The truth is, these wars between rival outlaw motorcycle gangs have been occurring for many years. The above-mentioned report from The Australian.com.au may seem like new news, but it has all been heard and reported on before.
Biker gangs commenced some time after the second World War finalised. Cruiser motorcycles were gaining in popularity. American males who had newly-returned from the frontline, experienced a new taste of freedom. War had damaged and hardened the men who came home. They were nothing like the men who had been shipped out in previous years. (www.autoevolution.com)
I began to investigate online, all the reported shootings involving Sydney outlaw motorcycle groups. I started to list them all in date order and gave up. It seems every month there is an alleged attack or scare launched between rival clubs. It has been occurring for over 40 years.
The continuing response
A biker who is serving 12 years in a Quebec City prison on 29 charges says, "What I hope will happen and what I think will happen are two different things,"..."But I'm not involved anymore. And if I was a kid of 21 today, for sure I wouldn't join. Back then, the biker lifestyle was different. It wasn't either you get killed or you get locked up, which is pretty much what it is today." (www.bikermatchmaking.com)
In April 2012, the NSW opposition says it's Sydney's 75th shooting since March 2011. Opposition Leader John Robertson called for the state government to convene a crisis meeting with senior police.
Mr Frank Mennilli, Assistant Police Commissioner said more police wouldn't necessarily solve the issue as they are targeted shootings.
"They're individuals involved in criminal enterprises, targeting themselves when they end up having a dispute whether it be over drugs, turf or just a matter of who's got more power than the other." (news.brisbanetimes.com.au)
Hope – The Sam Childers story
Sam Childers grew up in the hills of Pennsylvania. At an early age Sam started to show a knack for getting into trouble. By his early teens Sam was constantly in fist fights, selling hard drugs and sleeping with married women. He continued to slide deeper into a life of violence and crime until he became a Shotgunner – an armed guard for drug dealers. (www.machinegunpreacher.org)
In 1992, Childers experienced what he described as a conversion to Christianity. At the end of 1998, Childers made his first trip to Sudan. In that first trip and the many that followed, he was exposed to the acts of the Lords Resistance Army, which he described as atrocious.
Childers and his wife Lynn founded the Angels of East Africa, the Children's Village in Southern Sudan. The Children's Village currently houses and educates over 300 orphans, with over a thousand children rescued since its inception. This is currently the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan and is unique in its approach of leading armed rescue missions directly into LRA territory.
His story, has been depicted in a movie staring Gerard Butler titled Machine Gun Preacher. A screening is being held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland on 28th April 2012. www.machinegunpreacher.com.au
God can and will intervene in peoples lives. He is constantly moulding hearts. Do I believe that there will be some hearts affected by God in the current Australian biker wars...yes! We should never underestimate His power in people's lives. There is always hope. There may be some people within the gangs, unable to figure a way out. Stuck in the lifestyle of drugs, power, business, property, guns and street battle.
Jeremiah 29:11 has always stuck in my heart. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."
May the senseless gang retaliations in Sydney (and around the world) be turned into stories of hope and changed lives.
Belinda Croft is married to Russell and she has a son BJ, 11 years. She has a heart and passion for God, writing, creativity, mission and social justice.
Belinda's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html