They’re Shooting It Up In Brooklyn ~ this in a city with stringent gun control

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Everyone’s talking about it. I heard it on the news and on talk radio this morning. The number of shootings has risen dramatically in New York City over the last month. This in a city with one of the most, if not the most stringent gun control laws…and a former mayor, billionaire Michael Blumberg, who uses his money and influence in other cities all over the country trying to get them to ban hand guns.

The rise in shootings has been most dramatic in Brooklyn. The way they tabulate is they have a “rolling 28-day tally” which is updated weekly. The last two 28-day incident and victim tallies increased by 30 and 40 percent, respectively.

NYPD Shield Law enforcement experts explain the recent increase in shooting by citing the warmer weather and a marked increase in gang activity, especially in Brooklyn. Monday night, a 13-year old boy bystander was with his aunt and younger cousin in Flatbush-Ditmas Park when they were caught in the middle of a gang shooting. The boy was shot in the head and sustained an eye injury. The three ran into a pizzeria for cover, with blood oozing down the boy’s face. The shooter was later seen on video tape and the police are investigating.

The 73rd Precinct, covering part of East New York (Brooklyn), accounts for one-third of all shootings and incidents in the city, with 24 shootings this year, compared to 14 at this point in the summer last year. This according to police sources.

It has been reported that the NYPD is looking to put together an over-arching conspiracy case against some of the gangs that run territory in shooting-hot-spots. One police source commented to news media outlets that police stop-and-frisk encounters are down, but the number of guns confiscated increased. However, he did not have stats on the number of guns actually confiscated.

There has to be a good look at the abandonment of stop-and-frisk. Cold, hard statistics must be provided. Questions must be answered. Why is it in a city where law abiding citizens can’t obtain a license for a hand gun, it seems any fifteen year-old gang member can get his hands on a semi-automatic weapon?

BROKEN ALLEGIANCE by Mark Young ~ nobody gets out alive from a gang

Broken AllegianceAn accident that killed his son, shattered Detective Tom Kagan’s life. The offending driver, a gang-banger, ran from the scene and was never brought to justice. Now back from a temporary assignment with the FBI, he’s once again hunting down gang members in Santa Rosa, CA.

The author pulled me into the emotional turmoil that is Tom Kagan’s life. Although he deeply loves his wife Sara, since the accident, he has shut down all emotion and is often remote from her. We see Tom with all his warts. He drinks too much and is also a first class cheap skate who begrudges tips he gives to waitresses.

Having been called to the murder crime scene of Paco, a high ranking, seemingly untouchable, “all good” member of the Nuestra Familia (NF) street gang, he knows this could become a no holds barred fight within the gang with innocent people getting hurt along the way. What he doesn’t know is a gang leader named Ghost is calling the shots from his cell within Pelican Bay State Prison, CA.

Kagan has a history with the Hispanic gangs since the accident that killed his son — a bad one. His sergeant thinks he’s a loose cannon who should be retired back to patrol, but the chief wants Tom in gangs. The detective has been receiving photographs of himself, his wife, and his partner’s wife with the message: we’re watching you. His partner, grounded in the spirituality of his Christian religion, is a sharp contrast from Tom’s depression and rage. Kagan keeps knowledge of this surveillance from his supervisors out of fear he will be removed from working on gangs, which is where he gets intelligence with which to protect his wife.

When Kagan and Hector Garcia, a gang expert with the Special Services Unit (SSU), visit Ghost in Pelican Bay, the gang-banger taunts Tom. He says he was the one driving the car that killed Tom’s young son, years ago. Agent Garcia has to hold Tom back. Ghost screams, “You’re a dead man.”

After an assault on Ghost in the prison, he’s transferred from Pelican Bay to a community hospital from which he escapes. Now the gang-banger is hunting Tom Kagan and his partner Detective Bill Stevenson. There is an emotionally wrenching scene where Tom and his wife go to his partner’s home for dinner, unaware that Ghost lurks outside watching the house. Bill reads his young son a story and then he and Tom listens as the boy says his prayers before bed. They have no clue there is evil lurking outside.

It is obvious the author has personal, career experience in law enforcement with gangs. He is totally successful in getting across how senseless gang violence is, that nobody gets out alive from a gang. Regardless of the demand for loyalty by the gang, there is no loyalty within. Eventually every gang member is killed by a rival gang, or by a stronger member of his own gang who seeks power. This novel is well written and readers who are thrilled by a good detective novel will love this one’s authenticity.

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