Title: Local Authorities Express
Who: Concern Over Militant Straightedge Activity.
What: Lyon County Straightedge individuals and their recent violent activity.
When: September 18, 2009
Where: Lyon County, Nevada
Why: Straightedge individuals have been resorting to violence.
Interesting Details that make the story:
Recently there has been a lot of attention directed at the Straight
Edge movement, accompanied by discussion of whether that movement is a brotherhood promoting a positive lifestyle, or a gang of violent vigilantes.
According to Lyon County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Brian Veil, the answer is both, and the movement has made its way to Yerington.
The term "Straight Edge" refers to a lifestyle and youth movement in which adherents make a commitment to refrain from alcohol, tobacco products, recreational drugs, and premarital or underage sexual activities.
The term was coined by the 1980s hardcore punk band Minor Threat in the song "Straight Edge."
The letter X is the most known symbol of Straight Edge, commonly worn as a marking on the back of both hands, though it can be displayed on other body parts as well. Some followers have also incorporated the symbol into clothing and pins.
Authorities say that although the movement began with admirable goals, and while a segment of Straight
Edge staunchly maintains those ideals, a militant wing of the movement began to make its presence known in the early 1990s, with the term militant meaning someone who is dedicated and outspoken, but who is also believed by law enforcement officials to be potentially violent, says Veil, who added that law enforcement officials characterize a militant Straight Edger as having less tolerance for non-straightedge people, and having the willingness to resort to violence in order to promote clean living.
Veil said that since the 1990s, the militant movement has continued to grow, with some members targeting smokers, drinkers and drug users in several reported cases where people who refused to stop their behavior were violently attacked.
Veil reported recently that militant Straight Edge activity is now on the rise in Yerington as well, indicating that although most of the reported incidents have been juvenile-related and no specific information can be released, there have been reports of vandalism, property destruction, fights, threats, and other types of both criminal and violent behaviors by youths associated with the militant Straight Edge movement in the recent months, and that law enforcement throughout Lyon County will be taking large steps to stop this gang behavior.