Tag Archives: Gangs

‘Gang bangers’ still banging-up and terrorizing neighborhoods

6 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Seattle, like many cities is defined by its geography. A description of the geographic divide in Seattle is found in the 2011 post, The divide between Seattle schools by Linda Thomas of KIRO 7 News:

Seattle Schools released their report cards on each of the 82 public schools in the district and rated them, for the first time, on a scale of 1 to 5.

On this scale, 5 is tops. Your school is rockin’ if it’s a 5. If your school is a 1, there are serious problems based on test scores, attendance rates, average class sizes and advanced placement classes, and other factors.

Without even looking at the data, I could have guessed that if your school is toward the top of the scale, you live north of the Ship Canal bridge. If your school is a 1 or 2, you live in the southern part of the city.

The facts confirm my guess. The easiest to sort through the district’s comparisons of their schools is to scroll to page 5 on this PDF. Schools scoring the highest – the Level 5 schools – are Catherine Blaine K-8; Bagley; Coe; Hay; Lafayette; Loyal Heights; McGilvra; North Beach; Schmitz Park; Thornton Creek, View Ridge; Wedgwood. No high schools score a 5. Garfield and Roosevelt are Level 4.

Those are north end schools. With the exception of Northgate elementary, the lowest-rated schools are in the south end.

Level 1 schools are: Aki Kurose Middle School; Dearborn Park; Dunlap; Emerson; Gatzert; Hawthorne; Highland Park; Leschi; Madrona K-8; Martin Luther King; Northgate; Roxhill; West Seattle. There are no Level 1 high schools.

I first wrote about the great divide in Seattle Schools two years ago for Seattle’s Child magazine (excerpts from both articles are below). What has changed since 2008? Not much. The reasons for achievement gaps at schools are complex, and the district is still trying to improve the same under-performing schools.http://mynorthwest.com/category/news_chick_blog/20101110/The-divide-between-Seattle-schools/

People not only purchase homes on the basis of home price, but their perception of school quality and their perception of the level of crime in the neighborhood. There is a real perception that much of the criminal and gang activity occurs in the south part of Seattle. That may be one of the reasons the powers that be have not tuned in to the urgency of Seattle’s gang problem. Seattle’s power structure is not the only ruling group with its head up an orifice.

Moi wrote about Chicago’s gang problem in That stranglehold of P.C. And ideology: Political party culture is stuck on stupid https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/that-stranglehold-of-p-c-and-ideology-political-party-culture-is-stuck-on-stupid/

John de Leon is reporting in the Seattle Times article, North Seattle home targeted in drive-by shooting:

Someone opened fire on a North Seattle home early this morning, but no one was hit.

Police said a woman who lives in the home called 911 shortly after midnight to report hearing 10 to 12 shots coming from a veicle that drove north on Dayton Avenue North at North 103rd Street.

Responding officers found several shell casings outside as well as a couple of bullet holes in the woman’s home.

She told police she didn’t know why her home had been targeted in the drive-by shooting. She said that her son had a problem with a gang member, but that was some time ago. http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/10/north-seattle-home-targeted-in-drive-by-shooting/

Seattle, like many cities has had a gang problem for years.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a study of youth in Seattle regarding traits that likely lead to gang affiliation. Seattle Gang Study This 2001 DOJ study found the following predictors:

       1. Neighborhood risk factors

Availability of marijuana

Neighborhood youth in trouble

Low neighborhood attachment

           2. Family risk factors

One parent only

One parent plus other adults

Parental attitudes favoring violence

Low bonding with parents

Low household income

Sibling antisocial behavior

Poor family management

           3. School risk factors

Learning disabled

Low academic achievement

Low school attachment

Low school commitment

Low academic aspirations

           4. Peer group risk factors

Association with friends who engage

in problem behaviors

5. Individual risk factors

Low religious service attendance

Early marijuana use

Early violence

Antisocial beliefs

Early drinking

Externalizing behaviors

Poor refusal skills

Lt. Ron Wilson of the Seattle Police Department participated in a question and answer session which was printed in The Seattle Times. Q & A on Gang Violence Among his comments was the following exchange:

What are the different street gangs fighting over?

Lt. Ron Wilson: What we’re experiencing in Seattle that’s different perhaps than what you see down in L.A. or on the East Coast, is the dynamics of the gangs we’re dealing with. We’re dealing with a lot of youth now, as opposed to the 1990s and 1980s, when we had a lot of older individuals and the drive at that time was the drug market, crack cocaine. There was a lot of tension there and a lot of conflict between gangs in the ’80s and ’90s over marketing of crack cocaine.

Most of the time, when we’ve had shootings involving young people, it’s usually a matter of disrespect. It’s not about turf. It’s not necessarily about marketing drugs or any type of other illegal crime. It’s a matter of disrespect where they handle the conflicts between them with firearms.

He states that kids are looking for affiliation and a sense of belonging. Among the risk factors in the DOJ study for gang recruitment and membership is a level of dysfunction in the child’s home. According to Lt. Wilson there are about 60 active gangs in the region. Because gang members in this region tend to be young, schools have to protect students both from active gang membership and from recruitment efforts by gangs.

What Might Work?

In the June 22, 2009 New Yorker, there is an essay about David Kennedy’s “ceasefire” strategy.” The article is assessable to registered users at New Yorker Registered User Kennedy, a professor of anthropology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has been invited to speak in Seattle. The “ceasefire” approach was tried in Cincinnati.

Ceasefire begins with the fact that a small number of hardened criminals commit a hugely disproportionate number of serious violent crimes. Kennedy explained that, in Cincinnati, the police would identify gang members who were on parole or probation and compel them to attend a meeting. There, the cops would demand that the shootings end, and promise that, if they did not, the punishment would be swift and severe and target the entire gang. The city would also make life coaching and job counseling available to those who wanted out of the thug life.  

Once gang members were identified, the researchers mapped out gang interactions and individual gang members. “Among the facts they discovered about the gang members was that a third of them had ten or more felony charges, and ninety-one percent had a prior arrest for a violent crime.” The Cincinnati program was a joint effort of a number of stakeholders. Kennedy’s approach has been tried in about 60 cities with various degrees of success. One criticism of the program is that it has not been subjected to independent analysis.

According to the New Yorker, Gary Slutkin, employs a slightly different approach. “Slutkin’s strategy employs community members to mediate potential shootings while also pushing for behavioral change in high-risk individuals and communities.”

Another approach that might work is the Homeboy Industries model of creating small businesses to employ gang members. The Homeboy motto is “nothing stops a bullet like a job.” Information about Homeboy can be found at Homeboy Industries

It may take a village to raise one child, but it is definitely going to require the coordinated effort of all stakeholders in the larger community to stem the tide of gang violence and to stop the flow of blood.

Sticking your head in the sand does not prevent the tide from coming in.”
K.J., Impaired Ocular Acuity and Other Demented Synapses

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That stranglehold of P.C. And ideology: Political party culture is stuck on stupid

30 Sep

Here’s a bonus COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Political party culture is stuck on stupid. Moi grew up in Pierce County and was for many years a dem in the mold of Senators Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson. There is no room in today’s dem party for folks like moi. Moi doesn’t believe in abortion in all circumstances and supports the FIRST AMENDMENT guarantees. In light of the fact that moi is an independent, this story illustrates why moi is an independent. Every now and again is a story that is so stupid, one has to comment.

City Looks to Twitter for Answer to Gun Problem: The best submitted ideas will be debated at an Oct. 11 panel discussion:

The City of Chicago is asking residents with ideas on how to get illegal guns off the streets to share their thoughts — in 140 characters or fewer on Twitter.

The initiative is part of Chicago Ideas Week, an annual forum for innovators, artists, scientists and others to share ideas and inspire action.

Those who think they know how to cut off the flow of illegal guns into Chicago are being asked to tweet them with the hashtag (hash)whatifchicago.

The best submitted ideas will be debated at an Oct. 11 panel discussion.

Chicago’s social media director, Kevin Hauswirth, says the effort is a great example of “the potential power that social media offers city government.” http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/City-Looks-to-Twitter-for-Answer-to-Gun-Problem-171939501.html#ixzz27ziNIsVD

Really, no one in Chicago can guess how to reduce gun violence. Must be that stranglehold of P.C. And ideology.

Let moi makes some suggestions even though she lives in Seattle not Chicago. Seattleites shouldn’t gloat as our government is equally stuck on stupid with a tendency to stick their head in sand regarding Seattle’s own gang problem.

Part if the solution will not be P.C. for “progressives.” In the short-term, just about any crime-ridden neighborhood in America needs better education and economic development. Can one say, JOBS, JOBS, and MORE JOBS. In the longer term, there will have to be a change in the cultural dynamic and thinking of groups trapped by low-income culture and mentality. This is what moi said in UN-traditional Father’s Day message: Don’t become a father unless you can make the commitment to YOUR child:

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption. This is a totally NOT P.C. Message because “progressives” want to think that government can solve this society’s problem. First Lady Michelle Obama is a gracious and classy woman, but really girlfriend, the problem is too many “baby mamas” and “baby daddy.”  When we have around 70% of Black children born to woman who are most likely not able to feed and care for the children, whether they are eating vegetables is not as relevant. One needs to treat the gaping head wound first.

There must be cultural change in addition to economic development and “progressives” don’t want to touch that hot potato. Meanwhile, because this society is not dealing with the root problem, the carnage goes on.

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