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Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should have the right to have a gun in their house and car for protection. However, the only people that should have semi-automatic, or automatic weapons with these large ammunition cartridges should be the military and maybe the police. Why does the average citizen need these kinds of weapons?

Let’s be for real—if many Whites have on average five guns and up per household with explosives, special bullets, and silencers, especially right-wingers, they have them for more than just target practice, gun shows or self defense. How many more have to be killed before we get serious about controlling this multi-trillion dollar industry?

My prayers go out to all the victims, as well as the family and friends of the victims. It has to be devastating for them all to have a night of fun turned into a nightmare.

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands—the forgotten lands

It has been weeks after the two hurricanes hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, yet many of the people are in the same predicament they were right after the hurricanes, needing food, water and medical supplies.

Even though the federal government finally arrived on the islands eight days after the storms hit, and President Trump visited Puerto Rico to congratulate the military, politicians and first responders for their efforts, he never took time to talk to the mayor of San Juan, who had pleaded on national television for help.

Everyone knew it was going to take time before electricity was restored on the islands but food, water, and medical supplies has to be ongoing. But after patting himself on the back for doing such a great job, the president left town. Several mayors, including San Juan’s, told CNN and MSNBC that they were still in need of food, water and medical supplies in most of the country, especially the rural areas. She and the Lt. Governor said that a large, if not most of their supplies, came from private donors such as entertainers, businesses, athletes, and individuals.

The U.S. representative from the Virgin Islands told the networks that these islands were even worse off than Puerto Rico, because no one had cried out on national TV, but she was going to cry out as much as she could to Congress, the president and the American people.

So far the people of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, even though they are U.S. citizens, have been treated like stepchildren, partially because they don’t have enough representation in Congress, and partially because of the high number of Blacks and Spanish-speaking citizens.

A brief history…Both Puerto Rico, 3.5 million people, and the Virgin Islands, 106,000 people, are U.S. territories, much like all the states were colonies of England before becoming states. Because Puerto Rico’s economy was not based on sugar plantations they didn’t import as many slaves from Africa, which is why Blacks only make up 12.4 percent of the population, compared to 76 percent White and 11.8 other. It was a Spanish colony until the U.S. took it in 1898 during the Spanish American war. Most of the people speak both English and Spanish. Last June 97 percent of the people voted to become a state but nothing has been done by the U.S. about it yet.

The Virgin Islands were primarily sugar and tobacco like many, if not most of Central and South America, which is why it is composed of 77 percent Blacks, 16 percent Whites and 8 percent other. Slaves were needed to plant, care for, and harvest the crops. They were purchased from the Danish in 1917 by the U.S., the official language is English.

(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)


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