I’m going to take my full control over SWGA Politics out for a spin and cover something that Jeff would never talk about:
Albany Gang Taskforce officers met with city officials yesterday. The verdict? They’ve identified 13 gangs in Albany. They’ve even indicted 10 men for being gang members and participating in a shoot out with rival gang members (more on this later). Of course, with 13 gangs, indicting ten men seems like a drop in the bucket.
Of course, police also raided four local convenience stores on Wednesday that had illegal gambling machines. Four operations shut down. There is even a move by the District Attorney to take one of the store owners (he actually owns two of the stores) home and other property. Wow.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but why is it that gambling machines get so much of an effort by local law enforcement, but gangs (who commit actual crimes) get such minimal effort? Nice priorities, don’t you think.
Now, going back to what I said earlier, the Herald reports that those ten men are indicted for being gang members. If that’s accurate, and I’m not sure it is, I have a problem with yet another of our laws here in Georgia. People have the right to associate with whoever they want. I see nothing illegal about the mere act of being a member in a gang. It’s when it goes beyond that, into the other criminal acts associated with gangs, that it’s time to step in.
However, our Nanny State needs to make sure we do what they feel is best for us, including not being in a gang. While I agree that gangs are bad and offer no valid service to the community, the idea of the State telling me who I can associate with is ridiculous. How long before they extend this idea out to other things? Maybe the local gun club is next? Or your church?
It’s imperative to remember that freedom for all means protecting all freedoms. Any attack on a freedom is ultimately an attack on all freedoms, and this is a prime example. It can start benignly enough, but like a cancer it will spread. The argument may even be made that “we already restrict X, why not restrict Y?”
Yes, gangs are bad. Yes, our youth should avoid gangs like the plague. But no, membership in one shouldn’t be illegal. I pray the Herald’s article is wrong, and if so I’ll post an update on this post to correct the information.