BVI A Wild, Wild West; Too Many Guns

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March 11, 2018 1:02 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The BVI has turned into a wild, wild west, with too many guns in the wrong hands, which has resulted in an increase in gun violence.

Pastor Henderson Tittle, who migrated to the BVI from his homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines over 20 years ago, said this is not the BVI he has grown to love.

“I didn’t want to go back home (when he was a youth), but now I am ready to go because this is not the BVI I have come to love. We are like a wild, wild west; every month somebody is being shot, every month somebody is being shot at,” he said on Saturday evening, March 10.

He was speaking at a candlelight vigil held at the Band Stand in Road Town for Clevaughn Sweeney, 24, and Michael Stevens, 26, who were shot and killed execution style in a vehicle last month. Sweeney was laid to rest today (Saturday).

Tittle said an eye for an eye will leave the entire BVI blind.

“This must stop. It doesn’t matter how far we have reached right now…But an eye for an eye will leave all of us blind…How much more moms; how much more fathers will cry; how much more sons will live without a father; how much more daughters will live without a father, while we try to prove to each other that we bad or we are thugs.”

He continued, “…Why can’t we solve our problems differently? Why do we have to use guns? Why can’t we find another solution, another way to just be at peace with each other?"

Tittle, who is known for his work as a mentor to many young men in the community, urged those with guns to hand them over to him or even throw them in the sea.

“It’s time for us to put the guns down. Bring it to me if you want; call me and say throw this away for me. Get rid of the gun. Leave it somewhere, or tie a rope on a stone, go out to the sea and get rid of it.”

He said, “Because when you have a gun you feel empowered, and 95 percent chance of using that gun is high. I am begging you, let us settle our differences another way…Our leaders are crying and feeling ashamed because this is not the Territory they love and respect.”

Tittle said his heart bleeds for the young men in the Territory.

“Who is going to take over our country, lead the way if our young men are dying…Brothers, can we find a common ground to settle our differences,” he said.

Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Meanwhile, Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture, who was close to the young men and offered guidance and assistance to them over the years, also spoke at the event.

He recalled two weeks prior to his death, Stevens met him at his restaurant where he (Stevens) passionately outlined his plans for his business and future.

The Minister said that Sweeney and Stevens were good boys and didn’t deserve to die the way they did. He urged the community to show contempt for such crimes by helping the police.
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