Poll: If Another Gang War Has Started, Can Anything Be Done to Stop It?

In light of this month's shootings, do you worry about rising gang problems in Santa Clara County?


It's the story tv news directors love to lead their show with, the story often on the front page of the local paper.

It's also the story we're comfortable ignoring. Yet the story, and the result, is probably already in many neighborhoods near us.

Murders in San Jose of young men, often attributed to gang violence, have increased dramatically in August.

According to the San Jose Police Department, 33 people have been murdered this year; at least 13 of them appear to be gang-related.

This week, that detailed how the San Jose violence is moving very close to the Campbell city limits. Said the police chief of Campbell, "Criminals obviously do not respect or care about jurisdictional boundaries or city borders."

In Santa Cruz, August 8 as he was apparently walking home from football practice.

In Watsonville, on August 18 when he was jumped by a group of five men; four chased him down as he fled and stabbed him multiple times. The group shouted gang slurs at the man as he ran.

The uptick in gang violence prompted a of our Los Gatos Patch.

Writer Enrique Flores describes himself as the founder of the nonprofit mentoring program Eastside Heroes, the director of the Corazon Project in East San Jose, and a policy aide for Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.

Flores says we're not seeing a spike in gang violence. He says we're seeing "the start of the second war." "Once a war begins," says Flores, "it is almost impossible to stop."

The causes of gangs and gang violence are often debated. Flores mentions three specific ideas:

  • Our younger generation has been desensitized to violence by the time they're in the second grade.
  • Guns are now utilized more often as weapons of choice, thanks in part to the sale of toy guns that teach kids it's okay to play with guns.
  • Our society's failure to create sufficient job opportunities and livable wages have created the conditions for self-destructive despair.

"Sadly, it is too late for prevention talk," says Flores. "Now is the time for relentless intervention efforts."

"Now, more than ever," says Flores, "is the time to restore hope. Now is the time to fight for more funding. Now is the time to declare war on poverty and despair. Now is the time to embrace all in kinship, and realize that those who we believe deserve love the least, are actually the ones that need it the most."

What do you think? Have you been touched by gang violence? Are there other solutions beyond what Flores suggests, perhaps more tangible solutions?

We've given you some ideas to vote for in our poll. But it's a tough issue, so let us know if you've got some other ideas in your comments.

kd August 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Yes, parents have to take responsibility, but how can you not put some of the blame on the US government? Let's look at the drug trade which is big business for gangs. The Attorney General was involved in sending weapons to drug cartels in Mexico (look up "Fast and Furious." ) This resulted in hundreds if not thousands of deaths including several Americans. Yet he has not even been fired, yet alone arrested. Why does this govenment make our troops in Afganistan grow opium poppies? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj-b3pB6M7s Why has no one from Wachovia been arrested for laundering 375 Billion dollars of drug money? http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html This is not a new problem that Obama can take full credit for, our government has been involved in shady deals for quite a while. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm 'The Kerry Committee report concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." ' Laws should be applied uniformly, not just to kids out on the streets.
Doris Bonilla August 28, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Parents need to do a better job of stepping up in their role of supervising their kids. Yes, I agree. We love our children and they are our life. Now, they can not understand why they do not have the best toys or best games. We, the parents need to control the way we spend our money on our children, the programs they watch, the movies they need to see, more often with values, self esteem, corage, ect. If we can not teach them, let the see something that inspared them. One example: go to the hospital and visit children, go to the museums, go camping in the nearest park for a day, play some games together. I know that they get bored but explained them that life can have ups and down, Teach them to have positive thought, that only them can make a change on their life. But we have to make our part too.
TZ August 28, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Yes Patricia obomba ... His total inability to get the economy rolling has resulted in the los of the major gains that were making huge progress.. Coupled with the letting loose of criminals, and the early release programs we have wasted all the gain .. Yes I totally agree about the parenting issue, but sad to say, that is something we cannot fix unless there is drug testing, or some sort of accountability for receiving welfare, which again . Won't happen !!! We have to regain our tax base and have jobs to regain any progress and also have a road these kids can get on.. Hell, I'm thinking of selling drugs... I'm losing my house , I don't even do them , or no where to sell em.. I'm half joking there, but .. This prez for 4 years has done nothing to get the economy going, so that we have the resources to fight this major social problem !!!
I disagree, I started my business 2 years ago and my business is doing well, I have hired many people who really needed jobs. I sold 3 properties all within a matter of days, somebody is buying real estate. Budget cuts and criminals getting released early are Jerry Brown's fault. We need help for the ill with stem cell research which Obama has funded, we got the stimulus package from PRESIDENT OBAMA which is paying for the expansion of 880 which is greatly needed for those working and not sniveling! As for the gangs maybe when the 49ers move to their new stadium we can round up all the gang members and let'em fight it out at Candlestick Park.
TZ August 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Some business thrive on a down economy, towing biz for repos, storage companies for foreclosures, repo guys, pawn shops, stress management , or certain medical entities... I'm not sure of your new biz, but overall, it's been dismal.. You selected only what you wanted out of my comment.. Brown is forced to make that call because of the economy as well... Glad your doing well, but a couple road improvements is a far cry from helping get out of this hole America is in !! It's gonna take business and jobs to build the base back up to have the support to fight gangs, unless as you put it we just give up on them and let them kill each other, surprisiing to hear an obomba fan not care about the social tragedy .. Of course look at his home base of chi town !!


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