The video was shot by someone in the Kroger store on their cell phone, and it's not nearly as comprehensive as the CCTV video from Springfield. The report itself, though, is of interest. I was particularly struck with the two gentlemen who are working with gang members, trying to address these issues. One of them says that we should imagine all those kids doing yard work.
That's something that worries me. How is it that kids no longer have jobs and chores and responsibilities? How do people suddenly transition from spoiled, over-sized infants into working, trustworthy, accountable adults when they reach some magical date on the calendar? I'm pretty confident at this point that it does not happen through the efforts of our government
The man who talked about yard work and behavior modification also said something rather ominous. He predicted that if something is not done to stop this, in five to ten years, gangs will be running Memphis.
It's not just Memphis. While I'm imagining hundreds of kids picking up trash, raking leaves and singing "Kumbaya", the other side of my imagination's split screen has scenes of Blackhawk Down playing out in various American cities. Race-based gangs are elements of every one of our urban centers -- Detroit to Dallas and Des Moines and South Central to Springfield.
It's been a while since I've seen the 1979 movie Warriors so I don't remember the exact numbers the gang leader Cyrus used in his call for the gangs to unite. It was something along the lines of there being 20,000 cops in NYC and 60,000 gang members. The gangs, Cyrus believed, could control the city.
I am against the increasing militarization of our police departments, but organized and armed gangs are one of, if not the primary motivation driving this development. It would be rather difficult to convince police departments facing gangs armed and equipped by Mexican and South American drug cartels to de-militarize.