Growth brings increase in gang activity

WILMINGTON -- As our population grows so does crime. The growth of gangs in our area is of special concern. But gangs like the bloods and the crips aren't native to our area -- they've been imported from the big cities on both coasts. Gangs are relatively new here. Police first noticed their presence in 1995. Now, 13 years later, there are clear signs of gang activity across the area. Gang symbols and people flashing hand signs can be seen all over town. John -- not his real name -- moved to Wilmington about four years ago. He says he became a high-ranking gang member in New York after stabbing a man nine times. For almost a decade, his life revolved around the gang until four years ago when he got out. And more ominously John says he has already begun to see the evolution of gangs in this community and fears they could become as violent and as dangerous as the gangs in New York. John said, "Me coming from the city, and seeing how the gangs started, where they started, how they elevated, Wilmington is headed to that stage." He says the life lead by gang members is often one that leads to death, and that parents and teachers need to teach children at an early age about the dangers of gang activity. "I don't think it can be stopped, but I think it can be slowed down tremendously and it can start in the homes." John now uses his experience as an example for others by speaking out about the destructiveness of gangs at public forums. He hopes what he has to say will help others who might be taking a turn for the worse. "I love my life now. Being gang-free, being with my family, you know, I love being gang free," John said. Theresa Huffman works at the county's Juvenile Day Treatment Center with children and young people who might be recruited by gangs. She says over the years she has seen the gangs in the area grow and says it will only get worse in the future. "If we as a people don't get a grip on it right now, they will really take over the entire land and country," Huffman said. Huffman says the rising number of school dropouts in the area is what is leading to gang growth. "That child doesn't go to school. That child is hanging out on the street corners. The gang members are hanging out on the street corners. They're offering different incentives saying, hey if you hang with us, I can get you some nice shoes. Your mom's not going to do that for you. That's allowing our kids to grow more and more rapidly," Huffman said. Huffman has been working with law enforcement agents and former gang members to create public meetings at area churches to educate parents, teachers and children about the consequences and dangers of getting involved in gang activity. WPD Officer Roderick Hamilton said, "This is a deadend thing that they are joining. The biggest thing they need to know is to mind their parents and stay away from the gangs because it's just going to lead to a jail sentence or a loss of life." Michelle and Jon-Paul Guarino head the county's gang task force and are taking a different approach to cut down on gang activity. Guarino said, "Our primary objective isn't to lock a gang member up. If you take a gang member or young person and put them in prison, they are just going to become a better gang member." The task force has adopted programs which get possible gang members or gang members involved in activities which keep them busy and help the community, such as getting gang members to teach mentally disabled children to ride a horse or get involved in art classes. "I think the activity would be decreased because kids would be exposed to healthy alternatives," Guarino said. "Prevention has to start early, it has to be consistent, it has to be implicated in the schools and after school programs and churches. We really need to come together as a community to make the outlook look as good as it does with the programs in place." Huffman says the programs implemented by the gang task force are effective less than 50 percent of the time. The success rate goes on a case by case basis and is also based on the amount of mentoring each child receives.

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I propose a gang banger hunting season. People are aloud to purchase a license and get a list of all known gang bangers. You have a set limit of lets say 5 per season. That would work out great. It would boost the economy per license sales, and start to limit the amount of gang bangers around.
I second this motion.
My wife and I both cary Glock model firearms, legally concealed. My wife fires on average 100 rounds per week at targets, and myself between 100 and 300 rounds per week. We have been doing that every week for the past seven years. While I think guns vs. guns is the last resort and is not the answer.. The second one of these thugs tries to threaten me with bodily harm, or robs me at gun point, I WILL watch them drop dead with ten rounds to the head and I will not loose a second of sleep over it. If I feel my life or my family's life is anywhere close to harm, "God pitty da fooo"... Oh yes... for the record I am not law enforcement, and would you like me to place those ten rounds at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 yards ? Point? If I get robbed by a gang... they had better run very......very...fast.
Most gang members are cowards that have to fight in "packs" to be tough. They shoot people as an alternative to fist fighting. Only cowards use a gun to perpetuate violence. Real men settle beef (worst case scenario) with their fists. Kids that turn to gangs usually don't have a strong male role model growing up, therefore they have weak minds and are easily led astray by gang members. Strong minds are not so naive. So if you read this and you are in a gang you are weak minded, and a wuss!

yo what it do i came to reply to ur lil comment im in a gang well........no im not im in a nation gangs really arnt as bad as yall think there stupid but not bad im a high ranked member people say they got out and all this other s**t no they were never in it u cant get out of it i finally got all gang beef to chill after my cuzin got killed the police act like we are doing this it is them doing this running people out there own hoods then they have to go to sumone else hood im 74 gd gangsta disciple the highest in wilmington see did yall no we dont beef with no body anybody that hates gangs sorry when u have no one to love or love u back and a group of people take u in and show u that u can be loved and show u how to live that means a lot to the lil ones in the hood i bet anything the person that made this comment im replying to is either white or never stayed more then an hour or 2 in the hood gangs aint so bad my girl and they love of my life was blood didnt matter to me but i got a question sence yall so into gangs what do u think the city will be like if all gangs stop the beef and join all togeather even though we know that wont happen

If you read the prior post, you will all get an understanding of what gangs are made up of;as if we didn't know already. Not exactly a very articulate person we are dealing with here. It's pure dribble. These kids are all mentally challenged. I couldn't find a single point he was trying make. He says something about it's the police that's causing the problems by forcing them to "other hoods". WTF?

People we cannot talk reasonably and with logic because they can't comprehend logic. It's a loosing battle people. Everyone who can get a concealed weapon permit should get one.Then go out and get yourself the most powerful handgun that you can handle safely. Then when these punks approach to rob or harm....DRT! Dead Right There!

I attempted to read your (ghost) long, wandering, lack of punctuation post but I decided I had better things to do with my time. Try to grow up a little and seek an education to fill the empty void between your ears. It isn't too late.

Some strong minded youth are also influenced into gangs....What about the young man who is threatened to be in a gang form his neighborhood...his parent(s) can not move out of the situation and he/she faces getting a spoonfull of beatdowns everyday until they join. It can be a frustrating situation for a young person..I have witnessed it....
So I guess if you lived in the same neighborhood you were forced to join a gang also huh?
buy a gun, take a CCW course, learn, practice and respect your weapon, protect yourself and your family. these gang scumbags don't care who they kill,rape,rob or hurt..law enforcement can't be everywhere.....don't be a victim
So the answer to gang violence is to buy a gun? Brilliant. Truly profound thinking you've done there.

If we the people (law abiding) are all "packing heat" then the common thug will think twice before he thinks about hurting someone. Plus the benifts dont stop there. This would also lead to less thug monkeys running around on the street because half of them would be in thier graves because they have tried to rob someone. Lets start standing up for ourselves and not let these low lifes take over. THERE SCUM OF THE EARTH!

Carrying around a gun while it is a right, is a sad commentary on the state of our community today. The chances of getting killed in your car are much greater than getting killed by a gang member. While common and guesty are, I assume responsible with their fire arms what about the hothead that carries his gun around and gets in a road rage incident and has his gun readily available? If everyone ran around with their gun by their side, I assure you, their would be an increase in violence not a decrease.
Why don't you come into the real world. It is getting worse every day. I do not go any where without my weapon. I hope I don't have to use it, but I would rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Not only buy a gun, but use the gun on these thugs when they try to roll you. These thugs only speak violence so that is how you have to talk to them.
Why yes, one must defend themself, am I to take it you want to sit down and talk it over with them?
All you have to remember is to say to LEO's is repeatedly, "I feared for my life" or "They was going to hurt us if I didn't." They (perps) don't have to be in your home and you do have to feel like your life or someones life is in immediate danger. And by the way, go take gun safety classes and practice often. There are some really nice places around that cater to families with younger children that teach gun safety as well as gun effectiveness. Finding a nice hunting club that will be Ok with your family target practicing is well worth the cost of membership. Any time with kids is well spent and they might actually live a better life knowing about the uses and dangers of guns. It's the parent attention starved kids that have unrealistic designs in their heads pulling a Columbine school shooting. I take the approach that if I'm not prepared to kill then it isn't worth me considering pulling my gun. I carry a .45 and know well how to use it. I have competed in the stock Glock competitions in Charlotte and won my share and hunt often so killing isn't strange to me. I find now that I avoid situations where I might even remotely have to fear for my life because I might have to defend it. And on another note... there are more and more drivers in our area each day. Be kind and don't flip off the driver that you think is bright-lighting you from behind. He might be less inclined to shoot your sorry butt for flipping or brighting him back than I am. All we need is some gang members using this as an excuse to kill somebody to get street cred like they did in Lumberton a few years ago.
You're a certified coward. You must have gotten beaten up alot as a kid.
I think we have found the roofie dealer mention in the articles about the drugged woman. Only a creep like ACE here can stoop that low.
A person of your stature with such limited intelligence is completely unqualified to "certify" someone as a "coward". Unfortunately, these "faceless" forums concerning controversial subjects such as gang violence and how we are to protect ourselves from it seem to attract uneducated and troubled individuals such as yourself that only has enough effective brain matter to poke ribs. I would bet that if you ever get out of your shed, you still get beat up a lot....
I only have an obligation to protect my life and property. I'm not foolish enough to think that I can save the world. Most gang members, whatever color or race, carry enough socio-economic baggage to present an unsolvable problem, anyway. It's just like the Wild West out there, pardner! The citizens of the town have to start defending themselves because the marshall and his deputies are outnumbered by the bad guys.
Just a bit overboard don't you think? Another coward. This isn't compton. I bet you have a 20 foot tall fence around your house. And a moat! LOL!!
Most of us like to see the world as it really is. We carry guns because if the need ever arises, we won't be caught short. I hate to wish bad on anybody, but I hope you get what is coming to your little flaming butt soon enough. Only cowards like you come on here dropping asinine comments to get your jollies. You certainly fall into the sick category.
Compton is the only place in the world where people are victimized by criminals. Of course, unless you've ever faced down a weapon and had to rely upon your own to save your life, I guess bravado is a luxury that's easily afforded. Good luck, tough guy.
The man you responded to is referring to protection and self-preservation, not an answer. Only the most responsible and respectable citizens are granted a CCP (concealed carry permit) after a stringent background check and ZERO criminal history. The answer to violence is to get the THUGS off the street to prevent them from robbing your back pocket and raping your wife or daughter. The NYC police can't seem to do it, do you think the Wilmington PD and Sheriff can? You had best hope that one of these outstanding CCP citizens is around when one of the psychopathic gangmembers decides to target you and that he is "profound" enough to save someone with the mentality to bring a knife to a gunfight. Do you ever watch over your back as you hear someone walking closely behind you? Would you have a clue as to what to do to protect yourself against someone willing and eager to cut your throat for that wrinkled $20 bill in your pocket? Either be prepared to resist or simply submit......your choice!!! This is NOT a grey area!
A gun is not the answer to gangs, gang violence or assaults, home invasions or theft... IT"S A STATEMENT!!!! It states that I am a free American. Washed in the blood of my forefathers who paid the ultimate price for this gift of freedom. It states that I will protect my Family, my home and my community from those who choose to threaten us, from within our borders or out. It states that, I cannot prevent an attack, but it does state I’ll drop you in your tracks!!!!!
Don't take a knife to a gun fight. Fight fire with fire. These punks are well armed. I think it would be very wise to arm and train yourself to proprerly and responsibly protect yourself. Calling 911 isn't gonna protect you. I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
It may not be the answer, but you do have a right to protect yourself. And like the previous poster stated, LEO can't be everywhere. If I have to run to the store at 10:30 at night and I'm approached by a group of young thugs, what do you expect us to do to? Hand over everything I've busted my butt on all week? Not a chance in hell. If they want what's mine, they are going to have to fight for it. And I would have no trouble pulling out my .40 to make sure they don't get what's mine.
One says gangs are cowards, one says arm yourselves one says "LEO" (PLEASE) cant be everywhere. You know if you all would read what each other are truly saying you do not sound like a gang yourselves; just a gun crazy angry mob. Well that sounds like a gang somewhat. If you would stay away from the guns(not get rid of them hey even I believe in rights) and pay more attention to what your kids are doing at school, at home, with their friends, don't let grandma or a single female raise your kids maybe, just maybe, the gangs will stop getting fresh recruits to fund the war against "PO PO" and the rest of America. "PUT DOWN THE X-BOX AND SLOWLY MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELVES". Unify as a nation, label no one person, truly deserve your rights as an American and stand for what is right; a healthy set of responsibilities. One Love.
Gangs are domestic terrorists, and should be classified as enemy combatants. I firmly believe that the only way to combat this plague of GangBangers is to allow parents to dicipline bad behavior, without the govrnment stepping in to say that a good spanking, is child abuse, we have a whole generation who has not been taught any morals,or respect for their elders, anything is ok to them for there are no consequences for their actions, jail is a joke now a days the criminals get three square meals a day, and get to hang with their homie's. Spare the rod, Spoil a whole civilization. it's almost too late to change, for that generation is now raising the gangsta's that roam most of this great nation's city streets. I'll Carry my Firearm and hopfully I'll never have to use it........