I hope members of our community realize there is an epidemic of violence now occurring in Santa Maria. The city of Santa Maria is currently being overrun with Mexican street gangs. The rash of fights, stabbings, and killings since the first of the year is shocking and unacceptable to law-abiding citizens. Law enforcement needs to take charge and restore a sense of peace and safety to a segment of the community that is getting out of control. Gang members lacking citizenship papers should immediately be deported to Mexico. All others should receive heavy prison sentences.