Ex-gang member speaks out about how high-powered guns get into inner city neighborhoods

CLEVELAND - An unidentified young man has spent most of his life in a gang dealing with guns. We chose not to use his name to protect his identity. He has been shot, committed crimes and been to prison.

"I was drinking, smoking weed, in that life that I was living I thought that everything in that life was right," said the former gang member.

His life was spinning out of control when he landed in jail. However, it was not until his favorite aunt died that his life changed.

He was in a prison cell and could not attend her funeral.

"I just got on my knees and I cried from that day on. I just was looking up above. I felt him and it was like couldn't nobody come between me and him," said the young man as he spoke of his relationship with God.

Now he has made it a mission to talk about what he believes is the root cause of violence in urban communities: guns and gangs and how high-powered guns get in.

"Basically it come through the trains and it be loads of guns. Not no anybody can go on the trains and get guns," he said. "It's gotta be an inside job. So basically what I'm saying is it's very organized."

The young man said the guns are written off as insurance losses then once the guns get on the streets it's mayhem.  

"Theres one distributor - he have a truck van, probably a rental van or probably an Astro van. He pull it out, display all he got," he said.

Once the guns are distributed or after a train is hit, destruction happens.

"Oh it's show time, show time. Now we're about to go shoot at these dudes, we didn't have no guns we're about to over here and wet these dudes up - it becomes war," he said.

Next comes death, prison, or maybe something worse.
 
"When you get a felony and don't have no diploma you're like a nobody. It's like you're the bottom of a shoe, just cement."

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

Ohio reports 82,200 new concealed weapons licenses Ohio reports 82,200 new concealed weapons licenses

The number of newly issued concealed-weapons licenses in Ohio is climbing at a record-breaking pace.

Stand-your-ground foes seek to block Ohio gun bill Stand-your-ground foes seek to block Ohio gun bill

A group of black state lawmakers is joining community and faith leaders in Ohio to deliver petitions asking Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislative leaders not to enact a stand-your-ground gun law.

Gun group plans shotgun giveaway in central Florida Gun group plans shotgun giveaway in central Florida

A gun group is offering free shotguns to residents in Florida, billing it as a way for people to protect themselves against crime.

Federal gun laws didn Federal gun laws didn't block Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis

Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor and former Navy reservist, apparently managed to exploit seams in the nation's patchwork of complicated gun laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

Ohioans want expanded gun checks, according to recent Quinnipiac poll Ohioans want expanded gun checks, according to recent Quinnipiac poll

A recent poll finds wide support among Ohio voters for new restrictions on buying guns at gun shows and online.

Cleveland company says bulletproof backpack panel sales have more than doubled in year Cleveland company says bulletproof backpack panel sales have more than doubled in year

Sales of bulletproof panels for backpacks have more than doubled in the past year, according to the Cleveland company that manufactures the product.

State board hears ways to boost Ohio school safety State board hears ways to boost Ohio school safety

Members of the state school board are ready to hear from some of Ohio's top law enforcers and policymakers about ways to improve school safety.

NRA official during annual convention: NRA official during annual convention: 'Culture war' more than gun rights

The National Rifle Association kicked off its annual convention Friday with a warning from its incoming president that its members are engaged in a "culture war" that stretches beyond gun rights.

Newtown families: We Newtown families: We'll keep fighting for gun law

Disappointment. Disgust. Grossly unfair. That's how some families who lost loved ones in the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school view the Senate's defeat this past week of the most far-reaching gun control bill.

Gun control backers: Senate defeat won Gun control backers: Senate defeat won't stop us

One day after the demise of gun control legislation, Senate supporters of the measure vowed to try again, while a leading opponent accused President Barack Obama of taking the "low road" when he harshly criticized lawmakers who voted against key provisions.