons in the home is normal and good?

Guns kill people. Assault weapons kill people. Handguns kill people. Call them what you want, anything other than a shotgun or rifle is meant only to kill people. And shotguns and rifles can and do also kill people.

Meanwhile personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been driven away from helping us with the heinous proliferation of illegal weapons because we refuse to protect their status as peace officers in this territory.

And our pompous, posturing senators are sitting on a bill that could bring them back.

Maybe we should actually count how many people have died while they have sat around pandering to the constituents they think don't want those pesky outsiders here.

When will we as human beings wake up and take back our lives, our societies, our very souls from those greedy, glib creeps who twist words for one reason and one reason only: to serve themselves?

That includes cutesy gun dealers and posturing politicians.

Our children are dying. Do something!



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Yes guns do kill people! Shaun I don't think anyone could say it better and I applaud you emotion. I hope the citizens demand safety and protection from the government, police and the courts! Yes, the courts, too many felons(convicted as well as those awaiting trials) are set free or sent home with their parents.. We all know those ankle bracelets are a joke otherwise how do people waiting for trial commit more crimes before trials. The courts have been to lenient forever. How can killers be found guilty by jurors not once but twice and still the court does not sentence them? When is enough, enough?

diago - can you spell "Death Penalty"? If criminals knew that the death penalty was CERTAIN and SWIFT for violent crimes, do you think they would less likely to commit those crimes? The USVI could learn a lot from Texas and their use of the death penalty.

People on this island who call themselves Christians (based on the number of churches on this island - is likely to be the majority of island residents) need to start reading their bibles and learn about the death penalties God demanded in the Old Testament.

Exodus 21:12-14:

"12 Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. 13 However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. 14 But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death." (NIV)

If churches would start spending more time reading/teaching God's word, than dancing in the aisles or speaking in "tongues", then the answer would be crystal clear.

I can understand your emmotional response to this latest crime wave on St Thomas. It still takes an idiot criminal to pull the trigger in anger and I'd rather have my sidearm to protect me from this person.

St Thomas, St Croix and St John have some deep seeded problems that will not go away by making guns illegal. I suggest you work on those first. If someone wants to get a gun to commit a crime, they will. But I still have a Constitutional Right to carry mine.

Dear Rotbimmer,
lots of non criminal types pull the trigger in anger. And mine is not an emotional response. it's an intellectual one. Killing someone with a gun is nothing to be glib about. And losing the federal agency charged with enforcing gun laws is nothing to be cavalier about.
I hope when you aren't carrying your gun on you that you are keeping it under lock and key as required by the law.

Perhaps the correlation between gun violence and corporal punishment in this territory and beyond will once and for all be looked at seriously and with merit. As the DOE is calling for an outright ban on CP here in the USVI and legislation will finally be before congress to ban CP in the remaining 20 states and the USVI, I will assure any naysayer that the statistics of gun violence will go down as the years roll on. Conflict resolution through force or physical violence teaches out kids just that, coupled with the availability of guns it is literally a lethal mix. Enough is enough. How many people, and kids, must die and how many children must be beaten in order for the pompous fools who support all this to be shown the light.

You are correct SJR. Children learn from an early age here in the USVI that violence is a means to resolve conflict. Some children are beaten their whole lives by teachers,principals and maybe even their own parents so they grow up angry and turn to gangs and violence. Guns are readily available for their acts of retaliation. We can't blame the youth who are killing each other...that's what they were TAUGHT IN SCHOOL. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. Thanks again Sean for bringing gun violence to the forefront as well as your article on Corporal Punishment last December. Perhaps we can bring that article back up for discussion in this thread as I too believe that once we ban corporal punishment legally in the VI, our streets will become safer when our children ARE safer at school. The days of beating school children must end now.

If you read the statistics, concealed carry laws in the states actually lowers the violent crime rate, that is a fact!! Crooked governments and criminals love unarmed victims. Instead of passing more useless laws to protect the population here in the VI how about enforcing the laws currently on the books. It doesent take a college education to see that those who would use a weapon to harm an innocent really doesn't care about the law, or anything, really. The total lack of understanding of local history really floors me concerning this . Disarmament laws were always meant to keep the downtroden down. An unarmed person is an easy target. If the citizens of this territory would stand up for themselves and not cower in fear, we wouldn't be in this situation. And I totally feel for those people touched by violence, I'm not some heartless monster, but I am not convinced that disarming law abiding citizens is a wise choice. Those that would trade liberty for safety deserve neither! THe founding fathers of this great country were certain of this, that is why it's the 2nd amendment, Not further down the line. We need to stop acting based on emotions,and enforce the existing laws. Remember, unlicenced firearms are already illegal. And if you believe a gun kills people, by that same thought, my hammer builds houses, my fishing rods catch fish, Icould go on all day... I'm just sayin' a gun is just a paperweight untill someone pulls the trigger, they don't go off or aim automatically.

how the hell is a perpetrator to know if someone is "an unarmed victim" or a gun toting texan if weapons are concealed for God's sake. Guns don't kill people, stupidness kills people.

FYI - The FBI has learned through debriefing captured Terrorist overseas that when planning Terrorist attacks in US Cities, they avoid States that have "Liberal Gun Laws" and/or allow Concealed Carry...just a little food for thought!

While you make a good point; there is always another side to an issue. What about the woman in Texas (a few years back), that watched in horror as her mother and father were gunned down by a mad random shooter in a restaurant? She was unable to help them because the law stated that she could not carrier her licensed firearm into a restaurant. Several innocent people died, while a law abiding citizen stood by helpless to defend her parents. I carry a concealed weapon (licensed to do so), and God help me if I ever have to use it, but my family deserves my protection from unconscionable criminals who do not value life. Life is precious, so whose life should be surrendered; my kids, my wife, or the despicable criminal who aims to do us harm? The choice is clear.

Sir/Ma'am, with all due respects, I RESPECTFULLY disagree with your blog and agree with the FFL Dealer - "Guns DON"T kill People, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE", guns are just the method USED to do it. I was born and raised in St. Croix, but currently living in a major US City, where I am a Detective with the Gun Squad on that City's Police Department and have been for the last 7 years. Yes, while I do agree that Gun Violence is a problem and devastate communities, especially those as small as ours on St. Croix, we have to get away from emotionalism and start dealing with reality if we are going to combat this problem. People are maimed, injured, seriously hurt, and/or killed EVERYDAY as a result of people driving drunk, but no one is screaming for a ban on automobiles or alcohol for that matter. The 911 Terrorist used an airplane to do their damage, but no one is calling for a ban on flying. Guns are a hot topic and an easy target that get both sides fired up and emotional, and understandably so, because yes, more people are killed with guns, than cars and airplanes. However, the truth still remain that people KILL people. If we were to ban and eliminate guns, people with the intention of going harm, will find something else to use commit their acts of violence. Let's say for instance they start using knives, are we then to ban knives also? Or rocks for that matter if they choose to use them? Where does the politically correct madness end?

You made a very valid point when you pointed out that most weapons used in crimes are either lost or stolen. What this says, is that most perpetrators of gun crimes are getting their guns thru ILLEGAL means; they are NOT law abiding citizens who walk into Gun Shops and purchase them legally. In my capacity as a Gun Detective, I deal with Convicted Felons arrested with firearms and 90% of them possessed stolen firearms and the other 10% got theirs thru a "Straw Purchaser", which is someone without a criminal record who purchases the weapon legally, then give it to the felon, whether for profit or otherwise. People who have their homes burglarized and weapons stolen are VICTIMS of a crime also. A person should expect a reasonable amount of privacy in their homes and not have it burglarized by some Knucklehead Thug! A couple years ago, I was investigating a theft ring that were targeting vehicles. They were breaking into vehicles, specifically looking for firearms. What they would do is enter the vehicle in such a way, that the owner wouldn't realize that it was broken into, and then whenever they would go looking for their weapon, it wouldn't be there, which is where the "lost" came in. The bottom line is that Law Abiding Gun Owners are NOT the Perpetrators of gun crimes and SHOULD NOT be punished because they were victims op people with mal-intent, which brings me to my final point.

At what point does personal responsibility and accountability come into play? We live in a society that promotes "Gangsterism and Thugism" to "our kids" and everyone is acting like it's not happening. The Word of God says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will NOT depart from it." In other words, what you learn as a child, is pretty much what you are going to do as an adult. So, if from a young age, a child is exposed to messages and images of violence in the form of ENTERTAINMENT, what do you think he is going to act out if his behavior goes unchallenged and unchecked? What happened to PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY and protecting your child from things that can harm them? Growing up, there were songs that we heard that had sexually explicit and/or suggestive lyrics, but our parents would put us in check whenever we would sing some of these songs. We didn't understand why at the time, but we knew better than to defy our parents. And if our parents weren't around, another adult would do it. One of the worst scoldings I ever got was from Mrs. Minerva Washington in Frederiksted because she heard me singing the Jamsie song "How She Panty Get Wet". I was 8 or 9 and didn't know what the lyrics meant, but she did, and put me in check, and I was glad that she DIDN'T tell my parents, whom she knew very well. I learned BOUNDARIES at a young age.

So Mr/Ms Pennington, the problem is NOT guns, it's a lack of RESPECT. The Perpetrators of Gun Crimes that I deal with here and I suspect that you deal with there, have NEVER been given certain boundaries, and as a result, developed a lack of respect for themselves and therefore others. The end result is, they no longer place a value on themselves, and therefore no one else, because as a GANGSTA, it's ALL about ME! The mentality that says "The world owes me something and I don't have to earn it" is at the root of the problem. The weapon of choice, just happens to be a gun. And yes, assault rifles are made for the specific purpose of killing people, because after all, they were created to be used in war. But I know PLENTY of people who own assault rifles, who are law abiding citizens, who don't misuse them, so why should they be punished for those who don't? Porsche's, Lamborghini's, and Maserati's are built for speed, should we ban those or other performance cars because some folks use them to break the law?

I am a HUGE fan of the BATFE and work very closely with them. In my 7 years as a Gun Detective, I have sent numerous Convicted Felons to Federal Prison for possessing firearms, both the legal and illegal kinds. I agree, the VI Government need to quit playing "poli-tricks" and let the BATFE do what they need to do to get a handle on the problem, especially in light of the devastation it has caused. HOWEVER, until they do, placing the blame on GUNS, as opposed to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, will NOT solve the problem, so therefore, I have to STILL agree with the FFL Dealer, whether he had selfish motives or not, that "GUNS DON"T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE", guns are just the instrument used to do it.

PS By the way, the Federal Ban on certain firearms imposed by then President Bill Clinton DID NOT, stop or even reduce Gun Violence, but what it did manage to do was make it HARDER for Law Abiding Citizens to purchase certain weapons, because the people whom the law was written for, were STILL purchasing them illegally on the street and black market!

St.JohnRitter, you can't HONESTLY be serious about spanking causing violence?!!! Sorry Partner, but "Time Out" only proves to a child how INEFFECTIVE you are as a Parent or Disciplinarian!!!

Amen Mrrepete! You hit every nail on the head. We need to attack the root of the problem which is POOR PARENTING. These kids, specifically the YOUNG MEN, are not being parented properly. They are learning nothing about respect, they do not have any positive goals, they dont know anything about responsibility, they are not scared of anybody, and they have no self-worth. They dont value life and they do not have a fear of God. Their parents are letting the streets raise their kids! I dont know what the local government is planning to do to handle our CRISIS but they are not doing enough. This is evident by failing to give peace officer status to federal law enforcement. I still dont understand the reasoning behind that!!

This current generation of young Black men may be a lost cause. Im sorry to say it but it seems like it. We need to make sure kids dont start having kids too young. And for the ones that do, we need to offer them support so that they can raise young men of greatness and so they dont let the streets raise their kids. We need to offer alternative forms of education to keep our young men grounded and interested in other things than the streets...a school for boys or a trade school. We need to do SOMETHING! We need to think outside the box. We need to light a fire under our elected officials. They are NOT doing enough. It may be up to us, the people!

So, what do the law abiding citizens DO with their assault weapons? those of us out of the weapons loop just aren't up with the gun goings on. They hang them over their fireplace? Take them fishing? go out and assault a few cans? I guess I just don't get it.

Guns don't kill people. Gangs, hate and greed kill people. This is the historical fact that we like to ignore in pursuit of a simple solution.

Guns are a fungible commodity, much like oil. Shutting down one source (like Saudi Arabia) does not mean people will stop using them. They'll just pay more and get it somewhere else (China, South America, Iran, etc...).

If a man can get an illegal gun, shoot someone, and get back out to shoot someone else with another illegal gun then going after a legal gun store and its upstanding customers is probably not a move that will mean anything to the overall war on crime.

We have to stop looking for bumper sticker slogans and start working on the actual problem.

Amen Maxwell, but UNFORTUNATELY, that has been our ONLY solution so far, which history has repeatedly proven, DOES NOT WORK!!! Politically Correct thinking does NOTHING more than "punish and victimize" the ones who are doing the right thing and following the rules and reward those who do not!

Shaun Pennington could not be more wrong in his recent article "Don't Kid Yourself: Guns Kill People". Guns do not kill people, BAD PEOPLE kill people.

The gun is nothing more than an inanimate object. Yes, if used for ill purposes a gun can be used as a weapon to do harm. However, so can baseball bats. Using the same logical prowess that Shaun displayed in his article, we should be demanding that the government ban little league and take all those evil, death delivering baseball bats.

Continuing on Shaun’s slippery slope of faulty logic, we should not have any kitchen knives either. If Shaun is an honest writer, and consistent with his logic, his next article should be demanding that the government ban and confiscate all knives. Knives are used to kill people to every day in this country. Let’s be honest – if a bad guy wants to do harm and does not have a gun; he/she will find something else (knife, baseball bat, tire iron, etc.).

Since obesity robs people of more years on this earth (due to dying sooner) than do guns, maybe Shaun should look banning all sugar and sodas? Food for thought………

It is probably safe to say that Shaun is fortunate enough to have never been a victim of a serious crime. For those of us that have, guns give us peace of mind. Keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, will only embolden the criminals because no law-abiding will be able to fight back.

Here are some facts from history related to gun control:

1. In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20,000,000 dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

2. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

3. Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

4. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

5. Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

6. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

7. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

8. Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56,000,000!!!

9. It has now been 16 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year statistics are now in:

Australia-wide: Homicides are up 3.2 percent.
Australia-wide: Assaults are up 8.6 percent.
Australia-wide: Armed robberies are up 44 percent.
Victoria-wide: Homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

(Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, so criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey are unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won't see this data on the U.S. evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

It’s amazing how liberals seem to think they know what is best for everyone else, maybe Shaun took lessons from Al Gore (Mr. global Warming himself, the man with the 10,000 square feet house).

Shaun – if you don’t want guns, then no one is saying you need one. But taking guns away from the law-abiding citizens will do nothing to get guns out of the hands of the criminals. They won’t turn in their guns and they will find other ways to get guns and they will turn to other types of weapons to carry out their crimes.

Last year there were 18 traffic fatalities. Lets ban automobiles while we're at it.

Doctors vs Gun owners

(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.

Now think about this:

(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
(Yes, that's 80 million)

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year,
all age groups, is 1,500.

(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is

Statistics courtesy of FBI
So, statistically, doctors are approximately
9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


Remember: 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'


Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!

Out of concern for the public at large,
I withheld the statistics on Lawyers
for fear the shock would cause
people to panic and seek medical attention!