Rising Gang Activity: What Armed Citizens Need to Know – USA Carry

May 31, 2024 | 0 comments

Gang violence is nothing new within the Continental United States.  Urban areas, in particular, are often plagued by criminal gang violence.  Even in the 19th Century, areas like the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan were ruled by rival gangs.  Then, Prohibition gave rise to the mobs of the 1920s and after.  Clearly, gang activity and the associated violence that comes with it is nothing new.  The later 20th Century saw the rise and dominance of street gangs, such as the notorious Bloods and Crips, in cities like Los Angeles.  Following this, particularly violent gangs originating out of Latin America, such as MS13, gained prominence.

The open Southern Boarder of the United States is a gift that keeps giving.  Fostered by the current administration, illegal migration into the United States has been encouraged, and many millions have entered the nation in the past several years.  Many of the people crossing the border are violent criminal actors with gang affiliations.  Certainly , the problem should be self-evident for anyone willing to look critically at the situation; even if only a small percentage of the people entering are bad actors, the numbers are staggering.  Many of these hardened criminals who have been allowed to simply waltz into the country have bolstered the ranks of Latin American gangs in a variety of cities throughout the nation.

This escalation is certainly one that our nation does not need.  The United States has long had a startling number of criminal gangs.  Currently, the FBI estimates some 33,000 active criminal gang enterprises nationwide.  A significant percentage of annual homicide is tied directly to gang activity, often gang-on-gang killings.  Why should the armed citizen be concerned?

Common forms of Gang Violence

The fact remains that the bulk of gang violence is targeted towards other rival gangs.  If you are not involved in gang activity yourself , you are relatively unlikely to be a direct target.  However, this is not a given.  Some of the particularly brutal gangs, such as MS13, have been known to initiate members by requiring they simply murder a person who is not associated with the gang.  The aspiring member will literally be told to “go kill that store clerk” or the like.  If you find that hard to comprehend, then it is time to work on your mindset and understand that criminals are not like you; they are not governed by your sense of decency or respect for human life.   They will kill innocent people, literally, as part of an initiation.

Beyond just initiation killings, such gang members can be particularly brutal when conducting robberies.  These criminals will not hesitate in the slightest before killing a victim during the commission of robbery and theft.  Substantially large groups of criminal gang members often work together to rob public places.  Another gang-related trend is that of violent home invasions conducted by multiple assailants.  Often , such home invasions are actually targeting rival gang houses or drug dens, and sometimes, the crew gets the address wrong and invades the home of innocent people.

Considerations for Defensive Skills and Equipment

Of great concern, such gang members often act in multiple numbers, and gang-related crime often involves multiple armed aggressors.  When we witness carjackings, street robberies, and assaults that are gang-related, we commonly see several attackers.  This should give the armed citizen pause.

Another characteristic common among hardened gang members is a fierce determination to commit a violent act that is not seen as often seen among other criminal actors.  A gang member who has lived a horrendous life of violence and likely spent time in prison is probably not going to be impressed when you point a gun at him.  Such individuals have had guns pointed at them before, likely many times.  Many of these individuals have been shot and stabbed before.  Counting on the ability to dissuade a violent attack by just the defensive display of a firearm is not a sound tactic when dealing with such individuals.

The foremost means of staying safe from gang activity is to avoid the locations in which they are known to operate.  Most mid-size and large cities have recognized bad areas that are rife with crime, and gang activity accounts for the bulk of this notorious criminal behavior.  Stay out of such areas.  Gangs typically control the drug trade and other nefarious activity in such locations, and these inner-city neighborhoods should be avoided .  When in a city, even if specifically in the known “better” areas, which are typically the business or shopping districts, have your head on a swivel.  Be especially alert to groups of young men.  Do some research so that you are familiar with the general look, dress, tattoos, and behavior of the gang members in the vicinity that you live in or are visiting.

Finally, consider the weaponry that you carry and your own skill level.  If you are threatened by gang violence, you are likely to be dealing with multiple attackers who are committed and determined to finish their violent task.  The means to neutralize multiple, determined adversaries is in order.  This likely points to a handgun that is sufficiently sized to have the capacity and shoot-ability that is up to the task.   While small pocket guns and small-frame revolvers serve a definite role in personal protection, if you have the choice, consider carrying the more substantial pistol when setting foot in urban areas.

Increasing gang activity should be on the radar of the prepared citizen.

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