Patterico's Pontifications

1/20/2007

Steve Lopez: Where Did All the Gang Members Go?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 5:48 pm

Steve Lopez went looking for some gang members but couldn’t find any:

I went off on my own after a while, trying to find gang members. Call me naive, but I wanted to see what they had to say about race relations, what sucked them into gang life, what might get them out and why they thought it was OK to cordon off sections of the city for their exclusive use.

I had no luck in the end . . .

This isn’t where I all you naive, Steve. This is where I make fun of you.

First of all, it’s tough finding gang members in Los Angeles, to be sure. L.A. has only 39,000 or so, and they’re tough to spot.

Second, I’m sure that gang members would love to have a nice little polite chat with Steve Lopez — if only he could find one.

I’ve never met Lopez and have no idea what he sounds like, but it amuses me to picture him talking to the gang members in a voice resembling that of Professor Frink from the Simpsons:

Excuse me, Mr. Gang Member, sir. Mhey. I’m Mr. Steve Lopez, don’t you know. Could you, uh, please explain to me why you believe it’s OK to, ahhh, cordon off sections of the city for your exclusive use, mhey? [Slight pause.] Why, yes, I see. Well, that is a good reason, why, you could even call it a .38 caliber reason. Please do carry on, then, Mr. Gang Member, sir.

Lopez says the solution to the gang problem is more jobs:

“If you don’t have a job for them, it’s over,” [Connie] Rice said about what happens if you’re lucky enough to talk a kid out of a gang. “[Father] Greg Boyle is right. The only factor that has ever substantially reduced crime by gangs is jobs.”

She had a thought too on how to create them.

“You need a Manhattan Project to create violence-reduction jobs like the public works jobs from World War II,” she said, telling me Los Angeles has arrested 450,000 minors in the last 10 years and sent many of them off to prisons at tremendous public expense. “You create jobs because it’s a whole lot cheaper than what we’re doing now.”

And then all you have to do is get them to the jobs every day, on time, and make sure they do some work while they’re there.

Why, nothing could be easier, mhey.

This is where I call you naive, Steve.

25 Responses to “Steve Lopez: Where Did All the Gang Members Go?”

  1. I love solutions like that. “All” we have to do is radically change their personalities and lifestyle, then their personalities and lifestyle would be different! It’s so brilliant!

    Jinnmabe (517b2c)

  2. LA get ready for the Democrat’s Gang Membership Enhancement Act – better known as increasing the minimum wage.

    Increasing the minimum wage will reduce jobs available to young men, and by Steve Lopez’s logic, increase gang membership.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  3. The only “public works jobs” from the WWII era were in the military and, by definition, they hardly were peaceful. Connie Rice is as ignorant as she is self-assured.

    Bleepless (9f0c91)

  4. Bangers wouldn’t work for minimum wage. Heck, they probably wouldn’t work for twice minimum wage, once they see all the withholding deductions.

    And then, an employer needs to factor in costs due to employee thefts, his employees not being among the most reliable of citizens.

    ManlyDad (d62cf6)

  5. What ever became of the CRIPTS and THE BLOODS andsand remember BILL CLINTONS silly idea of MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL and any athete knows the impertence of good bed rest

    krazy kagu (376605)

  6. “Anti-gang battle needs more than just cops.”

    Actually, Officer Krupke… erm, Steve, that’s exactly what the battle needs. These people are pouring in from all over the world, are criminals and belong in jail.

    I thought the latest audit said the $50 million we sent in already accomplished nothing, and now Connie Rice wants more?!

    But Bratton will never get to run for mayor of NYC if we keep bringing up these minor details.

    OT, this is interesting. Chandlers to return to Spring Street?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  7. if all drugs were legal, the primary source of gang income would be wiped out.

    assistant devil's advocate (e57e58)

  8. If everything were legal, all illicit sources of gang income would be wiped out.

    Xrlq (01c9ab)

  9. Reminds me of the old Steve Martin bit, on “how to be a millionaire,” which went something like: “OK, first? Get a million dollars! OK, now…”

    TimesDisliker (2bc018)

  10. Maybe he couldn’t find any because they were all working at the time….

    Army Lawyer (6853dd)

  11. Here’s how it works in Bush’s United $tates: We hire the illegal aliens who gladly slave away for beans while our good citizens’ pay erodes via an oversupply of workers and the effects of inflation with stagnant wages. Sure, flood the market with cheap labor and it makes everyone happy – except of course those who do the labor. Then complain when the crime rate goes up.

    This is from a informative article on recidivism:

    The United States Department of Justice reports that “the typical offender is undereducated, unemployed and living in poverty before incarceration.”
    http://www.nashbar.org/NBJ%20online/NBJ%202007/Dec06Jan07.pdf

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (bfbfee)

  12. What’s the causal connection between “undereducated, unemployed and living in poverty” and their chosen life of crime?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  13. All he needs to do is take his Hummer Prius down to, oh, 98th and Hoover, and toll down the window. Look for the guy asking what he can get for you.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  14. ada

    Drugs aren’t the only way gangbangers “make” money

    Many have gone into identity theft…they pay homeless people or drug addicts per bagful of stolen mail. They have their “clean” girlfriends get jobs in retail or as medical receiptionists or even in court clerk offices so they have access to all sorts of valuable information.

    Jobs? In the parlance of gangbangers… that be for suckers.

    Darleen (543cb7)

  15. I strongly doubt that Lopez believes that 100% of crime problems will be thus fixed. (If I’m wrong, please forgive me.)

    Are you willing to say that 0% are correctable via assistance?

    If not, where’s the tradeoff between salvagable lives and law enforcement sunk costs?

    I’m not even a dirty hippy, but this argument is silly.

    fishbane (3389fc)

  16. If Steve Lopez “can’t find” any gang members, I recommend he go over to the Mayor’s office where he can speak to Tony Villar—er, I mean, “Antonio Villaraigosa,”—after all, I understand ol’ Tony used to run with gang members back in the day.

    Desert Rat (ee9fe2)

  17. “What ever became of the CRIPTS and THE BLOODS andsand remember BILL CLINTONS silly idea of MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL and any athete knows the impertence of good bed rest”

    -krazy kagu

    Although legibility tends to be the exception to the rule in kagu’s posts, I was able to make out some reference to the Crips and the Bloods (what said reference refers to continues to elude me).

    Now, I would assume that kagu has never seen the name of the gang on paper, and thus associated it with one of its closest equivalents in the English language.

    But their’s a problem with that, too: kagu misspelled “crypts”.

    HA. HA. HA.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  18. Leviticus,

    Kagu puts more sense in one word than you do in three GBs waste of bandwidth.

    nk (bfc26a)

  19. Sure he does, nk.

    Would you care to expound on that statement?

    Because I would question the merits of your argument.

    (This post was going to be way more impolite than it is, but I have enough respect for the general content of YOUR posts to wash the gasoline off the bridge; feel free to explain, then, what you mean).

    Leviticus (ac4602)

  20. Be as impolite as you want, Leviticus. (On Patterico’s bandwidth. Irrelevantly attacking other commenters with pettifogerry without contributing to the discussion started by our host’s post.)

    nk (ca8012)

  21. You haven’t answered the question.

    It’s not some broad category of “other commenters” that I attack with irrelevant spelling-bee bullshit; it’s just kagu. HE makes no attempt to be polite, or relevant, or objective, or coherent…yet I’m the one you accuse of wasting bandwidth.

    Oh, well. Rationality is overrated.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  22. It’s kagu’s commenting style, Leviticus. Have you ever read Ross H. Spencer’s “Purdue” stories? On the substance of his comment, he made a lot of points that I could see. Tookie Williams (Crip or Blood?) was just executed. If Mr. Lopez wants to find gang-members, maybe he should look in the jails and prisons, or; the Crips and Bloods have been around for about three generations now just waiting for Mr. Lopez to discover them (sarcasm), or; Liberal icons like Clinton and Gore really solved the gang problem (not) with midnight basketball; etc., etc., etc..

    In any case, I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings young one. I think. Although I oppose corporal punishment I do think that the kind teacher may sometimes be the bad teacher. Lessons learned hard are lessons remembered. You may feel that it’s none of my business to teach you anything but … remember … “It Takes A Village”. 😉

    nk (b57bfb)

  23. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, you have to use a hell of a lot of inference to take any meaning at all from that post. Did he mention that Lopez ought to look for gang members in prison? No. You did. Because YOU are smart and are attributing YOUR insight to his mind-puke.

    Like I said, nk, I have a lot of respect for you. Could you explain the following for me (I’m not saying that their isn’t an explanation for it, just that I don’t know it; As is common knowledge at this point, I’m not really old enough to remember the nitty-gritty of Clinton’s presidency)?

    “…remember BILL CLINTONS silly idea of MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL and any athete knows the impertence of good bed rest”

    -krazy kagu

    Finally, there are several conservatives on this sight who dismiss many (admittedly tired) rants from the left with “The Angry Left, everyone”. Patterico himself attacks individuals (m.croche, anyone?) for being stupid, or for missing the point of a post.

    (By the way, I don’t blame Patterico for getting snippy with these commenters, because they invariably attack HIM, not his positions, first [which is stupid])

    What I’m saying is that my comments regarding kagu are nothing more than a more verbose, more interesting way of saying “The Angry Right, everyone”. It’s the same sort of dismissal. I don’t hate kagu. I just don’t take him seriously. He apparently doesn’t either, or he’d stick around and debate me when I challenge the merit of his positions.

    Thanks for explaining yourself. Like I said, lots of respect from my side of the aisle.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  24. Leviticus, re

    “…remember BILL CLINTONS silly idea of MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL and any athete knows the impertence of good bed rest”

    -krazy kagu

    As best as I remember, it was a federally-funded program to take kids off the street by yes, actually, honest-to-goodness, bringing them into gyms and having them play basketball, not necessarily at midnight but certainly at a time when they should be sleeping after having done their homework. For some reason, I associate then VP Al Gore with it more than President Clinton. Perhaps he was out in public promoting it or was put in charge of administering it?

    nk (947b03)

  25. P.S. To everybody:

    Ross H. Spencer’s “Chance Purdue” stories are an undiscovered treasure trove of literary masterpieces hilarious parodies of private detective stories. I don’t know whether they are in bookstores but they are available through Amazon. They take place in Chicago’s Logan Square.

    (You might find me as a walk-on character, who sold Chance a carton of bent Camels, in one of the books. I worked my way through college and first-year law school running, respectively, a bookstore, tobacco shop and subway kiosk in Logan Square. But that’s just my conceit.)

    nk (47858f)


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