Gun violence has become a big issue lately. With multiple school shootings, rampages, and all sorts of other armed crime, it’s no wonder. In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm. And the largest portion of this comes from gang violence.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about whether stricter gun control should be implemented. Personally I think the 2nd Amendment is important, it just doesn’t seem that way until you need it one day. I don’t think the problem is the guns, it’s the people who commit the act. And the society that caused them to go down the road they are on. (this includes you and me.) But that’s a discussion for another day.
What I want to talk about is the escalated use of gun violence in gangs. Its common knowledge, but here is a study by the “Violence Policy Center” on Gun Violence in California, which discusses the prevalence of gun violence, or lack thereof, in the earlier parts of the 20th Century. http://www.vpc.org/studies/CAgang.pdf
The causes for this escalation are above my pay grade, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Are guns easier to get (legally or illegally)? Do we have a more violent culture today? Is it just a matter of competition? Let me know.
If you ask the old timers, they’ll tell you that back in their day, if you had a problem with somebody, you handled it with your fists. Now it’s not like there wasn’t weapons used back then, but their may be some truth to it. Gangs weren’t always trying to kill each other, they were just asserting dominance or protecting their territory. Today you get shot up just walking down the wrong street.
To me, this just seems cowardly. Before you jump down my throat about not knowing this world, I get that its kill or be killed. I spent my early childhood growing up in a Jacksonville project, my grandma running a convenient store out of our home. My dad was a crack dealer, and I have at least ten brothers and sisters I’ve never even met.
I just have a high opinion of the idea of honor, and think it has fallen away from our culture to some degree. Jumping a guy with five of your friends isn’t honorable. Really settling your problems with violence just shows a lack of intellectual capability, but I’m not going to bark up that tree.
In my mind, if you’ve got a problem with someone, it should be between you, and them. And if you need to settle it like a warrior, do it like men, not boys. No weapons and no backup. Just two men, and who wins, wins.
I know this is probably seen as naive, or idealistic. But if you want respect, try being respectable first.
What do you think? Am I just being unrealistic or out of touch? Can an “honorable” gang make it today? For that matter, could an “honorable” gang member make it?