The Left's Loathsome Indifference Toward MS-13

Those who ignore this bona fide criminal syndicate do so at the expense of innocent American lives.

Jordan Candler · Feb. 15, 2018

According to MSNBC’s Joy Reid, the transnational crime syndicate MS-13 is a nothing burger. “[Trump] makes it sound like the biggest issue in the United States … is MS-13, a gang nobody that doesn’t watch Fox News has ever heard of,” she recently crowed. And according to author Stephen King, MS-13 is the name of a gun. After reading a tweet from Rick Wilson, who said, “You’re … a lot more likely to be killed in [Florida] by an opioid overdose than MS-13,” King responded: “Don’t tell that to the parents of the kids who got shot in Broward County today, sport.”

Here we have a perfect example of the ignorance that permeates every leftist from political talkingheads to esteemed authors. Joy Reid could be right — most Americans may not know who or what MS-13 is. And that’s the problem. Stephen King certainly doesn’t. As The Daily Wire notes, “King, apparently unaware that MS-13 is a violent street gang comprised of mostly illegal aliens, attacked Wilson for his tweet because he thought that Wilson was speaking about Wednesday’s tragic shooting and he somehow thought MS-13 was a firearm.” No doubt he conflated the two because MS-13 mimics the acronym AR-15, an actual firearm that was used in Wednesday’s despicable shooting in Florida.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of our society that it can recognize what an AR-15 is (with the important caveat that most people have no idea how it works) but has absolutely no clue what MS-13 is nor about the criminals who constitute it. The AR-15 is a tool that people who represent the worst in our culture use to take innocent life — people like those inside MS-13. These are perpetrators who lethally utilize tools in their crusade against dignity. They, not the methods, should be our focus. Here’s a little background on this ruthless group called MS-13:

According to the Department of Justice, most MS-13 members originate from El Salvador. In the 1980s, the gang was implanted in the U.S. by way of Los Angeles, where it took off like wildfire. It has a particularly sizable pool of members in New York, Virginia and Washington, DC, but it’s active in 40-some states. Globally, it’s only 30,000 members strong, but one-third of them (10,000) reside here in the U.S. If there’s one word that describes this group, it’s a pursuit of unbridled “control.” And while much of its machinations might occur clandestinely, its impacts can’t be ignored. Nor can its occasional rampages.

Donald Trump was proactive about singling out MS-13 and its brutality during his State of the Union Address. He relayed a September 2016 incident on Long Island in which friends Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens “were brutally murdered by the savage MS-13 gang while walking together in their hometown.” There are other instances of these gangsters ruthlessly killing innocent Americans. One example: In January 2017, Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas, also a teenager, was impaled 13 times by an MS-13 member.

MS-13 operates in much the same way Muslim terrorist groups do in the Middle East. The FBI reports that “MS-13 is expanding its membership at a ‘moderate’ rate through recruitment and migration. Some MS-13 members move to get jobs or to be near family members — currently, the southeast and the northeast are seeing the largest increases in membership. MS-13 often recruits new members by glorifying the gang lifestyle (often on the Internet, complete with pictures and videos) and by absorbing smaller gangs.” Interestingly, and quite tellingly, the media treats MS-13 gang members the same way it does Muslim terrorists — by ignoring them.

One reason the Left feels obligated to ignore MS-13’s atrocities could be because to do otherwise also puts an unwanted spotlight on inner-city gangs, whose continual development in cities like Chicago are the direct result of leftist-instilled policies that promote urban poverty plantations. More broadly, the Left also sees the spotlight on MS-13 as a symptom of the Trump administration’s supposedly bigoted attitude toward immigration. But its silent response to both only emboldens more reckless behavior.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved to ensure this his Justice Department is prioritizing the complete eradication of MS-13. And for that he was roundly mocked by the Left. As was Trump for mentioning MS-13 in his State of the Union Address. But make no mistake: Those who ignore or refuse to recognize this bona fide criminal syndicate do so at the expense of innocent American lives.

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