I happened upon an article which stated 80% of non-suicide gun-related deaths are gang related. I don’t actually believe that is accurate and of course I cannot locate the article which said it, but according to ABC News gangs account for 80% of crimes in the US so perhaps that number was applied to gun-related deaths. Anyway, we do know in many instances shooting are gang related. In Durham, NC a 15-year-old was shot three times and I will guarantee he was either in a gang or trying to go against a gang. You do not get shot three times by accident. So mowing the lawn, which takes awhile, I devised a plan to stop up to 80% of the shootings in the US. It is a simple solution and makes common sense, we eradicate all criminal gang activity. First let’s find everyone who supports criminal gangs and ask them why they are a good thing. No sane person would ever say a criminal enterprise is a good thing so no one except family members of gang members would ever oppose the plan.
Let’s outline the steps to eradicating gangs and their gun violence in America and it may surprise you, but it does not begin by taking away guns.
1 – Purge the Terrorist Watch Lists (Terrorist Screening Database TSDB) and remove any American who is not a terrorist or who should not be on the list. Also provide a means to remove yourself from the list which does not require a long drawn out process.
2 – Implement a gun buying ban for anyone on the Terrorist Watch List. The person would be pinged when they go to legally purchase a firearm by the NICS check and the FBI could decide to let the purchase go through for investigative purposes or deny the sale and arrest the person. Remember we first purged this list so all that should remain is bad guys and no one wants bad guys with guns. However if the FBI allows a sale to proceed and the person commits a crime the FBI will be held responsible for that crime and that would mean reprimand to firing and potentially criminal charges for the agent who authorized the sale/investigation. Because it may take some time to fully investigate these people the FBI will be given a week instead of 3 days to authorize or deny TWL sales. For everyone else not on the TWL the time frame will remain 3 days.
I know some are already irritated by this suggestion, but if we purge the list and provide a simple means to get off it for those not on the TWL this should be an easy solution. Now I know someone who has read this far is asking what has this got to do with criminal gangs. Hold onto your hat cause here it comes.
3 – All criminal gangs will now be considered homegrown terrorists and all gang members will be placed on the Terrorist Watch List. This will mean they cannot fly any longer and furthermore they cannot purchase firearms legally. The FBI can allow firearm sales or travel, but they again will accept that responsibility. All criminal gang members will be listed by their gang on the TWL. By definition a criminal gang will include 5 or more members. Individuals known to be gang members wanting to be removed from the TWL will undergo a stringent process to be removed from the TWL including a three judge panel who will review their records for the ultimate decision. Gang ink will be enough to maintain TWL status.
Now all that did was stop legal sales of firearms and movement via airplane for those 1.4 million gang members in 33,000 gangs. Here is where it starts to get good.
4 – Because criminal gangs are now terrorists they will no longer be afforded the same rights as everyone else and because gangs act as a group they will be charged as a group. So someone commits a murder, all members of that gang will be charges as accomplices to the crime once the trial is completed and the gang member is found guilty. There will be no minimum sentencing for gang members only maximum sentences and because gangs are now outlawed in America the penalty will be 2X the maximum sentence. There will be no jury trials for gang members only bench trials and the appeal is immediate and with a three judge panel. Once guilty on appeal the sentence is carried out. So a Triad member kills someone and is found guilty, has an appeal, and is either executed or subject to two life sentences (2X). Every Triad member is now an accomplice so when they are arrested for any reason they are not tried, they are simply taken in front of a judge and sentenced to 2X the maximum sentence as an accomplice. Gang members can appeal that sentence, but it is an immediate three judge panel who will make the decision.
Before long the gangs would start to lessen their crimes. I know if I was a mob boss in NY and one of my cronies wanted to take someone out in Vegas I would tell them to hold off because all of a sudden I would go from sitting in my penthouse to a nice jail cell (more on that in a minute) if I let it happen. Sure it is guilt by association, but do you want to solve a problem or not?
5 – Jail/Prison for gang members would become only the necessities, food, clothing, and shelter. All prisons would become self sustaining. Any gang activity inside the prison would be dealt with severely and the punishment is 10X the maximum penalty as other inmates and just as with gangs on the outside all gang members inside would be treated as accomplices and receive 10X the penalty. Prison for gang members would be purely punitive and life would be harsh and unpleasant. Gang members would be handcuffed at night to other gang members from rival gangs.
So choose Mr. Gang Member, remain in the gang and basically you are going to jail as soon as you are caught, or leave it behind, get off the TWL, and live like the rest of the law-abiding citizens.
One of the flaws in this is we will fill up the prisons with around 1.4 million people, but there are vast stretches of Federal land where prisoners could build their own facilities by hand. If you are a menace to society you should be taken out of society.
What this does not solve is suicide by firearm and Australia has proven you will not impact suicides for those intent on carrying them out by taking away firearms so we will never legislate that problem out of existence. It also does not stop a lone gunman from carrying out his illegal activities, this has been and will always be an issue. It also does not stop accidents, but hammers cause over 50,000 incidents requiring medical assistance and probably another quarter million unreported accidents each year from people banging their thumb or hand. You cannot legislate accidental behavior out of society.
What say you, are gangs a problem to be dealt with or should we continue to blame everything on law-abiding citizens?