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Motorcycle Club Activities And The Response By Law Enforcement - Research Paper Example

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The existence of motorcycle gangs in the United States is not only a national problem, but a worldwide issue. Law enforcement is near impotent in their efforts to control the growth and power of the MCs…
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Motorcycle Club Activities And The Response By Law Enforcement
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Download file to see previous pages Although RICO has been one method of dealing with the organized nature of the clubs, the effectiveness to date has not been encouraging. The American myth of the outlaw motorcycle gang is still a living and thriving entity that had yet to be controlled by law or authority. Motorcycle club activities and the response by law enforcement One of the iconic images of the 1960s was the idea of the motorcycle club, glamourized by films and supported by the almost mythical existence of the Hell’s Angels which was commonly known across the United States. While the emergence of street gangs has overwhelmed the urban legends of the motorcycle gang activities, eclipsing the romance of the open road with the romance of the gritty streets of the city, motorcycle gangs are still in existence and are tied both to street activities and prison gang activities. The primary business of MCs or motorcycle clubs is that of the drug trade, although with their ties to organized crime they have their hands in quite a bit of illegal activity. The flesh trade is another popular form of enterprise for the MCs as it became a natural extension of the hedonistic lifestyle embraced. Illegal activities occur through complex and extensive relationships with other forms of organized crime and with networks of chapters and clubs that support the criminal businesses that they run. The MCs are powerful with a strong organized culture in which the hierarchy and the military style authority with which they operate provides both security for the members and a strict code of behaviors with violent consequences when violated. Law enforcement on the local level has the problem of handling the club while federal authorities are freer to act more aggressively towards taking apart the organizations, but to date other than disassembling portions of the club, a bit at a time; they have not been able to take down the system. Biker Culture According to Nichols (2010) “Any time society breeds a nation of sheep – when people grow to lazy or meek or subservient to power – a few wolves emerge to attack these weaknesses and keep the human herd strong” (p. 62). The biker culture emerged, primarily in the aftermath of World War II, although the official beginning was in 1935 (Birzer, 2011). Men who had been in the war came home to a world in which they were now disenfranchised. Although the economy was booming, the soldiers were suffering from the same feelings of displacement that most veterans of war experience. In reaction to both the economy that was emerging in a new society that had no place to them and the need for the return to the social structure and brotherhood of the armed forces, the creation of ‘clubs’ to provide for these men became the result. If one looks at the nature of the membership, they have a uniform, earn patches for performance which gives them honor, and have a structured hierarchy (Nichols, 2010). Another important element to membership is that the bike that is owned must be of American manufacture, thus the clubs, although outlaw show a sense of pride for their nation (Birzer, 2011). While the origins of the original comment that began the idea of the ‘one percenter’ is lost to history, the comment that created this outlaw ideal was based upon a quote that stated that 99% of all bikers were law abiding citizens (Joans, 2001). From this comment was born the elite, those bikers who lived the myth of the outlaw biker, wreaking havoc on the world and living a life of relentless hedonism. Sonny Barger of the Hell’s Angels began the tradition in the 1960s of adding the ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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