The word Gang can be used to label many different groups, Our Gang Comedies, Wild Hogs movie to outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMG's) on youtube. MC's are not Gangs although the word is used as a negative to vilify groups of people deserved or not. It's whatever the people that are using it are trying to sell to you. More often than not it's fiction designed to create sensationalism.
Let us start by saying the recent DPS 2017 Gang Assessment had to go out of their way to mention the Bandidos and La Familia MC's as a dangerous street gangs. The data for this assessment was not there to support their findings. 1% Motorcycle Clubs are listed as Tier 2 Gangs which are low level gangs according to the DPS. Typically there are 7 Motorcycle Clubs Law Enforcement zero's in on, 7 out of thousands of Motorcycle Clubs across America and Texas. .
The FBI called 1% Motorcycle Clubs opportunist. In other words Individuals who are lured by big money when an opportunity comes. A Club as a whole may not know a member has committed a crime of any type. These type crimes usually revolve around drugs, not human, sex trafficking or gun running you saw on Sons Of Anarchy.
It's Obvious Motorcycle Clubs Are Not Gangs
In 2007, there were approximately 785,000 active street gang members in the United States, according to the National Youth Gang Center. In 2011, the National Gang Intelligence Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation asserted that "There are approximately 1.4 million active street, prison, and outlaw gang members comprising more than 33,500 gangs in the United States. Approximately 230,000 gang members were in U.S. prisons or jails in 2011.
According to the Chicago Crime Commission publication, "The Gang Book 2012", Chicago has the highest number of gang members of any city in the United States: 150,000 members. Traditionally Los Angeles County has been considered the Gang Capital of America, with an estimated 120,000 (41,000 in the City) gang members.
There were at least 30,000 gangs and 800,000 gang members active across the USA in 2007. About 900,000 gang members lived "within local communities across the country," and about 147,000 were in U.S. prisons or jails in 2009. By 1999, Hispanics accounted for 47% of all gang members, Blacks 31%, Whites 13%, and Asians 7%.
In December 13, 2009, The New York Times published an article about growing gang violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation estimated that there were 39 gangs with 5,000 members on that reservation alone.
The FBI estimates that the four Italian organized crime groups active in the United States have 25,000 members in total.
Excerpts from MPP Article, Motorcycle Clubs Are Not The Boy Scouts – Does That Make Them Criminals?
A patch holder from Pennsylvania told me clubs aren’t Boy Scouts for sure. And we can’t act like we are. But we’re not as bad as people think we are. And we aren’t as bad as cops say we are. There's 1 thing for sure MC's are not street gangs.
IT AIN’T THE BOY SCOUTS….
Men returning from war found brotherhood and acceptance in motorcycle clubs and created their own subculture that has survived more than a half-century. Motorcycle clubs come in all types from Christian to outlaw. What makes a club an outlaw club is the level of commitment to the lifestyle, not criminality. Outlaw club members consider themselves professional motorcyclists and enjoy the close-knit and rigid brotherhood clubs provide. The club is a top priority in a member’s life and serves as the primary social community as well.
TBR: An article in Business Insider said there seems to be a strange connection between the Military Veteran and Motorcycle Clubs or gangs if you like. There's nothing strange about it. It's common sense why Veterans are attracted to the MC lifestyle.. Order, a sense of belonging.and brotherhood.
MPP coninues: In most clubs, members are like family. Other members are considered your brothers. Brothers you choose and that choose you. And just like other families, many clubs will do anything to protect their families. So it’s true. Disrespect a man’s family, a serious man, and there will likely be consequences. It might be true that it takes sticks and stones, and that names will never hurt you. But they just might get you punched in the mouth.
Most clubs just want to be left alone to ride and associate freely. Most club members are wary of authority. But being rebellious and anti-establishment does not equate to criminality. In fact, protecting anti-establishment speech and association is the highest priority of a free society.
BUT IT AIN’T GANGLAND EITHER
Motorcycle clubs are a far cry from organized criminal enterprises. They are, in fact, constitutionally protected associations. But since their inception, the generally conservative law enforcement fraternity has looked down on clubs as a rebellious fringe community. The history of profiling and discrimination is irrefutable.
Statistically the stereotype is based on mythology. For example, more law enforcement officers are indicted on felony crimes every year than outlaw motorcycle club members. Most members of outlaw motorcycle clubs do not have criminal records. Many have concealed carry permits issued by the same agencies that turn around and call them gang members. The statistics simply don’t add up to the accusations.
Sensationalism is a powerful tool. Amplify the transgressions of the few in an attempt to define an entire class of people. But it is simply not reality. Not unless we consider all law enforcement to be an organized criminal enterprise. When an officer is indicted for a felony should every officer in their department be treated as a criminal or charged with engaging in organized criminal activity?