Gangs are a huge problem in this country. They’re not like they are in West Side Story–the old one, since I don’t think many bothered with the remake. They’re not just poor kids a little rough around the edges, singing and dancing their way to love.
They’re violent, criminal enterprises that create real problems for the communities they’re in.
The mass killing that left six people dead and 12 wounded outside bars just blocks from California’s Capitol last weekend was a gunfight involving at least five shooters from rival gangs, Sacramento police said Wednesday.
Police said they identified at least five gunmen but there may have been more. Only two suspects — both brothers wounded by gunfire — have been arrested in connection with the shooting and, so far, only face firearms charges.
“We’re still working through … who the actual shooters are in the case,” Sgt. Zach Eaton said.
Until Wednesday’s announcement, police had been silent on what led to the shooting that erupted early Sunday as bars were letting out. Rapid-fire bursts of over 100 gunshots echoed through the streets as terrified patrons ran for their lives and others were hit by bullets.
Police said at least two gangs were involved. They declined to provide more details or name the gangs involved or the affiliation of any suspects.
Frankly, the names aren’t particularly relevant right now. What is, though, is this deadly shooting that’s being used to justify still more gun control is the result of criminal gangs–the very groups that are responsible for most of the homicides in this country.
However, luckily, it looks like the media is already playing defense for the gangs.
Experts said that if gangs were to blame, it would mark an unusually bloody feud.
In 20 years of researching gangs in Los Angeles, Alex Alonso said he can’t remember a gang-related shooting with such a high body count.
“It’s extremely rare that a gang shooting happened as the way this one is being characterized,” Alonso said. “It’s extremely rare to have that happen in a public place with so many victims.”
Now, in fairness, Alonso is correct. This is unusual, but only due to scale.
Gangs are notoriously ambivalent to collateral damage from their fueds. How many innocent lives were snuffed out because some gangbanger had to get revenge? Mothers, fathers, children, none have been spared from their lack of give-a-damn about the pain they cause.
They’re the reason the homicide rate skyrocketed in the 1990s and them settling down–probably out of fear of someone shooting them–accounted for much of the reduction in homicides that followed.
If we want to stop this from happening again, even on a smaller scale, there’s room for all parties to come together. We should be able to find common ground on dealing with violent gangs, right?
Unfortunately, I can’t help but believe there are some out there who don’t care about what the real problem is. For them, it’s nothing more than an opportunity to push gun control, when guns aren’t the problem.
After all, California has all the gun control in the world and from what we’ve seen of the shooters, none of them could have legally purchased a gun anywhere in the nation. It’s unlikely gun control would have done anything.