Motorcycle Gang Violence

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Gang related violence in the United States has been a plague for the last several decades. The serious crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, extortion, assaults, and kidnapping can all be attributed to organized gangs. Of all the established and recognized gangs in this country, motorcycle gangs are among the most vicious and virulent group of criminals with no regard or respect for law enforcement or human life in general. Members of these organized clubs appear to be linked by a common bond and like interests.

Many of the modern motorcycle clubs got their start in the years after the close of World War II through the late 1960’s. Many of the members of these clubs were former combat soldiers just home from foreign battlefields. It appears that these motorcycle clubs were quite benign in the beginnings of their formation only massing together because of the love of riding motorcycles and what members called the “freedom of the open road. ” The turn toward rampant criminal activity was proliferated in the clubs that got their starts in the latter half of the 1960’s.

The turbulent political and social upheaval of that period of time is a direct contributor to the motorcycle clubs having a metamorphosis into what is now understood to be the modern motorcycle gang. A good example of the evolution of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts into a band of chopper riding thugs, murderers, gun runners, drug dealers, and all around dangerous criminals is The Warlocks Motorcycle Gang formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1967.

This particular gang has been credited with approximately 350 sanctioned killings since the late 1970’s along with other violent offences among the membership according to the U. S. Department of Justice (UCR 2011). A typical member of The Warlocks is a Caucasian male in their mid to late thirties with an extensive criminal background, most have formal military training, rides a minimum 1800cc Harley-Davidson motorcycle(no other brand is permitted), and has pledged some level of loyalty to the gang until death comes.

There is a probationary portion of a prospects initiation in the Warlocks where they will become the virtual slaves of the full patch members doing anything from menial tasks all the way up to criminal perpetration for any member as it is commanded. The trial period is usually for one year from the start. The full membership will vote in or out the prospect based upon unanimity and other factors.

The prospect then must commit an act of extreme violence in the club’s name in order to solidify his membership as a full patch Warlock; enerally it is an aggravated assault on a rival gang member such as the Pagans or the Breed but anything is open in this instance. Mainstream society, as a rule of thumb, has rejected all of these gangs as nothing more than anti-social, anarchistic, law breakers. American society appears to in some also embrace the subculture of the motorcycle gangs as is evident by the infatuation with doing the wrong thing or living outside of one’s social norms. The Christian church has no official stance on the Warlocks in particular but church canon detests anyone who is the embodiment of violence, crime, and personified evil.

Society as a whole is not in the business of accepting those who go against the grain of desirable social circles. In contrast, the members of the Warlocks are not phased one bit by this designation and proudly and overtly wear it as a badge of honor; these members are known as the 1 % ers. These are the one percent of motorcycle riders, according to the gang at least, that do as they please when they please with total disregard for authority figures.

Evangelical Christians could reach out to these members and share with them the love and relationship that they share with Jesus Christ. This may be a difficult task bit Jesus sacrificed himself for us in order for us to experience eternal life, perhaps it is not too late for those Warlocks that would choose another path for their lives. ”O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. ” (Lamentations 3:5) Of the three main sociological theory concepts the most that make the greatest argument is Symbolic Interactionism.

Since the members of any established motorcycle gang or club attaches their entire indent to the patch that they all where this can be construed as symbolic. Also, it is reasonable to infer that the riding of motorcycles, the disdain for law enforcement, and the overall sense of freedom that members are emboldened to have can also be used symbolically. The interactions that they will have will always be about the commonalities that they all share for the subculture that they have created. Whether or not society accepts these gangs is ambiguous.

The members of a motorcycle gang will interpret the actions of other members not by just being reactionary to other members; the loyal bonds that they all share are times not enough to garner trust among the membership. The members of the Warlocks as well as their criminal brethren all share common interests for brotherhood but at the same time encompass the very dark side of the human and social experience. Members of these organized clubs appear to be linked by a common bond and like interests. It is possible that with the interjected of God into these lost lives there is a possibility at redemption.

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