Canadian police attribute rise in motorcycle gangs to Sons of Anarchy


In the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, it appears motorcycle gangs are on the rise. But according to one presentation given by a constable of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Nova Scotia, a cause of this is the hit TV show Sons of Anarchy.

The presentation went on to argue that Sons of Anarchy glamorizes the lifestyle of motorcycle gangs and that fans of the show are joining gangs in Nova Scotia without realizing what they are really like.

While the data from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may show a link between Sons of Anarchy and motorcycle gang activity, the question of how to interpret said link can be debated. That’s the difference between correlation and causation; it’s not hard to prove two things are linked (correlated), but it’s something else entirely to prove something directly caused an event to occur.

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There is no way around this; if a TV show is all it takes you to join a gang or take up something violent, then you are either an idiot, a walking time bomb, or both. These are the same kind of people who joined a hanging posse in the Wild West because they were bored and they had nothing else to do.

It’s entirely possible that had said viewers of Sons of Anarchy who joined a motorcycle gang not seen the show, they would have participated in some other violent criminal activity instead. If people idolize a show where the main character is the head of a motorcycle gang who by the end of the show kills his mother who murdered his own wife and then proceeds to commit suicide, then odds are the show isn’t the main issue.

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The 1996 horror classic Scream contains the line “Movies don’t create psychos, movies make psychos more creative!” There is a lot of truth in that statement, because gangs, murder, and every sort of violent acts have existed for an eternity. It is only a matter of the question of how violence is expressed and carried out. For instance; criminal activity on the internet.

Blaming television, movies, or video games is always a favorite talking point in a discussion of violence. While there may be some hint at a correlation, there is no evidence that an increase in motorcycle club membership is directly caused by Sons of Anarchy.