Councilwoman Diana Reyna of Brooklyn is considering a bill to ban the sale of machetes, The NY Times reports. For those familiar with the recent gang activity in Brooklyn, the Williamsburg area especially, Reyna's desire to ban the weapon should come as no surprise. This year there have been a number of machete attacks, allegedly all gang-related.
For at least one gang, the Trinitarios, the machete is their weapon of choice — practically an identifying trademark — even showing them off on their YouTube videos. The Times reports that the local gang "has adopted the name — and evidently, the preferred weapon — of a revolutionary group that fought against Haiti during the Dominican Republic’s struggle for independence in 1844."
Currently machetes can be found at hardware stores, which stock them for gardening purposes — but New Yorkers can probably find another way to tend to their patches of green. As for the bigger problem, the rise of gang violence (with or without this particular weapon), Luis Garden Acosta, president of El Puente Williamsburg community development group, tells the paper that gangs are a growing concern amongst the organization, and they're currently discussing the problem with the 90th Precinct. He notes that the lure for kids to join gangs likely has to do with the "abrupt gentrification," saying, “From the perspective of a young person, this is a community that does not care for him or her. Out of that milieu, you have some young people who rebel.”