Greek Warfare Essay, Research Paper
Advanced English 7
17 April 2000
Gangs and Teenage Violence
A gang is a group of people who interact among themselves. Teen violence is contributed to these gangs. Most gangs claim neighborhoods as their territory and try to control everything inside that territory. This kind of antisocial behavior is a major problem in American Society.
Gang members are typical members of the same ethnic group. Fear and hatred for people of another race is called xenophobia. People who are victims of racism are often racists themselves. Rap music often features lyrics that are offensive to Asians, Jews, and African Americans. Earlier this century, the United States was divided into ghettos. Those days’ gangs were from all races. Gangs today sell drugs to every race and share or compete for street corners. Most of gang’s enemies are gang members of the same background. The Crips and Bloods continuously wage war at one or another. They even shoot members of the same ethnic group.
One type of racist gangs is the Skinheads. Skinheads take their name and style from British working class gangs from the 1970’s. A shaved head is a characteristic of this style. Not all skinheads believe in supremacy of the white race. The skinheads who do believe in white supremacy are believed to be apart of the fastest growing hate group in the United States. The numbers of hate groups seem to be declining. The fastest growing hate group consists mostly of young people from the ages 16 to 25. White racism is a social problem. Membership of the 125-year-old Klu Klux Klan is at an all time low. The Klan was formed in the south after the Civil War. Members of the Klan often hanged or burned blacks. Few skinheads have joined the Klan and many have joined a group called WAR.
Gangs began to form in the mid 1800’s when inventions were being made and industrializing had begun. People hearing news of
Industrializing set out looking for jobs and when they couldn’t find any jobs some adults would form gangs and hired children to assist them. The novel ” Oliver Twist” is a prime example of what these were like and what they did. Street gangs were born in England then crossed the Atlantic Ocean and entered the United States. These Europeans had no place to live or go so they lived in a trashy neighborhood called the 5pt. District. Some turned to crime for financial support. The 5pt. District became the training ground for the thieves. The first gang formed here was known as the Forty Thieves. A taveren called Rossanna’s Place became the meeting place of this gang. In 1825 the Kerronians, Plug Uglies, Shirt Tails, and Dead Rabbits were formed. Some gangs murdered than stole in a violent manor.
Gangs today often sell drugs for huge profits. The most popular drug soled by today’s gangs is cocaine or crack cocaine. Drugs like marijauna and heroine is still sold by gang members today but it’s not as popular.
Gangs today are even more violent than earlier gangs. People join gangs for social support, entertainment, and economical financial support. Some gangs are just a group of people who hang out and think the world is against them. This is a ”them and us” way of thinking. Both small and large gangs can become involved in criminal acts. Gangs are divided based on racial and ethnic communities. Blacks and Hispanic gangs have the largest number of gang members. Hybrig gangs contain members of different ethnic groups. Gang members are usually made up of male members but the numbers of female members is increasing.
Gangs are often easily noticed. Clothes, colors, and jewelry may identify gangs. Members often wear tattoos or self infected scars for identification.
Often gangs are held together by strong interest in heavy metal music and drug experimentation. Some gangs are bonded together by hatred for other races. Gangs who believe in white supremacy are often responsible for violence against Jews, Blacks, and Homosexuals.
When a person becomes a member of a gang it is very difficult for them to leave that gang. Gangs usually have a ritual like the person who wants to leave has to face 3 other men in a fight and win if he wished to leave. That who leaves a gang usually leaves that neighborhood.
The more guns that are available the greater risk of murders and serious injuries. Gang related killings have been on the rise since the mid 1970’s. There is an estimated 100,000-gang member in Los Angeles. There are four types of gangs. The four types of gangs are party gangs, social gangs, violent gangs, and drug dealing gangs. An estimated 90% of gang members are males from the ages 13 to 24 years old. Los Angeles has more gang members than any other city.
Gangs can contribute to teen violence. Many different things can cause teenage violence. Teenage years are unique. Teens have unlimited energy and need for action. Some teens are attracted to violence, horror films, and scary novels. Teenage years are also a time when young people seek independence. To gain this independence, teens also challenge authority. Teens sometimes feel invincible. Many teens self-esteem is not so invincible. Mix among emotions and needs also put teens in a vulnerable position.
There are five things that contribute to teen violence. Those five things are abusive parents, the prevalence of violence in the media, availability of weapons especially guns, poverty, and drugs.
Children living in homes where parents are abusive receive little love and lack of positive role models. As a result, these children don’t
learn how to build satisfying relationships. Children living under such conditions have few opportunities to there self-esteem. When these children receive or witness verbal or physical abuse, violence becomes an acceptable reaction.
The prevalence of violence in the media is also a major factor of teen violence. In the movie ”Total Recall” in which several people explode when they are tossed out into the vacuum that surrounds Mars, the worst of the villains in this movie does not die such a simple death. Instead, during a fight with the hero on a platform surrounded by machinery, the villain’s arms are severed and the hero holds up two bloody stumps. One of the most outspoken critics in the media is Deborah Prothrow – Stith. Deborah spent most of her medical internship in the emergency room of a Boston hospital. During this period of time, Deborah saw many people injured or even killed by gangs and other supporters of teen violence. Deborah began to look for the causes of these crimes and ways to stop the violence. After years of study Deborah concluded that glamorized films contribute to teen violence. This is because such films tell children that violence is an acceptable way of solving a problem. Deborah is not the only professional to hold this opinion. Many psychologists insist that violence in the media has a negative affect on children. The more violence children watch on television, the more aggressive they become. Media executives repeatedly denied any link between violent films and aggression.
The third cause of teen violence is the availability of guns. Currently more than fifty million handguns are circulating in the United States. Children often brag easy it is to buy guns or when funds are short rent one by the hour from aqaintences.
Poverty is the fourth cause of teen violence. American society places a lot of emphasizes on material things and feeling good. Because material things are so important, poor teens who believe violence is
acceptable, may assault others to obtain a coveted item. A lot of kids are obsessed with material things. If kids don’t have name brand materials they feel ashamed and turn to violence. Many poor teens also think they have little chance of escaping poverty legally.
The last cause of teen violence is the demand for illegal drugs. Some violent teens steal to get money to buy drugs while others sale drugs to get money mostly in poverty stricken areas. Because drug trafficking is so lucrative, dealers fight among themselves over who will sell crack. This fight has caused many deaths.
Students are dying in American schools. Students are merged, harassed, and threatened daily. Many kids are afraid that their lunch money will be stolen. Gangs rule the corridors of schools. The teachers are scared. An estimated three million violent crimes and thefts occur at school every year. An estimated one out of every five high schoolers carries a weapon. Violence in schools affect students and teachers. Youngsters that live in violence carry it into schools. The rise in school crime and violence isn’t limited.
On January 18, 1993, high school English teacher Deana McDavid was sitting at her desk correcting papers. The students were all working at there desks. Scott Pennington, an unpopular honor student, entered the Grayson, Kentucky classroom. No one noticed Scott as he walked toward the teachers until he fired a revolver that was concealed in his jacket. The first shot missed Mrs. McDavid and astonished the students who at first thought it was some kind of prank until Scott fired a second shot that killed Mrs. McDavid. The sound of gunfire alarmed people outside of the classroom. His classmates were so terrified, they couldn’t move. Scott began letting his classmates go one or two at a time. When the police arrived Scott surrendered easily.
When a group of high school students were interviewed 20 % said
It was ok to shoot someone who has stolen something from you. Half of that 20 % thought it was all right to shoot someone who has done something to offend or insult you. The attitude that violence is acceptable is not limited to particular schools. In 1993 researchers questioned principals about violent incidents in the schools to try to determine why these violent incidents were happening. More than1,000 school districts across the nation participated in this study. Principles reported violent incidents throughout the country. Principles and teachers are no longer putting up with these disputive students.
There are many different kinds of gangs and antisocial groups. Gangs and teenage violence has been a problem since it began. There are many different causes for this behavior. Gangs and teenage violence has contributed to many shootings.
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