Community's gang members should be labeled terrorists
by Lynda Jo Gross
There's been lots of talk lately about the gang ordinance enacted by the Sunnyside City Council recently.
Not too long ago I covered a gang-related incident. I was exposed to some pretty ugly behavior by some teens.
I walked away in wonderment at the absolute lack of respect for law enforcement. These individuals not only had smug looks on their faces, but they were using some pretty awful language as well.
That was one experience. Here's another.
One day, driving out in the country, I see a building tagged in blue. The next day, I see it tagged in red and blue. As days progressed...well, picture a building, up for sale, with almost every square inch covered in red and blue. Then picture the "For Sale" Realtor's sign also tagged.
It's a reality.
Here's another example. Grange members in Grandview have gone to some pretty extreme measures to get gang-bangers to stop tagging the Grange building.
Then I have a conversation with a business owner who's seriously contemplating closing up shop because the owner feels that gang members are on an intimidation campaign.
Then there's the boy, shot in the foot in Grandview.
Then, there's the back to back drive-by shootings in Grandview last Friday night.
Oh yes, I can't forget the fight in front of my office that appeared to be gang related and in which case one teen was arrested.
Don't give me the bleeding heart rhetoric about how there aren't enough inexpensive activities for kids to enjoy after school.
If you believe that, or that gang members shouldn't be incarcerated, I dare you to walk up, by yourself, to a group of 10 or 20 of them. Bring your purse and absolutely nothing to defend yourself with. Try to touch the hearts of these gang members.
Go ahead, try. And don't bring back-up. Go alone.
This racial profiling argument is baloney, too. Give credit to police who deal with these little terrorists on a regular basis.
That is what they are. They are terrorists and they are proud of it. Hence the graffiti, the shootings, the intimidation.
I applaud what Sunnyside has done.
I am proud of what Grandview is contemplating doing.
I have rights too--and that includes the right to a safe environment.