A news article says the following:

Los Angeles police will publicly name 11 of the city's worst street gangs....

...alarming increase in drive-by shootings and murders in a city which has an estimated 720 gangs with some 40,000 members.


The strategy breaks with past policy by publicly naming 11 gangs and their members — something police have been reluctant to do for fear of giving gangs notoriety.

The new approach 'challenges these menaces by exposing their corrosive behavior to the scrutiny of a more informed and confident community,' according to a briefing paper.

The measures follow a 14 percent overall increase in violent gang-related crime in 2006. One area of the suburban San Fernando Valley saw a nearly 160 percent rise in such violence. Police say street gangs were responsible for 56 percent of the 478 murders in the city last year.


Malcolm Klein, professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, said the decision to publicly name gangs was a mistake.

'These kids will walk with clippings in their pockets. Kids join gangs for identity, status, reputation and a sense of excitement. If you declare war on gangs, you are feeding exactly what they joined for in the first place,' Klein said in a telephone interview.1

In order to end gangs and violence, it is necessary for the entire society to move to non-violence. The youths who grow up in the gang environment cannot be expected to become peace-loving while the entire culture of the country is militaristic and its entertainment is near gladiatorial.

The so-called "war on gangs" is an ignorant approach. The only way to end them is through love. The reason gangs exist is due to the absence of real love, which is unselfish love for all one's neighbors who are all of humanity.

Also, the people will not have the problem of street gangs in their consciousness and weighing on their consciences unless the gangs and their activities and the connections to overall competition and violence (including militaristic and police-state) are clearly identified.


1 Jill Serjeant. "Police to name and shame 11 worst LA street gangs." Monsters and Critics. February 8, 2007. Link. (last accessed: Thursday, February 08, 2007). Return to text body.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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