Amid the rise in gun violence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has appealed to parents of young males as well as those in the wider Vincentian society to take action in the lives of those young males.
Prime Minister Gonsalves called on parents pay closer to things such as who their sons associate with, warning that lapses in parenting can lead to dire consequences.
“As a parent—and I’m talking now, parents who have young males, because this is basically where we are having the problem, with young males. If you just leave your male child and let them go and do what they want to do, you don’t parent them properly; you’re going to end up with a big problem, likely. You have to watch the company your children keep,” he said.
The Prime Minister called on the churches to play significant role in this endeavor, while also taking issue with the methods employed by some of the nation’s pastors.
“The churches have to help. A lot of pastors—not the good ones—they want to frighten people to heaven, to tell you, you will get burn up in hellfire. But they aren’t talking to you in some immediate way, to stay away from guns; and to see if we can get the young males to be doing useful things,” the Prime Minister said.
He suggest the nation’s young males get involved in education, sports, pan against crime, and various other cultural activities.
The Prime Minister, while speaking on radio, also appealed to the nation’s schools, in particular teachers, urging them not to give up on their young male students. He also called on other institutions to pitch in on the effort save the youth from lives of crimes.
“The school, teachers can’t give up on any single one, you have to find ways. The Government itself, the police, the judges, the magistrate, all of us! We have to play our part. The reason why we call ourselves a society is because we must have social solidarity with one another,” Gonsalves said.
Prime Minister in a previous public address had called on the young males in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to seize the numerous opportunities available to them, and not guns. Stating that, “there are no opportunities in guns”.