Gangs And Violence Essay, Research Paper
Gangs and violence
Gangs have been around since the 1950s and early 1960s. Gangs are a loosely organized group of tghree or more people who interact together for a common purpose and are usually participating in some kind of legal activit, whether it be violent crimes or drug dealing or both. Gang members usually can be identified by signs, colors, clothing, tattoos, jelry, or hand signals. Gangs often claim control over a certain territory in their community, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation there and will fight rival gangs for control of the territory. In some cases they are traveling out of state to spread their violence and crime.
Gang members generally range from ages 13 to 21 years old. However, kids as young as nine are eligible for recruiting. Those who join gangs often have low self-esteem, feel unloved at home, do poorly in school, and have a hard time making decisions and communicating with others. Many also join gangs for protection. Kids who are born into a family with a gang background, which is becoming more and more common, are basically recruited when they are born. Gang inititation ususally involves a violent beating, some type of criminal activity, or fighting with one of the present gang members. Once inititated intot he gag, there is usually no way out. Those who try to leave the gang, usually become targets of the gang. A “hit” is put out on the inidivual, usually resulting in death. It is not illegal to be in a gang.
Socialists as well as gang members have isolated many reasons why kids join gangs, and each case is indiviual. The majority join to fill their basic needs which usually are not being met at home and at school. These are respect, support, family, recognition, protection, identity, belong, money, and control.
Many gang members come from pppol and/or broken homes, and they get the support and structure they need from the gang life. kids from the inner cities often feel that they need to belong to a gang as a form of protection. Membership in a gang makes them feel important and recognized within their peer group. Members of a gang consider each other as family, and this kind of bond is hard to break.
Stutdies show that poor kids are often enticed by money and material items that they see gang memebers acquiring usually through illegal means. Many kids join because of their fear of physical harm they might receive if they resist the gang recruiters.
Gang violence now affects everyone. Once thought to attract only children from dysfunctional, uncaring families, gangs now include children of two parent, middle and upper class families.
Gang violence is increasing. Gang activity is no longer confirmed to inner-cities. Gangs are forming and spreading into the suburbs and rural communities. More and More youths are becoming lost to pressures to join gangs to engage in gang activities. Children become inoved in gangs at younger and younger ages.