A friend asked me the other day why I editorialize so much about gangs in America?
I've been writing about gangs since my first job as a newspaper editor in 1981. It's a subject I know well.
My quick reply was almost a revelation to me, "Because I grew up in neighborhoods infested with gangs and it's hard for me to accept that they are more powerful now than when I was a kid."
There it was. After all of these years a sudden clarity. I always hoped that the pen would be mightier than the sword, and if I wrote enough articles informing people about gangs some positive actions would come out of it.
There were some small victories over the years.
Retired now, I still have trouble accepting how our society allows gangs to flourish.
No national or state programs (that work) have surfaced to successfully break the generational crime in neighborhoods from Los Angeles to Boston.
Even as I write this post, I know innocent people are being murdered every moment nationwide by over 33,000 violent street gangs (FBI Stats).
Memories of fighting my way home from grammar school every day in Southern California (up until Junior High when my family finally moved to another area not infested with gangs), still haunts me.
If you were fortunate enough to be raised in an area without gangs, you have no idea what I'm talking about.
But for the rest of you whose lives have been adversely affected by gangs, I grieve and feel your pain.
LIST OF GANGS IN AMERICA
Time for me to walk on down the road...