Gangster Wars

Posted by Daniel on Mar 8, 2009 - 4 comments

It occurs to me, watching the current "gangster mania" that is gripping the Lower Mainland, that the law of unintended consequences may be at work.

The RCMP told us this past week that the recent outbreak of murderous violence has to do with the unsettled supply of drugs down Mexico way. In a nutshell, too many bad guys are chasing too few drugs. If I understand correctly then, the more successful the police are at curtailing the supply of illicit drugs, the more violent the gangs become and the more likely it is that innocent people will be caught in the crossfire. Apparently, in the war on drugs, we are collateral damage.

Speaking of Mexico, when I was there last autumn, I read in the local press that one cause of all the gunplay that has cost so many lives was that law enforcement, by arresting some of the established leaders of the cartels, had created a situation where junior, more violent, gangs were fighting to take over turf once occupied by their seniors.

Using the same logic, if police put local gang leaders behind bars, there is no guarantee that this won't actually increase the violence as underlings battle for succession.

My question is, does the war on gangsters, like the war on terror, actually make things worse, not better, for the rest of us?

Labels: CRIME