Make gang membership illegal

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  • Lewt
    July 19, 2008 9:22 p.m.

    If it's drugs, sex, violence, intimidation and murder you want to stop, then go after those breaking those laws. But there's no law against bad taste or hanging out with scary friends.

  • Jim Anti-Gang
    July 19, 2008 7:23 p.m.

    Newell, I've been asking our legislature to make gangs illegal for more than 10 years. They have their head in the sand, as does the Governor(s) and believe we don't have a problem. Twenty-eight states have made membership in a gang illegal with jailtime punishments. Until we make Gang Membership illegal in this state, they will continue to run their course of drugs, sex, violence and intimidation. And, the law enforcement officers have proven to be totally ineffective because they don't want know gang neighborhoods to "feel prejudice" against them. Utah needs a wakeup call and so far absolutely nothing from our legislature, wishbone governor and the judicial system. Hang on for a ride. I hope you and yours don't fall victim to this insidious disease that is not cured with midnight basketball and and tax funded programs that all prove to be failures. Parents need to be held accountable and the perpetrators need to rot in jail for a few years as a wake up call that Gang Activity (killing for the sake of killing) will not be tolerated and will be punished to the very furthest limits of the law (if we had any laws).

  • the truth
    July 19, 2008 6:03 p.m.

    LIke I said before,

    Our liberal friends will never allow us to truly go after gangs,

    they will come up some excuse or another to protect them.

  • Some Questions
    July 19, 2008 5:05 p.m.

    How will you prove a person's association with a gang? Do you expect that have meetings, and take minutes of who attended? They record monthly dues?

    Presuming you can prove membership, what would be the penalty? Probation? Jail time? Execution?

  • Lewt
    July 19, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    The US leads the world in both the rate AND the number of people imprisoned, so someone out there is surely enforcing something.

  • RedShirt
    July 19, 2008 11:54 a.m.

    We should also make some laws saying that there is a legal process to come into this country to work.....ooops, they already did that, and look how well that works.

    What needs to be done is to actually ENFORCE laws, and strengthen families. We don't need more laws or government programs

  • John
    July 19, 2008 11:35 a.m.

    The small minds around here astound me.

    Did you people READ the letter?? If you did, you wouldn't be attacking the LDS church, as usual, you wouldn't say dumb things like 'shredding the bill of rights,' or make fun of the author's comments by demanding that families be arrested, as well as football teams disbanded.

    Read it again, only this time with the real desire to understand what is being said, instead of a knee jerk leap to the comment section so you can display your disdain for any idea that you don't agree with.

    And I quote:

    " to make membership in a "gang" any group that advocates deadly violence to other members of our society illegal."

    When you find missionaries, football teams, and families who are advocating deadly violence, then you have a case to make such ridiculous comments. Until then, slow down, read the letters, and consider what is being said, before you embarrass yourselves anymore.

    Don't be so quick to belittle others. When you point your finger at someone, you are pointing three fingers at yourself.

  • Constitutionalist
    July 19, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    Well, we scrapped Habeus Corpus and the Right to Privacy. Why not just shred the rest of the Bill of Rights too?

  • Mahonri
    July 19, 2008 10:40 a.m.

    "any group that advocates deadly violence to other members of our society"

    You mean the local HS football teams?

  • Isaac
    July 19, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    Mr. Standley,

    However good intentioned this idea may be, like "HAHAHAHAHA," I too question how it would work. Although I have never belonged to a "gang" that drives around and shoots up neighborhoods, or works in illegal activities and substances, I have been in gangs of church groups, scout groups, and groups of friends. I hope this wouldn't be illegal.

    Do gang members carry membership cards? Are there membership roles that are posted somewhere? Are records and minutes of gang meetings and gatherings kept?

    The judicial end of your idea looks complicated. However, I'm sure your idea could probably get you elected to the state legislature if you pitch it to your neighbors and get them fired up. This type of idea would appeal to your neighborhood gang.

  • Bob Bogle
    July 19, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    They should make some sort of law mandating a top speed on the freeway, too. Let's see if that could work. Then we could consider making it illegal to belong to any group where wrongs are 'atoned' through a blood letting. Hmmmm..........

  • Good purpose, but
    July 19, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    What about a bunch of white, slave owning land owners in about 1776? Sounds a lot like a definition of a gang. BTW, I seem to remember that the First Amendment guarantees our right to assemble, no matter how it seems unfitting.

  • lost in DC
    July 19, 2008 9:21 a.m.

    the RICO statutes already cover gang activity; DA's seem hesitant to use them. I agree in concept with your idea, but agree with some of the other posters that it wouldn't be feasible. I wonder which gangs Hate America and Outlaw Sstandley Gang are affiliated with?

  • Jeffrey
    July 19, 2008 9:21 a.m.

    "Amendment I:

    Congress shall make no law...abridging...the right of the people peaceably to assemble."

    As some above have alluded to, never give politicians or law enforcement an arbitrary power they can change to fit whatever definition they'd like.

    Until one has committed a crime we should not treat them like a criminal.

    We have the Constitution for a reason.

  • Gopherus
    July 19, 2008 7:58 a.m.

    The most common group associating in my area is guys in white, short-sleeved shirts and ties. They are somewhat of a menace and don't even seem to know the bounds of personal property (though for some reason they only seem to trespass in twos. While I have not seen these men commit any violent acts they do claim allegiance to a local hate group that has been hell-bent in its pursuit to discriminate against homosexuals. Are we safe? I would feel that my family would be more safe if we would simply take these guys off the street, but wouldn't it be better to judge them by their actions?

  • EdM
    July 19, 2008 7:20 a.m.

    That is the beauty of people having the opportunity to write into their local newspapers. All views are available for publication, even the ones (and I never thought I would ever say this) that truly....make no sense whatsoever. Jeepers!

  • James
    July 19, 2008 6:53 a.m.

    Constitutional right of Association.

    Can't make a law like that. Now, loittering, conspiracy to commit a crime, etc. Those things can be prosecuted.

    Mike Richards is right about what associations will incur the wrath of some judge.

  • Outlaw Standley gang
    July 19, 2008 6:18 a.m.

    Newel Standley,

    I think it would be a good idea for our legislature to make it illegal for certain people to marry each other or in your case for you to marry someone. It should be a crime for two morons who share your violent belief to get married. You are a fascist and it should be illegal for two fascists to form a gang and call it a family. So let's make the gang that is your family illegal! Do you have a problem with that?

    It's time for the Standley gang to be disbanded!!!

    July 19, 2008 12:54 a.m.

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!! What other states? How well has that worked? You're literally saying you want law enforcement to ignore actual police work (building cases, following up leads, solving murders, etc) and simply arrest people who hang out wearing the same color? How else could you possibly enforce something like that? Criminal enterprises don't have membership roles or anything. While we're at it, let's make it illegal to break the law. That seems like a nobrainer.

  • Hate America
    July 19, 2008 12:50 a.m.

    Lets outlaw a citizens right to freely associate with whom he wishes to. Why do conservatives hate America's constution? They act like it is a meaningless piece of paper.

  • Mike Richards
    July 19, 2008 12:42 a.m.

    Mr. Newel Standley,

    What goes around, comes around.

    With the wacko judges that turn everything backwards, how can you be sure that a Scout Troop would not be labeled as being a "gang", or a priesthood quorum, or any other group of boys or girls who want to work together to do some good?

    In this era where people have lost focus between right and wrong, good and evil, it might be best to not try to tempt liberal judges to disband all good groups in order to be "fair" to the "rotten" among us.