I’m sure most everyone is familiar with the presence of Bloods and Crips in Ohio. It seems that whenever the topic of “gangs” arises into discussion that those are the two gangs mentioned. Funny thing is… neither one originated in Ohio.
The Crips’s genesis was in 1960’s Los Angeles, and the Bloods were formed shortly after as a sort of ‘response’ to the formation of the Crips.The two gangs are predominantly African-American.
Since about the 1970’s there has been a strong rivalry between the two, so it’s no surprise that when one started migration to Ohio in the 1980’s, the other soon began to follow. It is generally unknown which gang entered Ohio first.
The Bloods and Crips can be identified by their colors: red and blue.
But why are they here? In a 2003 article published by the Lantern; a newspaper distributed by The Ohio State University, Assistant Prosecutor Dave DeVillers, who is the head of the gang unit of the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, remembers the peak of gang activity in Columbus in 1995 and 1996.He has claimed that the increase in gang activity had been because of people migrating from close, larger cities, such as Chicago and Detroit.
“The late 1980s brought an overwhelming increase in local drug trafficking, with gangs exporting crack cocaine and heroin from Columbus to cities such as Cincinnati and Portsmouth” – DeVillers
Drug trafficking, however, comes second to the firearms market. Guns are cheap in the Columbus area. Gangs can purchase guns locally and sell them over in other states, making a ridiculous amount of profit.
“A gun that costs $50 in Columbus is worth $1,200 in New York,” DeVillers said.
I’m sure that that was an exaggeration, but it doesn’t seem too illogical. While sifting through firearm store magazines in the past I’ve noted semi-automatic assault rifles in the range of $600 to $700. Some people will say “hey… that’s a good chunk of money though”, and it is, but not for something such as an assault rifle. I think we need to make some changes. Firearms such as these should have a minimum price requirement – a floor as you will – and that would possibly help drive away gangs involved in the firearm market.