Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I Don’t Understand. At Least I Hope I Don’t Understand.

Because of public outrage over the senseless “collateral damage” killing of a 12-yr-old girl, our local and not-so-local authorities have blitzed area gang-infested neighborhoods with a serious show of force. This show of force must have hit a mark because according to the Trib:

[Ex-Philly gang member Richard Garland] said many of the gang members said they were afraid when they heard that city, county state and federal authorities were saturating the North Side in an attempt to stop the shootings and round up known gang members. “They got worried when they saw that law enforcement is bringing all they have to the table right now,” Garland said.

Richard Garland who runs a street intervention program called One Vision One Life brokered a meeting between District Attorney Stephen Zappala and “leaders” from eight of the gangs who roam the North Side. Garland added that, “[The gang members] recognize that when a child got shot, a major line was crossed.”

The meeting produced a cease-fire agreement between the gangs in attendance. Garland hopes similar cease-fire “agreements” are arranged between the remaining 70 or so gangs who operate in the Pittsburgh area. Zappala praised the gang members who did show up for the meeting saying, “They recognize the seriousness of this situation and realize that no more children can die as part of this feud.”

???: Have they recognized that no more PEOPLE of any age should die as part of their “feud”?

???: What “serious situation” do they speak of? Is it the fact that they are murderous, drug-addicted criminals? Or that the authorities are finally breathing down their necks?

Zappala said authorities would continue to investigate active gang members but would encourage a peace agreement.

??? Does this mean authorities will back off from the blitz a bit? Now that The Surge is working, are we going to pull back our efforts to round up these miscreants? If they enter into mutual “peace agreements”? Because tough police work is just too tough to sustain in the long run?

???: Does this mean if they quit shooting each other or innocent bystanders, that we'll lay off the drug trafficking and other "lesser" criminal activity?

???: Is this Gaza or is this Pittsburgh?

I don’t understand. At least I hope I don’t understand.


Bram Reichbaum said...

I'm starting to hate this talk of gangs. It's organized crime. I bet these shootings always boil down to money and honor.

Maybe we should address it using the racketeering model.

Greg said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and feel very similar. These gangs are criminal elements and should be brought to justice. Over $1 million has been put into the gang problem in Pittsburgh. If the police had $1 million worth of additional resources I imagine they could have a greater impact on the gang problem in Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...

Your ignorance on this subject is overwhelmingly apparent. If, indeed, you would like to gain knowledge of the actual social issues surrounding this, I could refer you to some DOJ and OJJDP research. But to make the blanket statements you have, begs the question, is she aware of what a "rash generalization" is? And, if so, and if she is a reputable writer, why would she make them knowing that formal logic defines a rash generalization as a fallacy? And without meeting Mr. Garland, you show a complete lack of professionalism in your comments about an amazing man...but then, you're not really a professional are you? More of a sidewalk philosopher. Mr. Garland has stopped homicides, provided employment to prevent the necessity for illegal employment...have you ever been to One Vision One Life target neighborhood? No? Why? Are you afraid to go to "those places"? If so, remember this - there are little children who walk those neighborhoods everyday - One Vision One Life works for them...and that is why you are relegated to blogging, because those who can do are busy doing - the rest just talk.

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