SocietyWatch

From the August 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

MS-13 killings jolt Long Island

Police arrested three MS-13 gang members on May 3 in connection with an attempted murder on Long Island. The victim was slashed in the stomach with a machete on April 30 after allegedly laughing at his assailants. All three suspected perpetrators were born in El Salvador and were in the country illegally.

MS-13 is an international gang that started in Los Angeles and then spread throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. It currently has 10,000 to 20,000 members in the U.S., making it one of the largest criminal enterprises in the country.

Retired Suffolk detective John Oliva reported that MS-13 is responsible for 17 murders in Long Island, New York, in the past 18 months. Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco blames the gang’s deadly rise on the immigration policies of former U.S. President Barack Obama.

“A large portion of the MS-13 gang members are here illegally,” DeMarco told radio host John Catsimatidis on May 7. “And they arrive in the country through the unaccompanied minors program, which was really loosened up and formed under President Obama.”

President Donald Trump has said that stopping MS-13 is a top priority of his administration. However, MS-13 has partnered with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, and these violent criminals have access to a steady supply of arms and money that ultimately comes from the 25 million Americans who use illegal drugs. This makes U.S. street gangs a formidable threat to national security.

Americans: Pornography is morally acceptable

The percentage of Americans who view pornography as “morally acceptable” has increased to a record high, according to a Gallup poll released on May 11. The survey found that 36 percent of Americans not only believe pornography is normal, they believe it is moral. The same poll found that 69 percent of Americans found sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman to be morally acceptable. The percentages of U.S. adults who believe divorce, sex between unmarried people, homosexual relations, having a baby outside of marriage, doctor-assisted suicide, pornography and polygamy are morally acceptable practices have all reached record highs this year.

America’s murder capital

Since the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 and subsequent riots, Baltimore has become the deadliest city in the United States. Baltimore’s homicide rate is now the highest in the country.

“In portions of Baltimore, the strobe of police cars is as much a part of the landscape as boarded-up homes,” the Washington Post reported on May 14. “But the pace of the killings this year has been stunning as the city struggles to recover from rioting in 2015 …. It is more than triple Washington’s rate and higher than the homicide rates in New Orleans and Chicago, two places that have become national symbols of gun violence.”

As of May 12, this year 124 people had been murdered in Baltimore. Since the city has a population of 614,000, this means the city’s homicide is currently 20.2 per 100,000 residents. Unless the situation swiftly improves, this figure will rise to 55 per 100,000 residents by the end of the year.

Two years ago, fierce rioting and looting in Baltimore commenced after Freddie Gray, a young black man with a criminal record, was arrested and died in police custody. Before the facts of Gray’s arrest or the cause of his death became known, protesters began marching and rioters began destroying parts of the city. Baltimore’s mayor at the time, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, famously responded to the lawlessness by stating in a press conference that she had instructed Baltimore police “to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. … [W]e also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

Rioters in the city destroyed or damaged an estimated 350 businesses and $9 million in property. Two years later, Baltimore is the nation’s murder capital. This is what happens in the absence of law. This is what happens when law enforcement gives criminals space to destroy, rob, loot and murder.