October 2nd, 2006 11:09 AM
Gang Leader's Perspective;Thought Provoking
In my line of work (criminal defense lawyer), I (not surprisingly) deal constantly with criminals. Most of the ones I deal with are drug users and drug dealers. Occasionally I'll get someone who is genuinely malevolent. Most are not. Most are weak. A few have screws loose. Some are stupid, a few never really were exposed to anything except hustling to make a living.
But not too long ago I represented an honest-to-God gang LEADER (not young, dumb, full of !@!@#!). He was old for a gang-banger (over 30) and had been in the game a long, long time. In fact, as gangs go, he was a fairly distinguished sort of senior member. He was, in their terminology, "O.G." ("Old Gangsta" or "Original Gangsta", I forget which).
The guy was intelligent, and I wondered what kind of waste of human potential had taken place. Had he been educated and applied his interpersonal skills and intelligence to legitimate pursuits, he certainly wouldn't have ended up going to the pen for a long, long time. Maybe he wouldn't have been Bill Gates. But he certainly was capable of a house in the 'burbs and running his own business.
We got to talking about guns. He had been a convicted felon for many years, but that never interfered with his ability to get a gun. In fact, as time went on and his stature in the gang increased, it got easier. It was nothing to mention to someone who needed some "street cred" that he wanted a gun and to have one or several produced before the end of the day. The young guys would do whatever it took to enhance their own standing, which is how it works. They'd go rob someplace and get a gun.
Or they'd go buy one from a dealer after they sold enough drugs to buy it. They weren't particularly frightened of the "Straw Man" warning and Form 4473.
Or they'd just buy one from someone else. Not a problem.
Which got me to thinking. What kinds of guns did they like? I asked him.
They didn't care. They weren't really brand-conscious, though Glocks were common. They didn't know enough about guns to check (or care) if they worked properly, either.
As long as it was a gun, it was cool. And some of the OG's had hundreds of guns collected. They had no idea what brand, caliber, their value, etc. Just a pile of guns.
And then we discussed shootings at some length.
This suprised me, but it shouldn't have, given their pretty casual attitude toward functionality.
Often when they shot at people, they didn't care if they hit them or not. They didn't particularly try. They just wanted it known that they were shooting at so-and-so.
They wouldn't shed tears if they killed him, mind you, but that wasn't the point. The shooting at him was the point. Many drive-by shooting deaths border on the accidental. Or at least the incidental or collateral.
So they can barely use guns and don't really know how to shoot them very well. Or care. Of course, they can kill you just as dead as if they were graduates of Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, LFI, etc.
But I'd rather face the idiot gang members than someone who knows what he's doing.
The good guys have an advantage here, I'm thinking. But we have the disadvantage of the gangbangers being aggressive and unpredictable.
The guy clinched it for me when he said it was like this: "Randy, they was 'shooters', NOT 'marksmen'".
October 2nd, 2006 12:12 PM
I suppose some of them would attempt to aim if they were really serious. Reminds me of Ron White talking about the Kehoe shootout, where 46 shots were fired and nobody was hit.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
October 2nd, 2006 12:57 PM
Fascinating insight Randy - and I hope as always that at least the BG majority is of the same ''shooter'' rather than ''marksman'' category. Not that we should ever assume such naturally.
Exactly - and no amount of extra gun control will radically alter that, at all!
He had been a convicted felon for many years, but that never interfered with his ability to get a gun.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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October 2nd, 2006 01:16 PM
If only the anti-gunners would talk to these types of people and figure this out.
October 2nd, 2006 01:38 PM
very interesting read. it kinda makes sense though, from a crazy skewed perspective. We see guns as a tool, a means to an end (personal protection). It would make sense that a gangster would see guns as an end in themselves, in the form of status. Thus, we take the time to practice and enhance our skills, and they do not.
October 2nd, 2006 10:13 PM
I think this is proof that mindset is primary. The aggressive mindset vs. the "normal" mindset that is hesitation, difficulty in acceptance of the circumstances ("This can't be happening to me!") and the other things that slow the reaction. The crooks don't have it...no guilt, no worry about circumstances, no feelings.
But we have the disadvantage of the gangbangers being aggressive and unpredictable.
Last edited by sheepdog; October 2nd, 2006 at 10:20 PM.
What Would Gumby Do?
October 3rd, 2006 12:25 AM
to be honest this doesnt surprise me with the amount of people shot on accident,.....they really have no training on how to shoot properly. Most watch too much tv and i think that is probably good for the rest of us....lmao
October 3rd, 2006 01:31 AM
The gun turned sideways, should give you a clue...
They think looking "cool", is more important than hittin' the target!
Good. Better for us. Just nature's way of thinning the herd.
Always remember: 3 can keep a secret, if 2 are dead!
October 4th, 2006 12:19 AM
I don't wish to belittle you or Tulsa but your observation isn't universal. In a previous life, I spent a great deal of time working amongst some rather serious gang bangers in L.A., New Orleans, and Southern Florida, and there is no doubt in my mind that amongst the heavy hitters proficiency and appreciation of fine weapons ran every high.
The good news is that the likelihood of a honest citizen becoming involved in a confrontation with one of these individuals (by the way O.G. stands for Original Gangster).
October 4th, 2006 07:31 AM
Good thread. Interesting reading.
October 4th, 2006 07:55 AM
Seems to me criminals are alot like shooters. Everyone knows how to shoot, some practice and train, while the majority rely on their gun to save em.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
October 4th, 2006 08:28 PM
No offense taken whatsoever. I was a little surprised by what the guy had to say myself and I wouldn't think it was universal among all gangbangers.
It would surprise me a great deal if there weren't some gang members, particularly higher-up ones in larger cities who didn't possess knowledge and skill regarding weaponry.
October 4th, 2006 11:36 PM
Lots of people can shoot, but not hit anything.
I am glad that they aren't marksmen and I hope that they stay that way. I'd much rather deal with a "OG Shoota, just layin' down some lead in da hood to show da young pimps how to represent."
I think this case exists in some foriegn theatres as well. My brother in law was in Somolia and he said that if you got shot it was pretty much bad luck because the Somolis were horrible shots.
I also heard a Green Beret who is working to train the Iraqi Army, talking on NPR . He said they needed officers so he put the word out and a couple of highly recomended older (street Cred) Iraqis came to join up. He asked them about their backgrounds and they told him that they were experienced fighters.
He said he took them to the range and asked if they knew how to shoot Kalishnakovs, to which they replied in the affirmative. He cut them loose on some targets and said that they did know how to shoot, but couldn't hit anything, because they didn't know how to aim their fire. They just sprayed bullets, like in the Osama video.
I hope that if one is ever shootin it out with me that they are using the spray and pray method. I'll be trying to employ the "one shot one kill" method, I hope.
When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.
October 5th, 2006 01:29 AM
It would do no good. Antis are opposed to the law abiding being armed, not criminals.
Originally Posted by Lew
Most will even admit that gun control won't prevent most criminals from getting a gun, but they believe that gun control will make it harder for criminals to get guns (even if only slightly ... I guess they figure that if gun control means it takes a criminal 4 hours instead of 15 minutes to procure a firearm that will cut down on the amount of damage he does). They just can't accept the idea that a gun could be used for good therefore if you make it harder for the law abiding to get guns you do no harm because no good can come from guns (except for cops guns).
They also believe guns are evil talismans that take over the minds of normal people turning them into killers. I believe this is mostly projection ... most antis are bad people who would kill you in a heartbeat or at least fear they are capable of such evil (therefore EVERYONE must be just as evil as they).
Then there's the idea that most antis are actually just anti white male Christian Republican and guns are something that white males, Christians and Republicans like so they hate them.
Antis live in a permanent cloud of cognitive dissonance.
October 5th, 2006 08:38 AM
Yeah, I ran into the same thing in Iraq. I'm very glad they can't shoot. :)
Originally Posted by sgtD
You can see the same things from night videos in AFghanistan and the like. You can always spot the US troops because they are taking slow, aimed, single shots at a time while the other side is shooting long automatic bursts.
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