Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fighting Gangs

The Star Telegram published an editorial today praising Arlington's efforts to fight gangs and stated that Arlington "has a very real chance of making progress and of rescuing the city's most precious asset -- its young -- from gang violence" (See Fighting gangs).

These efforts include such cutting edge strategies as "Encouraging student participation in DARE" and "Partnering with Mission Arlington and apartment complexes to provide after-school activities at low or no cost" among others.

I left a comment on the editorial and continued my search of today's news for something interesting to talk about.

The Dallas Morning News hooked me up.

Juan Delacruz Gomez was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for engaging in organized crime that resulted in the March 2005 murder of a teenager playing soccer in a Northwest Dallas apartment complex.

Mr. Gomez, a member of the MS-13 gang, shot Eduardo Galicia, 19, in the back of the head after the teenager told him he was not involved in any gangs and turned to walk away, according to testimony.
From an earlier DMN story:

According to testimony during the one-day trial – much of it given through an interpreter – Mr. Gomez walked up to Mr. Galicia as he was playing soccer in a northwest Dallas apartment complex and asked him, "What neighborhood or hood are you down with?" meaning which gang was he a part of.

Mr. Galicia told him that he was not in a gang and turned to walk way. Then Mr. Gomez shot him in the back of the head, according to testimony.
After school programs and other youth services are nice, but they will do nothing to stop the gangs.

The gangs are excellent recruiters, they offer street cred and a sense of belonging. Rappers, the Corridistas, video games, and many films glamorize the way of life giving the gangs an easy hook. Once in, there really is no turning back. Punishment in the gangs is swift and brutal. As we debate the ethics of capitol punishment, the gangs use death routinely to keep their own members in line.

The gangs have gotten out of hand. They have escaped the boundaries of LA, Chicago and Detroit and are spreading into the smaller 'burbs of Mid America. The violent gangs are not going to be stopped by DARE or after school programs. These programs might give a few kids another choice, but the effect will be minimal.

In the Star Telegram article, Arlington's mayor was quoted as saying "You can't arrest your way out of the problem". I say this is only true if you have an ineffectual criminal justice system. District Attorneys who offer plea bargains to these goblins, parole boards who let them out early, and politicians who refuse to face this problem head on enable the spread of this cancer and put our children at risk.

Lets stop debating failed policies like gun control and the war on (some) drugs. We need to focus on violence control. We need to excise the cancer, remove it, separate it from our communities. Only then can we focus on the issues that allowed gangs to grab a foothold in the first place. Only after removing the tumor can healing begin.

Back to goblin Gomez, the goblin who put a bullet in the back of a kids head just for the heck of it. He was another choir boy.
The mother of Mr. Gomez's children and a longtime friend testified that Mr. Gomez was involved in the MS-13 gang, but was working to turn his life around.

Ninfa Perez, the mother of his children and an MS-13 gang member herself...

..."He is a good father," she said. "He needs to be out to watch his children grow."
Eduardo Galicia never got the chance to be a father.

1 comment:

Just John said...

There should be a bounty on these creeps, like coyotes in some counties. A real low bounty; that way, we'd have to shoot a whole heap of them to make any money.