Gang Violence

11 November 2016

If I could change the world, I would definitely leave out the gang violence. I wonder why teens join gangs. I’ve seen some of my friends join gangs and I wonder why they joined. Did they think they were going to be famous? Did they think everyone was going to know them now and want to invite them to special events? Or did they want to sell drugs on their block and become hood rich? I grew up in the city of Blytheville, Arkansas, where a lot of kids find trouble. Gangs are becoming a growing problem in American society. More young people are turning to gangs to solve problems in their lives.

When youth join gangs, they forget about their family, real friends, and even school. In Blytheville, gangs cause teenagers to act violently. When you are in a gang, you also have rival gangs that you constantly have to fight, just because you don’t want another gang in your territory.

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Some teens think that being in a gang will give them protection. I believe being in a gang increases your chances of being killed or hurt badly. Besides the violence that is involved in being in a gang, teens also get involved in illegal activities such as the use and selling of drugs.

Gangs make you carry out illegal activities to make money. One of these activities is selling marijuana mainly. In my city, some members are big time dealers, while others just work the corners. It’s a part in my town that does a lot of killing and selling drugs. That is not good role modeling for the young people. In what shouldn’t surprise anyone who has thought even the least bit about these sorts of issues, a lack of positive role models in their lives is leading to gang membership. (ParentDish) Some children probably grew up where they saw people selling drugs and killing.

They said, “When I get older I want to be just like that”. When you’re young you don’t really know the consequences of being in a gang. I never understood the meaning of gangs. You have to have tons of people who might have your back, but the key word was “might”. I know many people that don’t need to be in a gang. They’re in it just to fit in. That is just horrible in my book. I remember we had to read a book about gangs in high school. This book was called Gangs, Groups, Cults. It’s about a kid name Donte. He was a bright teenager who finished school and didn’t do anything after high school. So he oined a gang because he said, “Cool, but what do I do once I get out of school? You know? I did my daily deed to keep from getting thrown out of the house, but no I’m walking around the neighborhood and I don’t have anything to do” (Bradley 75). Since Donte had nothing better to do, he figured that it would be okay to join a gang. Boredom causes teenagers to join gangs, as well as wrecking havoc in the streets. Boredom can cause teens to join gangs, and so does bad parents. A lot of times when a kid’s family is messed up, they end up spending more time on the streets, and the gang becomes like their second family.

Maybe they only have a mom and she has drug problems, or is never around or very strict on him/her. Maybe they have a dad that is never around, or is on drugs. Some kids suffer through home life with parents who are always drunk on alcohol and they don’t really know their parents. So they meet older gang members that give them money and make them feel like a little brother or even a son. According to The National Gang Center and The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, boys are more involved in gangs than girls; however you might be surprised to find out that the number of female gang members is rapidly increasing. Psychology Today) Many parents of teenage girls do not consider gang activity to be something they should worry about very much. Unfortunately, I’ve witness teenage girls getting more and more involved in gangs. Not only in Blytheville, this is occurring in the larger cities, and other smaller cities and towns as well. Gangs rely on their girl for many dangerous activities that can result in teen girls going to prison or worse. Maybe they believe she want get as much time for a crime as a male would. Teens that are in gangs are much more likely to suffer from gun violence, whether it’s injury or death.

As a gang member, you can look forward to at least one shooting. In some cities, many teens that were killed by guns are gang members. Most likely, they were shooting at other gang members, who will not hesitate to shoot back. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, youth gangs have about 772,000 members nationwide, with half of them being teens under 18. (eHow) Teenagers love this life because they feel powerful, rich, and respected at a young age. They think they’re going to become rich and gang famous. The older guys that are or were in a gang are known as “OG’s”, know the opposite.

I’m pretty sure they’re regretting everything like the choices they made getting into the gang in the first place back in the day. A lot of OG’s have spent their whole lives in and out of jail, and are out on the street asking for money, all because the gang life took away a lot of opportunities they could have had when they were younger. The world doesn’t need this kind of activity going on. We have bigger problems to deal with, other than killing and harming each other. Parents need to tell their children how much they love them each and every day.

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