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Gang Activity Essay

1435 words - 6 pages

Since the beginning of the decade, teenage homicides increased by one hundred and fifty percent (Strout, Brian 1996). This sharp increase is largely due to the rapid formation of gang activity throughout the United States (Strout, Brian, 1996). In today's larger cities, gang violence is a reality that people have to deal with every day. As gang related crimes increase, officials are trying to find out why people join and remain loyal to gangs. Unfortunately, experts can only hypothesize explanations for gang involvement. However, by studying societys influence on humans, there is evidence to blame several forces. These speculations include the forces of peer pressure, broken families, gang ...view middle of the document...

In a fully developed community, a network of relations can be found among several parents. The relationship could be a parent, teacher, and minister, depending on the child's circumstances. In South Central Los Angeles, this communication can not be found, so students turn to gangs for companionship. In a classroom with no security, students could be distracted from learning, and thus distraced from the network. Furthermore, in poor families with many children, or upper-middle class families where parents are always working, children will often feel deprived of love. Parents often feel that putting food on the table is enough love. Children from families often go to the gang out of boredom. As time goes on, a form of kinship develops between the gang members and the child. It is then that the bond between the kid and the gang is completed because the gang has effectively replaced the family. Although this may be a feeling for belonging, statistics show that seventy percent of gang members cheat and steal from the people they call friends.In every gang, problems occur as each male tries to be the most courageous. This often leads to all members participating in 'one-up-manship.' Quite often this starts a domino effect where each member tries to commit a bigger and more violent crime. With all members participating in this sort of activity, it makes a never ending, unorganized violence spree. In gangs with organization, members feed off these feelings, and each member desires to be the star when the group commits a crime. This makes a gang much more organized and improves the morals of members. It also makes the gang more dangerous and very hard for the police to deal with and catch. There is nothing harder to find and deal with than organized teens that are dedicated to the group. According to the LA Times, 30% of all organized crime goes unsolved (Wesbrach 1996). This form of gang is usually common with the middle or upper class. Furthermore, the same forms have been reported near the projects and other low rent districts too. This 'one-up-manship' is often the reason for rival gangs fighting. Gangs want to feel powerful and feared. To do this they establish themselves as the only gang in a certain neighborhood. After several gang fights, hatred forms then the desire to murder ends in drive-by-shootings. When two or more gangs are at war, it makes life very dangerous for citizens in the area. Less that 40% of drive-by-shootings kill their intended victim, yet over 60% do kill someone (Suburban Gangs 1996).In addition, one of the great factors in determining to joining a gang is protection. In slums such as the Bronx, children will be beaten and robbed if they do not participate in a gang. Most people see that joining a gang brings danger. However, this is not the way it is seen by kids. Gang leaders also provide money for member who need to feed their families. After members receive money, they often feel that the leaders are watching out for...

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