Organized crime theory


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onerifle
June 3, 2004, 01:23 PM
Folks- this one is for all of you political science/sociologist types. I have no empirical data to support it (yet), but I have always felt that the rise of organized crime in the U.S. during the early part of the 20th century was aided and abetted by a policy of strict gun control in the cities/regions where they eventually developed their strongest networks. New York and New Jersey come immediately to mind, especially with the Sullivan Law being implemented in 1912.

I am not in anyway suggesting that The Mob didn't (doesn't?) have it's tentacles in parts of the country where people are still free, such as the South/Southeast- it's just that historically, the wedge that The Mob seemed to use to gain a foothold in a community was the "protection" racket. In areas where the people were NOT disarmed by the government, I surmise that it was difficult for the "enforcer" to "collect" every week- when he realized that his own longevity might have been called in to question by the potential victim. Obviously not the case In N.Y./N.J., where the only people (practically speaking) were, and still are- the cops and the crooks.


Just a theory. Thoughts?


Have at it.

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MeekandMild
June 3, 2004, 01:32 PM
You see the same phenomenom today in public housing where the only ones allowed guns are the cops and the drug dealers.

dischord
June 3, 2004, 01:36 PM
A) Organized crime gangs (and protection rackets) existed in New York long before gun control. Though a work of anti-romanticized fiction, Gangs of New York is relatively accurate, at least on the general fact that organized gangs ruled the immigrant lower class and were used by Tammany Hall to further a government sponsored protection racket.

B) The gangs were just as strong in Chicago during your Sullivan Law time period -- and IIRC, gun control had not come there yet. You also might want to look at Boston and Philadelphia in that time period (no gun control yet, IIRC, but strong organized crime).

C) The nationalization of "The Mob" -- as opposed to city-specific gangs -- more likely is a a product of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s.

D) There is no such thing as organized crime. ;)

Waitone
June 3, 2004, 03:00 PM
Lucky Luciano in his biography clearly links the rise of organized crime to Prohibition. No prohibition, no mob. No illegal liquor, no mob.

It was the cash flow generated by illegal liquor that permitted funding of other criminal enterprises.

porciniman
June 3, 2004, 04:30 PM
Australia seems to have had its problems lately.
Their latest stats show:

"Two years after the ban, there have been further increases in crime: armed robberies by 73 percent; unarmed robberies by 28 percent; kidnappings by 38 percent; assaults by 17 percent; manslaughter by 29 percent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

And consider the fact that over the previous 25-year period, Australia had shown a steady decrease both in homicide with firearms and armed robbery – until the ban."
Let's not let this happen here!
VB

gunsmith
June 3, 2004, 04:41 PM
heh

Zundfolge
June 3, 2004, 04:44 PM
While I believe organized crime was used as an excuse for gun control (the NFA in particular) I don't believe the mafia had a hand in getting gun control passed.

The reason for the explosive growth of the mafia in the early parts of the 20th century was because prohibition created a huge market for illegal booze which gave the mafia both the money and reason to expand.

This is the best reason I can come up with for drug legalization ... you could cripple modern organized crime (which is a blend of "traditional" mafia and street gangs) by taking their main source of income away.


Gun control in this country started out as a way to keep "dem darkies" from fighting back when you burn crosses in their yard.

onerifle
June 3, 2004, 05:33 PM
I never really thought that the Mob was instrumental in getting gun control laws passed- although they clearly benefit from a disarmed populace.

The Volstead Act was passed in 1919, the Sullivan law in NYC was passed in 1912- I agree that most of the Mob's financial power was accumulated during, and because of, Prohibition, but what about regional differences re: the Mob's relative power and influence vs. general gun ownership? Anecdotally at least, there seems to be a correlation.

Treylis
June 3, 2004, 10:58 PM
Lucky Luciano in his biography clearly links the rise of organized crime to Prohibition. No prohibition, no mob. No illegal liquor, no mob.

It was the cash flow generated by illegal liquor that permitted funding of other criminal enterprises.

Nowadays it's drugs instead of alcohol. Thankfully we seem to be slowly moving towards legalization.

Those of you who support the ridiculous laws on consensual/victimless crimes, you do realize that the very strongest proponents of said laws are those who make loads and loads of money by illegally trafficking drugs/etc. in, right?

Art Eatman
June 3, 2004, 11:51 PM
Treylis, it was a longstanding joke in Texas that the coalition of Baptists and bootleggers kept Texas as dry as it was, until in the 1970s. We didn't get liquor by the drink until 1973.

One result of having "Dry" counties was that those counties had the highest incidence of DUI fatalities in the whole state. Folks had to drive a long way to party, and not all of them made it home.

Art

Michigander
June 4, 2004, 12:04 AM
Here in Michigan, we have one of the highest taxes on cigarettes (for the good of the people, of course :banghead: ). It may go even higher soon enough. What this has created is a growing "organization" of cigarette smugglers who buy in bulk in other states with low or no cigarette tax and sell them here. So, even though it is not "prohibition," the excessive taxation creates a similar situation, admittedly not on the same level.

If the "illegal" drugs were made "legal," then I'm sure, at least here in Michigan, the ol' sin tax would still keep a certain amount of interest in the trade by the organized crime syndicates.

Although, as pointed out above, there are no "organized crime syndicates." ;)

buy guns
June 4, 2004, 12:21 AM
it's just that historically, the wedge that The Mob seemed to use to gain a foothold in a community was the "protection" racket.


they ran protection rackets against asian immigrants because the asians kept to themselves and didnt trust the police or anyone who wasnt them...at least thats how it was during the mobs "golden years".

jke456
June 4, 2004, 01:10 AM
I once seen somewhere on the net a chart that showed whenever the gov outlaws something major {such as prohibition drug war} that the homicide rate goes through the roof

I think I could find it if anyone wants to see it.....

otherwise I am in the process of reformatting my comp so all my links are zipped up or I would have posted it now

Monkeyleg
June 4, 2004, 01:22 AM
Organized crime depends upon your definition of "organized." (Apologies to Bill Clinton for word-parsing).

Pretty much every immigrant group that has come to this country--Irish, Jewish, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Jamaican, Russian--has established its roots in the ghetto communities, as the parents tried to put their kids into a better life.

Meanwhile, those who would be punks regardless of their heritage do what they do best: they're punks. They shake down a community that isn't entirely comfortable--or even welcomed--by the rest of the mainstream population. They provide protection when other segments of society don't offer such.

That said, I must admit that I have respect for a number of organized crime figures: Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky (a brilliant gangster and bookmaker), Charles Luciano (who crossed ethnic lines to help build "the mob"), Benjamin Siegal (where would Las Vegas be without him?), Joe Bonnano, Joe Columbo, Carlo Gambino, and even Paul Castellano. Why do I respect them? Because they were gangsters, and never hid behind the shield of "for the children" or "if we can protect just one child..."

One of my wishes was to visit John Gotti before he died in Marion. I'm sorry I never got the chance.

Probably my favorite gangster of recent times was "Vinnie the Chin" Gigante. Maybe it's because I spend just about all my day in front of the monitor wearing a bathrobe. Anyway, Vinnie walked the streets of New York in a bathrobe for maybe twenty years; everyone was certain he was nuts. Turns out he wasn't, it was just his act.

Joseph Kennedy was a bootlegger, gangster and killer. He used his money and connections--especially in Chicago--to have his son elected president. He turned tail on the promises he made to his old friends, and turned Bobby Kennedy loose on them. And, when his third child killed a young woman, it sure as hell looks like he used his influence to get charges dropped.

Richard Nixon made deals with Jimmy Hoffa--and thus organized crime--to solidify his re-election campaign.

Bill Clinton made extensive use of the "Arkansas mafia"--which consisted primarily of Tyson Foods and the company's surrogates--to further his political as well as financial future.

The only difference between the gangsters mentioned above and politicians is that gangsters don't have to go out and eat bagels, pastuchio, linguini, czarnina, lengua, and other peculiar dishes to the groups the politicians are pandering to.

At least gangsters have standards.

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