Gangs and Drugs: Getting Rid of Both
Though the number of individuals involved in gangs has decreased, the involvement of gangs with drug activity is on the rise. These gangs are becoming much more organized and therefore pose an increasing threat to Americans. No neighborhood is safe, as they are moving into areas that were not previously associated with gangs. The problem facing law enforcement is how to combat this drug activity and put a stop to gangs in general. According to the DEA website, gangs are suspected of forming affiliations with foreign terrorists. The DEA handles these gangs by running different operations targeted at specific gang activity, and based on its success, should continue to do so in the future.
Operation Snow Globe was one such project. Its target was a gang called ESW, which has approximately 500 members and finances their activities through drug trafficking. At the end of the operation, 30 individuals were arrested and the DEA was able to seize approximately 19 pounds of “ice” methamphetamine, 13 pounds of cocaine, 7 guns, 12 vehicles and approximately $340,000 in drug proceeds.
The latest project was called Operation Wasteland and it targeted gangs throughout Southern California who were trafficking in methamphetamines. The DEA announced on April 19 of this year that they were able to execute 24 search warrants in order to arrest 31 individuals. The search warrant turned up: 8 pounds methamphetamine, 1 pound of cocaine, 23 vehicles, 14 firearms and approximately $90,000 drug proceeds, all of which have been seized by the DEA.
While these operations target specific gangs and get only a portion of drugs off of the street, they are also serving the purpose of taking money away from gangs that they would normally use to fund their illegal activities. Most importantly, the DEA is sending the message that drug trafficking and gang activity are unacceptable and will be stopped by all means necessary.
(2006 Apr 16). DEA. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from News from DEA Web site: http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/la041906.html
(2006). Organized Gangs and Drug Trafficking. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from DEA Web site: http://www.dea.gov/concern/18862/gangs.htm
Pornography: Criminal Activity or Personal Choice?
Pornography used to be kept private and far out of the public eye. At one time, an individual who was interested in pornography would either need to go to an adult “bookstore” or to what used to be called a stag party (we call it a bachelor party now). Today, technology has made it possible to get pornography easily and without the embarrassment of buying it in public. As pornography is a billion dollar industry, profits are made on two levels: legal, adult porn and illegal, child porn. This essay will only address the aspect of adult pornography and whether the public’s right to have “freedom to” outweighs the right to “freedom from”
The religious objection to pornography is that religious individuals believe that sex is acceptable only between married couples, and that the use of pornography could lead to an increase in behavior considered to be sexually immoral. Feminists also have an objection to pornography, which is that pornography is degrading to women and that it leads directly to the exploitation and violence against women. The feminist movement became involved when porn actress Linda Lovelace (of “Deep Throat”) claimed that during her career she was exploited and abused by her manager husband.
In 1969, the Supreme Court held that individuals could view what they wished in the privacy of their own home. However, it also determined that obscenity was not protected by law and constructed a test to determine if something was obscene. It is not easy to fail the Miller test, which is why pornography is still rampant today.
But should it be? Unfortunately for those who would like to see pornography abolished, doing so puts severe limitations on our freedom of expression and on our right to privacy. If pornography is abolished now, there’s no way of telling what might be abolished in the future. It is better to allow pornography to remain legal than to create this slippery slope.