Gangs exist for wholely selfish reasons. They flagrantly ignore the law; they commit crimes to finance their lifestyles; they treat "their" women and children as possessions, all in an environment where the wholesale abuse of drugs and alcohol is not only the norm, it is etched into the fabric of their "culture". They thrive on the theory of "safety in numbers", and their intimidating image. And innocent people die as a direct result of their activities.
There was much talk before the last election of legislation to outlaw criminal gangs. Do either of the main poltical parties have the guts to go down this road? Surely, as there is already legislation on the Statute books banning an individual's involvement in a criminal organisation - the accused in the Jhia Te Tua case were found guilty of charges of participating in a criminal group - how hard will it be to ban the gangs themselves?
After the verdicts in the Jhia Te Tua case were delivered in December, Michael Laws commented on the "evil" of gangs - let's refresh our memories:
"These verdicts will allow our community to move on and they certainly reflect local opinion," Mr Laws said.
"Jhia's murder exposes the true evil of gangs.
"There was evidence given at the trial that the Mob members celebrated even after learning that they had shot an innocent child," he said.
"That is a measure of their inhumanity."
Mr Laws said his thoughts were with the child whose "innocence was snuffed out by an act of evil and infamy".
You know what? Laws, not a fave of Keeping Stock, is dead right. Gangs ARE evil. Ask the family of Mark McCutcheon, farewelled yesterday after being stabbed by a Mongrel Mob member or associate. Mark McCutcheon's only crime was going to the aid of a woman being beaten to a pulp by her Mongrel Mob partner.
Gangs are a blight on our society. Keeping Stock reckons it's time that we got angry, and sent a message to Wellington that it is time for Parliament to unite, and invoke cross-party legislation to outlaw gangs. Are you with us? Can we do it? We reckon - YES, WE CAN!