Gang Violence

February 25, 2013
By Lukowski BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
Lukowski BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Gangs and gang related activity has dated back to the early 1900’s. Since then gang violence has gone down the past 10 years by the help of support groups. Many of these groups attempt to prevent young people from joining gangs. Also some of these groups even patrol subways, buses, and even ferries to help stop gang violence. Most of the people who join gangs are usually not fully integrated into America yet. Some people even blame poor parenting for their child joining a gang.

There are many ways to help prevent gang violence. For example, there is a group called the Guardian Angels, and they help show a young person that joining a gang is not the answer. This group is a three-month program that teaches self-defense and legal training. They make themselves role models for young people so they have somebody to look up to. Usually, if a young person or a child grows up not having a role model or somebody to look up to, they turn towards a gang for comfort or respect. Other ways of helping people to stay out of gangs is to educate a child at a young age about the dangers of gangs. The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) is a group that teaches people about the dangers of gangs. In 1990, the government passed a law called the Anti-Loitering Law. This was to prevent young people or gang members to meet in public places. At first this law seemed idealistic. In 1991, this law was argued all the way to the Supreme Court and was eventually taken away because it violated the people’s constitutional rights because the police had too much latitude in whom they could arrest and for what reason. Many people encourage parents to watch for any sign of their child showing different behavior such as wearing the same color clothing more than once in a week. People say that the parents must care more for their child and get into their lives. Some ways parents can help prevent their child from joining a gang is to spend a lot more quality time with their children. Another thing a parent can do is to encourage good study habits to make sure their child will stay in school and not drop out. Finally, a parent must establish stricter rules such as an earlier curfew. These ways are just some examples of the many on how to prevent gang violence.

There are some statistics on gangs in America that must be known. For example, gangs are the number one distributers of drugs in America. From 1983-1999, gangs have increased by 2500 percent. This startling fact alone shows that gangs are growing in America and more must be done to prevent gangs from rising. In Utah alone, the number of gang members has risen from 45 to 330. Luckily, we have support groups for the children. Another stunning fact is that on average, a gang member will not live to see their 21st birthday, meaning they will probably be killed by gang violence in their teens. Highlighting shocking facts like this will help stop gang related crimes/violence.

Who and why do people join gangs you may ask? For one, people usually join gangs because they want to feel powerful or even stronger. Some people even want material goods such as money or protection. One of the most common reasons why people join a gang is because they want to have a status or reputation to show that they were more powerful than whoever they were before joining a gang. Other reasons such as peer pressure or just wanting to be accepted are other factors of people joining gangs. People with family problems want to be in a gang because they want to be part of a family to protect them. Usually, when a young person joins a gang, they didn’t have a mentor/ role model to help guide them through the dangers of gangs and reasons to not join them. Often, joining a gang will make a member feel as if they can intimidate people who aren’t in gangs. Some gang members are even forced into a gang. Joining a gang may give a young person a sense of purpose and that they are accepted. Gangs usually lie to young people and say that they have a support system for kids without the need of any parents. Other gangs provide jobs for people who are poorly educated and would not get a job outside of a gang. The average ages of people who join gangs are around 12-24 years and old and only 10% of people in gangs are believed to be girls. Other people join gangs due to family problems or retaliation for the passing of a loved one. A majority of the people who join gangs are either recent immigrants, young males from poor families, or minority groups.

Gangs are terrible things to be in and should definitely not be accepted. Gangs bring drugs, violence, guns, and death to your communities, all bad things to be around or even to grow up in. Some people believe that gangs aren’t that bad and offer you protection. In reality, you risk your life everyday just by being in a gang. There is not a universal solution for preventing gang violence, but there are many ways to help curb it. Police cracking down on gang violence and having support groups in your community are good ways to help prevent gang violence and to keep people safe. Having a gang or being in one is a danger to you, your family and your friends. Gangs should not be in anybody’s life and is overall a terrible thing.

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