The effects of Gang Violence
Gangs have been around since the beginning of time. Humans have always banded together for mutual protection and support - and to better dominate others. Gangs have always provided a way for people to more effectively get what they want, especially if it comes to force. And weaker members of society gravitate toward gangs that they feel can offer a sense of community and protection from others. But today were going to reflect on the effects of the most modern gangs. I watched the movie “Boys In The Hood” Directed by John Singleton in 1991. And it was an onscreen representation of what takes place in the urban areas of our country. Street gangs in the U.S. arose with Italian immigrants related to the Sicilian Mafia and others. These street gangs in New York City stole and killed to get what they wanted. One of the most famous street gang members was Al Capone, who later moved to Chicago in 1919 to help keep the other gangsters in order. Street gangs of this type were quite popular in the 1920s and 1930s.Gang Violence as we know goes beyond racial barriers, but it more vividly affects black and Latinos in America. I have chosen this topic because I have witnessed the effects of gang violence culturally, socially, and personally. It’s no secret that even St.Louis, MO is well known for gang violence. I don’t condone gangs but there are key factors that give reason for its existence. Gangs today have similar practices of creating their own sub-language, symbols, handshakes and other identifiers. Hispanics, Asians and African Americans began banding together to form gangs in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1970s and 1980s, there were national gang alliances, with gangs moving out of Los Angeles and New York City, and spreading across the country, with affiliates in many towns, as well as drug routes to finance gang activities. Although gang members insist that gangs are the only way to ensure success Page 2
today, others maintain that the only way to survive is to eliminate them. Many gangs threaten the safety of everyone in their 'hood (territory or neighborhood). Innocent people living in gang war-torn towns live in constant fear of death. However, for children who have no one to look up to and no future to look forward to, gangs can become their surrogate family. Gangs are not only a set of friends or a night’s activity. Gangs are a way of life. There is no way to eliminate them, but changing the violent nature of many gangs is possible. Admittedly, gangs cause many serious problems, but they could end up helping more people than they hurt. A gang can be defined as a group of people who unite to serve a common purpose and engage in violent or otherwise criminal behavior. The types of crimes committed by gang members differ between gangs, but the crimes generally associated with gangs include vandalism, robbery, drug-trafficking, assault, arson, and murder. There are many reasons why teenagers may join gangs. The root causes of violent gang formation are poverty, stressed families, unemployment, under-employment, under-education, racism, and the breakdown of sociocultural institutions. While it is true that gang violence has been decreasing, it still exists. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice offers a National Youth Gang Survey. Some of the results from this survey include the following gang statistics: * 100% of cities with a population of more than 250,000 report gang activity. * 11% of rural counties report gang activity.
* 35% of suburban counties report gang activity.
* More than half of the homicides reported in Los Angeles, and more than half of the homicides reported in Chicago, are elated to gang violence. * More than 24,500 gangs are active in the U.S.
* 772,500 people are members of gangs in the U.S.
* 94% of gang members are male.
* Only 2% of gangs are predominantly female.