Hey, why didn't anyone ever think of this before? Instead of just allowing gang members to go places and do things, tell them they can't go places and do things. Places are only for good people! Gang problem= solved!

The NYT reports that Suffolk County officials are trying to institute new laws that "would bar specific gang members from a two-square-mile 'safety zone.'" All of the townspeople could then congregate inside this zone, venturing out only in heavily armed groups to forage for necessary food and game in the lawless, gang-infested hinterlands. Let's just brainstorm a few problems with this plan, shall we?

1. As a NY Civil Liberties member notes: "You can't ban people from public areas."( Liberals!)
2. Oh, but we're only banning bad guys. Gang members! So how do Suffolk County officials know who is and is not a gang member? "He pointed again, this time to a man in a red baseball cap at a tire shop across the street. 'He's a Blood,' Mr. Avery said." Ban all guys in red hats!
3. What about, you know, just regular people who "look" like gang members, to Suffolk County police officials? Collateral damage.
4. Well, they want to use the "gang registry," a big huge list compiled by cops saying who is a "gang member." What if someone was once a gang member, but decides not to be any more, and wants to move freely in public spaces? Collateral damage.
5. What is a "gang," anyhow? Black people wearing red hats. Duh.
6. Don't we already have laws against, you know, crime? Which could be enforced any time a "gang member is, you know, committing a crime? Sure, but then these people who may have once committed crimes would still be free to walk through public spaces when they are not committing crimes. Is that what you want, for your children?

These cockamamie and blatantly unconstitutional schemes will never work until we first ban "gangsta rap."

[NYT. Photo of probable gang member: Joel Bez/ Flickr]