When Gangs Come to Your Neighborhood — Part 1

Patrick Roberts

Front Sight Resorts recently had the opportunity to conduct an extensive interview of a gang member in Los Angeles, a 19-year-old who got involved with gangs at about the age of ten, and who has recently gone straight.

The entire interview presents a very in-depth and detailed view of the inner workings of gangs and how they go about their business of demonstrating superiority to other gang members and average people like you and me.

Following is an excerpt from that interview, one slice of it, that we are sure you will find revealing and interesting. Welcome to the recent-past world of ex-gang member, Chris.

My first gang was when I was in elementary school. I don’t remember how old I was, but that was the Red Diamond Crew. A lot of people mistake it for a Blood gang, but it wasn’t. Started tagging up the school with it. It just kind of like, accelerates from there.

I was actually in a couple gangs, Chris continues, one was the North Hollywood Locos. That was the last gang after I was kicked out of Walter Reed Middle School. They were a bunch of Mexicans with a couple Black guys like me. Lot of drug dealing. Lot of violence. Shootings. This was a branch of an even bigger gang, which is the 18th Street, they’re a mix of Black and Mexican. A Crip gang.

Locos did what’s called gang banging a lot. Get into a hommy’s (friend’s) car and went around with guns tucked under jackets or shirts looking for another gang. You know, just kind of driving around, playing rap music, smoking weed, looking for someone. Chris goes on. A lot of times nothing really happened. Sometimes just out looking for trouble. Anybody who looks like a thug (tough guy) will do. Sometimes we’ll run into another gang out there gang banging.They talking a little shit over the car and next thing you know plow, plow, plow, you got guns back and forth.

It would behoove us to understand gangs better, because whether we like it or not, gang members are mobile. They get around and they can mess up, in an instant, any normally operating neighborhood or family.

Such as that of Matt (last name withheld), now 18, who a little over a year ago was gang banged in a pretty nice neighborhood, Woodland Hills, way on the western fringes of Los Angeles. Matt was what Chris describes as a thug, somebody who looks tough, and was randomly selected out to bang.

Chris reports, I was walking with my friend from the movies about eleven at night, a Saturday night. This car drives by, we just looked at them. Four guys jump out of the car with broken bottles and start cutting us up. Twenty seconds later, they’re gone, back in the car. And we’re in the hospital.

It happened so fast. We never expected it. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Never knew anyone it happened to either. And it hasn’t happened since.

According to a report issued in July, 2002 from the Department of Criminality and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri at St. Louis, for years 1996 through 1998, 140 cities with populations of 25,000 to 50,000 reported between 1 and 10 gang homicides in each of their cities. That is a total of 482 homicides, an average of 3.4 gang homicides per city.

This is just homicides, we are not even talking about the assaults, auto thefts, burglaries, drive-by shootings, rape and drug dealing.

How many of us still think that the gangs are somewhere else? Now is the time to disabuse ourselves of this incorrect notion. Don’t think gangs are just in Los Angeles and New York City. Chicago for many years has had more gang-related deaths annually than Los Angeles with a metro population one-quarter the size of metro L.A. Cities on the gang-murders rise include Denver, Knoxville, Phoenix, Rochester and Seattle. These are hardly the cities we usually associate with gangs.

Chris continues, Gangs travel, especially now-a-days. Gangs go out of their neighborhood into other neighborhoods. I’ve seen East L.A. Crip gang members make their way all the way up to Northridge (Nice neighborhood in the northern tip of Los Angeles).

There was rumor spreading around that some Mexican gang member’s kid got the crap beat out of him by want-to-be peckerwoods (white supremacists) that live up there.

If somebody gets the crap beaten out of them by a guy who’s representing a gang…if it’s a severe beating and he’s a real close home-boy to the gang, they are all going to go load up with guns, go out there and try to find them. You then got gang members traveling the streets looking for trouble. They will go out with groups of eight.

And what do you do if you are confronted by gang members? All you can do is make as much noise as possible. Says Chris. And run. You run, you go to someone’s front door. You pound on the door, you make as much noise as possible. If you have anything less than a gun, you’re a target, that’s it.

I’ve written a lot of stories on self defense in the past, but this interview I did with Chris was particularly chilling. If there ever was a time you would have wished you were skilled fully in the use of a handgun, it would be when you are confronted with eight gang members coming to gang-bang you and your friends or spouse. Let me assure you, you do not want to be caught in this position without adequate protection.

Only Front Sight can provide the depth and quality of training in firearms defense and youth safety that you definitely will need should gang members come to your neighborhood. Do not wait until it happens; get yourself trained now.

To find out how to keep yourself safe, and protect your family from attack, and learn the self defense and personal safety techniques that could save your life, contact Front Sight Resorts, phone, email, or visit their web site.

Patrick Roberts has written numerous articles on criminal victimization and self defense.

Click here for Part 2 of this article.