Gang Violence: A Teenager's Point Of View | Teen Ink

Gang Violence: A Teenager's Point Of View MAG

By Anonymous

   Gang Violence: A Teenager's Point of View

by H. B., Yonkers, NY

I am sixteen years old. I live in a small quiet Yonkers neighborhood where the most exciting event around is someone moving or getting married. Yes, my neighborhood is dull, but just because I live in a peaceful area doesn't mean I'm a stranger to gang violence. No, neither my friends nor I belong to any gangs, but we do know people who do. I do not know where they hang out, how they got involved or how old they were when they got involved, but I do know that they are not the kind of people I would be proud to call my friends.

Every now and then, through my friends or around school, I hear about a fight or about a kid who was "jumped" by a gang, or two gangs planning to fight each other. I know kids who carry guns and knives with them no matter where they go, even to school. They say it's for protection. I've seen kids come home from school cut and bruised, and when I ask what happened they reply, "My friends and I fought this other gang," with such a glow upon their faces that it makes me sick to my stomach.

Why do teenagers need gangs? Why do they fight? Where do they get the weapons? How do their parents feel? Do they even know or care? So many questions to be answered and while we try to answer one, another child dies. The number one killer among children is another child. Every day children are dying because of gang violence, especially young black males.

Why do we insist on killing or hurting each other? The only sure result I can see it promising is a couple of years in a jail cell. What is the great thrill to that? I do not want to be a super hero, nor do I want to change the way we feel toward each other overnight, even though it would be nice. I just want to sleep at night without wondering whether or not one of my friends is going to get hurt. I don't want to read in the newspaper that yet another teenage has been killed by a peer because of senseless gang violence.

When will the violence end? How many of us will have to die before we wake up and realize we are killing ourselves. Who will be next, whose child, whose grandchild, whose niece or nephew, whose sister or brother, whose cousin, whose friend?

We are the future. We are tomorrow, but there will not be a tomorrow if we keep hurting ourselves and those around us. The pain must stop. The peace must increase. If we don't wake up soon, it may be too late. We may not wake up at all.

Similar Articles


This article has 12 comments.

solon said...
on Apr. 8 2020 at 2:30 pm
solon, Duluth, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
halhabero is correct in that the legal age to own a gun is 21, but most gangs obtain guns illegally, which makes it impossible for the police to track the guns. so though it's illegal to own a gun if your not 21 it's not impossible

jhadaef3 said...
on Apr. 7 2020 at 10:59 am
jhadaef3, Duluth, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I think people under the age of 20 should not be able to buy a weapon. There are so much more to look forward to, so if kids are killing each other then some kids might they have no future or anything to look forward to.

on Apr. 6 2020 at 11:16 am
Antwonsmith2326, Suwanee, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I think people age 19 in order so I have a weapon along with a license

santiagov said...
on Mar. 27 2020 at 10:11 am
santiagov, Atlanta, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
it should be illegal for teenagers under 20 for buying wepons

hwihyeon said...
on Mar. 25 2020 at 10:33 am
hwihyeon, Suwanee, Atlanta, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Because violence and murder are not something that teenagers should have.

yeonu said...
on Mar. 24 2020 at 6:22 pm
yeonu, Duluth, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I agree with the point that there won’t be no future if we keep hurting ourselves. There are so many opportunities out there, and in order to take them, there are so many things to prepare. I mean we have to stop being angry and start to learn how to be ready for the future.

halballero said...
on Mar. 24 2020 at 1:24 pm
halballero, Buford, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I agree with the fact that weapons should not be brought to school even if you have good intentions to use them for example protection. I agree with this because a gun could be aimed at a certain person yet shoot the wrong person or a knife could stab the wrong person. Weapons harm people and sometimes they accidentally harm the innocent. In school there are MANDATORY lock down drills for a reason! To practice safety against intruders and criminals. The police can handle the gun work but students are too young to use guns and even if you pull the trigger on someone who was about to harm you or murder you, you are a CHILD, it’s illegal to use guns without a gun license which you cannot receive until the age of 21 (or 18 if in military)

i love this so much!

on Mar. 13 2013 at 4:03 pm
Yes thats true and I live in a neighborhood that has gang violence and I have a uncle who was in a gang violence and he got killed over some dumb stuff. 

ashley2 said...
on Sep. 27 2011 at 3:18 pm
thats really true ,i am happy to know there is somebody who cares,,thank you

on Aug. 19 2011 at 8:02 am
I think that your post Helene is very true and god bless you.

on Mar. 1 2011 at 4:27 pm
AviaBaNaNa BRONZE, Brownsville, Texas
4 articles 2 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is not fair, and perhaps it is best for us that it is not. -- Oscar Wilde

I agree with you. I lived in a neighborhood with gang violence I know people in them as well. I once talked to a girl who said sh ehad to get out because if not theyd kill her and her cousin. I think we need to do things against this violence. The death toll for teens can go up if we do not. Gang violence is affecting us deeply.