Gang violence, terrorism and gun control

posted at 9:21 am on April 25, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

In a rather unusual – if not unique – experience, I found myself reading a very liberal editorial piece by a decidedly liberal author this week and finding myself nodding my head in agreement at times, while perhaps not for the reason the writer intended. LZ Granderson – who has won an award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association – has an opinion piece at CNN this week where he asks a provocative question. Why can’t we treat Chicago gangs as terrorists? And while I’m going to wind up rejecting one of the fundamental premises of his argument, as you shall see, I think he addresses a point which might lead to an opportunity for some bipartisan work which could produce meaningful results rather than pointless posturing by our elected officials. First, to the very real problem he’s highlighting.

You know things in Chicago are bad when 70 murders in the first quarter can be seen as a good thing. But context is everything: Last year at this time there had been more than 120 murders, so I guess we should thank God for small favors…

What’s responsible for the bloodshed? Gang violence, as usual. Police estimate that of the 532 murders in 2012 — nearly 1.5 a day — about 80 percent were gang related. And yet, despite that rather staggering statistic, the national outcry is muted at best — nothing, to say the least, like the kind we saw last week in Boston. What is it about the word “gang” that brings out the apathy in us? Would we view Chicago differently if we called the perpetrators something else?

I’m not saying the people of Boston do not deserve our sympathy; they do. Nor am I suggesting the apprehension of Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not essential. But how do we explain our habit of greeting terrorists with 24-hour news coverage and relentless wrath while overlooking the gangs that terrorize our streets daily — as if terrorism were only an enemy state and not a concept.

Not to be too much of a finger wagger here, but I’m going to begin with the reason that many of us would fundamentally disagree with Mr. Granderson’s idea of identifying the admittedly wildly dangerous and – yes – terrifying gang members who plague America’s streets as terrorists. The reason for this is that we know what terrorism means in terms of intelligence work, military action and law enforcement, and it’s far more than simply the intention to “inspire terror” in people. If that were the only criteria, my great niece could tell you that the proprietors of Six Flags are terrorists every time she gets off one of their rides. Terrorists – be they foreign spawned or anarchist groups at home – are additionally defined by their motive, which is to fundamentally attack and attempt to destroy the government of the United States, capitalism, democracy and everything that our nation stands for.

Gang members are violent and routinely kill more people in the U.S. than terrorists ever do. But by definition they tend to be engaged in crime motivated by greed, gain, power and control over their own turf and commerce in illicit trade. They key point Granderson misses is that these gang members – quite the opposite of actual terrorists – actually rely on the structure and social fabric of our open, democratic society to provide a fertile ground for their nefarious ambitions. They have no impetus to destroy the government which makes their living possible.

But the author offers up a suggestion, or at least a question, which got me to thinking of a number of possibilities, even if he didn’t intend it this way.

Last week, millions watched as an entire city was shut down to look for one guy. Every major news station was covering the pursuit of one guy. We all know the face and relatives of this one guy. And it’s all because he is an alleged terrorist. But more American were murdered in the south and west sides of Chicago than there were U.S. servicemen killed in Afghanistan last year, and yet for some reason we don’t view those neighborhoods as terrorized…

I would love to see the FBI’s anti-terrorism resources used in that matter to stop would-be gang members from flooding the streets of the country’s third-largest city. Maybe Cornelius German, the boy found dead down the street from Obama’s house, would still be alive.

Here’s where the confluence of generally opposing partisan objectives and views comes into play. Let’s face it… whenever we hear yet another set of politicians standing up to preach gun grabbing policies, one of the first images which forms in many of our minds is a clueless official saying, “How many more gun control laws will we have to pass before these violent criminals realize that having those guns is against the law!?!?

That sort of speech brings a grim, ironic sneer to many of our faces because of the sheer lack of objective reality behind their approach. And that’s the point, isn’t it? The people we need to be targeting if we want to get serious about curbing gun violence are not the people who already obey the law while choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It’s the people who don’t give a damn about the laws and live outside of them. The two real answers are well known to most of us on the Right. The problem has never been too many guns. It’s too many criminal maniacs. The problem isn’t a lack of laws restricting the Second Amendment rights of those who follow the law. It’s the lack of resources, attention and will to enforce the laws we already have upon those who willfully violate them.

So where do we find common ground here? Leave aside for the moment the idea of identifying gang members as actual terrorists and consider the possibilities of treating them like terrorists as the author suggests. Rather than having politicians sit around with their thumbs up their backsides talking about yet another round of gun laws, what about going into a city with massive gun violence – Chicago would be a great place to start – and pouring the kind of resources we saw in play after the marathon bombing into this problem? The next time there’s a gangland shooting, bolster the local police with others from surrounding areas plus the state police plus the FBI and federal agents of every stripe. Have cameras on all the public streets and gathering areas. Shut the damn place down and start going door to door with pictures. Enlist the help of every local you can find who actually cares about their neighborhood and wants their streets and schools to be safe by asking them to anonymously provide information and assuring them that there’s a new sheriff in town and he won’t be leaving.

Keep going until you find the people involved. Lock them in a room with some federal investigators to start questioning. (And, by the way, we won’t be Mirandizing you under the public safety clause because you might know of some cohorts getting ready to shoot up another location.) Use the same sorts of questions we want to ask of actual terrorists.

Who was with you?
What did you know and when did you know it?
Where did you get your weapons?
How and when did you get radicalized into the idea of preying on society rather than finishing high school, going to community college or a trade school, getting a job and a home, meeting a nice girl, getting married, raising a family and helping build a great community to live in?
TELL US AND MAYBE WE WON”T EXECUTE YOU!

Hammer them until we get answers, then prosecute the trigger men under federal law no matter what the state law thinks about capital punishment and give them the needle with full national media coverage. Lock up all of the non-shooting gang members who were in on it in a deep hole for so long that they’ll never see the light of day again. And when the next gang shooting takes place, do it all over again.

As Granderson suggests, go into Chicago and hammer the gangs the way we hammered the Tsarnaevs. And keep on hammering until the next generation of 8th graders begins to see a life of gang violence as a dead end (literally) and the possibilities of a productive life in a proud, successful community as the viable alternative. And when we get done there, move into another city and do the same thing.

Crazy? Sure. Every new idea is crazy. But consider how much time, energy and funding we spend on pointlessly grinding the gears of government to restrict the rights of gun owners who follow the laws they pass. If we’re going to invest that much energy, how about investing it into something that might actually change the way things are going, reduce the violence and provide a real incentive for people to take charge of their own lives and communities?


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I’m not so hip to shutting down a city in theory, but I do like the idea when I imagine all the blue-town lefties having their lives disrupted while doing so; let them eat a bit of the cake they’ve been baking for decades.

Bishop on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

How about a real concern to end violence, instead of will this posture win me votes. Put the fear of God and righteous men into them!

odannyboy on April 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Miranda warnings are only needed if the cops want the perp to give them info that can be later used against the perp. Miranda has nothing to do with getting dirt on third parties.

Everybody seems to miss that part.

As far as Chicago gangs go, they beat them during prohibition – they can beat them again.

It is an issue of will.

platypus on April 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

That is a great idea Jazz but liberals are against killing gangbangers et al that do wrong. They just support killing babies in the womb…..Sad but true…..

crosshugger on April 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Because actually doing so would be considered raaaacist.

thgrant on April 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It’s not that hard. The main reason Giulliani was considered a great mayor is because he actually took his job responsibilities seriously. As long as Mayors see their main job as pandering rather than basic services, the killings will continue.

Fenris on April 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I’m not so hip to shutting down a city in theory, but I do like the idea when I imagine all the blue-town lefties having their lives disrupted while doing so; let them eat a bit of the cake they’ve been baking for decades.

Bishop on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

.
Normally I’d call that wayyy spiteful, but in this case I’ll give you a pass.

listens2glenn on April 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM

We can’t do that … the liberals would then complain that America is first in the world for incarcerations.

We wouldn’t want to offend those on the left now… would we??

HarryStar on April 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I go along with the Arnaud Amalric solution, myself.

coldwarrior on April 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Fine by me. But, a big part of the problem was alluded to but not flashed out; the thousands of laws that make criminals out of all of US just on say-so, laws with no bearing on morality and hypocritical at best. 30 years for crack, probation for white collar cokehead and 2 years for murder while a drunk driver judge skates.

AH_C on April 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM

We are getting to the point where political correctness is diminishing public safety. In attacking gang crime we have to be honest and acknowledge that most of these crimes in Chicago are comprised of a majority of one demographic – see the political correctness here. Politicians won’t address gang related crime because it might be construed as being racist.

We are seeing the same type of political correctness across the spectrum and until the public and politicians want to honestly address the root cause of some of these issues, we keep applying the definition of insanity – doing the same things over and over and hoping to get a different result.

rsherwd65 on April 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Racist!!!!

…at least, that’s likely how the media would report on any sustained effort like what you described.

The disparity between powder and crack cocaine sentencing was because the black community was being disproportionately damaged by the crack epidemic. Now, instead of recognizing it as having been an attempt to help the black community, it is decried as racist.

You can’t send the police, who the left views as fascist pigs, en masse into the black community and expect reporters, who have been trained in ed school to think of police as fascist pigs, to see the bright side of it.

HakerA on April 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

If we’re going to invest that much energy, how about investing it into something that might actually change the way things are going, reduce the violence and provide a real incentive for people to take charge of their own lives and communities?

The entire premise of this argument is faulty because it assumes there are no laws under which to prosecute and jail gang members. That’s demonstrably false.

What we lack are people, namely politicians, prosecutors and law enforcement chiefs who work together in actively tackling this problem. Ergo, the problem in Chicago is not definitions, the law or even legal gun ownership. It’s politics, cult-like adherence to self-serving public officials and ultimately people in the city pay for it with their children lives.

So you’ll forgive me. But I’ve grown a little tired of arguments which use semantics and alleged new interpretations of words like “terrorist”- then throw them about as if it’s a recently discovered cure for a previously unstoppable disease.

The word “terrorist” truly has specific societal and legal meaning,especially since 2001. And it’s a definition that’s been notoriously well-deserved, correctly applied and successfully prosecuted. Let’s not dilute that definition by making it part of some whimsical, utopian, misguided dream and relegating it to common vernacular. There is too much at stake on all fronts.

Marcus Traianus on April 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Wait, you’re not actually suggesting that existing laws be enforced, are you?

Mr. Bultitude on April 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

It’s the lack of resources, attention and will to enforce the laws we already have upon those who willfully violate them.

Why work that hard and then have pictures of dead kids(gang members) on the front pages and TV screens when it’s so much easier to create new laws. Yeah, this law will stop it this time.

Kissmygrits on April 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Back in the day, police departments went after perps with a vengeance but now pandering politicians are afraid to do anything about serious problems until they have tested the polls to make sure it won’t harm their chances of being reelected. Gang violence is ignored unless the left can make it some sort of rallying cry to suspend the rights of law abiding citizens. Hence, we get Michelle Obama crying about the death of a “sweet girl” and blaming it on guns, NOT the actual problem which is gang related violence.

Today, I wrote GE and told them I would NEVER purchase another product with the GE logo on it. Why? Because GE Capital announced this morning that they will no longer lend money to businesses that sell or manufacture guns.

I respect and revere our constitution in its entirety and will NOT support any business that enjoys the benefits it bestows upon us selectively because of some hysteria that they are cynically trying to take advantage of.

Join me. BOYCOTT GE NOW!

Webrider on April 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Gangs and Terrorists take advantage of the inherent flaws in bureaucracy and the legal structure.

Both see laws, law enforcement and the court systems as the dysfunctional “jobs programs” that they are and work around them or use them to their advantage.

As the Boston Lockdown clearly demonstrates, “law enforcement” is the ally of terrorism. Small acts of terrorism are amplified and increased by law enforcement.

At the same time, both the terrorists and the gangs are not impeded by the machinations of the bureaucrats. In fact they are aided through money, resources and the ability to terrorize and intimidate the people who are stupid enough to depend on “public servants”.

CrazyGene on April 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Jazz, I’m a local–so that you understand what I am going to say next. Under Richard J. Daley, and Jane Byrne, gang problems were not nearly what they are today. Both of those mayors, and Bilandic to a lesser extent, went after the gangs. Oftentimes, one would read about some kingpin or another being caught and sent to prison. Then Richard J. Daley figured he could USE the gangs! How so, you ask? Well, I’ll leave you alone, if you leave me alone. Arrests dropped considerably, and the democrats now have a stranglehold of ALL levels of local government, and now state government. Gangs get out the vote! Pick up the Sun Times or The Trib–in the last twenty years, you can count the stories on one hand–of gang kingpins being caught and held accountable.

If you really want to read about Chicago gang issues, last December or January, Chicago magazine had a feature article about gangs and how they work with the city of Chicago.

Chilling.

herm2416 on April 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Kissmygrits on April 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Those gangbangers..they are soo into following the spirit and letter of the law…but The Man won’t ‘low them to. /

Gun control…gang violence…you name it…thousands and thousands of laws on the books already…and we clamor to pass more laws, as if the right assortment of words, the proper incantation, will suddenly, wonderfully, magically solve the problem.

Yep…just have to come up with a catchy title for the new law…that’s the ticket.

Community Renewal And Protecton law, for example.

coldwarrior on April 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

The notion that society is at fault for criminals was debunked in the late 19th Century, but liberals still hold to it. That is why they will never take firm and positive action against street gangs and trying clearing up the problem. Besides, given the demographics of most bangers, we would soon be hearing about ‘disproportionate incarcerations’.

Right away, though, some of the larger gangs have enough cash to quietly spread around to hold political clout. Especially on the Democrat side, there’s no such thing as a can’t-be-bought politician.

The Feds sure won’t want to get involved, especially with this Administration. Chicago gangs are made up of Holder’s ‘people’, and I’m sure he won’t want to be called a race traitor.

The gang problem is a lot bigger than it just being a law enforcement issue. Besides, when liberals want to ban guns, those murders committed by gangs are numbers the gun-grabbers don’t want to do without.

Liam on April 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/

xuyee on April 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Thank you for the link! As everyone here knows, linking articles and I just do not get along!

herm2416 on April 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I say good riddance to gang members shooting each other. The police should focus their resources on innocent victims.

thuja on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Crazy? Sure. Every new idea is crazy. But consider how much time, energy and funding we spend on pointlessly grinding the gears of government to restrict the rights of gun owners who follow the laws they pass. If we’re going to invest that much energy, how about investing it into something that might actually change the way things are going, reduce the violence and provide a real incentive for people to take charge of their own lives and communities?

I kept looking for the paragraph where you were doing a parody of Swift’s A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for Making them Beneficial to the Public. I use the full title because I see little difference between a proposal that young poor children should be used as a food source and the idea people are going to take charge of their own lives and communities if we just got rid of the gangs. Treating gangs like terrorists would only create a power vacuum where some other group, like the mob, would take over where the street gangs left off.

And I have little faith that the people themselves are looking for the opportunity to take charge of their own lives and communities. Not with SNAP, welfare, and Obamaphones so readily available. The fact of the matter is that a 15-year-old was shot to death four blocks from the Obama mansion. But such shootings are so commonplace in Chicago that it only made the news because of the proximity to the rat-eared coward’s home. You don’t change such cultural norms by simply rounding up gang members and telling people to go out there and take charge of their lives.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

I say good riddance to gang members shooting each other. The police should focus their resources on innocent victims.

thuja on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Announce a new construct. Police will do nothing about gang-on-gang shootings. However, hit an innocent bystander and the authorities will exert the full force of the law to find, prosecute, and convict those involved.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Chicago’s problem is basically they’re a one-party city that hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since Herbert Hoover was in the White House, which is important when you compare it to New York 20 years ago — same horrific murder rate, same gang problems, and they were never going to change as long as the Democrats ran the city, because part of their cote special interest group were the politicians who, if not right defending the gang violence, would at the very least throw copious amounts of race cards at anyone who would dare target the problem and the areas where the gangs were the strongest.

It didn’t take declaring New York’s gangs as terrorists to solve the problem, it took Rudy Guliani and William Bratton going in and being able to target the people and neighborhoods most affected and not back down from the charges of racism — which they could do because they weren’t lackeys of the city’s Democratic Party machine. In Chicago, that’s never happened, and Rahm Emanuel until recently has done everything he could to show Chicago liberals he doesn’t run a stop-and-frisk police force like New York (and as a result, has an autopsy-and-bury city).

The formula’s been around to solve the problem for almost two decades. Chicago just doesn’t want to use it, so you end up with people like LZ Granderson acting as if the problem is as tough to solve as international terrorism (which, I suppose, is better than 20 years ago, when the liberals’ talking points were the violence and other problems of big cities were systemic and intractable, and you can never solve the problem, you can only try to marginally contain and learn to live with it).

jon1979 on April 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Why can’t we label h0mosexuals who wantonly spread STDs terrorists.

Shoe’s not comfortable on the foot, huh GLQFTHPCes.

davidk on April 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Crazy? Sure. Every new idea is crazy. But consider how much time, energy and funding we spend on pointlessly grinding the gears of government to restrict the rights of gun owners who follow the laws they pass. If we’re going to invest that much energy, how about investing it into something that might actually change the way things are going, reduce the violence and provide a real incentive for people to take charge of their own lives and communities?

This is not actually a bad idea on the surface and is probably what we would need to do to clean up our urban areas. However, this isn’t going to work for a few reasons.

First, the media would go to bat for these gang members. Poor blacks/hispanics vs. evil white police? The media will turn the gangs into the Civil Rights movement.

Second, the Democrat Party would never allow this. The reason the gangs are allowed to run out of control is because liberals generally give them a free pass. So liberals are unlikely to suddenly be on board with a crackdown on gang violence. Most likely, they would join the media in decrying such a crackdown as “racist.” Inner cities are also a key source of votes for the Democrats and if the locals were to perceive the crackdown on gangs as “racist,” (which they almost certainly would) they might not vote for the liberals next election.

Third, all it takes is one liberal judge to decide that the gang members have been denied their “civil rights” and they’re back on the streets. A related problem is gang members being released quickly after capture, as most US jails are bulging at the seams right now with prisoners and there would be space/warehousing issues.

The major reason for gang violence is liberals. You can’t address gang violence without addressing that problem first. Even if somehow a crackdown was allowed to take place, we’d just get new gangs in a couple of years because liberals would quickly go back to turning a blind eye to their crimes and excusing them.

Doomberg on April 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Why can’t we treat Chicago gangs as terrorists?

Because they don’t vote Tea Party conservative. Next?

CurtZHP on April 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Hammer them until we get answers, then prosecute the trigger men under federal law no matter what the state law thinks about capital punishment and give them the needle with full national media coverage. Lock up all of the non-shooting gang members who were in on it in a deep hole for so long that they’ll never see the light of day again. And when the next gang shooting takes place, do it all over again.

Wait, wait – allow me to play the liberal for a moment…

“Racist. You only want this because gang members are typically ‘of color’, and as such, are victims of society – of the embedded and institutionalized racism and white privilege that prevents them from being able to do all of the nice things you suggested. What radicalized them? This racist country, peopled with racists like you who are recommending this unfair and disproportionately harsh treatment of minorities. You wouldn’t be making these suggestions if those gang members where white.”

How’d I do?

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

How’d I do?

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

You get an ‘A’, plus extra credit for the pain it must have caused you to type that.

Now you know what I go through when I get snarky with libs. LOL

Liam on April 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

I’m not so hip to shutting down a city in theory, but I do like the idea when I imagine all the blue-town lefties having their lives disrupted while doing so; let them eat a bit of the cake they’ve been baking for decades.

Bishop on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

.
Normally I’d call that wayyy spiteful, but in this case I’ll give you a pass.

listens2glenn on April 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I’d call it wayyy spiteful,, too. And I damn well like it. A lot.

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

We can’t put them all in jail! That would be inhumane! We can’t execute them! That’s evil!/lib

Meh. They are just killing each other anyway.

Vince on April 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Police estimate that of the 532 murders in 2012 — nearly 1.5 a day — about 80 percent were gang related. And yet, despite that rather staggering statistic, the national outcry is muted at best — nothing, to say the least, like the kind we saw last week in Boston. What is it about the word “gang” that brings out the apathy in us?

What? Chicago gangs are killing people? I thought they were crafting city council zoning ordinance reform for restrictions on sex shops, gun shops and christian oriented businesses or something.

Dusty on April 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

How’d I do?

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Great! It’s important that we fight back against the Democrats increasingly insane use of racism. I keep pointing out how meaningless politics is if the only thing we need to do is fight the battles of the fifties over and over again. Society has moved on. Democrats should too.

thuja on April 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

How’d I do?

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A solid B.

You’ve got the screaming racist thing down. You’ve nailed the disparate treatment of minorities claims. But you lost serious points for not using the term “social justice” at some point in the routine. That was a required element of the program.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

What’s responsible for the bloodshed? Gang violence, as usual.

What’s responsible for gangs?

What’s responsible for acceptance of gangs?

What’s responsible for the perpetuation of gangs beyond a single generation?

shuzilla on April 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

We are getting to the point where political correctness is diminishing public safety.

Its past that point already in many of our urban communities.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

What’s responsible for gangs?

What’s responsible for acceptance of gangs?

What’s responsible for the perpetuation of gangs beyond a single generation?

Part of the answer is lack of positive responsible male role models within their communities and circle of family and friends. Thanks to public policy that encourages single women households and our society too often denigrating fatherhood, too many boys raised by women have only gang members in their lives to look up to and emulate.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Police estimate that of the 532 murders in 2012 — nearly 1.5 a day — about 80 percent were gang related. And yet, despite that rather staggering statistic, the national outcry is muted at best — nothing, to say the least, like the kind we saw last week in Boston. What is it about the word “gang” that brings out the apathy in us?

What? Chicago gangs are killing people? I thought they were crafting city council zoning ordinance reform for restrictions on sex shops, gun shops and christian oriented businesses or something.

Dusty on April 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

We only use RICO on Italians, it would be racist to use it on black and hispanic gangs. Or something.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM

or we could just adopt a rational drug policy and starve the gangs of cash.

Terrorist sells drugs to finance Boston bombing.

Baltimore gang leader runs jail.

and that is just today’s news.

tmitsss on April 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Part of the answer is lack of positive responsible male role models within their communities and circle of family and friends. Thanks to public policy that encourages single women households and our society too often denigrating fatherhood, too many boys raised by women have only gang members in their lives to look up to and emulate.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Don’t forget, schools run by women. No role models there either.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Today, I wrote GE and told them I would NEVER purchase another product with the GE logo on it. Why? Because GE Capital announced this morning that they will no longer lend money to businesses that sell or manufacture guns.

I respect and revere our constitution in its entirety and will NOT support any business that enjoys the benefits it bestows upon us selectively because of some hysteria that they are cynically trying to take advantage of.

Join me. BOYCOTT GE NOW!

Webrider on April 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Let me know when GE stops making M61 Vulcan 20mm cannon, 7.62mm Miniguns, M214 SixPak 5.56mm Gatlings, and etc. for the military. Anybody’s military who has the money up front, that is. To say nothing of all their other armaments products, jet engines for fighter jets, missiles (including guidance packages for MANPADS), etc.

Talk about taking hypocrisy to a whole new level.

(Them, not you.)

clear ether

eon

eon on April 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Jazz,
Either you a hopelessly naive or a full blooded RINO … but I repeat myself.

But by definition they tend to be engaged in crime motivated by greed, gain, power and control over their own turf and commerce in illicit trade. They key point Granderson misses is that these gang members – quite the opposite of actual terrorists – actually rely on the structure and social fabric of our open, democratic society to provide a fertile ground for their nefarious ambitions. They have no impetus to destroy the government which makes their living possible.

Gangs flourish where they can CORRUPT the structure and social fabric of our society. For well over 100 years they have used the same tactics:

- Bribery of police, politicians and judges to look the other way and claim helplessness to solve the roblems they create.

- Intimidation or murder of witnesses to insure anyone seeking or supporting justice from the legal system have no hope of possible success.

- Useful idiots who will socially portray them as ‘disadvantaged youth’ or glamorize them as ‘outlaws’.

Terrorists use the same techniques and like Pavlov’s dogs the MSM falls all over themselves to excuse and glamorize their actions.

The “Boston lockdown” was a gross overreaction and violation of the Bill of Rights … but as a RINO, you have NO problem going down that road, do you Jazz?

Proactive alternative? ENFORCE the laws on the books against the politicians, police & judges who are being bribed by the gangs and their ‘representatives” and put them in the general prison populations with the less successful gang members.

PolAgnostic on April 25, 2013 at 11:11 AM

It’s a nice fascist idea.

Viator on April 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM

“Crazy? Sure. Every new idea is crazy.”

First off, that’s not true, but it sure is a cute defense for the three or four previous paragraphs of crazy.

Jon1979′s [on April 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM] comment points out a much more satisfactory and much less intrusive approach. I am not familiar with the details of Giuliani’s policy and it’s legal underpinnings, but it seems to me that over the years we’ve redefined probable cause to such an extent that we can’t act on what is obviously probable in the city of Chicago.

Dusty on April 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Corruption is what keeps gangs going.

Most big city officials won’t go after gangs, not with any real force anyway, because they are a constituent group.

They’re trotted out as victims many times. They are bludgeons to force more money from the local, state and Federal government. Anti-gang programs, anti-poverty programs, midnight basketball, more social spending, etc.

Quite frankly, you’ll never get rid of the gangs anyway, not really.

Liberal courts, liberal officials, liberal police chiefs, liberal governments and liberal policies are now blooming forth their fruit.

catmman on April 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

What? Chicago gangs are killing people? I thought they were crafting city council zoning ordinance reform for restrictions on sex shops, gun shops and christian oriented businesses or something.

Dusty on April 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Gotta also watch out for those Chic-Fil-A subversives! One of those could destroy a medium-sized city overnight!!!

But seriously, it all comes down to culture-rot as the lowest common denominator.

bofh on April 25, 2013 at 11:28 AM

As Granderson suggests, go into Chicago and hammer the gangs the way we hammered the Tsarnaevs. And keep on hammering until the next generation of 8th graders begins to see a life of gang violence as a dead end (literally) and the possibilities of a productive life in a proud, successful community as the viable alternative. And when we get done there, move into another city and do the same thing.

Or we could just legalize drugs, and in a few months all the “problems” will have ODed on cheap and plentiful drugs. It would take care of our crime problem, and be a fantastic advertisement against drug use, all in a single blow.

DFCtomm on April 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

There was The Richmond Plan:
Gang members were arrested for gun crimes, and prosecuted in the Federal System.
Conviction brought a stay in a Federal facility as far away from Richmond VA as possible (a few of us thought one of the remote islands at the end of the Aleutian Chain would have been ideal), and there was no parole – they had to serve their entire sentences.

What happened to that?

Another Drew on April 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Mensa Member, Sheila Jackson-Lee: ‘Don’t Blame The Gangbangers!’

Resist We Much on April 25, 2013 at 11:25 AM

“Don’t condemn the gangbangers, they’ve got guns that are trafficked — that are not enforced, that are straw purchased and they come into places even that have strong gun laws. Why? Because we don’t have sensible gun legislation.”

The first liberal to admit, however inadvertently, that strong/tough gun laws aren’t sensible.

Mensa, indeed.

Liam on April 25, 2013 at 11:48 AM

How’d I do?

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A solid B.

You’ve got the screaming racist thing down. You’ve nailed the disparate treatment of minorities claims. But you lost serious points for not using the term “social justice” at some point in the routine. That was a required element of the program.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

*snaps fingers*

Damnit.

*makes note for future reference*

Midas on April 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Don’t forget, schools run by women. No role models there either.

That’s right! And reinforced by entertainment often portraying dads as ignoramuses, dopes, jerks, effeminate, inattentive or abusive. Very little remains portrayig fathers as the wise and responsible male roles once portrayed in TV shows of the 50′s and 60′s.

It may have been idealized fiction, but it beats the way entertainment media often presents modern fatherhood on screen.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

We all know why there’s no outcry about gang violence. Because it’s predominantly black. No one wants to point that out. If it were mostly white skinheads you’d see some headlines and politician handwringing. As it is, that idiot Napolitano thinks white people are a greater danger to the country, unless, of course, you’re among the leftists who actually did bomb and murder, but got rewarded with cushy jobs in higher education.

tpitman on April 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Gang members are violent and routinely kill more people in the U.S. than terrorists ever do. But by definition they tend to be engaged in crime motivated by greed, gain, power and control over their own turf and commerce in illicit trade. They key point Granderson misses is that these gang members – quite the opposite of actual terrorists – actually rely on the structure and social fabric of our open, democratic society to provide a fertile ground for their nefarious ambitions. They have no impetus to destroy the government which makes their living possible.

…pretzel logic….

…a little Marty Richard is dead. Cornelius German is dead. Is little Marty any more dead because there was, in addition to mindless violence to achieve an end factor, a political dimension, as yet unexplained. No.

Terror is terror, whether for gain, to overthrow or subvert or merely use our government’s structure. Both the politico-religious terrorists with their black flags and the drug-dealing, turf-hoarding terrorists with their red and blue rags KILL PEOPLE…many of them just unlucky schmoes who happened to be in the line of fire. Parsing that there is some fundamental difference of intent between them is actually an obstruction in dealing with them.

…then, of course, there’s the element of race. Arabs are more like the citizens of the American so-called “dominant culture” than the denizens of the South Chicago projects. Chechens, as one MSNBC, blinded by her own paradigms, are even more like suburban white folks in appearance…”They look like Eye-talians”, some stereotypical “dominant culture” white-privilege recipient might say.

…and, add to that what, in my youth, police used to say about answering domestic violence, robbery and mayhem calls in the “black part of town”…”No hurry, it’s just n*gg*rs killin’ n*gg*rs”….

…that’s a part of the whole fetid formula, too.

What we’ve got are Terrorists Type A and Terrorists Type B…separated by superficial, self-annointed rationales of politics over “underclass envy”…both self-identifying as at odds with and separate from the nation/system which allows them to carry out their crimes…but still killing people. And, last I looked, all those dead people were still dead.

So, treating Terrorists A like Terrorists B seems like a winner to me…unless you’ve swallowed the hook that these people can somehow be “redeemed”, that it’s somehow “OUR” fault. If you think that we and our society are somehow to blame for their disaffection, and that if we only talked to them more they’d stop, you might as well try to talk a stepped-on rattlesnake out of biting you. It’s what rattlesnakes do.

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

…furthermore, why the fascination with guns. If guns were taken out of the equation, these punks would still be dealing drugs…they’d just have to do their evil business with switchblades, a’ la “West Side Story”….

…guns scare some people. Lay one on a table in front of these tender hearts — unloaded — and they cringe. It’s as if they expect the thing to move…to slither over and bite them…as they say about snakes, they’re not slimy, just smoothe and cool to the touch….

…besides, they don’t go down to the Western Auto, lay down a drivers license, and buy their Glock and box of bullets. They’re traffic’d illegally. The Boys of the Boston Marathon didn’t go down to Ace’s House of Boom, lay down a drivers license and last month’s welfare check and walk out with the makin’s of their pressure cooker party favors. They did what they did illegally.

…so, we fixate on enacting more laws to add to the laws already on the books WHICH WE DON’T ENFORCE, to keep firearms and explosives out of the hands of people who have all they need, underaged and already on law enforcement and/or immigration radar as they are.

…all to make the timid among us feel somehow safer.

…it’s the laws, stupid. Enforce ‘em. Realize that, color aside, politics aside, sensitivity to diversity aside, there are some pretty lousy people in the world who will prey on their own kind, on your kind and my kind, on any kind, to accomplish their mission in life…and, in the end, who really cares what lies they tell themselves as a mission statement, the better to sleep at night.

…it’s the laws, stupid. Enforce ‘em.

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 1:01 PM

There’s another reason why most Americans don’t care much about gang violence. And that stems from a perception that most gang violence – including murders – is committed on other gang members. Ask most Americans if they care about one gangbanger killing another and while most wish the violence would stop, they also don’t really care too much. Unfortunately this attitude also such as being sympathetic to black communities about crime, when it is young black men who are committing those crime.

In general, I like the idea of using more “terrorist” type forces against gang murder in Chicago, especially if the victim is an innocent bystander, but there were too many 4th amendment violation questions happening in Boston for me to be comfortable with the government routinely going door to door in a manhunt scenario.

eyesights on April 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

A solid B.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

…wait just a cotton-picking (racist?) minute!

…THIS IS GRADED?

…guess I’d better do the reading assignment after all…there goes my drinking time….

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

There’s another reason why most Americans don’t care much about gang violence. And that stems from a perception that most gang violence – including murders – is committed on other gang members.

We’ve also been exposed to daily news stories about the chronic results of gang violence in minority neigborhoods, with the usual suspects being rounded up, if any, the usual tears wept and local peace rallies and marches to implore gangsters to stop the violence, repeated, with little or no change in the culture evident.

When it happens in daily regularity, its no longer news worthy, and most people become inured, unbothered by and desensitized to anything less that two figure multiple murders in usually quiet and peaceful suburbs.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

There’s another reason why most Americans don’t care much about gang violence. And that stems from a perception that most gang violence – including murders – is committed on other gang members.

…as I said earlier, in my youth police cruisers didn’t speed, lights a’flashin’ into Compton or Watts when gunshots began ringing out…it was the unofficial axiom that it was just “[people of color] killin’ [people of color]“…it was figured that the parties involved were equally guilty…sort of like Stagger Lee shooting Billy….

…funny thing is that a similar mindset was once maintained by some in regards to the Mafia…they were only thinning their own herd…let ‘em have at it. Nobody remembers Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, and how he got his name.

There are always tons of excuses which appear coincidental with the arrival of evil. It’s too big, too hard, too inconvenient to fight, it would require altering comfortable paradigms, it would threaten political fiefdoms, it’s race, it’s religious intolerance, it’s our own ignorance of what these killers are trying to “express”…as if murder were a form of self-expression.

Either society — our society, where our children live — is worth maintaining and defending, with all its faults, or it isn’t…and we surrender to the villains and maybe grab a bit for ourselves. Pretty stark choice, no?

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

One final point: want a description of what happens if we don’t address gang terrorism and its attendant racial and political agendas?

One word: Detroit.

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Disarm Black boys and men up to age 40 and the problem goes away. It may be impolitic to say so but all objective evidence would support the idea.

Mason on April 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

There was The Richmond Plan:
Gang members were arrested for gun crimes, and prosecuted in the Federal System.
Conviction brought a stay in a Federal facility as far away from Richmond VA as possible (a few of us thought one of the remote islands at the end of the Aleutian Chain would have been ideal), and there was no parole – they had to serve their entire sentences.

What happened to that?

Another Drew on April 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

It worked, to an extent. Richmond went from having a murder rate ine the top 10 nationwide (top 5 at times) to having double digit murders in the last couple years. Last year, there were only 43 for the year. When I moved to the central VA area back in the early 90′s, Richmond had 300+ murders year after year.

Project Exile (the program) takes a lot of effort by local, commonwealth and federal agencies. IMO, the effort is worth it.

Sham on April 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Eh, scratch that. My original source (and memory were off). Richmond was pushing the upper 100′s per year a couple times, but that 300 figure was off. Still, a 75% reduction in the murder rate (from it’s highest in the mid 90′s) to last years numbers (which is where it’s hovered since ’08) is a nice result set to see.

Sham on April 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

In Boston, about 20 years ago, there was a sharp spike in gang violence in the inner city. Either the state or local authorities (perhaps both) utilized some law that allowed the police to grab gangsters off the street and put them in jail for about a month. I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but soon, a big bunch of gang-bangers were behind bars.

The funny part was when some liberal bastard city official was asked why the streets had gone quiet, he said, and I paraphrase: “Because all the gangsters are in jail, of course”.

What’s funny is, this dopey liberal had unknowingly tripped over the solution us law and order types have been screaming in their faces for years, and even after he said it, he still didn’t “get it”.

Liberals are very stupid people.

JackM on April 25, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Disarm Black boys and men up to age 40 and the problem goes away. It may be impolitic to say so but all objective evidence would support the idea.

Mason on April 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM

And strangely enough liberals never get around to THAT aspect of gun control. So long as you vote solid Dem, you have an irrevocable license to all but run riot anywhere besides their gated communities when the cameras aren’t rolling for political propaganda.

Another Drew on April 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Project Exile, right? Read about it in Reader’s Digest a few years back. Sounded like it worked pretty good and was well worth the effort.

MelonCollie on April 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM

…as I said earlier, in my youth police cruisers didn’t speed, lights a’flashin’ into Compton or Watts when gunshots began ringing out…it was the unofficial axiom that it was just “[people of color] killin’ [people of color]“…it was figured that the parties involved were equally guilty…sort of like Stagger Lee shooting Billy….

Puritan1648 on April 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Thing is, unless said neighborhood is literally walled off from the rest of the city, what is to prevent the same oxygen wasters from cruising down Main Street the next morning, playing crap music at top volume and scaring off customers?

Or for that matter, what happens when some punk too young to grow a beard is handed a gun and in a fight all his shots go wild and hit God-knows-where? Bullets can go a very long f*cking way.

Standing by and letting two packs of rabid dogs to kill each other is amusing only until one of them breaks off and starts running through the yard where your kids are playing.

MelonCollie on April 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Thanks to public policy that encourages single women households and our society too often denigrating fatherhood, too many boys raised by women have only gang members in their lives to look up to and emulate.

hawkeye54 on April 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I think this all started with LBJ’s War on Poverty.

Mirimichi on April 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM

First of all, that approach doesn’t work with common thugs. For one, half the community where they live is in it with them and the other half is too scared to say anything. So even if you can manage to get a grainy surveillance camera image – which is probably unlikely in less affluent areas of cities in the first place – how are you ever going to get someone to ID them ? And that’s IF you can catch them in the act on camera.

Because, remember, in order to get common criminals off the street you have to catch them committing a crime and then successfully prosecute them as well.

The real culprit here is the War on Drugs. The laws of this country are what empower these thugs to traffic in illegal drugs to satisfy their urge for money and power, and frankly, nothing else.

Lets also not ignore the fact that they primarily murder one another. They know perfectly well that killing civilians is a sure fire recipe for bringing the heat down on themselves. Exactly the opposite motivation as terrorists who intentionally target innocent civilians.

I mean, sh*t, don’t these people watch the Wire ?

deadrody on April 25, 2013 at 4:21 PM

…pretzel logic….

…a little Marty Richard is dead. Cornelius German is dead. Is little Marty any more dead because there was, in addition to mindless violence to achieve an end factor, a political dimension, as yet unexplained. No.

Whatever, man. You can type and rant til your fingers turn blue, gang violence is not “terrorism”. You can try and twist the words around to justify that it is, but people know what “terrorism” is and isn’t, and gang violence is not. Stop wasting your time and ours.

deadrody on April 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

The gestalt of the comments above build a picture that is exactly described in a short excerpt from the link cited here:

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/

xuyee on April 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Thank you for the link! As everyone here knows, linking articles and I just do not get along!

herm2416 on April 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Most alarming, both law enforcement and gang sources say, is that some politicians ignore the gangs’ criminal activities. Some go so far as to protect gangs from the police, tipping them off to impending raids or to surveillance activities—in effect, creating safe havens in their political districts. And often they chafe at backing tough measures to stem gang activities, advocating instead for superficial solutions that may garner good press but have little impact.

The paradox is that Chicago’s struggle to combat street gangs is being undermined by its own elected officials. And the alliances between lawmakers and lawbreakers raise a troubling question: Who actually rules the neighborhoods—our public servants or the gangs?

The Book of Mormon has a shorthand term for the clandestine league of government officials and “regular” criminals: Gadianton Robbers.
Exterminating the current crop would buy peace for a few years, but corrupt societies quickly spawned replacements.

You don’t change such cultural norms by simply rounding up gang members and telling people to go out there and take charge of their lives.

Happy Nomad on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

(and others who made the same point above).

AesopFan on April 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/

xuyee on April 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Thank you for the link! As everyone here knows, linking articles and I just do not get along!

herm2416 on April 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Now that there is some real f’n journalism. We need more of that.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2013 at 8:18 PM

The Book of Mormon has a shorthand term for the clandestine league of government officials and “regular” criminals: Gadianton Robbers.

Exterminating the current crop would buy peace for a few years, but corrupt societies quickly spawned replacements.

AesopFan on April 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

So True.

As a person who has read the Book Of Mormon (who is also a Mormon) more times than I can remember I have to agree with you.

Crime, Politics, etc, is all downstream of the culture that spawns such. The corruption found in such isn’t the disease, it’s a symptom.

We can do much to ease the pain of said symptoms… we can lock up the gangs en masse, we can vote out all the politicians, but such problems will continue to plague us until the source of such problems cease.

Herein lies the crux of the cause: Do we truly value our freedoms? Can we truly value our freedoms without recognizing and respecting the values that enable our freedom to begin with? Can we be a godless and wicked people while still maintaining our liberties?

I would argue that the founding fathers were right in this regard:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
–John Adams

We have stooped so low into tyrrany because we as a culture have forgotten the value of our freedom. We have forgotten the value of our freedoms because we have forgotten the values of our freedom.

This is the inevitable result.

Chaz706 on April 25, 2013 at 8:34 PM

How and when did you get radicalized into the idea of preying on society rather than finishing high school, going to community college or a trade school, getting a job and a home, meeting a nice girl, getting married, raising a family and helping build a great community to live in?
TELL US AND MAYBE WE WON”T EXECUTE YOU!

-
Yeah… the answer to that will get published and acted on./s

There are so many factors that add up to this being the way things are in certain neighborhoods… and most of them can be traced back to liberal agenda good intentions and lowed expectations.

RalphyBoy on April 26, 2013 at 1:45 AM

During the Clinton administration Richmond VA had a serious crime problem and a high murder rate. As I recall, one of the highest in the country. Local law enforcement got started to get anyone possible involved in prosecuting crime, especially crimes committed with a firearm. They developed a program called “Project Exile”. PE said simply, if you use a firearm in the commission of a crime, you’re going to jail for a minimum of five years. Prosecutors utilized every law available from local to federal. The crime rate plummeted. As I recall, the city tried to get Janet Reno interested but she was more interested in having more gun laws enacted..

oldleprechaun on April 26, 2013 at 7:48 AM