Gangs Essay, Research Paper
Gangs: What Influences One to Join and What can we Do to Minimize Them
Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today s society. What caused these gangs to form? Why do kids feel that being in a gang is acceptable as well as a good way to live? These are two questions that we ask ourselves everyday and although the long-range answers can only be speculated upon, the short-term answer is much easier to find.
On the surface, gangs are a direct result of human beings personal wants as well as peer pressure. To determine how to effectively end gang violence we must first find out how these morals are brought on to the individual. Unfortunately these can only be hypothesized. However, by looking at the way humans are influenced in society, I believe that there is good evidence to point the blame at several institutions. These include the forces of the media, the government, theatre, drugs and our economic system.
Gangs are caused by peer pressure and greed. Many gangs will pressure peers into becoming part of the gang by making it sound really good. Money is also a factor. A peer is shown that they can make between two to four hundred dollars for small part time gang jobs. Although these are important factors, they are not strong enough to make kids do things that are strongly against their morals.
One of the ways that kids morals are bent so that gang violence becomes more acceptable is the influence of television and of movies. Time magazine reports that the average child spends more time in front of a television than they do in the classroom. Children learn by watching and by seeing violence on television they think that it is acceptable in society. Many shows on television today are extremely violent and are often shown from a gang s perspective.
Gore in television also takes a big part in influencing young minds. Young children view gory scenes and are fascinated by what they see but are unaware of the dangers that proceed. A young child does not see blood and violence as a bad thing. Children raised with this type of show violence are more susceptible to becoming violent and thus turn to a gang for support.
So as you can see, if television leads a child to believe that violence is the norm, this will manifest itself in the actions of the child, quite often in a gang situation. This is especially the case when parents don t spend a lot of time with the children explaining what is right and what is wrong with what they are viewing. I personally believe that television violence has a greater impact on the child than the parents do. This is because once again children spend most of the day in front of the television.
Once this violent mentality is installed in children they become more prone to being pushed into a gang situation by any problem at home or school. For instance, in poor families with many children or upper-middle class families where parents are always working, the child will often feel deprived of love. Children of these families may often go to a gang out of boredom and to belong somewhere. As time passes a form of love and friendship develops between the gang and the child. It is then that the bond between the two is completed because the gang has effectively taken the place of the family.
One of the great factors in joining a gang is protection. I personally feel that joining a gang will bring on more danger than it saves you from. However, this is not the way that children see it. Reports show that in places such as the Bronx as well as Compton, children will no doubt be beaten and robbed if they do not join a gang. Of course, they can probably get the same treatment from rivals once in the gang. The gang also provides money for these children who quite often need it to feed their families.
So, as you can see gangs are a product of the environment that we, society, have created for ourselves. Some of these factors include: the media, greed, violence and other gangs. There seems to be no way to end the problem of gang without totally restructuring the modern economy and value system. Since the chance of this happening is minimal, we must learn to cope with gangs and try to keep their following to a minimum. Unfortunately there is no real organized force to help fight gangs. What we need are more people to form organizations such as the Guardian Angels a gang-like group that makes life very tough for gangs that are breaking the law.