How to Solve America's Gang Problem Once and for All
There is a way to solve America's gang problem once and for all. This solution is twofold:
(1) Legalize guns in America's cities;
(2) Legalize drugs and prostitution.
Because the laws in many cities forbid law-abiding citizens from having guns, the only people who have guns are the criminals. These prey on the law-abiding people, many of whom, prevented from themselves owning weapons, end up joining gangs to protect themselves or to take revenge. This creates a downward spiral in which more and more people become gangsters and criminals, including many who would not had this not been the case. If law-abiding citizens are allowed to have guns, they can protect themselves from the gangsters, and violent crime once initiated will run into a wall, instead of spreading like gangrene and involving more and more people in it.
Meanwhile drugs and prostitution are the commodities that gangsters peddle; and for as long as these are illegal, there is quick money to be made in crime business. The Mafia had its heyday in 1920s, when alcohol was against the law. Because a substance that was in demand was against the law, the criminals were in control of its production and distribution. After alcohol was made legal again, there was much less for the Mafia to do, and it lost most of its power and its membership.
Drugs and prostitution are in demand and will remain in demand. For as long as these things are illegal, they will remain under control of criminals. Want to do away with the brutal gangs and drug cartels? Legalize the commodities that they peddle - drugs and sex for money - and these ugly entities will have nothing left to do and will go away; and their members will have nothing left to do but to become productive citizens.
To solve the gang problem, one must do two things: Empower the people who would otherwise be vulnerable to their activities to protect themselves; and take away from these gangs the businesses that they operate. The first is done by making it legal for people who are not gangsters to have guns and protect themselves from the gangsters. The second is done by decriminalizing the industries that gangsters control, giving their ownership to legitimate enterprises that operate in law-abiding ways. Make guns legal in the city, and legalize drugs and prostitution. This two-pronged approach will do away with vast bulk of gang activity and make America's cities safe for life and business.