Gang violence rears its head again |

Gang violence rears its head again

the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

In compiling the publication about Carson City gangs that appeared in Saturday’s paper, we heard some people question the project. After all, it had been months since there had been a major episode of gang violence in our city. Maybe the problem isn’t so bad after all … maybe the gangs here are just pretenders … maybe they were just a passing fad and graffiti is their only real effect on the city.

Those maybes were swept away once again this week with the stabbing of an 18-year-old man in northeast Carson City. The suspects are believed to be gang members.

It is the serious acts of violence like this that shine attention on gangs, but gang violence is a continual presence on the city’s streets and officers respond to dozens of shots fired each year that most people never hear about.

It may be several more months before someone else is seriously injured, lulling residents into a false sense of security, even though the signs of gangs are all over the city. Some people learn to cope with the graffiti and crime. They raise their tolerance levels, which is how the problem permeates into more and more neighborhoods like termites eating into the structure of a house until it’s too late to stop them.

It’s not too late in Carson City.

We are fortunate that there are many residents in the community who are not willing to tolerate the problem. They don’t want merely to erase the graffiti from the city, they want to erase the gangs entirely.

They realize that accomplishing that will require far more than complaining. It will require action. That action starts at home, taking care of our own families and making sure our children are involved in positive activities. We can protect our neighborhoods by forming neighborhood watches and reporting crime when we see it. And we can become involved in community groups working to make this a better place to live.

All of those things together send a strong message that we will not tolerate gangs in Carson City.