My last three posts were about gang murders. The info was taken from Chapter Five of Mauro Corvasce and Joseph Paglino’s book, Murder one: A Writer’s Guide to Homicide. I should finish it up, but I just can’t get enthused about this topic. I think I’ve figured out why I don’t care for this chapter: gang murders make no sense to me. Let me explain.
We get it when a woman pops her cheating husband before he can file the divorce papers. We can see why the greedy businessman polishes off his partner to keep all the profits for himself. We understand when a brother knocks off a brother after years of bullying. Love, greed, and revenge make sense as motive. We don’t think we would ever be capable of doing something so crass or heinous as kill someone for our good pleasure–and most of us never will–but we can certainly understand it.
But I don’t understand gangs. They are a group of hoodlums banding together for violent and profit-making purposes, and bring No Good Thing to society. To me, they’re an armed mob of sociopaths. How can anyone with a conscience understand the actions of a sociopath, much less an entire group of them? Sometimes gang members kill for love, greed, and revenge, but sometimes they kill just for the thrill, or even worse, on accident (innocent bystanders). And that’s the part I don’t get.
The world would be a better place if there were no gangs (you could also end that sentence with a bunch of other stuff, but for this post, I’ll stick to gangs). And yet, our police force is not equipped to take care of the problem. I ask myself, where are these kids’ parents? But it can’t be the fault of the parents, either. Sometimes great parents end up with horrible kids. Sometimes horrible parents end up with great kids. The problem is bigger than parents and police.
So what’s the solution to this horrid problem? I don’t know. The Justice-Seeker part of me wants punishments I probably shouldn’t post in a public blog. The Compassionate side of me wants to see all these kids redeemed and put to a useful purpose in society. The Realist knows there probably isn’t an answer. Until society no longer demands the goods provided by gangs (drugs, prostitutes, guns, etc), there will always be someone willing to supply the vice. Yet even if those things were to disappear, I have a feeling gangs would find another way of funding their way of life.
As for fiction, gangs and gang-members can be terrifying antagonists because sociopaths are unpredictable and incomprehensible. There’s nothing better than a bad guy who consistently surprises the reader with new depths of cruelty and evil. I just don’t like that stuff intruding on real life. If you’ve got a word of encouragement for me, or an idea on how to get rid of gangs in real life, please share! Your comments are always welcome.
Next time, I’m moving on to the next chapter, just in case you’re wondering.