The Peculiar Nature of Southern Crime

A cynic might say that the popular song “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here,” loosely associated with the comic opera Pirates of Penance (1879), has taken on new meaning in the Hub City.

Now it refers to the Simon City Royals, the Vice Lords, and the Gangster Disciples.

Drive-by shootings, random robberies, and senseless murders are becoming the order of the day.

I don’t consider myself an authority on gang-related activity, but as a long-time college sociology teacher, I have more than a passing interest in the subject.

Apologists who study gang pathology conclude that individuals join gangs for various reasons: identity or recognition, protection, fellowship and brotherhood, and because of intimidation.

I would add another obvious reason: the opportunity for criminal activity motivated by greed. Someone said that all great novels are about three things: love, hate, and death.

To this list I would add avarice, which for time immemorial has been included on the list of seven deadly sins.

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