Teen Gangs Essay, Research Paper
Teen Gangs Gang violence is intensifying. Drive-by shootings, assaults, robbery, and murder are vicious gang activities in which innocent people are often hurt or killed ( Teen Gangs. Connecticut n/p). Teens should be able to join gangs if they want, but they should be careful of what kind of gangs they join.There are 6 main reasons why kids join gangs:· Coercion- Many gang members don t choose to join, they are forced into it.· Money- Even young children can earn hundreds of dollars by acting as lookouts or making drug and weapon deliveries. Money can be a real incentive to teens that live in poverty and want to contribute income to there to their families.· Identity and Power- By becoming part of a large and feared group of kids gain a sense of power, identity, and belonging. Gangs offer teens the chance to rebel against authority and gain a ready-made group of friends. · Familiarity- Often a child joins a gang to emulate an older brother, cousin, or neighbor. Gangs become a normal part of life.· Unstable Home Life- The brotherhood and rules of a gang are appealing to a child who lacks a stable family life, community ties, clear values, firm rules. · Limited Opportunity- When school involvement is unsatisfactory, unemployment is high and life seems to be going nowhere, a gang, with its chances for identify, community and money, looks pretty inviting. Once they are caught up in the violent world of the drug culture, they are, for the most part, lost forever ( Teen Gangs. Connecticut n/p). Members in juvenile gangs have decreased but adults have increased. Here are some figures for adults in gangs: 1990- 1,098, 1992- 2,645, 1995- 2,152, 1996- 2,152 ( Teen Gangs. Children n/p). There is also a significant increase in the number of girls in gangs. The numbers of girls between the ages of 13 and 16 in the state correction facilities have gone up in the past year (Wendell 4).
Teens in gangs usually come from bad environments with a few exceptions. Research has shown that for the most part, gang-prone youths have lower levels of self-esteem and feel less in control of their lives that other youths of the same age. Young people join gangs to gain a sense of purpose, identify, and security; for peer support, status, acceptable and validation ( Teen Gangs. Connecticut n/p). Negotiation is not in their vocabulary. Forgive and Forget doesn t seem to register in their minds. They learn vengeance quickly. There environments are so bad some say You ve got to have a gun if you re gonna go outside, (Howell A1+). Gangs are usually associated with violence. The easy availability of guns, coupled with youth impulsiveness and problems in resolving conflicts, create a volatile mix that often explodes in violence (Howell A1+). Youths in gangs range anywhere from young to old and they are all just as violent as the next one. The youngest on in the group says he s 13, and the oldest says he s 18. They all say they own guns (Howell A1+). Gang violence is usually very brutal, here are a few examples of how bad they really are: A wild brawl erupts among 20 people on a Queens street and when it ends a 14-year-old girl is accused of stabbing a 21-year-old man to death (Wendell 4), Andre should have know better. This 15-year-old s left eye was shattered because he was in the wrong neighborhood (Wilson 1N+), A 16-year-old Al Green, who boastfully calls himself Al Capone, says pockmarks on his right leg are from shotgun pellets that stung him during a drive-by (Howell A1+). As you can see teens and gangs are a very dangerous mix. You put a gun in a gang member s hand and there could be trouble. Many people are killed because of senseless tragedies committed by people only 13-years-old. Many of these people are going to jail at a young age and spending most of there teen years in jail.