Drive-By Revisited

I read this article again today in the Daily News Journal and recalled a conversation I had with a friend from Los Angeles several months ago.  We were talking about the “take back the neighborhood” march in Lake Forest a few months ago.  He expressed concern about it, expecting violence at the actual march.  I laughed with disdain at his suggestion because, afterall, it is Tennessee and not California.

He then said something that now comes back to me, “If there are gangs in LaVergne and if they’re affiliated with the California gangs, you should expect drive by shootings.  Especially at homes where neighborhood watch leaders live.”

His prediction is a little chilling to me in the light of day.  How big is our anti-gang unit with the police department?  I’ll be saying prayers for that family and for other families in our community who are taking a public stand against gangs.   Meanwhile, I think next time an event like the March occurs – as a community we should show up in the thousands and not in the hundreds.

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22 Responses

  1. I feel different Kathy about how things are handled. I do feel the same as you on having thousands show up but I feel this….The teenagers that were caught are in jail but I also feel that the parents need to be placed in jail as well for letting their kids join or be close to gangs. this should be considered child neglect. If the Government takes a stand and shows these parents that they cant just let their kids run free and wild then maybe we can help the problem out!!! I had a fight about a month ago on a Sunday night and yes it was gang related but they were all caught and we went to court 2 weeks ago and 3 of them were underage and the parents didnt even act like they were concerned about the kids doing damamge to the building or to each other. This seems to be a major problem with the asian, mexicans, and other ethnic backgrounds. Parents just dont care but I feel they need to be held accountable.

  2. parents need to be placed in jail as well for letting their kids join or be close to gangs.

    Since Lake Forest has been the location of recent gang activity, your solution would recommend the imprisonment of all of the parents in the neighborhood for having picked a poor location to raise their children. You seem to imply that every child that has ever joined a gang or been in the proximity of one does so with the approval of their parents. I care very much for my children but I also realize that my wife and I will not be able to monitor them continuously, especially as they grow into adolescence. I can only hope that the values we’ve tried to teach will outweigh peer pressure later on and even if that wins the day, there will always be a chance of being swept up in circumstances that even the best of us couldn’t prevent.

    Though I don’t agree that parents should be required to move or face jail time when gang activity occurs nearby, every time I read of one of these incidents my desire to move to a better neighborhood increases. Fortunately I have the means to do this if/when the times comes. Sadly, not everyone is so fortunate.

  3. I was about to go off on a big long tangent, but Casey said everything I wanted to say without being rude.

    I will say this, though. You act like white kids never do bad shit, Mark. Quit being such a racist.

  4. Jail or forced move to harsh, probably. However, the notion you cannot have control over your kids is not a valid point. Do children sometimes do things they should not do … yes… However, do children who are raised properly usually get into gangs? If so… how? How do they have all this unsupervised time? Do children usually go into neighborhoods and begin shooting? If these “children” cannot be controlled by their parents and held accountable for their lack of parenting then the “children” should be held accountable. Or are we going to hold the schools, or society or any other excuse that is all to often used in excusing good parenting.

  5. I don’t think that Mark’s comment was meant to imply that white kids are perfect. In fact this article doesn’t mention any race, so I don’t know what color the gang members are, and I really don’t care.

    But I would apply the same rule here that I apply to terrorists: “Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists apparently are muslim.” That’s not to say that Christian extremists haven’t committed acts of terrorism, but I think you do have to consider people’s ethnic background.

    This is another kick in the head for the 99% of people in Lake Forest who are good people and want to have a safe, attractive neighboorhood. It was enough to make me move out of theat neighboorhood; added to recent actions it makes me wonder if I should have moved out of La Vergne?

  6. One more point: It says the gang members were from Nashville, perhaps they were targeting this La Vergne teen because he wouldn’t join the gang? That would be a very good sign.

  7. there are some white kids that act bad as well. I am also not stating that everyone in LFE IS bad just some of them are and the parents of those that act up should be held responsible for their childs actions. when we went to court over these kids fighting and tearing up property the parents didnt even come over to say they were sorry, this makes me think the parents just dont care!!! In fact they acted like we were in the wrong. If they had any kind of parents then they wouldnt be out at 2am causing problems now would they? we had 3 asians and one white guy in court so i know I am not saying its just a certain group. so for anyone to call someone racist they shouldnt. I am just glad that no one was hurt or killed the other day cause of this drive-by.

    There has been alot going on over at LFE and most of the problems have been teenagers. i.e. the fires, the gangs, the drive-by’s and the thefts. I am glad that there are people there that are doing the neighborhood watch program! MAybe this will help but it all really starts at home with those parents that need to watch their kids more closely…

  8. First things first. On a positive note, thank goodness these kids were caught.
    Now, if anybody has seen an interview of current or former gang members (which can been seen anywhere-new, talk shows, nightly news, etc.), the one thing that all of these gang members have said was the lack of attention, and love at home. Gang members want to be part of a family who will watch there back if something happens to them. Who stick up for them, and fight for them. The parents weren’t providing the number one thing a child needs. So, with that being said, where do you go from there?

  9. Jennifer you are right..you hit the nail right on the head!! parents need to be more involved with their kids!

  10. […] And I hate racists. And anyone who paints with a VERY broad brush. […]

  11. (Jennifer said): “…the one thing that all of these gang members have said was the lack of attention, and love at home. Gang members want to be part of a family who will watch there back if something happens to them. Who stick up for them, and fight for them. The parents weren’t providing the number one thing a child needs. So, with that being said, where do you go from there?”

    EXACTLY! Where DO we go from here? It’s easy for anyone to say “The parents need to do more, love more, be there more, etc, etc, etc.” HOWEVER, just HOW in the world to we (or anybody else for that matter) FORCE these un-caring parents to “care”?

    I’m Just Sayin’……

  12. EXACTLY! Where DO we go from here? It’s easy for anyone to say “The parents need to do more, love more, be there more, etc, etc, etc.” HOWEVER, just HOW in the world to we (or anybody else for that matter) FORCE these un-caring parents to “care”?

    That’s part of the problem- the kids that are behaving themselves have parents that give a crap, and the kids that aren’t generally have parents that don’t. We can’t force those parents to give a crap by jailing them or otherwise because that becomes a very slippery slope.

    2 more things, I’m myth-busting here. First, Michaels says “But I would apply the same rule here that I apply to terrorists: “Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists apparently are muslim.”” No, not all terrorists are Muslim- does the name Timothy McVey ring a bell? What about the IRA?

    The other thing I wanted to myth-bust is this idea that gang members join gangs because they want a family. That may or may not be a part of it, but the real reason people join gangs is because of money. Poverty and greed causes organized crime.

  13. If this situation turns out to be ANYTHING other than this “victim” being a wannabe gangsta thug…..I’ll eat my hat. Being a neighborhood watch block captain isn’t a factor in this episode. Tennessee Gangstas…If only California could see us now. : )

  14. I just found out this morning that this family used to be our neighbors in Nashville and they were well liked and she moved her family to our city because Nashville was becoming so bad but it seems to have followed her now and I hope for this dear sweet woman that things work out for her…Ms Pam my prayers are with you

  15. Mark:
    “This seems to be a major problem with the asian, mexicans, and other ethnic backgrounds.” = Racism

    Michael:
    “Not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists apparently are muslim.” = WTF???????!!!!!!!!!! Have you never heard of the Irish Republican Army, Tim McVeigh, or the Basque separatists? And I don’t know about you, but the KKK sure seem like terrorists to me.

    Meanwhile, are there any positive programs/activities that kids in the area can participate in which would help them build a stronger sense of self and realize that they can do more with their lives?

  16. I have been reading on the gangs and the make up of most gangs and yes I was right about most gangs being of different backgrounds…go here to read more people and before you call someone racist you need to do more research!!!

    http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs1/1017/overview.htm…..taken from the website


    Bloods and Crips

    Bloods and Crips are violent street gangs that formed in Los Angeles in the 1960s. The gangs are primarily African American in composition. Both gangs comprise loosely organized factions or sets that are typically turf- or neighborhood-oriented. Generally, gang sets are established by an entrepreneurial individual who runs the set and recruits members to distribute drugs, primarily cocaine. Bloods and Crips distribute drugs in California and in other states, including Tennessee. Although Bloods and Crips sets are located throughout the United States, not all gangs that claim to be Bloods or Crips are affiliated with the Los Angeles-based Bloods or Crips. Bloods and Crips embrace the principles of individualism, loyalty to their own members, and violence against other gangs. Bloods and Crips harbor deep hatred toward each other and each considers the other a rival. The two gangs will, however, cooperate in criminal ventures for profit.

    Gangster Disciples

    Gangster Disciples is the largest Chicago-based street gang and its members primarily are African American. This gang has been in existence since the early 1960s and has an organizational hierarchy similar to a corporation. The gang distributes cocaine, heroin, and marijuana primarily throughout Chicago, usually in low-income areas on the south and west sides of the city, and in over 40 states including Tennessee.

    Mara Salvatrucha

    Mara Salvatrucha is a violent street gang with a strong presence in California, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Virginia and an increasing presence in Tennessee, primarily Nashville. Original members were refugees from the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s; many were former soldiers and guerrillas well-trained in weapons and warfare tactics. Current members include second generation Salvadorans as well as other Hispanics. Mara Salvatrucha members have distributed drugs, primarily marijuana, and committed aggravated assaults, assaults on law enforcement officials, homicides, home invasions, auto thefts, and black market weapons violations. Gang members sometimes trade marijuana for weapons, particularly handguns. Some of the weapons are retained for personal use and some are smuggled to El Salvador.

    Vice Lords

    Vice Lords is the oldest street gang in Chicago, and its members are predominantly African American. Vice Lords distributes cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and some heroin in Chicago, Tennessee, and other states. Vice Lords gangs in Tennessee are located predominantly in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. Vice Lords is split among major factions: Conservative Vice Lords, Traveling Vice Lords, and Four Corner Hustlers.

  17. One more thing before I drop the subject. I do know a few gangs members and they wont do anything to the regular person. If some other differnt gangs crosses them then they will do something but for us average people they wont hurt any of us. I have talked with known gang members before about this touchy subject and they have told me that as long as no one bothers them they are fine. the asians wont do anything unless provoked too!

  18. Mark, I was about to post a comment a few days ago but I stop myself.

    People need to stop calling people RACIST!!! I get so tired of this. I see it more and more people making this statement.

    I went to the townhall meeting about the young lady got that was yanked out of her car and some speakers tried to put a race spin on it. I am a white male and I am here to tell you everyone get treated this way in La Vergne maybe not to the this extreme but the last thing you want in La Vergne it to get pulled over.

    Your comment is correct.

    “I was right about most gangs being of different backgrounds…go here to read more people and before you call someone racist you need to do more research!!!”

  19. I want to say thank you for thinking this and it really wasnt right for someone to call me that …..she has called me that several times in the past because i was stating my opinion and it shouldnt be said. Some people take others words and take them out of text. i did post on my blog something about this person but then took it down because i didnt want to offend her but she is still talking about this over at her blog. drop the issue already please.

    these blogs are meant to get different opinions of people. there is such a thing called free speach. the kkk is considered a gang and so are the white power people and so on.

  20. Mark has 7 comments on this post. I have 3, including this comment. Now, who won’t leave it alone?

  21. Sarah N: “Have you never heard of the Irish Republican Army, Tim McVeigh, or the Basque separatists? And I don’t know about you, but the KKK sure seem like terrorists to me.”

    When I made my statement, I specificaly used the qualifier “apparently.” The IRA has been all but disbanded, McVeigh is who I was referring to as a Christian “extremeist,” and as for the KKK, when’s the last time you heard of the klan killing someone, much less organizing to kill thousands of people? I’m not saying I agree with the kkk, but you will always have rouge groups of every race who will want to kill others. It’s very prominent in prisons, and we need to make sure it styays there and doens’t come to our streets.

  22. Wow your making the assumption that Mark is a racist. Has anyone heard of “Thou Shalt Not Judge.”

    This is not my statement but it get my point across!
    “Calling someone racist without showing the facts is dangerous, not to mention potentially racist itself.”

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